• Published 3rd Dec 2012
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Breaking Babs - D G D Davidson

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Breaking Babs

Breaking Babs

by D. G. D. Davidson

“Oh no she didn’t!” Scootaloo yelled.

The front wheel of the float—the float she and her friends had spent months building—crashed to the ground. The forks groaned and then snapped. The float fell forward with a crunch, tumbled out the barn door, rolled down the slope, and smashed to pieces at the bottom of the hill.

Scootaloo felt her eyes moisten, but she swallowed the urge to cry and glared daggers at Babs Seed, who stood beside the wheel she’d kicked with her mouth hanging open.

Babs snapped her mouth shut, recovered her composure, blew her forelock out of her face, and sneered. “Looks like somepony’s pumpkin just got squashed.”

Toothy grins on their faces, Diamond Tiara and Silver Spoon looked at each other and giggled.

Apple Bloom yelled, “When I tell Applejack—”

“You gonna tell Applejack what?” said Babs, getting in her face.

“Uh,” Apple Bloom said, “well, y’know, uh—”

“What’re you, a snitch?”

“C’mon Babs,” said Diamond Tiara. “You should hang with us—you know, the cool ponies. Not these babies.”

Their noses in the air, Diamond Tiara and Silver Spoon walked out, Babs by their side. Babs shot one last triumphant look over her shoulder before she disappeared down the hill.

The Crusaders stood silent for a moment, stunned.

“What just happened?” Apple Bloom asked.

Glaring at the ground, Scootaloo chewed her lip before answering, “I think Babs just went to the dark side.”

“We have to tell Applejack,” said Sweetie Belle.

“No!” cried Apple Bloom. “We’re not snitches.”

Scootaloo crossed her forelimbs and sat down. “And we’re not babies.”

“Then what do we do?” Sweetie asked.

Scootaloo chewed her lip for another minute before she stood and walked out. Her friends followed close behind.

When she reached the remains of the float, Scootaloo placed a hoof under a fold of orange canvas and lifted it, examining the damage. The float was ruined. They would have to rebuild it from scratch.

“We get even,” Scootaloo said.

Scootaloo was what the ponies called a knocker.

Her parents had died in a weather accident when she was small. Had she lived in a large city like Fillydelphia or Baltimare, she would have gone to an orphanage, but since she lived in a small, close-knit village, she instead became the ward of the entire town: she could knock on anypony’s door and expect food and lodging for at least a day. She never went hungry, and she never spent a night without a roof over her head, but she had no home, no stability, and no parents to rear her up. At the moment, she lived with Sweetie Belle, whose dam and sire were talking seriously about taking her in permanently.

According to the rules of hospitality, however, Rainbow Dash owed her the most, since her parents had died making weather and Rainbow was the weather manager. But Scootaloo had never had the guts to ask Rainbow for any special favors.

Until today.

“Hey, Rainbow Dash.” Scootaloo peered up at the cloud on which Rainbow Dash was napping. She flapped her wings as hard as she could, and she rose about thirty hands from the ground before she sank back down. She couldn’t quite fly yet. Maybe someday.

She cleared her throat and spoke again. “Hey! Rainbow Dash!”

Rainbow started, sat up, and turned over, flopping onto her belly and dangling one hoof over the edge of the cloud. “Oh, hey, squirt. What’s up?”

Scootaloo bit her lip and kicked at the ground. “I wanna ask you a favor—”

“You need a place to stay?” Rainbow yawned and stretched. “I got plenty o’ room in the ol’ cloud palace.”

Scootaloo’s cheeks turned warm. The thought of rooming at Rainbow’s place almost made her forget her real objective. “Actually, I wanted to ask, well—”

Rainbow laughed. “Still lookin’ for your special talent? The trick is to do as many things as possible in the shortest—”

“No! I mean, not exactly. You know karate, right? Apple Bloom said you know karate.”

Rainbow scratched her head. “Karate? Yeah, I could see that. We could start there if you like.”

“I don’t mean as my special talent—well, it’d be great if it was, but I mean, can you teach me?”

Rainbow spread her wings, dove off the cloud, and lowered herself to the ground. “Hmm, I never really had a student, and I’m a bit out of practice, but”—she turned her head and popped her neck—“I can still kick hindquarters when I gotta. Okay, squirt. Meet me at the Ponyville dojo in an hour.”

“Ya already got some pretty good moves, squirt.”

Clad in a gi, Scootaloo took out her frustrations by rapidly kicking a makiwara while Rainbow Dash, sunglasses perched on her muzzle, watched with her forelimbs crossed.

“Loosen up your shoulders,” Rainbow said. “Knees supple, fetlocks straight. When you kick with a foreleg, the toe of your hoof should form a straight line with your cannon . . . yeah, that’s it. Your hoof has four striking surfaces—the toe, the quarter, the heel, and the bulb. Now, first . . .”

Scootaloo felt her lips part in a grin as she continued kicking. Sweat trickled down her face from under her forelock. She could get into this. Rearing, she slammed the makiwara as hard as she could with both forelegs, splintering the board near its base. Scootaloo spun and, with a roundhouse kick, broke the board in half and sent the shattered pieces clattering against the wall.

