“Gud bwite-time, babbehs!” Paprika said to her chirpy foals. “Weady fow miwkies?”
The six babies all started chirping and peeping with excitement. Mixed in were happy exclamations of “Mummah!” and “Miwkies!”
The chirpy litter, now eyes open and the first whisps of manes and tails growing in, scooted their way to their mother’s teats to feed.
The conjoined twins were still wobbly and didn’t understand how to coordinate all six of their legs. Cloudberry was on hand, or hoof, to help them. She gently lifted their rear with her mouth “Upsies, babbehs!”, and helped them make their way to their breakfast.
Fed and happy, Mustard called the chirpy babies over the snuggle up under his fluffy while Paprika ate her morning meal.
“Fawk 'ou, Mustawd! Am gud daddeh! Gib Papwika bestest hewp!”
She devoured her morning oatmeal, and went to snuggle up to mustard and the chirpies.
Cloudberry loved spending time with the new babies. She was a little sad that Paprika and Mustard couldn’t spend as much time with her, but she was a big sister now. She was very proud of that and she knew that good big sisters didn’t get angry at babies. They were only little babies! They couldn’t help that they needed extra love and hugs.
“Cwoudy am gud sistah! Hewp mummah wots. Wub Cwoudy. Vewy pwoud!”, Paprika told her adopted daughter.
Cloudy didn’t expect the sudden praise, but she was overjoyed to receive it.
“Cwoudbewwy wub mummah! An’ wub babbehs! Babbehs need bestest huggies an’ miwkies. Cwoudy unna’stan’ babbehs am wots ob workies. Cwoudy wan’ help mummah be bestest mummah!”
Mustard smiled at Cloudberry. “Cwoudbewwy wiww be gud mummah some bwight-time!”
Cloudy looked shocked. “Weawy? Daddeh fink Cwoudy wiww be gud mummah?”
“Daddeh suwe. Cwoudy am gud fwuffy. Wub babbehs. Help mummah. Hewp Dee Dee. Help Fwowence. Cwoudy hab biggest heawt.”
Cloudberry was overjoyed! Any lingering sadness and loneliness disappeared. Her parents thought the world of her! No taking it easy now. Cloudy knew she had to keep working hard, to be the best fluffy she could be. There was no way she would disappoint her parents, or Dee Dee.
“OK Florence, bring me those sheets from the printer.”, Nikki instructed her nurse fluffy.
Florence dutifully walked down the hall to the copier, up the step ladder to the paper tray, and carefully picked up the sheets with her teeth. She carried them back to Nikki in the med bay, who took them from the offering fluffy.
“Good work, Florence.”
“Fank 'ou, doctuh.”
“Hmm. OK, well this confirms it. But what a bizarre circumstance.”
“Whut dat, doctuh?”, Florence asked.
“Uh, this might be a little complicated for you but… eh, what the hell.”
Florence climbed up her med bay step ladder and sat on her rump to listen to Nikki’s explanation. Florence was fully aware she wasn’t going to understand what Nikki was about to tell her. That didn’t matter. Florence was clever enough to know Nikki HAD to tell somebody, and everybody else in the office was busy at the moment. So, Florence would do what any good nurse fluffy would do, and helped her ‘patient’.
“Fwowence am hewe to wisten!”
“I appreciate that, girl. OK, so the conjoined baby, the double baby that Paprika had a couple weeks ago.”
“Yus! Babbeh am gud an’ stwong! Nu wawkies gud, but hab gud vitaws.”
“You know, I need to remember to give you more credit. Yes, their vitals are good. They are overall healthy. But that’s not the weird part. The weird part is that they are genetically identical, but each of them has different body features. You saw one has a horn and the other wings?”
“Fwowence wemembah when doubew babbehs come fwom tummeh, dey hab same… kaw-ak-tew-is-tiks. But hawf am pointy an’ hawf am wingie.”
“You got it. And these results show why. Those babies, or maybe that baby, is? are?.. whatever. They are an alicorn!”
“Am wingy pointy babbehs?”
