Rules, rules and more rules! So many rules! Baroness had to follow rules about poopies, rules about nummies, rules about treats, TV and even talking! Baroness’s tiny fluffy head spun over and over, wondering how the fluff she was going to remember everything she was being taught. Her head echoed with Queen Mummah’s rules: ‘Mus’ wipey hoofsies befowe gu in housie… Nu hab woud scawedies fwom bestesh wittabawks; Queen Mummah nu wike woud noisies. Awways say nice wowdsies wike pwease, tank’ou an’ sowwy. Skettis onwy fo’ “Fwidays…” Wat am Fwidays?’
Even so, she was firmly affixed to one goal: to become a good fluffy for Queen Mummah–what she called a “pwopah fwuffy.”
‘Bawoness mus’ be pwopah fwuffy.’
There was more, so much more. Luckily for Baroness, Queen Mummah was a patient teacher and quietly but firmly corrected mistakes while the mare was learning. Even when she had a terrible scaredy-poopies accident on the welcome mat, Baroness was gently redirected to the fluffy-accessible “Cweanies Pwace,” several stations of which Queen Mummah had set up around her house. They were filled with fluffy-safe cleansers, supplies and mini fluffy-accessible trash cans, designed to teach fluffies how to clean their own mess if they had an accident. At first, Baroness didn’t like having to do such hard work when all she wanted was love and spaghetti, but she learned to put it far from her mind, all for the sake of earning Queen Mummah’s love, attention, and most of all: the right to call herself a proper fluffy. For the first time in her life, Baroness cleaned up her own poopies. Of course, she needed Queen Mummah’s help to fully complete the stain removal and to make it smell pretty, but for the hard work she did (for a fluffy), Baroness felt whatever sense of accomplishment a tiny biotoy can feel.
And the praise–oh the praise! That alone was almost worth it. Queen Mummah’s declarations of her good behavior really reinforced the mare’s lessons and instilled a desire to do more good behavior that would earn more praise. Of course, Baroness had heard nice words spoken to her before, both nice and not-nice. These ones, she could tell, were genuinely nice and made her heart soar: “Thank you, Baroness. You did a good job today.”
“Tank’ou, Queen Mummah!” Baroness nuzzled into the offered hoomin-hoofsie and cooed softly.
“This time, I’ll give you a small treat. Remember, it’s always important to take responsibility for your actions.”
Baroness remained composed and nodded, showing her glee in a big smile. It wasn’t sketti day, so the treat could not possibly be sketties, but she wondered what it could be, even if it was small. “Bawoness wub aww tweats.” She couldn’t help but wag her tail seeing Queen Mummah’s smile on her hoomin-snout. The lady reached for something on a top shelf: a mason jar of reddish-orange gummy treats in basic assorted shapes such as circles, triangles and squares. She removed one from the jar, replaced it on the shelf, and placed it in front of Baroness, who immediately went to sniff it. “Wook pwetty an’ smeww su pwetty!” she exclaimed. She chomped down on it, her mouth filling with a delightfully chewy and sweet sensation. She smiled and held her cheeks with her hooves in joy. After swallowing (Queen Mummah detested when fluffies talked with nummies in the mouth) she added, “Tank’ou fow bestesh tweat, Queen Mummah. Bawoness wub smaww soff sweetie.”
“You’re very welcome, dear. Now that we are finished here, are you ready to go and meet some new friends?”
Baroness’s eyes grew wide–she’d almost forgotten! “Nyu fwiends! Yus! Bawoness weady fow nyu fwuffy fwends.” She raised her hooves and Queen Mummah gently picked her up, nestling her safely in her strong hoomin-leggies while walking to the main saferoom of the house. “Wub upsies! Bawoness esscited to meet nyu fwiends!”
“I’m glad. Remember to be nice to every fluffy. Fluffies cannot control how they look when they are born, nor can they control the bad actions of others who may have hurt them in some way. Do you understand?”
“Yus Queen Mummah.” Baroness was filled with determination; she would not let her owner down. “Onwy say nice wowdsies an’ wissen to nyu fwiend’s feewings.”
