My Little Pony Monthly Issue 25 (April 1, 1999)

My Little Pony Monthly
Established June 1997
This Newsletter is Child-Friendly

E-mail Tabby ( to be removed from the mailing list.

Issue 25
April 1999
Warning from the editor-- This is one really long issue! ^.~

Letters to the Editor As always, Tabby, I'm loving your newsletter! Keep up the marvelous work! Also, I was paging through the newsletter (I glance through it, and copy and paste it, so I can read it better later on) when the title of "Ides of March" caught my eye. My dad was just telling me about that in Shakespeare yesterday (which was February twenty-eighth!). Talk about coincidences!

Talk to you soon,

Katie/Gusty-- the Hockey Pony


And now, the exciting conclusion! My Little Pony Monthly owes a great big thank you to C. Alan Loewen for his epic, "All the Pretty Little Ponies." It has been a pleasure to unfold the story for the past twelve months. Be sure to e-mail with your feedback. Maybe we can convince him to write more stories! ^.^



All the Pretty Little Ponies
(A Revisionist Interpretation of the MLP Mythos)
The Final Chapter


C. Alan Loewen


For Candice and Allison

Synopsis: Megan, an eleven-year-old orphan who lives with her Aunt Constance, has been given guardianship over seven magical ponies also known as the Seven Sisters, the enchanted daughters of King Arthur and Queen Guinevere, who were turned into ponies by Arthur's evil half-sister, Morgan. Through many adventures and Morgan's defeat, Megan has now brought the ponies back to Britain and their parents. Comments and constructive criticism may be sent to

The ponies were glowing, their manes floating in an ethereal light as Morgan's magic became undone. Painlessly and silently, unicorn horns receded, wings disappeared, faces changed and hooves turned into hands and feet. In moments, the seven daughters stood before Sarah, Megan, and Aunt Constance, smiling and laughing.

Weeping with joy, Sarah and Megan brought them the fine dresses their father had supplied. The oldest stepped forward, her eyes shining with wisdom and a maturity far beyond her years. Her skin was so fair as to be almost white, a shade that matched her hair. "I am Alcyone, the eldest of Arthur's daughters; but to you I always wish to be known as Twilight." She took the offered clothes and stepped back as the next oldest stepped forward with shining eyes that glowed with life.

"I am Celaeno, but I would be pleased if you called me Starlight."

The next oldest stepped forward, a pretty girl with hair so black it glimmered with blue highlights. "My name is Electra, but to you I always want to be known as Bowtie."

Two twins stepped forward as alike and indistinguishable as two peas in a pod. Moving with grace and poise, they looked more like they flew than walked. "I am Maia," said one.

"I am Merope," said the other.

"Medley?" Megan asked Merope. "You're leg isn't broken anymore?"

Merope laughed and flexed her arm. "It was my arm, silly, and I like it when you call me Medley."

"And," Maia added, "please call me Firefly."

Another daughter of Arthur stepped forward, looking as if she had barely seen her tenth summer. "I'm named Asterope," she said shyly, "but I want you to call me Applejack."

The last little girl came rushing forward and threw her arms around Megan in a strong embrace. Her hair as black as coal, she looked up into Megan's face laughing with sheer joy. "And call me Ember ‘cause I don't like the name Taygeta."

Moments later, seven young girls clothed in fresh white dresses began walking down the hill, and were followed by two travel-stained girls and one woman. Spike had followed them and stayed away at a respectful distance knowing instinctively that his presence would spook the horses. Madra had found his way back and sat at King Arthur's feet as if born to the position.

When Arthur saw his daughters coming down the hill, he ran to meet them and tried to hug them all at once. With the breaking of Morgan's curse, the girls' memories had returned in a flood and they joined their father with cries of delight and tears of joy.

Dubricius had supplied extra horses and the party rode to Camelot, the great castle that housed the Round Table and King Arthur's Court.

On the ramparts, Megan stared at the queenly woman who waved at them as they approached the gates. Mother Ellen had been right, as well as the murals at Dubricius' Sanctuary. Megan did look very much like Guinevere.

Megan leaned over in her saddle to where Sarah gamely tried to keep her balance on the back of a large Shire. "Is this a dream? Am I asleep?"

Sarah winced as her huge horse bounced her up and down on its back. "Not the way I'm feeling," she replied.

Aunt Constance said nothing, but stared at the wonders around her in mute amazement.

Later, bathed and washed, Megan and Sarah stared at their reflections in the mirror. Clothed in a high-waisted dress of some shimmering green material and a simple band of gold adorning her head, Megan looked like a princess just stepped out of some storybook. Sarah was dressed in a red version of the same dress and was also captivated by her reflected transformation.

There was a knock on the door and Aunt Constance walked in escorted by Dubricius. Aunt Constance's dress was made of shimmering silk embroidered with intricate designs of gold thread. Dubricius wore clerical robes of gray that fitted his new solemn office.

"I have the pleasure," he said smiling, "of escorting three lovely ladies to a homecoming feast."

The feast was another wonder, and Megan was convinced that for her the wonders would never stop. During the meal, troubadours sang while jugglers and flame eaters entertained the crowd. The seven sisters insisted that Megan and Sarah sit with them and, for Megan, the rest of the festivities were nothing but a blur of activity and emotion. She did notice that Madra was sitting at the feet of the king and that Aunt Constance sat to the right of Dubricius. Spike was nowhere to be seen and Megan hoped he wasn't lonely.

It was some time later when the room finally became quiet and Megan realized that the entire hall was looking at her. "Yes?" she said, dimly aware that somebody had spoken her name.

"Megan," Dubricius said again. "Please come and join us here."

As if sleepwalking, Megan approached the seats where King Arthur and Queen Guinevere sat. "Megan," King Arthur said, "Dubricius has told us that you and your Aunt Constance are direct descendants of our line. It was you who was given guardianship of our seven daughters and it was you who brought them back to us."

"Oh, no," Megan interrupted. "I had the help of my Aunt Constance and my friend, Sarah. And then there was Madra and Spike and Twilight."

King Arthur raised his hand. "We are well aware of those that helped you, but even with that assistance, it does not negate the important role that you played. Please accept this gift as a token of our appreciation."

With that, Guinevere leaned forward and placed a gold chain around Megan's neck. At the end of the chain was a medallion intricately carved from a single piece of agate with the symbol of the Pendragon.

It was days later, days of feasts and sitting in the royal gardens and being introduced to the life of Camelot and meeting knights of legend, when word came from Dubricius that it was time for Sarah, Megan, and Aunt Constance to return home. "Though we would want you to stay with us forever," Dubricius explained, "this is not your time or your place. All must be made right."

It was a tearful farewell for the seven sisters. All of them wanted to weigh them down with gifts, but in the end, knowing they had to still walk the Wood of the World, all they took were small mementos. Twilight gave each a small book of poetry she had painstakingly hand-written.

Starlight gave each of them a small ornate candle holder. "When you light the candle, think of me," she said.

Bowtie gave them hair ribbons made of silk and decorated with gold thread.

Firefly and Medley presented them with a small statue of a bird carved from obsidian.

Applejack gave them an apple carved from marble.

And finally, Ember, crying over having to say good-bye, gave them each a lingering caress and a tender kiss.

The only regret that Megan had was that after saying good-bye to the sisters and Madra, she never got a chance to say good-bye to Spike.

The trip back to the Wood was very short. It first took them to the Mushrump where they met the Moochick and his new employees, Hydia, Reeka, and Draggle who were slowly learning the art of cooking with mushrooms. The next day they arrived at Mother Ellen's where they shared the tale of their adventures over slabs of homemade bread; and finally, the Wood delivered them safely back to their own backyard only to discover that to the best they could figure they had only been gone for five minutes.

Several weeks later, Sarah and Megan reminisced over their adventures while enjoying iced tea in Aunt Constance's backyard. Since Megan was descended from King Arthur and Sarah was descended from his half-sister, they were delighted to realize they were distantly related over many generations.

"School will be starting soon," Sarah said dreamily. "After the summer we've had, I can't imagine too many surprises waiting for us that will top what we've experienced."

Megan was on the verge of agreement when the backyard shimmered, and, once again, the ancient trees of the Wood of the World stood regally silent in Aunt Constance's back yard. To their surprise, a giant winged dragon slithered through the trees and onto the back porch. Its head as big as Megan, it stared at the girls through emerald green eyes.

"Spike?" Megan asked tremulously.

It hissed in appreciation and purred. "Sshpike is a good boy," it hissed. "Girls need Megan and Shhharah to find grail. Sshpike bring you back to Camelot."

Megan laughed and rubbed the crest over the dragon's eye as it purred in delight. "I think," she said to Sarah, "that our summer vacation just isn't over with yet."


Springtime Jumble
by Applejack

Un-jumble these words! Scroll down to see the answers.







flowers, fever, babies, love, Easter


Baby Applejack's Secret Friend
by Ciara Catalina

"Nobody wants to play with me," Baby Applejack said, walking gloomily over to the gazebo near the apple trees. She looked up to the sky where all the baby pegasi were playing tag. She sighed. The baby unicorns were playing hide-and-seek in the forest, and the rest of the baby earth ponies had gone on a picnic before she had woken up from her nap.

I can't fly, so I can't play tag; and I can't wink, so I can't play hide and seek, the lonely Baby Applejack thought. Slowly, she walked to the edge of the apple tree grove and sat under her favorite tree. She let her mind wander and was startled when three strange creatures appeared.

Baby Applejack leapt behind the tree, and spied on the creatures. As she calmed down, she realized that the creatures were dragons. Like Spike, she thought.

"I'm glad we got rid of that annoying pest!"

"Yeah, me too. I was beginning to wonder if we'd ever get rid of him!"

The third dragon remained silent.

"Well," the first dragon began, "we'd better go before we're seen." The threesome quickly moved towards the fence that separated the forest and tree grove, and disappeared out of sight.

Who is ‘he'? Baby Applejack wondered. Some lilac bushes moved, and she bit back a scream. The bushes moved again, and Baby Applejack moved forward, very curious. She parted the bushes, and found nothing but a sack!

Somewhat confused, Baby Applejack pretended to leave, but really hid behind an apple tree. Now I'll find out who was behind those bushes! she thought with anticipation.

She wasn't prepared for what happened next. Baby Applejack gasped when a dark blue-- almost black-- baby unicorn appeared. His symbol was a black and shadowy pony. Forgetting that she was hiding, Baby Applejack stepped out from behind the tree and demanded, "Who are you?"

He whirled around, surprised that she was still there and began to bolt in the other direction. Baby Applejack ran after the fleeing pony and tackled him. Holding him down, she said, "You can't run, so you might as well tell me your name!"

He considered this and replied, "But I can wink out!"

Baby Applejack nodded, and then said, "I know, but won't you tell me who you are and why the dragons left you here in a sack?"

The pony looked up sharply when Baby Applejack mentioned "dragons." He sighed and finally said, "I'll tell you who I am if you'll get off me." Seeing her look of doubt, he added, "And I promise I won't wink out again."

A little embarrassed, Baby Applejack jumped to her feet, and the new pony stood. "My name is Baby Shadow. I don't know where I'm from, because ever since I can remember, I've lived with those three dragons. I used to think that I was going to live peacefully and happily until I was big enough to start ‘working' for long periods of time." Baby Shadow shuddered at the remembrance.

"I thought that it was a game, having me pull wagons two times the size of myself, and that the dragons would tire of it and everything would go back to normal. It didn't," he said flatly. "Instead, when I told them I was tired of pulling stuff, I was forced to pull larger amounts and got almost no rest.

"So, I began to cause trouble to make them see that I meant business. I would wink out when pulling big carts. I'd easily slip out of the harness and watch the cart go rolling back the other direction. The dragons hated it. They tried to catch me once I was free; I would be caught, and then I'd do the whole thing over again!

"Then I decided to stay free of their harnesses. I would still cause trouble, but they couldn't catch me. Until today. Now I'm stuck here ‘cause I don't know the way back," Baby Shadow said with a sigh.

"You can stay with us! Majesty, the queen, won't mind and you'll have fun with all the other baby ponies!" Baby Applejack said excitedly.

"No! I can't stay! No one would want me," he replied sadly.

Baby Applejack's face fell. "I want you to stay," she said.

Baby Shadow considered this and said, "Alright, I'll stay. But only if you promise not to tell anyone about me!" Baby Shadow turned to Baby Applejack and looked her in the eye. "Promise?"

She stared back at him and said, "I promise I won't tell anyone without you saying okay."

Baby Shadow grinned. "Let's get something to eat; I'm starving!" He winked out and Baby Applejack led the way to Paradise Estate's kitchen.

* * *
"What's gotten into Baby Applejack? She's always eating enough for two and always stays by her self. Even when the other babies are playing, she'll play all alone." Skydancer looked at Wind Whistler.

Wind Whistler shrugged. "I don't know; maybe we could find out if we have someone follow her, and just watch what she does," she said; for once she was at a loss of what to do.

Skydancer nodded enthusiastically. "Yeah! That's it! Gusty can follow her! Thanks, Wind Whistler!" Skydancer called out as she flew off to find Gusty.

A few minutes later, Baby Applejack left to go to the apple tree grove with a pack of food, unaware that Gusty was following her. Once in the grove, Baby Applejack cried out softly, "Baby Shadow! I'm here; where are you?"

Gusty positioned herself to be able to see the entire grove without moving too much. She let out a small gasp when a dark blue baby pony appeared in front of Baby Applejack.

Giving Baby Shadow the sack of food, Baby Applejack sat down and asked, "What are we going to do today? Are we going to go swimming, or looking for treasure again?"

Baby Shadow munched on an apple and replied, "Do you want to go--"

Gusty sneezed and Baby Shadow turned and said, "Who's there?"

Gusty almost cried at the sound of suspicion, distrust, and fear in the baby's voice. What should I do? Gusty wondered. Might as well show myself, she concluded. Gusty stepped out from her hiding place.

Feeling betrayed, Baby Shadow cried out, "You promised you wouldn't tell anyone!"

"I didn't tell Gusty! She must have followed me!" Baby Applejack looked hurt.

Baby Shadow's look of betrayal disappeared when he nodded, completely trusting his friend.

Gusty watched the interchange between the two baby ponies, then interrupted. "Baby Shadow is your name?"

When he nodded, Gusty continued. "Where did you come from? And why didn't you want anyone to know that you were here?"

Baby Shadow sighed. Then he told his heart-breaking story to Gusty. When he stopped, they all were silent, thinking their own thoughts.

So that's why Baby Applejack had been so distant and going off by herself so often! Gusty thought.

Baby Applejack's and Baby Shadow's thoughts weren't as light-hearted as Gusty's. Will I be able to stay? Baby Applejack is my only friend! Baby Shadow thought, fearful of his future.

"He has to stay! He's my best friend and he doesn't have anywhere else to go!" With Baby Applejack's outburst, Gusty's thoughts were abruptly ended.

"We'll go see what Majesty has to say, and she'll decide if Baby Shadow can stay," Gusty said, already sure that Baby Shadow would be staying.

And Gusty was right; they took Baby Shadow and Baby Applejack to Dream Castle where Majesty put their fears aside by saying that Baby Shadow could stay. Baby Shadow fit right in with the rest of the baby ponies, but Baby Applejack was his only best friend.


Tabby's New Pet
by Tabby

For this story... I must thank Cleve Clove and Merry Treat. I could ramble on explaining why I need to thank them, but I'd probably bore you all to death. ^.~

First, Clever Clover had brought his Rattata into the clinic. Then he'd gotten her to start watching the show. Tabby threw up her hooves in despair. Yep, she had to admit it-- she was hooked on Pokèmon.

At that moment, Tabby was sitting in her living room watching the "Island of the Giant Pokèmon" episode. Team Rocket and Meowth were her favorite characters; she could really sympathize with them.

Currently in the show, the other Pokèmon had tied Meowth up to a tree while they feasted. Yeah, that sounded like something Mimic'd do to her.

That does it! Tabby thought to herself. I've simply got to get one of my own!

In that instant, she snatched up the receiver to her phone, which was conveniently located next to her couch. She was going to put in a call to Clever Clover, one of the ponies who knew the most about Pokèmon in Ponyland. If he couldn't help her, then she'd call Merry Treat.

"Cleve Clove!" she hissed after dialing his number. "You've got to get me a Meowth!"

"Meowth?" Clever Clover questioned. "Going into Pokèmon training, huh?"

"Possibly," Tabby put in quickly. "But for now, I just want one for a pet. I'll pay you one thousand jangles if you'll get me one."

"That's a third of your monthly salary," Clever Clover figured. "How about half?"

Tabby narrowed her eyes in annoyance. "You mean one thousand five hundred? Isn't that a rather greedy amount to be asking of a close friend?"

"Meowth Pokèmon are hard to come by," Clever Clover explained. "In all my searching around for Pokèmon, I've never seen one before."

"Plus the fact that you're off work for the winter and you have no source of income," Tabby figured. Clever Clover was an archeologist, and during the winter there were no dig sites to work at. "Hmm... oh, fine. If you can find a Meowth, I'll pay you one thousand five hundred for catching it."

"Right," Clever Clover said agreeably. "Of course, it might be awhile before I'll find one."

"Just make sure he doesn't talk in Japanese," was all Tabby said as she hung up.

* * *
On her way to work at the vet clinic, Tabby skipped along merrily as she daydreamed about owning her own cream-colored cat with long, pointy whiskers sticking out of his head. She pushed through the doors and made her appearance in front of Sugarberry.

"You look excited about something," Sugarberry commented.

"Cleve Clove is going to get me a Meowth," Tabby declared breathlessly as she clutched her two front hooves together dramatically.

"A Meowth?" Sugarberry questioned. "That's one of those Pokè-mans you and Clever Clover are always talking about, right?"

"Exactly," Tabby said dreamily. "He is just so cool-- Meowth, that is. I can't wait until I have my very own."

"I'm sure Clever Clover will find you one soon," Sugarberry assured her. "He's very reliable."

Tabby just hummed happily as she walked into her office and swung the door shut.

* * *
Two days passed. Tabby was getting impatient. She had gotten no word from Clever Clover, and that annoyed her. That evening after she got back from the Satin Slipper Sweet Shoppe, she put in another call to him. "Well?!?!?!" she said immediately after he had picked up.

Clever Clover acted as if he had been expecting the call. "I told you they were hard to find... I haven't seen a single Meowth, yet alone caught one."

"Hmph! I'm beginning to give up on you, ol' Cleve Clove."

"Hey, you callin' me ‘old'?"

Tabby waved her hoof through the air in dismissal, even if Clever Clover couldn't see it. "Just keep searching... meanwhile, I'll look for some more sources."

Next Tabby called another of her friends, Merry Treat. "Merry Treat, I need a Meowth," she complained. "I'm paying Cleve Clove to catch me one, but he can't even find one!"

"Just go catch it yourself; it's loads of fun," Merry Treat advised.

Tabby sighed. "Catch one myself? However would I do that?"

Merry Treat went on. "All you have to do is get it too tired to resist, then throw a PokèBall at it. Poof! It's all yours! That's my strategy."

Tabby was skeptical. "How do you go about getting it tired? How do you even go about finding one?"

"Ah, there is one attack that works every time," Merry Treat said wisely, but ignoring the second question. "Confusion. Not psychic confusion--"

"I'm confused already," Tabby interjected.

"--all you have to do is yell, ‘Pokèmon, confusion, run now!' " Merry Treat continued. "It will run in circles until it gets too tired to resist."

"Err... well, thanks. Talk to you later!"

* * *
The next morning on the way to work, Tabby pondered her dilemma. It wasn't that catching one herself wasn't a good idea, it's just that she didn't know where to find a Meowth. Plus, there was the fact that she didn't feel like doing it, anyway.

"Advertising!" Tabby exclaimed aloud. "Someone in Ponyland has to have a Meowth for sale!"

And so, after work, she rushed down to the newspaper office; the paper was sent to inhabitants of both Dream Valley and Friendship Gardens. Quickly, she submitted the ad declaring that she was looking for a Meowth and would pay one thousand, five hundred jangles for one.

