Saying Goodbye

by TheTrueDragoon

Wee Little Pig

Sunset blinked her eyes at the bright light that shined directly at her and put her hands to her eyes to rub them. It took her a second to realize that she had fallen asleep and she squinted her eyes tight before slowly opening them. But instead of finding herself sprawled on her bed, or her floor for all she hoped, she found herself in the midst of a circle of trees, sitting against one such tree. When did she fall asleep and how long did she sleep?
She was about to move when she noticed the weight on her lap. Laying across her lap, sound asleep, was Pooh. His arms were crossed and tucked under his head and he gave a soft and gentle snore with each breath. It was rather adorable to see. The childish urge came over her to grab him up in a big hug. But she repressed it, letting the yellow bear sleep a little longer.
She looked up at the sky and thought about everything that had happened so far. It was all so strange, the dream of a child. She wanted to go home and be done with it all. But, as she took a look back at the bear sleeping on her lap, she wanted to see more. Back home, she had been alone. Not entirely the fault of her friends but it still resulted in loneliness. Here, she had a friend who would quicker sleep on your lap than leave you alone. Who knows what other kinds of friends this one had?
Pooh stirred and sat up, rubbing his eyes, and looked around before finding Sunset. “Good morning Sunset Shimmer.”
Sunset repressed the urge to squee at the sleepy face of the yellow bear and his silly smile. “Good morning Pooh. Is it morning?”
Pooh looked up at the sky then at his tummy. “It seems to be.”
Sunset put her hand to her mouth to hide a giggle. Always hungry apparently. Pooh rolled over and stood on all fours before standing up straight. He wandered over to where he had found the honey pot earlier to find a second pot waiting for him.
“Just a little something before we go,” he said as he opened it and began digging in.
Sunset watched as Pooh happily lapped up his honey covered paw after each dip. The whole sight seemed so simple and peaceful. She felt like she could just sit for hours and watch him eat.
The feeling faded as a growl rumbled in her own stomach. She tucked in her legs and wrapped her arms around them. It was strange to feel hungry in a place that was supposed to be a dream. She looked down at her feet as she thought. What was this place?
She heard movement and turned to see Pooh standing next to her, holding his pot of honey. He held it out to her and waited patiently as she stared in curiosity.
“You seem to need a little something. Things are best when shared with a friend.”
“Thanks,” she said as she relaxed and took the pot. Pure honey would make for a strange breakfast but she was hungry and there did not appear to be anything else to eat. She looked inside and prepared to scoop out the golden sweet when she saw a wooden spoon set inside.
Relieved she would not have to dip her hand in, she took a small spoonful and gave a taste. The sweet taste struck her taste buds like a shower of joy. All thoughts of a healthy meal were thrown out as she stuffed the spoon in her mouth and downed the delicious mass. She quickly scooped out and ate several more spoonfuls before she realized what she was doing.
She looked over at Pooh, the spoon sticking out of her mouth and embarrassment blushing her face. She slurped up the remains on the spoon and politely put it back in the pot before setting the pot down. All the while, she stared at Pooh, her face growing redder each second, as he simply stared back. On his face was that same simple, patient face he had. No judgement as he waited for his friend to finish.
“Sorry. It was just so good.”
“I know.”
Still an odd bear. Pooh took the honey pot and peered inside before plunging a paw in a scooping out one more mass of honey and lapping it up. No sense in being wasteful it seemed. He then walked back over to where the pot hat been found and placed it next to the first. Sunset stood and brushed herself off and righted her skirt as Pooh made his way back and stood before her, still waiting patiently.
Sunset smiled. “Well. I guess we ought to get back to our adventure and find your friends.”
“Yes,” said Pooh.
The two wandered side-by-side down the small hill and back into the woods. For a while, nothing changed as they walked down a path through the trees. Pooh softly hummed as Sunset continued to drink in the wonderful scene around them. Eventually, they came across another larger tree with a small door and a couple of windows set into it.
It stood taller than Pooh’s tree home, by a small bit, though it was a little thinner. But it was still smaller than the tree home on the hill that Sunset had first seen. To one side was a broken wooden sign that read, “Trespassers W.” It did not take Sunset long to guess what the sign might have said once though it was odd to find such a sign in a place like this. Perhaps something that a child might see wandering the woods and thus was included in such a child-like dream land.
“I know this place,” said Pooh.