“Good.” Queen Mummah opened the bright pink door, and the shouts of playful glee quickly turned to happy gasps and cheers. Four starry-eyed fluffies immediately forgot about their toys and looked up at the lady, eyes filled with love for their owner.
The first fluffy was the biggest of the group: an earthie stallion with pink fluff, bright blue mane, and light green eyes. He toddled up to the lady holding the new pink fluffy. “Am Queen Mummah! Queen Mummah hewe! YAY!” The other three fluffies followed his lead.
The lady giggled. “Hello, Toothpaste. I see you are well.” She knelt on the ground, placing Baroness next to her and allowing the other fluffies to greet her with excited cheers and huggies. Toothpaste nuzzled her hand, with which she gave him his favorite: chin rubs.
A male pegasus hopped from hoof to hoof excitedly behind Toothpaste, eager for his turn to greet their beloved owner. “Hewwo Queen Mummah! Wicowish hab bigges’ heawt-happies tu see yu!” He was the second largest of the group, his darker pink coat and blue mane a stark contrast to Toothpaste’s pastels, though he had blue eyes instead of green.
The last two earthie fluffies were slower to reach Queen Mummah, as one of them had both back legs amputated. The other was helping the amputee get close enough to give huggies to Queen Mummah. “Appwefwuff wub Queen Mummah,” the amputee stated, clinging to his owner for dear life. “Appwefwuff gib bestesh huggies! Am gud huggie-fwuffy!” He was named well, for the bright red coat and forest green mane gave the idea of a living fluffy apple.
“Licorice, Applefluff,” Queen Mummah greeted, giving them pets in greeting, earning a cacophony of cooing from the little creatures. “And I can’t forget you, precious Honey Blue.” She greeted and pet the last fluffy, a pastel orange coated mare with a bright blue mane only a few shades darker than Toothpaste’s. She and Applefluff shared the same deep brown eyes once owned by their mother, long since passed on. “Thank you so much for helping Applefluff. You’re a good sister.”
“Hunny Bwue wub bwudda Appwefwuff!” The mare replied with a soft smile. She also gave Queen Mummah some huggies. “Hunny Bwue su happy tu see Queen Mummah. Hunny Bwue wub yu!”
“I love you all too. I have a new friend for you to meet.” Another chorus of happy gasps sounded off as Queen Mummah presented Baroness to the group. She gave a quick chin rub to the pink mare and smiled. “Tell the nice fluffies your name, dear.”
“Namesie am Bawoness!” The mare exclaimed. “Bawoness hab bigges’ heawt-happies tu meet nyu fwiends!”
The four fluffies offered a friendly “Hewwo Bawoness!” in response. Queen Mummah gave them all a knowing look, and one by one, they introduced themselves to Baroness (even the shy Applefluff, who offered his name and then quickly ducked behind his big sister). And then the questions began.
“Whewe Bawoness come fwom?” Licorice asked.
Toothpaste followed up with, “Nyu fwiend Bawoness wike skettis and gummie nummies?”
Honey Blue offered Baroness a pink ball. “Bawoness wike baww an’ oddah toysies?”
Even Applefluff spoke up from behind Honey Blue. “Nyu fwiend wike Appwefwuff eben wen nu hab weggies?”
Baroness looked unsure of who to answer first, and the slight tension was broken by Queen Mummah’s bell-like giggle. “One at a time, fluffy darlings, please. Baroness is new and needs time to get used to living with us.” She turned to Licorice with a solemn expression. “She is a rescue, just like you and Toothpaste.”
Licorice’s eyes widened. “Queen Mummah wescue Bawoness?”
“Yes, darling.” She looked down at Baroness, indicating she could continue.
“Mm… Bawoness come fwom faw-away twee-pwace, many fowebahs ago. Hab hewd an’ famiwy an’ speciaw fwiend…” She looked down at the ground, almost ashamed to continue, “Nao nu hab famiwy ow fwiends… Onwy Queen Mummah.”
Honey Blue’s eyes welled with tears. “Am suuu saddies, Bawoness!” she exclaimed, going to give the pink mare a hug. “Hunny Bwue am su sowwy yu am awone.”
