• Published 13th Jul 2012
  • 6,395 Views, 154 Comments

Impressions - Lusewing



When all you want to do is to get back to where you belong it is easy to make mistakes.

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What is it?

As the three fillies made their way to Fluttershy's cottage they continued to try and work out how they might catch whatever it was that had left those marks. After all it had to be pretty big, so they were going to need more than just a box or a net. Each design quickly became more and more elaborate so that by the time they were walking through the animal filled yard in front of the Yellow mare's house it involved six metres of rope. Two jars of honey. A net. One over ripe banana. Three green wigs and a bell. Scootaloo was about to add that they would need to get a cart as well when they heard voices inside the cottage, well, they heard a voice as well as the barest of whispers, which was likely Fluttershy. The owner of the clearer voice, however, seemed to be making sure that she was being heard. Apple Bloom was the first to recognized the louder of the voices.

"Hey, that's mah sister Applejack. What's she doing here?" They were far enough away so as to make it hard to hear what was being said, but Apple Bloom and the other girls could tell that Applejack did not sound happy. The three fillies slowed their gait down and walked quietly up to one of the open windows, where a few squirrels and birds were also sitting and watching, and where they could also hear the voices more clearly.

"Maybe she found out we went into the Everfree Forest and is now blaming Fluttershy," whispered Sweetie Belle as they approached. She sounded worried, and the other two clearly mirrored her fears with their sheepish looks. None of them wanted to be on the receiving end of a telling-off from Applejack, but they would all feel worse if Fluttershy were taking the blame. The three took a deep breath, before reaching up onto the window ledge.

"Well, if it weren't one of those critters o' yours, then who was it? Certainly weren't nopony. Not the way those there trees were stripped." The fillies each gave a sigh of relief. Applejack was not talking about them, so they were in the clear, however that left them with the question as to just what had gotten Applejack so wound up. They stayed where they were and watched as Fluttershy tried to stand her ground in the conversation, which was a lot like watching a fish try to fly. Angel, the shy mare's white rabbit, stood his ground very well. He shook his paw at Applejack and seemed to say something to the yellow pegasus pony, which involved a lot of shaking of his head and swiping of his paws like he was clearing something in front of him away before crossing his paws.

"Oh my, I'm sorry, Applejack, but Angel said it was none of the animals in my care. They know not to take apples from your orchards, not after the last time I had a talk with them all." Fluttershy was as apologetic as always in her cotton-soft voice, though Applejack and the three nosy fillies all noticed that at least half the animals around them all gave a little shudder. Clearly the talk had involved 'the stare'. "From what you described, though, it might have been a young bear, but I don't know of any cubs in the area. Oh dear, I hope it's not lost." The yellow pegasus tapped one hoof against her lip in worry. She would have to ask the local bears if they had seen anything, maybe the squirrels as well, they always liked to gossip.

"Don't get ya self in a state there, Fluttershy. Whatever is pilfering my Pippins will quickly find the Apples don't take too kindly to thieves." This statement however only upset Fluttershy more, as she quickly explained that the baby was likely just lost and hungry, and it should be taken care of, not scared off. Applejack however felt that all that mattered was they got it out of her orchard before it did any more damage.

As the two mares went back and forth between what sort of methods could be used to remove - or deter - the thief and vandal, the three fillies dropped back down to the ground to whisper amongst themselves.

"You girls thinking what I'm thinking?" asked Scootaloo with a twinkle in her eye. Sweetie Belle frowned for a moment before answering.

"That Fluttershy might be too busy to help us now with this lost bear loose?"

"No Belle," Scootaloo said shaking her head. "If Applejack and Fluttershy are going to catch a bear, then all we have to do is watch how they do it and then we will know how to catch our creature." The orange pegasus looked proud of her idea as Sweetie Belle nodded to the new plan, which she liked more then having to try and convince her sister Rarity to let her borrow three green wigs. Apple Bloom, however, was still looking up at the window deep in thought.

"Applejack said it was the Pippin trees that were hit." Apple Bloom's words were clearly meant to have a lot of meaning in them, but neither the unicorn or pegasus filly could see what it was supposed to be, so they just looked back at her with blank faces. Apple Bloom sighed and then spoke a little slower to make sure her friends were following her. "The Pippin trees are right back against the Everfree Forest, because they can handle the cold winds that sometimes blow in from that direction. What if it wasn't a bear that took the apples but our creature?"

"And what creature would that be then?" All three fillies looked up to see Applejack looking down at them from the window as the front door opened and Fluttershy peaked out. "Nothing to worry about, Fluttershy, it's just my sister and her friends. Now, what's this about some sort of creature?"

********

After a fair bit of clumsy story telling, in which they first had to cover as to just why they were in the Everfree Forest in the first place, and that they had only been there to help Zecora, so they had not been in their on their own or without permission. Applejack still had a look on her face that said she was going to have a long chat with the zebra, whereas Fluttershy looked even paler than before at the mere thought of the place. The three girls were eventually able to explain the prints they had found in the Everfree Forest, as well as the ribbon tied onto the tree.