Then Tabby walked along to the Satin Slipper Sweet Shoppe, mumbling to herself. "La de da. Hum de dum. Prepare for trouble, and, err... anyway... la de da."

She joined Sugarberry and Tiffany at their table, wearing a smug expression on her face.

Sugarberry looked up at her. "What have you done this time, Tabby?"

"I'm just sure to get a Meowth now!" Tabby exclaimed.

"What's a Meowth..." Tiffany murmured distractedly as she batted her eyelashes at a good-looking stallion that had just walked in.

Tabby shook her head in dismay. "You don't even know about Pokèmon, Tiff?"

Tiffany didn't answer. "Look at that cute guy that just came in. I've simply got to go talk to him!" With that, she flounced off to another table.

Tabby rolled her eyes. "Typical, huh, Sug? Sug? Are you still there?"

Sugarberry was sitting with a glazed-over expression in her eyes. Suddenly, she was jolted back into the real world. "Oh! Sorry, I was just coming up with an idea for my new mystery. How are you sure to get a Meowth now?"

"Advertising," Tabby declared. "In the paper. My ad will be in tomorrow's issue! Someone will have to call!"

"I hope it works out," was all Sugarberry said.

* * *
The next day at the clinic, Tabby asked every customer if they had a Meowth for sale. "Your pet looks fine... say, do you happen to be selling a Meowth?"

The answers varied:

"A Meowth? What in the world is that?"

"Cute name for a cat. I hear the pet store just got in a new litter of kittens."

"I have one, but I wouldn't sell him for a million jangles!"

"My sister has a cat that she named Meowth. She's had her for ten years."

"Is that one of those weird Poke-things?"

"I've seen pictures of that creature! I don't want any mutant cats running around Ponyland!"

Tabby sighed in dejection as her work day drew to a close. Most everyone had no idea what a Meowth was, and the rare ponies that happened to own one wouldn't sell him. Well, maybe someone'd call this evening.

Sugarberry raised her eyebrows when Tabby walked out of the check-up room. "I hear you've been plaguing all the customers with Meowth questions, Tabby!"

"So?" Tabby said defiantly.

"You're making a nuisance of yourself," Sugarberry explained. "It's giving the clinic a bad name."

"Hmmm..." Tabby responded, nodding her head. It wasn't like she was listening in the first place. "Look at the clock, Sugarberry! It's nearly four, isn't it? Oooh, it's another of those stupid hand clocks!"

Sugarberry sighed, knowing Tabby hadn't been paying attention to her lecture. "It's three fifty-five," she figured out for her friend.

"Yes!" Tabby cried out jubilantly. "That's close enough to four for me. I'm outta here!"

Sugarberry shook her head. "You're five minutes late every day. Don't you think you could stay until four, at least once?"

Tabby answered with her usual excuse. "Sorry, can't stay!" And with that, she flounced out of the clinic.

* * *
Tabby hung out at home all that evening, not even going out to the Satin Slipper Sweet Shoppe. If someone called concerning her ad, she just had to be there!

The night grew late. Finally, around nine o' clock, the phone rang. Tabby was so excited, she could hardly control herself enough to pick it up. "Hello! Have you got a Meowth?"

"Whatever are you talking about, Tabby?" Tiffany's voice said.

Tabby sighed. She knew she wouldn't get a Meowth out of Tiffany. "Never mind, Tiff... it's nothing you'd know about."

"Why weren't you at the Satin Slipper Sweet Shoppe tonight?" Tiffany prodded.

"I'm waiting for a phone call," Tabby explained. "I had an ad in the paper."

"Hmm... interesting," Tiffany murmured. "Well, I have got to go. I'll see you tomorrow night, I suppose?"

Tabby hated to leave the phone the next evening, but she had to admit she was dying for a strawberry sundae. "Yes, I'll be there. Now, bye!"

* * *
The next evening, Tabby rushed home after a usual evening of gossiping with Sugarberry and Tiffany at the Satin Slipper Sweet Shoppe. Tabby gasped in delight when she looked at her phone-- there was a message recorded on it! She pressed down on the button and listened intently to the message:

"If you want a Meowth, come to the cave at the edge of the Dark Forest tonight at ten o' clock. Be sure to bring your jangles."

And that was how the message ended; it had been recited in a deep, gruff, forbidding voice. However, Tabby was not scared off by the eeriness of the message. She trotted right out the door towards the Dark Forest. She knew where the cave was; Clever Clover had pointed it out to her a few times before.

Upon arriving there, she stood boldly at the entrance of the rocky formation. "Okay, so, like, where's my Meowth?" she called out.

There was no answer. Tabby peered around, and frowned. Where was the guy who had called? She wanted her Meowth, and she wanted him soon!

She trotted forward into the dark cave. "All right, is anyone here?" she demanded, very annoyed.

Tabby went back outside and looked around on both sides of the cave. "What's going on here?" her voice shrieked out into the night.

"This is cheap," Tabby grumbled as she turned around to go back home. At that moment, she heard a noise in the clump of bushes next to the cave. Her face turned red-- she'd recognize that sound anywhere. It was the mocking laughter of baby ponies.

In a fit of fury, she pushed the bushes apart, exposing Baby Ribbs and Baby Whirly Twirl, helplessly rolling on the ground laughing hysterically.

"Ha... ha... we got you!" Baby Ribbs gasped out between fits of laughter that had possessed the two friends.

"You... you... you... nasty baby ponies!" Tabby shrieked in outrage. The giggling just increased.

"I disguised my voice good in the message, didn't I, huh?" Baby Whirly Twirl said eagerly.

"Just go back home," Tabby said frostily. The two baby ponies ran off, still gasping for breath.

"Those baby ponies!" Tabby complained to the forest. "The things they do! Why doesn't anyone believe me when I tell them?"

And then, a large, dark shadow appeared on the path. Tabby gasped slightly, not realizing immediately who it was.

"Who out so late?" a familiar voice asked.

Tabby broke out grinning. It was Tiny, her bigfoot friend! "Oh, Tiny! It's me, Tabby!"

"Tabby," the bigfoot acknowledged. "Last time me saw you, you was looking for treasure."

Tabby winced slightly, recalling that event. "Oh, yeah, the treasure. That really didn't work out."

"What you doing this time?"

"Some baby ponies played a trick on me," Tabby complained. "They said they had a Meowth they'd sell me, but it was just a joke."

"Ooh, Meowth!" Tiny's face brightened, which Tabby could recognize even in the dark night. "Me want to catch one, too."

"You catch Pokèmon?" Tabby exclaimed. "Cool!"

Tiny nodded his head. "Yes. Me hunt for them in the forest."

"Who have you caught so far?" Tabby prodded, striking up a conversation.

Tiny ticked off his fingers. "Me have Nidoran, Squirtle, Growlithe, an' Weedle. Four so far."

"Do you have any ideas on where to find a Meowth?"

Cocking his head, Tiny answered slowly. "Me said before me couldn't find one around here, but you might try the witches. They catch some Pokèmon."

"Okay, thank you, Tiny!" Tabby exclaimed. "I'll go visit them tomorrow. Do you know them well?"

"Not really," Tiny answered. "Only ran across them a few times; they not very nice."

"Well, I'll be seeing you!" Tabby waved to Tiny as she headed back home.

* * *
The next day was Sunday. Tabby hadn't gotten any other calls, and she'd given up on the idea that anyone would come through. So, around nine in the morning, she decided to visit the three witches in the Volcano of Gloom. She didn't personally have anything against those three; they'd never done anything to her before.

Since she hadn't done much with her friends the past few days, on her way out, Tabby stopped at Sugarberry's house. "Say, want to come with me to the Volcano of Gloom?"

Sugarberry looked shocked. "The Volcano of Gloom? You don't want to go there, Tabby! Those witches-- they're bad news!"

"But I heard from someone they might have a Meowth," Tabby explained. "I have to check it out."

Sugarberry shook her head. "Just don't stay long!"

* * *
Tabby trotted up the stone stairs that led to the top of the Volcano of Gloom. On her way there, she'd also stopped by Merry Treat's house and the Royal Paradise, but both Merry Treat and Tiffany were out. So, she was there alone. She knocked on the volcano's door. "Hey, is anyone there?!"

The door opened a crack and a pair of eyes stared out at Tabby; the door was quickly shut again. "Mother! It's one of those Little Ponies!" Tabby heard.

"That's Hydia to you, Draggle!" a voice screamed, and a few moments later, the door opened. Hydia stood there, sizing up the pony before her.

"Hi! My name's Tabby!" Tabby said cheerfully.

"Tabby, eh?" Hydia replied after a pause. "What're you doing here?"

"I was told you might have a Meowth for sale," Tabby said. "I'm in dire need of one."

"You'd better talk to Reeka or Draggle about that," Hydia mumbled, grudgingly admitting Tabby inside the shabby dwelling. "They're the ones that're into Pokèmon."

Tabby walked inside without thinking twice, and heard Hydia mutter, "This pony, she wouldn't be any fun to put a spell on. She's not scared of us!" She hobbled off, calling to her two daughters, "Listen to the pony, girls. Don't do anything rash without my permission!"

Now alone in the main room with Reeka and Draggle, Tabby looked them over. Both were seated on the couch with an open book on the table before them. The book appeared to contain detailed information about Pokèmon.

"So," Tabby addressed the two sisters, "do you happen to have a Meowth for sale?"

Reeka nudged her sister as she said, "We only sell our Pokèmon if you can beat us in a match, or if you agree to be our slave for the rest of your life."

"Mother said not to do anything rash," Draggle commented. "Does making a pony our slave count as ‘rash'?"

Reeka continued, ignoring Draggle. "So, which will it be?"

Tabby considered the two possibilities in her head. She didn't have any Pokèmon to battle against the sisters, so that put that option out-- unless Clever Clover'd let her borrow one of his. Most likely, though, he wouldn't trust her with either his Rattata or Farfetch'd.

That only left her with being their slave for the rest of her life. That didn't really appeal to her; she'd be out of her job at the vet clinic and she wouldn't get her three thousand jangle salary each month. She sighed. What was she going to do?

"And, Reeka," Draggle interrupted Tabby's thoughts, "we don't have a Meowth to sell her, even if she did opt for either of those choices."

"Shut up!" Reeka ordered Draggle. "This pony doesn't need to know that yet--"

"You haven't even got a Meowth?" Tabby asked in dismay.

"Draggle!" Reeka shouted. "Don't you dare do that again!"

"You didn't tell me not to," Draggle whined.

"What about that nudge? That meant you were supposed to go along with whatever I said!"

"How was I supposed to know that's what it meant?"

"You're a witch, that's how!"

"Witches don't know everything!"

"Well, you wouldn't know, because you don't pay attention to all the lessons Mother gives us!"

"What about you? You're as bad as I am!"

During the argument, Tabby slipped out of the dwelling place and fled down the volcano.

* * *
Tabby was somewhat subdued that night at the Satin Slipper Sweet Shoppe. Tiffany and Sugarberry, however, were still talking.

"Pristina came in last night with the most awful scratches on her face," Tiffany complained.

"Scratches? What kind?" Sugarberry questioned.

"There were three long lines, right across her face. It looked terribly painful."

"How odd-- Clever Clover brought a squirrel into the clinic this morning with those same kinds of scratches."

"Oh, Clever Clover was so brave to risk his life to save that of a squirrel. It must have been deadly vicious."

"He didn't seem to have a problem handling it-- Clever Clover has a way with rodents."

After talking for awhile, Tiffany commented, "Tabby hasn't been herself lately."

"She's depressed because she hasn't found herself a Meowth yet," Sugarberry explained.

Tabby stared down into her strawberry sundae and said nothing.

"I still don't know what this Meowth thing is I keep hearing so much about," Tiffany complained.

"Well, these Pokèmon are all different sorts of critters, and Meowth is a cat-like one," Sugarberry gave a brief definition.

"She already has Callie; why would she need another cat?" Tiffany pondered.

"Meowth is cool; that's why!" Tabby suddenly snapped.

Sugarberry shrugged. "At least we got her to say something."

"And Meowth talks," Tabby went on. "That's more than I can say about Callie."

"Personally, I wouldn't like it if my cat, Theodora, started talking," Tiffany said. "It's like she'd be rubbing in that she's more intelligent than I am. Just look into those eyes! They're so intelligent."

"Meowth is cool," Tabby repeated, as if in a trance.

Sugarberry exchanged a look with Tiffany. "Tabby, you've got to get your mind off Meowth for a little while. Someday, you'll come across one. For tonight, let's just..."

"Go to the bowling alley!" Tiffany blurted out.

"Not the bowling alley," Tabby said crisply. "I hate bowling. It's boring."

"She can't stand playing two games in a row," Sugarberry said.

"Well, then, how about..." Tiffany wracked her brains. "Let's go over to the Royal Paradise and watch My Little People cartoons."

"Hey, that'd be fun!" Tabby said, brightening a bit.

"Let's do it!" Sugarberry said energetically.

* * *
Tabby trudged home late that night without any company; Sugarberry had left for home about an hour before Tabby. Tabby couldn't go without seeing all the My Little People episodes when they were so close to finishing them, so it was nearly eleven thirty when she left.

She walked down the main street. While she had been watching the episodes, she had been able to get her mind off of Meowth, but now it all came back to her. Oh, she wanted one so badly!

Forlornly, Tabby noticed a gold glitter on the ground in front of her. "A jangle!" she cried out loud, forgetting Meowth again for the moment as she stooped down to pick up the small coin.

But just as her hoof touched it, her face was filled with a burning sting. She jumped back, holding her hooves against her badly-scratched face. "Ooooh!! That hurts!!!"

"You didn't get that jangle away from me!" a voice rang out into the night.

Tabby gasped as she recognized the voice. She pulled her hooves away from her face. "Meowth!" she cried out joyfully. "Oh, Meowth! I've finally found one!"

Indeed, there in front of her stood a Meowth Pokèmon, holding up the jangle he had just gotten away from Tabby. "Yes, that's the fifth one I've found tonight!" he exclaimed. "Hey, what do you mean about finally finding me!"

"I've been searching far and wide for a Meowth," Tabby explained, looking as pitiful as she could. "Oh, you'll come home with me and stay, won't you? Pretty please?"

Meowth eyed her suspiciously. "Come home with you, eh? What luxuries would I be entitled to? Food? Bedding? Allowance?"

Tabby thought this over. "Can you live on cherry pie filling and raw cookie dough? Plus chicken and potatoes, of course."

Meowth considered this. "That sounds pretty good. What else?"

"You could use the spare bedroom," Tabby went on. "And I get three thousand jangles a month; I suppose I could give you a hundred of those if you agreed to stay with me."

"Hmm." Meowth paused in thought. "I'll try it out on a trial basis, and let you know if I decide to stay. How's that?"

"Wonderful, Meowth. Perfectly wonderful," Tabby said, once again clutching her two front hooves together. "Now, follow me, and I'll take you to my house..."

* * *
By now, it was about midnight. Meowth was seated at Tabby's kitchen table, gorging himself on a can of cherry pie filling, while Tabby put some ointment on her cuts. She was so excited over finally finding a Meowth, though, that the pain didn't bother her much.

"Ah, cherry pie filling," Meowth said contentedly. "Can't get better than that."

"Okay, now I'll show you your room," Tabby instructed. She led him down the hallway, and opened a door.

"Wow!" Meowth exclaimed. "A room all to myself..." A dreamy look clouded over his eyes. "This would be a ton better than living out in the streets, picking up change at night."

"Let's see, you get a dresser, desk, chair, and bed in this room," Tabby said, eyeing the room over critically. "Is there anything else you'll need?"

Meowth jumped up on the chair and ran his paw over the smooth finish on the desk. "This'll be just fine... for now."

"Oh, please say you'll stay for good!" Tabby pleaded. "I have been dying to have a Meowth for ages."

Meowth propped himself up on the pillow on the bed, with his two front paws behind his head. "Hmm... yes, I suppose so. This is more luxury than I've ever had before in my life."

"You're mine now!" Tabby cried out jubilantly. "Officially, one hundred percent mine! And you'll be my constant companion for life! And you'll fight other Pokèmon so I can get more!"

"Pokèmon battling... certainly..." murmured Meowth as he drifted off to sleep.

Tabby sighed happily. This was gonna be great! She couldn't wait to show him off to all her friends. And then, like she'd said, he'd have to battle against other Pokèmon she found wandering around. She had to get more, even if Meowth was her favorite.

She wandered into her room, mumbling out plans to herself. "First we'll find Jigglypuff, and after that Catterpie, and then Psyduck..."


Help Baby Gusty!
by Applejack

Baby Gusty can't think of some words she needs to know (she's still building her vocabulary, you know!). Help her by trying to figure out what she means by these clues...

1. He is white with a puffy tail and some ponies believe that he comes to your house on Easter and leaves candy. Who is he again???

2. They're real pretty and grow in gardens. I know it's a flower but I forget what kind. They're white or yellow with brown centers and I think they start with a ‘D'...

3. It's that holiday some ponies celebrate that comes on a Sunday every year...

4. Someone said they had gotten sick because it was spring. They didn't look sick; they just drooled and stared and flirted a lot... what's that called again????

5. Yum-m-my-- they taste really good! They are in the shape of those pink things in chili, but they taste fruity...


Circles, Squares, and Hearts
by Shining (

Author's note: Sorry it's been so long, MLP fans! I've been really busy, and then my computer decided to crash, so I was unable to write! So here is the latest installment for the great price of $79.99! Payment plans can be arranged for a small interest percentage. :-) Guess what? By the time you guys are reading this, I'll be in London, England-- Honor and Moment's honeymooning spot. Enjoy!

"Finally finished!" The rangy black stallion sighed and leaned back. Carefully, In A Moment took a thin brush and scrawled his name in the bottom right corner of his newly-painted canvas. The painting was extraordinary: a scene of a wild stallion tearing across a beach sunset.

Moment blew out a breath. "Now if only I could keep it to myself," he muttered. "I wish I could just stay holed up here at Glorified Acres with no one bothering me," he said under his breath, referring to the large and famous training stable where he and his family resided.

As Moment was rinsing out his paint brushes with paint thinner, a pretty dark bay mare strode easily into his stall with a tiny gray filly in tow. "Hey, little bro," the bay greeted him affectionately. "How's it goin'?"

Moment made a face. "Honor, we're twins," he reminded her.

With a bright smile, Moment's sister replied, "Ah, but we're thirteen minutes apart. And I'm older." On My Honor grinned with a friendly smugness.

Rolling his eyes, Moment turned to his niece. "Hey there, Mira. Want to paint?" he asked gently.

Mira nodded and gamely took up a paint brush. "I want blue," she declared. With the concentration only a small child can have, Honor's daughter began painting blue circles on watercolor paper.

The two horses watched as Mira painted, small smiles playing on both of their lips. "She looks so much like Caesar," Moment said quietly.

He watched as Honor's face darkened, a never-ending pain daring to surface to the top. "Yes, she does," she says softly. "I wish he could have been here to see her."

Moment put a protective foreleg around his sister's shoulder, sharing her pain. Honor's mate, Caesar, had been killed in an automobile accident during their honeymoon in London nearly two years ago. The three of them had been best friends.

Moment gave Honor a sympathetic smile and smoothly changed the subject. "So how's your class going?" he asked.

He watched as Honor's pretty face lit up. "They're doing really well. Especially Adagio. He's going to be Glorified Acres' new star," she predicted with a twinkle in her eye.

Raising an eyebrow in confusion, Moment asked, "Aren't you Glorified Acres' newest star?" Honor had inherited her parents' performing skills and had been named one of the world's best dancers.

Shining and Signature Required, the twins' parents, were world-famous performers. The pair had worked hard together for years perfecting their passion. Quiet, delicate Shining and handsome, jet-black Signature made a perfect team. Together, the two traveled the world, doing clinics while their daughter taught lessons at their farm.

Honor sighed. "I don't know," she said sadly. "Ever since Caesar died..." she let her voice trail off. "I guess I just don't feel like showing without him." Honor blinked back tears she refused to let fall. "How's your art coming?" she asked, changing the subject before her grief overwhelmed her.