Rainbow Dash slid her sunglasses down her nose and peered over them. “Maybe we should try the kicking ball.”

Three hours later, as the sun was setting, Scootaloo staggered out of the dojo, her knees wobbling. Rainbow Dash followed after.

“Yeah, I’ve never taught anypony this before,” Rainbow said, “and it’s kinda been a while. You’re strong enough, and your coordination’s pretty good, but maybe we should slow it down, start with some stretching—”

Scootaloo fought to catch her breath. “No, you’ve been real helpful, Rainbow Dash. I learned a lot.”

Rainbow tousled Scootaloo’s mane. “You okay for tonight?”

Scootaloo thought about saying no, but then remembered that all her things were still in Sweetie Belle’s room. She remembered, too, that she had an off-chance of being adopted. “Yeah, I’m okay for tonight. I’m staying with Magnum and Garden Wishes.”

“Okay, squirt. Catch ya later.” After tousling Scootaloo’s mane one last time, Rainbow spread her wings, jumped, and leapt into the purple sky.

Scootaloo dragged herself to the lake on Ponyville’s north end, slumped against a cottage door, and did the one thing she was good at—knocking.

Garden Wishes, clad in a frumpy sweater and Capri pants, opened the door and gave her a wide smile. “Good evening, Scootaloo. My, you’re getting in late.”

“Sorry, Mrs. Wishes.”

“Oh, don’t worry about it, dear. We’re just sitting down to dinner. Come on in.”

As Scootaloo walked into the warm interior, a strong smell met her nose, like something burnt.

Magnum and Sweetie Belle sat at the dining room table. Sweetie waved. “It was my turn to cook tonight!” she squeaked.

Scootaloo managed a weak smile.

After struggling through a meal of black ash, Scootaloo did her homework and then followed Sweetie upstairs where they climbed together into the bed. Garden Wishes came in, pulled the quilt up under their chins, pecked both their foreheads, and wished them good night. Sweetie blew the fireflies out of the bedside lamp, and the room faded into darkness. The night had grown cool, but the blankets were warm. Harvest Day was only a few days away; then it would be time for the Running of the Leaves, and after that the ponies would work together to bring in winter.

Scootaloo listened to the soothing, rhythmic creak of the windmill behind the house and to Sweetie Belle’s steady breathing.

“Scootaloo?” Sweetie whispered.


“You awake?”

“Obviously, since I answered you.”

“Oh yeah.”

The windmill continued its steady turning, its arms casting a dim shadow through the window and across the bedspread.

“Is there something you wanted, Sweetie Belle?”

“Huh? Oh, right. Do you think you’ll be able to stay?”

“I dunno. It’s really up to your parents.”

“Where’ll you go if they say no?”

Scootaloo turned her back on Sweetie and stared at the windmill silhouetted in the moonlight. “Somewhere else, I guess. I always got somewhere to go.”

She heard Sweetie tucking herself deeper under the covers. “I’d like you to stay,” Sweetie whispered, and then she yawned. Soon, she was snoring faintly.

Scootaloo continued to gaze out the window. She liked the warm bed, the pretty decorations on the walls, the chest full of toys. She liked being with Sweetie Belle, and she liked it that Garden Wishes tucked them in at night.

If she was to have any chance of keeping a home like this, the best thing to do would be to keep her head down, keep her muzzle clean, and play straight, at least for a week or two.

But then she remembered Babs breaking the parade float and smugly trotting off with Diamond Tiara and Silver Spoon, and she thought about Apple Bloom having to share a room with that jerk. She grit her teeth and clenched the sheets in her fetlocks.

If Babs wanted to be a bully, Scootaloo would learn to bully right back.

“Okay, squirt,” Rainbow Dash said, pacing back and forth. She had her ball cap and whistle on today to show she meant business. “The basic foreleg attacks are the toe straight kick, the spear-hoof kick, the vertical-hoof kick, the rising kick, the roundhouse foreleg kick, the close kick, double hoof kick, u-kick, hook kick—”

“Rainbow Dash?”

Rainbow paused. “Yeah, squirt?”

Scootaloo shifted back and forth between her hooves. “What would you do, I mean hypothetically . . .”

She swallowed, stared at the ground for a moment, and then blurted, “What would you do if you were gettin’ bullied?”

Rainbow laughed. “Nopony had the guts to bully me in school.”

Scootaloo’s ears drooped. “Oh.”

Rainbow flopped down beside her and threw a forelimb over her shoulders. “About when I was your age, though, there was a couple o’ colts, real punks, who used to pick on Fluttershy.”

“I think she told us about that—”

“Yeah, we were in flight school together. Anyway, when I saw these guys messin’ with ‘er, I showed ‘em who was boss—I challenged ‘em to a flyin’ race an’ whooped ‘em.”

Scootaloo’s ears drooped again. “Oh.” She flapped her tiny wings. “But I can’t really fly. Not very well—”

Rainbow stood, reared onto her hind legs, and kicked the air with her front hooves. “Sometimes, though, somethin’ like that won’t work. Sometimes, ya just gotta clobber ‘em. The trick is knowin’ when.”

Scootaloo looked up. “It’s okay to fight sometimes?”

