• Published 30th Jul 2018
  • 3,011 Views, 356 Comments

Family Tree - miss-cyan

Getting cryptic notes from dead relatives is never a good thing. This was no exception. What are you supposed to do when someone wants you to solve a mystery when there's something out in the woods? That turns out to be the least of my problems.

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The Day Out

Really looking myself over now that I’d seen other ponies, I really didn’t stand out that much.

My coloring wasn’t dull, but it was a bit muted. Save for my bright yellow eyes but that didn’t seem very out of place either. For the first time I wondered why I had these colors as a pony. Did the…plant magic, or whatever stupid crap, pick it at random? Or was this like a…pony body translation of the colors I already had? Considering I still had my same haircut (even my tail was short and curly), I’d bet on the latter. But this was all just speculation.

Deciding I’d been just standing in front of the mirror long enough, I got back to my business. My morning routine had gone a little easier since yesterday since now I could kinda sorta grab certain little objects now, at least when I focused. I guess it was normal for ponies to be able to do something with their hooves, considering all the stuff they had in town would be a lot harder to do and build with just their mouths. My hooves didn’t feel different than before, nothing that would suggest being able to grab things.

And I’m pretty sure Pinkie said they have bowling? I was drawing a blank on that one. But they don’t have fingers, and-nope, just…don’t think about it.

I picked out another jacket from the moving boxes, a grey cotton varsity jacket-looking thing with white sleeves. With my barely-functioning new skill I could snap up the front this time. It still felt weird, considering it didn’t actually cover anything a naked human Lottie would want to hide from the world, but it did what I needed it to do.

Before I could get the bag of bits into my pocket, I heard my phone ringing from the bedside table. Mom was calling.

My stomach was immediately in knots, but I pressed on. I took a deep breath and answered, switching it quickly to speakerphone.

“Hey Mom.”

“Hi Lottie, Mason and me are going to see that new superhero movie, you know, the one with the guy? Wanna come?”

Specific. Poor Mason, just a year until unsupervised PG-13 movies. Should’ve just snuck in.

“Uh, actually I have plans, but you two have fun.”

“Oh? What’s the plan for today, something important?”

Very subtly asking if my thing can be bailed on for a movie, that’s my mom.

If I try to brush it off she’ll know something’s up. Certainly not this something but something. I think a half-truth would be best here.

“I…got asked to do stuff, with…a friend yesterday.”

“Oh! Oh well you just, you just have a great day, hun! She said she’s hanging out with a friend. Do you need a little spending money? I can swing by and-”

“That’s alright Mom!” Nononono, keep her away at all costs! “It’s mostly just a hanging out, window-shopping kind of day! I’m good on cash. Thanks though.”

“Sorry, sorry, just excited for you! I-“ “Mom.” “…What? Oh, Mason wants the phone.”

“Put him on.” Oh boy.

I heard the phone change hands, and he sounded kind of miffed.

“You’re not lying, right?”

“No. I’m not lying, buddy.” Technically not.

“I mean, because you don’t have friends, I thought.” Mason!”

“Yeah, I’m aware. I met a new friend.” This child’s lucky he’s my baby brother.

“Are they a nice friend or a jerk friend?” he asked bluntly, like he was known to do. “Mason, don’t you ruin this for your sister!”

I thought about it. She did drop cake batter on me and I lost my cool. Maybe…1/2 point to jerk. But aside from that…

“She’s a nice friend kiddo.” I explained. “I don’t hang out with jerk friends. Jerks get knocked out, right?”

“Oh yeah, right.” He laughed, the joke still funny but only to us. “Good luck, I guess. Don’t be weird like you usually are.” “Mason!!”

“No promises.”

We said goodbyes and hung up, leaving me very suddenly exhausted. I felt just like I had after Rare Find dropped me off in town. I had been normal and kept my secret from an unsuspecting audience. It was gratifying to know I could pull it off but absolutely terrifying to know one slip-up or one visit could ruin my life.