Moment shrugged noncommittally. "I love it, but I wish that I could just paint for the fun of it without others looking over my shoulder." He grinned ruefully. "I'm resenting my talent, actually. I really hate being famous. It cramps my style."

Honor nodded thoughtfully. "Style... I didn't think you had any style, Moment. A great sense of humor, but no style," she teased. Then she sobered. "I can understand how you feel. Though, I never really resented being famous. We grew up under the spotlight because Mom and Dad were on the show circuit."

"I want yellow now," Mira interrupted. She expertly grabbed a tube of yellow paint and squeezed a small amount onto her palette. She happily began mixing the two colors. "Yellow and blue make green!" she observed, making green triangles on her paper.

"She's going to be an artist when she grows up," Moment announced proudly. He ruffled Mira's silvery mane.

"Nah, she'll be a dancer," Honor contradicted.

Mira turned and scowled at the two horses. "I will be whatever I want to," she said clearly, with knowledge past her years.

"I guess that settles it," Moment said decisively.

"Mira, honey, let's go outside," Honor suggested. "I have to go teach my class." She ran a dainty hoof through her silky mane and blew her thick forelock out of her face.

"Okay," Mira said agreeably. The precocious filly ethereally picked up her masterpiece and hung it on Moment's drying rack.

"I'll go grab Orion and meet you out there," Moment said, mentioning his art student. "I'll stand by the rail and throw crabapples at you while you teach."

The delicate mare blew a raspberry at her brother. "And I'll pick them up and shove them up your nose!"

* * *
Watching his slim sister catapult around the Olympic-sized arena, Moment felt a twinge of sibling jealousy spark in his stomach. There was no doubt that Honor was beautiful. Her rich mahogany coat shone in the bright sunshine, accentuating her perfect confirmation.

Smoothie, Honor's best friend and confidant, stood by her side, observing the young foals. The roan stallion had been there when Caesar had died. He had migrated from his homeland, England, where he had been a star, to help Honor.

Moment guessed that Honor was utterly content with her life. She had a gorgeous filly, a terrific career, and most of all, she had found true love. Although it had not lasted long, Honor knew what true love was, and Moment never had. That was one of the few things that the twins had not shared.

Orion, Moment's student, hesitantly tapped him on his muscular shoulder. "Uh, Moment?" Orion asked uncertainly, "Do you want me to draw? Or can I go join Honor's lesson?"

Moment blinked rapidly, coming back from his reverie. "You can go over to Honor's lesson. I'll see you tomorrow, Orion," he supplied, a hint of wistfulness in his voice.

Moment watched a while longer, busily sketching the perfect autumn day. He could smell the briskness in the air. As he was putting the finishing touches on a sketch of Honor's delicate form, his depression finally caught up with him.

The feelings of oppression that had welled up inside of him for so long burst, knocking the wind out of him. Moment doubled over, squeezing his dark eyes shut. "I need to escape," he gasped to himself.

"Moment!" he heard Honor cry. Within seconds, his twin was by his side, gently rubbing his smooth back soothingly. "Shh... little brother," she cooed, "just breathe."

Moment took a few shaky breaths and slowly righted himself again. He turned to see Honor's dark eyes filled with concern focused on him. "It must have been the salad you made for dinner last night, Honor," he joked half-heartedly.

Honor gave him a lopsided grin and turned away from him, giving him the privacy to regain his composure. "Smoothie," she called to the roan, "would you mind finishing the lesson?"

"My pleasure, love," Smoothie answered easily.

Honor slowly turned back to her brother and gazed into his bright eyes. "Let's take a walk," she suggested quietly.

Moment nodded and slowly followed his bay sister. Honor led Moment through the thick woods of Glorified Acres' property on well-worn bridle paths. He did not attempt to talk, and Honor, understanding, didn't pressure him. Soon Moment decided he was lost: lost in the woods, lost in thought, and that he had lost the battle. But Moment didn't know what battle it was.

"I walk these trails a lot," Honor said softly, breaking the silence. Moment faced his sister to find her eyes dark with unshed tears.

"It's very beautiful out here," he supplied. "Maybe I should come out here more often and draw."

Sadly, Honor shook her head. "No," she said almost whispering, "this is a place to come when you lose something. It helps fill the emptiness."

"It could fill mine," Moment said hopefully. "I'm so lost..."

Honor took a deep breath and wrapped her forelegs around her brother's black neck. "I'm going to miss you," she whispered.

Moment pulled away, startled. "I wasn't going to leave..." he began. But then he realized that leaving was the only possibility. "I don't want to leave," he said. "But I have to."

Giving Moment a rueful smile, Honor nodded. "Not every problem can be handled head-on," she said wisely. "Sometimes the best thing to do is to escape. I ran away, and I think that if I hadn't, I would have died, drowned in the quagmire of sorrow I had formed."

Moment took a deep breath. "Maybe I just need to disappear for awhile. Then I can paint, sell my pieces, and no one will know it's me. I can start from the very beginning all over again."

Nodding regretfully, Honor agreed. "Where do you think you'll go?" she asked cautiously. A gust of wind blew across Glorified Acres causing Honor's silky mane to become ruffled. It reminded Moment of how things used to be before they grew up. Carefree and happy. What happened? He asked himself.

The lanky stallion grew thoughtful. "Maybe I'll go to Paris," he thought out loud. "There are handfuls of artists there and I'll fit right in."

"You wouldn't fit in anywhere," his sister teased gently. "Just don't go to the Eiffel Tower with your problems. I got a few strange looks there."

"Honor, you get strange looks everywhere!" Moment retorted, a hint of his old self shining through the muddied exterior.

Honor rewarded Moment's efforts with a brilliant grin, and gave her brother a peck on his shining black cheek. "Good luck, Moment!" she whispered in his ear. "Come back someday."

"I promise," Moment vowed. Honor drew away and took a deep breath. Moment could see tears forming in the corners of her eyes. "Those allergies must be killing you, Honor," he joked.

She gave him a watery smile. "Just get back to the farm and pack your stuff, Moment," she chided.

"Oh, so now you're kicking me out?" he asked with mock indignation.

She swatted him playfully and cantered away, back to her students, leaving him to contemplate his life.

* * *
Moment only needed two suitcases. And his portfolio. The first suitcase was small, filled with his necessities: toothbrush, toothpaste, et cetera. All the comforts of home, he thought. But isn't that what he was leaving behind? The securities of every day life?

Shaking his head to clear his thoughts, Moment turned to the larger suitcase. This one would be harder to pack. First, he packed his art supplies carefully, with the patience of a child. These supplies were his babies, his family, his lifeline. Using these tools, he could paint the ideal world, one which he wished he could escape to.

Moment slowly turned around, surveying his now-empty art studio. A flash of color caught his eye, and he walked toward it. Smiling affectionately, he plucked Mira's shapes drawing off of the drying rack. Lovingly, he rolled the thick paper and fastened it with twine. Gently, he placed the masterpiece with his art supplies. He would miss his niece. And his sister. And his parents.

Why am I leaving, then? he asked himself. Sometimes the best thing to do is to escape, Honor's words rolled through his mind, and he set his chin. Walking purposefully out the stall door with his two suitcases and his portfolio, he left his old life to be reborn. Like the Renaissance, he thought idly.

* * *
Months dragged by at Glorified Acres uneventfully without the dry humor of Moment to spur it on. Though Honor tried her best to stay busy-- running the barn, teaching lessons, loving Mira-- she missed the friendly banter that had always gone on between her and her brother. That's when she found her new hobby.

Honor had to admit, Mira was better at spotting them than she was, but whenever she saw one, she knew it was Moment's. Collecting art was a fun pastime, she determined. Especially when there was the added twist of finding Moment's painting. Sort of like the Where's Waldo books that Mira loved so.

Moment signed his paintings with a different pen name every time, but that didn't throw Honor at all. She always knew. Every single painting that Moment painted had a family member somewhere in it. And Moment's painting skills were so accurate that it was easy to tell who it was.

Honor's favorite one was of a small gray filly, undoubtedly Mira, standing with a lanky black stallion (Moment) in a sea of colorful triangles, squares, and circles. That one was framed right next to the painting of Honor, Moment, and Caesar in London that Moment had painted years earlier.

Honor found the paintings at the local art show with Mira. It was a series of four, each depicting a sequence of a dressage performance. The stallion was there, tall, jet-black with a white foreleg and a bright blaze-- Moment, no doubt. But there was a new face to the mare. The beautiful chestnut Arabian seemed to hold a regal air about her in the carefully painted pieces; but in all four, the two horses were looking directly at each other with looks of admiration and love etched on both faces.

Honor stared long and hard at the paintings, trying to determine the meaning. She didn't understand, until Mira squealed.

"Moment's in love!" she cried jubilantly. The filly clapped her tiny hooves together in delight.

Blinking, Honor saw it too, and grinned. These were definitely going to be framed and hung at Glorified Acres.

* * *
He met her at the Eiffel Tower. Looking back, he found it rather ironic. But then, it just seemed perfect.

Moment had noticed her on the way up the famous tower. Her chestnut coat gleamed healthily and the sparkle of mischief in her intrigued him. The mare's Arabian head was tilted at a graceful angle and her smile was almost contagious. He stored her image in his memory, already determining how he could tie her beauty into a painting.

At the top of the tower, Moment took pictures with a disposable camera. He wanted an aerial view of Paris for a painting that he was in the process of completing and on impulse he had grabbed his half-roll of disposable film and walked to the Eiffel Tower.

The months in solitude had done wonders. Moment was happy not to have any pressure behind him, just being a nobody. The only thing he longed for was love. If Honor had found it, why hadn't he? Weren't twins supposed to share everything?

A sharp cry pierced through his dark thoughts. Moment quickly scanned the area and saw the chestnut Arabian mare hanging precariously from the protective railing. A crowd had formed a ring around the helpless mare, but nobody dared move forward to help her.

"Help me! Help!" the terrified mare cried desperately.

Without giving it a second thought, Moment dashed forward and balanced on the metal rail. Years of training had made Moment limber and graceful, and he silently thanked Honor for making him practice with her. "Grab my hoof!" he called to the dangling mare.

The mare made a whimpering noise. "I can't!" she cried. "If I let go, I'll fall!" Even from the distance, Moment could see tears of fear in the chestnut's wide eyes.

"No you won't," Moment assured her as calmly as he could. "Just reach up and grab my hoof. I won't let you fall. I promise." He made eye contact with her and was startled. "Trust me," he whispered.

Slowly, the chestnut mare reached out to her black savior with a dainty but shaking hoof. Moment's strong hoof grasped hers and he pulled her to safety. Once she was on solid ground, she threw her forelegs around the complete stranger who had saved her, and sobbed.

Moment was a bit taken aback, but allowed her to cry on his shoulder. He rubbed her back comfortingly. "Shh..." he murmured. "It's okay; you're safe now."

"Thank you," she managed through her frantic tears. "You saved my life!"

"I guess you're one of those horses who really gets excited about a fantastic view," he teased gently. Moment heard the mare chuckle, and he knew she would be okay.

The crowd had applauded their hero, but security made its way to the scene and the audience dissipated. "Okay, what's happened here?" the tardy security guard asked with a thick French accent.

"This mare almost fell from the balcony," Moment explained. He felt the chestnut shudder. "I, um, pulled her back up."

"He saved my life!" the mare exclaimed suddenly.

The security guard motioned with his hoof. "Follow me," he said. "You'll have to go to the hospital and then fill out paperwork."

"I can't wait," Moment muttered under his breath.

The chestnut mare had started shaking, almost uncontrollably. "You okay?" Moment asked, concerned.

The mare nodded jerkily. "I'm just a little shaken up. Must be shock," she chattered.

"Are you going to make it to the hospital?" Moment questioned.

The chestnut shrugged miserably. Making a quick decision, Moment scooped her into his strong forelegs and carried her the rest of the way down the tower to the waiting ambulance.

"Well, this has been one exciting afternoon," Moment commented in the ambulance. Snorting, the mare agreed. "What exactly happened?" he asked.

Rolling her eyes, the mare sighed. "I was leaning over the edge, trying to see if I recognized any of the buildings and this foal ran into me and made me lose my balance."

"Ah," Moment said, for lack of better words. He paused and furrowed his brow. "I don't think I caught your name."

Moment observed how the mare hesitated for a minute before answering. "My name is Happy Endings," she said in a low voice. A look that almost seemed to be guilt flashed across her face. Moment was even more confused now. "And what's your name?"

The black stallion took a deep breath, contemplating on whether to reveal himself or not. I guess she deserves as much to know my name, he decided. "In A Moment," he replied.

Happy Endings held her delicate hoof out to Moment once again. "Nice to meet you," she smiled. He grasped her hoof and shook it. "So what are you hiding?" she asked impulsively.

Moment raised his eyebrows in surprise. Yet, somehow, he didn't feel endangered by telling this stranger his secret. "I'm an artist," he said modestly.

Shrugging, Happy Endings said, "Never heard of you. And I'll bet that you've never heard of me either."

Shaking his head, Moment agreed. "I'm sorry," he said apologetically.

"Don't be," the Arabian said. "You're the first horse in a long time not trying to pry into my life."

Moment knew what that was like. And he had to admit to himself, he was relieved when the mare didn't recognize him. "So what are you hiding?" he asked her.

"I'm an author," she said. "I've written three New York Times Bestsellers."

"Oh," Moment said, "I've never heard of you." He grinned sheepishly. "I'm kind of hiding out here for a while."

"Me too," Happy Endings informed him.

Moment had always been shy. While his sister had been put upon a pedestal in the spotlight, he had always been content to watch from the distant sideline. But something about the chestnut before him made him feel bold. "Um, I was wondering..." he began. "I'm looking for a mare for a new series of paintings I'm doing and you'd be perfect..." He let his voice trail off.

The black stallion was rewarded with a bright smile with sparkling eyes. "I'd love to!" she exclaimed. "What fun!"

"It's actually pretty boring," Moment warned. "All you do is hold a pose for hours."

"Well, if that's all I have to do, I'm sure I can't mess up," the mare reasoned.

"Just leave that to me," Moment grinned.

* * *
"Like this?" the chestnut mare asked with a giggle.

"No, just keep your head still," Moment grinned. He demonstrated the pose he wanted and stuck out his tongue.

"Gotcha," Happy Endings winked. She struck a graceful pose.

"Hold that pose!" Moment cried. Quickly, he began sketching on his canvas. "So," Moment said conversationally, "how did you get your nickname, Eva?"

Happy Endings sighed dramatically. "I got it when I was a yearling. It kinda evolved. If you think ‘happy endings,' you think ‘happily ever after,' and then everybody just called me Eva."

"I think it's pretty," Moment told her. He put long brush strokes across the fabric.

Over the weeks that Eva came to Moment's apartment to pose, they became good friends. The two young horses found they had much in common, and the long, sometimes boring hours gave them a chance to get to know each other.

Moment told Eva about life growing up under the spotlight. Eva told Moment about the events that inspired her to write. Both the horses had a dry sense of humor. Honor would like her, Moment mused.

After all four of the paintings had been completed, Moment found himself sorry that their time together was almost up. He wasn't sure, but he thought that perhaps he had fallen in love with this chestnut beauty.

"Well, I guess this is it," Eva said on the last day.

"Yeah," Moment agreed. "Thanks a lot for your help." He shifted uneasily.

"I had a lot of fun," the chestnut said. "And I'm really glad I met you. Since you painted me, I guess I owe it to you to be a character in one of my books," she joked.

Grinning, Moment took her hoof in his in farewell. "Make me the dashing hero," he suggested.

"Actually, I was thinking of making you the clumsy dork who gets in the way," she teased. "I'll see you around, Moment."

He shook her hoof firmly. "‘Bye, Eva."

* * *
After Eva left, it seemed like the lights of Paris didn't shine as brightly. The days dragged on, and Moment became depressive and mopey. Winter was on its way in, and the old city was gray. He decided to call Honor.

"Hi, Moment!" Honor exclaimed. "We've missed you here! Smoothie's driving me crazy!" Moment smiled, hearing his sister's voice over the telephone lines.

"I'm doing okay," Moment replied. "I just finished a series."

"Yeah, I know," Honor said, which surprised Moment. "I've been collecting your pieces. They're really good, Moment."

"Thanks," the stallion said. "So what did you think of my new one?"

He could almost picture Honor's bright smile half a world away. He was startled to realize that he might be homesick. "Moment, it's beautiful. Your best one yet. Do you love her?"

Honor is just full of surprises, Moment brooded. "I- I don't know," he stammered. "I haven't talked to her since I finished the paintings. Her name is Eva and she's a writer." And then, Moment had to admit the truth to herself. "Yeah, Honor," he said softly. "I love her. She's so perfect and I love her."

"I'm so happy for you," Honor said in a serious voice. "I knew one day you'd find your soul mate."

"But what if she's found some one else?" the jet-black stallion asked worriedly. "I haven't talked to her in two months and four days." He realized that it was pretty pathetic to know exactly how long they had been separated, but he shrugged the thought off.

"Go call her," Honor urged. "Even if she has, you won't have to spend the rest of your life wondering ‘what if,'" she said. "It's a terrible game to play. You always lose." Moment could hear the sorrow in her voice. He knew she stayed up nights thinking back to the accident.

"Honor, how did you get so smart?" he asked his twin.

"Certainly not from you!" she retorted. Moment grinned and wound the telephone cord around his hoof.

"I'll call you later and tell you what happened," Moment promised.

"You better!" Honor exclaimed. "And you owe me psychiatrist fees." He heard a muffled sound from the other end, and then Honor came back onto the line. "Mira says ‘hi' and ‘good luck!'"

Moment smiled fondly at the thought of his precocious niece. "Tell her thanks and that I love her," he replied.

"Will do," Honor said. "Talk to you later, Moment."

"‘Bye, Honor." Moment hung up the phone and took a deep breath. Slowly he pick the phone back up and dialed the number that he had already memorized.

She picked up on the second ring. "Bonjour?" her tinkling voice made Moment's heart melt.

"Um, hi, Eva," Moment stammered, "this is--"

"Moment!" Eva exclaimed. "I was just thinking about you," she said softly.

"I have that effect on horses," he said dryly. He heard her chuckle. "I was wondering if maybe you would like to get together sometime, and um, just catch up."

"I'd love to," the Arabian replied. "I'm free today. Do you want to meet at a cafe or something?"

Moment twisted the phone cord around, making irreversible knots and kinks in the line. "That'd be perfect," he said. He silently let out his breath of apprehension.

They quickly made plans to meet at a local cafe and Moment's grin widened by the second. He glanced out the window to see the brave sun peeking its way through the layers of gray winter clouds. Things were looking up.

He met her at "Le Cafe" two hours later. She was waiting for him at an outside table with wicker chairs. Moment watched as she wrote furiously on a pad of legal paper. She probably is working on a new novel, he figured as his heart caught in his throat.

"Eva, hi," he said softly, as to not startle her. Eva turned to the tall lean stallion and her eyes lit up, sparkling like stars. Moment found a chair and sat across from her.

"It's nice to see you again, Moment," Eva said. A slight breeze had picked up and the wind had tousled her silky red hair.

Instinctively, Moment reached across the table and brushed the stray strands of her thick forelock out of her eyes. Eva blushed and looked down, but quickly met his eyes again. "I've been thinking a lot about you, Moment," she said quietly.

Moment felt his heart swell. "I missed you," he whispered. Slowly, he leaned over and kissed her gently. Eva's lips were soft as rose petals, and Moment felt lost for a brief instant.

When they pulled apart, Eva whispered in his ear, so softly that he could barely hear. "It's time," she said.

"Yes," he agreed, "Time go return to the world."

"Time to go home," Eva declared.

Moment kissed her again, and smelled the sunflower shampoo in her mane. "Christmas at Glorified Acres is the best time of the year, Eva," he told her. "You'll love it."

"I love you," the fiery Arabian challenged.

With a lopsided smile, Moment sighed in happiness. "I love you, too."

Home, Moment mused. Home is where the heart is. And my heart has found its home.