“Yup. They split in the womb, and each got one of the characteristics of an alicorn. Individually they look like a pegasus merged with a unicorn. But they are collectively one alicorn.”
“Doctuh figguw out why dat happen?”
“No idea. This is new ground. I’ll be sharing the data I have with as many researchers as I can, though. I think this was likely a fluke. But it’s still bizarre.”
“Babbeh am diffewent, bu’ babbeh am gud babbeh.”
“Yes, they are still a good baby.”
Dee Dee heard her phone buzzing on her desk.
“Oh! A text from Jolene!” She said aloud to herself. “Ok, let’s see he–”
Opening the attached picture Dee Dee looked at the beautiful chirpy foals Jolene had sent her. Two earthies and an alicorn. One with a full body leopard pattern and an emerging blue mane and tail. The other bright red, with a pink heart mark on her thigh, and color matched strands of mane and tail growing in. Dee Dee hit the dial button. The alicorn was mint green, with an already grown mane and tail!
Jolene picked up the phone, and before she could say anything…
“Where did you find them!?”, Dee Dee demanded.
“Alley behind a bar, right along the river. Momma looked designer.”
“Yup, past tense. Run in with a bicycle while being a bitch.”
“Figures. What do you want to do with them?”, Dee Dee asked.
“Well, I’m keeping the alicorn. I paid that mare good potatoes for her. Literally. Not my fault she was stupid and got herself killed.”
“I mean, yeah. Look at her. Who wouldn’t keep her.”
“They other two I was going to make a charitable donation to Little Miracles. You can adopt them out and collect what I expect to be a significant adoption fee.”
“Are you serious? You’ll just give them to us to adopt out? Those two are worth thousands of dollars each.”
“I figured. But you are doing a good thing, and I don’t really have the patience to weed out abusers.”
“Jolene, you are my eternal friend. I’ll bring receipts. You can at least claim them as an actual charitable donation.”
“Fair. I’m always down for a tax deduction.”
Dee Dee thought she heard the muffled sound of a fluffy trotting in to the room and a familiar voice.
“One sec, Dee Dee. What’s up fire butt?”
Unable to hear the other half of the conversation, Dee Dee waiting for Jolene.
“Ah mean, that’s sweet of you to want to help nurse the babies Cayenne, but you aren’t putting out milk. Do you want to hold the bottle for them like you did with Creamsicle?”
Dee Dee chimed in. “Do I hear Cayenne asking to nurse chirpies? Because I can help with that. Remember the Milky Mare kibble I give Paprika and the milk mares? How about I drive down tomorrow with a few bags. That’ll get Cayenne making milk no problem. And it will let me pick up the chirpies. And… uh… well there’s one other thing I wanted to discuss with you.”
“I mean, that would be great, but what are you haw’ing about?”
“Well, we’re sort of going to be neighbors.”
“So, you know that giant piece of land behind your house? The one that’s currently all cover crops and roaming feral herds?”
“You seem surprisingly familiar with midstate rural property.”, Jolene said flatly.
“I kinda sorta bought it. All two hundred acres.”
“OK, you’ll have to fill me in tomorrow. See you around lunch time?”
“Sound good, Jolene. Love ya’, hun.”
“Your the best, Dee Dee.” Jolene replied, and hung up her mobile.
“Holy shit!”, Dee Dee said aloud. “Jolene is an absolute champion. I need a wall of honor just for that donation of foals alone…”
Scott walked in. “Hey boss, you look happy today. What’s up?”
Dee Dee showed Scott the picture of the chirpies Jolene had sent her.
“Jolene is donating these two to us. She found them in an alley. Product of a dead bitch designer mare.”, Dee Dee said.
“Dang, those two are going to get snapped right up!”, Scott replied.
“Oh yeah. And I let her know that we’re buying that plot of land behind her house. Though I’ll have to let her know we’re buying a lot more than that when I head down tomorrow to pick these two up.”
“Oh, bringing them back already? Cool!”
“Yeah. Paprika has her hands full with her litter, so I was going to see if Joanna would be willing to nurse these two. Her babies have only been weened for a little while, and I think she misses giving milk and taking care of babies. This would be good for her. And Jaime can help raise them, too.”