Sunset looked down at Pooh then back at the tree home. Before she could ask about the place, she heard a sound and turned to see a bush move as something slipped away. Curiosity got the best of her and she walked over to investigate. She moved part of the bush aside to find a very small creature hiding within.
The creature was pink and appeared like a small, young pig. It stood on two legs which were rounded much like Pooh’s paws, giving the appearance of a toy. It peered up at Sunset in a mix of fear and curiosity, seeming to relax as it looked at the girl.
“Oh!” it said. “Hallo. You don’t seem to be a Heffalump.”
“Well hello to you,” Sunset said as the small pig shuffled out from behind the bush. “Um…What’s a Heffalump?”
“Oh, a terrifying creature. One you don’t want to meet.” Before giving much more of an explanation, the pig turned and saw Pooh. At the sight of the yellow bear, the pig’s expression changed to one of sheer joy and relief. “Oh! Hallo Pooh! I’ve been looking everywhere for you.”
Pooh looked at the pig and gave that same smile. “Hallo Piglet! I finally found you.”
“So,” said Sunset, “Your name is Piglet.”
Piglet looked at Sunset and stayed quiet, seeming unsure if she could be trusted or not. This left Pooh to answer.
“Yes. He is a good friend of mine.”
Sunset smiled at being able to find one of Pooh’s friends. It had not taken very long so maybe they could find all of the others just as quickly. Being a dream, it would probably go that way. Especially in a child’s dream.
A thought crossed her mind. “Hey, is Piglet the friend you were talking about earlier? At that circle of trees.”
Piglet looked at Sunset then at Pooh, rather confused. Pooh thought for a second before answering. “No. That friend is different.”
Sunset decided not to push anymore to be polite and changed the subject back to what Piglet had mentioned earlier. “So, what’s a Heffalump?”
“A frightening creature,” said Piglet. “I saw one once. Or perhaps it wasn’t.”
The urge to facepalm struck Sunset again at the vague answer. But the sight of the small pig was just so cute there was no way she could be upset at him.
“Oh!” said Pooh, causing the others to turn and Piglet to jump a hair off the ground. “Perhaps a Heffalump is responsible for our friends being missing.”
“You think?” asked Piglet.
“Perhaps,” said Pooh.
Sunset could not help but smile at the two. They truly were good friends seeing as how Piglet’s earlier fear was all but wiped away as he spoke with Pooh. She decided to entertain Pooh’s thought. “Okay, so what if it is a Heffalump?”
Pooh thought for a second before answering. “Then we shall catch it.”
“How?” asked Piglet.
Pooh went back to thinking as though he had not thought that far ahead. The three were silent as Pooh thought, allowing Sunset to have her own thought. “Well, there are three of us and maybe only one Heffalump. Sounds like good odds to me.”
While Piglet only looked confused, Pooh seemed to get an idea. “Yes. We shall find the Heffalump and say, ‘Aha!’”
“Aha?” asked Piglet as he tilted his head. Sunset could only agree.
“Yes,” continued Pooh. “That will let the Heffalump know we have caught him. Then he will tell us where our friends are.”
Sunset smiled at the simplicity of the idea. A simple idea from the mind of a child in line with the land made up by a child. Just say, “I caught you!” and you win the game. The thought brought back memories of her fillyhood and playing such simple games with Princess Celestia on occasion. For once, in such a long time, she was having fun. And her old childish imagination was returning.
“Well,” she said, returning from her musings, “we better start looking.”
The others agreed and the three started wandering with Pooh leading by just a hair and Piglet close behind. Through the trees, over rocks, and seemingly all over. All the while, Sunset tried her best to suppress her smile and giggles as she followed the two who wandered in circles. A part of her wanted to end the nonsense but this “adventure” was just too much fun. She hardly cared when she noticed that they were returning to Piglet’s home.
When they did return to Piglet’s home, the little pig looked around rather baffled. “Pooh, I think we went in a circle.”
Pooh looked around, again with that same expression he had. “Yes. We have.”
Piglet continued to look around, occasionally turning and allowing Sunset to see the worry on his face. She walked over to Piglet and knelt down, placing a hand over his little shoulders. “That’s okay. It just means that a Heffalump didn’t take your friends. We’ll look again later. I’m sure we’ll find them.”
Piglet looked up, visibly fighting the urge to cry but rather relieved with what Sunset had said. His initial fear and distrust of her had completely vanished as he wrapped his little arms around her legs as best he could in a hug. “Thank you.”