Tabby goes over the Deep End and Quits her High-Paying Job at the Vet Clinic
by Tabby

The thanks for this story goes to Sugarberry, Merry Treat, and Cleve Clove. Yaaaayyyy!!!

Tabby entered the Satin Slipper Sweet Shoppe-- as she did every evening, so what was new about that? Actually, she was slightly apprehensive this time. Her co-workers at the vet clinic, Thomas and Sugarberry, had told her they had important matters to discuss with her tonight. Tabby simply hated important matters.

Following behind Tabby was Meowth, the Pokèmon she had recently caught. He came with her everywhere; and, naturally, she and Meowth had been wreaking havoc across Ponyland ever since Tabby had found him.

Tabby scanned the room as she ordered two strawberry sundaes (Meowth always had one as well). Yes, there was the table with Thomas and Sugarberry seated at it, and Merry Treat and her Spearow Pokèmon were with them.

"Do you suppose I'm fired?" Tabby pondered to Meowth.

"Merry Treat and Spearow wouldn't be there if that were the case," Meowth pointed out. He, as well as Tabby, was good friends with both the pony and her Pokèmon.

"Highly mysterious indeed," Tabby murmured.

"Let's get on with it!" Meowth exclaimed as he pawed his way over to the table. Tabby followed close behind.

"Meowth! Tabby!" Merry Treat greeted them.

"Just get down to business and tell me what this is all about," Tabby said as she and Meowth seated themselves. Meowth struck up a conversation with Spearow immediately.

"Have you heard--" Merry Treat started.

"--that's there's a Pokèmon Center--" Thomas continued.

"--behind built in Dream Valley?" Sugarberry finished.

Tabby nodded.

"And that--"

"--the center needs--"

"--a head nurse."

Tabby's head was slightly spinning from this alternating speech. "Mm hmm," she said in agreement.

"And anyway--"


"--let's see..."

Tabby cocked her head in the moment of silence that followed. "Oh," she finally said, trying to look intelligent.

"What does this have to do with Tabby?" Meowth interjected. "I mean, if I ever get hurt, it'd be a good idea to have a nurse there, but--"

"And we've decided--"

"--after careful consideration--"

"--that you, Tabby, would--"

"--make a great head nurse there!" Merry Treat blurted out.

Tabby paused in silence for several seconds before she started rambling. "You mean you've been deciding this behind my back?" she shrieked. "There is nothing I positively hate more than goings-on behind my back. Imagine that! Why didn't I hear about this sooner?"

"Uhh, Tabby," Merry Treat started to stay, but quickly shut her mouth when Tabby went on.

"And, say, does that mean I'd get fired from the clinic? I wouldn't get to talk to Sugarberry and Thomas anymore? I wouldn't get my three thousand jangle paycheck?"

"Tabby--" Thomas interjected.

"And I'd get to be head nurse, you said? That'd be rather cool, actually. Would I get a staff of Chanseys? I simply love Chanseys! And hey, would I get paid?"

"Err..." Sugarberry stuttered.

"And I just found out the most interesting thing from Cleve Clove. The Log-a-log shrew in the Redwall books he's loaning me is actually a different shrew in every book! Ha! I thought it was the same one all the time--"

"TABBY!" Meowth shrieked.

That finally shut her up, and somewhat brought her back into reality. She blinked slowly several times. "So, you think I could be the head nurse at the center, huh?"

Merry Treat nodded. "We have it all figured out. All we need is your consent."

"Naturally, we'd miss you at the clinic; but you'd get paid by the Pokèmon League," Thomas explained.

"And of course you'd have a staff of Chanseys, including ponies that volunteer to work there," Sugarberry continued.

"I'm going to be the first to volunteer!" Merry Treat declared. "I love working around Pokèmon."

"That'd be rather fun!" Meowth exclaimed.

"Spear! Row!" Spearow agreed.

Tabby had a cocky expression on her face as she said, "Great! I'll do it!"

* * *
And so, during the next few weeks, Tabby studied up on the care of Pokèmon. That obviously meant she was really into it; she hated studying for anything else!

Plus, she had caught a couple of Pokèmon for herself in her spare time, with the help of Meowth: Jigglypuff and Oddish. Tabby was having fun!

The Pokèmon Center was being constructed very quickly as the Bushwoolies were in charge of building it. They'd already down a great job on the Dream Valley Pokèmon Gym, which Merry Treat was the leader of.

Finally, Tabby's last day of work came at the vet clinic. She braced herself for sentimental goodbyes as four o' clock rolled around.

Meowth walked with Tabby out into the main room. Sugarberry, seated behind her desk, wiped a tear away from her eye. "Oh, Tabby, I won't see you near as much anymore," she sniffled.

Tabby sighed in exasperation. "Sugarberry, how many times do I have to tell you? We can always gossip at the Satin Slipper Sweet Shoppe like we always did."

Sugarberry reached for a Kleenex. "Don't worry; I'll get over it... it's just a bit of a shock."

"You'll be fine," Meowth assured her. "Me, I'm looking forward to it." His eyes fogged over dreamily. "The pet of the head center nurse..."

"So this is it, huh?" Thomas said upon entering the room.

"For Pete's sake!" Tabby blustered. "You're both making this out to be the end of the world. It's not that bad." Sentimentality was another thing Tabby abhorred; her only chance was to brush off their comments.

"That's right!" Meowth agreed.

"But... we will see you again, won't we?" Thomas said hesitantly.

"Certainly. Remember, there's always the Satin Slipper Sweet Shoppe!" And with a wink at both of them, Tabby and Meowth fled the building.

"Dead seriousness-- I just can't stand it," Tabby complained to Meowth as they walked along home. "They're great ponies in their natural state, but when the dead seriousness sets in-- ugh!"

"Say, what's for supper tonight?" Meowth questioned, changing the subject.

Before answering, Tabby had to admit to herself that the attention from her co-workers was nice... not that she'd ever admit that to anyone else. "Chicken," she said after the short pause.

"Just as I thought," Meowth said contentedly.

"And then maybe I can finish reading the Salamandastron book tonight," Tabby planned. "And tomorrow-- our first day at the Pokèmon Center! Yahoo!"

* * *
The next morning, Tabby and Meowth stood outside the newly-constructed Pokèmon Center. They were in awe of the huge, domed building.

"Look, Meowth, look! And we're in complete control of it!" Tabby cackled, and then snapped back. "Oh! Right! Come on, we must get busy."

"Cool," Meowth breathed as he hopped up on the main counter.

Tabby sat herself in front of the computer. "Look! It has internet access! It's ever-so-interesting looking at your webpage from another computer."

Meowth leaped gracefully down from his seat on the counter and went off to explore the other rooms. Tabby hummed idly to herself. "La de da, now we just have to wait for some injured Pokèmon to come in."

It was amazing how many ponies in Ponyland were now into Pokèmon training. Back when Tabby had first gotten her Meowth, hardly anyone knew what the word meant. But now, a Pokèmon Center and Gym was just what the city needed with the explosion of interest in Pokèmon.

Meowth reappeared a few minutes later, with a pink oval-shaped Pokèmon following him. "Chansey!" the Pokèmon greeted her.

"This is Chansey, and this is Nurse Tabby," Meowth introduced to two. Turning to Tabby, he said, "Say, we have the neatest equipment back there! More Chanseys, too! You're gonna have to come look at it--"

"Hey, everybody, what's up?" called Merry Treat's voice. "Any Pokèmon come in yet?"

"Spearow!" her Pokèmon chirped, as he was always by her side, much the same as Meowth was with Tabby.

Tabby shook her head. "No. Not a one."

"It's probably too early in the morning for there to be many Pokèmon out," Merry Treat said reasonably. "Have you done anything so far?"

"Meowth has looked over the equipment," Tabby said promptly.

"And you've been looking at your web page." Merry Treat laughed gleefully as she stared over at the computer screen.

Meowth tugged on one of Merry Treat's hooves. "I wanna know what that one thingy does. Come and show me, pretty please!"

Merry Treat winked at Tabby. "Why doesn't Tabby do that; she should know everything about that stuff!"

"All in time, all in time," Tabby said, brushing off the comment. "But anyway, look, there comes someone now!"

Giggling, Merry Treat went off down the hall with Meowth and Spearow. Blue Belle frantically ran up to Tabby, holding a Weedle-- a yellow worm-like Pokèmon-- in her hooves.

It's the Weedle Girl, Tabby calculated to herself. It was known far and wide of how much Blue Belle adored this hairy bug creature.

However, when the pony saw the head nurse, a smile played on her face. "You don't look quite like the other Joys."

Tabby looked indignant, and then Merry Treat called, "Their hair color is nearly the same!"

"That's right," Tabby agreed with a triumphant smirk on a face. "And now, for your Weedle."

"He has a cut on his side," Blue Belle sniffed. "He was helping me fix breakfast this morning, and got in the way of a fork. It stabbed him slightly."

"Hmm, a cut. Some superglue should fix it up fine." With that, Tabby whipped out a tube of the glue and applied it to the wound. The mystery of how superglue healed wounds was only known by skilled Pokèmon nurses.

As the superglue started working, the Weedle looked up at Tabby and smiled.

"Thank you, Tabby," Blue Belle said gratefully. "We're both grateful. All my Weedles mean so much to me; I hate it when anything happens to them." She wiped away a tear.

"If there're any complications, let me know," Tabby said briskly.

Blue Belle waved as she left the building.

Shortly after that, another concerned Pokèmon trainer dashed through the doors. "Nurse! You've got to help my Sandshrew!" Shoreline deposited the yellow rodent-like animal on the counter.

Tabby quickly surveyed the Sandshrew. "What's wrong with him?"

"He just doesn't seem healthy lately," Shoreline explained. "Look at how pale his skin is. And his eyes are dull and lifeless."

"Hmm. Yes." Tabby nodded intelligently. "A potion should have him healthy in no time. She pulled out one of the aqua and purple bottles, and simply sprayed it on the Sandshrew.

"That had better do the trick," Shoreline commented. The Sandshrew did actually seem to be perking up already.

"It will; don't worry," Tabby assured her. "I've been in the Pokèmon nursing position for years."

Shoreline looked at her suspiciously. "I thought you just started working here today."

Tabby realized too late her mistake. "What did I just say? I meant--"

Shoreline simply scooped up her Sandshrew and headed back outside. "I'll be calling you if it doesn't work."

Tabby had stopped listening, though. She stood for several moments, admiring the potion bottle. "These are nearly as good as my old magic injections!" she said gleefully.

* * *
Around two in the afternoon, there was a pause in any new Pokèmon being brought in. Tabby was leaning back in her chair reading one of the Redwall books, and Meowth was peering over her shoulder.

Tabby was dimly aware of the sound of the opening door. "I'll be right with you," she murmured off-handedly, as she wanted to finish the chapter she was on.

Meowth tapped her on the shoulder a few seconds later. "I think you'd better take a look at this."

"Just a sec." Tabby waved her hoof through the air in dismissal.

Being a sensible Pokèmon, Meowth ran off to fetch Merry Treat and Spearow.

"Prepare for trouble--"

"And make it double."

And at the sounds of those words, Tabby's eyes flew open wide in realization. Before her stood Jessie, James, and Meowth, the renowned Pokèmon stealers of Team Rocket. The two human members of the team were dressed in their usual white outfits with the trademark red "R" on their shirts.

Tabby absolutely adored Team Rocket in the cartoon series. She watched in rapt attention.

"To protect the world from devastation--"

"To unite all peoples within our nation--"

"Merry Treat! Meowth! Spearow!" Tabby hollered. "Come on, you've got to see this!"

"To denounce the evils of truth and love--"

"To extend our reach to the stars above--"

"Tabby! We've got to protect the Pokèmon!" Merry Treat cried in alarm. "I'm going back to stand guard over them. You try to hold Team Rocket off!"

Tabby signaled an "okay" without diverting her eyes from the scene in front of her. Jessie and James both struck a majestic pose.



Tabby grabbed a piece of paper off of the desk.

"Team Rocket, blast off at the speed of light!"

"Surrender now, or prepare to fight!"

"Meowth! That's right!" the Meowth of Team Rocket finished up their motto.

Tabby ran over to them, clutching the paper and a pen. "Oh, please, can I get your autographs?" she said in awe.

Tabby's Meowth rushed over to confront the other Meowth. "What do you want here?" He unsheathed his claws.

The Team Rocket Meowth did likewise. "Aw, get outta my way!"

"Our autographs, you say?" Jessie pulled back her long red hair. "I don't think anyone's asked for our autographs before, have they, James?" She added quickly, "Of course, that doesn't mean we're unpopular--"

James appeared to be ignoring her. "Wheezing, go--" he cried as he prepared to let his PokèBall go.

Jessie silenced him with a swat on the arm. "Shut up, James. This kind nurse wants our autographs. Let's appease her, shall we?" She was obviously pleased at the prospect of it.

"Autographs? Certainly!" James quickly put away his PokèBall.

"Here." Tabby eagerly thrust the pen and paper at them.

Meanwhile, the two Meowths were still arguing.

"This is my territory. I'm not letting you steal any Pokèmon!"

"We'll just see what Jessie and James have to say about that. He quickly glanced about, seeing what his companions were up to. They were... scribbling on a piece of paper?

Tabby's Meowth stepped closer to the other, his claws glinting in the afternoon sun. "Outta here, or I'm gonna let you have it..."

And then the two went over in a fighting ball of fur and claws.

Anyway, Jessie and James had just finished writing out their names for Tabby. "Oh, thank you; I'll be eternally grateful," she said breathlessly.

"It was a pleasure," James declared.

Jessie called off their Meowth. "Meowth, come here," she said sharply. "We've got to get going."

The Team Rocket Meowth immediately jumped in front of her. "What do you mean? We haven't sacked this place yet!"

"Nonsense," Jessie chided him. "We can't steal Pokèmon that belong to a fan. The nurse here is exceptionally nice."

Tabby winked at the villainous Meowth.

"I can't say that much about the Meowth here," he grumbled as he rubbed a scratch across his face.

Tabby grinned to herself as Jessie and James merrily pushed Meowth out of the clinic. She felt honored. Imagine, being visited by Team Rocket on the first day of work! She sighed blissfully to herself.

"How'd you do that?" Meowth asked curiously. "They're gone!"

"Yo, MT!" Tabby called. "They've left!"

Merry Treat and Spearow came running up to Meowth and Tabby a few moments later. "Left? They left?"

Tabby shrugged. "I just asked for their autographs, and they left. See, they're not all that villainous."

"Wow," Merry Treat breathed. "Hey, can I see the autographs?"

* * *
It was around five that same afternoon, and Merry Treat and Spearow had since left. Tabby was technically off work for the day (if there were any emergencies that she was needed for, ponies were instructed to call her home phone number), but she had come to a critical part in her Redwall book, and had to stay to finish. Meowth was busy surfing the internet.

"Ah hah, so you're still here!" came Thomas's voice.

Tabby waved one hoof in his direction, but kept her eyes glued to the book. "You'd think that the Redwall lands would be free of vermin after a point, wouldn't you?" she remarked off-handedly to no one in particular.

Thomas came over and swiftly snatched Tabby's beloved book from her hooves. "How about discussing that over dinner at the--"

"At that really fancy place that no one can ever remember the name of?" Tabby interjected. "Say, they have a salad bar, don't they? I though so. I simply adore lettuce-less salad. The only things a salad really needs are cottage cheese, croutons, and sunflower seeds--"

Meowth had since gotten off the computer, and this time Tabby was interrupted. "Come, Tabby! Let's go! I've never eaten out at any place besides the Satin Slipper Sweet Shoppe before."

"Meowth is invited, isn't he?" Tabby implored.

Thomas reached out and scratched Meowth under the chin, which Meowth thoroughly enjoyed. "Of course. I wouldn't dream of separating you two for a second," he said with a wink. "Now, come on."

And so, the trio exited the building, Tabby prattling on endlessly. "There's only about four more Redwall books I have to read. Isn't that a tragedy? What's really a tragedy is reading up until the end and finding out who dies. Digletts have got to be the most annoying Pokèmon ever. Cleve Clove annoys me with them endlessly. And he really doesn't play fair in Pokèmon battles; Spike and Friendly agree with me. And--"

Meowth was murmuring to himself in imitation of the Dugtrio Pokèmon. "Trio, trio, trio..."


The Merry Treat and Tabby Gossip Hour!
by Merry Treat and Tabby

Merry Treat: ~waves~ Hiiii everybody!!!!

Tabby: Hey hey, did anybody notice the title change?

Merry Treat: Yes, Sugarberry had to resign, so I'm taking her place!

Tabby: So we'll talk into oblivion about all the cool Pokèmon stuff going on in the Ponyland area!

Merry Treat: What about my Sailor Moon/My Little Pony fan-fic!?

Tabby: All right, we'll fit Sailor Moon in as well, and maybe even some down-to-earth stuff.

Merry Treat: Or is that out of the subject... uhm... never mind... ~sinks down in chair, blushing deeply~

Tabby: *looks deep in thought* Now, what's been going on lately? Heh, I can't remember anything.

Merry Treat: Well, there was the baby ponies' St. Patrick's Day party!

Tabby: Ugh, baby ponies! What'd they do to ruin it? I wasn't there.

Merry Treat: It was so cute!

Tabby: *grimaces* That's what everyone says-- they're so cute, no matter what they do. *sigh*

Merry Treat: They were all dressed up in cute little outfits, had four-leaf clovers, and even served green cookies and green punch!

Tabby: I betcha they burnt the cookies.

Merry Treat: ~rolls eyes~

Tabby: Ya know, I actually baked a batch of cookies today. It was absolutely devastating putting them in the oven, I tell ya! The dough tasted so wonderful...

Merry Treat: ~laughs uncontrollably~ Yeah, I bet! And they went on a Leprechaun hunt!

Tabby: A Leprechaun hunt, for Pete's sake! And I bet some kind ol' Leprechaun popped out just to humor then because they're cute baby ponies, right?

Merry Treat: Hehe-- I wasn't there eitherl; I heard all of this from Blue Belle

Tabby: She's the Pokèmon trainer known as the "Weedle Girl," isn't she?

Merry Treat: Yup. And I'm Spearow Gal! ~winks~

Tabby: Personally, of the worm Pokèmon, I prefer Catterpie.

Merry Treat: Yes, he's so kawaii!

Tabby: And I-- *pauses in thought*-- am the slave of Meowth!

Merry Treat: The slave!? What happened this time?

Tabby: Well, he has such a cute face, and I can't refuse whenever he asks for anything...

Merry Treat: ~rolls eyes~ You're a shmuck for a gold charm, Tabby!

Tabby: And-- *pulls back mane* Has everyone heard of my new job?

Merry Treat: ~grins~ I don't think they have!

Tabby: I-- *cocky grin* am now the official head nurse at the Dream Valley Pokèmon Center.

Merry Treat: And I-- ~tosses mane~ am the new Gym Leader of the Dream Valley Gym!

Tabby: It is just so, too thrilling!

Merry Treat: ~laughs~ I am always waiting for matches. Oh, and Clever Clover, if you're not to chicken, I await your arrival!

Tabby: Yeah, Cleve Clove, come over to the gym and show her what you're made of! *cackles*

Merry Treat: ~smiles smugly like the Mask~ I can beat him with one hoof tied behind my back!

Tabby: And I can... and I can fix any Pokèmon with one hoof tied behind my back!

Merry Treat: ~grins~ we are the two totally cool Pokèmon Ponies! ~poses like Jessie~

Tabby: And anyway... hmm.

Merry Treat: ~has obviously watched the Pokèmon show too much~

Tabby: *wonders if there's any down-to-earth stuff that non-Pokèmon-fans would understand*

Meowth: *hops up on the table* Say, can we go to the Satin Slipper Sweet Shoppe after this?

Spearow: ~hops up next to him~ Spear; Row; Spearow??

Tabby: Spearow, you can have a strawberry sundae as well. They're absoballylutely delicious! Ooh... I'm picking up hare talk from the Redwall books.

Merry Treat: ~giggles, and then starts mumbling~ I hope you never find somebody new...