Rainbow dropped to all fours. “Yeah. Sure. Sometimes. When the time’s right.”

“How do you know when the time’s right?”

“You just do. That’s part o’ karate, knowin’ when the time is right.”

Scootaloo smiled faintly. “So what was that about, um, hook kicks?”

A contented smile on her face as usual, Cheerilee sashayed across the front of the classroom. “All right, everypony, we have a guest joining us in class for the next couple of weeks—from Manehatten—and I want you all to make her feel welcome! Come right up here and introduce yourself.”

Babs Seed walked to the front of the room, her tail curved across her blank hip. She faced the class, blew her forelock out of her eyes, and said, “How ya doin’?”

The students released a subdued sound of wonder when they heard her thick Bronclyn accent.

“Tell them your name, dear,” Cheerilee said.

“Babs. Babs Seed.” Without further ado, she walked toward the desks.

“Oh my,” Cheerilee said. “Looks like we don’t have any spare seats at the moment. Let me get you—”

Babs marched straight to Apple Bloom’s desk and leaned on it.

“Move it, crybaby,” Babs said.

Silver Spoon and Diamond Tiara tittered. Scootaloo rose halfway out of her chair.

Cheerilee clamped a fetlock around one of Babs’s ears. “That’s not how we talk in my classroom, young lady. We’ll get you a desk, and then perhaps you’d like to sit right up here in the front next to me.”

Scootaloo lowered herself back into her seat. Sweetie Belle giggled nervously. Apple Bloom looked to be on the verge of tears, but so did Babs when Truffle Shuffle, who was teacher’s aide for the year, huffed and puffed as he dragged a desk into the classroom and set it next to Cheerilee’s.

The Cutie Mark Crusaders spent a week trying and failing to avoid Babs. With each day, Scootaloo’s annoyance grew, and she spent every evening blowing off steam in the dojo with Rainbow Dash.

Wherever the Crusaders went, Babs threw food at them, tripped them, and broke their things, all while Diamond Tiara and Silver Spoon looked on and laughed.

Then the day came when they walked to their tree house and found Babs leaning on the railing.

“Hey,” Babs yelled, “what’re ya doin’ at my clubhouse?”

Scootaloo’s face burned. She flapped into the air and shouted, “Your clubhouse? This is our clubhouse!”

Babs blew her forelock out of her face. “Well, it was yours, and now it’s mine.”

“And mine,” Silver Spoon said, walking around the porch from the tree house’s back.

“And mine,” said Diamond Tiara, walking in from the other side.

“That’s not fair, Babs,” said Apple Bloom. “We never did anything to you.”

“And let’s keep it that way,” said Babs. “Now scram, crybabies.” She kicked the staircase, breaking it so it folded up like a drawbridge.

The bullies laughed as they walked into the tree house. Sweetie Belle burst into tears.

Scootaloo decided that was the last straw.

The Crusaders gathered together in Sweetie’s room. Sweetie sobbed on the bed.

“That Babs has really gone too far this time,” muttered Apple Bloom as she paced.

“Kicked out of our own clubhouse,” grumbled Scootaloo.

“And out of my own bed!” Apple Bloom cried.

Scootaloo recoiled. “Seriously?”

“Super seriously.”

“We have to tell Applejack,” said Sweetie.

“No,” said Scootaloo, leaning on the windowsill and staring at the windmill. “We need to fight back.”

“How?” Sweetie asked.

“By fighting,” Scootaloo answered. “Sometimes, ya just gotta clobber ‘em. The trick is knowing when. Well, I say it’s when. It’s past when.”

“But, Scootaloo,” said Apple Bloom, “Applejack says—”

Forget what Applejack says. She hasn’t helped us with Babs, has she?”

“That’s cuz we haven’t told her,” said Sweetie.

Scootaloo lowered her front hooves back to the floor. “We haven’t even tried fighting. Diamond Tiara and Silver Spoon are pushovers, and the three of us could take Babs.”

Sweetie and Apple Bloom gave each other uneasy looks.

“Well, I could take Babs. And if I have to, I’ll take her myself. I’ll take all three of ‘em. Are you with me or not?”

Apple Bloom kicked at the rug. “We’re with you, Scootaloo. I guess.”

When the Cutie Mark Crusaders next approached their tree house, they could hear the sound of tinkling glass and cracking wood coming from inside. Babs Seed, Diamond Tiara, and Silver Spoon were trashing the place.

Scootaloo glanced at Sweetie Belle. Tears were running from her eyes again.

“We worked so hard to fix it up,” Apple Bloom whispered. “That was my big sister’s clubhouse ‘fore it was ours, and now they’re—”

“Are you still with me?” Scootaloo asked.

Sweetie was shrill. “I’m so mad right now!” A small burst of green sparks fell from her horn.

“We’re with you,” said Apple Bloom.

Scootaloo tilted her head and popped her neck. “Hey, Babs!” she shouted.

The sound of breaking stopped. The door slammed open and Babs Seed walked onto the balcony, blowing her forelock out of her eyes.

“Come down here and fight me like a mare,” Scootaloo said.

Babs laughed. “Why don’cha come up here, crybaby? Whatsamatta? Can’t fly?”

Scootaloo clenched her teeth.