“I think they’d like that. Gonna go ask them now?”
“Yeah, might as well. I’d prefer to have a ready-to-go mare for tomorrow, and I’ll need to start somebody on the Milky Kibble today to get the milk flowing.”
“Sounds good. Want to forward me that picture? I’ll get them posted on the site and the various social media platforms to drum up interest. And yes, I’ll put a note that they won’t be available until they are fully weaned.”
“Sure!”, Jolene replied. She forwarded the photo to Scott in an email as she made her way to Jaime’s safe room.
Knocking on the door, Jaime and Joanna looked up and smiled in greeting. Their children were playing with blocks and a ball, but stopped to say hello.
“Hewwo Deh Deh! Wut can Jaime do fow help?”, the red smarty asked.
“I actually have a request of your special friend here. But you should know, too.”
“Deh Deh need Jowanna hewp?”, the fluffy momma asked.
“Yeah. Two chirpy babies will be joining us tomorrow. Paprika has to take care of her litter, and she’s got six mouths to feed. I don’t think she can make enough milk for two more. Would you be willing to nurse these new babies?”
Dee Dee showed Jaime and Joanna the picture of the chirpies on her cell phone.
Joanna’s eyes lit up. “Babbehs am su pwetty!”
Jaime nodded in agreement. “Why babbehs nu hab mummah?”, he asked.
“Ah, their momma was a bad momma. She had a wingy pointy baby that she was mean to. She was so mean she traded that baby for potatoes! When she found out Jolene was going to give the wingy pointy baby a home, the momma got mad. And then she got killed when she was more focused on being angry than watching for a metal monster.”
Jaime shook his head. “Dummeh mummah. Aww babbehs am gud babbehs. If dummeh mummah wub wingy pointy babbeh, nu take fowebbah sweepies.”
“Babbehs need miwkies!”, Joanna exclaimed. “Jowanna nu hab miwkies nu mowe!”
“I can help you with that. I have special kibble. If you eat it, you’ll make milk. Does that sound good to you? Do you want to help these babies? If it’s too much, I can find another mare.”
“Jowanna wan’ hewp babbehs! Am onwy widdew babbehs! Need wub and hugs and miwkies!”. Joanna turned to face her foals. “Babbehs, come tu mummah!”
Joanna and Jaime’s children stopped playing and trotted to their mother. “Hewwo mummah!”, they chorused.
“Babbehs, nuw chiwpies wiww be hewe soon!”
“Mummah hab tummeh babbehs?”, one of her foals asked.
“Nu. Odda babbehs. Nu hab mummah nu mowe. Mummah wiww gib babbehs miwkies an’ wub and huggies. Wiww babbehs hewp mummah? Be gud bwuddahs an’ sissies fow nuw babbehs?”
The four foals all beamed at their mother and father. They began to prance in a little circle. “Babbehs wiww be gud bwuddas and sissies!”, they all starting singing together.
Dee Dee smiled at the fluffy family. This was going to work out great! Not only were these two babies going to be raised by a loving family, they were going to grow up well behaved, clever, and friendly. Jaime and Joanna had raised their children well, and Dee Dee was confident these two new additions would be raised just as well.
The next day, after five hours on the road.
“Hey, girl!”, Dee Dee exclaimed. She opened her arms in greeting to give Jolene a hug.
“Heya, Dee Dee! Welcome to mah place!”
“You, my friend, have a lovely house. White picket fence and all!”
“Yeah, that came with but needed a lot of repairs. Jaime found the first hole in it. Then that bitch and her monster made sure I put up the warning sign!”
Dee Dee glanced at the white sign with red symbols on it. It indicated that any trespassing fluffy would have their special lumps removed.
“Classy. OK, so first, the big news. That acre plot behind you.”
“Yeah, you bought that? Why?”
“I didn’t just buy that. That’s part of what’s going to be on large parcel. Around 750 acres in total!”
“Holy moly. But again, why?”
“I’m expanding!”, Dee Dee said, the excitement written all over her face.
