“You girls ready?” Scootaloo asked. Sweetie Belle and Apple Bloom looked at each other nervously.
Then Apple Bloom looked at Scootaloo and asked her, “Are you sure that there’s a cutie mark for… What was it you said this was called again?”
The Cutie Mark Crusaders were all sitting in their wagon at the top of the highest and steepest hill in Ponyville. They each wore a helmet and had a couple of pillows tied around their front and backs. Scootaloo sighed.
“I told you,” she said with annoyance, “that we are trying to get our cutie marks for extreme super downhill wagon riding!”
“Yes, well are you sure that there’s a cutie mark for that?” Apple Bloom asked. Scootaloo gave a jerking nod.
“Of course I’m sure! And besides, even if there isn’t one, maybe we’ll be the first to get them!”
Apple Bloom and Sweetie Belle looked at each other again. Sweetie Belle just shrugged her shoulders.
“Alright then,” Apple Bloom said, still nervous, “let’s give it a go.”
“Sweet!” Scootaloo said, pumping her hoof. She set her wings whirring and grabbed the wagon’s handle. They slowly inched forward until the front wheels made it onto the downward slope of the hill. Then gravity took over and started rolling the wagon down the hill, getting steadily faster.
Sweetie Belle and Apple Bloom grabbed onto each other and started screaming. Scootaloo didn’t notice and was whooping with excitement. She also didn’t take notice of the rock towards the bottom of the hill.
The front right wheel of the wagon hit the rock at top speed, causing it to buck hard and send the three friends flying through the air. They all screamed.
For a few seconds, the Crusaders floated. But then the forces of gravity took over yet again. They came down and, with a great woomph, landed in a small pile at the bottom of the hill.
Sweetie Belle moaned.
“Did we get our cutie marks?” she asked. They untangled themselves and checked each other’s flanks. But, aside from a few grass stains and some dirt, there was still nothing there.
“Darn!” Scootaloo said, stamping her hoof in disappointment, “I thought for sure we’d get them this time.”
Sweetie Belle dusted herself off.
“Maybe it was for the best,” she whispered to Apple Bloom.
“Hey! Are you guys okay?” called a nasally voice.
Looking behind her, Apple Bloom spotted one of her classmates running towards them. “Twist!” she shouted, waving the foal over. Twist ran to them as fast as she could, her glasses almost bouncing off of her nose. She soon got to her friends and proceeded to help dust them off.
“What are you doing out here, Twist?” asked Apple Bloom.
“I saw you guys crash, and so I came to make sure that everyone was okay,” she explained.
“Well, we’re all just fine. Thanks for coming to check up on us, though,” Apple Bloom looked closer at Twist, “What on earth is that you’re wearing?”
On Twist’s head was a light-brown beret with a symbol that had the silhouette of two ponies facing each other and smiling with their mouths open. There was a matching sash around her shoulders that was coated with pictured squares that had been sewn on.
“Oh, this? It’s my Pony Scouts uniform,” she answered.
“Pony what?” Scootaloo asked. She was helping Sweetie Belle to untie the pillows from around her.
“Pony Scouts. You see, we do all sorts of neat stuff. Sometimes we learn how to cook. Or do some sciencey stuff. We even get to go camping occasionally!”
Sweetie Belle, who was returning the favor to Scootaloo and untying her pillows, asked, “What are those square things on your sash?”
Twist thrust her chest out, showing off the ‘squares’ that Sweetie Belle had mentioned.
“These are badges. I earned them by learning to do all the stuff I mentioned earlier,” she looked at the sun’s position in the sky, then said to the Crusaders, “I have to go right now, guys. I don’t want to be late for the Pony Scouts meeting at Sugar Cube Corner!”
“Thanks again, Twist, for coming to check on us,” Apple Bloom said, “Have fun at your meeting!”
Twist saluted. “Will do!” she declared. She ran off, waving goodbye to the three Crusaders who waved back. When she was out of sight, Apple Bloom sat down and began to think. Sweetie Belle and Scootaloo, however, argued about what they should try and do next to get their cutie marks.
“I think we should try dumpster diving!” declared Scootaloo.
“Eewww! No way! And besides, it’s my turn to pick what we try and do next to get our marks.”
“Then what do you suggest?”
“Hmmm. I know! We can try and get knitting cutie marks!”
“Boooriiing. Try and think of something more exciting!”
“That’s it!” exclaimed Apple Bloom, leaping up.
“What’s it? The knitting cutie mark?” asked Sweetie Belle.
“Or is it the fact that we should do something more exciting?” suggested Scootaloo. Apple Bloom shook her head to both of their questions.
“Then what is it?” asked Sweetie Belle. apple bloom pointed in the direction that Twist had gone.
“I think we should join the Pony Scouts!”
Sweetie Belle and Scootaloo looked at Apple Bloom with confused expressions.
“Look, they do all sorts of stuff, right?”
“Yeah, so?” said Scootaloo.
“So, we should join them. Maybe one of those things they do to earn badges could just so happen to be our special talents that will help us get our cutie marks!” Apple Bloom explained.
Sweetie Belle and Scootaloo continued to look at their friend, still confused. But then their eyes widened as they began to understand her reasoning.
“That’s a great idea, Apple Bloom!” Scootaloo declared.
“Yeah!” agreed Sweetie Belle.
“Come on guys! Let’s catch up with Twist!” Apple Bloom said.
So all three friends galloped off in the same direction that Twist had. As they ran, they each thought about how close they felt to getting their cutie marks.