Babs called over her shoulder. “Hey, Diamond, Silver, ya know dis pegasus can’t fly?”

Diamond Tiara stuck her head out of the door and snickered. “Oh, she’s never been able to fly, Babs. Look at her puny wings.”

“Can’t fly,” Babs said, “and too afraid to fight. I guess that makes you a . . . a chicken, don’ it?”

Scootaloo’s face burned. She opened her wings and flapped hard. “Nopony, and I mean nopony, calls me a chicken!

She rose off the ground—first ten hands, then twenty, then thirty. She thought she was about to fall, but that only made her angrier, so she put on an extra burst and rose still higher. In a moment, she was level with the balcony.

Babs’s smug expression collapsed. She took a step back.

Gingerly, Scootaloo stretched out her forelegs, leaned forward, and flew. Soon, the balcony railing was within her grasp. She curved her fetlocks over it, pulled her hind hooves onto it, closed her tired wings, and took a few deep breaths, basking in her triumph.

Babs’s smug smile returned. “Sorry, but visitors ain’t welcome. Watch da first step—it’s a doozie.” She reared and raised her front legs.

Scootaloo jumped and wrapped her forelegs around Bab’s shoulders, slamming her own face against Babs’s breast in the process. Babs staggered, but Scootaloo’s light frame hadn’t been enough to arrest her momentum. Babs fell forward, and Scootaloo’s croup crashed into the railing. With a creak and then an earsplitting crack, the balustrade gave way and the two ponies plummeted toward the grass.

Without thinking, Scootaloo snapped her left wing down tight and opened her right wide. They spun, and with a sound like a bag of rocks hitting concrete, Babs’s back struck the ground. Scootaloo landed hard on Babs’s belly.

Babs released a quick, low gasp, indicating she’d lost her wind. Scootaloo rolled off of her, spun, and delivered a sweeping kick to the side of her head.

Babs found her feet. Her knees shook, and tears ran down her face, mixed with a trickle of blood.

“Who’s the crybaby now?” Scootaloo asked.

Sweetie Belle dove at Scootaloo’s feet. “Scootaloo, stop! Stop, please!”

“I’m not gonna stop till I’m finished!

When Babs flared her nostrils, snorted, ducked her head, and charged, Scootaloo tried to meet her with a roundhouse kick, but was too slow. She choked and almost swallowed her tongue when Babs’s forehead caught her in the neck and slammed her backwards into a tree.

Although Babs was only a little larger than Scootaloo, as an earth pony, she weighed almost twice as much. Wrapping her forelegs around Scootaloo’s barrel, she threw her full weight onto Scootaloo’s back and pushed her muzzle into the dirt.

“Say uncle!” Babs shouted. “Say uncle!” Babs yanked Scootaloo’s mane, pulling her head up.

Scootaloo spat out a chunk of sod. “Cover you,” she rasped.

Sweetie and Apple Bloom gaped.

Babs ground Scootaloo’s nose into the dirt again. “Not what I wanna hear, crybaby. One more time. Let’s hear ya whinny for your dam!”

My dam is dead, you haridelle!

Finding a purchase with her hind hooves, Scootaloo arched her back and knocked Babs off. Then she turned on her and kicked her rapidly and repeatedly in the stomach.

Babs managed to escape Scootaloo just long enough to gasp one word—“Help!”

Up on the balcony, Diamond Tiara and Silver Spoon, plainly terrified, glanced at each other and then ran to the tree house’s ruined stairs, but the stairs cracked under their weight and dropped them roughly to the ground.

Scootaloo glanced at Sweetie and Apple Bloom, who stood frozen with looks of horror on their faces. “You take those two!"

The brief distraction was enough to give the advantage back to Babs. She got behind Scootaloo, wrapped one leg around her neck, and with the other grabbed one of Scootaloo’s own hooves and slapped it against Scootaloo’s face.

“Why ya hittin’ yourself?” said Babs. “Why ya hittin’ yourself?”

Scootaloo twisted her hips, threw a rear leg back and up, and kicked Babs in the side of the head. Once she was free, Scootaloo fell on all fours and bucked, striking Babs in the chest with both rear hooves. Babs hit the tree so hard that apples and leaves tumbled out of it in a torrent.

Scootaloo took a moment to check if her friends needed help. Apple Bloom, though she looked reluctant, had pinned Diamond Tiara to the ground and now smeared mud in her hair while Diamond Tiara shrieked. Sweetie Belle and Silver Spoon simply stood opposite each other, toed the ground, and occasionally glanced awkwardly into each other’s eyes.

“C’mon, Sweetie Belle!” yelled Scootaloo.

Sweetie poked at the ground for a moment more, but then finally squeezed her eyes shut and reached out with a hoof, knocking Silver Spoon’s glasses from her face.

Silver Spoon burst into tears and galloped away, sobbing.

Babs grabbed Scootaloo from behind. “Maybe you’d like to be a chicken permanently,” she hissed. Scootaloo felt a fetlock clamp over her right wing.

“No!” Scootaloo gasped. “No!

A searing pain tore across her side. She arched her back, and her mouth fell open in a silent groan. Tears again threatened to run from her eyes, but she held them at bay. She kicked backwards, catching Babs in the udders and doubling her over.