"There are lots of strange creatures in them woods, any number of them could have made those prints," said Applejack, who was not about to draw conclusions with so little to go on. The girls, however, were not about to be deterred, and after some paper and pencils had been found they tried to draw the rat/chicken/creature print they had seen. All three pictures looked different, but there were enough similarity for Fluttershy to work out that it did look a little like a rat's paw or...
"A squirrel. See, they have paws just like that to help them climb and grab things. They are just the cutest things when you see them eating a nut in their paws." Fluttershy pointed to a pair of gray squirrels who were chasing each others' tails between her stair banisters, but now stopped to chatter when they saw they were being looked at.

"Hmm, a squirrel that big could do the sort of damage I saw on the trees, maybe there is something to this creature of yours after all." Applejack was glaring at the squirrels now as though they were the culprits, and both quickly scampered up the stairs. The three fillies smiled and looked at one another in triumph.
"Now, don't you three get ahead of ya selves. I still think it is more likely a bear or something that's been at my trees. Maybe we should ask Twilight about this here creature, one of her books is bound to have something to help. Fancy a trot down to the Library Fluttershy?" asked Applejack, but the yellow pegasus shook her head gently, her long pink mane swaying like a waterfall in the wake of the movement.

"I think I am going to ask around the animals to see what they have heard. Just promise me you won't scare the poor creature away." Fluttershy held her to hooves together in front of her pleading.

"Ah can't do that sugercube. I've got to protect the family farm, but I promise I won't hurt it." Fluttershy sighed gently and nodded her head before seeing the four ponies out. Her first job before the search for the creature's origins would be to check on the squirrels that had run upstairs.

********

Twilight Sparkle was having a very good day, having just finished stocking the five new books she had been sent from Canterlot's grand library. Of course, it had meant that she had had to take off all of the books from her shelves to make sure everything had been placed the the right order now that there were more additions to their numbers, but that just added to the fun. Right now she was reading through the second of the new books: 'The Eastern Skies: Gryphon Weather Practices', which she was sure Rainbow Dash would love if she could just convince her that Daring Do books were not the only ones that could be 'cool'. Spike was currently taking a nap in his bed, so that meant the purple unicorn had nothing but peace and quiet.
'Knock, knock.'

'So much for that,' thought Twilight. "Door's open. Come on in." Twilight took a mental note of the page she was on, and walked over to greet Applejack and the three fillies who had just entered. She had to admit, she was a little worried that her friend might have brought them round for her to foalsit, and with the excitement in their eyes at this moment she knew no sitter would stand more than a few hours against them.

"Afternoon, Twilight. Sorry to come over like this, but these three found some strange marks in the Everfree Forest and I thought one of your books might have an answer for them." The three fillies smiled angelically.

"Well, I am always happy to help ponies find the information they need. What sort of marks are we talking about?" Twilight also knew that by helping she could make sure the three fillies were not going to put her books back in the wrong places, or worse...dog ear them. The unicorn listened as the three went over their story, which Applejack noticed had grown a little more exaggerated than when they had last told it, making her question just how big these marks had really been. They showed the pictures they had done and then went on to talk about how it had savaged the trees in Sweet Apple Acres.

"Now whoa there, fillies. I had three trees torn up a little, that's all, and both Fluttershy and I think it was the work of a lost baby bear rather than your mystery critter." The three fillies looked a little embarrassed having been caught in their 'embellishments' but went on to say that Fluttershy had pointed out that the creature looked like it could climb like a squirrel or a bear which would explain the damage to the trees.

Twilight looked at the pictures and frowned. She was not an expert on animals or on the things that lurked in the Everfree Forest, but she was sure she had seen these sorts of marks before. Pulling three books down from the shelves she quickly found what she was looking for.

"This is not good," said Twilight, who realized that her very good day had just ended quite abruptly. This was one of the few times she was hoping to be wrong. Applejack and the three fillies moved over as the book was lowered gently by Twilight's magic so that all four could see it. On the page showed a print almost identical to the one they had seen pressed into the mud in the forest. The three girls all shouted out that it was a perfect match and were clearly happy that they had an answer to their mystery. Twilight sighed and turned the page back over to show a full picture of the prints owner.

It stood on its hind legs without any sort of fur covering it other than a shaggy mane that didn't even go down its neck. There was no tail to be seen at all but it did have strips of what might be clothes hanging off it. The prints were from its forelegs, which had hands hanging like bunches of bananas, much like a Minotaur's or Diamond dog’s. Two tusks stuck out upwards from its lower jaw, while the face itself was flat and flabby, with little beady eyes and a nose that looked more like a lump of dough had been pushed into the middle of its face.

"Yuck! What is it?" said Scootaloo, who was clearly having the same reaction to the creature as the rest of the ponies in the room.

"It's a troll."

Author's Note:

Now here is a new take, after all we have horses and ponies in our world so why not something similar to a human in theirs. All my thanks to Smelly_SockZ for his editing skills.