Jefferson walked into the brightly coloured lobby of the fluffy daycare and sighed. It had been a long day at work, he was finally done, all he had to do was pick up Junior and head home for a night of hot dinner, TV and stress-relieving cuddles and playtime.
He walked up to the front desk and gave his name, but he soon noticed something was wrong. The receptionist usually greeted him with a smile and little stories about what Junior had been up to all day, but this time she just reacted with a blunt ‘Oh.’ and told him someone would be out shortly.
So Jefferson sat down on one of the padded seats and waited patiently, maybe Junior was just busy playing with a ball, or had tripped over his own feet and needed his booboos patched up…
Then the door opened, and Claire came out.
Claire ran the daycare, Jefferson had met her once or twice, usually in passing as he was either dropping off or picking up Junior, but he had never directly spoken with her.
Claire walked straight out the door and towards Jefferson, a confident coolness in her steely grey eyes.
“Mr Jefferson?” She asked. “If you’ll come with me, please, there’s something we need to discuss.”
And without another word, she turned and headed back to the door that led to the staff-only area of the daycare. For the sake of safety, no non-employees or fluffies were allowed beyond the lobby. All paperwork, complaints and finances were handled at the front desk, no exceptions.
Jefferson got up and followed Claire, heading through the door and down a corridor, turning a corner and heading into an office. Claire’s office, he surmised.
She sat behind a desk, and after she gestured for him to do the same, he planted himself on an empty chair opposite. Claire looked at him, no emotion visible on her face, and then she began talking.
“Mr Jefferson, I’m afraid there was an incident today involving Junior.”
“Oh god.” Jefferson whispered, fear gripping his heart. “Is he-”
“Oh, he’s fine, don’t worry.” Claire replied. “That’s not the problem. It might be easier to just start from the beginning.”
Claire took a moment, sighed, and began.
“Earlier today, after lunchtime, when the fluffies had all eaten and used the litterbox, we let them out to play in the playground like we always do.”
Jefferson had seen their indoor playground, there was a large window in the lobby that allowed owners to look in on their pets at play. The room itself was impressive, large in size and filled to the brim with soft toys, padded surfaces, ramps, tunnels, even a small slide and a ball-pit. It was like a child’s nursery, only even safer.
“We let Junior into the playground with all the others, same as usual. We have someone on hand to keep an eye on them at all times, and sure enough, as soon as they were all outside, he spotted it. Junior was…” Claire paused, trying to find the right word. “Hell with it. Junior was trying to rape another fluffy.”
“Rape?!” Jefferson said, startled by the harshness of the word.
“That’s right.” Claire continued. “A young mare by the name of Watermelon. You might have seen her around, with her dark green fur and her bright pink mane. Apparently Junior decided she was all his, and cornered her in the playground.”
“Well, I mean, surely…” Jefferson began, tugging at his collar. “Surely, they’re just animals, aren’t they? They can’t be blamed for their… impulses.”
“They’re not animals, Mr Jefferson.” Claire responded. “They’re bio-engineered toy products. They have brains, they have language, they can understand ‘yes’ and ‘no’. Watermelon said ‘no’, Junior heard ‘yes’. But even if Watermelon had wanted his ‘special huggies’, we wouldn’t have allowed it anyway, that’s a matter for her owner to decide. Regardless, Junior figured he wasn’t going to take ‘no’ for an answer and attempted to force himself on her. That’s when our playground monitor stepped in and pulled him off of her, before anything even managed to happen.”
“Where is he now?”
“Where all bad fluffies go. In our very own sorry box.”
“What?! Is he-”
“He’s fine.” Claire hissed. “Stop panicking, for god’s sake. The sorry box is just a plastic box with air-holes, we could see him at all times and made sure he was safe all day long. Even now, he’s still miserable and won’t stop crying, but he’s alive all the same. But regardless… this is his last day with us.”
“What? Don’t you think that’s a bit harsh?”
“Not at all. See-”
“Well I think it’s very harsh indeed!” Jefferson said, getting angrier by the minute. “I entrust you with the safety of my pet, and you… you mistreat him! You bully him and scare him and potentially traumatise him, and-”
“Shut up.” Claire replied. Jefferson was stunned into silence, and Claire took advantage of the quiet, immediately continuing. “Look, I’m gonna level with you here.” She said, steepling her fingers in front of her face.
