My Little Ninja

by NoMoreNormalcy

7. Silver and Gold

The next day was a bit less eventful. Having agreed previously that he needed a bit of experience helping others to make the most of his new cutie mark, Randy agreed to help some of the local ponies with random chores after resting up. Fighting a monster, saving the Crusaders, and the stress of waiting for the ‘Nomicon to chew him out for telling not one more, but three more his secret. However, it remained silent, as though to tell him that he did the right thing and believed these girls as well when they made their promise. Now, bucket in mouth, Randy trotted around Fluttershy’s backyard, helping her with her animals.

“Now, remember, some of these critters can be very jittery and can get spooked very easily, Randy,” Fluttershy explained. “You need to approach some of them with care.” She lowered to her belly and approached a small group of ferrets. “Hello, Mr. and Mrs. Ferret. This is Randy, he’ll be helping me today.”

Randy, following her lead, also crawled a bit on his belly cautiously to the ferrets. “Hey there! Oh, my cheese, you are cute!” The ferrets covered their muzzles and blushed.

“I’m sure you’ve got this. I’ll take care of the animals inside while you help the ones out here. If you aren’t sure how to help them, just come and get me. Talking to animals of all kinds is my special talent, so I can translate for you.”

“That’s so bruce! Thanks, Fluttershy.”

Once they went their separate ways on the ground, Randy started placing out treats that were in the bucket, on top of all the birdseed. He couldn’t help but wonder how many birds were at the place, but he made sure to keep them in there until he found a place for them. He fed snakes, skunks, a giraffe – How the juice did that get here? – and even Harry the Bear. Turns out there is a butcher in town for the more carnivorous pets and visitors to town, such as Harry or even griffon visitors. Randy wanted to try to see if he could eat any but was worried his new anatomy may not accept meat in his diet any longer. Halfway through the bucket, all that remained was birdseed and he had only encountered a few feeders that needed a little filling. “Okay, where do I need to go now?” After voicing his concern to himself, he saw a wire fence with a small wooden building, doorway barely big enough to squeeze into.

“No.” White feathers dotted the penned yard, and some hung on the latch to the gate. “No.” Clucking was heard before a wobbly white head with wide eyes appeared from within the coop, clucking and bobbing upon exit. Words failed Randy this time around, holding stock still, praying that the foul feathered fiend hadn’t seen him. Idly, he looked down and saw the bucket and saw the neck-high fence. The chicken still didn’t notice his presence, facing the other direction upon a double-check. Back and forth between the two, he then pulled his head back and tossed the bucket into the pen.

Only for it to have not even a single seed fall out and to land upright.

Though the clang of the bucket got the chicken’s attention, upon several others that were still in the coop. They flooded out and swarmed the bucket, however they weren’t successful in reaching in the bucket or knocking it over. Groaning, Randy slowly trotted to the gate. “I hate doing this. I don’t wanna do this, I should have offered to cover the inside instead. Should’ve known there would be chickens.” He slowly reached for the latch yet hesitated as he looked back at the fowls. They clucked and still swarmed the bucket, oblivious to his presence at the gate. However, the pen was a bit on the small side, and even though only a half dozen chickens were present, his mind’s eye couldn’t help but play tricks on him, seeing nearly twice as many. Sucking in a short breath, his hoof hit the latch, slowly opening the gate. What mortified Randy was how squeaky the gate was. Everything froze right as the chickens looked up and stared at Randy. Seconds ticked by and no one made a move. Right as his right hoof lowered from flipping the latch and hit the ground, everything exploded.

A swarm of white feathers fluttered in the air, clucking intensified up to at least an eight, hooves thundering within the pen, and Randy screaming the entire time.

Not that he’d ever admit to that.

During his frantic escape from the foul feathered fiends, he caught a glimpse of Fluttershy in her window on the first floor, looking at Randy with concern and worry. Another pass told him she had disappeared from the window and he could only pray that she was on her way.

Only moments passed by before a slightly raised and assertive voice called out, “Elizabeak! Henrietta, Beatrice! Clarabelle, Harriette, Tillie! Come here right now, girls, and leave poor Randy alone!” Sullenly, the chickens obeyed. Upon noticing that they were at the gate, cowering, Randy inched over to the bucket. Once there, he kicked it over, sprinted for the fence and jumped over it, left hind hoof catching on the top of the fence, forcing him face first into the ground. “Ow.” Upon seeing that Randy had cleared enough of the fence, the chickens were allowed back to the seeds that had fallen. Fluttershy came back, bucket under a wing. “Randy are you okay?”

“I’m good, Fluttershy. I’m good,” he said dismissively from his grounded position. He rose carefully and untangled himself from the fence. “Sorry about that, should have realized you had chickens and warned you about my, uh, issue.”

“Oh no, it’s quite alright,” Fluttershy assured. “I didn’t know anypony was scared of any cute little critters.”

“Cute? Well, to me, they’re terrifying!” Randy shuddered. “Did you know they have more bones in their neck than a giraffe?! A giraffe!” He exclaimed, waiving a foreleg into the air.

Fluttershy chuckled, “Yes, I did know, but I’m sure you know a lot about them. Did you try to learn as much as possible to get over your fear?”

Randy stopped waving about and stood upright, eyes flicking back and forth, “Maybe.”

Fluttershy giggled again, “Well, that’s all for today, would you like to join me for tea? Discord usually joins around this time.”