“That’s one hell of an expansion”, Jolene replied, both eyebrows raise.
“So, the Feds like the work we’ve been doing. Nikki’s meticulous documentation and research, my financial management, and our overall success rate at placing ferals and ‘bad colors’ in to homes. They want us to expand and manage a new pilot program. We’re going to start a fluffy ranch and research center!”
Jolene looked even more impressed. “That’s going to be pretty amazing. But that’s a lot of land! That’s bigger than most of the farms around here.”, she replied.
Dee Dee nodded. “Yeah, the ranch is only part of it. The goal is to make the thing self sustainable. At least for the fluffy population. If you don’t mind, let’s sit where it’s warm and I’ll give you all the details.”, Dee Dee replied.
Jolene showed her in to the house, and brought warm tea to the dining room table. Cayenne and Creamsicle joined them, each enjoying a bowl of tea with ice cubes in them to ensure the fluffies didn’t burn their mouths.
“Does the caffeine not bother them?”, Dee Dee asked.
“Ah give them chamomile. Herbal tea. Nothing it other than flavor.”
“Cayenne wub tee! Am wawm an’ tasty! Fank 'ou Joween!”
Creamsicle took a long noisy slurp. “Am supa nummy! Am good fow cowd times!”, he added.
“How are you two doing?”, Dee Dee asked the fluffies.
“Cayenne hab biggest heawt happies! Wiww twy be mummah! Get pwactice!”
“Cweamsicew wiww be bestest bruddah fow nuw chiwpy! Chiwpy am vewy pwetty!”
Dee Dee smiled and stoked their manes. “She is very pretty. And Cayenne, you are going to be a great momma.”
“We picked a name for her already, too. She’s going to be called Stella.”
“That’s lovely! She’ll love it. And not just because she’s designed to love it.”
Jolene chuckled. The four friends sipped their tea, enjoying the warmth and comfort.
“OK, I’m cozy and ready to yammer on. I hope you are ready, because I’m going to be info dumping all over you.”, Dee Dee said.
“Ah mean, I literally bury mahself in data all day for work. This will be nothing new.”, Joelene replied.
“Right, so… Like I said outside. The Feds like the work we do. They want us to try making a sustainable fluffy ranch. Their end goal is to roll these out to every county in every state to help control feral populations and reduce abandonment rates.”
“Makes sense. I know the feral populations are stable, but when they explode, they can cause all kinds of damage. I mean, they’ve been an absolute boone for endangered predators…”, Jolene said, looking at her fluffiess on the table. “Not that I relish in that mind you. But nature is cruel.”
“Yup, and the idea is to try to get things further under control. Even though populations aren’t the ecological disaster they were, there’s still problems. Street begging, roadkill, all sorts of things. Ferals should be relatively scarce like feral cats and dogs. Speaking of which, controlling those populations is also part of this. It’s not just eagles, condors, and wolves that have been feeding and rebuilding populations. The abundance of slow, easy to catch food has ballooned feral pet populations for predatory feral animals like cats and dogs. So the government wants to try this to bring those populations down.”
“I mean, in the past they would just go with the… uh…”, Jolene hesitated and again looked at her friends on the table. She didn’t want to upset them.
“We’ll say cleansing programs. Yes, but those create a lot of backlash. I mean, I’m opposed to them. I get it, but I still don’t like that much… cleansing.”
“OK, so, this sounds neat so far.” Jolene said.
Dee Dee nodded. “Yup, so we’re going to split up the whole property in to sectors. There’s going to be a farming sector. We’ll allocate 450 acres to soy, barley, and oat farms. That’ll be the basis for the feed for the residents, and we’ll process it in to kibble to ship and sell to help cover expenses.” Dee Dee explained.
She continued, “We’ll use 300 acres for fluffy habitat. We’re going to be specifically planing low grazing grass, large trees spaced well apart, and installing nesting sites. Basically colorfully painted concrete bunkers with light and heat. Part of the grant is to also buy wind turbines. We’ll have room for four or five of them. It’s absolute overkill for our needs, so we’ll also be selling back in to the grid.”