“I’m very well aware that you think your fluffy pony is the single most important one that has ever lived. See, a lot of people don’t seem to realise this, but they aren’t the only customer that a business gets. You know all those other fluffies running around in the playground? They actually belong to people, just like you, who also think their fluffy is the most important one who ever lived. At some point or another, you have to realise that your ‘pet’, if that’s what you want to call it, is just one of billions just like it, meaning it gets absolutely no special treatment from anyone else. If I saw any fluffy misbehaving like Junior did, I’d have treated it the same way. Clear?”
“Well, of course, but-”
Claire decided to press on before he could complain again. She had more to say.
“Now, here’s a quick ‘hypothetical’: let’s say someone brings in a stallion, and someone brings in a mare. The two have ‘special huggies’, and go their separate ways. A few weeks later the owner of the mare kicks our door down demanding to know why we let something ‘rape’ her beloved pet, while holding a bunch of blood-soaked newborn foals in her hands.”
Jefferson opened his mouth, but Claire held up a hand. She still had more to say.
“Suddenly the blame is on us. We should’ve watched them better, we should’ve stopped them, we should’ve known the stallion was ‘dangerous’, etc… you know the world we live in, Mr Jefferson. People love to sue over everything, and to their credit, they’ve got a point. People should be taking precautions about these things… so, here at this daycare, we do. We operate on a zero-tolerance policy here, not just for the sake of the fluffies and their well-being, but for our own business and it’s survival. If we see a fluffy pony acting bigoted, arrogant, obnoxious, violent or belligerent, we nip it in the bud right away. They get to sit in the sorry box until they go home, and they never get to come back here again. No more treats, no more playtime, they go home and they stay home, and you, as the fluffy’s owner, can find it another daycare.”
“But-” Jefferson began. Claire again held up a hand, and continued.
“However, we realise that’s not as easy as it sounds. Not every owner has the time to go scouting for safe, reputable daycares, plus some of them are pretty expensive. You’re already a very busy person, clearly. that’s why you’re using a daycare in the first place. Obviously you can’t spend all day looking after Junior yourself, but you also don’t have the time to find a new daycare on the spot. Hell, you might even be tempted to leave the poor creature alone at home while you’re busy during the day… at which point it could easily kill itself on anything from loose TV cables to a dripping faucet. We actually have a pamphlet on how to ‘Fluffy-Proof’ your home, and let me tell you, it’s pretty extensive.”
Jefferson remained silent. Claire liked that. He was learning.
“So we came up with a solution.” She said. “We put together a little thing we call the ‘Best Behavior’ program, in which we take these troublesome, unruly, dangerous fluffies and give them a ‘re-education’, of sorts. We take them away from all the fun and friends, and make sure they know what they did wrong, and why they should never do it again. Sure enough, once the ‘program’ is over, they can rejoin everyone else… as soon as we determine that they’re no longer a threat.”
“Do you hurt them?” Jefferson asked. Claire allowed him to speak. It was a fair question.
“Mildly, yes. Mildly.” She repeated, seeing Jefferson immediately get upset. “Only enough to ensure the lesson sticks. Much the same way that, if you saw a child reaching for a hot stove, you’d slap their hand to make them stay away. Ultimately the fluffies will be the same one you gave to us… they’ll just behave a little better by the end. They might have some mental scars, they might have some new phobias… but I promise you, you’ll thank us for it in the long run.”
“And what if I disagree?” Jefferson said, before Claire could stop him. “What if I don’t want you hurting my pet?”
“First, I would remind you that legally speaking, fluffy ponies are not ‘pets’, they’re ‘property’, and therefore are protected by the same laws as a TV or a car, and you can’t exactly ‘hurt’ a car. But secondly… you’re free to leave at any point.” Claire said, gesturing at the door. “You and your fluffy can leave right now, but you’ll never come back. As I said, we do not allow dangerous fluffies in our daycare, because they’re a threat, both to the other fluffies and, by extension, to our business. It’s a one-strike basis, Mr Jefferson. If your fluffy misbehaves, it’s out and it stays out. Junior has misbehaved, so either he’s out-”
“Or he goes through your program.” Jefferson said.