“I’m okay. I’m great.” I closed my eyes, trying to calm myself down. “I’m…Cornflower Blue, getting ready for a normal day in Ponyville with the pony who’s gonna help me get back to being Lottie Petrou. Help me get my life back.”

I was ready for my day of fun.

I sighed, realizing how much work today would probably be.

Oh boy…

Pinkie had been at it for hours, getting ready for the big day. The Cakes hadn’t really been surprised to find her baking on her day off, but they had asked her what her plans were.

She told them all about her new friend, save for the details that she would consider “secrets”, and all the fun things around town they might do together.

“Well, we’re glad everything worked out for you, dear.” Mrs. Cake yawned, wiping Pumpkin’s chin. “When that mare came in covered in cake batter, we were worried you’d gotten into another Cranky situation.”

“No, I learned my lesson there.” she swore, gulping down another breakfast pastry. “I’m gonna be super casual about everything. I just have to be less pushy with Bluey! Let her know that I’m really reeeaaaallly sorry for what I did, and try to be her friend.”

“That’s good Pinkie!” Mr. Cake rewarded both her self-control and her enthusiasm for his cooking with another pastry. “You just do your best and everything will be fine.”

“I WULL!” mouthful-of-pastry Pinkie Pie replied.

“You said she’s not from Ponyville? What brings her here?” Mrs. Cake asked, taking a sip of her coffee.

“That’s-uh…Kind of a secret? I think?”

They exchanged looks, instantly concerned for her.

“It’s fine! I’m just helping her with something but I forgot to ask if anypony was allowed to know.” She grinned, taking a sip of her hot cocoa.

“And…you’re sure she’s interested in being friends?” Mr. Cake asked, suddenly hoping this Bluey was really a good pony.

“From how you described her Pinkie,” Mrs. Cake was nervous too. “she seemed a little…rough around the edges.” She thought that Pinkie was the type to try and befriend that type of pony, or donkey. She and Carrot wanted to make sure she wasn’t getting taken advantage of.

“Bluey was smad because she got pranked and laughed at when she didn’t like it! If we’d met normally, like “Oh hello I’m Pinkie Pie! You like having fun too? Let’s be friends!” I’m sure you’d see her the way I do.” She tried her best to defend Bluey before the Cakes had a bad opinion of her. “And I was the one who asked to help her with her thing, she didn’t ask me to do anything, and not something bad either. She just-” she quickly slapped a hoof over her mouth, she still needed work keeping big secrets. “Whoops! Almost spilled the beans, maybe!”

They were still skeptical, Pinkie could tell. But they didn’t bring it up again before leaving to start the day.

“They’ll meet her at Bluey’s party. Then they’ll see she’s a good pony, like I do.” Pinkie nodded her head, downing the last of her drink. It was almost time! She ran upstairs to get even more ready for the big day!

I managed to walk the whole way without breaking a sweat. Pony endurance maybe? But it was five after eight, according to the clock tower. I underestimated how much faster Rare Find was than me.

“Now where’s that big gingerbread house?” I scanned the skyline for the weird building. I guess I was picking Pinkie up? But I saw it nearby eventually and started that way.

Ponyville seemed different this early in the morning. The marketplace wasn’t quite packed yet and some of them were moving around, getting ready for the day. They weren’t quite as perky in the wee hours either it seemed, judging by the grumbling yawns I’d heard.

I got to the front door, only to see something that let me know how the day was probably going to go.

It was a sign with no words on it, but a series of drawings depicting me going around to the back door. I guess because I couldn’t read.


I slowly made my way around to the back, dreading I didn’t even know what. I finally knocked on the door and Pinkie Pie answered, looking excited.

“Hi Bluey! I’m so excited for today, and I know just how you’d like to start it off!” she was dancing from one hoof to the other, grinning big.

“Oh, how’s that?”

And then, right in the doorway. She burst into song.

Hey my new friend Bluey~!

We’re gonna have a blast~!

If there’s something you wanna do,

You only need to ask~!

Bouncing from side to side and singing. To the tune of the birthday song they sing at restaurants. Oh boy.

I’ve been up for hours~!

They took so long to bake~!