Scootaloo’s right wing hung limp. When she tried to fold it in, it responded with a fresh burst of pain, but didn’t move.

She jumped on Babs and pressed her front hooves into her jugular groove, choking her. Babs tried to kick Scootaloo off, but Scootaloo held tight. Babs’s face turned blue.

Apple Bloom was at her shoulder then, pawing and streaking mud into her coat. “Let her go, Scootaloo! Let her go!”

Scootaloo didn’t let go. She pressed harder. Babs’s face went from blue to purple.

“Please!” Apple Bloom cried. “Don’t kill my cousin!”

With a violet flash, Babs disappeared, and Scootaloo fell hard against the ground. Then, in another violet flash, everything disappeared.

It came back in an instant. Woozy, Scootaloo took a moment to realize she was hanging upside down, suspended by a levitation spell wrapped around her tail, and looking into the stern face of Twilight Sparkle. Near Twilight’s hooves stood Silver Spoon, breathing hard, shaking, and still crying.

“You’ve got some explaining to do,” Twilight said.

Not long after, Doctor Stable at Ponyville Hospital was setting her wing.

“Bed rest,” he said to Twilight, who stood in the doorway. “She’ll be fine in a few days. But as for that earth filly”—he frowned and shook his head—“she’ll be in here for a week.”

Scootaloo had the room to herself. They had placed Babs somewhere else. Twilight had marched Apple Bloom and Sweetie Belle home to their families, so Scootaloo was alone. She lay in the bed and counted cracks in the ceiling.

After a few hours, Rainbow Dash walked in and sat next to her. Scootaloo looked at her, but Rainbow kept her eyes on the floor. A few minutes passed.

“Scootaloo,” Rainbow said quietly, “did you ask me to teach you to fight just so you could beat up another filly?”

“You don’t understand. She was—”

“Answer me.”

Scootaloo bit her lip. “Yes.”

Rainbow, still watching the floor, shook her head in two sharp jerks. “That’s not cool, Scoots.”

“But Rainbow—”

Rainbow leaned forward and nearly pressed her nose against Scootaloo’s. “Did you understand what I taught you? Didn’t you understand how easy it is to hurt somepony?”


“Then why did you do it?”

“She was a bully!”

“So are you, Scootaloo!” The words hung in the air for a minute.

Rainbow pulled her face back. “Do you know why I defended Fluttershy when those guys were pickin’ on her? I’d never even met her. I only knew her name.”

“Rainbow Dash, you have to under—”

“Ask me why.”


“Because there’s some stuff in this world I really, really hate.” Rainbow shifted and tapped a rear hoof on the floor. “I hate losing, I hate whining, and I hate bullies. You wanna pick on somepony, pick on somepony bigger’n you.”

“Babs is bigger than me.”

“Did she hit you?”

Scootaloo paused. “No. Well, almost.” She slumped. “I hit her first.”

“And did you have to choke her half to death?”

Scootaloo sank lower. “No.”

“Couldn’t you talk to Applejack? Couldn’t you talk to Magnum or Garden Wishes?”


“What about me? You wanted me to be your ‘sensei,’ didn’t you? Why didn’t you tell me?

Scootaloo tried to answer, but her voice cracked, so she swallowed and tried again.

“I didn’t want you to think I was weak.”

The anger melted from Rainbow Dash’s face. She sat back on her haunches and sighed. “Yeah. I know how that goes. But my friends have taught me that sometimes you gotta talk about your problems. Ya can’t just start swingin’ your hooves.”

“You said I’d know when.”

“This wasn’t when, kid. When is when you’re surrounded by shapeshifting monsters tryin’ to take over Canterlot. That kinda thing. Maybe I shoulda been more clear about that.”

“Does this mean you won’t teach me anymore?”

“I dunno, squirt. We’ll talk about it again when you’re better.” Rainbow Dash stood and reached out a hoof to tousle Scootaloo’s mane, but paused and dropped the hoof back to the floor. With an embarrassed half-smile, she left.

Scootaloo dozed. When she woke again, the sun was down and the first stars were shining through the window. She could hear arguing in the hall. Though it hurt, she eased herself out of the bed, limped toward the door, and laid one ear against it. She could make out Magnum and Garden Wishes’ voices.

“She was under our roof at the time, so she’s our responsibility,” Magnum was saying. “But let’s have her bag packed for as soon as she’s healed up.”

“Honey,” Garden Wishes said, “we can’t just abandon a poor girl who—”

“Who’s abandoning? She’ll always have a place to stay. It just shouldn’t be our place.”

“But Sweetie was set on it.”

“That’s what I’m worried about.”

“Oh, honey—”

“Do you think she’s a good influence on our daughter? Before today, Sweetie wouldn’t hurt a fly.”

“They’re kids. They get in scrapes sometimes.”

“This wasn’t just a scrape and you know it. Did you see what she did to that Manehatten girl? She looked bad—really bad. Applejack’s fit to be tied. Look, if Scoots were ours, I’d say we could work through this. I’d be there for her no matter what. But she’s not ours. We’ve got to think about our own daughter.”

