A beautiful momma, with her equally beautiful babies are alone in an alley. A tiny chirpy alicorn is removed from the others. She chirps and peeps to herself.
“Dummeh munstah babbeh! Munstahs get miwkies wast! Wowstest miwkies fow dummeh munstahs!”
The feral mare scowled down at her monster baby, its combination of wings and horn offensive to her sensibilities.
“Dwink aww da miwkies gud babbehs! Babbehs dwink an’ nu miwkies fow dummeh munstah!”
Her two good babies continued to suckle at her teats, drinking their fill of fresh fluffy milk. Eyes still closed, less than a week old, they had no concept of the greater world around them, much less their neglected sister.
The tiny alicorn foal sniffed at the air and peeped softly to herself. Though her eyes were still closed and her limbs barely functioned, she understood pain. When she heard mummah’s voice, she understood she should stay away, or there would be pain. Until the nipple was presented to her, she would wait, and sniff, and peep. And starve.
“Mebbe gib munstah fowebbah sweepies…”, the mother mare said to herself. “Am onwy munstah…”
She considered simply stomping on her monster baby and being done with it. But her special friend hadn’t returned. If need be, the monster could become food. If it stuck around, she could make it find nummies. Or be a toy for her good babies. No, better to keep it around and make it useful. But it would never have her love.
Joelene was walking along the riverfront with Cayenne in a carry harness on her chest and Creamsicle riding shotgun on her shoulder. He was starting to get big enough that he wouldn’t fit up there much longer. At nearly two months old, he was starting his growth spurt. Cayenne, a little over six months old, was pretty much done growing. Not terribly heavy, she enjoyed being strapped to Jolene and simply going along for the ride while her mummah did the walking. Cayenne enjoyed a good walk, but long walks like Jolene would take were not good walks. Fluffies aren’t known for their endurance.
“Well little man, you are getting so huge! Ah’m gonna have to buy a wagon to tow the two of you around!” Jolene told her fluffy friends.
Cayenne clapped her hooves in delight. A wagon would be even more fun that the carry harness. She’d get to look all around instead of just what was in front!
Creamsicle wiggled his rump on Jolene’s shoulder. Excited, but taking care not to fall, it was his close approximation of a dance of joy in an otherwise awkward position.
Jolene reached up and scratched Creamsicle behind his ears. The adolescent foal cooed next to her ear and snuggled against the side of her head. She proceeded to stroke Cayenne flame-colored mane. Cayenne squirmed in delight at the gentle feeling of her mummah’s fingers running through her mane.
“Wub mummah Joween! Am bestest mummah ebbah!”, Cayenne said, looking up and back at her mummah from below Jolene’s chin.
“Wub mummah Joween!”, Creamsicle echoed, and nuzzled against Jolene’s cheek.
“Oh no you don’t!”, Joelene told them. “Y’all don’t get to just melt my heart today! We’re out here enjoying the last warm days of fall! I’m not going to melt in to a puddle of love until we get home!”
She put on a mock-frown and her fluffies couldn’t help be break out in to giggles.
“Mummah am siwwy!”, Creamsicle told her.
“Siwwy mummahs am bestest mummahs”, Cayenne confirmed.
Jolene dropped the frown and showed them a beaming smile. She loved her fluffies. They were well behaved, clever, and always made her days better. Their recent encounter with that monster of an show-fluffy has shaken them, but they’d recovered quickly. Creamsicle’s leg had healed properly, though the itching of the cast drove him crazy for the weeks he had to wear it.
If anything Jolene thought her fluffies had become more curious of the world after their ordeal. They’d met evil, and they feared it, but they had fought it. But they realized just how much more there was beyond the fence. There were bad fluffies, bad humans, and they had to come from somewhere else. The small world of Jolene’s yard was no longer enough for them.
Hence the walks on the riverfront.
Jolene continued walking, idling chatting with her fluffy companions until they reached their destination for the morning. The Riverfront Diner was a popular place. On a lovely Saturday morning, it was absolutely packed. Jolene made her way inside, waved to the hostess, and thumbed that she’d take a seat outside.
Sitting in a chair at a small table, Jolene unstrapped Cayenne and set her down. She carefully lifted Creamsicle off her shoulder as well, and set him on the table top next to Cayenne. After a few minutes the hostess stepped outside, pen and notepad in hand.
“Good morning, Jolene! And good morning to you two as well!”, she said, smiling down at the fluffies on the table. “Cayenne, your mane is especially bright in this sunshine!” she told the mare. “And Creamy! Your fluff is looking particularly soft today!” The fluffies were elated by the compliments, and they proceeded to sit up on their rumps and exchange hugs of joy.
