Changing Odds (by Pushka)

Strawberry, a pink unicorn fluffy with a red mane, has recently given birth to five foals in a nest in an old hollowed out tree in the forest.
The firstborn, her “bestest babbeh”, is a vibrant fuchsia alicorn with a royal blue mane like his late father.
The secondborn is a sky blue pegasus with a lime green mane, the thirdborn is a golden yellow unicorn with a hot pink mane, and the fourthborn is a red earthie with an orange mane.
The fifthborn is a light brown earthie with a dark brown mane. He is the runt, and is consequently smaller and less developed than his siblings.

She feeds her foals in order of birth, with her two oldest eating first and the runt eating last.
Though she doesn’t hate or neglect her youngest foal like some other fluffies might, Strawberry doesn’t have high hopes for his survival.
While her other foals are beginning to crawl around and are constantly chirping, the little runt is quiet and hardly moves apart from breathing and nursing.

Due to the untimely death of her special friend, Strawberry must leave the nest periodically to search for food.
Though by no means a genius, she is smart enough to know not to leave her foals alone for too long, for danger lurks in even the calmest of places.

One morning, Strawberry leaves once again to find food to make milk for her babies.
“Nu wowwy, babbehs. Mummah be back bewy soonsies!” she tells them before heading on her way.

She has only been gone for a few minutes when the older four foals, their eyes still closed shut, notice her absence and begin chirping.
After a while, the noise attracts the attention of a local Barred Owl.
Though mostly nocturnal, this species will also venture out and hunt during the day. They often feed upon the hatchlings of other birds, and the chirps of fluffy foals are very similar to the chirps of bird chicks.
The Barred Owl, his sense of hearing just as keen as his sight, is able to pinpoint exactly where the sounds are coming from.
And so he begins his descent, his wings not making a single sound.

“Mum-mah”, the firstborn foal says. His first word, and his last.
Quick as a flash, the owl swallows the wriggling foal whole. He easily spots the rest of the brightly colored foals and gobbles them up as well before taking off just as quickly and silently as he arrived.

Later, Strawberry returns from her foraging as normal.
“Mummah am back, babbehs! Hab bestest nummies fo’ make bestest miwkies!” she gleefully announces.
But her mood quickly plummets when she comes upon the sight of an empty nest.
“Babbehs?! Whewe am babbehs?!”
There is not a single trace of them. It’s as if they’d never even been there.

After frantically looking for them to no success, Strawberry begins to sob upon realizing that her babies are truly gone. “NUUUUUU! AM MUMMAH NU MOWE! HUU HUU HUUU!”

Just then, she hears a tiny, weak chirp from within the twigs and pine straw she’d used to line the nest.
It was the little brown runt! His small size and lethargy, which had previously been a detriment, had ended up saving his life. This, along with his dull brown colors, allowed him to blend in with the nest material and escape the detection of the owl.

“Am mummah stiww!” Strawberry exclaims, immediately rushing over to the little foal and gently placing him on her teat to nurse.
“Wastest babbeh dwink miwkies to gwow up big and stwong!”

After a moment, Strawberry remembers that she hadn’t yet named her foals. With them having been so young still, and with her mind preoccupied with gathering food for them, she hadn’t thought of what to name any of them.
But now, she had the perfect name for her little survivor. It was a word she had heard her special friend use before, which he in turn had learned from his old owner.
“Wastest babbeh namesie am…Wucky!”

And so, the little runt foal now known as Lucky truly had a fighting chance. The odds previously stacked against him had now turned in his favor.

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This story was inspired by a bird’s nest in a tree in my backyard. There were originally four eggs but the mother bird laid one more a day later.

Recently, an owl or some other predator sadly came and ate all the little babies who’d just hatched, but the one late bloomer egg that hadn’t hatched yet remains.
Just like in the story, there was no trace of the babies at all. No feathers or blood or anything.

Hopefully the parents will continue to care for the egg and it’ll survive.

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Also, a quick note:

Though Strawberry did have a bestest babbeh, he wasn’t spoiled and wouldn’t have become a smarty had he lived. He was just the strongest and looked the most like her special friend.

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Nice story hope lucky indeed grow up and with his mother survived.

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I hate seeing bad things happen to babies, whether foals or chicks, but being swallowed whole actually seems like a peaceful way to go, so I’m not too upset. Beautiful work!

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Until they are digested alive, that is.
Or suffocate to death, possibly one of the worst ways to go.

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Trust me, they’ll be asleep by then and won’t feel a thing.

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Somehow I doubt that. But hey, I’m no expert in how calm a blind animal who slides down a wet, warmish tube can actually be.

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I’m trying to stay on the bright side here, please quit crapping on my parade.

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Whatever helps you sleep at night buddy.

But I guess we indeed shifted the focus from the story itself.

Apologies, @Pushka.

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They wouldn’t be asleep but they would most likely be dead by then.

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This is the most likely scenario. Thankfully, it would only take a couple minutes.

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UPDATE: The egg hatched! I’m naming him/her Lucky. :3

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Don’t take this away from me.

Why would they randomly fall asleep?

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Eh, every story I’ve ever found of someone getting swallowed alive has them getting drowsy and unable to fight before being digested. Plus, I like to stay positive and don’t like when people insist on taking that away with cruel comments, so knock it off, all of you!

How do you know any of those stories are true?

And how is a near-instant death a bad thing, anyway? The victim will feel nothing.
The only difference between it and your sleep idea is that your idea is extremely unlikely.

PS: This is my post, so I will not “knock it off”. You are being extremely rude and I don’t appreciate it.

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I just don’t like the idea of babies in pain, and you and A-S seem to be insistently pushing that idea on me. Tell me that’s not the case, and I’ll take it all back.

I’m not pushing shit on you.

Did you even read the part where I said an instant death is painless?

I don’t like the idea of babies in pain either but I’m not going to deny reality because of it, especially if the reality is that they aren’t in pain.

Now stop talking to me in such a manipulative manner.

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“What do you mean ‘manipulative’? I’m doing no such thing. As for the painless death bit, if you’re referring to the comment you made just before mine, I saw it but it seemed to contradict what A-S was saying, so I got confused. If it really is painless, then I’m happy. Sorry for all the fuss. Your work was beautiful, and I shouldn’t have derailed it by focusing on one single point. Can I make it up to you somehow?

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