• Published 16th Jan 2013
  • 4,919 Views, 462 Comments

The Gift of a Feather - AJ

A feather from Rainbow's wing was his prize possession for 10 years. Now he's back.

  • ...

Something Extraordinary

The most beautiful filly in the world was standing directly in front of me on the clouds outlined against the bright blue sky and the rays of sun shining brightly down on her. Her rainbow mane and tail glittered like jewels, and her strong and loyal eyes were gazing intently at me. As strong her she was she was smiling gently as though she missed me. All I could do was smile back. Looking into the eyes of the filly I admired most was enough to wash away all of my despair, and the only feelings that dwelled within were joy. Then the compassion in her eyes shifted into her more usual, confident look, which was no less awesome than her other expressions.

"Wake up, Sonic. Don't wanna be late for your first day," she said in her raspy yet comforting voice. I pretended like I didn't hear her and I just kept looking at her and loving her as best I could. I admire her so much, and I cherish these moments with her in my dreams more than anything. I didn't want to wake up; in dreams she felt so real and her presence so intimate. But she was right.. If I wanted to go back to Cloudsdale and see her, I would have to succeed in this job for at least a while. I knew our parting moment was at hoof, and I savored the final moments standing before her. One day soon, I'm going to come and see you. I promise.

Now I could feel the grass beneath me, and it was warm from me laying on it. My ears twitched and without opening my eyes I raised my head and caught the first bit of the cool morning breeze with my mane. My eyes opened gently, and the majestic Canterlot castle came into view, along with the gardens in which in I had just spent my night. Directly overhead of me there were clouds that were colored a brilliant pink; I looked to the east and a glorious sunrise was on full display. The unique feeling I got from looking at such a wondrous display of colors was always, at least to me, another reminder of my most beloved foalhood friend.

I rolled over and stretched all four limbs, letting out a big yawn. Well, today's the day! I worked my eyes over to the center of the city and let out a sigh. I was a little nervous; I had never been in a city as high class as Canterlot. I was hopeful that my social status would go unnoticed, but I was still uneasy. Making friends could be a big problem if they found out that I just stayed the night on the grass outside the castle. I walked through here yesterday, and my oh my, some of the lavish clothes and other things I saw were indescribable. Where does that leave me? The best I can do is just smile and hope that I don't stick out like a sore thumb.

Well, I guess it's worth it if I can make some money or get noticed or something. I have nothing against window washers, I mean that. But... let's just say that I'm hoping for a job that maybe utilizes my flying talents a little bit better. So I thought about ways to make myself noticed. Ok, so where do I go from here to make that happen? I'm not really sure it would work too well if I just did air tricks over the city so somepony who happens to be looking for a good flier can offer me a job. I took a few deep breaths and began trotting over to the city. Whether or not I made friends, I am going to work hard at this job, and everything else I do in life. I'm going to give it my best effort, and I'm gonna do it well. Confidence, Sonic, confidence. Just like Rainbow Dash, I gotta be confident. I'm gonna own this job.

Now the city was waking up, just like me. As I trotted into the thick of things, I could see the shop owners putting out their "open" signs and the first sign of life in the streets as a few ponies made their way down them. I tried to quell my anxiety and hold my muzzle up as much as I could. Unlike the vast majority of the ponies walking along in the city, I was without any clothing. Most stallions at least had a tie or something, but not me. All I wanted to do was be friendly and have some nice encounters with ponies, but I knew that required that they give me a chance. To my great relief I wasn't the only one without any clothing. I saw at least five stallions who weren't wearing anything. So as I leisurely galloped my legs toward my destination, I felt a little better about my appearance and my spirits were on the rise.