“That’s right. If you agree to let us give him just enough punishment that he knows not to break the rules again, then we’ll continue to let him stay here for as long as you like. We’ll just brush the entire incident under the rug and nobody will need to think about it anymore. Believe it or not, we don’t do this because we’re sadistic monsters or something. If every fluffy pony was perfectly well-behaved, we wouldn’t have any problems. But they aren’t, and for the sake of our business, we NEED them to be. So either they behave, or they go. If they don’t behave, we’ll force them to. Those are the only options you have here.”
Jefferson thought it over. Claire gave him some time.
On one hand, he didn’t like the idea of fluffy ponies being abused and hurt… but on the other hand, they could be quite spoiled, demanding and difficult. It’s why there was such a market for punishment devices like ‘sorry sticks’ and ‘sorry boxes’ in the first place. They were notoriously difficult to ‘train’.
Plus, as much as he didn’t like Claire and her attitude, he knew she was right. He was busy with work almost every day, he wouldn’t have time to find a new daycare, and in truth, he didn’t trust Junior at home by himself.
“How much will it cost?” He asked.
“What do you mean?”
“The program, the ‘Best Behavior’ thing. How much will it cost me?”
“Oh, nothing. We consider it part of the deal when you agree to let us ‘take care’ of your fluffies. We won’t do it without your permission, but it’s already going to be considered from day one. You won’t need to do anything different, just drop the fluffy off here same as usual, and we’ll handle everything from there. If you want we won’t even tell you when we’re finished with them, some people prefer not to think about it.”
“No, no. I’d… I’d rather know once it’s done.”
“Alright then, Mr Jefferson. Bring Junior by here tomorrow morning, same as usual, and we’ll put him into the Best Behavior program. I promise, the difference will be subtle, but noticeable.”
Jefferson had collected Junior from the sorry box, and he hadn’t stopped crying all the way home. Jefferson had gently probed Junior about why he was in the box in the first place, but Junior was noticably evasive. All he said was something about a ‘dummy mare’, but that was all.
The next day arrived quickly, and Jefferson dropped off Junior at the daycare again. The receptionist was, as before, displeased to see them both, but didn’t say much about it. Jefferson simply dropped Junior off in his carrier, same as usual, and walked out the doors.
As soon as he was gone, Claire’s phone rang.
“Junior’s here”. The receptionist said.
“Perfect.” Claire replied, hanging up with a smile.
She headed through to reception and picked up the carrier, bringing it through the employee-only door, same as usual… but this time taking a left turn, as opposed to the right that led to the playground. She carried Junior’s carrier, as he babbled away about seeing his friends and playing with the toys, same as always… and she brought him into a room Junior had never been in before.
It was dimly lit, with the walls painted black to emphasis the darkness. All that could be seen was a stainless steel table beneath a single, bare lightbulb hanging on a wire, which provided a perfect circle of harsh white light.
The carrier was dropped down on the table with a dull ‘boom’, the door opened, and the entire thing tipped over suddenly, forcing Junior to come tumbling out, landing in a heap on the table. He was a bright orange earth-pony fluffy with a blood red mane. Claire had seen better colours but kept those thoughts to herself.
He picked himself up from the fall and looked around, slightly dizzy, but aware enough to know that this was not the playground.
“Whewe fwiends?” He asked, dimly. “Whewe toysies? Juniow wan pway!”
“Junior, do you remember Watermelon?” Claire asked calmly.
“Ooh! Juniow wub Wawamewon! She pwettiest mawe ebah!”
“Is that so?” She asked. Junior nodded, smiling.
“Yus! Wawamewon vewy pwetty! Juniow wan gib hew speshu-”
The events of the previous day suddenly came rushing back to his tiny fluffy pony brain. The aborted attempt at special-huggies. The sorry box. The long, long, long hours without a single toy, a single friend, or even a single hug.
Junior looked up at Claire, looming over him, and suddenly realised he was in danger.
“So, you like giving ‘special huggies’?” She asked, coldly.
“Uhm… ye-e-es…?” Junior answered, unsure if he should be honest or not, but seemingly deciding it would be for the best. Claire smiled at him, and patted his dainty little rapist head.
“Good boy. Of course you do. Special huggies feel good, don’t they?”
Junior nodded again, smiling, believing he was doing the right thing.