Sunset hesitated for just a second at the sudden affection before returning the hug. The appearance of the Pooh and Piglet were like that of a pair of stuffed animals given to a child, brought to life by the child’s imagination and cherished as real friends. Sunset had had her share of stuffed toys as a filly and recalled the love she once had for them. But such love eventually faded as she grew older. And the number of friends she had, even throughout her life, were few. Six to be exact and she was still learning how to be a friend.
But in such a short time here, in this dream world from a book, she seemed to have made two friends who gave her the love one would expect from a lifetime of knowing them. A love she had hardly known through her life. Though they appeared as toys brought to life in a child’s dream or imagination, at the moment, they were just as real as anything else.
Her thoughts of leaving and ending the bizarre dream vanished. She no longer wanted to leave. She had to stay. She wanted to stay. But her mind called her back to the reality of things. No matter how real they seemed, this was still a dream. But, if it was a dream, she would cherish this experience regardless of how long it lasted.
“You’re welcome,” she said before releasing Piglet.
He took two steps back before peering around, prompting Sunset to turn to see what he was looking at. Once again, she tried to hide a giggle as she saw Pooh holding his tummy. Time for “a little something” it seemed.
“Sunset,” the bear said. “I am feeling a bit eleven o’clockish. Time for a little something.”
Of course.
Sunset turned back as she heard Piglet. The little pig hurried into his home and emerged a minute later pushing a honey pot nearly as big as he was. Sunset stood and went over to help him by picking up the honey pot and nearly causing him to fall over.
“I’ve got it,” she said.
Piglet steadied himself and looked at her, then at Pooh, then back at her. “Umm…That is for Pooh. I don’t remember where or when I got it but he can have it.” He looked back at Pooh. “I have things to do so…perhaps another time.”
“Of course,” said Pooh. “Tomorrow.”
“Tomorrow,” said Piglet. He looked back at Sunset. “Goodbye,” he said before going into his home.
For a moment, it felt like the smile on Sunset’s face would never fade. She walked over to Pooh and handed him the honey pot.
“So now what?” she asked.
Pooh said nothing. Nor did he open the honey pot. Instead, he held the pot in one arm and reached out to her with the other, taking her by the hand. He started walking, leading Sunset back the way towards the circle of trees, releasing her after a moment and leaving her to follow. She did not complain. She could not. She only smiled more.
Finally back at the trees, Pooh did as he did before. He stood and stared for a moment and repeated, “He’s not here.”
“Doing nothing again, or something?”
The two made their way back to where they had sat before. The two previous honey pots were still in their place but sitting on a nearby flat rock was a plate with some biscuits, a couple of small jars, and a spoon. Sunset investigated to find the jars held jelly in one and honey in the other.
“A little something for you Sunset Shimmer.”
Sunset looked to see Pooh sitting down at the previous spot, waiting patiently for her with the honey pot still unopened. Shrugging and giving in to her own “eleven o’clockish” feeling, Sunset took the plate and sat down next to Pooh. As she began scooping and spreading some jelly on one biscuit Pooh opened his honey pot and dug in.
Time hardly mattered as they sat and ate their meal. Not much mattered at the moment. They ate slow, enjoying each bite and savoring the taste of their respective foods. After what felt like an hour or so, the meals were finished and the two simply sat in silence for a moment, staring ahead or at the sky and leaving Sunset to return to her musings.
Where had the food come from? Was this special friend of Pooh’s leaving it for them but always unable to stay? Or was it just part of the dream? Like that of a child who plays, goes to eat, and returns to play without ever leaving their imagination.
“Sunset Shimmer?” said Pooh.
“Are you my friend?”
Sunset looked at Pooh. She hesitated to answer for a moment, a little confused as to why Pooh would ask the question again. Did he not believe her before? Did she even believe herself before? She looked back at the sky and internally repeated the question. A simple question. But one she did not truly know the answer to. What did it truly mean to be a friend?
“Of course,” she said finally, wincing internally at her own lack of conviction. Before, she had given into the dream. Now, she truly wanted to know herself.
“That’s good,” said Pooh, nestling closer as he had before as Sunset’s internal debate went unnoticed.
Again, Sunset put an arm around him and hugged him slightly. She found herself questioning her friendship with the odd bear. She said she was his friend but she hardly knew what that meant. She had her other friends. But how much of a friend were each of them to her? Or, more importantly, she to them.
She looked down at Pooh, only now noticing the he had returned the hug she gave. Perhaps this odd bear could help her figure out what it meant to be a friend.