• Published 23rd Mar 2018
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Night Mares and Daydreams - Dreams of Ponies



It's been months since Nightmare Moon was banished, and things have started to settle down. Yet, mysterious things were still ahoof, when one night a stranger happens upon my door with something that will change my life forever.

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Chapter Three: Medicine

Chirp. Chirp.

The forest awoke with the high-pitched song of insects, the sun setting past the trees outside my window. Slowly, I shifted to face the wall in an attempt to ignore the waning light.

And then she pounced.

I groaned as hooves pressed into my side, before they bounced up and repeated the process. Again. And again. Annnnnd again.

“Wake up, Daddy!”

“Nooooo!” I moaned, trying to bat her out of the air with a blind hoof, but to no avail. “Leave me alone, you flying menace!”

Bounce. Ow. Bounce. Ow.

“Wakey wakey, sleepy head.”

I turned just as she came back down for another bounce, my hooves open like a waiting trap. Moon Flower let out an ‘Eep’ of surprise as my forelegs pulled her in, before she was subjected to much snuggling and muzzle-booping.

After at least a minute of mad giggling and pleading, Moon Flower squirmed her way out of my hooves, darting across the room and then down the stairs.

“Come ooooooon!” she whined up at me.

I grumbled, pulling the blanket off and leaving it crumpled on the bed. Blinking, I looked into a small basin set into a concave stone. A frazzled black mane fell down across my matted fur, my dirty-brown coat borne from a healthy amount of living in the forest.

I scratched the top of my head with a hoof. “Bath first.”

My voice must have carried downstairs, because then I heard a bemoaning, “Nooooo!”

“I meant for me!”

“…Oh. Okay.”

I turned and trotted downstairs, watching a little blur dart across the house in rapid bursts. Two bowls sat upon the table, ready to be filled with something delicious or terribly insidious.

“Making breakfast, sweetheart?”

“Yep yep yep!” A small pot filled with fresh lettuce and assorted vegetables was tossed up and down, held gingerly in Moon Flower’s tail. Her hooves mixed a small pot of water with various spices into who-knows-what kind of dressing.

“I’ll be back in a few minutes. Can I trust you to not burn down the forest?” I couldn’t help but laugh at the strange look she gave me.

“How?” She gestured to the bowl of vegetables and the definitely-not-lit fire.

“It’s just a saying, you silly filly.” I smiled, turning to walk outside.

“Who’s saying?”

I chuckled as a ray of the sun grazed the back of my head. “I honestly have no idea, Moony.”

The sunsets were always beautiful in the Everfree, the bare earth becoming a golden, twisting path beneath the trees. I trotted past the garden where we kept the more practical plants like cabbage and carrots, broccoli and tomatoes, plucking a particularly round, red tomato for a pre-dinner snack.

I passed out of the small grove of our home, trotting for less than a minute before the sound of running water found its way to me. The small stream ran all the way from the old castle, right past our house, and out into an open field down the way. A worn bucket rested by a tree just off the stream, along with an herbal mixture that I used to help clean some of the more resistant substances off my coat.

The water was cool as usual as I stepped down carefully onto the slippery rocks, the area already getting dark around me.

Well, to business, then.

I was just beginning to shake myself dry when I heard it: a low, pained groan that couldn’t be too far off. I stopped, water still dripping from my coat as my ears perked up. There it was again, low, but still quite clear over the babbling of the stream.

Sounds like an ursa, or something just as big.

Crouching low, I crept up to the top of the small hill that ran adjacent to the stream, peeking down the slight slope. At the bottom, I spotted dark red, intermixed with a blueish tint. Carefully, I made my way down towards whatever it was, moving from tree to tree until the full shape of the beast came into view.

It was definitely an ursa, an ursa minor to be specific. The creature was still easily twice my size, and was bleeding from its side. A large, pointed spike that had once been a small tree was sticking into it. Blood dripped from the wound, slowly coating the wood a dark crimson.

At least it’s not arterial. But still…

Then I noticed it staring at me. The large, black eyes watched me carefully, the ursa’s claws motionless and non-threatening, not that I was eager to test that.

“I’m going to try to help you, friend,” I spoke slowly and softly, gesturing to the wound with a hoof. “I’ll just need a few things from home.”