“Yus! Speshuw huggies awe dah bestest!”
“Well, I’m glad to hear that, because I’ve got something very special for you.” Claire said, reaching under the table and grabbing something, which she placed on the table directly in front of Junior.
In the interests of helping pacify particularly randy stallions, Hasbio had begun releasing a fluffy-pony equivalent of something that may be found in various horse farms around the world. In basic terms, a plastic cylinder with a tube at the end, inside which a fluffy stallion could jam it’s miniscule penis in order to get it’s rocks off without any risk of pregnancy occurring (unless Hasbio fucked up big time and somehow gave the cylinder a womb which, frankly, Claire wouldn’t put past them).
Junior looked it over, spying the vertical slit in the cylinder, but not quite being able to work out what it was for. Claire had even gone the extra mile to spray it with a small amount of perfume to help entice him, but apparently the moron needed it spelled out to his ugly little face.
“See, Junior,” She said, pointing at the slit. “This special object is to help you! You can give it special huggies whenever you want to! And the best part is, it can’t say ‘NO’!”
Junior gasped. He looked like Christmas had come early.
“Juniow awways get to gib speshul huggies?! No be bad fwuffy?!”
“That’s right, little guy. You go right ahead,” She gave him a very gentle slap on the rear to nudge him towards the cylinder. “You go to town on that thing, you pound it as much as you want, you really give it all you’ve got!”
Junior needed no further prompting. He leapt forwards, mounting the cylinder and carelessly thrusting his hips against it, jamming his penis into the slit.
“ENF ENF ENF ENF ENF!” He squeaked, slamming into the cylinder. “JUNIOW GIB BESTEST SPESHUL-HUGGIES! DUMMEH FINGY NU CAN SAY ‘NU’!”
For around a minute he humped away at it, grunting and squeaking the entire time, until finally he picked up the pace. Claire was glad he was almost done, she’d started to feel sick watching him violating the cylinder, like he’d tried to do to Watermelon only the day before.
“ENF ENF ENF ENF ENF!” He squeaked, thrusting his tiny hips against the cylinder. “GUD FE-”
He stopped suddenly, his entire body halting, but beginning to tremble, as if the little shitrat was having a seizure of some kind.
Then he shrieked.
"EEP! HUWTIES! NO-NOS HUWTIES! OWIE! OWIE OWIE OWIE!"
He fell backwards, landing on his side and rolling back and forth over the cold metal table, scrabbling at his ‘no-nos’ with his hooves, desperate to stop the searing pain that was tearing through them.
Claire watched, and smiled.
It was simple, really. All she’d had to do was up-end a bottle of hot sauce into the cylinder ahead of time. The horny little monster hadn’t even noticed anything until it was too late, when he had attempted to ejaculate and the hot sauce had poured into his urethra, scorching the insides of his most sensitive area.
“Well, isn’t that a shame.” Claire said, looking down at the mewling brat with absolutely no sympathy in her heart. “Maybe next time you shouldn’t give ‘special huggies’, should you?”
“OWIE! HEWP! MAKE HUWTIES GO 'WAY!” Junior pleaded with Claire, holding out his arms for a hug. Claire ignored his request, and instead simply watched him roll back and forth on the table, whimpering and sobbing to himself, as he fruitlessly tried to ease his agony.
Claire watched him the entire time, making sure the bastard didn’t roll off the edge and get himself killed (not because she cared about him, just that there’d be hell to pay in a formal complaint if he died). Junior spent maybe an hour crying and wheezing in pain, until he finally fell into some kind of sleep-coma, where he wasn’t exactly sleeping, but he wasn’t really awake either, he seemed somewhat stunned by the whole ordeal… but at least he’d stopped complaining at last.
A little later, Junior ‘woke up’ again. He rolled onto his belly and stood up on shaking legs, his entire body trembling after the suffering he’d gone through.
“Juniow hab owies… can hab huggies?” He warbled. Claire glanced up at him from her phone. His eyes were red and puffy from crying, he was shivering all over. If Claire had to guess, he was probably still feeling a sting from the hot sauce. She smirked.
“Sorry, no, I’m busy right now. But if you’re bored, look.”
She pointed back at the cylinder.
“Why not give it ‘special huggies’ again?”