The stallion who offered me the job told me to meet him in front of "Pony Joe's Doughnuts" just after sunrise, so that's where I was off too. I stopped right in front of the shop right on time, eager to meet the grey, middle-aged earth pony so I could get started on my new job. I stopped my legs right in front of the door and looked around. It was still very early in the morning and the streets were uncrowded so it would've been easy for me to spot him. I looked both directions and across the street, but there was no sign of him anywhere. Turns out I was a little bit early. Nothing wrong with that, right? Well, instead of sitting there, I thought I'd go in to Pony Joe's and maybe check out the menu if I ever decided to get anything in the future- that is, when I had the money get to get something.

I walked in and made my way up to the counter with my eyes on the menu. I saw Pony Joe at the counter; he was vanilla colored with a dark brown mane, and he had on a chef's hat and a white apron.

"Can I get you something?" he said in a low, gruff tone that was not unkind. I hesitated for a moment and then flipped my eyes down to him.

"No thanks, I'm just looking." I felt kind of bad that I was in his shop staring at his menu and couldn't buy anything. I didn't notice when I first came in, but as soon as Pony Joe acknowledged me, a young mare who was about my age and sitting at the counter turned her head around to see me. She had a light purple coat and a mane that was light blue with white streaks, and a really pretty pink dress that sparkled.

She turned around and looked directly at me and my eyes went from Pony Joe to her. I gave her a rather awkward but hopefully benevolent smile when our eyes met, hoping she would respond to it. To my great delight she smiled back in a manner that to me seemed friendly and welcoming.

"I love your mane," she said.

Her remark caught me off guard, but it was exactly what I needed I suppose. I hoped with all of my heart that Rainbow Dash would think the same thing if I ever saw her again. I laughed, embarrassed at her remark.

"Thanks," I chucked. "You've got a very nice one yourself," I added, nodding my head forward with a bright smile. I meant it but I wished I could say something more intelligent. Thankfully I could tell she loved the compliment.

"What, this? Oh, it's hideous this morning. I barely had a chance to get ready," she replied.

I could tell that she was quite the high class pony. Her looks and dress gave it away if her response didn't. As long as she doesn't ask me where I sleep, I think I'll be ok.

"What brings you to the doughnut shop if you're not going to get anything?" she said. Her eyes were bright blue, and they certainly seemed welcoming. I sheepishly shrugged and pointed toward the door.

"Oh, I'm just waiting. For... somepony," I cut my sentence short and smiled nervously since I didn't want to go into detail about who I was waiting for. She glanced toward the door and stared for a moment, and then motioned with her head for me to have a look.

"You mean him?" she said, pointing her hoof towards the glass windows in the front. The earth pony I was waiting for, who had a cream-colored coat and a light brown mane, was standing outside the shop, intently looking in both directions. Naturally, my heart rate jumped and my eyes widened with anticipation.

"Oh shoot - yep, that's him. See ya later!" I said as I sprinted toward the door. I lowered my head and rammed right through the front door, ending up smack dab in front of him. He didn't look angry or anything, just surprised, since I came out so quick. He was holding a clipboard in his right front leg and had a pencil in his ear.

"Sonic Rain?" he raised an eyebrow. I went to raise my right hoof like a salute, but then I remembered that this isn't flight camp.

"Yes sir," I replied. He reached his hoof up to his ear, placed the pencil in his mouth, and began writing something down. Then he looked back at me and stared just for a moment. I couldn't help but wonder where my equipment was, but then I noticed a black bag at his hooves that appeared to answer my unspoken question.

"Are you ready to get started?"

"Yes sir!"

He looked as though he hated the fact that he had to wake up this morning, and he certainly wasn't enthusiastic in his expression. I don't necessarily blame him, but nonetheless, I accepted my situation and tried to make the most of it. No use complaining.

"You've got everything you need in there. Bucket, scrub, soap, harness, and, uh... let's see... you can fill the bucket with water from the fountain over there," he pointed behind me, and about a hundred and fifty feet away in the middle of the street was a statue of what appeared to be Princess Celestia, and there were fountains of water shooting up in a circle around her and a pool at her hooves. Kind of an odd place to get water from.... But if that's what the boss wants, I won't question it.