But now we’re gonna sit a while,

And have ourselves some caaaaaake~!!”

She stepped aside to reveal two double-layer cakes on a counter inside, one pink and the other blue, with downright ornate frosting jobs. It was actually impressive.

“You made cakes?” I asked, remembering her song. Up for hours?

“Yes-indeedy-dandy!” she laughed, hopping over to me. “You said “Let’s eat some cakes and see where the day takes us.” Remember, silly?”

“Yeah but,” I guess the first option was to bake some cakes, but this… “you didn’t have to go through all this trouble.”

“I went to bed early!” she said, motioning to the cakes. “And these did take a while but I mostly needed a rhyme for cake. With the right number of syllables too. Anywho, are you ready to eat! Some! Cake?”

Well, if pony food turns out to be bad for me, getting sick will give me an out to go home. If not, free cake.

“So, can I guess the blue one’s for me?” I stepped up to the metaphorical plate. I hoped she wouldn’t expect me to actually eat the whole thing.

“If you want! But I thought we could take slices from both! The pink one is my Chocolate Caramel Confetti Twist!” That sounds really good. “And the blue one is my Triple Chocolate Surprise!” That sounds even better. She leaned in real close, whispering. “The surprise is it’s actually quadruple chocolate!

Ding ding ding, we have a winner.

“I’ll have a slice of blue, please.”

In one fluid motion, she picked up a very sharp-looking knife in her mouth, cut a slice from the cake, and it fell onto a plate. Very impressive.

I still wasn’t sure about how good I’d be at holding a fork. I was about to ask her for one when she cut herself a slice of pink and just started digging in, face first.

Well, that solves that problem.

I should’ve hesitated, but after maybe two seconds of thought on my part, I gave in. I took a moderately-sized bite.

Pinkie was watching me intently as I sat through an experience.

“Well, do you like it?” I could see her practically vibrating with anticipation.

“Pinkie Pie.” And I gave her the one hundred percent truth for the first time since I’d met her. “This is the best cake that I’ve ever eaten.”

And it was true. I don’t know if it was my new body, pony ingredients, or that she’d sold her soul to a baking demon. I didn’t care. I was in heaven.

“Really??” her eyes were huge and she was trotting in place. But I was already back to eating my slice, and she did the same. It was a funny sound, a pink pony giggling between bites.

Number one perk of ponyworld so far: Pinkie’s baking. No contest.

“Can I have one of yours to try?” I asked, doubting it could beat all that chocolate but no one could say I didn’t give it a fair chance.

“Sure Bluey, here!”

And we ate cake. And it was good.

We ate both cakes.

We ate two whole double-layer cakes.

And I was almost ashamed of the fact I totally could’ve eaten more. I kept track too, we had the same number of slices, Pinkie didn’t eat a bunch while I wasn’t paying attention.

Maybe I haven’t been eating enough back home? I wondered, licking the frosting off my face, dabbing it with a napkin for good measure. I thought I was feeling hungry because I wasn’t eating my usual meals.

“What do you wanna do next?” she asked, and I was stumped. I had no idea what there was besides what she’d told me. A movie would eat up some time and we’d have to be quiet. Maybe save that for later, if a moment comes where you don’t want to talk anymore. I could barely pick up anything heavier than a rubber duck, so bowling was probably out.

“Why don’t we…walk around town and see if anything looks interesting. You can read me some of the signs too.”

“That sounds like fun!” she was halfway out the door already. I could get a better layout of the town, in case Pinkie was busy one day.

And who knows, maybe we’d actually find something fun, or at least informative for me.

Rarity was waiting for a delivery of a special fabric to come in that she’d absolutely need to sign for, given the price. She’d need it to complete her Nightmare Night costume, and the excess would be a lovely addition to her stock of fabrics. It was a bit expensive but she had managed to cut down the cost by trading half the asking price for a couple of wonderful commissions for her supplier.

While she was hopefully gazing out the window, imagining what a splash her costume would make, she saw a familiar face.

“Oh, looks like Pinkie Pie is out on the town today! She doesn’t seem to be in her usual rush, no parties in the works I suppose. But what’s this?”