Junior froze, looking at the cylinder. He was still trembling, but Claire began to suspect this was coming from a place of fear as opposed to only pain.
“Nu! Nu wan gib speshul huggies!” Junior cried, covering his eyes with his hooves.
“What’s that?” Claire asked, cartoonishly placing a hand to her ear to hear him better. “I didn’t hear you! Do you want MORE SPECIAL HUGGIES?!”
She grabbed the cylinder and slid it towards him. Junior opened his eyes just in time to see the cylinder of burning pain come shooting towards him, at which point he squealed in fear and waddled away, tripping over his own hooves as he ran, determined to escape from the horrible thing.
“Nu! Nu wan! Nu wan no mowe! Speshul huggies huwties! Gib big owies to Juniow!”
“Oh, gee, that’s strange.” Claire continued. “I’ve never heard of that before. Maybe there’s something wrong with you.”
Junior froze again.
“Wuh-wuh-wwong…?” He whispered.
“Yeah, I think so.” Claire continued. “I think you must be BROKEN. You’re DAMAGED. you’re some kind of… of BAD FLUFFY!”
Junior gasped in horror.
“NU! NU AM BAD FWUFFY!”
“Then what’s wrong with you?!” Claire yelled at him, letting her anger slip to the surface for a moment. “Why don’t you enjoy giving special huggies?! Are you some kind of freak?! Every fluffy pony enjoys that! Except YOU!”
“Nu! Nu am bad fwuffy!” Junior repeated, crying again.
“Then prove it!” Claire demanded, picking up the cylinder and slamming it onto the table again, directly in front of Junior’s tear-soaked face. "You give this thing special huggies again! Right now!"
Junior looked at the cylinder, his tiny mind positively racing.
His special huggies had hurt last time, it was scary… but then again, he’d never had special huggies before… did it always hurt? No, it couldn’t, why would any fluffy do it if it did?!
Junior picked himself up, determined to be a good fluffy, and mounted the cylinder again. He began thrusting, although this time with decidedly less positive enthusiasm and a lot more grim determination.
Once again, after about a minute, he picked up the pace.
“ENF ENF ENF ENF ENF! GU-”
It happened again.
He seized up, shaking, and then fell backwards, howling and wailing in pain.
“HEWP! HEWP JUNIOW! NO-NOS HUWTIES AGAIN! HUWTIES BAD!” He babbled and wailed. Claire just stared at him, bitter and miserable.
“I don’t believe it.” She hissed. “What a disappointment you are. You can’t even handle a simple thing like giving special huggies. You really are a…”
She paused, making sure Junior would hear her over his wailing sobs.
“Nu-hu-hu!” Junior wailed, writhing in torment, both physical and emotional.
“Yes! A bad fluffy! A bad fluffy who can’t give special huggies without it hurting him!” Claire said, driving the point home to his tiny mind. “And if you ever give special huggies again, it’ll hurt you all over again! Understand?”
“No mowe owies! Pwease no mowe owies!” Junior cried. “No-nos huwty so bad! Pwease no mowe!”
Claire took the cylinder away and dumped it under the table again, it’d need a good disinfecting before it could be used again. Then she bundled Junior back into the carrier and hauled him back to the sorry box, where he sat, sobbing quietly to himself, until he seemed to be over the worst of the pain.
He was then placed back in the playground with the rest of his friends, but he was noticably different. His legs still trembled when he walked, he was much quieter than before, and at one point another fluffy bumped into him from behind and Junior landed flat on his stomach, at which point he began howling in pain again, babbling about his ‘nonos’. Evidently there was some lingering sensitivity, but a hug-pile soon put that to rest.
By the end of the day, Junior seemed like his old self again… but not once did he approach a single mare to ask about special huggies. Not a single time did he even approach a mare by himself.
And he avoided Watermelon like the plague.
Claire watched it all from behind the window in the reception area, and smiled.
Another successful case.
Jefferson turned up at his usual time, and noted the receptionist seemed much happier to see him this time. Once again Claire came to collect him, and led him to her office, where they took the same seats as the day before.
“Mr Jefferson, you’ll be pleased to know we have good news.” She began. “I spent the day with Junior in our Best Behavior program, and he’s shown 100% improvement after only one session. Now, we’ll keep an eye on him just to make sure they he doesn’t relapse, or pick up any other kinds of bad habits… but for now, it’s safe to say he’s completed the program, and it’s safe for him to spend time with the rest of the fluffies again.”