"Don't worry, that water's clean," he added, sensing my questions.

"Which buildings am I doing?"

"Ah, yes. You are doing all of the windows on these six buildings here from here on," he said, using one hoof to point toward Pony Joe's and five buildings to the right of it. I must admit, it seemed like quite a job; these buildings were all about three stories high. He hesitated for a moment with his hoof to his chin in thought, then continued. "Why don't you just give those a try and by then, I should be back to check on you and then we can add on to that list. Understand?"

"Yes sir. What do I hook the harness to?" I said, holding it across my hooves. You might be wondering why a pegasus needs a harness when he's washing windows, so I'll use this analogy to help explain; how long can you tred water? Flying forward is much less strenuous then hovering, which is mostly what I'd be doing if I wasn't using a harness. I imagine I'd be hovering for eight hours, or however long I'd be out here. Anyway, he showed little to no emotion for his response.

"Something on top, it doesn't really matter as long as it's strong and it won't break off and cause us to have to pay for it," he said. I gulped and gave him an obedient nod, hoping he would depart from me so I could get started. But he looked at me in the eyes, and his expression got more serious, and he put his hoof on my chest.

"I don't want any streaks or spots on these windows. Take a look around you; these windows are all in plain sight. More often then not, the princess herself comes through here on her chariot. If she doesn't see clean windows, then we've got a big problem. Understood?"

He definitely sold the importance with that last part. My eyes widened as I prepared myself mentally for the task at hoof, and I gave him a nervous nod. He gave me one last look of acknowledgment, then turned around and started walking away.

I took a deep breath and sighed with relief; it's so much easier to work when someone isn't watching you. Now I could just do the work without having to worry about anything in between as long as the end result is that the windows are clean in a timely fashion. I looked down the harness and hesitated for a moment, then got to it. Alright!

I placed my head into the harness and slid it down to my middle section. Then I put the bag in one hoof and took off in the air towards the fountain. In a flash or two, I was back at Pony Joe's with a full bucket of water and eager to get started. I reached up my hoof and felt the special feather that was tucked away in my mane for good luck and comfort. I felt my heart melt upon feeling it, and a special desire to work hard for her sake sprung up inside me. I could picture her smiling at me, and that was all I needed. I'm gonna do something she'd be proud of.

If returning to Cloudsdale to see her was to become a reality, it started right here with what I was doing now. I flew up to the top of the building and clipped the rope attached to my harness on a flag pole. It may not be the funnest job in the world, but hey; it's a job. I can do no great things, but I can do small things with great love and care. But on this ordinary day, something extraordinary is about to happen.

It was about five hours into the day. The sun was directly overhead and I was washing the windows on the third story of the fifth building (starting from the top and working down). My muzzle was getting dog tired of holding that thing in my mouth, but other than that, I'd say I was holding up just fine physically. I lowered my harness a little so I was dangling right in front of those windows, then I flapped my wings backward away from the building so I could give the windows a quick scan to see where I should start. I noticed some streaks on the left side, so I let my wings halt and floated to the spot, and then started scrubbing away at the window.

When you're doing this kind of work it's definitely easy to let your mind wander and think about other things. I was trying so hard to stay focused on the task at hoof but thankfully it doesn't take a lot of focus to wash windows effectively. By this time of day, the streets were jam-packed with ponies, there were carts and shops on every corner, and all the hustle and bustle that come with the city were in full force. I was scrubbing hard at the first window, putting my heart into my work. So, I just gotta keep this up for a year or two, and then maybe I can apply for a flying position in Cloudsdale or something. Dreadful thoughts did creep their way in, as they often do from time to time, like the possibility that she wouldn't remember me, or that I was hardly worthy of someone like her if my parents wouldn't even take care of me.