Tabby: What's that, MT? Speak up!

Merry Treat: What? ~snaps out of her thoughts~ Oh... hehe... never mind. When I get a song stuck in my head, I'm always tempted to sing along. ~sweat drop~

Tabby: I know the feeling. *hums* I wanna be the very best, ‘cause no one ever was...

Merry Treat: To catch them is my real test; to train them is my cause! ~singing is terrible; she gives everyone a splitting headache~

Tabby: *shakes head* No, no, MT; you haven't got the screeching down right.

Merry Treat: There is no screeching in that song!

Tabby: Huh, could've fooled me by the way you were singing...

Merry Treat: Besides, I can shatter glass with my "la la la's". Wanna see? ~eyes eagerly light up~

Tabby: Ooh! Ooh! Let's have a screeching contest!

Merry Treat: Yes! Yes! Yes!

Spearow: ~exchanges a sweat drop with Meowth~

Tabby: *rubs hooves together in excitement* Now, you go first... we'll see who can shatter the most windows.

Merry Treat: Okay! ~takes a deep breath~


AAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!!!!!!!! ~all glass in room shatters into a zillion pieces, and she grins proudly~

Tabby: Sigh, you've already shattered the glass. Well, I'll try my schreeching anyway.

Merry Treat: Beat that!

Tabby: *sits back and closes eyes and several moments of complete silence pass*

Merry Treat: ~snaps~ For goodness sake's, Tabby! I hate silence! Talk some! ~vains pop out on head~


Merry Treat: ~gasps and dives under couch~

Tabby: *looks cocky* Not half bad, wot? *pauses* Nooo!! More hare talk!

Merry Treat: ~trembling and hanging on to the couch for dear life~

Tabby: *trembling subsides*

Merry Treat: ~sighs and stands up slowly~ Tabby, you... win!

Tabby: Hmm, I hope we don't get sued for the damage done to this building.

Merry Treat: I hope not; if we do, your paying for it! It was your dumb idea!

Tabby: What? You're the one that broke the windows! I say we split it half-n'-half!

Merry Treat: ~sighs, annoyed~ Oh...okay!

Tabby: Hmph. You're the one that tried singing the Pokemon theme song after me.

Merry Treat: Hey, where'd Meowth and Spearow go? ~ignoring the comment~

Tabby: They probably ran off to the SSSS.

Merry Treat: Oh, well, as long as they're all right

Tabby: *suddenly closes eyes and waves front hooves wildly in the air* Yes! I'm... getting something! Something to gossip about!

Merry Treat: Wha-hoo! What?? What??

Tabby: Yes! We shall talk about Friendly's birthday! Silly me, I forgot all about that!

Merry Treat: Oh, yeah! That play was great. Not as good as Titanic, though.

Tabby: *sniffs in annoyance* I didn't get much out of that "Julius what's-his-name" thing.

Merry Treat: I'll drag you off to see Titanic, then! ~dances around singing "The Latest Rag," giving everyone more headaches~

Tabby: MT, the walls are going to fall down on us pretty soon.

Merry Treat: ~dabs at a tear~ Oh, dear! It was so sentimental! Anyway!

Tabby: Yeah!

Merry Treat: Have you heard what happened last week at the movie theater?

Tabby: The movie theatre? There's a movie theatre?

Merry Treat: A gross-looking thing appeared out of nowhere and started sucking the energy out of everyone! ~mutters something under breath~

Tabby: Man! That sounds gruesome!

Merry Treat: But the Sailor Scouts saved the day!

Tabby: *claps*

Merry Treat: ~grins proudly~ I think Sailor Fauna is the coolest!

Tabby: *wonders what to say about Sailor Moon* Hmm...

Merry Treat: ~starry look on face, and appears to have gone to another world~

Tabby: You're gonna get me into that thing someday, MT, I know it.

Merry Treat: ~laughs~ I'm working on it! ~winks~

Tabby: I'm fading... into... oblivion...

Merry Treat: ~tosses ice water in Tabby's face~ Return to Cenetra, Tabby!

Tabby: Mmm, ice water! I'm so thirsty! *blinks eyes and shakes head* Oh, sorry about that. But save the rest of that water for me, would you?

Merry Treat: ~rolls eyes~ Yeah, whatever! I have an out-of-the-blue question

Tabby: Ooh! I love those kind!

Merry Treat: Whose idea was it to call it "Titanic"?? All it did was sink; they shouldn't have cursed it with "Titanic"! ~insane look on face~

Tabby: *is at a loss for words* I never really thought about that before, MT...

Merry Treat: They should have called it "Merry Titanic;" that is more cheerful!

Tabby: MERRY TITANIC! *rolls over, laughing herself silly*

Merry Treat: ~insane laughter~ Mwahahahahahahahahahahaaaa!!!! Mwa-mwa-mwahahahahahahahahaaaaa!!!!!

Tabby: Or... or... how about the TABBY TITANIC! *almost can't breathe she's laughing so hard*

Merry Treat: ~looks at her and gets really close to Tabby's face, crossing her eyes~ Do you think I'm insane!? ~insane grin~

Tabby: Whoohahawhoo!!! We're both... going... insane!!!!

About ten minutes later...

Tabby: You know what, MT? I actually drew a half-decent looking picture of Callie today!

Merry Treat: ~gets her breath-- and sanity-- back and returns to real life~ Great!

Tabby: Cleve Clove has been giving me drawing lessons. It may actually be helping!

Merry Treat: Cool!

Tabby: So, say, if anyone wants to learn how to draw, contact Cleve Clove, wot?

Merry Treat: ~grins~ How many of those books have you been reading, Tabby?

Tabby: From the Redwall series? I'm on the sixth now. There're still four left.

Merry Treat: ~draws a sunflower~

Tabby: Would you say I sounded like a hare when I was laughing?

Merry Treat: I've never heard a hare, so I wouldn't know.

Tabby: Hmm, well, I hope I did a good imitation.

Merry Treat: ~shrugs, and ~mutters~ Rag time, rag time, now!

Tabby: Rag time? Whatever are you talking about, MT? *shakes head*

Merry Treat: What? Oh... never mind... got another song stuck in my head.

Tabby: Tsk. Just don't start singing, alright?

Merry Treat: ~mischivious grin~ Hehehe...

Tabby: What have you up your sleeve, MT?

Merry Treat: ~jumps up and loudly sings~ Come and dance the latest rag!!!! Rag time, rag, time, now!

Tabby: *jumps out the nearest window*

Merry Treat: Is that a hint of a chill? When you're dancing out of doors it's a thrill! Keeps you hardy and healthier still! Take a partner if you dare! Uhhh... I forget the rest... I'm gonna get in trouble with my choir teacher... uhm... Tabby? Where'd you go? ~the walls start shaking~

Tabby: *lands in a heap outside*

Merry Treat: Tabby? Ah, well, I guess she's gone. I'll have to end this without her. Buh-bye, everybody! ~waves~

Tabby: *shouts through the window* And for Pete's sake, don't summon up a monster if you get bored!


Invento Ponies
by Princess Dawn

Name: Lancelot

Type: Round Table Ponies

Breed: Earth

Body: Blue

Hair: Silver

Symbol: Helmet

Accessories: Shield and Sword

Name: King Arthur

Type: Round Table Ponies

Breed: Earth

Body: White

Hair: Gold

Symbol: Excalibur

Accessories: Excalibur and Sword

Name: Guinevere

Type: Round Table Ponies

Breed: Pegasus

Body: Green

Hair: White

Symbol: Crown

Accessories: Crown and a Brush

Name: Merlyn

Type: Round Table Ponies

Breed: Unicorn

Body: Blue

Hair: Purple Tinsel

Symbol: Wand

Accessories: Wizard's Hat

Name: Morgan Le Fay

Type: Round Table Ponies

Breed: Pegasus

Body: Black

Hair: White

Symbol: Witch

Accessories: Cauldron and Black Cat

Name: Mordred

Type: Round Table Ponies

Breed: Earth

Body: Orange

Hair: Brown

Symbol: Witch

Accessories: Shield and Sword


What's in a Name
(or in approximately four hundred fifty names)
by Sugarberry

"Spring is just the best time of year," said Princess Pristina as she and Queen Serena walked across the meadow which was carpeted in a mass of brilliant blossoms.

"It truly is!" agreed Serena, whose personality was sweet as sugar, belle that she was. "I admire every brilliant bloom in this field. See that dainty dahlia beside the path? And look at the delicate blossom on that purple wild flower right next to your hoof!"

Just then a cloud puff drifted lazily in front of the sun, blocking the sunlight that warmed the merry weather.

"Let's hope the sun peeks out again soon!" shivered Pristina. "Without the sun shower, the air is a cool breeze!"

Before long, as if in answer to a wishful thought, a sunbeam joined them and the meadow was a flower burst again.

"Listen to the wind song!" exclaimed Serena. "It's making a daisy dancer out of the frilly flower you just picked."

"Help me pick a flower bouquet. We can take some red roses and a daffodil. Oh, and lily of the valley. It's such a sweet blossom!"

So the two sang a spring song as they walked a zig zag path to find each fancy flower. By the time they finished, they'd collected a bright bouquet.

Pristina was eager to be up, up, and away with her fragile bouquet. Her wings began to flutter. "Bye," she called.

Alone now, Serena was serenaded by the sweet notes of a friendly skylark as the bird sang a medley of rosy love tunes. "You'd get a blue ribbon from me for that performance!" called Serena to the high flier.

Just then, Serena heard soft steps approaching her from behind. She twirled around to see a tabby cat, a little tabby cat with a twisty tail. It appeared to be stalking the dancing butterflies that hovered over the honeysuckle. The leafy plant was a beauty; bloom after bloom covered its dainty foliage. The kitten's little whiskers quivered as it watched with bright eyes the butterflies; then with a sort of bunny hop it attacked the whirly twirl of colorful wings but its paws met only empty air. With a quick twist and a bouncy hippity hop, the kitten changed direction only to have one of the butterflies tickle her nose with a velvety wing. By this time, the kitten had blundered into a patch of catnip. Serena watched as the kitten did a whirly twirl of its tail and a speedy roll-over in the fragrant flowers before curling into a soft ball and falling asleep.

"Sleep tight, you little napper," Serena softly murmured to the now not so whirly kitten. "I believe catnip is in the mint family of plants, so you should have mint dreams."

Serena noticed by the movements of the tipsy tulip that the breeze was getting rather gusty, so she headed back through the petal blossom paradise. As she passed through the orchard where apple blossoms were profuse, she was treated to an apple delight as the perfumed pearly petals cascaded upon her like confetti or a snow flurry. She walked through the shady grove softly like a pony bride on her way to meet her heart throb while the wind whistler played a love melody for the bridal beauty. If anyone had seen her, they'd have seen a pretty vision: a pretty belle with ruby lips and a happy glow: no secret beauty here. The mirror, mirror on the wall would have declared her the fairest of all. "Best wishes," the breeze seemed to whisper in Serena's ear, and a love beam of sunlight caressed her face.

Serena was awakened from her sweet dreams when a friendly firefly lit on her nose. It danced a swirly whirly dance on its tippy toes. "Drink too much brandy?" mused Serena as the night glider fell to the ground with a last little flitter. "The bright glow of the sun will make a sky flier out of you!"

By the time Serena returned to the Royal Paradise, Pristina had opened the mail to reveal an invitation to a dinner dance complete with sweet stuff: cherry treats, boysenberry pie, and rainbow sherbet. "Oh, it's party time!" gleefully exclaimed Pristina who loved any reason to celebrate. She had once gone to a masquerade party as a hula hula dancer; she was actually quite versatile and could dance the cha cha or be a tap dancer. Many a D.J. had found this normally quiet pony to be quite a swinger on the dance floor. Her sweet steps kept up to any pretty beat. Pristina twirled around the room on tip toes at the thought of the fun she'd have; she was one happy princess pony.

Reading the invitation made Serena hungry. "What's for lunch?" she questioned the twirler sill dancing about.

Pristina came to a stop. "Duck soup and noodles, I think," she answered, "with cherries jubilee for dessert."

"Very good. Although my sweet tooth was looking forward to a sugar cake and peachy frosting."

"I'm hungry for a little honey pie or a pineapple cupcake or even a banana surprise cookie!" declared Pristina.

"This sweet talkin' is building up calories even as we speak," grinned Serena.

After lunch, the two princesses decided to go to the Perm Shoppe for a complete make-over for the party. Fifi, with a white carnation in her mane, was dressed in a minty taffeta big top smock edged in lavender lace. From her pockets, she pulled a lemon drop for each of them plus a tootsie roll. "My sweet pocket," she explained.

Then she started work on Serena's mane and tail; first she shampooed them and combed out all the tangles. The wet ringlets of Serena's mane framed her pretty face. When Fifi finished, Serena was a braided beauty. "Would you like me to add the sun ribbon and the star bow?" Fifi asked.

"I think I'd prefer that bright bow, actually."

Next Fifi started on Pristina's curly locks. "I've let them get a bit shaggy," she confessed. Fifi gave her a new wavy style decorated with bows and a matching ribbon. Before finishing, Fifi coaxed one stray ringlet back in place. "You're ready for any sweet celebrations that come along!

"I hear the guys are going to wear a bowtie with their tux n' tails," Fifi commented as Pristina paid for her new face powder and pretty puff. That reminded Serena that she needed to buy some new stockings and replace a silky slipper she had lost.

While Serena took care of her purchases, Pristina looked over a display of springy bonny bonnets made from satin n' lace and tiffany. Then she noticed a locket with a glittering gem that only cost twenty jangles; she bought it because of its beautiful sparkle. "And a girl can never have too many bangles," she quipped.

Fifi's last words of advice to the princesses was: "Remember to be a lady; flutter those eyelids."

Leaving the shop, Pristina and Serena caught sight of Tootie Tails coming down the street with Jebber following behind. Jebber was contentedly eating a blue swirl of cotton candy. Tootie Tails informed the princesses that she was baby-sitting Jebber for a couple of days while mommy pony was gone to Hollywood to receive the Edgar award for her outstanding mystery novel writing; that was a pleasant surprise. She was also taking a few days to visit Dallas, Tex.

By then, Jebber had finished his treat and was begging for an ice cream cone with two scoops and sprinkles on top. "Two strawberry scoops," he added.

So Tootie Tails headed to the Satin Slipper Sweet Shoppe and ended-up with a chocolate delight creamsicle for Jebber and a pina colada flavored sweet pop for herself. They both enjoyed their merry treat; then headed home.

Before going into the house, Tootie Tails and Jebber roamed the yard and garden looking over the beautiful flowers that Tootie Tails grew. Jebber was able to identify the shy purple violet growing by the fence, and the rose by the gate. Tootie Tails noticed some holes in the rose leaves and put on some rose dust to prevent further damage.

"What is this posy?" asked Jebber, staring at a pure white flower.

"That's a lily," responded Tootie Tails.

"Me love the sweet lily; looks like a star flower."

Tootie Tails took Jebber to see a sunny bunch of blue blooms. She picked one for Jebber. "This is a forget-me-not."

Tootie Tails pointed out the primrose, the poppy, and the cosmos, explaining how to care for each variety. She demonstrated how to use garden implements called dibbles to dig holes in the soil. When they came to the milkweed, Tootie Tails explained how the butterflies live on the nectar.

"Why isn't this plant blooming?" questioned Jebber.

"This is a chrysanthemum, and won't bloom until autumn. The dark green leaves over there are holly, like we use at Christmas time."

Jebber wandered into a patch of nodding daisies. "Daisy sweet!" he grinned as he inhaled their perfume. "Mommy says they a love petal." And to demonstrate, he picked a daisy and tore off one petal at a time. "She loves me. She loves me not." He looked so cute standing in the midst of glowers that Tootie Tails quickly grabbed her camera for a picture. When Jebber saw it, he grimaced. "You take posey pose of me; make me look like a flower belle."

"Don't worry," soothed Tootie Tails. "You look like a flower dream."

Before going inside, Jebber wanted to search for a four-leaf-clover, so Tootie Tails left him to his hunt while she trained the morning glory to follow the trellis upward. She admired the ivy clinging to her comfortable cottage. She watched as a peach blossom drifted lazily into the garden pool where the water lily floated. A ripple of tiny bubbles broke the surface as the bubble fish moved through the clear water. She hoped Jebber would be lucky in his clover search.

Suddenly a whoop broke the stillness. "Found it! Found a lucky leaf!" Jebber came towards Tootie Tails with a hoppy little bounce while little giggles tinkled forth from the happy baby pony.

Tootie Tails met him with happy hugs. "You're a clever clover finder!"

Jebber was squirmy in her grasp. "Me too old for cuddles," he informed her in a snippy tone.

"Don't get spunky," Tootie Tails reprimanded him. "Come. Let's sit under the sugar apple and watch twilight settle over Ponyland. The sunset makes the garden glow."

While the two waited for the sun blossom to fill the western sky with streaky color, Jebber informed Tootie Tails that he'd seen a picture of a sunspot in a science book, and Tootie Tails told Jebber a story of a time when the sun dance was seen in the heavens.

"The sun glory!" called Jebber as the majesty of the display struck him. The red orb slowly sank like a ball on a sun glider.

Sitting in silence as day turned to bright night, they waited for the appearance of the north star. "It's always been a magic star for me," confided Tootie Tails as she showed Jebber how to line-up the stars in the big dipper to locate it. She waved her hoof across the expanse of star swirl over their heads. "This is all part of the milky way galaxy, you know."

"So much star gleamer up there!" whispered an awed Jebber.

They continued to soak up the starshine as one twinkler after another made its appearance, and saw the star flash of a meteor as it passed on starry wings. "A moon jumper can jump really high," said Jebber. "That's ‘cause of the low gravity up there. Imagine the fun a moondancer could have!"

"Or a star dancer!" agreed Tootie Tails.

"If me had spaceship, I could find a moonstone, or be a star hopper, or find a secret star," dreamed Jebber.

"I think this star glow is filling your mind with moondust," chided Tootie Tails. "Too much star dazzle can fill you with tall tales."

"Nighty-night, twinkles," Jebber sadly called to the distant stars as Tootie Tails led him indoors.

"You can have a night cap of milk and crackers," suggested Tootie Tails when they were inside.

"Just quackers?" lisped Jebber.

"Okay. How about a crumpet with raspberry jam?"

"No li'l cupcake? Or some lemon treats?"

"Maybe you'd like some cranberry muffins? With sugar? Sweet?"" enticed Tootie Tails.

"Yum yum," consented Jebber.

While he ate, Tootie Tails taught him to play tiddly winks. Then Jebber beat Tootie Tails in three games of tic-tac-toe before Tootie Tails called game time to a close. "Come on, sleepy pie," she coaxed Jebber. "Bedtime."

But as tired as he was, Jebber was still not ready to give in. First he had to set an old top to spinning. "Toppy dizzy!" he decided as it fell to it's side. Then he built a wig wam out of the wooly bed cover. "I the chief," he announced as he sat cross-legged under the blanket. Tootie Tails had to drag him out to take off his romper and put on his fleecy pajamas patterned in dots n' hearts. She helped him with the buttons and confiscated a piece of butterscotch from the li'l pocket on the front. "Baby ponies have bootsie jammies," he informed Tootie Tails, "and play with rattles. Me big. Me sleep on top of bunkie bed at home."

"Are you too big for a bedtime story?"

"Nope! Tell me the one about Rapunzel. No, no. Goldilocks and the Three Bears!"

"Okay, sleepyhead. Before you drift off to your diamond dreams, I'll tell you the story."

When finished, Jebber got tucked in cozily. "Put your head down on the pillow. Talk is over for tonight. I'll do a countdown from twenty-five, and see if you'll be asleep by then. And I wish you pink dreams, snookums!"

"Me snuzzle teddy, but no lovin' kisses." Jebber hid his face under the covers. "Me noddins off soon."

"Hushabye," whispered Tootie Tails as she looked down on the little angel who was already fast asleep.

No buzzer was needed at the break of dawn the next morning; Tootie Tails could hear Jebber's mimic of the robin outside the window. The tuneful music of the songster was translated to something closer to the caw of a crow by Jebber. Tootie Tails crawled out of bed and got herself ready for the day.

