By the time that the following morning had broken out above the horizon, Rose Bloom had already left out of town. Palmer Orchid had risen from bed that morning and had instantly headed down the hill to the road. He followed it in a hurried pace until he finally reached the small cottage. When he arrived, he noted the missing wagon and traced the stressed wheel tracks left in the dirt with his hoof. Knowing that she had gone and without knowing where she could have gone to, Palmer turned back onto the road and hopelessly returned to his poor small cottage.
When he returned to the cottage, Palmer ascended the stairs whilst completely ignoring the rising sun and grabbed his shepherd's crook down from its own peg by the door. He gazed sadly at it for a while before turning back down the stairs and rounding back to the barn. He impatiently kicked open the doors and instantly, like he did every morning, whistled out for his dogs. Once they were fed, Palmer took them out from the confines of the barn and led them around to the flock. A stiff hot summer wind winded its way up and over the hill and then down the face of it to where Palmer was slowly walking. It caught him in his side and made him buckle and nearly stumble. He dug his hooves into the ground and took on the full brunt of the it. When the breeze had passed, Palmer fixed his messed up mane and continued on his way.
When he neared his flock, he whistled his dogs off to the far side of the flock and with another whistle, they began their work. Together in tandem with his dogs, Tinker of course being the best he could be, Palmer moved the flock from the familiar watering hole and led them straight up to the crest of the hill. When he reached the top, he regarded a few stranglers that had, at some point, gotten separated from the main flock. Seeing this, Palmer whistled for Tinker and the old loyal dog rounded back around to them and quickly got them back to where they needed to be. When they had returned and seeing that there were no more chances of any sheep getting lose, Palmer then directed his flock and dogs to another hill a little less than a mile off in the distance. The sound of a moving mass of nearly a hundred sheep rose into the still air of summer as the herd moved across the land. After nearly half an hour of herding across hills and down into their valleys, the large group came to their final destination.
With the job finished, Palmer set his sheep to pasture and let his dogs out to guard and hold. Knowing that all was well then, Palmer climbed up the slight roll of the hill to the ridge and sat down. Turning his gaze out to the horizon, a feeling of immense sadness rushed over him. He then turned his gaze down to the road and followed it with his eyes as it snaked its way towards the town of Klimmington. He deeply sighed at his failure and after a short while, returned down the hill to his flock.
There's an old abandoned rock quarry that's sat unused and empty ever since the supply ran out. It's been there, near the outskirts of Klimmington, for about three hundred years and is characterized the most by a steep sudden slope that led straight down to the bottom. There's a weak chain-link fence that runs along the edge of the drop-off that converges to a single point that suddenly juts out above the open quarry. It had been the site of several accidents over the years where foolish ponies had gone and lost attention of where they were going and had ended up somehow falling over the edge to their deaths. These accidents weren't very common but they were known to happen.
Palmer Orchid awoke from his doze atop the hill to the rushing sound of stampeding hooves. He jolted up from his spot with a sudden bound and rushed to the sound of it. When he arrived to where he had left his sheep to graze, he found the ground trampled and matted and torn by the hundreds of hooves. Sick to his stomach, Palmer raced down in the direction of the tracks. In the back of his head while he was racing, he was silently thinking to himself, Where are my dogs?
Off in distance, he could see a billowing cloud of dust that could only mean the hundreds of hooves of his large group of sheep. He could hear their faint crying so far away and he sped up his pace. He crossed many hills and through many fields whose crops were now all but ruined. He crossed up over the crest of another hill before coming to a sudden stop. Before him now was the chain-link fence that divided the fields from the sudden drop-off of the old abandoned rock quarry. It was trampled and flattened beyond all measure and standing silently before the crushed and ruined fence was Joe.
He stood there with a contented look on his face and as Palmer slowly approached, Joe walked up happily and nuzzled his muzzle into the bend of his master's leg.
Palmer cautiously looked down into the deep abyss below and instantly revolted back. Down below in the depths of the old quarry were the mangled, trampled, and twisted bodies of his sheep. Blood ran down in thick rivers across the coarse and roughen wall of the slope that had endured hundreds of years of neglect, wear, and tear. The hundreds of limbs were twisted and broken in many directions and the bones had broken out through the skin. The fresh coats of wool which had before been so white and clean were now shredded and dyed red in the pools and rivers of blood. Down below in the depths of the old quarry were the mangled and twisted bodies of Palmer Orchid's life and being.
Stepping back further from the ledge, Palmer's entire world came crashing down in a single moment. All of his fortunes and all of his business were now surely gone. There would be no coming back from something like this. He stumbled back onto his haunches and began to weep in retching sobs. As he sobbed, he looked up to the happy satisfied look on Joe's face and instant felt hate for the creature. This dog had destroyed all of what he was. He hated the damned creature. He took it in the grip of his magic with a light of his horn and carried it back away to the back yard of his cottage. There out of sight, the dog which had cursed Palmer for all the years would curse him no longer.