If she does remember me, what would she say about me? I'm just a penniless pegasus. Would she care? Before I could plunge into any further sadness though that familiar high, raspy voice would remind me: You're an awesome colt, Sonic.

I looked up at the sky, and I noticed what a gloriously beautiful day it was with the blue skies with the puffy white clouds that I loved so much in the late summer. The voice of my most beloved friend had delivered me yet again with that one line. When my parents had left me, I turned to her, and she raised me up. I smiled into the sky like a fool with great awe as if I were looking at her.

I let out a sigh and got back to washing the window. I was only scrubbing it for a few moments when I heard the royal trumpet call, announcing the arrival of the princess. You may not think it, but this was a big deal for me. I immediately turned my head to the right looking down the street to get a glimpse of her. This is royalty we're talking about here. I had never seen either of the royal sisters before, and if she came down the street when she passed by she'd be less than a hundred feet from me.

Bows and cheers could be seen amongst the crowded streets as her chariot descended down a hill towards where I was. The chariot was pulled by two royal guards - white pegasus stallions with gold armor. Sitting atop the chariot was the Princess of the Day herself, Celestia. Her mane was flowing with many colors, and her coat was as white as snow, with the sun on her flank and a gold crown atop her head. I stared at her regal appearance and all of her loyal admirers who gave her homage. It was the highest in the land, coming into the presence of the lowest. She was an exceptionally beautiful pony who appeared to me to have a genuinely kind gaze.

It wasn't until the chariot came within a few blocks of where I was that I realized that I had stopped working altogether for some time now. "Oh shoot!" I cried to myself, and began frantically brushing the windows with the scrub. You can do this... you're just washing the windows. As I'm writing this, it has occurred to me how foolish it was for me to be so anxious. Odds are she would not have even noticed me amidst all the attention she was receiving from every direction. So, without care of what was happening behind me, I fervently committed myself to my job, blocking out as many distractions as I could.

It was at that moment that my ears began picking up a sound that seemed alien to the rest of the crowd. It was a high-pitched scream, clearly from a mare, but one that could be heard even among the crowd. I turned my eyes over my shoulder in wonder of what the purpose for that sound was, then shrugged. This town is anything but dangerous. Yet immediately following that, directly below me I heard the voice of somepony yell "watch out!" My heart sank. For goodness sake... Please, not while the princess is approaching! I looked down at whoever said it and held up my hooves defensively.

"Come on, I didn't drop anything!"

I quickly saw that he was looking not at me and thus not referring to me but rather to just up the street about a block in front of the princess, who was coming down the street (and downhill). I realized that more and more ponies were screaming and hordes of ponies were moving from the center of the street some ways down from her. What in the name of- ? Suddenly my heart dropped in a freefall; a very large cart on wheels that was carrying a massive load of watermelon was gaining speed down the street.

My mind started spinning and I could barely think as adrenaline and anxiety rushed through me. I was perfectly safe where I was, but my concern was the ponies in the street. I knew that if it continued gaining speed, someone could get seriously hurt, or worse. Visions of ponies mourning over their friends flashed in the back of my mind.

Ponies began diving out of it's way and large crowds frantically scrambled to clear the street, and as more ponies noticed, so too the screams and cries increased. As the street in front of the cart opened up, my worst fear was before me; a very little palomino colt, only looking to be about four or five years old, was standing alone in the middle of the street without his parents staring straight at his oncoming danger. He was frozen in place. Move kid!!!

I looked back towards the area of the princess, but it appeared as though she was just now becoming aware of what was going on down the hill in front of her. She raised her wings as though about to fly as her horn lit up with magic of some kind but she was clearly not about to save this foal in time. I came back desperately back to the little guy who looked too hopelessly too scared to move and I wasted no more time; I violently threw myself out of my harness and threw myself in his direction with my wings. As I charged through the air, I was suddenly thrown back toward the building; my back leg was still caught in the harness. I hit the building with a thud dangled from the harness upside down.

