A filthy yellow fluffy mare with cream-colored mane and tail stepped out of the alley, looking haggard and tired. She was, of course, a feral. Perched on her back were six foals; two yellow like her, one sky blue, one red, one cream with just a hint of blue where the mane and tail were starting to grow in, and one lavender. The lavender was a pegasus and one of the yellows was a unicorn; all the rest were earthies like their mother.
She was a good fluffy, well-behaved, she just had a terrible life. Abused, abandoned, briefly happy when she met a handsome stallion who became her special friend, then sad again when he was kicked to death while retrieving a thrown-out salad that had missed the trash can. Because of his untimely death, she had no one to bring her food during the last few days of pregnancy when she was effectively immobile, and so when her foals were born she had very little milk to give them due to having not eaten for most of a week. She worked very hard to care for her babies, searching for food and shelter.
Shelter was difficult, because as soon as she left to find food, another feral would steal it from her. Once, a couple had invaded her box while she and her babies were asleep and the stallion had stomped her viciously until she’d fled; the mare had blown a raspberry and smugly bragged about stealing a nestie for her soon-babbehs.
Food was equally difficult, because she had to compete with other ferals, barkie-monsters, rat-monsters, and the trash man. She nibbled on grass wherever she could find it, ate the rotting food that wasteful humans threw away, and anything else she could find to sustain her, but it was never enough. She could just barely produce enough milk to keep her babies alive, and she could see how small they were. Only two of them were talking, when they should all be talking by now. She knew it was because she was a bad mummah and wasn’t giving them enough milk.
She also knew not to beg or bother humans, because they were unpredictable and often vicious. But she was desperate. She had no home, no warm, soft bed, and she hadn’t found food in days. She had no milk for her babies and they were chirping weakly with hunger. She had to do something, even if it was risky, or her babies would go to sleep forever and never wake up.
So it was that she stepped out of the alley onto the sidewalk and stood there, cooing to her babies perched on her back and trying to comfort them and their aching bellies, and studied the people as they walked past.
She knew the rules. She’d learned from harsh experience and watching other fluffies beg.
Don’t touch them. Even if they were nice, humans didn’t like to be touched unexpectedly, especially by something as dirty as you. It’s not your fault you’re dirty, you’ve tried to stay clean.
Don’t beg to humans using their magic talkie box; they didn’t pay attention and might step on you, and many would get angry that you interrupted their talking and give hurties.
Don’t beg the ones who look angry, annoyed, or dress in dirty, shabby clothes. You’ll get hurties.
Human babies, especially girls, are usually safe to beg. They’re nicer and can often guilt their mummah or daddeh into being nice too.
Pretty human mares are safe, but not if they’re too pretty. Only beg if they look happy.
She spots a nice lady with a long yellow mane walking by with a man’s arm around her shoulder; they both look clean and happy, so she decides to risk it.
“Nice wady? Nice mista? Fwuffy hungwy. Nu haf miwkies fow widdwe chiwpy babbehs. Pwease gif nummies so babbehs haf happeh tummehs?”
“Ooooh, Roger, look! She looks so sad!”
She bends down and the mare flinches as she reaches out to scratch her ear.
“Yeah, poor thing. Probably don’t want to touch her though, she’s filthy.”
“I’ve got hand sanitizer in my purse.”
“Pwease gif nummies? Babbehs haf wowstest tummeh huwties, nu haf miwkies aww day! Mummah nu fine nummies, nu can make miwkies fow babbehs.”
“What’s it saying?”
“She said she can’t make milk for her babies. Poor thing, they must be starving! Look at how tiny they are… Dear, we can do something, right?”
The man looks around and shrugs.
“I don’t see any restaurants. It’s all office buildings around here. By the time we find a place that sells food and bring it back here, our parking meter will run out.”
“Man. I wish we could do something.”
“Pwease, hewp babbehs?”
“Chirp! Chirp! Mummah! Miwkies! Chirp!”
“Ooooh! I can’t stand it! Roger, we have to do something!”
“We can’t take them all home with us.”
“We can take just one, right? You know I’ve been wanting a pet for a while.”
“I thought you wanted a beagle?”
“I know, but they’re just so cute, and so sad! Plus it’d be nice to have a pet that talks back to you. You can even teach them to use a litter box, like a cat, so you don’t have to worry about leaving it in the apartment all day.”
The mare looks back and forth between the humans. She’s not certain what they’re talking about, but it doesn’t seem to be about helping her feed her babies. She tries to gently steer the conversation back to the important topic.
“Pwease, babbehs nee miwkies! Pwease hewp!”
“Aaaaw! Please, Roger?”
“It’s fine with me. But just one; that’s the agreement on the lease, only one pet.”
“Yay! Ok mommy, I can’t give you any food, but I can help one of your babies. She’ll have a nice warm home, lots of food, and lots of love!”
The mare thinks that all sounds perfectly fine, but… only one baby? How does that work?
Then the lady plucks the pretty cream filly off her back and carries her away down the sidewalk.
“NUUUUUUUUUU! Nu take babbeh! Babbeh tuu widdwe! Nee mummah! Nee miwkies! Nu take babbeh! NUUUUU!”
The couple continue walking down the sidewalk with the chirpy baby, cooing and cuddling her and ignore the mare’s protests. She trots down the sidewalk as fast as she can, trying to catch up, but can’t keep the same pace. Then her lavender baby, weakened by hunger, loses his grip on her fluff and lands on the sidewalk, chirping in distress. By the time the mare retrieves him and puts him on her back again, she’s lost sight of the couple that stole her baby.