There was a pause. When Garden Wishes spoke again, her voice was so soft that Scootaloo could barely hear. “But who’s going to think about Scootaloo? Can’t she have a place to call home?”

“Sure,” Magnum said. “She can have anyplace. As long as it’s someplace else.”

Scootaloo closed her eyes and felt her shoulders tremble. She swallowed. Though she tried to hold the tears back, they ran down her cheeks and pattered softly on the floor.

As quietly as she could, she slipped back into the bed. She pulled the sheet over her face and, for several hours before she fell asleep, thought about opportunities lost.

Comments ( 58 )

Lol, dat name.


Oh, wow. That brings back memories. I haven't read Bernstein Bear books since I was a little little pony.

Continuation please?

Violence doesn't solve problems.... some of the time. Could use a second part.

1732881 This could definitely use some continuation.

yea continuation would be good

I expected a crossover. :fluttershysad:
Oh well, whatever.

Scootaloo spun and, with a roundhouse kick, broke the board in half and sent the shattered pieces clattering against the wall.

Was Scott's dad Chuck Norris by any chance :rainbowderp:

Also feeling like doing the truffle shuffle next comment


took a good story and ya crapshot the ending.

Adorable. From the description I was expecting this to be a quick alternate universe smackdown, followed by consequences for said violence. You did a great job of following Scootaloo through a little slice of her life, even working in some D'aww moments with Sweetie Belle and Rainbow Dash. The "ward of the village" explanation is great too. You acknowledged that Equestria is a diverse place with many ways of caring for orphans, then gave Ponyville an old-timey community kindness method that fits the show's upbeat nature well in my opinion. They don't have too many orphans knocking about, so when that brand of tragedy occurs the entire village pitches in a little at a time. As long as Scootaloo doesn't make a hog of herself, she's got an open door anywhere. That's really cool, and I applaud you for it. I was not expecting that level of thought from the description, so it might be helpful to mention something about her training to take on Babs to let readers know you put some depth into this. As it stands, the description just sounds like Scoot gave the Manehattan filly a good kick upside the head instead of backing off when Diamond Tiara and Silver Spoon first show up in the barn.

Also. Hands. Hands as a form of measurement for Scoot's flight. I understand why you used it, but it doesn't quite gel right with the story. There's no reason for Scootaloo to think in those human terms. You might want to try using hooves, heads, pony-heights, or even meters instead. It's a minor detail, but worth a mention. Alternatively, you might have Scootaloo and Lyra chat for a bit about using Hands as a form of measurement. Say Scoot tried staying with the unicorn for a night or two, but wasn't much for conspiring about humans and the Mares in Black who cover 'em up. You did great on the other pony anatomy, and that is worthy of congratulations! I think heartgirth is two words, though.

This story is a much more brutal retelling of what the episode was trying to tell. It also has 100% less CMC building a float to the A-Team music. I like how you took the premise from the episode, expanded a little on how it might have gone, and then ended on a pensive note. This story is very close to how things often go in the "human" world, and that gives it more punch. I think the characters were very well depicted, especially Sweetie Belle and Silver Spoon in their little standoff. These are the things that endear this story to me.

On an entirely subjective scale that really means nothing in the grand equation of life, and even less to the author of this little fic I'm sure, I'd call this a 7/10. Great for what it is and well worth a read. On a real scale that's actually used here, have a thumbs-up and a moustache! :moustache:

Silver Spoon's probably gateful Sweetie doesn't know any of her sister's moves^^

Or didn't use them, in any case. Huh. Maybe she does know some, and that's why she didn't really want to fight to begin with...

Long comment is long...

Liked because of punny title.


I'm always eager to receive critiques so I can improve. Could you elaborate?


Thanks for the thoughtful critique. You're correct about heart girth; I was misusing the term and have now removed it. As for the hand as a measurement, I fully agree with your point. I debated with myself over whether to use it and finally went with it, justifying it by remembering that at least some creatures, such as Iron Will, do have hands. It's still a ridiculous way for ponies to measure height.

You may be less impressed by Scootaloo's "knocking" if you know what inspired it:

to asnwer your question, the ending part makes Scoots the bad pony for standing up for her friends. Okay the chokehold was a bit ..much but Babs deserved eveything else she got. Not to mention that all Daimond got out it was some mud in her mane.

Now im not saying Babs it totally evil, she just needs help... and good smack is often the first step.

While "One Bad Apple" is my favorite of the Season Three episodes...part of an issue I had was how suddenly protective Applejack was at the end, in comparison to the previous CMC episodes.

I mean, really, Applejack? Out of all the times you could have noticed the bullying, you STILL have to be directly told what's going on?! You didn't notice any bump or bruise on your little sister and her friends after Babs came to Ponyville? Good farmhand, you may be, but your credentials as a sister seem to be... lacking. Heck, I would have liked to see our quiet and logical Big Mac actually take notice. He's usually not around in these episodes, and why not have a bit of big bro and little sis bonding?

No wonder I think, harsh ending and all,Scootaloo snapping was more realistic. What's the point of "snitching" if whom you would snitfh to didn't even notice previously?

Meh, I'm probably over-thinking everything, but if no one takes noticd about the bullying, or speaks up... what's the real option? To talk, or after a couple weeks of harassment, to fight back?


