• Published 10th Dec 2013
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My Family and Other Equestrians - Blade Star

A HiE fic with a twist. Our protagonist is not alone. How does one approach being in Equestria, when their family is along for the ride?

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Interlude 3 - Darrowby 385

Note: This chapter takes place from Lizzie's perspective.

Now that the ponies had had their huge race, all the animals me and Fluttershy had moved away from the course had to be moved back. There were loads of different species, and each had to be done one at a time. Starting with the smallest creatures like the rabbits, mice and songbirds, we would move the population of Whitetail Woods back from their temporary accommodation near the cottage to their original homes. Fluttershy said there was never really much of a risk of any of the animals getting hurt, but I knew she would never forgive herself if something did happen.

The plan was to start in the early morning and move all the creatures based on their size and sleep schedules. While the bats that were currently living in the attic were quite small, we would leave them until much later as they slept through most of the day. I guess that there were roughly about two hundred animals to move today, and only the two of us to do it.

I’d always been good with animals, but Fluttershy’s abilities were epic. She could literally talk to any of the animals. They would understand her and she could understand them. Sure, I could work out when the animals she cared for needed feeding or if they were hurt, but I couldn’t work out say, when one of the birds wanted to move to a different house because the sunlight was annoying them. But that aside, I got on well with most of the animals. As soon as Fluttershy said I was okay, they all warmed up to me. It was kind of like being in a petting zoo.

There was one animal that I didn’t get on with though. Fluttershy kept this rabbit with her all the time. She called it ‘Angel’. That has got to be the most inappropriate name for such an evil ball of fluff. That rabbit had to be the single most evil little creature I have ever come across. It was really smart and had the foulest of tempers. No matter what Fluttershy did, he always seemed to throw some sort of wobbler. And she always went and forgave him afterwards when he got his way. Fluttershy was one of the kindest people I’ve ever met, but you can have too much of a good thing.

As we sat eating breakfast, Angel bounded up to Fluttershy holding both his breakfast bowl of carrots and lettuce and a cookbook. He immediately stamped his foot on the table to make his presence felt. He’s such an obnoxious little brat.

“Oh, what is it Angel Bunny?” Fluttershy asked. The rabbit opened the cookbook and showed her a picture of an extravagant dish that was probably almost as big as him, and tapped his paw against it. Evidently he wanted it.

“Why don’t you have your breakfast first, Angel? Maybe when we get back from helping all the other animals move back I’ll make it for you.” This sounded fair enough. But in response, ‘Angel’, kicked away his existing breakfast and began to lie on the table, looking ill.

“Well, I don’t want you to starve,” Fluttershy said, wavering. I stepped in at this point. I just couldn’t bear to see this happen again.

Reaching down to the floor, I picked up Angel’s breakfast off the floor. Scooping the spilt foodstuffs back into the bowl, I put it on the table in front of him. He looked at me with a raised eyebrow, as if saying ‘Are you serious?’. I returned that with a look that simply said ‘Yes’. The rabbit still refused to eat though. Ordinarily, I’d have been inclined to pry open his mouth and force feed the little bugger. But Fluttershy wouldn’t approve of that. So, I tried an ultimatum.

“Eat or go hungry,” I said, staring him down. Fluttershy moved to protest but I quickly motioned her to be quiet. After a brief staring contest, Angel began to eat.

“Sorry about that, Fluttershy,” I said after he had bounded away out of earshot. “I wouldn’t have really let him go hungry. I was just bluffing.”

“Bluffing?” Fluttershy asked.

“I made him think I was serious. I didn’t have to actually do anything, because he thought I was going to do something,” I explained.

“Oh, I don’t like to be unkind to my animal friends. I only use ‘The Stare’ if they’re being really uncooperative. Most of the time, I’m able to make them see reason. I even managed it with Discord, I think.” I recognised that name. Bro had been having some trouble with him recently, and Dad had met him when we went to the castle. He sounded like a real jackass.

As for Fluttershy’s unique ability, ‘The Stare’ was something that had to be seen to be believed. She only ever used it, as she said, as a last resort. But it was definitely something when she did. It was kind of unsettling to watch; the way the animals seemed to get all hypnotised and simply did as they were told. It would be a dangerous ability in the wrong hands.

After breakfast, we started getting all the animals organised. They were scattered all over the place, right up to the border with the nearby forest where we arrived. Fluttershy said she’d been in their a few times, but it always made her scared. That was the oddest thing about her. She would be timid as Hell most of the time, but when it came to caring for animals, she was all business and not afraid of anything. Twilight said she’d even once managed to reduce a huge fire-breathing dragon to tears.

Fluttershy decided to begin with the rabbits. They were the most flighty of all the creatures we had to move. I certainly didn’t want a repeat of that crazy mess when that dog that lives with bro and his friends came and scared them all. That thing was properly mental. Fluttershy called to me.

“Lizzie, can you head up near the brook and bring all the bunnies from there here?" She threw me a few carrots to ensure I had no trouble.

“Okay, Fluttershy,” I replied. The rabbits were more than willing to follow me when they saw the carrots I had, and they quickly all settled when Fluttershy told them to. We then began to lead them back towards the woodland they came from. I stayed at the back of the small, furry column, while Fluttershy, using her wings, flittered around the group setting any strays back on the right track.

“Right, we’re going to have to go through Ponyville now, Lizzie,” Fluttershy said as we approached the village. “Do your best to keep them together and make sure nopony gets in their way or scares them. And don’t let them eat anything.”