“Hab biggesh heawt-huwties fo’ Bawoness.” Applefluff followed Honey Blue, joining in the hug.
“Tank’ou, Hunny Bwue an’ Appwefwuff.” Baroness returned the hug and the rest of the fluffies followed suit. “Nyu fwiends gib bestesh huggies!”
“Nao Bawoness hab fwiends!” Toothpaste declared. "An’ Queen Mummah. Ebewy fwuffy be gud fwends fow Bawoness!"
“Yus!” Licorice added. “Nu mowe saddies! Fwiends am hewe.”
Baroness smiled, her eyes filling with happy tears. “Oh, Wicowish an’ Toofpaste… tank’ou. Bawoness am su happy!”
Toothpaste grinned. “Aww fwuffies be da bestesh fwiends ebah! Nu fwuffy weft behind!” Baroness watched as the others cheered and began to group together for a massive fluffy hug. “Yu too, Bawoness! Am fwiend nao!”
“Fwiend… Yay!” Baroness joined the group hug, and Queen Mummah smiled serenely.
“I’ll just leave you all to get to know one another. Dinner is soon. Play nicely, little ones.”
A chorus of “Yus Queen Mummah!” echoed from the group of fluffies, and after the lady left, the five fluffies gathered together to discuss what they should play. Toothpaste suggested playing ball, since it was one of the easier things Applefluff could play with without much trouble with mobility. Any one of the group was always happy to go and retrieve a stray ball for the red fluffy, and it brought his confidence up so much to have friends that loved him enough to help him. They sat in a circle with a bright pink ball and began rolling it to each other. Their laughter and hollers of delight filled the room. Baroness didn’t know if she could be happier than this.
Queen Mummah told her that she would meet with the main saferoom fluffies twice a week to form bonds and get used to routine here at the house. She was always excited to meet up, as she loved all her new friends very much. She immediately felt a bond forming with Honey Blue, and even began to take on a sisterly vibe with Applefluff. Licorice was a bundle of energy, and she loved to play games with him all day! Last but not least, she took the greatest shine to Toothpaste. He was a big, strong, handsome fluffy with beautiful colors and he treated her so nicely! He would be such a perfect special friend! And he would give her beautiful babies too–
However, one of the most important rules of the main saferoom, as taught to her by Honey Blue, was that no special huggies were allowed inside! Asking why only got her a simple answer of “Queen Mummah nu wike spechiaw huggies in safewoom. Speciaw huggies am onwy fow Speciaw Huggies Woom. An’ onwy make speciaw huggies wif an-nee fwuffy dat Queen Mummah say.”
Baroness was so confused about this rule. She understood many other rules of the house, such as no bad poopies, no wasting nummies or no calling other fluffies bad names. But why no special huggies unless Queen Mummah said so? In her head, the mare thought this was utter nonsense. Babies were the best thing ever! How could you have the best thing ever with no special huggies? She thought about her next question as carefully as a tiny fluffy head could. Then she asked, “Hunny Bwue tink Bawoness can ask Queen Mummah bewy nicewy fow speciaw fwiend? Bawoness wiww du anytin’ fow speciaw fwiend…”
Honey Blue frowned. “Nu, Bawoness, nu ask Queen Mummah dat! Queen Mummah be suuu angwy! Fwuffies nebah ask fow speciaw fwend, ebah. Queen Mummah onwy gib fwuffy speciaw fwend wen Queen Mummah say fwuffy am weady.”
Baroness let out her breath she was holding, as if in some hope that Honey Blue would tell her she was just joking, that she could go ask Queen Mummah for a special friend if she wanted to. “Wen Bawoness am be weady fow speciaw fwiend?”
“Wen Queen Mummah say su.” Honey Blue smiled and gave Baroness a friendly hoof pat. “Nu wowwy, Bawoness! If yu be gud fwuffy, Queen Mummah gib wewawd!”
“Wewawd? Wat am dat?”
Honey Blue thought for a moment. “Wewawd am wike a pwesent. Giftie jus’ fow fwuffy!” She grinned. “If Bawoness am gud fwuffy, Queen Mummah mebbe gib speciaw fwiend!”
“Weawwy? Hunny Bwue tink Bawoness can hab wewawd?”