Pinkie Pie waved to somepony else, pointing excitedly at a sign. And up strolled an unfamiliar face.

It was a mare, with a cornflower blue coat and her eyes were a bright yellow, they very nicely “popped” from the rest of her. She sported a pale mauve (perhaps eggplant?) coloring to her stylishly short mane and tail cut.

“Oh, those are all the rage in Manehattan right now.” She had a jacket on as well. It looked slightly big on her frame, and it was sorely lacking in color. But on this mare, muted tones complemented her coloring just fine.

“She seems to have made herself a rather stylish new friend! Bravo Pinkie Pie.” She chuckled to herself. But then a thought hit her. Had the mare dressed up for their outing?

Then again, Pinkie was her usual bouncy, bubbly self and she was known for making friends with nearly everypony she met.

“I’m sure I’m getting ahead of myself. If something like that were going on Pinkie Pie might’ve mentioned it before now and-”

She pointed to the sign, talking for a moment and the mare said something, smiling just the tiniest bit. Pinkie Pie positively lit up and hugged the pony, very quickly, before dashing into the store. The mare shook her head, smiled again, before walking inside as well.

Rarity had to fight the urge to abandon her post and check in on things from a comfortable distance. But she stood firm, Pinkie was a grown mare who didn’t need a chaperone. And she had an order to sign for.

She would just have to stand there, consumed with questions for the foreseeable future. Maybe speculate to herself while thinking of the perfect outfit for Pinkie for her next…social outing. With a friend, no reason to get excited.

“Mustn’t get ahead of yourself, Rarity. It’s all still speculation at this point.”

But to herself, in the privacy of her boutique, she giggled and pranced about maybe just the tiniest bit.

We’d walked around with Pinkie pointing out various landmarks and ponies she knew for a good while.

“That’s Town Hall, where I dropped off our file request.” It was a tall, three story building, round and smack dab in the middle of town. “And over there’s the joke shop! You can get a lot of stuff there for pranks!” I kind of side-eyed her. I don’t think she noticed.

I looked around as we walked, trying to commit everything to memory as she rattled off different shops, watching for any interest on my part.

“Ooh! Look at this one Bluey!” She ran ahead a bit, pointing to the sign outside a shop. “It’s the toystore! There’s so many cool things in there! Do you wanna take a look inside?”

I caught up with her, considering it. I did make toys, and this was the first thing that had seemed like any fun. I didn’t even have to buy anything. Not that I think she expected me to, we were just browsing.

“Sure, that could be fun.” I told her, smiling a little, actually looking forward to it. She smiled super wide and bouncing over to me, gave a quick but not bone-crushing hug and zipped into the store first.

She sure is huggy. I shook my head, still smiling. It was hard not to be a tiny bit happy. That cake had really softened me up to the idea of all of this.

There were aisles of toys and a small row of kid’s scooters on the far wall. Pinkie was at the first shelf from the door, giggling at the selection.

“Aww, look! They have plushie turtles! And teddy bears! And I don’t know what that round pink plushie is but it’s soooo cute!”

I was checking out what they had. Stuffed animals, what looked to be picture books, some wooden train sets and various other things. But it was all pretty simple stuff. Not unlike some of the stuff I’d made over the years. There were all quality toys, the stitches on the plushes were tight with made with good material and the wooden toys had been finely sanded and painted. I guess I didn’t know what to expect from a pony toy store.

The next couple rows were fine too. There were pony-shaped toys in the aisle. I studied the pattern, having never sewn a pony before. It wouldn’t be hard to remember, if I wanted to make one when I got my hands back.

“Aww, they have little plushy ponies!” she cooed, looking over the wide selection.

“…I think I could, with that material…” I muttered, not really paying attention.

“Could what?” she hopped in front of me, bringing me back to the conversation.

If ponies could make toys like these, there was no harm in saying that I could too, I guessed. And it wasn’t like I was embarrassed about it or anything. No harm letting this detail slip.

“I was just thinking that…well that I could try to do one of these myself.”