Jolene looked impressed. “This is all sounding pretty amazing, honestly.”
Dee Dee smiled at her friend. “I’m absolutely stoked. So, the whole lot will be surrounded by security fence with fine mesh to keep out any ground based predators and abusers. Scott is a total tech nerd and worked up this idea for fluffy-gates to let herds in and keep other animals out. The short version is basically doggy doors to a holding room. A camera watches each gate and an attendee will determine what got in. If it’s fluffies, they are let in to holding pens to be integrated in to the ranch. Other animals are scared off with ultrasonics.”
“Huh. Scott’s a clever dude.”
“Very! He also suggested surrounding the property with signs for the fluffies so they’d know where to get in. Pictures of food, toys, whatever with arrows pointing to the nearest gate.”
“Also very clever. Go on!”, Jolene replied.
“Right, so, facilities. Farm. Ranch/habitat. Then there will be the adoption center, the administration center, the research building, maintenance, the dairy-”
“Dairy?”, Jolene interrupted.
“Yeah. I’ve told you about the milking room at Little Miracles. Sort of our dirty little secret, but better than what a mill would do.” Dee Dee replied.
“Yeah. At least they get to be helpful. And it’s not like they aren’t watching TV all day and kept entertained.”
“Yup. So, the dairy will have two wings. The voluntary wing for mares that just want to help out babies, and the involuntary wing for mares that present a danger to foals.”
“Reasonable. Any other buildings?”
“Yeah, the fertilizer building and smarty jail. This isn’t pleasant but I know there will be some fluffies that arrive that I won’t be able to help. You handled one with your toaster not too long ago.” Dee Dee said with a smirk.
Jolene put on a wicked grin. “Ahm no abuser, but that was satisfying.”
“Oh I get it”, Dee Dee said. “I’ve had to do some awful things myself for the good of the group. Anyways… the government has requested we turn smarties over to them. Said they’d come by every now and then to take them off our hands if we can’t fix them. So, we’ll keep them strapped down and pooping in a trough to use for fertilizer for the fields. We’ll keep them on cheap commercial kibble so they don’t starve and keep producing until they get taken away.”
Jolene looked puzzled. “Any idea what they want all them smarties for?”
Dee Dee shrugged. “Dunno. And I need to not care, because as much as I love individual fluffies, I’m not going to risk the ranch’s funding over baby stompers and sex predators.”
Jolene nodded in response. “Entirely fair. So, when does this all get started?”
“Next week!”, Dee Dee replied. “We start breaking ground for the wind turbines. The foundations for those will take a month to dry. We want them done before the ground starts to freeze. If the winter stays mild, they’ll go up so long as the crews can dig. We’ll also be putting the fencing up. We need to secure the property quickly, and handle any fluffies already on the land.”, Dee Dee said.
“This is going to be one hell of a thing.”
“It is. Want to help?” Dee Dee asked.
“Uh, sure. What can I do?”
“Well, once the fencing goes up, I was hoping to ask your help wrangling the ferals living there. Basically just walk around and try to get their attention and help them find their way to the temporary housing we’ll be setting up. The whole thing will be about a mile square, so you’re talking like 10 minutes normal walking end to end. But we have to send in harvesters to remove the cover crops growing out there. And the last thing I want is any ferals getting caught in that.”, Dee Dee said.
“Hmm. Ah mean, just going for walks in a field with Cayenne and Creamsicle will be fun.”
“Yup. And I’ve called in an expert to be my project manager.”
“Anybody I know?”, Jolene asked.
Dee Dee waffled a bit. “You likely know the last name. But trust me! He’s legit. I’ve got Herman Mongola overseeing the whole thing.”
Jolene looked shocked. “You’re brining a Mongola in on this project? Is he going to set up the pit traps, too?”
Dee Dee held up her hands. “Yes, I know the family has a reputation. But Herman is a farmer who raises fluffies. There’s zero evidence of him being an actual abuser. He walked me through his set up, and I’m going to be adopting a lot of his idea. One of his best is patrol drones. He uses them to scare off ferals and handle vicious smarties. Generally with a single brick.”, Dee Dee said.
