Favored Child: By Stwumpo

Once upon a time, in a big warm housie, there lived three brothers. One was a big red unicorn babbeh, plump and coddled by his mummah’s owner. Then there was his overactive green wingie brudda, he’d been a dancie babbeh for mummah’s milkies growing up. Finally there was the brown babbeh. Muddy blotchy brown fluff with a radioactively green mane and tail, he was the least favored child.

Not by Princess though. She did what she could. She had no front legs, and her mouth was sewn shut. She was fed through a tube by her owner, who did all the parenting while Suzie was allowed to cuddle and feed them. She couldn’t play with them. Couldn’t really play anymore anyway. Certainly couldn’t talk to them. Couldn’t object when Meanie Mummah is worstest meanies to her good babbehs. She’s always so cruel to the little brown babbeh! She wants to name him Pretty Chocolate Flower because he’s pretty and flowers are pretty and chocolate is brown and she loves her babbehs so much.

None of her kids have names. They name themselves.

Bestest Babbeh lords over Good Brudda and Dummeh Brudda. He eats more than they do. She feeds the babbehs, and she forces them to all eat equally. But every day Meanie Mummah feeds her so much nummies that she makes too much milkies! Meanie Mummah pumps it out and steals all the milkies once the babbehs have eaten. Princess doesn’t mind all that much, since her milkie places still hurt when her babbehs are fed.

But she sees. She sees mummah feeding the babbehs other meals. She feeds the red babbeh twice as much as the blue babbeh. She never feeds the brown babbeh. He only eats when Princess feeds him. If mummah is in the room and his two brothers have both had their fill but the brown babbeh is still drinking, meanie mummah takes him away! He doesn’t even get enough milkies!

Because of this, he’s smaller. His brothers aren’t so much mean to him as they are brutally dismissive of his wants, needs, interests, feelings, well being, or safety. Mummah is mean. She’s been encouraging Bestest Babbeh to be mean, too. It makes him visibly uncomfortable, but every time he does it he’s a little more confident.

He calls his brother all sorts of things. Sometimes mummah gets him to just stand there yelling abuse and insults. He’s given rewards the longer he goes and the meaner he is. It’s so obvious what mummah is doing, and she wants to warn Wingie Babbeh. But she can’t. Poor Littlest Babbeh just has to take it and cry. She can’t even give him huggies or sing a mummah song.

“Dummeh Bwudda! Ou nu am gud babbeh an das wai ou wook wike poopies! Mummah onwy gib miwkies tu gud babbehs! Dummeh poopy bwudda onwy get wowstest miwkies fwom Dummeh Mummah. Nu gud miwkies. Onwy poopiest miwkies fow dummeh bwudda!” The blue one is getting into it today. He’s hollering general approval and bucking because he’s so hyped. Poor brown babbeh is curling up and sucking his hoof, sobbing.

“Huuuu bwudda nu wub mummah miwkies? Wai bwudda awways dwink aww miwkies den? Babbeh awways hab tummeh owwies! Nee miwkies!” He’s heartbroken. He’s only a little baby! He just needs love and huggies and a little milkies but he can’t get any of them.

Meanie Mummah clearly enjoyed it. She enjoyed doing it in front of Princess. Half the time she said something meanie or got the other babbehs to hurt the little brown babbeh, she just turned and stared at Princess. It made Princess so sad, but her mouth was sewn shut with only a tube coming out. Trying to make noise hurt too much.

At night her babbehs slept in a nice warm bed while Princess slept sitting up in the corner where she fed her babbehs. If she was lucky, meanie mummah bothered to unhook her harness from the wall so she could slump over a bit. Tonight she was not lucky. It didn’t support any weight, merely made it so she couldn’t slump or relax in a way that would move her swollen milkie places. Her sore backside still sat up on hard tile flooring.