She froze for about three seconds before gasping so loudly that a few ponies in the aisles turned their heads. My ears flattened a little at the loud sound.

“Bluey!! You make toys?” she gasped again, her eyes big. “That’s so cute! What do you make?”

“Uh, stuffed animals mostly.” I said, noting the ponies around us losing interest. “I make…wooden stuff too sometimes. If I feel like it.”

“That’s adorable!” Okay, maybe it was a little embarrassing in this specific scenario. “Are you a toy-maker then?”

“Oh, no. It’s…just a hobby.” What am I, an elf?

“Wow! My friend Applejack carves cool stuff sometimes! But she calls it whittlin’, I think.” She spied around the shelves pointing to a plush raccoon. “Could you make that?”

“Yeah.” It was a simple design, like the others had been.

“How about that?” A wooden duck with wheels.

“I’ve carved a duck before." It was a simple shape, not a lot of details. "I didn’t put wheels on it though.”

“Ooh, what about that one?” A plush…something. Looked like a lion with wings and a…scorpion tail? Weird.

“I could try that.” I held a hoof up to stop more examples. “If it’s stuffed or wooden the answer is probably yes. Unless it’s super complicated.”

“Wow!” she looked around. “Hey, you keep looking for a teensy bit, okay? I have to…ask the salespony about what kind of streamers her filly would like at her party in four months.”

“Uh sure, no problem.” Four months, sheesh. She doesn’t mess around with these parties. I started for the next aisle, curious about what else they’d have. There was a unicorn at the end with a little baby unicorn. I hesitated for a moment before reasoning with myself that random ponies in a store aisle were less intimidating than random humans.

The baby one was sitting in the front of a cart and the mom was looking at the stuffed animals. The baby looked up and their big eyes were shining. I followed their line of sight to see a pink and fluffy dog on the top shelf.

“Oh, that’s a good one.” I said to myself. It looked particularly soft. The baby started making noise like it wanted something, drawing Mom’s attention.

“What’s the matter, sweetie?” and with her amazing deductive skill of looking up, saw the out of reach toy. “You want the puppy?”

The baby laughed, clapping their hooves together. They were pretty cute, but what kind of baby wasn’t? And before I knew what hit me, something new and still surprising in this pastel pony world transpired.

Mom’s horn was surrounded by a bright purple glow. I took a step back, not at all knowing what was going on. Then the puppy was surrounded too, and in front of my very eyes, as I live and breathe, it floated. It floated all the way down to the baby. The baby cooed and giggled, grabbing it a great big hug. So, it wasn’t unusual or scary to a baby at least. I forced myself to stop staring.

Okay so new update: The unicorns can use telekinesis. That’s fine, awesome. I thought, not freaking out even a little. I looked up, putting a hoof to my own forehead.

Well, while that would come in handy, I’m glad I got turned into a normal one. I don’t have any idea how to pull that off. And wings? If any of these ponies expected me to fly, with my very understandable aversion to falling and not heights, I would’ve given something away by now.

Hooves sucked sometimes, but I couldn’t exactly go up to a unicorn and say “Hey how do we move stuff with our horns again? I forgot.”

Has a unicorn done that in front of me before now and I just didn’t notice? Rare Find never did the whole ride, and then walking through town…I don’t think so.

Pinkie’s return from the front counter snapped me out of it, she was looking especially happy, her party planning must’ve gone well.

“Hey Bluey! While I was at the counter I had the most amazing idea where we could go next!” She was really excited again.

“Do tell.” I asked, not sarcastic for a change. I was open to suggestions, seeing as the first two stops had gone pretty well so far.

“All of the stuffed animals got me thinking.” Her smile was bright, and her eyes were on full puppy dog mode. “Do you like real animals?”

One of Pinkie’s other suggestions yesterday had been “meet my friends”, and one of her friends was an…animal caregiver or something? Her name was Fluttershy.

“She’s got all kinds of animals at her house!” she explained, leading me to a less populated area of town. “And she likes ponies who come over and pet them. I’m sure you’ll get along!”

