“Bebbehs aww hidin’?”
The nurse smiled as the air around her filled with snickers and giggles. This part of the forest had everything a tree fluffy could hope for in it. Bushes, shrubs, trees both standing and fallen, stumps, rocks, dirt, tall grass and flowers.
“Oootay! Nuwse gon’ find yu!”
She looked around, face beaming. The weanlings had been playing hide-and-seek all last bright time and were learning fast. It was still fun at this stage, when the game was new and hadn’t taken on its more serious aspects yet.
The spotted gray mare walked by a brown earthie, pretending not to see him. He was well hidden deep within a bush, but she would need to tell him not to cover his eyes. It would slow him down if he had to run.
“Whewe can babbehs be hidin’?”
Nurse’s face dropped a tiny bit seeing the yellow filly hiding in the flowers. It made sense, the flowers themselves were yellow nummies, but she was too yellow and bright for that spot. Off to the side near some shrubs the red colt tried to hide by the plant’s roots, but too much light came through the leaves making his fluff stand out. And the blue filly was in a hole under a rock which wasn’t bad but she was too bright a blue.
A giggle came up behind her from a green filly. At least those three wouldn’t be first again.
“Dewe yu awe babbeh! Nuwse fin’ yu!”
“Wai fwuffy so dummeh?” the red cold scowled.
“No knu,” the yellow filly whined. “Fwuffy awways get found tu.”
“Nuwse wook wight at fwuffy, bu’ no say nuttin’,” the blue filly said. “Cum back wataw an’ ge’ fwuffy, but knu fwuffy wuz dewe.”
The three kept together at nights. As all the other babies became walky-talky babies they liked to play, but they weren’t the same. Nobody had to tell them. They could just see it. They were the only babies without names. Without mamas. Nobody was mean to them, but it made them feel alone.
“Will you shut up you goddamn shitrat!”
“I don’t care if you’re lonely!” Mike yelled, throwing his beer bottle down. It landed on the grass beside four others. “I’m fucking tired, I fucking gave you food and water, just shut the fuck up!”
“Pwease! Daddeh! Vaniwwa…”
Vanilla didn’t see the kick. The impact didn’t register initially as the world went slow and silent, his eyes only seeing the yard spiraling around. When he hit the fence it was like all the pain and sound caught up with him at once. He wanted to breath and cough and cry all at once but couldn’t.
Boo-boo juice? Was that coming from his talky place? It didn’t taste pretty. It shouldn’t. It was boo-boo juice. Why would it taste pretty?
Vanilla stared off, eyes unfocused, oblivious to the towel being wrapped around him. To being picked up. He didn’t even notice metal monster roaring to life or his daddy talking to the black thingie. Talking scared.
“…how wong tiww wittwe mama…?”
Bark stretched. Jade wasn’t there like she normally was. Lips smacked followed by a yawn, he wasn’t the greatest morning fluffy ever. After a quick trot away from the herd’s sleeping area for a poop, the brown Earthie headed off the trail they made. Past the trees and thorny bushes. To the clearing on a hill. A hill he knew well, actually.
As did Jade.
“Su, whu yu wight noaw? Jay-duh ow Smawty?”
He came up to the green unicorn, nuzzling against her neck. Bark could feel her leaning back into him, staring up at the tree canopy above. Looking away from the hole she had the toughies make.
“Babbehs hab teef. Eatin’ cowt an’ fiwwy nummies now.”
“Nu, nu gud. Too soon. Wan’ mowe bwight times.”
“Jay-duh knu dat now how t’ings gu.”
“Smawty knu. Jay-duh hates it.”
“Not so bad, doh…” Bark said. He stomped three times. “No many pwetteh babbehs dis time. Ebewy babbeh hab mama.”
“Time befowe hab wess.” Jade looked back down, the fluff around her eyes dark and wet. “Time befowe dat hab moah.”
“Bawk wemembah.” The stallion’s eyes closed, wrapping his legs around his mate. “Dem was gud babbehs.”
“An’ aww Jay-duh’s an’ Bawks…”
“Dats how iz.”
“Dats how iz…”