Considering the things that she and her friends do in their quest for cutie marks, I wouldn't be surprised if Apple Bloom comes home covered in abrasions on a regular basis anyway. If Applejack has no reason to suspect anything, I think it's possible she could be oblivious.

I find it curious that when Sweetie Belle lists responsible adults she and the others could tell, she names Applejack, Rarity, and even Twilight Sparkle--but not her own parents. It's a strange omission, especially since this is the first episode to show Sweetie at home. Of course, having parents out of the picture is par for the course in shows like this.

I also find it curious that kicking Babs in the nose never comes up as a possibility. We know the CMC are more than capable of tussling with each other, as they do it in "Return of Harmony" and "Lesson Zero," and in the latter they even slap Twilight around.

Originally, I conceived of this story as more of a humor/action piece, an epic throw-down between Crusaders and bullies. As I started writing it, though, Scootaloo took center stage and the tone grew more grim, and when I set up Scoots's back story, I suddenly knew what the final scene would be. I intended to tweak the episode's nose, but ended up confirming its message instead. I agree that Babs has more than earned herself a spanking, but such punishment shouldn't come from other kids her age. Fighting is a last resort, and the CMC haven't exhausted their other options. Most particularly, they haven't told a responsible adult. "One Bad Apple" may be a little too pat with its face-heel turn and happy ending, but while writing this I came to the conclusion that its message is correct anyway.


Applejack oblivious, yet another flaw of some CMC episodes.

Well, part of my... over-thinking... came from looking at the intro to the Bad Seed musical.number. While they weren't shown paying the bits for them, the CMC were given malts by somepony, making me think that that very pony saw Babs and company kick them out and steal their treats... and did nothing about it. Sure, it was part of the musical number, but still, I keep interpretting a hidden.implication that Cheerilee -and parents in general- are too lenient, if DT and SS have gone from opportunistic bullying to outright malicious abusers.

True, it was a nice message, yet the ending of the actual episode just feels... too easy.


Ahhh. Well, diamonds among dust and all that. Still, in the story "Knocker" sounds a lot like a kid-friendly version of "Living Rough", an expression for homelessness.

Then again, it also sounds a lot like this:

Given the story's title, I'm sure that went through your mind at some point during the writing process. :scootangel:


Ha! I wish I had known about that. I've actually never seen Breaking Bad. If I had, this story might be a crossover.

Huh. I thought one of them was going to get cancer and start a meth trade.
I was wrong.

Brilliant story! Will there be a sequel, or is it a oneshot?

A watch and moustache for you! :moustache:


That's what I was thinking too!! The title brought this to mind:


Faved to read later. :pinkiehappy:


I'm not opposed to continuing it, but I'm afraid I planned it as a one-shot.

1772801 My new wallpaper.


That was, appropriately enough, a punch in the gut. Poor Scoots. I disagree that a continuation is necessary; although the ending is pretty abrupt, I think the lack of continuation kinda meta-reinforces the "opportunities lost" thing.

Good message.

I've seen you use dam and sire in other works, and I've gotta say they really weird me out -- bit of a pet peeve. Points for horse terminology and all, but I really can't imagine those words being used in the show.

I'd like a continuation, but the ending actually works fine as it is. Let it hang a bit.

I agree the CMC should've at least tried to tell someone. I could see the ending coming. Well, the general direction. But still, damn.

Damn, was hoping for a sequel, oh well.

I can like this as a melodramatic story, but...

Diamond Tiara & Silver Spoon are the career bullies of ponyville. For ponyville to have career bullies, bullying has to be something the majority of adults tolerate. I find it difficult to believe that no-one has ever told on them, and that an adult has never noticed. As an aspect of worldbuilding, telling an adult is almost certainly not going to work, because DT & SS wouldn't exist in a world where it did; expect possibly as villain of the week.

Rainbow Dash is also being a bully here, sitting on her high horse (haha) and browbeating Scootaloo into not asking any awkward questions about Rainbow's moral authority. "What would you have done? Exactly?" I would like to ask her. "Any guarantee your plan would have actually worked? At all?"

And just like the episode, Babs actions go completely unaddressed. She was the one who threw things, who harassed, who stole, who destroyed property. I'd also argue that bullying can cause emotional scars just as real as those caused by being a changeling food source. And while she may not have gone for the first punch, but she did go for the first crippling move.

Whether or not you plan to write a sequel, in your head-canon for this story, did Babs get punished in any way?


All fair points. The episode in question, however, repeatedly brings up telling an adult as the best solution to the problem. I suspect Diamond Tiara and Silver Spoon have indeed been ratted out, but have continued their bullying anyway. They probably get away with it largely because they're passive-aggressive bullies who prefer put-downs to punches. Babs is the first bully we've seen get physical. She ups the ante, so the CMC get more aggressive in their response.

As to your question, it is a good question, but I cannot answer it. I know of only the events about which I have written.

My Gawd! Just amazing!

I liked it up until the end - but I like stories with happy endings, or at least some amount of hope. It seems like Scootaloo's abandoned at the end of this story, both by Rainbow Dash and Magnum and Garden Wishes. True, beating up Babs wasn't the best decision, but the consequences seem rather severe. At the very least it could have used a Sad tag.

