“There, that should do it.”
You smile warmly as you finish wrapping gauze around the swollen leg of your furry, bushy-tailed squirrel patient. You back away to allow the squirrel to move around freely. He looked down at his medicated foot, then wiggled it around for a few seconds before smiling and hugging your leg in thankfulness. You smile back and kindly hug the squirrel with your free hoof and give him a light nudge towards his awaiting mate. He and his wife waved goodbye and then scurried out through a tiny opening in your front door.
It has only been a month or two since you have moved, and already the local fauna have welcomed you as a caregiver, as your natural talent forgoes. You helped the animals when they were injured, sick, or simply too tired. No matter how big or how small, you helped them all.
“Another day, another healthy animal.” you smile while saying this to yourself. You clean up any loose bits of gauze and throw away a few bandage wrappers from your previous patients that had visited you earlier that day. After making sure that your floors are clean and free of debris, you decide to head outside to see if you have any newcomers to your sanctuary home.
The air outside is warm and fresh as always. The vibrant heat of the sun spread out over your neck and chest as you stepped away from the shadow of a large pine tree that loomed over your house. Birds chirped from the branches on high, rabbits and other furry creatures played in your yard, and a small family of beavers that you had tended to before were busily constructing a small dam in a nearby creek. All was well, and so were you.
You jump slightly at the sudden voice coming from behind you. You turn to acknowledge the pony who has spoken to you, only to find yourself staring into the light-blue eyes of your kind, timid friend, Fluttershy.
“Oh...umm...h-hi Fluttershy. Is there anything I can uh...do for you?” you ask softly, trying your best to put on a little smile. Just like you have seen Fluttershy do sometimes, you hid most of your face from view by moving your head off to the side and rarely making eye contact. Tiny beads of sweat start to accumulate on your brow, and your cheeks start to a blush a mildish red when you realised that you hid your face from a friend. Out of the corner of your eye, you could see her face change from one of happiness, to one of concern and guilt.
“Oh, I’m sorry! Did I say anything to hurt you?” she asked.
“Nonono!” You quickly bring your face out of hiding, “You did nothing wrong. I was just...a bit startled is all. It’s alright.”
“Oh...ok. Well, I just came by to...see how some of the animals were doing. Sorry that I had to send some of them over to you, but with the all the new storms that the weather team has been planning lately, I just can’t keep up with all of them...”
You playfully chuckled while she explained her predicament. Fluttershy looked hurt at first, but she is soon joining you in good and full-hearted laughter. When you and Fluttershy calm down, one of the beavers nearby slowly waddles up to you, carrying a large pile of sticks in his paws, which he then sets down at the front of your hooves. You flinch when you feel the roughness of the beaver’s palms suddenly tug at your front leg. You look down to see the beaver’s sweaty, furry face staring back at you with exhausted eyes. You lean downward to meet him at eye-level.
“What’s wrong Timothy? You look exhausted.” you ask the beaver. The tired creature tugs at your leg again and points in the direction of the creek. You look up to see the beaver’s small family struggling with the construction of their water-side home. Whenever they finished one section of the house, the sticks that made up it’s foundation would loosen and fall away, forcing them to stroll over and repair that section, only to turn around and watch as the section that they had finished repairing previously fall apart again.
With your likeness for animals, you couldn’t just stand by and watch the beaver family toil with the rigors of the somehow flawed construction. Even Fluttershy looked as if someone should assist them.
You look down at the pile of sticks at the base of your legs, then back at the crumbling house. Then, out of nowhere, you get an idea.
“I know just the way to help!” you said with eyes wide, your loud voice startling Fluttershy.
You ran towards your house, threw the front door open, and ran inside. You ran upstairs to your bedroom and opened the top drawer of your bedside nightstand. After going through piles upon piles of small trinkets and letters, you pull out a large spool of thick brown thread. You run downstairs and out through the open door. You calmly stroll over to where to left the beaver, only to be greeted by a pleasant surprise. Fluttershy was playing with him on the grass and alternating between activities such as tug-of-war and tag. The tender display of playful affection warmed your heart. You calmly stroll over to the giggling pegasus. She turns to you and smiles once she sees your face.