As I started to move off, the bear didn’t have a word to say, because of course it didn’t. I didn’t make it ten paces before another roar nearly knocked me off my hooves. I turned, my eyes widening as the ground was coated in red. The damned ursa was trying to pull itself free right in front of me.

Celestia, help me.

My hooves hammered the ground as I rushed back to it, waving my forelegs desperately. “Stop, you idiot!”

A claw raked out towards me. I stumbled backwards, the swing missing me completely. The bear howled in pain from the exertion, the wound opening up even further.

“Serves you right.” I looked the wound over carefully. The bleeding had worsened, significantly, and now the time I might have had was reduced to a mere few minutes. “Now you just hold on and don’t move.” Turning and holding my hooves up to my muzzle, I poured everything I had into a shrill whistle. I held it as long as I could, about ten seconds or so, before I had to breathe.

“Now, let’s see what I can do.” I glanced around for something, anything, to work with. A small bush that held thick patches of dark berries caught my eye. After snagging a rather large leaf from a low-hanging branch, I scooped a hoofful of berries onto the leaf and carried them back.

“Here, these will help.” They’re poisonous in large enough doses, but with only this much, and with his size, they’ll just help dull the pain. The bear sniffed once before it pulled its head away. I guess I can’t blame him, but still…

“A little cooperation would be nice…” I sighed heavily. Then I heard the rapid flutter of wings from behind me, and as I turned around, I spotted Moon Flower searching frantically for me. “Over here!” I called out, watching her turn instantly.

She landed swiftly and safely, having had quite a bit of practice, especially in the waning light of the forest. It was almost dark now, but I could still see the small satchel that she’d placed on her back.

“I’m here, Daddy. I bwought the sack like you taught me.”

“I see that. You’re a smart filly and I love you, but now Daddy needs you to fetch the cooking pot and the striking rock from home, okay?”

She stood tall, dropping the saddlebag from her back before doing a small flip, her wings opening up as she flew upside-down back towards the house.

“That’s my filly.”

I turned back to the ursa minor, grabbing the bag and pulling it open. The pre-packed contents were still just as I’d left them, and though I would have trusted Moon Flower to be able to gather what I needed, it was easier and far safer to just be prepared.

The small bottle of greenish goo glistened in the rays of moonlight that now shone down through the trees. The loud hoots of owls sounded as I pulled the stopper with slight difficulty, before dipping the tips of my hooves into the ointment.

“This is a special recipe.” I held the goo up for the bear to see, dabbing a little on my forehead as a demonstration. “It promotes internal healing and will dull some of the pain.”

I reached slowly forward, waiting for the ursa to react negatively to being approached. It didn’t budge, perhaps now too tired to pay me any mind. Its dark pupils had begun to dilate in the darkening forest, and it didn’t so much as glance at me as I spread the goop across its forehead. The goop started glowing as it came into contact with the bear’s fur, a sure sign that the magic was working.

I turned back to the bag, searching for a few ingredients that I would need to properly clean the wound. Fast as a shadow, Moon Flower was already visible over the crest of the hill, flying down towards me as fast as she could will herself to move. I took the lidded pot, which had the striking stone inside, from her mouth and gestured to the bear.

“This Ursa is badly hurt, sweetheart. I’ve applied moonmoss already and had set aside some syckleberries to feed it, but it insisted on giving me a hard time.”

Moon Flower had already approached the large creature, the rise and fall of the ursa’s chest having slowed to a point that it was barely noticeable. “Aww, poor Mister Bear. I down’t like taking icky stuff, either.”

She picked up the leaf of berries and held them up to the bear. The bear moved its head away, still not interested in the offering. I started building a small fire as I watched, gathering branches as Moon Flower stared down a creature five times her size.

“They’re good for you!” She tried forcing them between the bear’s lips, only for them to fall to the ground. “Don’t make me get wuff.”

After a minute, I had piled leaves and dry sticks between several small rocks. I struck the black rock against a heavy stone, little sparkles flickering and dying in the cool wind. Even as a slight shiver ran through me, I couldn’t help but smile as Moon Flower tried again and again to get the bear to eat. Then a spark caught, a flicker of life that led me to bend down and gently blow, feeding life to the budding flame.