“Hmm. Ah mean, I trust you know what you are doing. And that does sound pretty smart.”
“OK, so, numbers. The ranch should comfortably be able to handle about 700 adult fluffies. We’ll need to work on population control. Likely by adding something to the feed we produce on site to curtail their urges, or hormone injections to try to get them on some sort of breeding-season schedule. We don’t want them to not have litters at all, but we need to make sure they don’t turn this place in to a Fluffy Sink!”, Dee Dee said, here face serious.
Jolene gave a somber nod. “I’ve read that report. Absolutely horrifying.”
“Yup. We’ll have to be aggressive in our smarty culling. First sign, immediate discipline. If that doesn’t fix it, they’ll have to go to the smarty jail. And long term, we want Jaime’s students to guide the ferals herds.”
Jolene leaned back in her chair. “Ah think this will be a success. It’s gonna be a lot of work, but Ah think you can do it.”
“Thank you.”, Dee Dee replied.
“OK, you’ve told me your story. You ready to meet your new little buddies?”, Jolene asked.
“Oh, yes! Absolutely. Let me run to my car and grab the Milky Kibble for Cayenne. And the carrier for the chirpies.”, Dee Dee replied.
She returned shortly with a folding hand truck with two bags of Milky Kibble and stowed the heavy sacks in Jolene’s garage. She went back inside with her carrier.
Jolene brought the three chripy foals out in a tray lined with an especially wooly towel.
“So, this little princess here is Stella.”, Jolene said, holding up the small mint-green chirpy alicorn.
Dee Dee carefully accepted the tiny fluffy from Jolene, and gently rubbed her back with her index finger. “Yup, she’s going to be stunning when she grows up.”
Cayenne and Creamsicle had followed Jolene and Dee Dee to the living room.
“Cayenne su ‘cited! Wan’ make bestest miwkies fow Stewwa!”
“Cweeamy wiww gib biggest huggies! Bu’ gentew huggies. Nu wan’ gib babbeh huwties!”
Dee Dee smiled at the fluffies and returned Stella to Jolene.
“And here’s the two going with you!”, she handed the other two chirpies to Dee Dee. The little cheetah spotted male and the heart-rumped female snuggled in her hands.
“I’m melting here. You’re going to need a mop to get me off the floor!”, Dee Dee said.
“Ah’ll bet. Too bad their momma was trash. But I know you’ll get them raise up right.”
“I will. I promise.”
Dee Dee carried the two chirpies to her carrier and secured them inside. Awaiting them as a feeding rig filled with fresh, warm fluffy milk. The chirpies smelled the delicous treat, and scooted to the false nipples. They began to drink greedily.
After another hour of grand planning and small talk, Dee Dee realized she had to get back home.
“Jolene, as always, it’s been wonderful to see you. Thank you again for these two.”, Dee Dee said.
“Ah’m just glad they’ll go to good homes instead of starving in some alley on the riverfront.”, Jolene replied. “You have a safe drive back. Enjoy your five hours of chirping and pooping!”
"Dee Dee put on a face of false pain. “Oh, I’m just so looking forward to it!”, she replied.
Shortly thereafter, Dee Dee was on the road back to Little Miracles.
Paprika sat with her chirpy babies, their eyes now open. Full of wonder and affection, the foals were taking turns nursing from her milkie places.
First up were the unicorn and the pegasus, the first two of the littler. They suckled away, eyes looking up at their momma with affection. Between gulps, they would let out a peep, a chirp, and some simple words. “Mummah!” “Miwkies!” “Wub!” and the like.
Once they had drank was Paprika considered enough, she gently lifted her babies away to allow the earthies to feed. Her dark blue little unicorn starting peeping up a storm, irritated that it was taken away from its food.
“Be guw, widdew babbeh. Babbeh hab enuff miwkies. Aww babbehs need miwkies. Wet bwuddahs and sistah hab dwinkes!” The little chirpy quieted down, but continued to fidget in place.
