• Published 9th Oct 2016
  • 3,185 Views, 533 Comments

A Basket, A Blanket, and a Bundle of Bills - kudzuhaiku

One morning, just before work, Copperquick finds a basket, a blanket, and a bundle of bills

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Chapter 1

A basket, a blanket, and a bundle of bills was all that Copperquick saw when he looked down. Well, perhaps not a literal bundle of bills, but this was going to be costly, or so he reckoned. Pinned to the basket was a note with a few scant words scribbled and left for him to read. Lowering his head to the point of his snoot touching the paper, he read what the words had to say.

I can’t deal with all of this. You can have her. I’m sick of her crying and constant need.

From beneath the blanket, there was a curious cooing sound and Copperquick felt a heaviness in his heart. Using his teeth, he pulled back the blanket and looked at his daughter. He had met her once, a while ago, not long after she was born, and then he never saw her again. She was the consequence of his feather fetish and a one night stand with a pegasus mare named Cielo del Este. He didn’t even know his daughter’s name, or if she even had one. The note said nothing else.

Lowering his head a little more, Copperquick pushed his muzzle into the filly’s belly, snuffled a bit, and was rewarded with a giggle. She looked a lot like him, so very much like him. Copper coloured pelt, bright amber eyes, the only thing she got from her mother was her mane, which was a stunning shade of jade. Copperquick’s own mane was the same unexciting brown as a graham cracker. He felt little stubby legs kicking him around his face.

Ears perking, Copperquick pulled his head away and thought about how he needed to be at work in half an hour. He didn’t know what to do with the filly in the basket. Leaving her home alone wasn’t a good option. Perhaps… perhaps he could carry her around with him with as he did his deliveries. That was a temporary solution though, as he had college courses he had to take at night. He needed a foalsitter, but had no idea of how to even go about looking for one.

At the moment, the filly didn’t seem hungry and she didn’t seem to need to be changed. He had never changed a diaper and he had no idea how to feed her. What did she eat? He doubted that she would do well on his steady diet of black bean avocado burgers. Foals needed milk he seemed to recall. He had some powdered coffee creamer in the cupboard, but he doubted that it would do.

There had been some serious chemistry between Cielo del Este and himself. She was an exotic dancer that did work with Sapphire Shores. A pegasus, she had the wings, the feathers that turned him on. And while she was a fantastic dancer and real nice to look at, he had been real glad to be rid of her by morning. She was snobby, she was stuck up, and she whined a lot. She was a real needy type of mare, and she was the sort that a struggling college student would have a hard, hard time keeping up with. His little fling with her had cost him a fortune in food and champagne, leaving him broke for weeks.

Snorting, Copperquick tried to figure out what had happened, what had gone wrong on that night so long ago. He had pulled out early and she had finished him off with a wingjob. He looked down at the filly looking up at him and smiled. She was kind of cute and seeing her smiling, chubby face, he didn’t feel much in the way of regret. He and Cielo del Este had remained amicable during the pregnancy, speaking a few times, and he kept track of the dates. They had agreed to go their separate ways.

But this happened.

“What do I do with you?” Copperquick asked in a soft voice, hoping that he wouldn’t make her cry. Crying foals were bad, bad enough that their mother would abandon them, it seemed. He didn’t want her to start crying.


Ears splaying out, he replied, “Is that so?” Copperquick was thankful for the basket, he had one less thing to worry about, as she had something she could sleep in. Her little muzzle was slick with drool and she was an adorable little pudgeball. How did one pick up a foal exactly? He was an earth pony and he didn’t have fancy magic or wings with grabby, grippy feathers.

“It’s bring your daughter to work day!” Copperquick made his voice sound as cheerful as possible and he gave his little filly a wide, toothy smile. “You’re going to come to work with Daddy, it’ll be fun.”

“Duhwhah?” The filly blew a spit bubble, which popped, and then soaked her face. She lay there, blinking, surprised by what had just taken place, and then began to blow another spit bubble.

“I’ll take you out to lunch… it’ll be great. I wonder if you like sweet potato fries… or maybe a milkshake might be good for you. I’ll ask the guy behind the counter, I’m sure he’ll know.” Copperquick’s head tilted off to one side. “I bet I can sneak you into my college classes in a bookbag. Can you promise to be quiet?”


“Is that a no?” Copperquick began to feel a vague sense of worry. “Well, I’ll figure something out. I gotta go to work… I have a hungry mouth to feed, and it ain’t my own.”

With the basket held in his mouth, Copperquick looked up at the sign for PDQ Dispatch. So far, so good. No foal crying, just lots of spit bubble blowing. His job wasn’t much, but it almost paid the bills, so long as he took up any odd job he could find and if he scrounged for additional income. He had a good job, and he liked it. There was nothing finer than getting paid to run all over the city of Canterlot.

It took a little effort, but Copperquick managed to wrangle the door open and he stepped inside of the dispatch lobby. In the dispatch window, he saw his boss, a griffon named Gargle, and for some reason, Gargle didn’t look happy to see him like he usually did. Copperquick wondered what was wrong.

What a relief it was to set down the basket and rest his mouth. Copperquick flapped his lips and watched as his boss gave him the stinkeye. The griffon was staring down at the basket, where a cooing sound and farty lip noises could be heard. The earth pony began to sense that something was wrong.