“Oh, your back! I was just playing with Jonsey for a little while...” she moves her eyes to the ground before continuing, “Umm...why do you have that spool of thread, and those scissors?”
“It’s to help repair the beaver’s home. And I was wondering if you...wanted to help me out?” you politely ask Fluttershy. At those words, she immediately looks up at you with a big smile.
“Oh yes, of course!” she says loudly while hovering above the ground a few inches. When her brain catches up to her, she clamps both hooves over her mouth and immediately lands to the ground. “I mean uhh...sure.” You giggle at the insane levels of cuteness in her voice. You lead Fluttershy over to the beaver home, each of you taking a position at opposite ends of the stick and mud hut.
“Now, watch me, and memorize what I do.” You pull away a small bunch of sticks from the home and lay them out in a tight row, side-by-side. Using your teeth and one of your free hooves, you slowly roll out a one foot long segment of string. You carefully set the string down and reach over to grip the handling end of the scissors with your teeth. Fluttershy gets the idea of what your doing and picks up the spool with her teeth, being careful as to not let more string unravel from the spool. Very carefully, you lean forward and manipulate your tongue and teeth in such a way that enables you to open and close the sharp jaws of the scissors. For unicorns, doing this was easy, but for other ponies, such as yourself, this required a bit of practice to get right. You lean forward an inch or so more and silently snip the brown thread away from the spool. Setting the scissors down, you clump the alignment of sticks into a small bunch, then wrap the string tightly around it. You pick up the bundle with your teeth, and slowly placed it on an exposed part of the house of sticks. You then dip the front of your hoof into the creek and pull out a small clump of mud and silt, which you then slather over the sticks to hold them in place. You step back and proudly admire your simple, yet somewhat difficult hoofwork.
“Oh, that’s very nice. So, do we do that for all the parts of the house?” Fluttershy asks while curiously inspecting the tiny home.
“No, just the exposed or caved in parts. This thread is made tough, so it will help keep the sticks together so the house won’t fall apart. Are you ready for the next one?”
And so, you and your yellow, kind-hearted friend get to work, looking for any broken sections of the house and mending them accordingly. After ten minutes of playing carpenter, the house looked good as new. The family of beavers gave their thanks by hugging the front legs of both you and Fluttershy. The beaver family then scurried back to their newly-repaired home.
Fluttershy sighed with content at the sight of the happy family. She closed her eyes and relished in the moment. After taking it all in, she turned to you, smiling.
“I think it’s really nice that you help all of these animals. Thank you.”
“Why are you thanking me? It’s what I’ve been doing for years. It’s easy and I enjoy doing it, alot!”
“That’s good to hear...” She closes her eyes again. For reasons unknown, you decide to follow her in the mysterious trance. You close your eyes and allow the many sounds of nature to fill your ears. After you open your eyes, you find Fluttershy sitting much closer to you than you previously remember. She was smiling as usual. You could tell that this was an awkward moment, but you didn’t care. So long as she was at your side, you had nothing to worry about...except...
“Oh no!” Your outburst causes Fluttershy to jolt upward from her trance. “I just remembered, I have to go pick up a special package in town! The store is gonna be closed soon if I don’t get there in time!” You quickly run inside your house, leaving a confused and sad Fluttershy behind. You run out with saddle bags over your back. You were about to run onto the road that led into town, but you forgot to say goodbye to your friend. “Terribly sorry Fluttershy, but I have to head into town for a few minutes. Would you mind...watching the animals until I come back? It’s only for a little while. I promise that I will be back soon.”
“Of course!” she says a little to loudly, well above her normal speech volume of silence. She quietly apologises for her outburst, but you reassure her that no harm was done. After waving farewell, you set off for the town.
For those who are currently reading Sins of New Eden, do not fret. This is just a side project to keep me busy. (Thanks to Jonsey for the suggestion. You sly feline bastard you...)