The earthies scooted forward on their developing legs and began to eat their fill. Both drank until satisified and then released Paprika’s nipples on their own. Mustard came forward and carefully lifted the chirpies away. He noticed they both looked slightly distressed and were having trouble moving. He slowly and carefully stroked their backs with his muzzle, until each let out a little burp. They notably deflated, and settled in to nap.
Finally the twins started to shuffle forward. They were still having trouble coordinating all six of their legs, so Cloudberry was on hand to nudge them along. With a little help, they were able to reach Paprika’s teats and began to feed.
They were still feeding when their sister, the dark blue unicorn scooted forward and tried to seize the nipple away.
Mustard picked up the meddling chirpy and set her to the side.
“Nu babbeh! Bwuddahs need dwinkies.”, he told his daughter.
“Be gud babbeh! Wet bwuddahs hab dwinkies, an’ babbeh hab mowe dwinkies before sweepies!”
The little unicorn started chirping and peeping, annoyed that it was denied another meal. But mustard held her in place with a hug so her brothers could finish their meal.
Jaime was patrolling the halls, checking on each of the safe rooms. Since taking up residence in Little Miracles, he had decided that his duties as teacher and herd leater were to keep watch on all the fluffies at little miracles. He wanted to prove that he was the best smarty to teach fluffies how to be good. He thought that getting to know all the fluffies would help him understand new fluffies that came in. While he didn’t fully process the concept, he was beginning to understand that experience and empathy were valuable tools. When Jaime could tell fluffies stories about himself, his family, or other fluffies, they listened better than just doing what the TV told them. So, Jaime collected stories from the other fluffies, listened to their problems, and offered advice. If he thought something was wrong, he’d tell Nikki or Dee Dee. They told him he was going a good job, and that he was a good fluffy for caring about all the other fluffies at Little Miracles. Jaime really liked being told he was good. Other fluffies would say he was good some times, too. When they had heart hurties, and Jaime would sit and listen and give them huggies, they would thank him and say he was good. When fluffies were fighting, and Jaime would step in and help them find a solution, they would thank him and tell him he was good. Being good made Jaime happy. Being told he was good made Jaime look forward to helping more. Jaime’s heart was as happy as it could be.
Wrapping up his patrol, Jaime stopped in to Paprika and Mustard’s room to say hello.
“Hewwo Papwika! Hewwo Mustawd! Hewwo Cwoudy! How am fwuffies dis bwite-time?”
“Hewwo Jaime!”, they chorused together. “Awmos’ done gib babbehs miwkies.”, Paptrika told him.
“Dat gud. Papwika hab gud babbehs. Wiww gwow up big’ an stwong!”, he said, nodding.
“Jaime”, Mustard said, “Mustawd hab kweshtun.”
“Wat dad, Mustawd?”
“How fwuffy teww if babbeh am smawty?”
“Weww, if babbeh say am bestest babbeh, ow if babbeh say am smawty, den babbeh am smawty fow suwe!”
“Bwue pointy babbeh twy take miwkies fwow doubew babbeh. Mustawn nu wan’ babbeh be bad smawty…”, Mustard told his friend.
“Nu wowwy, Mustawd! Papwika an’ Mustawd make gud babbehs! An’ if babbeh am bad babbeh, Jaime wiww teach how be gud babbeh! Jaime pwomise!”, he said.
“Fank 'ou, Jaime. Am gud fwiend.”
“Nu pwobwem, Mustawd. If babbeh am bad babbeh, teww Deh Deh, an’ teww Jaime. Wiww fiks babbeh.”
The fluffies chatted for several more minutes about fluff TV, Nikki’s newest kibble, and all the new fluffies that had arrived lately. Eventually Jaime headed back to his family.
“Hewwo Jowanna.”, he said to his mate.
“Hewwo speciaw fwiend”, she replied. “Hab gud patwol?”
“Yus. Nu pwobewms. Wub 'ou Jowanna. Wub 'ou, and wub babbehs.”
“Jowanna wub ou’ tu, Jaime.”
The snuggled next to each other, cooing softly.
It was definitely good to be a good fluffy. Good fluffies got loving families.