You’re a fluffy mummah. You have biggest owies and biggest heart-hurties.
Daddy has owned you since you were a foal. A little later, he got Boogie, your special friend. Daddy isn’t a very nice daddy. He gives you owies and then laughs at you. He makes you and Boogie eat your own poopies. Sometimes even if it’s good poopies in the litter box. He gives you nummies, then takes them away and lets you have tummy owies all night long. Sometimes for days and days at a time. Daddy took away your pretty wingies and made you eat them when you whined about having tummy owies. He also broke off Boogie’s pointy part and put it in Boogie’s poopie place. Boogie couldn’t make poopies for days, and when he finally did he had lots of boo-boo juice with it. Boogies pointy part went in the litter box with the poopies and he wasn’t a pointy friend anymore. You weren’t a wingie friend anymore either.
But it wasn’t all bad. You had Boogie to play with and keep you company, though you had to be quiet and hope daddy didn’t see you whenever he was at home, or he’d give you bad owies. You didn’t like the mean things daddy did to you, but it was tolerable as long as you had Boogie.
Then Boogie gave you special hugs and you got the baby feeling in your tummy. You tried extra hard not to make daddy angry at you so he couldn’t hurt your tummy babies, and whenever daddy got angry at you, brave Boogie would distract him and daddy would give him bad owies instead. You felt so bad for Boogie, but you knew he did it because he loved you and your babies.
Daddy finally found out you were having babies though. You hoped he would be happy and like your babies. And maybe he wouldn’t be such a meanie daddy when he saw what a good mummah you were.
Daddy got angry though. You didn’t understand why. Boogie kept trying to distract daddy whenever he got angry, but it worked less and less, and daddy started giving you bad owies again. You learned to live with the tummy owies and not ask daddy for more nummies for your babies; it just made him angry. Boogie gave up most of his nummies so you could have enough for the tummy babies; you still had tummy owies and you knew you didn’t have enough nummies for your babies, but you didn’t complain. Boogie was a good special friend, and you didn’t want to hurt his feelings because you were still hungry after he shared his nummies.
You gave birth to your babies and Boogie helped you deliver them, clean them, and name them all. You were sure that once daddy saw your pretty babies, he would love them and be nice to them. You hoped he would be nicer to you and Boogie too, but it would be ok if he just loved the babies and not you. It would be tolerable, as long as he loved the babies.
But daddy didn’t love the babies. He got mad at you for having babies on his carpet; but there was nowhere else to go! He gave you bad owies, and Boogie didn’t even hesitate; he took the owies for you. He gave daddy sorry poopies so he would stop hurting you and hurt him instead. Daddy hurt Boogie. When he was done, he threw what was left of Boogie into the trash. All you had to remind you of Boogie was your babies and the red stain on the wall where daddy smashed Boogie over and over after he saved you. And the stain was too high for you to reach and give huggies.
You had the worstest chest hurties. You missed Boogie, badly. But it was tolerable. You had your babies. As long as daddy didn’t hurt your babies, you could put up with the owies and chest hurties. You could put up with a daddy who was meanie and didn’t love you. For your babies.
But daddy still didn’t love your babies. He yelled mean things at them when they chirped too loudly, and you tried to keep them quiet, but they needed miwkies. Daddy didn’t give you enough nummies to make good miwkies for your babies, and you asked him for more. He gave you less. Your babies had bad tummy owies and chirped more and more, and daddy got angrier and angrier. You followed Boogie’s example and distracted him from your babies whenever it looked like he would hurt them. You made him give you owies instead. It was ok. It was tolerable, as long as he didn’t hurt your babies.
But then one of your babies made bad poopies on the carpet when you weren’t looking, and daddy found it before you had a chance to clean it up. He hurt your baby.
You couldn’t tolerate it anymore. You finally ran away. You took your chirpy babies and ran away.
It was so long ago, you barely remember, but you remember the place where daddy found you. You remember your mummah, and where you and she lived. If you could take your babies there, they would be safe. They would be safe, and daddy couldn’t hurt them again.
But you weren’t sure where it was. You only dimly remembered the landmarks you passed, just once, so long ago. You have to try. You have to try. For your babies.
And that’s why you’re walking now. Your hoofsies have the worstest owies, and you’re so tired, and the sun is so hot, but you keep walking. You have to find the place where your babies will be safe from daddy.
Your babies. They’re chirping, chirping for love, and huggies, and miwkies. They sound so weak now. You stop to rest and set your chirpy babies in a little fluff pile and try to nurse them. The first two suckle your teats desperately, and it gives you bad chest hurties to see how weak they are. After a few seconds, the babies spit out your miwkie pwaces and chirp desperately. Oh no. You don’t have any miwkies. You’re the worstest mummah. Your babies are so weak and have the worstest tummy owies, and you can’t even give them any miwkies at all.
“S…sowwy, babbehs. Mum… mummah sowwy. Nu… haf… miwkies fo… babbehs. Mummah nu haf… nummies… to make… miwkies… in so… wong. Bu… dun wowwy, babbehs. Mummah know whewe yoo be safe. Mummah get yoo thewe. Stay stwong, babbehs. Mummah… mummah hewe.”
Getting your second wind, you put your poor babies on your back and start walking again. It’s so hot. And your hoofsies hurt so badly; you can hardly walk, but you force yourself. You make yourself go on. You have to save your babies.