She felt a foal latch. Sometimes the babbehs would try in vain to feed at night. Princess wanted to feed them so bad but Meanie Mummah always took all her milkies away. She ran the loud scary milkie stealing monster for so long that Princess had really sore milkie places all the time! But she heard the unmistakable whimper of her adorable brown foal.

He had a limp from some stompies his brothers gave him, when he moved his right front weggie, he cheeped a little from the hurties. It made Princess sad, but she was happy that her favorite babbeh was here. Not that she has a favorite! She chases that thought away quickly. No bestest babbeh! All babbehs are bestest babbehs! Dummeh mummah was wrong!

Her son found her milkless, and settled on giving her huggies instead. She felt him crying, and she cried too. He sat back and looked up at her, eye to eye.

“Du mummah wub babbeh? Babbeh su wonewy an…an…an udda babbehs awways pick on babbeh an caww babbeh dummeh babbeh an wowstest babbeh an teww babbeh am poopy dummeh hu git hoofies an wick aww da poopies!” He’s hot under the collar, just like his siblings. She can’t comfort him.

“Babbeh…babbeh sowwy, nu mean tu howwew wike dat bout meanie bwuddas an scawy wady. Babbeh jus wan knu if mummah wub babbeh? Nubuddy wub babbeh…pwease wub? Mummah?” He tugged pleadingly at her tummeh fluff and cried, loud enough to be heard. Across the room, this was noticed.

“Hu bein woud? Bestest babbeh nu can hab sweepies cuz tuu woud aww da time! Gunna gib kickies! Wingie bwudda! Tiem fow kickies! Nu mowe sweepin, dummeh!” Not long before they’d be here. They didn’t like catching him like this. He just sobbed, not trying to hide it. Begging.

“Pweeeease mummah! Pwease teww wub babbeh? Babbeh wub mummah! Jus wan wub! Eben onwy widdwe bit!” He was hysterical as his brothers drew near. "Dummeh chiwpie nu be su woud! Ou gunna hab su manneh owwies!" Princess squirms frantically. Her babbeh doesn’t know she loves him. Her babbeh doesn’t know she loves him. The others assume she does, which is true. The big one seems to resent her for it, which she doesn’t understand at all.

They were here. “Dummeh poopie! Ou twy tu steaw miwkies fwum babbehs? Miwkie fief! Miwkie fief!” At the mention of “milkie thieves” wingie babbeh started running around in circles, going “Weeeeooooo weeeeeeeooooo” and occasionally stopping to jump. Bestest kicks him, pretty hard actually.

“Shaddup! Tuu woud! Nu hewp by bein mow woud!” He walks over to the little brown colt. “Wai ou yewwin bout dummeh nu weggie mummah?” He looked up, half shocked he wasn’t just getting kicked or screamed at. “B…babbeh wan knu mummah wub…an…an wan ask mummah…” This was met with laughter from the blue foal, who was of course screamed at for being too loud.

Big babbeh started kicking Princess in her milkie place. It didn’t hurt too much, and he was clumsy and doofy about it, mostly just glancing blows. But to a babbeh it may as well have been Kung Fu. “Dummeh poopy! Wook at dis! Hnf! N…nya! Ou see dat! Babbeh gunna du dat tu ou in wittwe bit!” He continued quietly bapping at her teat. Brown babbeh was terrified. His brother looked so powerful and cool, and his kickies were so vicious and fast. He was sure he’d be killed immediately. "Hng! Wook at babbeh gu! Babbeh onwy gettin stawted stiww! Babbeh jus wawmin up!" Princess needed to find a way to comfort her quivering son.

She pushed with all her breath and tried to ignore the pain in her diaphragm to produce a hum. A tonal hum. To hum the only song every single fluffy, no matter how big or small, knows by heart. Knows and can never mistake.

As he starts to hear it, brown babbeh perks up. He starts scrambling, trying to climb his mother. His tears are now celebratory. “Babbeh wub mummah! Mummah wub babbeh! Mummah wub babbeh! Babbeh hab wub! Babbeh am wubbed!”