That last bit proved to be the most difficult. Ponyville was filled with flowers and vegetable patches, all of which looked delectable in the eyes of rabbits. We moved fairly slowly, so both of us constantly had to go and catch rabbits that were threatening to stray off to feed, and at the same time, keep the whole group together.

At last though, we cleared Ponyville and were getting quite close to Whitetail Woods. The rabbits knew where we were headed and as soon as they saw the wood, they took off back to their homes. As they disappeared into the undergrowth, Fluttershy turned to me.

“Well, that’s one group done; now we can move on to the small birds.”

This was easier said than done. With her wings, Fluttershy had no trouble staying with the birds and keeping them together. I on the other hand, confined to the ground, could only follow below with some bird food to entice a few to follow me. Worse still, this time everything had to be managed in three dimensions. The birds could easily peel off and disappear into the distance very quickly. This meant Fluttershy had to do the jobs of three people, ponies. When we finally reached Whitetail Woods again after about an hour of herding the huge flocks we were both exhausted. But I felt like I hadn’t done that much to help.

Fluttershy saw me down below and landed next to me. Her eyes were filled with the same concern she had shown when I had first met her.

“Lizzie, what’s wrong?” she asked. Her voice filled with the same concern I could see in her eyes.

“I’m not being much help am I?” I replied bitterly. “I mean, I can’t fly, the animals don’t trust me like they do you, and I can’t communicate with them like you can.” I was about to go on, but Fluttershy cut me off.

“But you help,I looked up. “Lizzie, I’m not looking for another expert. You help me as much as you can. I couldn’t ask for anything more. Besides, you do help me with loads of things.”

“Like what?” I asked.

“Well, you help me keep Angel Bunny under control; you know I let him get away with too much. You’re more used to handling meat than I am and you’re not scared of the carnivores like I sometimes am. You help me out so much. I don’t know what I’d do without you. It’s just nice to have somepony else around the house.”

With that, she stood on her hind legs and hugged me like Mum and Dad used to do when I was little. I could see what bro meant when he talked about an Element of Kindness. Fluttershy was the definition itself. After a few moments, she released me and settled back on all fours.

“Come on,” she said. “We have a few more species to move.” And so we headed back to the cottage.

We’d moved loads of different animals today. This last one though, puzzled me. The whole reason that we had originally moved them away from the racecourse was so that the huge stampede of ponies wouldn’t hurt them. This last group though would probably have come off best in any altercation. We had to move the bears.

When you consider how timid Fluttershy can be, you may think her to be completely unsuitable for a task like this. Seeing her converse though, and order around no less than half a dozen fully grown grizzly bears quickly put that idea to rest.

I could see she was a little scared, or at least, she was being extra careful. I was too, even on all fours, these bears shoulders were eye level with me. It was much nicer moving the foxes and badgers and boars back. The bears were quite harmless though really. They ambled along quite happily, content to follow me and Fluttershy. I’d never been this close to bears before, I’d always thought that they were really territorial and didn’t like getting too close to humans. On the other hand, we were the first humans here since, well forever.

As we neared the wood for the last time, I noticed one of the bears was limping a bit. I pointed this out to Fluttershy who, after cursing herself for not spotting it, went over to check on the bear.

“Oh, are you alright? It looks like you’ve strained something,” she said looking over the left hind leg. The bear grumbled a response. Fluttershy had him stop and lifted the leg off the ground.

“Does it hurt here?” she asked, receiving what I assumed was a ‘no’ in response.

“And how about here?” As soon as she touched it, the bear let off a loud bellow, rolled over and began cradling its leg. Fluttershy though, seemed unconcerned. “Shh, it’s okay. You’ve just strained the muscle at some point. She removed something from her saddlebags. Quickly she bandaged up the leg and gave the bear some sort of pain medication and advice to rest up for a few days. But for the moment the bear apparently wasn’t able to put weight on its foot and couldn’t walk.

The other bears were able to lift its front half off the ground and me and Fluttershy helped to keep its injured leg off the ground. Something which Fluttershy, who was actually weaker than me in strength, confessed she would not have been able to do on her own. After a few minutes, we made it to the small cave which the family of bears called home. We were all, human, pony and bear alike, tired out from lifting the heavy weight, but the bear seemed quite thankful.

With all the animals resettled back in the forest, Fluttershy and I headed back home. I wasn’t sure yet whether or not I would go and live with Mum and Dad at their new house. I’d been turning the idea over in my mind frequently.

As we entered the small, cosy little cottage, Fluttershy removed her saddlebags and placed them out of the way. She always kept it on hand in case of sudden emergencies. Angel was sitting on the sofa waiting for us, cookbook in hand, again. Since she had neglected him a bit today with all the work, and as he had eaten his breakfast as I asked, Fluttershy decided to give him what he wanted.

I headed upstairs to lie down for a bit. Carrying semi-crippled bear takes a lot out of you. As I went upstairs, Fluttershy called me.

“I’m just going to the library, Lizzie. There are a few books I need to return.” I don’t know why I said what I said; it was just habit I guess. In any case, it made both me and Fluttershy freeze and look at each other.

“Okay, Mom.” A very awkward silence prevailed.

Author's Note:

And so ends the last of the three introductions. The interludes will continue at intervals. Each one will become its own self-contained story, but will criss-cross with the main storyline and each other.

If you recognise the chapter name, you read too much James Heriot.

Due to university, updates will now be once a week I'm afraid, but I really would like a Upper Second.

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