You blink and wonder why you’re laying down. This isn’t nappies time! You wobble back to your feet, cringing at the owies in your hoofsies, collect your babies from where they fell, and put them on your back again. And you keep walking.
You blink and get up again two more times. You feel terrible. You have worse owies than daddy ever gave you. But it’s still better than what happened to Boogie, and you know if you go back to daddy he’ll just hurt your babies. You have to keep going. You can tolerate the owies, so long as you can save your babies.
Panting, convinced you can’t take another step, you keep going. One hoof in front of the other. Again. And again. And again. You can’t take another step, but you do. You do, again and again and again. You’re too busy watching your hoofsies take steps you know you can’t take, and not looking where you’re going. You bump your head into something.
You look up and see it. There it is! This is it! This is where you and mummah lived before daddy took you! Your babies will be safe here! If only you can get them inside! You call for help, but your voice is weak and your throat scratchy. You pound on the door with your hoofsies, trying to get inside. Your babies! They need help! They need to get inside!
You’re Erica, the receptionist at the local fluffy shelter. Hearing a funny tapping on the glass door to the lobby, you glance up and then leap to your feet in horror. There’s a fluffy outside, scrabbling at the door and leaving smears of blood all over the glass.
“JOHN! JOHN, GET IN HERE, NOW!”
You run to the door and John, one of the vets that works at the shelter, comes running right behind you.
“Oh my gosh! This isn’t one of ours, is it?”
“I don’t know! Steven! Steven, get the crash cart!”
You kneel down next to the fluffy and examine it.
“Geez, this thing’s a mess! Long-term malnutrition, I can see its ribs through its fluff… all four hooves are ruptured; either it fell a good ways and landed on its feet, or it walked a long way. No recent injuries to the legs, so I’m guessing the latter. Severely dehydrated. Evidence of repeated trauma over a long period. John, I don’t think she’s gonna make it.”
“Let me at her. Steven, hand me the stethoscope!”
The purple and green fluffy (she vaguely reminds you of Barney) had collapsed when you opened the door, but she stirs now.
“B-babbehs! Safe babbehs! Pwease… safe babbehs!”
“Babies? Oh geez, John, she’s got foals with her!”
“I know. Check them out, I need to stabilize her. Steven, hand me the water bottle, quick. Her teats are totally flat, she hasn’t had milk for days.”
“Ba… babbehs! Babbehs! Mummah… mummah wuvs…”
“Shit! I lost her.”
You vaguely notice John pressing two fingers against the fluffy’s chest, the fluffy version of CPR. It’s essentially the same technique used for infants. You’re busy checking over the foals.
“Ok, filly, definitely dehydrated and malnourished, but still breathing. Not responding to stimuli. Steven, get her hooked up to a water drip and call the veterinary room, we need formula and some life-saving, yesterday! Ok… little filly. Doesn’t look like this one made it. Damn. Little colt, alive and wiggling, but just barely. Another filly, she’s got her eyes open and chirping! Good girl, hang in there! Another colt… oh. Oh no. John. JOHN.”
“I’m busy! C’mon momma, breathe!”
“John… he glued the baby’s anus and urethra shut. He glued them shut. This baby’s been dead for days. What kind of sick monster would do that to a defenseless little… Oh, God, why?!”
“Keep it together, Erica! Steven, get those foals inside and get somebody working on them, now! C’mon momma, breathe! Breathe, dammit! Breathe!”
You’re John. You’ve had a long fucking day. You take a drag off your cigarette, notice half of it is ash now, and toss it on the pavement. You feel like shit. You get on your feet and stare at the blood smeared all over the glass of the shelter door. Out of some morbid curiousity, you follow the trail of bloody hoofprints down the sidewalk, wondering how far the desperate mother had come and what had driven her to go to such lengths to save her babies. How had she known to come here?
The trail of bloody hoofprints is easy to follow; there’s ample blood on the pavement. You can see where she collapsed several times and got up again; judging from the amount of blood pooled at each location, she probably laid there for quite a while each time she passed out.
You follow the trail for six blocks before the bloody hoofprints become too faint to follow any longer. This is the point where she rubbed her feet raw and ruptured her hooves then. Six blocks is a long damn way for a fluffy to travel in a single stretch, and she did that after she had walked far enough for her hooves to… Geez. What could drive a fluffy, normally so pathetic and ready to give in, to such lengths? What could motivate her to keep going, when going any further would cripple her for life and give her excruciating, unbearable pain every step she took?
You turn around and walk back to the shelter, following the fluffy’s bloody trail the whole way back. Looking at it… something inside you feels awful. You’re not sure what you’re feeling.
You head inside the shelter and head to the vet’s office in the back. You pat Erica on the shoulder as you pass, but she doesn’t notice you. She’s sobbing into her desk.
You push open the door to the vet’s office and nod at Steven to acknowledge his greeting. You check on the foals.
Two fillies and a colt made it. They’re severely malnourished, badly dehydrated, and it’s still touch-and-go, but they should hopefully survive. If they survive the night, you know their odds of survival will increase by 50%. One wiggles, feebly pushing at the feeding tube going down its throat with one tiny hoof, but the other two are unresponsive. You look over at the two foals that didn’t make it, lying on the same tray as their mother. You know it’s stupid, but you gently stroke her mane, feeling her cold and stiffening body through the fluff. You keep stroking her, looking at her.
And then it hits you. You know why she kept going.
“You did good, momma. You did good. They’re safe now. You saved your babies.”
You have to go into the bathroom so the other vets don’t see you cry.