Jebber was in the kitchen when Tootie Tails walked in. He was wearing his magic hat which was a white cap with a four speed truck on the brim.

"Morning, li'l tot," she greeted him.

"What for breakfast?" was Jebber's reply.

Tootie Tails got out the steamer to poach some eggs, then opened a cupboard door. "You pick a cereal from here."

While she got the squeezer to make orange juice, Jebber pondered his choices: Applejack, Crunchberry, or Cocoberry. "Me like Kellogg's." So he made his decision and headed for the table, filling his bowl with cereal and sweet scoops of sugar. Then he proceeded to eat his munchy feast. He finished it lickety split so by the time Tootie Tails brought his egg and juice, he could only take tiny nibbles of it. But when Tootie Tails set a gingerbread cookie in front of him, he polished that off.

While she cleaned-up the kitchen, Tootie Tails let Jebber make doodles on the paper placemat; his scribbles were really quite artistic. "Maybe you should dabble in paint someday," suggested Tootie Tails. While her back was turned, Jebber secretly added some graffiti to the kitchen wallpaper.

Tootie Tails announced that they were going to spend the day at the beach, which put Jebber into a very cheery mood. He didn't complain as Tootie Tails cleaned his sticky hands and face (he'd found her jar of molasses that was intended for a batch of taffy) and let him jabber on as she gathered together the items they'd need. He talked about his birthday when his mom had taken him to Chuck E. Cheese where the birthday pony got a special li'l sweetcake.

When the doorbell rang, Tootie Tails asked Jebber to get it as it would be Cutesaurus, who was going to join them on their outing to the seashore. Cutesaurus was carrying a CD player and two blueberry baskets full of a sweet berry known as a sugarberry. Jebber looked longingly at the scrumptious berries and his eyes lit up. "Berry bright," he commented as he examined one of the small, cherry-like berries. "Me give Cutesaurus big hugster for this treat!"

The trio soon was ready for their trek to the beach. As they walked through a wooded area, a woodpecker hammered on a tree in a tappy manner. "Look at the drummer in the oakly tree!" Jebber observed.

Overhead a dainty dove performed like a sky dancer. A single grey feather dropped down upon them. "It rain feather!" Jebber giggled.

At one point, Jebber fell over a spike in the path, and joked, "Me like a tumbleweed," as he picked himself off the ground.

The air was misty and very warm. They could almost feel a tropical breeze and see a palm tree sway. With a light heart, Jebber raced for the shoreline with his beach ball in his hooves, sending splashes of water from the puddles left by the high tide. Cutesaurus, however, turned out to be a far better splasher than Jebber. Running through the sea spray, Cutesaurus made a dive into the ocean that created a satin splash of foamy brilliance. Doing the backstroke, she became a surf rider with the grace of a wave dancer. Jebber paddled along the shore, following the course of a sea star. When he joined Tootie Tails on shore, he had trickles of salty water running down his body. Tootie Tails was more of a beachcomber than a swimmer, and had already found several specimens for her sand dollar collection and a large seashell.

"Look at the sand digger!" he called to Tootie Tails as he stood watching a crab bury itself in the sand. "I bet it's a kingsley crab."

"You can do that, too," exclaimed Tootie Tails. "I brought some shovels so we can build a sand castle."

Their attention was called to the ocean as Jebber noticed the mainsail of a clipper ship far out on the water. They could just make out the name on the side, Wave Runner. "What a racer!" he exclaimed. "Look. I be glider!" He ran in a smooth motion with forelegs outstretched.

"I can be a floater!" called Cutesaurus who was coming in on the current. Nearby, an otter was demonstrating his ability as a wave jumper.

Farther up the beach, Jebber came across a reed filled pool that held a variety of creatures. Sadly, a sea winkle was eating a crab. A yellow fish with black stripes darted here and there while a royal blue fish with white speckles hid shyly like a blue belle by a rock on which a barnacle was fixed. A duck had built its nest in the reeds, and Jebber found out that a duck waddles, and that a worm wiggles while it dangles from your hooves. Bubbles came from the pool as a frog appeared. "It's a leaper." A seagull like a white wind drifter in the blue sky circled lazily toward the horizon.

When Jebber returned to Cutesaurus and Tootie Tails, he found them sitting in the sand playing with a yo-yo and a pinwheel. That's sure a whizzer," he said as the vanes revolved with a humming sound. Overhead a migrating goose honked. Jebber waved at the sky skimmer and called, "Hi, woosie!"

Jebber lay down in the sand and Tootie Tails set a parasol to shade his face. Cutesaurus and Tootie Tails did some sun-bathing. "Look at that lofty cloud. Dreamer that I am, I see a twinkle dancer moving to a wing song." Coming out of her reverie she giggled. "I stepped on Megan's toe. Dancer she will not soon be."

Tootie Tails whistled a half note of disbelief. Jebber had overhead and threatened, "I tattles on you, Cutesaurus!"

"Don't be a chumpster," retorted Cutesaurus.

However, the sun splasher effect of the day soon put Jebber to sleep on the beach. His eyes were closed to the sea light surrounding him, yet in his mind the sea shimmer was glittering like a sparkler. In his dream, a sea princess was coming to him out of the sea mist while a sea breeze caressed his face. Before long, Cutesaurus and Tootie Tails were also fast asleep.

Suddenly, a starburst of light shattered their peaceful vision. All three sat up, confused. A bright light in the sky hovered for a second like a sea flower, then went out. It was followed by what sounded like a sky rocket. A thunderstorm was moving in. It was getting windy and sprinkles were already in the air.

Cutesaurus and Tootie Tails jumped up, grabbing their paraphernalia and Jebber, too. "Skippety-doo!" he crowed. "Let's go before the surfy tossles us away!" It might not have made perfect sense, but Cutesaurus and Tootie Tails got the message and began running full tilt for the safety of Dream Valley.

They ran as quickly as the could and fortunately the storm headed away from them. The flicker of lightning became fainter until it became only a dim glow. The rain, however, continued. Jebber, still carried by Cutesaurus, ran his hooves over her streaming locks of mane. "Rain curl mane," he observed. But soon, even the rain stopped and an arc appeared in a glory of color. "Is rainbow made from rain ribbons?" he questioned.

Tootie Tails and Cutesaurus decided to stop at the Satin Slipper Sweet Shoppe to dry Jebber off in an effort to avoid the sniffles. Tootie Tails poked him in the ribs and teased, "Well, slugger, we made it!"

"Me no slugger; me quarterback!"

"Whatever you say, tootsie."

Cutesaurus gave him a list of choices for his ice cream cone: peppermint crunch, strawberry surprise, or caramel crunch. She herself ordered a root beer. "These sweet suds are refreshing," she sighed happily as she sipped the fizzy drink.

Tootie Tails agreed that her sweet sundrop really hit the spot.

By the time they left the Satin Slipper Sweet Shoppe, the day was growing late. The sky was again filled with the dazzle glow of stars, each like a burning ember in the sky.

Cutesaurus packed the tired baby pony while Tootie Tails told a secret tale about the time when a moon shadow brought darkness to the planet Earth.

And so ended the day for my pretty pony.


Tarquin and Tess
by Tabby, with a lot of help from Merry Treat

Look at all those "T" names in the title! I must mostly thank Merry Treat for her assistance in this story, as it's based on a role-playing game we did; but a bit of thanks also goes to Cleve Clove for getting me into the Redwall books , which led me to pick out names like Tarquin and Tess. Redwaalllll!!!!!

Tabby's Meowth Pokèmon tapped on his owner's shoulder as she attended to healing an injured Staryu at the Pokèmon Center. "Tabby, I'm gonna visit a few places and then walk home. It's getting boring in here."

"Sure, fine," Tabby said distantly. She hadn't really been listening. It took her a few moments to realize that, though. "What was that, Meowth? Where're you going?" But he was already out the door.

Tabby shrugged as she went back to the Staryu. He'd show up again.

* * *
As Tabby walked home after work that evening, she realized something was missing. That's right, Meowth wasn't there! She stopped and tapped her hoof on the ground. Where had he been going? Home; maybe that's what he'd said.

Tabby was still standing there pondering the situation when Merry Treat, with her Spearow Pokèmon flying overhead, came up to her. "Hey, Tabby!" Merry Treat said. "Where's Meowth?"

"Row?" Spearow agreed.

"Well, back at the center awhile ago, he said he was going somewhere-- he might have said home, but I can't remember-- but he never came back, and now I don't know where he is!" Tabby wailed.

"Well, let's try looking at your house before you start worrying, if that is where he was going," Merry Treat said reasonably.

"You know, that's a good idea!" Tabby exclaimed. "I hadn't thought of that!" And she dashed ahead on the path towards her house, with Merry Treat and Spearow not far behind.

Tabby opened her house door. "Meowth! Meowth!" she cried out. "Where are you?" She frantically dashed through the rooms.

"Is he here?" Merry Treat questioned anxiously.

"Not a sign of him," Tabby sniffled. "There's absolutely no food missing from the kitchen; he can't have made it here! He's run off. Or he's been eaten by monsters. Or he's--" Tabby stifled a sob.

"Meowth!" Merry Treat called out, but had no better luck than Tabby. Turning to Spearow, she said, "Spearow, go look for any signs of Meowth." The bird took off obediently.

"Don't give up yet," Merry Treat consoled her friend. "Maybe he went somewhere else. Let's cover all the likely spots in Dream Valley."

"Okay," Tabby said, wiping away a tear. "What if I don't ever see him again, MT? What'll I do then? He was such a sweet thing--"

"We'll worry about that after we've checked out all the possibilities," Merry Treat said. "I'll go check the center; maybe he went back there."

"And I'll check the Satin Slipper Sweet Shoppe!" Tabby said, brightening up a bit.

"Good idea," Merry Treat said, and they both went off.

* * *
Tabby entered the Satin Slipper Sweet Shoppe, feeling sorry for herself again. Poor little Meowth, she thought to herself. He didn't deserve to be caught by monster.

"Tabby!" a familiar voice called out. It was Sugarberry; she was seated at a table with several of her other friends.

Tabby headed over that way, momentarily forgetting about looking for Meowth. She figured she could complain to the gang.

"How's Meowth doing?" Clever Clover immediately asked her. "Is he ready to take on Rattata yet?"

Tabby sniffled. "He's missing."

"Missing?" Sugarberry echoed in disbelief.

"Probably kidnapped by monsters," Tabby went on. "I haven't seen him since three this afternoon."

Clever Clover looked downcast now as well, and sighed. "I was looking forward to battling you."

"Show some compassion, Clever Clover!" Sugarberry chided him.

"Poor Meowth, yeah, yeah," Friendly interjected. "Me like him, yeah."

"Shouldn't you be looking for him?" Thomas questioned.

"You know, that's right!" Tabby exclaimed. "Heh, I forgot all about the looking for him part." She stood up abruptly from the table.

However, a suspicious-sounding giggle from Sugarberry stopped her. "What was that, Sug?" she questioned menacingly.

"Nothing," Sugarberry said quickly as she tried to swallow her laughter.

"Shall we tell her yet?" Clever Clover said with an evil grin on his face.

Tabby frowned. "What's going on here?" she shrieked.

"Meowth here, yeah, yeah!" Friendly laughed.

"What do you mean by that?" Tabby spluttered.

"Your Meowth's right over there," Thomas explained, gesturing to one of the corner tables.

Tabby whirled her head around. "Why that little sneak! Just wait'll I get my hooves on him--"
"We were just seeing how long it took you to notice you didn't have far to look," Sugarberry giggled.

"And I'll deal with you guys after I'm done with Meowth!" Tabby stormed off towards Meowth.

"Meowth, what are you doing here?" she demanded. "You said you were going home, not to the Satin Slipper Sweet Shoppe! I've been all over Dream Valley looking for you!"

"I said I'd go home after visiting a few places," Meowth corrected her.

"You did? Huh, I must've missed that part."

"Besides, I was treating Tess to an ice cream sundae," Meowth went on, gesturing to the seat across from him.

Tabby had failed to notice who was in the other seat until now. She gasped slightly. It was-- another Meowth!

"Oh! You're okay!" Merry Treat came streaking across the room and scooped up Tabby's Meowth. She hugged him.

"Now, who're you, and what're you doing here?" Tabby turned to the other Meowth.

The new Meowth smiled shyly. "I'm Tess," she said.

"Hi, Tess!" Merry Treat exclaimed, setting Meowth back down in his chair.

"And I was wandering through this town, and came across Tarquin here," Tess went on, and smiled.

"Tarquin??" Tabby shrieked. "Meowth, how come you never told me your first name?!"

"Tarquin! How cute!" Merry Treat commented. "I think it's a very sweet name, Tabby."

Tabby sniffed. "I never said it wasn't. It's just that he never told me."

"I only usually give my full name out to other Pokèmon," Tabby's Meowth, now known as Tarquin, explained.

"You still love him, don't you?" Merry Treat pleaded. "Just because he didn't tell you his name?"

"Of course I do!" Tabby shot back (and she really did mean it). "Meo-- err-- Tarquin, does Tess have an owner?"

"If she doesn't, she could stay with one of us," Merry Treat suggested, her eyes gleaming.

"I have no master; I used to live on my own in the forest over in Friendship Gardens," Tess said.

"But she got lonely, and took up wandering," Tarquin added.

"You could stay with me, Tess, if you wanted to," Merry Treat offered. Then she hugged Tess.

"Oh, do you really mean it?" Tess exclaimed. "I'd love to have someone to care for me. Would I still be able to see Tarquin?"

"Of course!" Merry Treat said. "Spearow and I are great friends with him and Tabby."

Tess jumped over onto Merry Treat's back. "This is wonderful, miss... miss... what is your name?"

"Merry Treat, but you can call me MT, Merry, or whatever... unless it's mean, rude, or insulting."

"I'd never dream of insulting you!" Tess said sincerely. "Merry Treat! What a wonderful name!"

Merry Treat blushed. "Thanks," she mumbled.

Tarquin and Tabby had been momentarily left out of the scene, so Tess asked, "And Tarquin, what's your master's name?"

"Tabby," the pink unicorn said graciously.

"And I hope you like to spend lots of time with other Pokèmon; I have lots more!" Merry Treat rambled on.

"I love getting to know other Pokèmon!" Tess said enthusiastically.

"Great! Most of them are at my house, but I have Spearow and Kittyhawk with me."

"Oh, I didn't even see Spearow next to me. I've never seen a Kittyhawk before, but she sounds awfully nice!"

Merry Treat smiled. "Spearow, meet Tess. She's my new Pokèmon."

While those two were getting accuanted, Tabby and Tarquin left them alone and started walking back to the gang's table.

"Tess is awfully beautiful, isn't she?" Tarquin sighed dreamily.

"Certainly, M-- Tarquin. All Meowths are cute."

"Do you think she'll come with Merry Treat to volunteer at the center?"

Tabby smiled dryly. She knew what Meowth would be talking about for the next few weeks.


Applejack Interviews the Dream Valley Kindergarten Class
by Applejack

I asked the kindergartners of Dream Valley what their favorite thing about spring is.

Baby Tic-Tac-Toe-- I can wear my pretty white hat with a yellow bow!

Baby Gusty-- I get Easter candy!

Baby Tex-- The snow's gone and it's not cold!

Baby Shady-- I don't look funny wearing sunglasses anymore!

Baby Cotton Candy-- It's funny watching my older sister get "spring fever"-- she acts really crazy.

Baby Blossom-- I can pick flowers.

Baby North Star-- I can go out and play without my mommy making me wear al-l-l those layers...

Baby Chief-- Acchhooo!!!!! My cold goes away.


Merry Treat's Adventures as Gym Leader
Merry Treat

"...there will be a meteor shower tonight starting at around 7:00 PM and lasting to around 1:00 AM. If you have never witnessed a spectacular event like this, then here is your chance. There will be about sixty meteors every hour, so you have a great chance..."

Merry Treat threw a stuffed animal at the radio. She didn't care about meteors; she wanted to return to dreamland. "Shut up," she mumbled to her pillow. "I wanna sleep."

She felt someone shaking her. "Wake up, Sleeping Beauty!" she heard someone laugh.

"Tess, go away!" Merry Treat grumbled to her Meowth Pokèmon. "I have nothing to do today. We don't have to go anywhere, anyway." She buried her head under the blankets.

"Mountain, don't you remember the Pokèmon Gym? The place you've been working at for almost three weeks now? Don't tell me you've forgotten!" Tess sighed. Her nickname for Merry Treat was Mountain because "MT," the nickname all her friends called her, was the abbreviation for mountain. So, it only seemed right to call her that.

Merry Treat was wide awake at that comment. She jumped out of bed and ran to her dresser. "Oh, my gosh! I forgot! What time is it? I'm late! Hurry! Get up! We have to--"

"ROW!" cried her Spearow Pokèmon loudly.

Merry Treat realized that she was making a fool of herself and regained her sanity. She blushed. "Sorry, guys," she said as she opened her drawer. She pulled out a pair of jeans and a tee-shirt, dressed quickly, grabbed her comb, and ran downstairs. She scarfed down her cereal in ten seconds flat, and bolted out the door with Tess and Spearow not far behind.

On the way to the gym, they stopped by Tabby's house, but she had already left for the Pokèmon Center. "Oh... that means I'm really late!" Merry Treat mumbled to herself. She hurried on down the street.

About fifteen minutes later, Merry Treat had finally made it to the gym. "C'mon... c'mon... open!" she growled under her breath as she fumbled with the key.

"Uh... Mountain..." Tess started

"Quiet! You're breaking my concentration!" Merry Treat snapped. "C'mon... go in! Stupid key..."

"Merry Treat... wouldn't it help if you turned the key right side up?" Tess asked while she tried not to laugh.

"Huh? What?" Merry Treat looked at the key, then blushed when she saw that she was holding it wrong. "Oh... oops." she said, trying to sound intelligent while she turned it over. "All right, let's go in!" She trotted in with her Pokèmon close behind.

* * *
Merry Treat sat boredly in the battling area while listening to her favorite radio station, 98.5 KYGO FM. It was pretty good music, considering that it was sung by humans.

Subconsciously she tapped her hoof in time to the music while she daydreamed.

"I'm no longer one of those guys..." the radio sang. She automatically lip-synced along to the music. "As long as old men sit and talk about the weather, as long as old women sit and talk about old men..." The radio continued as she lip-synced.

"Hey, MT! Are you awake?" suddenly called a voice. Merry Treat looked up to see Blue Belle and her Weedle.

Merry Treat quickly stood up and brushed the wrinkles out of her jeans. "Hey, BB, Weedle. Do ya want a badge?"

Blue Belle smiled broadly. "Why else would we be here? Well, that, and we were getting lonely; so can we talk for a while?"

"Sure! Battle two on two; how's that sound?" Merry Treat grinned, thankful for the company.

"Two on two? Okay, sure!" Blue Belle agreed.

The two ponies took their separate sides on the floor. Merry Treat smiled to herself as she took out a PokèBall from her pocket. This will be a snap! she thought. "Ready?" she called.

Blue Belle nodded and threw her PokèBall. "Butterfree, go!" she shouted. The bug Pokèmon flew out of the PokèBall with a loud, "Freeee!"

"Kittyhawk, go!" Merry Treat threw her PokèBall and a cute pink cat popped out of the ball.

Blue Belle gasped when she saw the cat. "Merry Treat... what is that?"

Merry Treat grinned smugly. "That's Kittyhawk... and your worst nightmare!"

Blue Belle eyed her suspiciously. "I've never heard of it before..." She hesitated.

"Humph! Battling against a new species of Pokèmon isn't against any rules! Now, are you still willing to fight, or not?" Merry Treat was starting to get annoyed.

Blue Belle nodded. "I always accept a challenge! Butterfree, stunspore!"

"Feather-fly, Kittyhawk!" Merry Treat shouted.

As the spores started to fly from the Butterfree's wings, Kittyhawk spread its own wings and the feathers on them flew out at the Butterfree and broke up. Every bit of feather was as sharp as a knife, and Butterfree was down.

