Twilight and her friends basked in the warmth of the sun as they played with their pets. They brought Owloysius, Winona, Gummy, Angel, Opal, and Tank to the park every once in a while, just stay out and have fun. But today Rainbow Dash brought her son Clay along as well. As Dash watched from a nearby tree, Clay played a game of hide and seek with Tank. The tortoise popping his head in and out of his shell always put a smile on Clay’s face, and in turn it would put a smile on hers as well. Dash reclined on the branch, placing her head on her “tree” pillow, and exhaled as she got settled.
“Rainbow, shouldn’t you be keeping an eye on Clay?” Applejack asked, rousing Dash from her sleep.
“Aw, don’t worry. He’s too preoccupied with Tank to go anywhere, and besides I can always catch up with him if I need to chase him.” Applejack raised an eyebrow at her, so she added, “I’m not going to nap that long. Just five minutes, eight tops.”
Applejack rolled her eyes and trotted back to her dog. As Rainbow slept and the others played none of them noticed that Clay had split from the group. Clay had spotted a butterfly that had flown close to him and he began chasing it. As he did he went farther and farther from his mother and Aunts.
“Hey, come back here!” Clay swiped at the butterfly and missed. “Darn it.” He continued the chase and eventually reached the top of a hill trying his best to capture the elusive butterfly.
As he reached for it, the insect flew away from the hill where he couldn’t grab it. Clay looked down the hill and then back to the butterfly.
“If Mom can do it, so can I.”
He started to back up, squinting his eyes as he focused. Clay ran as fast as he could and jumped off the hill reaching for the butterfly, but as soon as it was within reach Clay began to drop. He hit the ground hard and rolled all the way to the bottom, getting the wind knocked out of him. When he finally stopped rolling he shook his head and looked down to see that his knee was bleeding. Between the pain and witnessing his blood Clay panicked and began to cry.
Rainbow was still asleep when she heard a cry in the distance. She opened her eyes and was horrified when she looked to see Clay on the ground crying. She flew off the branch and landed beside her son.
“Clay, what happened!” Clay tried to talk, but he found it difficult through his tears. He looked down at his leg and Dash saw the injury.
“Oh my gosh you’re hurt! Clay, I’m so sorry!” Clay continued sniffling as the rest of his Aunts came running up.
“Rainbow what happened?” Twilight asked worried.
“Clay hurt his leg.” Dash picked Clay up and embraced him as he sniffled.
“It hurts, Mommy,” He cried.
“Don’t worry, Clay. I’ll fix it.” Twilight bent down and touched her horn to his injured leg. With a bright flash it was healed. “All better.” Twilight gave his leg a small kiss as she backed away.
“Thank you, Aunt Twilight.” Clay sniffed.
“You’re welcome, sweetie.” Twilight said smiling.
“I’ll take Clay home. Rainbow you get Tank and head back,” said Applejack.
Rainbow nodded, but was rather reluctant to let go of Clay. When she did, she watched him and Applejack walk home in silence.
“Rainbow Dash, are you alright?” Fluttershy asked, worried.
“I’m a terrible mother.” She whispered.
“What?” Pinkie said startled.
“I let Clay get hurt because I wanted to take a nap.” She hung her head shamefully. “What kind of a mother does that?”
“Rainbow you made a mistake. And Clay is all better now, so don’t worry about it.” Twilight reassured.
“But…what if next time it’s more serious? What if I’m not around next time? What if you aren’t around
next time? What if…”
“Rainbow, dear, it was just an accident. These things happen.” Rarity interrupted.
“But what if next time he runs into a bear or something?”
“Oh, there aren’t any bears around here. Unless Clay went into the Everfree Forest he wouldn’t run into one,” Fluttershy whispered.
“Rainbow, I think you might be overthinking this a little.” Twilight said kindly.
Dash glared at her friends. “Don’t you get it!? Clay got hurt because I wasn’t watching him! If he leaves the house again and I’m not around it might not go so well next time!” Her chest rose and fell as she began to imagine terrible things happening to him. “I need to make sure he gets home okay!”
Before anyone else could speak Rainbow Dash took off grabbing Tank as she zipped by headed for home. Within minutes Rainbow was outside her home and swung the door open.
“Clay, Applejack are you guys here!”
“We’re in here RD!” Rainbow looked to see Clay and Applejack in the kitchen making him dinner. She breathed a sigh of relief as she placed Tank on the floor.
“You got here quick Rainbow. I figured ya would have finished your nap instead.” Applejack said with a hint of sarcasm.
Rainbow glared at her. “What, you think that’s all I do!?”
Clay and Applejack looked startled. “No I just didn’t expect to see ya back so soon.”
Rainbow walked over to Clay. “My son got hurt and I wanted to make sure he was okay.”
She kissed the top of his head.
“I’m fine, Mommy. Aunt Twilight used her magic remember?”