I gasped in horror and my spirit was shattered as for a moment I thought I had failed the little one and his family, but an image of Rainbow in my mind gave me a strength that surged through me as I kicked myself off of the building and blasted myself through the air so hard and so fast that the harness that was still attached to my back leg snapped in half. I sliced through the air, and amidst all the terrible screaming, I snatched the little colt up in my arms and flew safely into the air as the cart barreled over where he was standing.

I was going so fast that I had no time to think, it was all instinct - now it appeared I was about to collide into the building on the other side of the street, and I still head a foal in my legs. In another blink of an eye, I once again dug deep inside for the strength to turn my body with a powerful wing-flap through the air to avoid crashing into some stone storefront. My mane and tail just brushed the side of the building.

As I turned the corner up the street however I had one final problem to overcome; now I was heading straight for Princess Celestia's chariot. She herself was raised up and shooting magic out of her horn in the direction of where the cart was, but I was now staring her wide-eyed royal guards in the face. I spread my wings wide and opened them up to catch as much as air as possible and stop me, and I slowed down, but I had been flying so fast that I wasn't slowing down fast enough and having the foal made me heavier and it was harder to control myself. I knew at the last second that there was no avoiding collision with the chariot, but as my final move, I somehow dropped the colt into the arms of a surprised royal guard and then immediately covered my head and braced for impact.

I hardly remember the crash into the chariot. Whatever poor royal guard I hit - the one I didn't give the foal to - didn't have much time to get out of the way given he was harnessed to the chariot. I remember crashing straight into him and the chariot, seeing a bunch of stars, and then opening my eyes with my back on the street. Oh... my head...

I lifted my head up from the street and put my hoof on it. I was queasily moving back and fourth, and stars were still spinning frantically around my head.

"Sorry," I said sheepishly, as my head spouted some more pain. In hindsight I wasn't sure who I said it to.

"Ow," uttered one of the royal guards who was on his belly and also rubbing his head with his hoof.

I stared dizzily into space, when I suddenly remembered everything that just happened. My lackadaisical vision started to clear up and my heart rate jumped as I remembered the little colt and the charging cart.

"Little colt... where?" I stuttered, turning around frantically. I looked on from my spot on the ground, and everypony in the streets were cheering and smiling at me. Huh? A few feet in front of me was the young palomino who I had rescued with who I took to be his mom smiling very gratefully my way. I saw him safe and sound, and let out the sigh of lifetime. Then I had a headache, my eyes closed on their own, and my head fell back down to the street.

Following a series of wonderful dreams about Rainbow Dash, instead of waking up in the middle of the cold, hard street, I suddenly felt as though I was in a most marvelously comfortable bed. I didn't want to ever wake up, though half conscious of where I was, I was at a loss as how to I got there. How can this be? Did I die? I opened my eyes. Are those... bed curtains?!? The sideways view of a huge, circular room came into view. I rubbed my eyes with my hooves and sat up in my bed. This place was so amazing that it seemed too good to be real. It had a shining floor with super high-end furniture, there was an extravagant chandelier hanging from the ceiling, some expensive looking paintings, and rays of light from the sun shining through tall glass windows with curtains.

"I'm dead," I said to myself.

"Most certainly not, but you are the hero of the day," said a sweet, motherly voice.

I turned my head in shock to where this voice came from, and I couldn't believe what I saw. I knew right away what I saw and I was nearly in tears from awe. It was the sovereign of the land, the benevolent ruler of all Equestria. Princess Celestia herself, in all of her regal glory, stood before me. I saw now that her mane was long and flowing, with streaks of pink, purple, green and blue. Her wings were massive but beautiful, and her crown was made of the purest gold. She walked in and stared at me with filial love, a gentle care in her purple eyes.