Merry Treat's smug look faded as she saw Butterfree. "Oh, poor Butterfree! When we are finished, I'll help him for you."

Blue Belle recalled her Butterfree and smiled at Merry Treat. "Sure. Weedle, go!"

Merry Treat thought for a second as she stared at the Weedle. I can't send Spearow out there; Weedle will be history because Spearow will eat it! "I got it!" she cried triumphantly. "Jigglypuff, go!"

"Weedle, jump!"

"Jigglypuff, sing!"

When Jigglypuff started singing, even Merry Treat found her eyes getting heavy. Soon, she, Blue Belle, Tess, Spearow, and Weedle were asleep in a heap.

"Puff!" Jigglypuff said angrily as it took a marker and marked everyone's faces.

The gym filled with screams when everyone woke up. "Rrrrr... Jigglypuff, you little sneak!" Merry Treat grumbled as she wiped marker off her face.

Blue Belle sighed. "Well, I guess you win. You have great Pokèmon. Now, can you please take a look at my Butterfree?"

Merry Treat nodded with a smile. "Good thing you're better at fighting the Negaverse then at Pokèmon battles! Now, let's see that Butterfree."

Blue Belle threw the PokèBall and out popped Butterfree. Merry Treat examined it, and smiled up at Blue Belle. "It's gonna be all right. Just put some ointment on its cuts every night for three weeks. I promise it will be better."

Blue Belle smiled thankfully as she recalled Butterfree. "Thanks. Oh, and I'm not gonna lose next time, Merry Treat!" she replied with a wink.

Merry Treat winked back. "Next time will be soon. Since you're a friend, I'll let you decide when you're ready to fight again, okay?"

Blue Belle nodded, and waved as she left. Merry Treat sighed as she glanced up at the clock on the wall. She smiled when she noticed that it was time for lunch. Then she stuck the "Will return after lunch" sign on the door and dashed to the Pokèmon Center. She hurried inside and tapped Tabby on the shoulder.

Tabby was deeply engrossed in a Redwall book and waved her hoof in dismissal at Merry Treat.

Merry Treat giggled and whispered, "Return to Cenetra, Tabby!"

Tabby glanced up and smiled. "Oh, hi, Merry Treat! What's up?" She stuck her bookmark in the book and set it on her desk. Meowth jumped up next to her.

"Hi, Merry Treat, Spearow, and Tess!" he greeted them happily.

"We were wondering if you guys would join us for a lunch break?" she asked as she rubbed Meowth's head. He purred loudly.

Tabby giggled. "Sure! Where are we going?"

"The Satin Slipper Sweet Shoppe!" Tess said excitedly.

"Row, row, spearow, spear!" Spearow added excitedly.

While Tabby responded to Spearow with a blank look, Merry Treat laughed. "Don't worry, Tabby-chan. All it said was the same thing that Tess said."

Tabby wanted to ask her how she could tell, but Merry Treat pulled her up out of the chair. "C'mon, I'm starving!" she laughed playfully. "Let's go eat some lunch."


Dancer's Story #5
by Ashleigh (Wonder)

Special thanks to Scorpiolady!

Midnight Dancer stared out onto the track, barely hearing what was being said next to her as she concentrated on the steel gray colt breezing down the track.

"Hey! Are you listening?" Mindy looked over at Dancer with a mock expression of annoyance. On the other side of her, Hope giggled.

"Sorry, guys; I was distracted." Dancer smiled and turned her attention back to her friends.

"Funny, you have been distracted ever since the first day of Camp Whitebrook. What's wrong with you?" Mindy scolded.

The gentle breeze blew through Dancer's dark black mane as she smiled and shrugged. "Nothing, really," she said.

Mindy took a deep breath and looked at her friend with big eyes. "Dancer, you're acting strange!" She sighed and stood up. "I'm going over to the broodmare barn to take a nap," she said, then walked off.

Dancer and Hope watched her go, then Hope leaned over towards Dancer. "Okay, what's got you so distracted these days?" she whispered.

Dancer smiled and whispered back, "Have you seen some of these new horses that came here?" She laughed.

"Yeah, and some of the colts are cute. But what does that have to..." Hope stopped when she heard someone walk up behind them.

"Hey, Dancer!" Storm said with a smile.

"Hi, Storm, nice breeze today! What was your time? It looked good," Dancer complimented him.

"I did the half in forty-seven seconds, and the last quarter in twenty-three flat," Storm said proudly.

"Wow!" Hope gasped.

"When is your next race?" Dancer asked.

Storm bit his bottom lip and looked around quickly. "Jazzman hasn't picked one yet. I don't know why he's taking so long. Prep races for the Kentucky Derby are going to start soon." Storm sighed and looked into Dancer's eyes.

"You want to go for the Triple Crown?" she asked.

Storm smiled and nodded. "Do you think I could?" he asked.

"You're planning for the Triple Crown now? It's December!" Hope looked down and kicked at the frosted grass.

"I think you would win! You should go tell Jazz that you want to race the Triple Crown. That's probably what he is waiting to hear!" Dancer said.

"All right. I'll tell him!" Storm smiled warmly at Dancer, then turned and trotted off.

" with you being distracted?" Hope finished her sentence.

"Hmmmm?" Dancer smiled dreamily.

"Oh, boy!" Hope rolled her eyes and laughed. "You like him, don't you?" she asked.

Dancer nodded. "Yeah. I do like Storm."

* * *
"Magic said I am ready for the show next week," Hope told Dancer and Mindy as they were walking from the training barn to the track.

"That's great!" Dancer said as she stopped and stretched her right foreleg out.

"I'm sure you will do good, but I can't go. Doctor Merriweather thinks I should stick around home; the baby is due within the next few weeks," Mindy said. "Finally, I'll stop looking like the Goodyear Blimp!" She laughed. Dancer and Hope laughed, too.

"How was your visit with Duchess the other day?" Hope asked Dancer.

"It went great; she showed me more pictures of my relatives and stuff. She understands I really don't want to know how they died yet," Dancer said. Hope nodded.

Mindy looked up as Storm and Orion walked over, then smiled and nuzzled Orion.

Dancer smiled at Storm. "Hi," she said.

"Thanks!" Storm said.

Dancer looked up at him. "Thanks for what?" she asked.

"I told Jazzman that I wanted to go for the Triple Crown, and he said yes! My prep race is a week from tomorrow!" Storm said and then stretched out next to Dancer in the shade.

"How long is it?" Dancer asked.

"A mile. It will be easy," Storm said, but there was a hint of worry in his voice.

"Well, if it goes that easy, I won't mind having a Camp Whitebrook every year!" Wonder exclaimed as she stopped by Dancer. "How's your leg?" she asked.

"Doing great!" Dancer said, standing up to prove it.

"That's good." Wonder smiled as she nuzzled Dancer.

* * *
That night, Dancer left her stall and walked outside the mare barn, careful not to wake up anyone. Soon she found she wasn't alone. Hope was standing outside looking out at the black clouds on the horizon.

"What are you looking at?" Dancer asked her friend.

"The clouds... do you think it might snow tonight?" Hope asked as she turned and faced her friend.

"Maybe..." Dancer said as she looked upward at the sky.

"Well," a voice said behind them, "it sure is a good night for stargazing..."

Dancer and Hope turned to see Orion standing behind them. "Why, hello, Orion! I thought you would be staying a couple more days at Glorified Acres," Hope said.

"Nah, with Moment in Paris there isn't much for me to do there. Watching Honor and Mira at their classes is fun, but I miss Mindy," Orion said.

"Yes, the foal is going to be born soon," Dancer smiled.

Little did the three know, but Mindy was watching them from around the corner of the mare barn as they talked.

"The stars are shining brightly tonight. Would you two want to go up on the hill above the track and look at the sky from there?" Orion asked.

Dancer and Hope both agreed, and the three of them walked past the track and up the hill. Dancer got tired quickly, and they began to walk slower so she wouldn't push herself too fast and become lame.

Once they were out of sight, Mindy scowled deeply and turned and returned to her stall.

* * *
"My mother always liked to go out and stargaze..." Orion said as the three laid on their backs and gazed at the stars. "Her name was Star Gazer," he said.

"Did you live at Glorified Acres your whole life?" Hope asked.

"No, I moved there when I was almost a yearling..." Orion took a deep breath.

"You don't have to talk about your past if you don't want to," Dancer said as she put a foreleg around her friend.

"She... died... shortly after we moved there. I was so lost." Orion closed his eyes, then opened them and looked up at the stars, smiling. "She always said when that when you're outside it's easier for God to watch over you."

Hope nodded. "I think I've heard someone say that to me before. I don't remember where, though," she said.

"Yeah, me too..." Dancer agreed.

"So after that I threw myself into practicing my art. I got pretty good, with Moment helping me.

"Yes, you are a very good artist..." Hope agreed.

"Do you see that really bright star right up there?" Orion asked as he raised his hoof and pointed.

Both mares nodded and looked at him.

"That is called the Dog Star; its a companion to the constellation Orion. If you look right to the upper right side of it, you'll see three stars, really close together. That's Orion's Belt, and the two stars below it and above it somewhat make up the rest of him," Orion explained.

"I knew a constellation was named Orion; I just didn't know where it was," Hope said.

"Well," Orion smiled, "now you both do!"

* * *
Dancer watched from where she was leaning up against the wall between Storm and Hope. Orion was pacing up and down the hallway. Mindy was in the room in front of them, having her foal.

"Orion, can you sit down? You are making me dizzy!" Dancer laughed.

Storm put his foreleg on her shoulder. "Really?" he asked.

Dancer blushed. "I'm just joking," she said.

Storm smiled and nodded.

Then Dr. Merriweather came out. "It's a filly!" she announced happily.

Orion could barely contain the look of relief on his face as he let out a long sigh. Hope smiled at Dancer as Orion went in to see Mindy and the baby.

* * *
Dancer and Hope were watching when Mindy came home from the hospital. "Hey, guys! How are you?" Mindy asked as she hugged each of her friends with one hoof.

"We're all fine. How are you?" Dancer asked.

"Much better, but now I've got to go run a few hundred laps around the oval!" Mindy joked.

"So, have you decided on a name?" Hope asked.

"What do you think of ‘Townsend Dinah?' " Mindy looked up at her friends to see their expressions.

"Dinah is a wonderful name!" Dancer exclaimed.

"Does Orion like it?" Hope asked.

"Yeah, and it was his idea to have her carry on the Townsend name," Mindy said.

* * *
"Dancer!" Hope yelled later that day as she trotted down the isle of the training barn.

"Huh?" Dancer popped her head out of the office where she was working on the computer.

"You have got to come see this!" she said, barely containing her excitement. "Magic has only been back from London for a few days, and she has already started her side of Camp Whitebrook!"

Hope was prancing as she walked with Dancer towards the arena. "Tryouts are tomorrow, and you should see some of the young eventers that came here earlier!"

Hope opened the door to the arena and they both walked in. "There he is..." Hope pointed to a dark black stallion who was doing a piaffe-passage while Magic coached him.

"His name is Forever Night," Dancer said.

"It is? Ohhhh! It is a perfect name for him. How do you know?" Hope asked.

"Well, I help check in the new horses and assign stalls. It's my job as manager!" Dancer smiled as Hope gave her a jealous look.

"Can I hang out with you!? Pleeeease?" Hope begged.

"Sure you can!" Dancer walked behind Hope and pushed her in Forever Night's direction. "He said he wasn't too sure he would get along with the other jumpers; you go prove him wrong!"

* * *
"Okay..." Magic sighed. "Raise the bars to four feet, five inches," she said. The tryouts were almost over, and it was just between Hope and Forever Night. The last horse had knocked the pole down at four feet.

"You're an ace jumper, mare!" Forever laughed. "Looks like we'll be jumping over the same four fences till late this arvo!" he said as he looked up at the clock on the wall.

"Forever, you can go first," Magic said when she heard Hope sigh tiredly.

"Anyhow, mate!" Forever said and turned towards the jumps. "Then you can give it a bash!" he called out over his shoulder.

Hope watched as Forever Night flew over the jumps, his ears forward and eyes looking towards the next jump, and his front legs tucked up perfectly as he leapt.

"That was excellent, mate!" Wonder said with an imitated Australian accent.

"How would you know?" Magic laughed, then nodded at Forever. "Yes, that was very good. Hope, your turn."

Hope nodded, hearing Magic's words, and cantered towards the jumps. Concentrating so as not to knock then down, she leaped over them with all the grace and style she had gained over the year dancing and practicing at Whitebrook.

As she leaped over the third jump, she quickly looked out of the corner of her eyes and saw Forever watching her closely. Whitebrook was HER home, and she had to do her best.
"Eyes forward!" Magic barked.

Hope jerked her head back around and landed sideways. "Oh, no!" Hope tried desperately to collect herself and get straight before the forth jump; but in her awkward position, she couldn't. As she took off for the last tall jump, she felt a sharp pain in her right foreleg and crashed into the jump.

"Hope!" Wonder and Magic gasped and raced over to help the younger mare.

"Fat chance she'll be jumping again anytime soon," Forever mumbled to himself as he stood still where he was standing, a smug expression on his face.


=/\=PONY TREK=/\=
by Blu Flyer

This episode really has no plot whatsoever. Enjoy!

======= Episode 4: Diamond Butterflies =======

The steam from the coffee was aromatic, and smelled faintly of the amaretto cream in it. Tic-Tac-Toe could smell coffee all day. As long as it had amaretto in it... Blu always had her coffee black, which grossed Tacky out. And it had as long as she could remember.

Tacky gulped down her coffee, and headed to the Holodeck, where she was planning on playing a bit of pool at a recreation of her favorite saloon.

To her dismay, the holodeck was in use. She grit her teeth.

"Computer," she addressed into the panel, "who is in this Holodeck?"

"...Lieutenant Steamer and Ensign Ribbs," the computer replied.

Tacky nodded, and touched her comm badge.

"Tic-Tac-Toe to Ensign Ribbs," she said.

"Yes, Commander?" came the reply after a couple of seconds.

"Aren't you on duty, Ensign?" Tic-Tac-Toe asked, "Who's flying the ship?"

"The Captain said she could handle it right now. We're on orbit above planet Vallin, and everybody's on break."

"She never told ME that," Tacky mumbled under her breath. She didn't say anything about that fact that she hadn't asked. Chagrined, she directed her attention back to the comm.

"What are you guys doing in the holodeck?" She asked.

"....Playin' Diamond Butterflies...."

"Diamond Butterflies?"

"...Yeah... It's hard to explain."

Tic-Tac-Toe grinned, and ordered the computer to let her into the holodeck.

* * *
The doors opened into a (seemingly) large arena. Lt. Steamer and Ensign Ribbs were holding what looked like tennis racquets in their mouths. Ribbs' racket what taut, while Steamer's was more like a butterfly net. Before they realized Tic-Tac-Toe was watching, Steamer stomped a hoof on the floor. Suddenly, a hole opened in the ground and hundreds of sparkling butterflies fluttered out.

Immediately Steamer busied himself trying to catch the butterflies, while Ribbs attempted to smash them. In the end, Ribbs had smashed all the glass butterflies that Steamer hadn't caught. The computer tallied, and declared that Ribbs had won by smashing more butterflies than Steamer had caught. The two ponies laughed and exchanged racquets.

"Interesting game, guys," Tic-Tac-Toe said. The two started, looking at her.

"Yeah...It's fun..." Steamer said, unsure how to act around his commanding officer when off duty, "....Ma'am."

"Mind if I try a match?"

"Sure, Commander," Ensign Ribbs laughed, handing the net to her. She took it, and tossed it in the air a few times, getting the hang of it.

"So how does this work?"

"Well, basically, you have to catch more butterflies than Steamer crushes. Once a ‘Fly goes into the net, it disappears so the net doesn't get full. The computer tallies the score for you!"

"Alright, let's try this." Tacky stood on a circle Ribbs showed her. She tossed her mane out of her face as she looked at Steamer. He grinned around the racquet, with an over-confident look on his face. She arched an eyebrow, intent of proving to him she was more than just Commander...

He stomped his hoof on the ground, and the butterflies poured out into the air. Tacky took a leap towards a cluster, bagging a good group. Meanwhile, Steamer was whacking at them in the air. Tack took another tactic, and waved the net from side to side horizontally, flipping it around at each turn. She also swept the butterflies upwards, making it harder for Steamer to crush them. Taking advantage of her light weight, she was able to jump up and net them.

Finally, all the butterflies were gone, except for the broken shards on the ground.

"Tally proves that Commander Tic-Tac-Toe wins, with a tally of 276 to Lt. Steamer's 224. Good job." It said the ‘good job' part unenthusiastically. Tacky wondered if she would ever go and talk to Lt. Medley about fixing that.

Steamer frowned. Tic-Tac-Toe handed her racquet back to Ribbs.

"Good game," she said to Steamer. She had wanted to play pool, but this was as good a work out as any.

* * *
Tacky returned to the bridge and made sure everything was going well, then went to her quarters. There was a note from Blu waiting on her computer, telling her that the Captain had gone to the planet for a bit of a vacation and that Tacky was in charge. She flopped on her couch and reviewed some personnel logs, then she took out a box and dumped out it's contents.

The box had lots of gadgets, wires, chips, and weird stuff. Then she took the "Machine" from her desk, and began working once again. Wire this, meld that. She replicated anything that she didn't have already. Most people didn't know Tacky was a certified technical engineer. Only Blu knew that she developed powerful technologies in her own quarters.

After a few hours of work, the door chimed.

"Come in."

The door opened, but no one was there. Tacky went to the door, and picked up the jar that was sitting outside her door. Inside was a fluttering diamond butterfly.

"Computer, who was the last pony near my door?"


"What kind of error?"

"Cannot... bzzzzzt...." The doors opened and shut abortively.

"Tic-Tac-Toe to Lt. Medley, there's something wrong with my door. Can you send someone to fix it?"

"...Right away Commander."

Tacky returned to her living space. She was positive it had been Steamer who had left the little ‘gift.' She set the jar in the replicator tray and pressed "recycle."

"Error, this material is organic and cannot be recycled."


"Error, this material is-"

"Never mind." She turned away and left the butterfly sitting in the replicator tray.


The Evil Dragon
Part Two
by Princess Dawn

Being chosen to lead a party to defeat an evil dragon that threatens Dream Valley, Beauty Bloom and Atlas discuss who else should go with them.

"Okay, Atlas, first we have to find a party to go with us," Beauty Bloom said.

"Perhaps we could send out letters to some ponies," Atlas offered

So, the next day, a letter was sent out to Digger, Prime, Salty, Opal Dreams, North Star, and Locket. Each letter said:

This may seem unbelievable, but you are invited to join us on a quest in which we will save Dream Valley; this is not a joke.

Sincerely yours,

Atlas and Beauty Bloom

* * *
When the next day came, the eight ponies met at the Satin Slipper Sweet Shoppe.

"Gee, you sure started that letter right!" Locket giggled.

"Unbelievable it was," Prime agreed

"Could you fill us in on the details?" Digger asked.

"Sure," Beauty Bloom said. "It started when Atlas and I returned from our daily jog and decided to go to the Satin Slipper Sweet Shoppe for some ice cream. On the way there, a flash of lightning struck directly in front of us. A voice explained that I had been ‘chosen' to lead you all to defeat the evil Tornado Dragon who wants to take over Ponyland," Beauty Bloom finished.

"Wow, are you really telling the truth?!" Opal Dreams asked.

"Yes, she is; I witnessed it," Atlas said.

"When do we start?" Salty asked.

"Tomorrow, at ten o' clock sharp," came the reply.

* * *
The next morning, the group began preparing for their quest. "Is everyone here?" asked Locket.

"I think we are missing Salty," Prime said.

Suddenly a pony came galloping over the hill. "I'm here," Salty boomed.

"You are late," Digger said crossly.

"Anyway, do we have everything and everyone?" said Beauty Bloom, looking over the carefully written checklist she had made.

"Yep," said Opal Dreams anxiously.

"Well, then, let's get going!" Prime exclaimed.