“I don’t think I should – wait, did you say Discord?”

Fluttershy nodded, “Though he hasn’t been around lately, I do hope he makes it to tea. He’s yet to miss a day with me.”

“Well, I don’t see why not. Never been a huge tea fan, though.”

“Maybe you just hadn’t had the right tea."

Howard was getting impatient. This Discord guy-thing-whatever kept droning on and on about something or other. There were more important things to worry about. Like that lava flow that just stuck to the ceiling like gravity was backwards complete with mini volcano, not setting a single thing on fire. There was even that swirling vortex in the center of the floor like a decorative rug. A staircase lead to the ceiling with no door or trapdoor in site. Singing teabags floated about in a wordless tune. Both he and Discord were sitting opposite to each other on floating chairs with a table hovering between the too. While looking around, Howard realized then that the lava flow was now below him and Discord was upside-down and smiling.

Or is that a frown? Oh, wait, I’m upside-down.

“Confound it, boy, are you even listening to a word I’m saying?”

Howard looked at Discord with a matter-of-fact expression, replied with, “No, no I am not. Where are we? Where’s my best pal, and why are you a mix of all sorts of animals?”

Discord deadpanned before slapping his lion’s paw over his face and literally rubbed it off. He took a marker from thin air and drew a more serious expression back on. “Honestly, your ninja friend is just fine and probably making more friends. I would love to send you with him-”

“The Ninja, make friends without me? Hah! Come on, you can do better than that.”

“No, really, I was planning on tea time with Fluttershy, so I can check up-”

“HAH! Tea time!” Howard slapped a hand on his forehead and let out a bellowing laugh. He then held up his hand in a mocking manner and adopted a faux British accent. “Well then, why don’t you just scurry off now to yon tea time?” He resumed into his boisterous laughter, slapping his knee all the while. Meanwhile, Discord resumed his deadpanned look as he snapped up another bubble, like he did for the other guest he had. Though instead of popping on his forehead, it popped about five inches away as it was slapped unceremoniously out of the air. Steam simmered from his head as he clenched his lion’s paw in annoyance. He snapped again, bubble in his hand. He then lobbed it and it bounce beautifully off the ceiling in a gap in the lava, ricochets off a random folded napkin duck that was in mid-flight, hit the wall behind Howard and knocked the boy in the back of his head with an audible smack followed by a pop. While stunned, Discord snaps his talons and transforms Howard into a pudgy, dark blue unicorn colt with orange mane in the same style as his hair usually took, wearing a lighter blue outer shirt and sporting a cutie mark of a pair of binoculars falling apart. Howard righted himself from his position and glared at Discord all the while. “Why you, I aughta-”

“Oh, look at that, it’s getting late and I really need to be at Fluttershy’s now, so I’ll just drop you off. Toodles!” Another snap and Howard found himself teleported in the middle of a busy street of a small town. Still sitting upright. Now sans a chair and due to his new physiology, Howard found himself listing backward before landing solidly on his back.

“Okay, what the juice is going on?” A mint green unicorn filled his vision. “And just who the heck are you?”

“Are you okay, there? Did Discord prank ya?” The mare held out a hoof which Howard, whom after a brief thought, reluctantly took it and was helped up. He tried to stand on his hind hooves, but his body automatically lurched forward, and he landed on all fours.

“Big mis-matchy guy? Oh yeah. Got me good, hardy har.” His tone was unflattering and he adopted a scowl after he said it all. “Yeah, just wandering my hometown, normal day and everything, then suddenly he appears from nowhere and just pops me and my best friend somewhere that I don’t even know where it is!” He looked around and notice all the ponies that were bustling about. “So, where am I?”

The mare gasped, “You don’t know where you are? Goodness, that’s a little far nowadays for him. Also, to answer your question, you’re in Ponyville, central town of weird. My name’s Lyra Heartstrings, what’s yours?”

“Weinerman, Howard Weinerman. So, where do I find Discord?” He lifted a forehoof and tightly curled his pastern, “I’ve got a friend to find and he knows where he is!”

“Oh, what’s his name? Maybe I can help!”

“You, help?” Surprise made its way easily to Howard’s face. “But I just met you.”

“Sure, but you’re a teenaged colt wandering in a new town. I live here, and I could show you around! I could also introduce you to Pinkie Pie. She’s the party pony of Ponyville and knows everypony in town. No, really. Every. Pony.”

Howard pulled his Thinking Face™ and pondered on the offer. It wasn’t long before he thrust out his forehoof with a big grin on his face and shouted, “You’ve got it! Hey, maybe after this we could hang out or something? I dunno.”

“So, what’s your friend’s name?”

“Randy Cunningham. He’s a pretty bruce guy.”

“Oh, hey, I’ve met him! Pinkie Pie threw a ‘Welcome to Ponyville’ Party for him!”

“Oh hey, that’s weirdly convenient.”

“Come on, let’s see if we can’t find him in town, somewhere.” They both trotted at a leisurely pace, keeping an eye out for Randy. Very little time passed before Lyra asked another question. “So, what’s your cutie mark mean?”

“My what?” He looked to his flank where Lyra was pointing, “Oh, that. Funny story. I have always had this knack for destroying things, but I figured it was my special talent when I helped a local company make their stuff actually unbreakable. Seriously, I would break everything. It was awesome!” Lyra simply had a look that was between bemused and amused as she lightly shook her head and resumed her search for the second newest colt in Ponyville.