Only on one other occasion have I felt such compassion in a stare, and I think you know who that is. Nonetheless, I started breathing heavily and looking at her as though she held my life in the palm of her hoof. I got out of bed quickly and bowed down before her. I lowered my head and closed my eyes.

"My dear young stallion," she said a chuckle. "That was not necessary. You should've stayed in your bed!"

"Oh!" I replied, standing up nervously. When I saw her face again I naturally started to relax - she wasn't angry with me in the slightest and her demeanor was so kind.

"That was some impressive flying. You showed bravery and skill on a level I've only seen in one other subject of mine. The little colt you saved has hardly a scratch on his head, and right after you shot through the air and saved him I was able to use my magic to prevent that cart from going any further. Do you remember all of that?"

"Y-yes... your majesty," I said, still shocked to be in front of her but feeling better. I didn't remember it all perfectly yet, but I definitely had visions of what she described.

"Delightful!" she replied. "I had you brought here to this castle suite after my doctors looked you over. Do you like it?"

It was all coming back to me now. The runaway cart, the rescuing of the little colt, the crashing into the royal guard. I suddenly felt a surge happiness stronger than anything I'd felt not associated with Rainbow. I had saved a colt's life and now I was getting compliments from the Princess. I looked around the room and a gentle smile came over as I looked back into the loving eyes of the princess. It felt kind of like she was my mom. Bravery and skill? I wanted to squee.

"I- I don't know what to say, I-I - "

"What is your name?" she asked, laughing.

"Sonic, your majesty. Sonic Rain sometimes, maybe... but you can call me Sonic."

"Sonic? I don't believe we've ever met, but I can see that you are a very kind soul," she remarked with what again felt like genuine tenderness. Geez... All these compliments? I definitely was not used to it, but it definitely made me feel wonderful and she was quickly becoming very endearing to me. She walked forward and over to the balcony, where she motioned for me to come join her. I got up from the floor and walked out to join her, where there was a small table set up with cups of tea. She sat down at the end of the table and smiled at me.

"I would love to speak with you some more. Would you like to have some tea with me?"

"Yes!" I blurted out enthusiastically, which I immediately felt embarrassed for as over the top, though she of course liked it. Her horn lit up with magic and the tea kettle floated up and poured the tea into her cup. Then the kettle gently floated back down, and this time her cup lifted off and then she took a soft sip in a most delicate manner. She lowered her cup back to the table and beamed with filial affection but it seemed she also was waiting for me to take a sip. After a second I I finally caught on.

"Oh!" I said, and then sheepishly blushed and laughed embarrassingly. I reached out my hooves and picked up the cup and brought it to my mouth and drank half of the cup, in a manner that was probably the polar opposite of the delicate, graceful manner in which the princess drank it. She only seemed to find it cute.

"You need not worry about ceremonial respects, Sonic. I prefer informal," she said, with a wink. I looked at her for a moment, and then laughed a little bit.

"Oh.. uh, ok then," I said, relaxing my body and my spirits. She raised her cup once again and took another sip of tea before setting it back down again.

"If you don't mind me asking, Sonic, do you have an occupation that involves flying?"

I took another sip of tea and wiped the rest of it from my mouth. I shrugged on the inside as I thought about my job, and how she would react.

"No, your majesty. I'm actually not in the flying business at all. Actually, I'm, uh," I said, blushing. I took a gulp and forced myself to look at her. "Well, actually, I'm just a window washer. I just moved here." She gave me a look of intent that stirred up my heart as I wondered where she was going with this. Was it possible she was going to promote me to someone? Can such a blessing happen to someone like me?

"Do you have any interest in the flying business?"

"Well yes, I would say I definitely have an interest in flying," I said, perking up excitedly. "Do you think I might be good at it?" I asked, but then I realized that she'd hardly seen me fly. "Well that's not really fair since you've never really seen me," I said outlaid, thinking to myself as I looked to the side.