“I know, Clay, I just wanted to make sure you were safe.” Rainbow Dash sat at the spot beside Clay at the table.
“We got here safe enough. Are yah hungry? I was just about ta make Clay dinner.”
“No thanks I…I lost my appetite.”
Applejack shrugged. “Suit yourself.”
Applejack finished preparing the food and placed it in front of Clay.
“Hay fries my favorite!” Clay dug in and started eating.
“I’m gonna head back to the farm RD, see you later. Bye Clay!” Applejack ruffled his mane.
“Bye Aunt Applejack!” Clay called out as she left.
As Clay resumed eating Dash watched him silently.
“What’s wrong mommy? Aren’t you hungry?”
Dash shook her head. “No. I’m fine Clay.”
Despite what his mother said Clay took a fry and offered it to her.
“Thanks sweetie.” She took it smiling and popped it into her mouth. “Clay I’m sorry.”
“About what?” Clay asked.
“For not watching you, and letting you get hurt.” She replied sadly.
“It’s okay mommy. It wasn’t your fault.”
Dash smiled. “Thanks Clay, but I still feel terrible that I let it happen. I should have been watching you.”
“It was my fault, Mommy. I haven’t figured out how to fly yet.” Dash raised an eyebrow.
“Haven’t learned how to- wait, what?”
“Fly. I was trying to grab a butterfly and it was in the air, so I tried to fly like you, but I guess I didn’t get it right.”
Dash looked at Clay uncomfortably. “Uh, Clay, I’m sorry, but you can’t fly.”
Clay looked at her confused. “Why?”
“Well, because you don’t have wings like Mommy.” She flapped her wings a few times.
“Won’t I grow them later?”
Now Dash was really uncomfortable. “Clay…you’re an earth pony like Applejack and Pinkie Pie. They don’t have wings, and they never will.”
Clay looked dumbfounded. “You mean…I…I can never fly like you?”
“Yes…I’m sorry sweetie.”
Clay’s eyes began to glisten. “But…but I want to fly like you mommy. You make it look so fun.”
“It is fun Clay, but the fact is that earth ponies and unicorns can’t fly, just like Mommy can’t use magic.”
“But how come I don’t have wings like you?”
Dash shook her head. “I don’t know. Your real dad or mom must have been an earth pony. Or maybe they both were.”
Clay frowned. “But Pumpkin Cake and Pound Cake have earth pony parents and they can fly and use magic!”
“I don’t know why that is Clay, maybe they were just lucky or something?”
“It’s not fair! I want wings.” He crossed his front legs.
“I know it’s not fair, but you can’t change who you are Clay. Besides what would Aunt Applejack say if she saw you like this?”
“I don’t care! I want to fly with you mommy!” His eyes became moist and his lip trembled.
“I want you to fly with me too Clay, but you can’t.”
“Can't Aunt Twilight make some wings for me with her magic?”
“I don’t think there is a spell that can do that, Clay.” Dash lied.
Dash knew there was a spell that could give a pony wings, but they were fragile and the thought of Clay falling from so high filled her with dread.
Clay hung his head in defeat and a small tear ran down his face. He stood there for a moment and then looked up at Dash with sad eyes.
“Yes Clay?” Dash whispered.
“Do you… love me?” Dash was startled by the question.
“Why would you ask something like that?”
“Because I don’t have wings.” The tears in his eyes began to flow more steadily as he looked at her.
“Clay, of course I love you. Don’t ever ask that question again.” Dash reached over and gave him a hug trying to comfort him. “I love you so much Clay.” She replied rubbing his back affectionately.
“Even…*sniff* even if I can’t fly?” Clay looked back up at his mother and she smiled down at him.
“Even if you can’t fly.” Dash hugged him tighter as Clay rested his head on her chest.
“Thanks mommy.” Dash gave a small nod as they held each other in the loving embrace.
Night had fallen and Dash was sleeping soundly in her bed when she heard a noise at her bedroom door. She turned on her bed lamp and spotted Clay at her door.
“Clay? What are you doing up?”
“I…I had a nightmare.”
“Can…can I sleep with you?”
Dash nodded and pulled the covers away from the bed, allowing Clay to get in her bed. Clay walked over and jumped onto the mattress and laid down next to her. Dash pulled the covers over him and her.
“Mmmhmm.” Clay replied.
“Good *yawn* now let’s get some sleep. And remember, if you have another nightmare I’m right here, okay?”
Clay nodded and Dash began to shut her eyes. As she tried to sleep she felt Clay snuggle up next to her his head buried in her chest.
“Goodnight Mommy.” He whispered.
Dash opened her eyes and smiled as she looked at the small colt and kissed his head.
“Goodnight Clay.” She whispered back.
She shut her eyes and placed her foreleg over his body, hugging him while they both slept peacefully and dreamed of flying together.