As the ponies trudged across brooks, mountain ranges, and forests, it started to seem as though the lost ponies had been circling a tree shaped like a dragon for hours.

"We have been circling this stupid tree for hours; look, the sun is already starting to set!" said Salty grumpily.

"It's not my fault!" Beauty Bloom exclaimed. "North Star has been keeping track of which way we are going and we have never doubled back once."

"Maybe we should set up camp," said Locket encouragingly. "Tomorrow is always a fresh day, with no mistakes whatsoever."

As the ponies slept that night, a beautiful dragon came to guard them so no harm would come to them. But as is always the case with these stories, the dragon disappeared at the crack of dawn.

"I had the most exquisite dream last night!" Opal Dreams exclaimed. "A dragon of magnificent shades of green came and watched over us!"

"Oh, Opal, get your head out of the clouds and get it back here on earth, where it belongs," said Salty rudely. be continued in the next newsletter issue; send any comments or criticism to


An Interview with Megan
by Tabby

Time of Interview: 9:30 P.M. March something-or-other, 1999

Place of Interview: The main desk of the Pokèmon Center

Tabby: All right, Megan, for some reason or another Sugarberry wants me to get a interview from you. She thinks it'd be a cool new feature to have me interview someone each month. Do you happen to know the date?

Megan: It's March 25, Tabby.

Tabby: Just what I thought. Does it disrupt your life back home when you come over the rainbow?

Megan: Not really, because I always choose times to visit when my parents are away.

Tabby: Will you ever get new interests and forget all about Ponyland, and wonder how you could ever have imagined such a thing?

Megan: I'd like to believe in Ponyland for the rest of my life. After I've been here as many times as I have, it seems like it'd be hard to forget about it.

Tabby: Who has the Rainbow of Light now, anyway? I seem to have forgotten.

Megan: Did I give it to Baby Lickety Split? Or is it in my room back home? Funny, I can't remember either.

Tabby: Not that it matters; monsters can easily be fought off without it. Who's Strawberry Shortcake's pet cat?

Megan: Custard, but what does that have to do with the interview?

Tabby: Not much; I just felt like asking it. Did a figure of your horse, T.J., really come with the Megan's Place playset? Do you really live in a stable?

Megan: No, no, Tabby, I live in a real house. Hasbro just needed to make another playset to make money off of, and re-using an old mold was the cheapest way to do it. The truth of the matter is, they never told me if they made T.J. or not.

Tabby: Hmm, interesting. Say, what're you doing at the Center, anyway? This is only for sick Pokèmon, not interviews!

Megan: Well, Sugarberry told me to come over here.

Tabby: You're holding up the sick Pokemon. I now declare this interview at a close!


Da Tea Bunny Story
by Sugarberry, with assistance from Tabby for editing Tabby's lines to her liking

Sugarberry, with light steps, trotted up to Tabby's door one fine spring Saturday with Chocolate Chip close behind. Just as she was about to knock, the door opened and Tabby appeared.

"I suppose you still want me to go on your picnic today," Tabby sigh dramatically. "There are so many other things someone could do on a beautiful Saturday like this. For example, watching all the Pokèmon I have on tape--"

"It's a perfect day for a picnic," retorted Sugarberry. "The air is warm, the birds are singing, the grass is green, the trees are--"

"And the description is killing me," Tabby finished. "Do I have to bring anything?"

"Actually, I anticipated the fact that you wouldn't have anything ready; so I packed plenty-- fried chicken, potatoes, and salad!"

"With brownies for dessert," added Chocolate Chip.

Tabby paused in thought. "I'll bring a can of cherry pie filling," she said, without even bothering to officially accept the invitation. "I don't suppose anyone thought ahead to bring that..." And she disappeared back into her house.

Just then, Thomas came up the walk. "Morning, girls!" He was carrying his donation to the picnic-- two blueberry pies. "Where's the rest of the gang?"

"We are to stop by the Royal Paradise to pick-up Tiffany and Toby and Friendly," answered Sugarberry. "Clever Clover and Spike will be here soon, I'm sure. Quarterback decided not to come; he'd miss the start of the race he and Four-Speed want to watch on T.V." She rolled her eyes in exasperation.

"Ho-ho!" called Clever Clover as he and Spike came toward the gathered ponies. He and Spike were packing a large picnic hamper between them. "Hope everyone has brought along a hearty appetite!"

"I know I have!" responded Sugarberry. "Let's get going."

So off they went to meet Tiffany, Toby, and Friendly. They were waiting outside the Royal Paradise. Tiffany carried a fancy floral parasol, and looked very prim and proper at Toby's side. Toby was carrying a giant cheese tray, while Friendly had a bag of delicious-smelling wooliecakes.

Tabby looked critically at Tiffany. "You are going to get dirty; did you realize that?" she said slyly. "After sitting on the ground and all."

"Where are we headed exactly?" queried Thomas as the group again headed for the grassy meadow. Both he and Chocolate Chip were new to the area since last summer, and had all the delights of the upcoming season to experience first-hand.

"See that grove of trees along the curve of the river? That's our favorite picnic spot," directed Clever Clover. As they crossed the meadow, the larks and robins serenaded them with their sweet-sounding songs.

Sugarberry jumped and stifled a gasp as a small garter snake slithered across her path. "A snake!"

"Look at the cute thing!" Tabby squealed. She pounced on the elusive reptile and held it up. "Such sweet beady eyes," she cooed.

"Snake nice! Me like snakes!" Friendly commented.

"Here, Tiff, get a load a' this!" Tabby said with a malicious glint in her eyes as she dangled the squirming snake in front of Tiffany's face.

Tiffany swooned into Toby's forelegs and refused further comment.

"Teehee!" Tabby tittered.

"Here, let me see," Clever Clover said, taking the snake from Tabby's hooves. "He has a unique stripe pattern," he noted.

After everyone had thoroughly enjoyed the snake (well, except for Tiffany), Spike let it go to attend to its business of the day.

In several minutes, they had reached the picnic spot. Chocolate Chip ran to the river's edge and picked up pebbles to throw into the sparkling water. Clever Clover joined her. "Here. Watch this." And he skipped a stone across the surface of the stream.

"Oh, neat! Let me try!" She chose a flat stone as Clever Clover directed her and attempted to follow his technique in throwing it. "It just sank!" she groaned.

"Try again!" urged Clever Clover. So the two of them took turns and soon Chocolate Chip was smoothly sailing the stones over the surface, too.

In the meantime, Sugarberry had laid out the picnic cloth under a sheltering tree. "We've got enough food here to feed half of Ponyland," she commented to no one in particular. She looked up from her work, and noticed that everyone had wandering off. "I thought everyone was starving; now the food's ready, and no one is here to eat it."

She grumpily pushed the mane out of her eyes. But as she looked around at the greenness of the springtime, her mood softened. "Who can blame them for wanting to enjoy this beautiful world?" she questioned the warm breeze that caressed her face.

While Chocolate Chip and Clever Clover were still at the water's edge, Tabby had commandeered the old swing that had hung from the shady branches of the elm tree since as long as anyone could remember. Thomas was pushing her in the swing, and Sugarberry could hear her friend tittering insanely.

Tiffany and Toby had wandered into a patch of wildflowers and were contentedly admiring the colorful blooms, while Friendly came out of the grove of trees carrying an armful of kindling. "Need fire. Roast marshmallows!" he gleefully informed Sugarberry as he approached her. Soon Spike, too, returned with another load of wood; he and Friendly carefully arranged it in readiness for the picnic.

Several bright blossoms in a bush nearby attracted Sugarberry's eye, and they were so very vibrant that she decided to go pick them for a centerpiece.

"Friendly! Spike! I'm going over there to pick those flowers. You round up everyone. It's time to eat!" Sugarberry moved away to the bush and was stunned at the extraordinary beauty of the two red tulips that appeared to be growing out of the bush. "I've never seen a tulip bush before," she thought to herself. As she stood admiring the flowers, Tiffany and Toby came over to check them out, too.

"What lovely blooms!" cooed Tiffany.

"Yes, aren't they wonderful?" agreed Sugarberry. "I thought they'd liven up our picnic as a centerpiece."

"Oh, yes, that would be perfect," Tiffany nodded. She reached toward the flowers, but pulled back as the scratchy branches of the bush brushed her foreleg. "Toby, you get them, please." She batted her eyelashes endearingly at him.

Toby reached into the bush where the stem of the tulip should have been, and pulled. To his utter surprise, Toby found himself holding more than a tulip. The extraordinary flower and its mate were attached to the ears of a... bunny.

"What the..." Toby stuttered as he started into the bright eyes of the bunny staring back at him.

Sugarberry and Tiffany, startled and speechless, could only stare, too. The tulips were on the tips of the apricot-furred bunny; she wore a mint green hat and shoes, a print dress, and white gloves.

Luckily, Friendly showed up at this precise moment. One look at the flower-creature dangling from Toby's hoof and he grinned. "Tea Bunny, yeah, yeah. Me hear about. Never see."

"Tea Bunny?" Toby queried as he lowered the animal to the ground. "I guess I owe you an apology."

Once firmly established on solid earth again, the Tea Bunny smiled at the wide-eyed ponies and friends gathered around her. They all had gravitated to the spot with a look of wonder on their faces-- except for Tabby, who was frowning.

"They're not hares," she said bluntly.

"It's incredible," whispered Chocolate Chip.

"Maybe it's a mutant," cautioned Clever Clover.

"No, no," spoke-up Spike. "Tea Bunnies are quite common in some areas."

For the first time since seeing the unbelievable bunny, all eyes turned to Spike. "You know about these things?" Sugarberry asked.

"Sure," Spike responded. "Tea Bunnies are--"

"Tea Bunnies are hungry!" This statement came from behind the clustered critters, and they spun around to see who had spoken. It came from yet another flower-topped lagomorph with sky blue irises topping her ears. She wore a wide-brimmed yellow hat and a blue floral-print dress with white gloves and white shoes. The bunny's fur was pale blue, and she was carrying a tea tray, complete with a pot of tea and tea cups. "I see you have your food ready... we Tea Bunnies have the tea! Let's party!"

With that, the first Tea Bunny walked through the still tongue-tied ponies and joined her friend; together, they headed for the picnic set-up.

Friendly started after the Tea Bunnies. "Tea and wooliecakes. Yeah."

Spike joined the parade. Was it easier for a dragon and a Bushwoolie to accept the reality of this strange sort of being? The ponies looked at each other, then shrugged and fell in behind Spike.

When everyone was gathered around the picnic cloth, the Tea Bunny with iris ears introduced herself. "My name is Iris Bouquet. And this," she said, pointing at the second Tea Bunny, "is my sister, Tulip Blossom." Soon everyone had been properly identified, and the original coolness melted into chattering camaraderie as the assorted group got acquainted.

"Spike, you'd better get your bonfire going. I see Clever Clover has hot dogs here that need cooking," ordered Sugarberry. As Spike lit the fire, Clever Clover and Thomas sharpened some sticks to use for holding the hot dogs over the flames. Soon everyone was busy preparing food and stocking their plates with yummy tidbits.

It was a delightful picnic-- good friends, good food, good weather. Everyone ate and talked and ate some more."

"I'm stuffed," groaned Sugarberry. She stretched out on the warm grass. "I can't eat another bite."

"Yeah, yeah, stuffed," agreed Friendly.

Spike crawled up on a large, smooth rock and rolled over on his back to bask awhile. "Stuffed, and then some," he moaned.

The ponies soon were all lazily lying about the picnic area, content with their meal and their lives.

"Now this is a peaceful day!" commented Thomas as he snapped a dandelion in Tabby's direction, who was making a dandelion chain for lack of anything better to do.

"And to think that I could be at home watching my recorded Pokèmon shows," Tabby sighed.

Clever Clover was watching a line of black ants carry away particles of food. Chocolate Chip appeared to be close to sleep. Toby was holding Tiffany's parasol carefully to shield her face from the sun, while Tiffany herself gathered a nosegay of violets from the grass she was sitting in.

"Is that all you have to do, Cleve Clove?" Tabby said in exasperation. "For Pete's sake! Who'd want to watch ants?!"

"Look at you," Clever Clover retorted. "You're just making a flower chain."

"You're right." Tabby abruptly tossed the chain away. "Lemme see those ants."

Clever Clover shrugged. What else could you except from Tabby?

Amidst the general relaxed atmosphere-- well, peaceful except when Tabby broke out arguing-- the only ones with energy were the two Tea Bunnies. They were cleaning up the food and sorting out everybodies' dishes, packing things away in the proper carriers. When they had the area in its pristine condition, Tulip Blossom stepped into the center of the ponies and cleared her throat.

"Ahem!" the apricot Tea Bunny began. "We thank you ponies for sharing your picnic with us. You have been very kind."

"Oh, and your tea was delicious!" quickly responded Sugarberry appreciatively.

"Nothing tastes worse than cold tea with sugar added," Tabby added, receiving a reproving glance from Sugarberry, at which she put on a sulky expression. "I never said that their tea tasted like that," Tabby defended herself. "As a matter of fact, I didn't even taste their tea. Some ponies--"

Iris Bouquet stepped up next to her friend and interrupted Tabby's tirade. "What Tulip Blossom is trying to say is, ‘We need your advice.' "


"Yes," continued Tulip Blossom. "You see, our homeland depends a great deal on tourism."

"Tea Bunny Land is beyond the Dark Forest," Clever Clover interrupted her. "You told us earlier what a pleasant place it is."

"Yes, it is pleasant," agreed Iris Bouquet. "But for Tea Bunnies, we find our happiness in baking and making tea and serving others."

"So we need visitors to keep us buy and happy," added Tulip Blossom.

Chocolate Chip raised her sleepy head. "It sounds like a place that would be ideal for vacationers to go."

"Yes, and so it used to be," sighed Iris Bouquet. "But the Dark Forest has become too dangerous to pass through-- everyone has been scared off by the reports of monsters in the forest."

Tabby perked up at the mention of monsters. "Monsters! Who'd be scared of monsters!"

"But Tea Bunny Land is completely surrounded by the Dark Forest," explained Tulip Blossom, "and the area around it is becoming saturated with monsters. No one dares to come anymore, and we have no one to bake for, and make tea for."

"Tea Bunny Land isn't a happy place anymore," sniffed Iris Bouquet.

"What kind of monsters are showing up?" questioned Clever Clover.

"Very strange monsters. On our way out, we saw a giant rock-like snake, and a white furry monkey-like creature. And they were very scary." Tulip Blossom shuddered at the memory.

"Oh, how horrible," Sugarberry commiserated.

Tiffany's eyes grew fearful, and she moved closer to Toby. Spike sat up on his rock, and Friendly grew attentive.

Thomas heard a gasp from Tabby and saw her blink broadly at Clever Clover. Clever Clover returned the wink. Unspoken words seemed to be flashing between the two ponies, and bridled excitement was obvious in their actions.

"What were some of the other monsters you've heard about?" asked Clever Clover as he turned his attention back to the Tea Bunnies.

"Well, one guest who got through said he was chased by a giant bee," informed Iris Bouquet. "And we had heard some intense buzzing in the forest that day."

"One of our friends was picking berries at the edge of the forest when a three-headed bird like an ostrich came up behind her." Tulip Blossom was nearly in tears. "Who'd want to come to Tea Bunny Land with creatures like those lurking in the bushes? Even the river has brutal fish with horrid horns on their heads."

Thomas had continued to watch Tabby and Clever Clover as the Tea Bunnies talked, and he saw their eyes meet again; they both looked extremely happy to be hearing of the plight of the Tea Bunnies. We wished he knew what was going on between them.

"Has anyone seen a, like, really big butterfly?" questioned Tabby, her voice rising in excitement.

Sugarberry looked sharply at Tabby, and saw what Thomas was puzzling over. Why was her friend looking pleased rather than frightened?

"No," replied Iris Bouquet. "But yesterday I saw an extremely large green caterpillar with big eyes."

"Yippee!!" Tabby shrieked. "It's a Catterpie, and I'm gonna catch it!" she called out in a sing-song voice.

"That place is crawling with Pokèmon!" Clever Clover cried out jubilantly. "Just think, Tabby! It's a Pokèmon paradise!"

"Yippee!" Tabby repeated herself.

Well, that explains it, thought Thomas. Since Clever Clover had acquainted Tabby with the unusual world of Pokèmon, Tabby had been caught-up in nothing else. Thomas, not wanting to stand in her way, had supported her move from his vet clinic to head nurse at the Pokèmon Center.

The Tea Bunnies, however, stood silent; they had never heard of Pokèmon and had no idea why Clever Clover and Tabby were so excited to learn of an abundance of them across the Dark Forest.

Sugarberry noticed the Tea Bunnies' confusion and hurried to explain the situation to them. "The monsters aren't really dangerous--"

"Unless you look a Primeape in the eye," Tabby added.

"Because then he'll chase you forever," Clever Clover confirmed.

Sugarberry silenced them both with a sharp look. "And these Pokèmon can be captured by Pokèmon trainers," she continued her explanation to the Tea Bunnies.

"And once trainers hear of the Pokèmon, your troubles will be over," added Thomas.

"Trainers will simply swarm to Tea Bunny Land!" said Tabby, pausing in her happy little dance to clutch her two front hooves together dramatically. "You'll have plenty of visitors to fix tea for."

"You mean these monsters will actually be good for Tea Bunny Land?" Iris Bouquet asked skeptically.

Clever Clover grew serious. "You will have to build a Pokèmon Center to care for any sick or wounded Pokèmon. And a Pokèmon Gym for trainers to participate in Pokèmon matches."

"Oh, my!" exclaimed Tulip Blossom. "This sounds very complicated."

"We can help you get started," offered Clever Clover. "There are lots of ponies in Ponyland who are Pokèmon followers."

Tabby began snickering. "Tea Bunnies aren't that much different than Pokèmon themselves, with those flowers growing off their ears. Watch out for PokèBalls being thrown at you!"

"You'll fit right in," Clever Clover agreed.

"Yes," Sugarberry said. "It's perfect!"

Everyone excitedly began offering ideas for the development of Tea Bunny Land into a hot new Pokèmon town; yet the Tea Bunnies themselves looked rather dazed. Sugarberry suggested that they cut the day short, and return to her house where they could educate the Tea Bunnies on Pokèmon.

After gathering up their picnic fare, the group headed back across the meadow. Their number had increased by two since they'd crossed this expanse earlier. And their minds were filled with ideas to help the Tea Bunnies bring in more visitors to Tea Bunny Land. The soft spring air was filled with the sound of suggestions and laughter. And the Tea Bunnies had become more relaxed and at ease as they became more familiar with the whole Pokèmon idea.

"It all sounds like a dream come true," murmured Iris Bouquet. "We'll have such good news for all the Tea Bunnies when we get home!"

"Tea Bunny Land will be busy and happy again!" verified Tulip Blossom. "I just knew you ponies would help us!" She turned to Toby. "I sensed your compassion when I first looked into your eyes.

Thinking back to that encounter (Toby holding the Tea Bunny by her ears), Toby began to chuckle. Tiffany giggled, Friendly snickered, and one by one the others joined in.

Tabby began laughing insanely and it was several minutes before she suddenly stopped and blinked her eyes slowly. "What was so funny? I didn't catch what Tulip Blossom said."

Chocolate Chip, wiping tears from her eyes, finally was able to choke out, "This gives new meaning to picking your friends carefully."

On that note, the group arrived at Sugarberry's house, and buckled down to the serious work of setting up a plan of action for the Tea Bunnies. By the end of the day, it was agreed that Clever Clover, Tabby, and Spike would accompany the Tea Bunnies home through the Dark Forest. Once word was out about the Pokèmon available, the trainers would come. And the Tea Bunnies would be fulfilled.


Thank you for all the wonderful submissions this month; your hard work has made this the longest issue ever!

Have a great Easter! He is risen! Alleluia!

--Sugarberry and Tabby


All submissions are expected to stay true to the sweet, innocent nature of the MLPs. This means nothing immoral and nothing violent. I shall reject any submissions I do not think meet these requirements.


Our next issue will be sent May 1st.


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