“Yus!” Honey Blue giggled. “Hunny Bwue an’ aww fwuffies wiww teach Bawoness to be pwopah fwuffy!”
“Pwopah fwuffy!” Baroness’s eyes glittered. “Wan be pwopah fwuffy!” So in addition to Queen Mummah’s house training, Baroness now recieved “proper fluffy training” from the main saferoom fluffies as well. When Baroness came for a visit, they would all play for a little while and then proper fluffy training would begin. They taught her many useful things like big words to say so she could sound just like Queen Mummah (and hopefully impress her), how to sit the way the lady thought was prettiest, and of course, tips and tricks for using the Cweanies Pwace. All the main saferoom fluffies informed her that always using the Cweanies Pwace would surely put her in good favor with Queen Mummah. Luckily she always made good poopies and peepees in the litterbox where she was supposed to, aside from the welcome mat incident earlier in the week. She even started helping Applefluff with cleanies, as sometimes he could not get to the litterbox in time. Each fluffy had something to teach and Baroness gave them many nice words of thanks and praise (like Queen Mummah!) for helping her. When she got her new special friend and babies, she planned to bring her family to the main saferoom as often as she could so they could all play together.
A few weeks later, the visits were cancelled. Baroness was sad, but Queen Mummah told her she could see her friends again next week. When she asked why, her owner merely told her that it was a special time for Honey Blue, and then immediately had to leave to tend to said mare, leaving Baroness in the spare saferoom alone. She wondered what Queen Mummah meant by Honey Blue having a “special time.” Resolving to ask the next time she saw her friend, Baroness solemnly but quietly played with toys by herself. Queen Mummah only returned to feed her, and then disappeared again without a trace.
To ease the boredom of waiting, she thought about her new fluffy friends. Everyone was amazing, and each had something about them that she enjoyed very much. Honey Blue was always gentle and knew lots of things. Applefluff was so sweet, that Baroness couldn’t get enough of his enthusiastic way of saying “tank’ou” when she helped him out with the litterbox or anything else he needed. Licorice was funny and did silly things to make the fluffies laugh merrily for hours on end. Then there was Toothpaste. He was so nice and pretty-looking. He helped every fluffy in the main saferoom with anything they needed, even sometimes without asking. Everyone adored him, especially Queen Mummah, so she figured he would be the perfect special friend. ‘Bawoness gonna impwess Queen Mummah, an’ ask fow Toofpaste tu be Bawoness speciaw fwend. Den hab bestesh babbehs ebah!’ she thought with determination.
After a few lonely nights in the spare saferoom, Queen Mummah finally sat and stayed with Baroness as she ate her breakfast. Like her fluffy friends taught her, Baroness sat with as best posture as she could manage while eating andchewed slowly in order to prevent spilling any crumbs on the floor. Once finished, she approached Queen Mummah and said, “Tank’ou fow nummies, Queen Mummah. Bawoness wub yu!”
“You’re welcome, and I love you too, darling. Now, I know it’s been a little while, but are you ready to see your friends today?”
Baroness almost freaked out into happy giggling and hoofsie-taps at the thought of seeing her friends once more. She then remembered something very important that Honey Blue had taught her about Queen Mummah; that she didn’t much care for over-the-top behaviors, especially behaviors that would remind one of a chirpy babbeh. Instead she liked something that Honey Blue called “matuwity,” which meant acting like a proper, calm and collected grown-up, not a foal. The mare took a deep breath and positioned herself in a cute sitting pose for her owner, hooves perfectly together, back straight and chin held high. “Yus, pwease, Queen Mummah. Bawoness wan see bestesh fwiendsies.” Her heart leapt when she saw Queen Mummah’s proud little smile, the only part of her face she could ever see and had ever seen since meeting.
“Very good.” The lady bent down and reached for the mare, to which the fluffy responded by holding up her arms and allowing herself to be picked up. As they walked, Queen Mummah spoke to the pink mare. “Before we go into the saferoom today, you need to know some very important things.”
“Nyu wules?” The mare’s ears perked up. “Bawoness wiww wissen cawefuwwy.”