“Was he hurt badly?” He asked.
“Only a little.” Claire assured him. “And not even in a permanent way. He’ll have the memories for the rest of his life, but he’ll also never give any unwanted ‘special huggies’ again. Hell, he might not give them at all.”
“Ever. But believe me, he’s still physically capable of reproducing, he hasn’t been neutered or anything like that. He just has no DESIRE to anymore. And when you think about it, this is really for the best, what with the rampant feral populations and all…”
“Alright, alright, I get it.” Jefferson said, sighing. “Can I see him?”
“Of course.” Claire tapped the intercom on her desk, buzzing the receptionist. “Please bring Junior through now.”
One minute later the receptionist entered, carrying Junior in the sorry box. He had been given a tiny meal of kibble and a miniscule amount of water, just enough to keep him alive and absolutely nothing more. He was sore, tired, cramped, sore, hungry, thirsty, and most of all, SORE. His eyes were clamped shut and he was sniffling quietly, he didn’t even realise his owner was in the room.
Claire held a finger to her lips and mouthed ‘watch this’ at Jefferson.
“Hey Junior.” She said brightly. “You wanna give Watermelon some special huggies now?”
The reaction was instantaneous.
“NU! NU! NU WAN! NU WAN GIB SPESHUL HUGGIES! PWEASE NU! NU NU NU!” Junior wailed and shrieked, shaking his head wildly as tears and snot flew from his tiny fuzzy face. Jefferson watched, stunned. He’d had to punish Junior a few times in the past, but afterwards he’d just sulked and eventually gotten over it. He had no idea what had been done to him, but whatever it was, it seemed like he would never willingly mate with another fluffy in his life.
Claire pulled a small blanket out from a desk drawer and draped it over the sorry box, plunging Junior’s world into darkness as he quietly 'huhuhu’d to himself.
“You can take him home now, Mr Jefferson, and feel free to bring him back tomorrow. But rest assured, if he has any behavioral problems at home that could become an issue for us, let us know as soon as possible, we’ll make all the arrangements like before.”
As the daycare closed for the day, Claire sat back at her desk, proud of her work for yet another day.
Fluffy ponies were hard-wired to want to listen to their owners, because they wanted to be ‘good fluffies’ for them. One of the worst things a fluffy could hear was ‘you are a BAD fluffy’. Even arrogant, obnoxious ‘Smarty’ types could be broken by simply being called ‘bad’, it was the way their brains had been constructed and programmed. Being called a ‘bad fluffy’ was worse than death. It was instinctive.
But the thing is, instinct doesn’t teach. It reacts, but it doesn’t teach. Any fluffy can be called bad and feel miserable about it, but they won’t know why they were called bad, nor what they should do to be better fluffies, unless taught as such.
If a fluffy shits on a rug and you say ‘bad fluffy’, they won’t know what specifically they did that was bad. Was it because they’d shit on the rug? Or because they hadn’t shit enough on the rug? Were they supposed to piss on the rug too? Or vomit also? Simply saying ‘bad fluffy’ didn’t communicate anything, hence why so many domestic fluffies had behavior-related problems, most were being punished without fully realising what they had done wrong.
And so the ‘Best Behavior’ program had been born.
Unruly, disobedient, obnoxious, disgusting fluffies would be taken aside, given some kind of Pavlovian stimulus to associate with their negative behavior, and informed that they are a bad fluffy as a result. They’d eventually connect the two dots (some taking longer than others), at which point they’d finally associate their misbehavior with being ‘bad’, and behaving correctly with being ‘good’. Then you make the lesson stick with negative reinforcement: the pain.
The hotsauce in the mating cylinder, scorching Junior’s insides when he tried to violate it. Now, every time he felt the urge for ‘special huggies’, his mind would snap back to that day, and the scorching, searing, blistering pain he felt coursing through his microscopic dick.
No matter how much his biological compulsions told him to mate, Junior never would, Junior never could. Because he would always remember the pain he had felt when he had tried, and he would remember that he was a ‘bad fluffy’ for it.
Claire smiled to herself.
She was proud of her work indeed.