I wasn’t super crazy about meeting another new pony, but it wasn’t a big deal. And Pinkie was telling me that Fluttershy was very…shy. New ponies scared her sometimes, but Pinkie said she’d help their meeting go off without a hitch.

I reminded myself to be on my best behavior, since Pinkie went out of her way to emphasize how skittish this new pony could be. No heavy sarcasm or glaring.

Up the hill and over a bridge was what appeared to be a cottage taken over by grass and half a dozen birdhouses. It was actually kind of pretty. Pinkie ran up ahead to break the ice with Fluttershy (i.e. make sure we weren’t dropping in on anything important) while I stood, kind of taking in the scenery. There were tons of birds in the birdhouses and the surrounding trees. It wasn’t a bustling big city back there, but I could get used to a secluded area like this. It reminded me of Grandpa’s house. No annoying neighbors, no city noise, and a bunch of animals if Pinkie was right.

Though I had to admit, ponies with a bunch of animals. Like can they all talk? Or are they still “animals” when compared to ponies?

Eventually she came back and gave me some “ground rules”.

“She says you can come back to play with the animals! But you gotta be nice and ask before you pet, in case some animal’s feeling grouchy.”

“I can do that.” I assured. Point to possibly talking. We went around the back of the house to a round, open clearing with a chicken coop. And standing next to the fence was a pale yellow pegasus with long, soft pink hair. Her's was the longest I’d seen on a pony so far. Seriously, how do they handle having all that hair? Her head was down a little, her hair covering one of her eyes, she didn’t look as thrilled to be there as Pinkie did.

“Fluttershy! This is my new friend Cornflower Blue! The one I told you about two minutes ago?” Pinkie bounced around, trying to coax out this poor pony. “Bluey! This is Fluttershy, she’s very excited to meet you!”

I was skeptical, but not in a mean way. I have a feeling that she’d be doing better with this if she’d had more time to mentally prepare. I could relate.

“Hey Fluttershy, it’s nice to meet you.” I said, my voice calm and even, giving a small smile.

“Oh…um. It’s nice...to meet you too.” Her voice shrank with every word. She was trying really hard, I could tell. I pressed on.

“Pinkie told me you take care of animals here?” She nodded, trying to do her best to look me in the eye. “Well, I’d love to meet them, if that’s okay. I know Pinkie must’ve sprung this on you pretty suddenly.”

When she just nodded, I could see the panic on Pinkie’s face, she was nervous about there not being instant clicking between us. I decided to try and diffuse the situation, veeerrryyyy gently. Before Pinkie could try in a more Pinkie way.

“You know I was actually really excited about seeing a bunch of animals.” I sighed, playing it cool. “I don’t think I’ve hugged a puppy or any cute animal in…years, actually.”

“…years?” She was so quiet.

“I never had pets growing up, and now that I’m grown and out of the house I’m just too busy to really give one the time and attention it needs.” Sad but true. I considered getting one when I moved out, but I forgot to feed myself sometimes, I wouldn’t want to do that to something that depended on me. Nor could I afford any sudden expensive vet bills, it wouldn’t have been fair to an animal.

“…Some kitties staying with me love to get hugs.” She said, no longer whispering. I’d take it as a win.

“I’d love to meet them.” And it was true. Pinkie was doing a silent cheer at the new development.

“And some baby otters I know love them too.”

“I’m sorry, baby who now?”

Baby otters might just be the cutest thing on this or any other planet. After Fluttershy introduced me to a sudden crowd of animals that all came out of nowhere, she told them I was a friend and they came to inspect the new face.

There were so many of them! Squirrels and rabbits you might find in the woods, but kind of out-there animals like a flamingo and a toucan. They all seemed just a bit hesitant, but they didn’t run off like you’d expect animals to. And the baby otters scampered out, they were faster than I expected they’d be, brushing against my hooves. My heart melted, it was all too much. If there weren’t two ponies watching, I might’ve devolved into d’awwing and baby talk. But I still had my pride. For now.

“I wasn’t sure if you, um…well if you were scared of any kind of animal, so I kept some from joining in.” she seemed a bit guilty over it.

