• Published 14th Apr 2015
  • 2,579 Views, 214 Comments

Saying Goodbye - TheTrueDragoon

The hardest person to say goodbye to is always yourself. But that’s what friends are for. To say goodbye to you for you. But when those friends are close enough, is it really goodbye?

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Sticks and Tails

Sunset looked down at the gently flowing brook below the simple wooden bridge she was on and listened to the gentle bubbling of the water. To her right was Pooh and her left was Piglet, each staring at the water below in silence. Pooh hung on the rail of the bridge while little Piglet simply peered through the bars of the rail. Pooh had brought her here after they gave Piglet a quick visit earlier and had seemed pretty eager to show her the area but had yet to say for what reason.

“Hey Pooh?” she asked. “Was there something you wanted to show me or do here?”

Pooh was quiet for a moment before straightening up as if suddenly remembering something. “Oh yes. I remember.”

He walked off the bridge and stooped down, gathering up a few sticks. When he returned, he held them out to Sunset. She stared in confusion a moment unsure exactly what the bear was doing. She hesitated as she tried to work out how to react, whether she should admire the sticks he found or if he wanted her to have them.

“Take one,” he said.

She did and Pooh gave one to Piglet. With each of them having a stick of their own, Pooh explained himself.

“We will drop the sticks over one side of the bridge and see which one comes out the other side first.”

Once again, Sunset stared in confusion at the idea. She never pegged Pooh for the competitive type as she could imagine that he would not want to upset a friend. Not to mention, each stick was rather similar. So much so that it would be difficult to tell whose stick was whose. Regardless, she shrugged and went along with the idea.

They walked over to the upstream side and each held out their sticks. With a countdown from three, they let go and watched the sticks lightly splash in the water before surfacing. They gently flowed with the current of the brook until they passed under the bridge. The three walked over to the other side and patiently waited to see which stick would emerge first.

As she suspected, Sunset watched as Piglet’s stick lead the way with her stick bringing up the rear. That was assuming she recalled each stick correctly. The little pig’s short arms had given him an advantage to fall closer downstream while her own longer arms had the opposite effect. Still, she tried to play along with the game to congratulate Piglet.

“Looks like your stick came out first Piglet. Great job.”

She was surprised when Piglet looked up in confusion at her congratulations and Pooh simply walked off the bridge to gather more sticks. Sunset all but scratched her head at the lack of excitement for Piglet’s win on consoling of Sunset on her loss. This was a game, right?

Pooh returned with three more sticks and they continued to play. During the second round, a fourth stick joined in and threw off a determination of the stick that emerged first. A few other times the sticks would take an extended time to emerge and a couple of times they never emerged, likely having gotten caught on something under the bridge. Regardless, they never seemed to emerge in the same order or fashion as before.

As they continued, Sunset noticed how all semblance of a competition was non-existent. Each time, they would drop their sticks and simply take note of which one emerged first. There seemed to be no winners or losers. Just three friends playing a simple game of whatever they found. It was simple and truly more enjoyable than anything else.

To be at the mercy of the current seemed to be how life worked. Each toss of the sticks proved that time and again. No amount of skill or technique could influence the outcome. It was almost like watching various lives, each having to flow down the same current towards the same end.

Another round put Sunset’s philosophic thoughts aside as an odd stick emerged alongside the others. It twisted as it flowed down the brook and acted like anything but a stick. One end appeared to have a tuft of hair while the other had a small nail embedded into it.

The three stared in curiosity at the new object as Sunset worked out what it was and Pooh spoke. “I know that.”

Sunset hurried off the bridge and reached out to grab the “stick” before it got too far down the way. Being careful not to prick herself on the nail, she looked the object over to see that it was indeed a tail of some sort. One made of cloth and likely belonging to another stuffed animal-like character like Pooh or Piglet. Perhaps another friend.

She looked over at Pooh and Piglet who were walking off the bridge. “Does this belong to one of your friends?”

“I think so. I’m not sure,” said Piglet.

“Yes,” said Pooh.

Sunset pushed down frustration at the simple answers with little detail and smiled at the two. “Well, let’s go find your friend.”

The two nodded and the three began their search, wandering along the brook with Sunset in the lead. She figured if the tail had fallen in the water, the best place to begin was upstream. Perhaps the friend was still close or wandering down trying to catch the tail.

After a few minutes of walking, they came upon what Sunset assumed was the friend. It looked like a large, gray, stuffed donkey with rounded ends on its feet much like Pooh and Piglet with a line of black hair running from its head down its neck. It wandered slowly around in a circle with its head hanging in a rather glum way, hardly seeming to know where it was going. A quick peek at the backside revealed it to be missing a tail, making it the likely owner of the one Sunset held.

Before she could ask the new friend about the tail, Pooh called over to it. “Hallo Eeyore!”

The donkey looked over at the three without much of an expression and said in a low and gloomy tone, “Hallo Pooh. Hallo Piglet. And who are you?”

Sunset smiled, internally hoping to cheer his mood. “My name is Sunset Shimmer and,” she held out the tail, “I think you lost this.”

Eeyore did not really react much at first but then proceeded to turn in circle to the right as though trying to see his behind. After a slow turn, he turned the opposite way then made a final turn back the right. He stopped, either having given up or realizing his tail was indeed gone, it was hard to tell, and turned back to Sunset and the others. He looked at the tail a moment before giving a slow nod.