“What can I get you this morning?”, the hostess asked.
“I’ll take the meat monster breakfast platter”, Jolene replied, “And we’ll do a large bowl of oatmeal with brown sugar for Cayenne and Creamy.”
“Coming right up! Waters all around for everybody?”
“Yes, please. In a bowl for them if you’d be so kind. I don’t need to pry their heads out of glasses this morning.”
The waitress snorted at Jolene’s joke, tucked her notepad in to her smock, and headed back inside the restaurant.
Jolene, Cayenne, and Creamsicle continued to chat while waiting for their food.
“Joween! Joween!”, Creamsicle exclaimed, “Ribew am pwetty! Hab namsies?”
Jolene looked out at the river flowing a short way from where she sat with her fluffies. “Yes, darlin’. That’s the Mississipi river.”
Cayenne and Creamy looked at each other. “Missipy ribew?”, Creamsicle asked. “Close enough, cutie.” Jolene replied, giving him a pat on the head.
“When wawmsies come back, wiww gu swimmies?” Cayenne asked. “Sure thing, Cayenne. I’m glad you took to water like you did. But the river is big, so we’ll use the floaty ring.”
Cayenne gave her mummah a big smile at that. “An’ Cayenne show bestest friewn’ Cweamsicew how Cayenne swimmies!”
“Sure thing, fire butt. You’ll do a great job teaching him to swim!”
Creamsicle was enthralled by the idea of learning to swim. Baths were one thing. The warm water making his fluff look and smell pretty was great. But the river was so much bigger than the tub!
“Cweamsicew nu suwe am weady fow swimmies…”
“Don’t worry, little man. You’ve got time yet. Won’t be until the summer next year.”
“How wong am summew?”
“Uh…”, Jolene hawwed, trying to explain in fluffy terms. “OK, so you know how you learned how to count to eight?”
“Yes, mummah Joween! Cweamsicew am gud countew!”
“Yes you are! So, summer is eight forevers from now, eight times. And then eight more forevers eight more times.”
Creamy stewed on that. Those are numbers pretty much beyond his grasp, but he got the idea that he’d get to do a lot more growing before he learned to swim.
“Cweamsicew wiww be big fwuffy fow swimmmies!”
“That’s right, hombre.”
“Cweamsicew wiww be watew-fwuffy when Cayenne dun wif wessons! Cweamsicew am bwave fwuffy! Nu hab scawdies ob watew!”, Cayenne stated proudly.
Creamy looked at his friend took his most heroic pose, muzzle in the eyes half closed and aloof. His jaw firmly set.
“Creamy, you look like a doofus.”, Jolene told him.
Cayenne was rolling on her back laughing. Creamy looked forlorn for a moment, before breaking out in to laughter himself.
Preparing to dig in to their piping hot breakfast, Cayenne and Creamsicles take turns blowing on the big bowl of oatmeal to help it cool.
The hostess returned with a large platter held over her head. She set down the small folding stand she carried in her free hand and set the platter atop it. She then set the serving platter down and handed out the plates. Jolene received her giant plate of breakfast meats, along with her side of pancakes, biscuits and gravy, and hash browns. Cayenne and Creamy received their giant bowl of oatmeal, the warm mush gently steaming in the brisk morning air.
“Now, be careful little fluffies. Don’t burn your cute little noses on your breakfast!”
“Wiww be cawefuw!”, Cayenne replied.
“Am gud eatew!”, Creamsicle confirmed.
The two fluffies took turns blowing on the warm oatmeal before digging in, their faces buried over the lip of the bowl. The voracious chewing sounds and audible ‘nom nom noms’ as they left Jolene and the hostess in giggle fits. After settling down, the hostess went back inside, and Jolene started on her bacon.
A delicious fifteen minutes later, Jolene had finished what she could of her breakfast. The fluffies were licking the oatmeal bowl clean.
“Right, you little rainbow hogs. C’mere and let me get you clean.” Jolene pulled a wet wipe from her fanny back and wiped down both of the fluffies oatmeal flecked faces. Again presentable they smiled at their mummah.
“Fank 'ou fow nummies, mummah!”, Cayenne said.
“Wub mummah! Fin’ bestest nummies!”, Creamsicle followed.
Jolene packed her leftovers in to the containers and plastic bag provided, left her payment on the table weighed down by her glass. She lifted her fluffies back in to their respective travel spots.
Continuing south along the riverfront, the vast expanse of water shimmering to her right, Jolene was having a wonderful day.