Heartbroken, the mare returns to her spot at the mouth of the alley, knowing the importance of having an escape route if a human turns out to be mean. She can’t understand why those people stole her baby. They seemed so nice, too!
She waits for another opportunity to beg and soon spots one. Two girls, both holding their mummah’s hands and singing. The mare steps out, making sure not to get in their path, and raises her voice.
“Nicey peopwe, pwease hewp fwuffy! Nu haf nummies, so hungwy! Nu can make miwkies fow babbehs! Babbehs haf wowstest tummeh owies, nee miwkies! Pwease hewp!”
“Mommy, look! They’re so pretty!”
Both little girls break loose from their mother and run over to pet the mare and fuss over her babies. The mother admonishes them not to get dirty, then gives up, smiling at them. This seems to be going well so far.
“Pwease hewp! Mummah nu can gif miwkies tu babbehs, dey su hungwy! Nee nummies!”
“Poor thing, can’t feed your babies, huh? I have an idea… Jennie, Kim, why don’t you girls pick out a baby?”
Ecstatic, the girls lay claim to the matched pair of yellow foals, one an earthie colt, the other a unicorn filly. Both babies chirp and struggle feebly, then settle down. Their bellies are still empty, but the petting and attention are at least comforting.
“Mommy, can you buy us a book about fluffies? I wanna know how to take care of them!”
“Me too! We need baby fluffy food!”
“All right, all right, it’s ok. You have to be responsible and take care of them though.”
“We will, we promise!”
Then they walk off with the yellow babies. It takes the mare a second to realize she’s been robbed again, and she screeches, chasing after them.
“NU TAKE BABBEHS! DOSE MUMMAH’S BABBEHS! Dey tuu widdwe, nee miwkies an mummah! Nu take babbehs! NU TAKE BABBEHS! Huuuhuuhuuuuu!”
She stops on the sidewalk, sobbing, as the happy family turns the corner, heading for the pet shop down the block to purchase formula and other supplies for their new pets. The mare flops onto her rump, stunned at the unexpected loss of half her babies.
Still reeling with emotion, she’s taken completely by surprise when the manager of that very same pet shop, returning from his lunch break, reaches down and snatches her red baby.
“Hmmm, good colors, nice configuration… you’ll be a great Big Mac. Little undernourished though…”
“Pwease gif back babbeh! Pwease, nu take babbeh! Babbeh widdwe, nee mummah! Nee miwkies!”
“Well momma, he’s obviously not getting enough milk, so I’m doing you both a favor here. I’ll feed this little guy, take care of him, and when he’s bigger he’ll get to go to a happy new home. And you’ll have more milk to give your other babies too! Well… baby, singular, because this one looks pretty good too.”
Then the man snatches the blue filly and walks off with her too.
“PWEEEEEEEEAAAAAAAASE! NU TAKE BABBEHS! Why effewybuddy take mummah’s babbehs away?! WHYYYYYYY!”
The mare collapses in a fit of sobbing, stopping only when her lavender baby chirps in hunger and makes a silent yawn that terrifies his mother. She knows what that means; he’s starving. He’ll take forever sleepies if he doesn’t get milk soon.
“Pwease, babbeh! Nu haf fowevuh sweepies! Mummah twy gif miwkies!”
She puts him to a nipple, then the other. Both are empty. She’s too malnourished to produce milk. The foal gives a silent yawn of hunger again and his mother hugs him desperately, then puts him on her back. She doesn’t want to do it again, but she has to risk it. It’s the only option left.
“Dude, that foal is a perfect Tycho!”
“Tycho and Eres, that new cartoon?”
“Oh, yeah yeah, the one where they’re in a rock band?”
“Yeah, it looks just like Tycho!”
The mare looks up in confusion, seeing two college-age boys standing over her, dressed in tattered jeans, Doc Martin’s, hoodies, and beanies. She’s frightened. All the people she thought were nice turned out to be baby thieves, and these look like the sort she avoids because they’re dangerous.
“Pwease nu huwt fwuffy! Am mummah!”
“Naw, we ain’t gonna hurt you! Man, look at 'em, they’re starving.”
“I know, right? Hey, there’s a pet shop just down the street. I saw it on my way to the skate park last Friday. I bet we can get, like, baby fluffy formula or something from there.”
“DUDE! Yeah! We can name him Tycho! Just like the show! We can find an Eres later. Let’s do it!”
“Sure, why not. Little guy will probably starve to death if we don’t do something anyway.”
The two boys grab the foal and skate away faster than its mother could ever hope to follow. This time she doesn’t even scream or try to chase them down to get her foal back. She wails in despair. She has no babies left. She’s not a mother anymore. After a long moment of realization, she collapses.
She sobs into her hooves, laying in the middle of the sidewalk, wailing for lost babies, wondering what will become of them without her to look after them and care for them.
A passing delivery man snarls, “get outta the way, vermin!” and delivers a vicious kick to the mare’s rear, flipping her over and launching her several feet through the air. After reeling in pain for several seconds, she sees another foot swooping in at her face and scrambles to get away, only getting clipped by the heavy boot. She hurries down the alley, sobbing, wondering why the world was so unfair.
Then the large, orange stallion rushed out from behind the dumpster, knocked her to the ground, and mounted her.
“Enf enf enf!”
“NUUUUUUUUU! NU WAN SPESHOW HUGGIES! WAN BABBEHS BACK! WAN BABBEHS!”
“Enf enf- fwuffy gif yoo GUUUUUD babbehs, bish! Enf enf enf ENFENFENFENFENFENF!”
And really, that went as well as could be expected.