Surprisingly it was wingie babbeh who butted in, pulling him off of her and dragging him to the ground. He’d hugged her. He’d felt love. She knew he’d felt it. She’d felt it. But wingie babbeh objected. "Dummeh! Mummah nu wub nuffin cuz am onwy dummeh miwkies mummah! Ou jus su dummeh dat nubuddy wike ou, an ou fink dummeh miwkie mummah gunna wub ou cuz am onwy fing in whowe wowd dummeh den ou!" He kicked the poor crying babbeh in his snout, drawing a little blood. Bestest, genuinely shocked by this display of what he felt was extreme violence, tried to regain control.

“Yeah! Das…das wite! Ou teww dummeh poopy!” The sobbing brown foal was retreating towards Princess. “Huuuu meanie bwuddas! Babbeh nu wan bodda nubuddy! Jus wan wub!” The burly red unicorn blustered about in response. “Nu! Nubuddy wub dummeh! Shaddup an gu way!” The cornered colt finally snapped a bit.

"Gu whewe? Am onwy babbeh! Nu can eben wun way! Am tuu smaww! Tuu smaww cuz dummeh meanie bwuddas an scawy wady nebba gib babbeh nuff miwkies!" His voice was cracking, he was sobbing so hard. He couldn’t hit anyone but he could scream. He could get that out before breaking.

Bestest was characteristically unimpressed. He started kicking, and after a few floppy blows, his brother was begging for mercy. None was provided. The eternal joke about fluffies is that they’re fragile but harmless, so what are they to each other? Of course it’s not always that simple, but often with foals the question is “what happens when an extremely resistable force encounters a super movable object?”

Bestest kicked. And kicked. And stomped. And panted. And kicked. And stomped. And bit. And stomped. Each blow did tiny amounts of damage, but his stamina was just limitless it seemed. He’d get winded but not worn out. Meanwhile the damage was stacking up. For minutes at a time this happened. He was kicking his brother against Princess and she could feel him giving out.

His brother had been hammering on his hindquarters for a while now. His tail was broken and his poor wumps had been hit a lot, but the worst was his legs. His back legs seemed…too close together? It was hard to tell from this angle.

“Pwease…babbeh sowwy…jus nu mowe kickies…tuu manneh owwies aweddy…” The red babbeh stopped mule kicking him and came around so their noses were touching, his wounded brother having rolled on his side in defeat.

“Dummeh. Poopy nu teww babbeh wat du. Babbeh gib kickies tiww babbeh dun!” He resumed kicking, but he didn’t go back to his brother’s big foofy butt. He was kicking him in his wobbly delicate head. Wingy brudda was a little cross at this. “Bwudda? Dummeh poopy hab enuff, wet’s gu sweepies.” Bestest was undeterred, not even stopping as he rebuked his brother. “Babbeh nu dun wif stompies!” A few kicks later, there came a screech. It was unlike any sound he’d made to that point, the gutteral scream of an animal that believes it is about to die. It sends chills down the spines of all in the room. Two rooms over, meanie mummah continues sleeping, but her dreams take a darker and more upsetting turn. She will not sleep well tonight.

The two bullies retreat to their nest so fast they may as well have left cartoon smoke trails. Princess could feel her brown babbeh breathing. He would live. She tried to hum again, despite the pain. But her throat had been hurt badly making that screech. She’d timed it perfectly with one of the stomps to match his surrender-peeps and it had worked. But she couldn’t make a sound.

She didn’t need to. Her babbeh, sobbing and covered in bruises, had finally managed to climb her fluff onto the part of her tummeh that flattened out because the wall mount was too low. It made Princess’ back hurt, bit tonight she didn’t mind it. Her babbeh was asleep on her tummeh. Tomorrow may be a nightmare. They may both die.

But she can hear her babbeh humming in his sleep, and they both know they are loved.

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In theory they will never have love, and more so because their owner will never love them