“Joween?”, Cayenne asked, looking up at her. “Cayenne need make poopies!”
“Cweamsicew need make poopies, too!”, the foal on her shoulder chimed in.
Jolene rolled her eyes and smiled. “OK, let’s go find a private spot so you two can do your business.”
Cayenne had been hand raised from a chirpy baby, and had been taught how to use a litterbox from a very early age. When she was old enough to wander in Jolene’s yard, she learned how to make good poopies in the bushes or compost heap. Creamsicle, being co-parented by Jolene and Cayenne, had learned the same behaviors. Pooping in public was not something either fluffy was used to or necessarily comfortable doing. Jolene had to carefully explain to them that when they were out, she’d help them safe places to do their business.
Jolene spotted an alleyway a block down, and hurried towards it. Finding a dumpster overflowing with cardboard boxes made her breathe a sigh of relief. She pulled down a couple boxes, laid the cardboard flat on the ground, and set each fluffy on a flattened box.
“OK you two, no bushes handy today. Pretend those are your littler boxes. They will go right back in the trash, so you don’t be doing anything bad.”, Jolene told her fluffies as they looked up at her.
“Otay Joween!”, Cayenne replied. She squatted down and scrunched her face. Jolene turned away trying not to laugh aloud at the look of concentration on the older fluffy’s face. Creamsicle emulated his friend, and proceeded to do his business as well. Jolene removed a plastic baggie from her fanny pack and folded it back over her hand to cleanly pick up the droppings and stow them for disposal. Jolene was extremely thankful for Nikki reaching out to her to suggest a change in diet for the fluffies to be what sounded absurdly high in fiber. But since then her fluffies were both pooping solid and less often. Cleanup of litter boxes was no longer a terrifying sloshing ordeal, but instead no worse than cleaning up after a house cat.
Once the fluffies were done doing their business and Jolene had disposed of the dirtied boxes and poopie-baggie, she prepared to secure her friends and resume their walk along the river. As she bent down to lift Cayenne in to her harness, she though she’d heard a quiet peeping sound.
“Hey, do y’all hear that?”, Jolene asked her fluffies.
Cayenne and Creamsicle perked up their ears, each focusing.
“Sound wike chiwpy-babbeh!”, Cayenne exclaimed.
“Sound wike hungry chiwpy-babbeh!”, Creamsicle added.
Jolene made her way further in to the alley, the fluffies trotting at her heels.
Reaching a stack of wine crates, Jolene could hear the peeping clearly, and what sounded like cooing. And… was that singing?
“Babbeh wub mummah, mummah wub babbeh! Dwink wots ob miwkies, gwow up big an’ stwong!”
Definitely a feeding mother. Jolene quietly made her way around the crates, watching where she put her feet in case there was a baby on the loose. She wanted to meet this mummah, not crush her babies.
Noticing a pale green chirpy outside a crate, Jolene moved forward. She saw a pair of hooves sticking out from either side of the sizable wooden box. Stooping down, she took a look inside.
“MUNSTAH!” the mare cried!
“Simmer down, girl!” Jolene told her. “I’m just here to say hello!”
Getting over her initial shock, the mummah calmed down immediately. “Hewwo nice wady!”
“Hello there fluffy momma? Do you have a name?”
“Mummah am Dazzew!”, she said proudly.
“Well, Dazzel, you are a very pretty fuffy, and you have some very pretty babies.”
Dazzle was pale blue with a striking pink and yellow striped mane. Ferals weren’t usually so desirable in color, so Jolene figured she must be a pet. A runaway? A stray? Abandoned?
Dazzle’s babies were as beautiful as here. The first nursing chirpy was a unicorn. Bright yellow in color, with little brown spots. Cheetah spotting was incredibly rare! The other was a vivid red pegasus, with a sort of blobby heart shape on her rump.
The third chirpy, the one not feeding, was the most beautiful of all of them. She was an alicorn, cool minty green in color. Her horn matched her fluff, and her mane, tail, and wings were vibrant yellow. She even had an adorable tri-dot pattern on her rump. Jolene blinked to herself. This was especially rare. A chirpy born with a mane was uncommon, but an alicorn with these colors, and a rump-pattern was nearly unheard of.
The first two babies finished their meal, releasing the nipples from their mouths.
“Looks like those two are all done feeding. Would you like me to bring your other baby to feed?”
Dazzle gave Jolene a disgusted look. “Nu wan’ gib bestest miwkie fow munstah babbeh!”
Jolene frowned. “What was that?”
“Nu wan’ big bestest miwkies fow munstah babbeh. Munstah babbeh onwy get wowstest miwkies! Gud babbehs hab mowe miwkies fiwst!”