I do really like the scene with Rainbow Dash at the end, where she reaches out to tousle Scootaloo's mane and then decides not to. That little detail expresses RD's reaction incredibly well, and very concisely. And there's at least hope the RD and Scootaloo will be able to mend their relationship.

I guess it's the part about Scootaloo getting kicked out that I don't like, when they were thinking of adopting her. I realize you kind of need that for the "opportunities lost" line at the end, but the consequences do seem rather harsh.

Had some good points, I mean in the actual episode, how did no one notice Applebloom lost her bed? :rainbowhuh: Or even Cheerilee could have said something to Applejack, if she noticed those three tormenting the CMC. But grownups don't pay attention to that kind of thing in Ponyville I guess.

I don't think of Scootaloo as anything more than someone who decided to STOP being a victim. The CMC *tried* to be friends with Babs. Too bad the 'no snitch' rule holds true in Ponyville.

It's a shame Scootaloo lost her chance for a home. But she did learn something. Maybe not what others thought she should learn though.

1) She doesn't have to be a victim. She can fight back.
2) She can't count on anyone but herself, Sweetie Belle and Applebloom.

Rainbow leaned forward and nearly pressed her nose against Scootaloo’s. “Did you understand what I taught you? Didn’t you understand how easy it is to hurt somepony?”
“Then why did you do it?”
“She was a bully!”

“So are you, Scootaloo!” The words hung in the air for a minute.

No Rainbow. When someone can't sleep in their own bed, or their hard work is trashed for fun. That is the bully. And maybe you shouldn't have taught her those strikes right off. Maybe you should have spent more time explaining the whole 'learn to fight to avoid fighting' part of Martial Arts. Or isn't that cool enough for you?

“And did you have to choke her half to death?”
Scootaloo sank lower. “No.”

Babs didn't have to break her wing either. And those 3 didn't have to take over the clubhouse. Or do all the other things they did.

“But my friends have taught me that sometimes you gotta talk about your problems. Ya can’t just start swingin’ your hooves.”

Again, she didn't just start swinging. And Rainbow should learn to think before shooting her mouth off in front of more impressionable kids.

“You said I’d know when.”

“This wasn’t when, kid. When is when you’re surrounded by shapeshifting monsters tryin’ to take over Canterlot. That kinda thing. Maybe I shoulda been more clear about that.”

That isn't how life works. Not all bullies or threats are shape-shifters.
You did good Scootaloo. Don't let anyone tell you different. Ok, maybe a tad too far with the chokes, but aside from that, even after learning to fight you waited.

Applejack should be just as mad at herself for not noticing what was going on under her own nose. And mad about her cousin bullying her sister and her friends.

D G D Davidson
I really liked this story, please don't take anything I wrote as cheap shots.
Also, while it may look like I'm talking to a computer when addressing RD....I'm actually not crazy.


And when they DO notice bullying, it's to themselves through a newspaper.:facehoof::facehoof::facehoof: And then they oust and bully a trio of children because they felt hurt over some words.

... Ponyville, when one over-analyzes, sucks for foals.

... That, or I am over-thinking way too much, again.



No, I think you nailed it.

Let me start by saying this story has some wonderful ideas. In an ideal world, parentless children could be cared for like that. I've never heard of it in practice, but it certainly would get the community involved and bring them closer to everyone as well... certainly beats the potential isolation Scootaloo could be feeling :scootangel:

Some of the transitions from the descriptions of the actual episode to the story had a bit of a shift in tone which felt a little weird and inconsistent. However, the training was believable, as well as the strengthening of the relationship between Scootaloo and RD (it wasn't in-yo-face, but subtle). Babs behaved was pretty consistent with her character on the show. The plot holes were minor and previously addressed by other posters.

When reading the actual fight I was at first expecting Babs to be killed or paralyzed early on... the use comic relief, however, really helped keep it interesting and feeling like an episode of MLP made for much older kids. I called the ending, or at least a variation of it, since I expected it to be worse...

Also, you made this Pegasus pony cry. Congratulations :applecry:

I'll just forget what I read. (Nevertheless Thumbs Up etc)

Oh, I love the "ward of the village" explanation for Scootaloo! This should be an interesting journey.

I do think "cover me" is to obscure to really be an effective obscenity (I get the reference, but I think most of the audience will be scratching their heads), and "udder" generally only applies to mammary glands that are filled with milk or otherwise really obvious / baggy.

this was good hope ya do more

This is good, but it deserves a follow up. Yeah you got the whole. Babs was a bully, Scoots learns to fight from Dashie, and The fight + Fall out.

But the ending opened up a lot of questions.

What happened to Scoots after she gets out of the hospital? What about Babs? How does Scoots actions effect the Mane 6 / other CMC? Does she get perma-banned from the Belle household or is she forgiven? Does she eventually get adopted rather than ward of the state? What happens with her and Dashie now? The CMC's relationship with DT, SS, and Bab Seed now that they've been put in their place?

This is such a great story, but I'd like to see more. Will there be more?

This totally needs more chapters! :D

I want Rainbow Dash to adopt Scootaloo. :rainbowderp::heart::scootangel:

Please PLEASE continue story.

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