“What kinds of animals?” I asked, watching the chickens come out from the coop to see what all the commotion was.

“Oh, the mice, the bats…and some carnivores make ponies nervous.”

Aside from some animals it was sensible to be afraid of, I wasn’t scared of anything smaller than me. Made me the go-to spider catcher wherever I lived. Rodents didn’t really scare me, but the carnivore bit was funny. I guessed it made sense for ponies, but I wasn’t afraid of anything with sharp teeth.

“They can come out, if you want.” I assured her. “I’ll be fine with it.”

She smiled, calling for her friends in the trees just beyond the chicken coop. They really seemed to listen to her. Some more animals came out and I saw things like mice and bats, but also couple of raccoons and ferrets. An owl came and sat on the fence, and a bunch more.

I saw Pinkie leaning down talking to some fluffy yellow ducklings, and they hopped up and nestled in her poofy hair. She grinned, laying down in the grass. They had settled in for a nap.

Okay, that’s pretty cute.

“Now all of you be good for our guest.” Fluttershy asked the animals. There were various animal noises at that. A regular Dr. Doolittle.

“Uh, hey you guys.” I said to the various animals that had already approached me. A grey rabbit hopped up, whiskers twitching, and I slowly held out my hoof. To let it smell me first, or was that just for dogs?

“Hi little bunny, it’s very nice to meet you.” It sniffed and cocked its head, but nothing else. I remembered the rules. “Uh, is it…okay if I pet you?”

Its big ears went up and it nodded, catching me a little off guard. I guess they are smarter here than on earth. I reached down and gently ran a hoof over its head, petting with hooves being a little odd. But the bunny seemed to love it, its little foot thumping against the ground and leaning into it.

“Cute.” I smiled, petting a brown squirrel next. Soon I was petting animal after animal, and it really lifted my spirits. I might’ve been trapped in a new body unable to leave Grandpa’s house back home, but here I was petting a baby anteater. Life was good, for a little while.

The movie we saw was a little simple, but kind of fun. It was about an “earth pony” (I learned normal ones like me and Pinkie were called) who moved to the big city to become a movie star. He took down the baddy, got the pegasus girl, and got the rest of the cast back into show business. It was like an old Hollywood movie musical, song and dance numbers were long but very impressive. I didn’t even think ponies could dance like that. Pinkie had gotten the biggest tub of popcorn they had, it was enough for the both of us to split.

We left the theater, talking about our favorite parts and just generally enjoying each other’s company. I had actually had a nice day. It had been a long time since I just went out and had fun with somebody nice.

“Did you see how Dancy and Sauté were twirling on the big stage, and she picked them both up and whoosh!” the whoosh I had to guess was referring to how her dress moved in that scene. “And they floated back down! And then all the fireworks!”

“Yeah, that big showstopper finale they had got the best song in the whole thing.” I laughed, and we hummed it a little before she laughed again.

“The bad guy had the best jokes! That Twirly Tapper was such a meanie, but she was so funny!” She did mug a lot for the camera, but it fit the little unicorn’s character. And she had a great villain song.

“Heh. It’s been a great day so far Pinkie.” I grinned, actually meaning it. We stopped at what looked to be an outdoor restaurant and Pinkie gasped.

“Ooh! They have the best milkshakes here! Let’s stop and get one!”

I was still up for more food today, even after the popcorn and the cakes. We’d been running all over town, I wondered if ponies had high metabolisms too.

“Yeah, that sounds great.” I reached for my coin purse, but Pinkie stopped me.

“No silly, I invited you out.” She reached into her mane and pulled out a coin purse shaped like a frog. “This one’s on Pinkie Pie!”

The movie had only been a couple of bits, but I had convinced her to let me buy the tickets if she bought the snacks. I didn’t usually let people pay for me, but my money was tight here. I’d have to be a mooch, if only for today.

“Alright.” I agreed, not totally happy with it. We sat down, and a very fancy-looking earth pony took our orders. Pinkie knew I couldn’t read the menu, so she went with a safe bet for me.