Cayenne and Creamsicle looked at each other. What was this crazy mare talking about? All babies were good babies. And what’s a monster baby? The wingy-horny baby on the ground was the prettiest baby they’d ever seen.
“So… this little lady here is a monster, huh?”, Jolene asked the mare. The friendly, jovial tone had left her voice.
“Dat am wight! Munstah babbeh am wowstest munstah! Onwy weason nu get sowwy hoovsies am because wiww need nummie findah for bestest babbehs!”
Jolene’s fround deepened at that. “Tell you what, if you hate that baby so much, how about we trade?”, Jolene asked.
“Twade?”, Dazzle asked.
“Yeah, Ah’ll trade you some food”, Jolene showed her leftover hash browns to the mare, “And you give me your ‘munstah’ baby. Deal?”
“Nummies fow munstah?”, the mare replied, “Why wady wan’ munstah? Gib fowebbah sweepies? Nu mowe scawy munstah?”
“What I do doesn’t matter!”, Jolene replied harshly. “Do you want the nummies or not?”
“Mummah wiww take nummies! Wook bestest babbehs! Mowe nummies fow bestest miwkies!”
After setting the container of shredded potato down for the mare, Jolene took a tissue out of her fanny pack, and carefully wrapped the little chripy’s bottom half in it, before gently setting the tiny alicorn filly in her shirt pocket.
Using only the tip of her index finger, she every so carefully stroked the chirpy baby’s muzzle. It snuggled in to her shirt pocket and let out a tiny coo.
The chirpy alicorn settles in to Jolene’s pocket. Jolene knew that buying Eckhartt shirts for the pocket was always worth it.
Jolene placed Creamsicle back on her shoulder, and carried Cayenne in her arms across her abdomen, not wanting to risk crushing the chirpy in her pocket by putting Cayenne back in the harness.
“OK you two, let’s head home. We need to get this little lady fed!”
Creamsicle carefully looked down from Jolene’s shouder in to her brest pocket. “Babbeh am su pwetty!” he said.
“Wiww babbeh hab new homsies wif Joween an’ Cweamy an’ Cayenne?”, Cayenne asked, looked up at her momma.
“Yes she will, fire butt. She’s like a tiny start to brighten things up at home. Hey, what do you two think about that? Bright like a star! Should we name her Stella?”
Before either of Jolenes fluffies could answer, Dazzle as snorting and howling at her feet.
“NU TAKE DUMMEH BABBEH HOMSIES! GIB DAZZEW AN’ BESTEST BABBEHS HOMSIES! GIB BESTEST BABBEHS NAMSIES!”, she screeched.
“Woah there. We made a trade. You have your pretty babies to raise as you see fit. Ah’ll raise this pretty baby how I see fit!”
“NU! DAZZEW WAN’ HOMSIES! Dummeh mummah say Dazzew nu hab babbehs! Dummeh mummah nu unnastand babbehs am bestest! ‘cept munstah babbehs! Dazzew an’ babbehs wan’ homsies! Dummeh munstah babbehs nu desewb homsies!”
Jolene gently shook Dazzle off her leg and glared down at her. “You’re a bad momma calling your baby a monster. She’s as beautiful as your other babies! You can stay in this alley and rot. Your momma was right to kick you out!”
With that Jolene turned on her heel and walked out of the alley with her three fluffies.
Dazzle huffed and screeched after her. “GIB HOMSIES! GIB WAWMS! GIB NUMMIES!”
Jolene ignored her and continued out of the alley to the walkway along the river.
Two things happened at once. First she heard the sound of tiny hooves padding on pavement in a hurry. Second, she heard the sound of a bicycle bell ringing off to her right.
Jolene stepped forward out of the path of the oncoming bicycle. Dazzle ran directly in to it’s path.
“SCREE! WOWSTEST HUWTIES! SCREEEEE!”
The cyclist continued riding, and ringing his bell to make way. Jolene looked down at the now very broken Dazzle.
She was splayed across the ground, her limbs out like four compass points. Her spine was concave along her back, clearly crushed. She had blood and bile leaking out of her mouth and what looked like feces and intestine out her rear.
She was shrieking and crying, but it was growing softer quickly, and after a few seconds, her crushed body failed.
“Don’t look, you two”, Jolene told her fluffies. Cayenne and Creamsicle shut their eyes tight from the horror in front of them.
