“Hey guys!” Rainbow Dash said as she flew towards her friends.
“Pinkie, you can’t be serious.”
“Oh, but I am, Twilight! Pumpkin Cherry Surprise is really tasty!”
“Guys?” Rainbow said as she landed.
“Hey AJ—” Pinkie Pie bounced over to Applejack “—do you wanna try Pumpkin Cherry Surprise?”
“Pinkie, what Ah really need t’ do is get back t’ work. Ah don’t rightly know why we’re all jus’ standin’ ‘round.”
“Neither do I, now that you mention it.” Twilight brought up a hoof in contemplation.
“Hey guys!” Rainbow literally jumped up and down. “Anypony? I’m here!”
When nopony responded, the pegasus groaned in frustration. “If you guys won’t talk to me, I’ll— I’ll go see Zecora! Yeah, I’m going to see Zecora!” She stuck out her tongue at the other three and stormed off.
“Anypony else feel that? Maybe it’s somepony wanting to try my new shake!”
“Who must this be, knocking on my tree?”
“Zecora? Are you home?” Rainbow Dash yelled as she pounded on the door.
“I am always home. I was just munching on this honeycomb.” Zecora set down the honeycomb and opened the door. She quickly side-stepped as Rainbow flew in. The blue pegasus pulled a 180 in order to prevent crashing.
“What a pleasant surprise Rainbow Dash! I am glad you didn’t crash.”
“So am I.” Rainbow touched down, blurting, “Zecora, all my friends are ignoring me!”
“Is this true? See all of them, did you?” Zecora asked as she sat down.
“Uh… no. Fluttershy and Rarity weren’t there.”
“And how long has this been going on? A week ago or this dawn?”
“Just this morning.” Rainbow Dash looked sheepish. “Maybe I was a bit quick in rushing off.”
“You were indeed very quick. Did you try and give them a flick?”
“You mean poke them?”
“No. Is it wrong if I think it’s a curse?”
“Not at all, my blue friend. One more thing before this visit will end.”
Zecora continued to speak, but her voice changed; it became deeper, more throaty, and Australian (although Rainbow didn’t know the accent). “You have t’ find out what exactly it is about you or about what you’re doin’ that makes them not respond t’ ya. There must be some element. You need to overcome that element so you can be reunited with your friends.”
Rainbow Dash shrank back. “What happened to your voice? And what kind of advice was that? My friends like me!”
“I know not what to say,” Zecora said in her normal voice, “it just came out that way.”
“Uh, well, thanks Zecora. See ya!” the pegasus flew away.
“That was strange indeed. To my help, she paid no heed. But in the long-run, that is alright, for helped not, it might."
Rainbow landed near her friends, who were strangely still in the same place.
“…and so Pound tried to eat the rug, but it wasn’t working…”
Rainbow ignored Pinkie Pie. She wasn't her target, anyway. Rainbow reached out to poke Twilight.
Her hoof stopped short.
“…and so I said, ‘No Poundie! Those are breakfast cupcakes, not snack cupcakes!’”
Rainbow’s eyes widened as she tried, unsuccessfully, to poke Twilight.
“Hey guys! Want me to sing a song?”
“Pinkie, again, Ah need t’ get back t’ work! Last time Ah tried, Apple Bloom nearly bowled me over!”
“Why was she in the orchard?” asked Twilight.
“Ah think she said somethin’ ‘bout earthworms…”
Rainbow Dash quickly looked around for something to throw. She spotted a table nearby, and while she swore it wasn't there before, it worked.
She put her hooves around it and flapped her wings, lifting it into the air, and dropped it.
It never hit the trio.
With slack jaw, Rainbow watched as the table stopped a few feet above their heads and set itself down not to far away.
“Wha— Bu— This can't—” She shook her head. “You know what? I’m going to say something so irresistible, they’ll have to pay attention to me. Uh…” She thought for a moment. “Cardboard unicorn,” she said slowly. “Blue rhinoceros. Cherry stapler. Strawberry fajita.”
Pinkie Pie gasped. “Did somepony say ‘strawberry fajita’?!”
“Pinkie, what the hay is—”
“Don’t stop me, Applejack, or the consequences will never be the same!”
Rainbow Dash repeated, “Strawberry fajita.”
“Strawberry fajita!” the pink mare repeated as she bounced over.
“Strawberry fajita.” Rainbow landed.
Pinkie came closer and closer, until she was close enough that the blue pegasus tapped her on the snout.
“Oh hey, Dashie! Where have you been all day?”
With a crack of thunder (although the sky was clear), the two were flung apart. Rainbow Dash hit a tree and felt the breath knocked from her. Gasping, she looked up to see—
Indeed, a penguin (who looked big and plushy) came towards her. He got in her face and didn’t speak for a few long seconds.
“Vhy did you break my curse?”
“So it was a curse.” Rainbow would have said it with more enthusiasm, but she was in shock from being thrown up against a tree. That, and the penguin’s voice.
“I spent veeks un veeks on zat curse! And you just brrroke it!”
She managed to get to her hooves. “Uh, who are you exactly?”
“Third grade? You invited everyone to your birthday pahty except me.”
Rainbow's puzzled expression remained for a split second more before she exclaimed, “I remember you! You’re the Penguin!”
“Yes, but I was known by a different name.” He paused dramatically. “Penguin.”
“I said that.”
“Yes, but you said it a little differently.”
“The reason why I never invited you is because you never showed to school. You’re a penguin for crying out loud, penguins can’t walk on clouds!” Rainbow argued.
“Zat is a lie! I most zertainly attended classes!"
"Tell me one thing you learned!"
"Well, I remember— Wait, what is happening?”
Penguin was enveloped in a purple aura and shoved off to the side.
“So let me get this straight,” Twilight said, trotting forward. “You, Mr. Penguin—“
“—whatever, put a curse on Rainbow here because she didn’t invite you to her birthday party in third grade?”
With a bemused expression, Twilight flung Penguin away.
“Ahhh!” Penguin’s voice faded away.
"Dear Celestia, the nerve of some creatures..."
“Twilight!" Rainbow Dash enveloped her unicorn friend in a hug. "You saved me!”
“Rainbow, he was a stuffed penguin.” Twilight rolled her eyes. “The worst he could have done was waddle at you.”
“Aw, I wanted to hug him!”