“One chocolate milkshake and one…” he looked pained reading back Pinkie’s flavor in his very fancy accent. “…Banana Bonanza, coming right up Miss Pie.”

“Thaaaank yooouu!” she called after him as he walked back to the café. A couple of tables away, there was a younger pony, maybe the same age as that Apple Bloom from yesterday. She was a light yellow earth pony with blonde hair and purple eyes, sitting with a baby carriage and a diaper bag. Right as Pinkie had shouted, the baby pony woke up and started crying.

“Oh no…It’s okay Cream Puff! Momma just went to use the little filly’s room! Don’t cry-oh…” She was stuck with a crying baby, and Pinkie rushed right over.

“Oh no! I’m sorry baby, and Sweet Wheat! Don’t be sad!” she pulled some silly faces, but it didn’t really help. “Where’s a bag of flour when I need one?” she muttered, looking upset that she couldn’t help.

“Bag of…huh?” the filly shook it off, and I did too. “She’s not sad Pinkie Pie, she’s cranky. She needs to nap again like she was!”

“I’m no good at nap time without Mr. Cake’s help…” Pinkie said, thinking for a second. “What does your Momma do to get her to sleep?”

“She sings her the lullaby she used to sing to me.” She told her, gently pushing the baby carriage in place to no avail. “It’s the only thing that works…Do you know “In the Gloaming” Pinkie?”

“Uh…nope.” She looked to me and I shook my head. I didn’t know that one and I didn’t sing. “Oh! Why don’t you sing it?” Pinkie offered, taking over carriage duty.

“Me!?” she cried, startling the baby again. She lowered her voice. “I’ve…never sang in front of anypony before…what if it doesn’t work?”

The baby was wailing now. “Well…” Pinkie offered. “It can’t really get any worse.” She shrugged. The filly looked around at the few ponies in the café and gulped, giving a look like “here goes nothing”.

In the gloaming, oh my darling

When the lights are soft and low

And the quiet shadows, falling,

Softly come and softly go.”

She had a sweet, soft voice, and sure enough the baby was starting to calm a little. Pinkie grinned, motioning her to keep going.

When the trees are sobbing faintly

With a gentle unknown woe

Will you think of me and love me,

As you did once, long ago.”

The baby was dozing again, and the café patrons very softly stamped on the ground and gave very faint cheers. The little filly was beaming, and she took a well-deserved bow.

And then…I don’t know what happened.

There was a bright glow of light, and a flash on her backside and-

The pictures just appear.

She now sported a pink flower with a purple eighth note over it. It just…showed up. She sang and it just…

Her mom, I assumed, came back and they were hugging. Pinkie bounced around smiling before flying back to our table and launching into a story.

“Sweet Wheat’s been waiting forever for her cutie mark! It’s always her birthday wish, even though you’re not supposed to tell anypony.” She laughed quietly. Our milkshakes came but I was still stunned. “But her moms kept telling her “Ponies always get them around your age, don’t worry so much!” But you know how silly colts and fillies can get.”

I really didn’t. I nervously pulled my jacket further down my backside. I sipped my milkshake with this new knowledge, a hard revelation hitting me right in the gut.

I’m so fucked.

Author's Note:

this turned out to be a longer chapter even though it's mostly fluff.

i'll try to have these out once a week, but i make no promises. just left home for college and that's my first priority

in which Lottie tries to have fun, animals are pet, Rarity ships, and Lottie realizes what cutie marks are.

for the record, there won't be more chapters where all of the mane six meet Lottie one at a time, Fluttershy will be back so here's where she's set up.

in making that reference, ive now made it so Lottie’s world is one where Cat’s Don’t Dance doesn’t exist. not sure that’s a world i wanna live in. Sauté is a ballet term. Twirly Tapper=Shirley Temple=Darla Dimple. and if there's sombody out there who hasn't seen CDD, i highly recommend that you do.

here's the public domain lullaby i picked because it was the least off for a pony to sing. and if you've never heard the restaurant birthday song, you ever seen The Emporer's New Groove?

i went looking for an existing baby pony for that last scene, and it spun into a whole family. two moms and two kids

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