“What’s that?” Gargle asked.

“My daughter,” Copperquick replied.

“And what is she doing here? She is not an employee.”

“Well, she was dropped off in front of my apartment door this morning and I—”

“You can’t bring her to work.” Gargle shook his head and squinted his eyes at Copperquick.

“I can’t?”

“No. You can’t. Do you know what the insurance guys would do to me if you tried carrying her around with you while you are on the clock?”

“But I don’t have a foalsitter and—”

“I don’t care.” Gargle held out his talons. “Save your sob story for somebirdy who cares. Company policy is simple. Show up for work on time, or be fired.”

“But… but… I’m in college and I need to take care of her!”

“Don’t care. Do your job or get lost.”

“What do I do with her?” Copperquick demanded in a harsh tone as his dander got up.

“What you do with her is your own business. I don’t care. You need to be on the clock in three minutes, or you know what will happen. Remember what I said when I hired you, NO EXCUSES! I don’t care if you have exams, or if you spent all night studying, or you went to some college party and drank a lot… I just don’t care. I’ve heard it all a million times—”

“But this is different!”

“No it ain’t. Foalsitters exist for a reason. Two minutes.”

“Gargle, don’t do this to me. Don’t be a bastard. I—” Copperquick fell silent when the dispatch window was slammed shut. A protective barrier to prevent robberies now blocked the griffon from view. “Well, fine, Gargle, you can go fronk yourself for all I care, you damn greedy griffon!”

There was no reply from behind the protective barrier. Copperquick stood there in shock, trying to process what had just happened. Feeling a little numb, the earth pony stallion picked up the basket in his teeth, turned around, and headed out the door, which was a real challenge to open and close with his mouth full and the basket in the way.

Outside, a block away, sitting in a small city park, Copperquick tried to figure out what to do. The foal was getting fussy and he feared that she might start crying. Was she hungry? He didn’t know. He didn’t know anything about her. She didn’t have a name. Maybe… maybe it would be better if he cut his losses. There was the fire department. He could leave her there.

Scowling, he didn’t like thinking about that. But perhaps it was for the best. If he got rid of her now, before he was attached to her, it would hurt less. Thinking about it made the corner of his eye twitch and his stomach gurgled as his insides clenched. His nostrils crinkled as something foul tickled his nose.

“Ugh, somepony needs a diaper changed.” Copperquick realised that he didn’t have a diaper. He didn’t even know how to change one. Like a siren wailing, the filly began to cry, hearing her cry, Copperquick broke down almost right away, and began blubbering as he sat in the park, trying to figure out what to do.

The pair cried together and Copperquick hugged the basket to him. He didn’t want to take her to the fire department. The thought of it made him want to curl up and die. But he didn’t know what else to do. He had just lost his job. In a month, he was going to lose his apartment. Bills were due and he had college.

Perhaps it would be best to cut his losses. Lifting his head, Copperquick prepared himself to do the right thing. He had no idea what he was doing, and he wasn’t cut out to be a father. The filly deserved better, she needed a loving caretaker that knew what they were doing. Gripping the basket handle in his teeth, it was the heaviest thing that Copperquick had ever picked up.

“You there… yes, you…”

The biggest mare that Copperquick had ever seen was addressing him. She was an earth pony, white, almost gleaming, and she towered over him. She was enormous. Colossal. She had legs like tree trunks. She was absolutely terrifying for some reason. It felt as though her eyes were boring into his very soul.

Eyes narrowing, the mare said, “Don’t be a quitter. I don’t like quitters.”

With his mouth full, Copperquick couldn’t say anything. He stood there and raised his eyebrows in an attempt to communicate. Frozen with fear, he was unable to put the basket down. How had she known what he was thinking? Where had she come from? Why was she here? What did she want from him? His earth pony senses, which he had always ignored for the most part, now tingled in a most alarming way.

“My name is Helianthus. You look like you are in a spot of trouble. Due south from this park, walk five blocks, take a right at the bakery that makes the sun cookies, and walk for two blocks. You’ll see a rundown and dilapidated building. It will say ‘Foal Services’ on the big cornerstone that you will find on your way to the doors. Once you are there, ask for help. Request to speak to Twilight Velvet.”

“Othay,” Copperquick said around the basket handle.

“Don’t give up.” Helianthus’ face looked very stern. “If you do, we shall meet again, and you won’t like it. Remember, Twilight Velvet.” The big white earth pony with a sunflower cutie mark pivoted her ears forwards and her expression shifted to one of concern. “A father’s love can change the world. Never forget that. Best of luck to you.”

Copperquick nodded and the foal in the basket turned into a shrieking banshee. The stink was getting pretty bad and she was just inches away from his nose. He watched as the big white mare made a gesture, telling him to go. Turning about, he faced the south, and he made his way down the sidewalk, doing as he was told. The big mare was just too commanding to refuse.

“Good luck… and perhaps we’ll meet again,” Helianthus said as she waved goodbye.

Author's Note:

This was made with almost no planning. It just sort of hit me last night and I started piecing the story together. It'll be short, only a few chapters.

If this is your first encounter, welcome to the Weedverse! It is a collection of stories about personal growth and progress, with a focus on positivism.

I would love to hear your opinions on the issues presented in this story, but please, keep them respectful and polite. Thanks!