Queen Mummah nodded. “You must not play rough with Honey Blue for a while. She will be a mother soon, and needs to conserve her strength to give birth and care for her foals properly. She will have special food to eat that will keep her healthy and help her babies grow, and only she may eat that special food. Do you understand?”
“Hunny Bwue am soon-mummah?” At first she was giddy, and then her tiny little fluffy head had something to feel about that, but she ignored it for now. “Hunny Bwue nee’ hewp, Bawoness am hewp. Hunny Bwue am gud fwiend, an’ Bawoness wub aww fwiendsies. Nu num Hunny Bwue speciaw nummies, onwy fow Hunny Bwue an’ tummeh-babbehs.” She looked up at her owner, who was smiling and nodding. Her heart skipped a beat as she said slowly, “Bawoness undastan’. Am gud fwuffy?”
“Yes, darling.” A bigger smile graced Queen Mummah’s lips as she opened the main saferoom and let the pink mare down. “My dearest fluffies! Your friend is here for a visit.” The three male fluffies exploded into greetings, cheers and thanks for Queen Mummah at seeing their friend, and all gathered together for a group hug (Applefluff was being helped by Licorice today). “Have fun today, darlings, and play nice.” All reacted with a proper “yus Queen Mummah!” before she left. Baroness looked around and spotted Honey Blue in a corner that had been set up with soft pillows, blankets and her own personal food bowl and water bottle. She was lying down and singing a mummah song to herself.
“Hewwo gud fwiendsies! Bawoness am su happy tu see ebewyone!” She glanced over to Honey Blue, and then to her friends. “Can Bawoness see gud fwiend Hunny Bwue?”
“Yus! Fowwow Toofpaste,” the big handsome fluffy offered. He led the group over to Honey Blue’s little nest, and Baroness saw that she was way bigger than before, the true telltale sign of being a soon-mummah. “Hewwo Hunny Bwue! Fwiend Bawoness am hewe fow visit.”
Honey Blue smiled and greeted Baroness warmly. “Hewwo Bawoness. Wook! Hunny Bwue am soon-mummah nao!” She cooed happily. “Gon hab su many gud babbehs fow Queen Mummah!”
“Hab biggesh heawt-happies fow Hunny Bwue,” Baroness said, looking on with a little envy in her eyes. “Fwuffy hope gud fwiendsie hab gud soon-mummah time an’ gud babbehs.” She smiled. “Bawoness wiww hewp Hunny Bwue wif anytin’ Hunny Bwue nee’.”
“Tank’ou gud fwiendsie.” Honey Blue looked very happy. “Hunny Bwue gon take cawe of aww babbehs fow Queen Mummah!” Slowly, she rose and gave all her friends a not-so-tight hug and then settled herself back down in her nest, by her food bowl. “Hunny Bwue nee’ speciaw nummies nao. Nee’ make bestesh miwkies fow babbehs.”
“Otay, gud fwiendsie.” Baroness nuzzled her friend’s snout. “Fwiendsies be hewe if Hunny Bwue nee’ anytin’.” As the other four fluffies walked away, Baroness couldn’t help but smell and instantly desire the delicious-smelling soon-mummah nummies that her friend was eating in the corner. The smell reminded her a touch of the scent of skettis, and though she appreciated being fed everyday, she wished she could have more good food like that.
The three stallions and the mare all began a game of dice rolling, with Toothpaste keeping score as he knew how to count all the way to ten, and while she was having fun, her thoughts kept going back to Honey Blue. How happy she was settled in her little mummah nest, eating delicious food and singing to her tummy-babies. She desperately wished for what her friend had, and each passing minute she continued to think about it, the more upset she got. It wasn’t fair! She and Honey Blue were the only mares she knew of that belonged to Queen Mummah, and she could make good babies too! She remembered her friend’s warning, of course: to never ask Queen Mummah for a special friend. She would get one when Queen Mummah said she was ready. Waiting was excruciatingly hard for her, her impatience for what she wanted nearly winning out in the end. She wanted to run, cry and scream and throw a tantrum, and make sorry poopies everywhere. She wanted babies too, and she resolved herself to do anything to get them.
trouble in paradise…?
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