"I'm old enough and experienced enough to the point where I only needed to see one heroic snippet from you today to see that you are quite a talented flier. May I ask, do you like it here in Canterlot?"

I couldn't believe where she was going with this. It was so wonderful I barely comprehend it. Quite a talented flier?!? I thought about her question, and the truth is (as you know) that I wanted to go to Cloudsdale. As wonderful as flying was, and as wonderful as all of this was, it could not be compared to seeing my most beloved friend and the strength of my soul, the mare to whom my heart belonged. I could picture her smiling at me and my heart was melting just at the thought of her.

"Well... I mean, Canterlot is really, really nice and all, but I guess-" I paused mid-sentence and stuttered on my own words. I hoped that would be enough for her to realize that I really didn't want to stay. I wanted to tell her I would hope for something in Cloudsdale but on the other hand I was thinking that beggars can't be choosers. Who would I be if I just came out and said right now in the conversation, "Can you get me a job in Cloudsdale?" So, I stuttered and thought of what to say next, but instead, she spoke up.

"Where are you staying right now?"

Oh no. Please, not that. Anything but that. I knew it. All streaks come to an end, and now I had to tell Princess Celestia that I was homeless. I had slept on the castle grounds. I slept on her property! My heart rate suddenly increased as I wondered if she would become angry with me.

"Well, I, uh- I'm actually staying, at t-the - ... " I looked away from her, and her smile faded as she started looking at me with pity and confusion. She's smart enough where I'm sure it was obvious I didn't want to tell her, but she still appeared very concerned for me, as she had from the beginning. I started doing what I normally do when I'm nervous, stuttering and looking in different directions and what not. "Ah, well... where I'm staying is not important-"

"If you really don't want to tell me, I understand," she said softly. "Though I would have you know that you can tell me anything. It is my burning desire to help all of my subjects however I can."

With a look and a statement like that I couldn't avoid it anymore. I let out a sigh and covered my face with my hooves.

"I, uh... I don't have a home," I said, removing my hooves from my face and looking up at her. "I usually just sleep in the grass. Last night I slept down there," I continued, motioning down towards the patch of grass on the property.

When I came back to her I saw clearly that to my surprise once again, not only was she not angry or annoyed in anyway whatsoever... there was even more pity and love in her eyes! She was not offended in the least that I slept on her patch of grass. I think at that time I finally let go of any irrational fears and accepted that she really did care for me.

"Sonic, you slept outside? As in you don't have a home?" she asked, sounding horrified. I sheepishly nodded and looked away, too embarrassed to look. I had to steal one glance though and I discovered that she had the most profound look of pity I'd ever seen in a pony since Rainbow looked on as I was dragged away from her.

"Would you like to live in Ponyville?" she offered in a soft voice. "My most trusted servant resides there with her five friends, and I happen to know there is a newly vacant house open in the little town," she said. "Ponyville is right down here in one of the most beautiful valleys in all the land, just beneath Cloudsdale. I would like to offer you this place for free. Would you like that?"

I couldn't believe it. It was too much good for me to take in. Ever so slowly, my mouth began to widen into a most grateful smile. I have a home now... just beneath Cloudsdale... The words repeated themselves in my head, and with each one, my heart only rejoiced more. I looked up at the Princess and loved her as like she was my mom. My expression gave my answer for me.

"Yes!" I shouted excitedly. "I mean, thank you!"

"Furthermore, there is a job opening in the weather patrol in Ponyville. How would you like that?"

"I can't take it!" I exclaimed.

"You don't want the job?" she repeated, surprised.

"No I do!" I replied, calming myself down very quickly. "Hehe, sorry, it's just, that was a lot to take in all at once, I suppose."

I bit my lip trying to regain my composure and my maturity, but I could hardly contain my excitement. She smiled sweetly, and raised the cup to her mouth.

"The mare in charge of the Ponyville weather patrol is the one I will refer you to."

"What's her name?"

"Her name is Rainbow Dash."

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