“Yes. That does seem to be my tail. I thought something seemed off. Didn’t quite feel like myself and this is why.”

Sunset smiled. “Well we can’t let you go missing a part of yourself now can we?”

“Yes,” said Eeyore. “You understand right Sunset Shimmer. That seems familiar. Don’t know why.”

Sunset looked at the tail a second then at Eeyore, trying to figure out how she was supposed to reattach the tail. It seemed odd to use a nail to attach a tail on one that appeared to be a large stuffed animal. As she pondered her options, Eeyore slowly looked up to her.

“Just nail it back in. That’s how he did it before. But I don’t blame you for not wanting to. Probably would fall off again.”

The mention of “he” struck Sunset. She had no way of knowing who Eeyore was talking about. He could be referring to Pooh or perhaps another friend. For a moment, she even considered that it may be the friend Pooh had mentioned she never met. But, she pushed the thought aside for now and searched around for a rock or stick to pound the nail given her lack of a hammer. Of course, the idea of hammering a nail into the backside of a friend of talking stuffed animal seemed…mean.

But an ideas struck her and she nearly slapped her forehead for not thinking of it before. She reached into a pocket of her jacket and pulled out a small plastic sewing case that Rarity had given her. Under Rarity’s insistence, she had kept the kit on her but never really had a need for it.

“A little something for a fashion emergency, darling,” she had told Sunset. “You’re going to want to have this with you at all times. You never know when a rip or tear needs a quick fix.”

Sunset smiled, only now appreciating the generous thought, and nearly laughed that she had been helped by two of her friends without them even realizing it. Or without her realizing it until now. Perhaps it was not just the work of this dream world that gave her exactly what she needed at times like this.

She removed the nail from the tail and opened the kit, trying to recall the short sewing lesson Rarity had given her when she gave her the kit. It took a few tries to get the needle threaded but finally she got it. She got down behind Eeyore and started going through the motions she had been shown. After a few minutes of sewing, and resewing, the tail was attached and looked fairly decent.

Sunset was hardly surprised when Eeyore looked back and gave the reattached tail a few swishes. But she was surprised when she saw the gray donkey give a smile that seemed rather out of place given the gloomy attitude he had had earlier. Not quite as cheerful as what Pinkie would have seemingly all the time, but a grateful smile that gave Sunset a real warm feeling.

“Well look at that. Good as new.” He looked at Sunset with that warm smile. “Thank you. Thank you so much.”

“So Eeyore,” Sunset said as the gray donkey slowly began walking away. “Where do you live? If you don’t mind me asking that is.”

He stopped and looked back, his smile having returned to the sort of frown he had earlier. “Just around here. I was trying to rebuild my home when I noticed I wasn’t quite myself. It will probably take me a while to finish.”

Sunset walked up a put a hand on his back. “We could help you. Then it wouldn’t take so long.”

“I suppose,” said Eeyore.

They followed Eeyore, as slow as he went, but hardly went far, having only wandered around a bush next to the brook. There they saw a pile of sticks with a couple standing on one end and leaning against each other. Eeyore went to the pile and took another stick in his mouth and attempted to stand it up only to release it and watch it fall.

As the donkey continued to repeat his futile effort, Sunset pondered the sight. She had assumed that all of the friends would live in tree homes given that she had seen three so far. But clearly that conclusion was all but true. But it seemed odd to see Eeyore attempting to stand sticks up. Did he really live here amongst a pile of sticks?

She turned to Pooh for an answer. “Hey, Pooh. Do you know what Eeyore’s home is supposed to look like?”

“Yes,” said Pooh.

“Well then, let’s help him out then.”

The three began to help, clearing the pile out to make room and stacking the sticks into a triangular shape. It did not take long to see how the home was supposed to look and she began to question the simplicity of it all. Just a stack of sticks that, once finished, reminded her of a simple tent shape made of wood. The sticks were long enough that the space provided just enough room for Eeyore to squeeze into, which he tested out by backing in before walking out again.

With all of the sticks used, Eeyore looked over the work and gave a slow nod before turning to the others. “That’s it. It’s perfect. Thank you. You really have done too much to help.”

Sunset felt her face blush slightly. “Nonsense.”

“Well,” Eeyore said, “I guess I’ll just make things comfortable the way it was again before it falls over again. Just how things go.”

Sunset was about to offer more help but decided against it as Eeyore slowly backed into his home and laid down. Such a simple life he lived. He may have been a bit pessimistic but overall he really did not complain when things happened. He seemed to just go with whatever happened and let life take care of itself. She smiled at the thought. A lot of lessons in simplicity this time.

A small, low rumble broke the silence that had settled and Sunset turned to see Pooh holding his stomach. He looked up to her. “It appears I’m feeling a bit eleven o’clockish and am in need of a little something.”

Sunset put her hand to her mouth as she let out a short giggle. She held her hand out to Pooh who took hold and another to Piglet. “Let’s go then and get something to eat.”

They wandered back to the bridge and crossed before making their way back down through the woods. Piglet diverted them back to his home to eat there, having just what he wanted there waiting for him. They said goodbye for now and Sunset and Pooh continued on. With the morning starting to fade, Sunset wondered what other friends she would meet. Each seemed so different and she seemed to learn something new with each one she met.

She smiled. Another day, another friend found, and more adventure ahead. She could not wait.