Jolene picked up Dazzle’s carcass by the tail, and walked back towards the alley. She unceremoniously deposited Dazzle in to the same dumpster. She continued down to the end of the alley, pulling two additional tissues from her fanny pack. With the same care she gave Stella, she scooped up the other two chirpies and put them in her pocked with their sister. Dazzle had simply left them alone in her rage.
“Well, looks like y’all will at least geet to go to good homes. Stella, I paid good potatoes for you. You’ll be staying with us. You two, we’ll get you cleaned up, fed, and cared for, then I think Little Miracles would love to adopt you out. You’ll make them a pretty penny. Just don’t grow up to be awful like your momma.”
Jolene looked down and noticed Cayenne still had her eyes scrunched closed. “OK you two, the scary part is over. We’re gonna go home and take care of some chirpy babies. Y’all ready?”
Cayenne’s eyes were sparkly. “Cayenne wub babbehs! Wiww gib bestest huggies!”
Creamy chimied in, “Cweamsicew wiww be bestest bwuddah!”
Dazzle quickly forgotten, the now party of six made their way home to Jolene’s house.
Jolene set up the three chirpy babies in a blanket-lined tray, and grabbed a few pictures of them on her phone.
“Ah can’t wait to show these three to Dee Dee. But she’s gonna be salty I’m keeping Stella.”
Jolene sent a message to Dee Dee with the pictures attached. Within seconds her phone was ringing.
“Where did you find them!?”, Dee Dee demanded.
“Alley behind a bar, right along the river. Momma looked designer.”
“Yup, past tense. Run in with a bicycle while being a bitch.”
“Figures. What do you want to do with them?”, Dee Dee asked.
“Well, I’m keeping the alicorn. I paid that mare good potatoes for her. Literally. Not my fault she was stupid and got herself killed.”
“I mean, yeah. Look at her. Who wouldn’t keep her.”
“They other two I was going to make a charitable donation to Little Miracles. You can adopt them out and collect what I expect to be a significant adoption fee.”
“Are you serious? You’ll just give them to us to adopt out? Those two are worth thousands of dollars each.”
“I figured. But you are doing a good thing, and I don’t really have the patience to weed out abusers.”
“Jolene, you are my eternal friend. I’ll bring receipts. You can at least claim them as an actual charitable donation.”
“Fair. I’m always down for a tax deduction.”
Cayenne walked in to the room while Jolene was on the phone.
“Mummah Joween?”, Cayenne asked, “Cayenne hab question.”
“One sec, Dee Dee. What’s up fire butt?”
“Babbehs need miwkies fow gwow up big an’ stwong. Cayenne wan’ hewp. Cayenne wan’… pwactice fow babbehs?”
Jolene raised an eyebrow at her fluffy. “Ah mean, that’s sweet of you to want to help nurse the babies Cayenne, but you aren’t putting out milk. Do you want to hold the bottle for them like you did with Creamsicle?”
Dee Dee chimed in. “Do I hear Cayenne asking to nurse chirpies? Because I can help with that. Remember the milky kibble I give Cayenne and the milk mares? How about I drive down tomorrow with a few bags. That’ll get Cayenne making milk no problem. And it will let me pick up the chirpies. And… uh… well there’s one other thing I wanted to discuss with you.”
“I mean, that would be great, but what are you haw’ing about?”
“Well, we’re sort of going to be neighbors.”
“So, you know that giant piece of land behind your house? The one that’s currently all cover crops and roaming feral herds?”
“You seem surprisingly familiar with midstate rural property.”, Jolene said flatly.
“I kinda sorta bought it. All two hundred acres.”
“OK, you’ll have to fill me in tomorrow. See you around lunch time?”
“Sound good, Jolene. Love ya’, hun.”
“Your the best, Dee Dee.” Jolene replied, and hung up her mobile.
“OK Cayenne, you get to practice being a mummah. You lookin’ to have some babies?”
“Cayenne nu weady fow babbehs. Cayenne wan’ pwactice fiwst. Wan’ be best mummah, wike mummah Papwika! An’ Cayenne nu hab speciaw fwiend. Hab Cweamy, an’ Cweamy am bestest fwiend. Wub Cweamsicew! Bu’ nu am speciaw fwiend.”
“Well, aren’t you the responsible adult! Dee Dee will be down tomorrow with milky kibble. You’ll have the chance to start nursing Stella tomorrow night!”
Cayenne reared up on her hind legs and did a little dance, ending with her biggest hugs on Jolene’s leg.
“You’re gonna be a great foster-mummah, Cayenne. And some day, you’re gonna be a great real mummah.”
Jolene lifted Cayenne and hugged her close, as her fluffy shed small happy tears and coo’d in her momma’s ear.