Then there was a loud groan. I turned to see that Moon Flower had bitten down on the ursa’s ear, its mouth opening in response to the pain. The berries, along with the entire leaf, were shoved into the bear’s mouth before it closed. She then pinched its nostrils closed and smiled.

“Swallow.” There was a long moment as the Ursa stared, dumbfounded, at this tiny, little batpony holding her hooves over its nose. Then it huffed, followed by a heavy swallow. The ursa smacked its lips, a slightly sour look across its face. “Good bear!” Moon Flower patted the bear’s head before flapping over to me.

“Where did you learn that?” I asked, grinning as I minded the fire.

Proud little eyes beamed up at me. “That’s how you got me to try caulifwower, remember, Daddy?”

I blinked a few times before nodding. “Of course.” I smiled brightly at her. “Seems you’re already smarter than me, sweetheart.” She stood proudly, glancing back occasionally at our newest patient. I held the pot out to her. “Fill this about halfway with water, then we get to do the hard part.”

Once the water was boiled, I added salt and crushed korren seeds and let it steep for a minute. Moon Flower had used a small empty jar to gently pour water into the bear’s mouth, the beast no longer giving her any resistance. She was the boss and the ursa knew it.

A hot cloth was steamed in the solution as I carried the pot and sat beside the gaping wound. A little thump on the dirt next to me signified my daughter’s location as I placed my hoof into the hot water. It burned slightly, but it was nothing to whatever pain this poor creature was in.

“Oooh.” Moon Flower looked at where the wooden spike had penetrated. “That’s a big owie.”

“Mmhm. And we’re going to have to move him before I can close the wound.” I slowly and very carefully rubbed the hot cloth against the outsides of the injury. The ursa let out a low moan, growling and groaning at me with teeth bared.

“It’s okay, Teddy.”

“You named it?” I raised an eyebrow at her.

“Yep! Do you like it?” Her eyes reflected the moon, creating a vibrant green aura in the darkness.

“It’s adorable,” I said, Moon Flower letting out a soft squee as I finished cleaning the wound. “Now hold this still as best you can.” I pointed to the chunk of tree that was sticking out of the ursa. After she was in place, her face scrunched up in determination as she held her hooves against the bark. I struck downward, snapping the wood just past her grip. There was a sharp snap, then a groan as the pressure was instantly removed from the wound. Only a little blood seeped out at this point, the liquid moonmoss having done its job.

“Now the stitches, sweetheart.”

A spool of treated horsehair was held up to me, along with a small open tin that contained an old sewing needle. It took quite a bit of time, and a lot more patience, but eventually I managed to sew the wound shut. A little coaxing from a fluffy, little bat filly made the work several degrees more… bearable.

“It’ll be okay, Teddy. Daddy will make you feel aaaall better.” She giggled and kissed the bear’s nose, the ursa looking rather uncomfortable.

“I’m done, Little Flower. Let’s clean up and let Mr. Teddy here rest for the night.”

“Aww.”

“You heard me, filly.”

We departed soon after, having given the ursa a bit more water and a few more syckleberries, though without the ear nipping this time.

“That was fun, Daddy. Can I do the sewing next time?” She smiled and gave me those puffy bat eyes of hers that always seemed to mortally wound me.

“We’ll see,” I said. She jumped into the air, giving a happy flap of her wings. When I said we’ll see, it always meant she’d get her way eventually. She knew it, I knew it, heck, all of Equestria knew it.

Finally, we sat down to enjoy the lovely meal she’d prepared for us. No heat had been required, so everything was just as fresh as she’d left it. The cool, crisp night kept the dish at the perfect temperature as I added her homemade dressing. I dug in, finally noticing how hungry I was.

“Your best yet, Moon Flower. You’re already a better cook.” There was an adorable squee of happiness before she started into her own bowl.

And so we sat there, the light of the moon, adorned with the shadow of Nightmare Moon, shining down upon us. And I couldn’t have been happier.

Author's Note:

Annnnnnd it's here!

I love this chapter, I really do. It was so much fun to write and I can't wait to publish the next one for all of you :pinkiehappy:

Looking forward to all your comments and critiques, Dreams of Ponies :twilightsmile: