• Published 22nd Jan 2012
  • 10,058 Views, 762 Comments

A Camping We Will Go - Trinary



Rainbow Dash and Big Macintosh take six little ponies camping. What could go wrong?

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River Crossings

& & &

After a pell-mell run down to the river, six bedraggled foals sat trying to catch their breath and planning how to cross the river. The two teams had split up, Dinky’s team going upstream and Silver Spoon’s going downstream.

Sweetie Belle sat with her teammates as she tried thinking of a solution. “Maybe we could knock over a tree and walk across!”

“How would we knock a tree over?” Dinky asked.

“Maybe we could find one that’s already fallen over?”

Pip shook his head. “I don’t see any, Sweetie. And wouldn’t a tree be really heavy and hard to move?”

“Awww…” She pouted. “This is hard.”

Downstream, Silver Spoon, Archer and Snails were trying to come up with an idea of their own. “This is SO hard!” Silver Spoon couldn’t keep a little whine out of her voice. She was trying to be better about that but this was ridiculous! “How are we supposed to get across the river without getting wet?”

“Maybe we could cover our feet and walk across?” Archer suggested. “That way, we wouldn’t get wet!”

“But we don’t have anything waterproof!” Silver pointed out. She looked to the third member of their party. “I know I’m probably wasting my time, but do YOU have any ideas?” She asked Snails with an exasperated expression. Archer sighed.

Snails looked at the river and then back to them. “Maybe we could get a biiiig stick and pole vault across! That would be really awesome!” He grinned.

“Pole vault? Are you crazy?” Silver Spoon demanded. Snails’ grinned died a quick death as he lowered his long neck and flattened his ears.

“S-sorry.” He mumbled.

“Hey!” Archer looked at Silver Spoon in annoyance. “That was totally uncalled for!”

Silver flinched then tried to bluff her way out of her predicament. “What? It was a ridiculous idea! He might as well have suggested we catapult ourselves across!”

Stomping her hoof, Archer snorted. “Even if it was a silly idea, there’s no need to pick on him! Besides, he gave ME an idea of how we can get across, but you won’t hear it until you apologize!”

“Unnnnnng!” Silver Spoon bit her lip and looked at the ground. “…Sorry Snails.”

“For?” Archer prodded.

“For making fun of you and being mean.” Silver said in the annoyed monotone that every foal uses when being forced to make an apology.

Snails bit his lip. “R-really?”

‘No.’ Silver Spoon thought but didn’t say. “Yes, really.” She sighed. “So, what’s your idea Archer?”

Archer grinned. “Follow me.”
& & &

Upstream, Dinky had an idea of her own. She looked at the river and said, “Rainbow Dash never said we had to cross the stream right at this very spot! Maybe there’s a place where it gets more narrow?”

“That’s a good idea!” Pip exclaimed. “Let’s try heading upstream! Last one there is a scurvy seadog!” He took off, Dinky close on his hooves.

“There are dogs in the sea?” Sweetie Belle asked in confusion as the two ran up ahead. “Hey, wait for me!”
They had been running for a little bit before they stopped to a slow walk. Dinky dropped back and Sweetie Belle, feeling less tired, moved forward until she was walking next to Pip.

“Hi Pipsqueak!”

“Hi Sweetie Belle! Isn’t this fun?” He smiled. “It’s like we’re explorers!”

She giggled. “Yeah, this is fun!” Her face fell a little. “I just wish Apple Bloom and Scootaloo could be here too…”

“Oh.” Pip’s ears lowered. “I’m sorry. I know we’re not as much fun as your friends…” He looked down.

“Nonononono!” Sweetie Belle shook her head, suddenly feeling as if she were guilty of an immeasurable crime by making Pip unhappy. “You’re really fun! Everypony here is, well, except maybe for Silver Spoon.” She wrinkled her snout. “But I have to admit that she isn’t being as, well, snooty as she usually is.”

Pip brightened. “I think she needs to learn how to have fun then she won’t be so grouchy all the time. She did awfully well in the burping contest!”

“Yeah!” Sweetie giggled. “Scootaloo and Apple Bloom will never believe it!”

Pip nodded then wiped some sweat off his forehead. “It’s getting awfully warm…I think I’m gonna hop in the river! Want to join me?” He asked, looking from Sweetie Belle to Dinky, who had just now caught up.

The two fillies turned to the river and saw the moss and mildew that clung to its banks. “No thanks!” They chimed as one.

“Suit yourself!” Pip chirped as he pulled off his cap and whistle and ran down to the river. “Chaaarge!”

The girls giggled as he splashed into the river, the young colt giving a delightful squeal at how cold the water was. Sweetie sat down next to Dinky and rested.

“He’s fun!” The white unicorn giggled.

“Yeah.” Dinky beamed. “And he’s sooo nice!”

“Oooooh!” Sweetie cooed, making the cutest ambulance noise ever. “Pip and Dink-y sitting in a tree! K-I-S-S-I-N-G!”

“Stooop it!” Dinky squealed her face started to glow bright red, afraid Pip would hear her.

Sweetie Belle gave her a gentle shove. “Awww, I’m only teasing.” She gave her a look. “Oh, you really do LIKE like him, don’t you!”

“Maybe?” Dinky squirmed, her cheeks blushing. “I dunno…he’s just….he’s so…cute!” She hugged herself. “He’s the nicest, bestest friend I’ve ever had!”

“Awww, that’s so sweet! My big sister Rarity says that when two ponies are good friends, sometimes they fall in love.”

“L-love.” Dinky stammered out the word. “You mean like how my mommy loves me?”

“No, silly, like how you’re mommy and daddy love you!” Sweetie smiled.

Dinky shrunk down, her eyes on her hooves. “I don’t…I don’t have a daddy.”

“Oh. I’m sorry.” Sweetie nuzzled her shoulder. “Um, but if you want Pip to like you—like you like you, Rarity says that to make a colt like you, you have to act all proper and charming, like a fancy mare!”

“Fancy?”

“Yeah, all polite and well mannered!” She nodded.

“…You mean boring?”

“Don’t ask me, that’s how all my sister’s stories go!” Sweetie nodded. “The shut-in, charming lady attracts the eye of the dashing handsome stallion. He tries to prove his love to his lady, becoming more determined every time she rejects him. Then they finally admit to their love and live happily ever after!”

“You really think that’ll work?” Dinky asked, hesitantly.

“I don’t see why not!” Sweetie shrugged,

“Well, I guess I could give it a try…”

“What’re you two talking about?” Pip called. The two looked to see him scamper out of the river, shaking his coat dry.

“Nothing!” The two fillies said at once, then collapsed into giggles.

“Uh, okay.” Pip looked confused. He shook his head. ‘Girls.’
& & &

“Ugh, this is more boring than I thought it’d be.” Rainbow grumbled as she lay on a tree branch, watching the campers work.

Big Macintosh, resting comfortably against the trunk of the tree, looked up at her. “Patience there, Rainbow. They’re young.”

“Yeah, and I wish they’d finish before I’M OLD!” She rolled her eyes and flopped back onto her branch.

“Heh, always in a hurry aintcha?”

“Well, duh, the name is Rainbow DASH.”

Big Macintosh shrugged his immense shoulders. “Occurs t’me that mebe the reason you like to rush about so much is ‘cuz you spend so much time sleepin? Perhaps if you stayed awake more you could take your time.”

“…You know, for the strong but silent type, you sure talk too much.” Big Mac sighed. “Anyway, you just don’t get me. Pegasi metabolisms are super fast compared to yours. And flying eats up a lot of calories, especially when you’re as awesome and fast as me. So every so often I just need to stop and recharge my batteries. Then I’m up and rearing to go again!”

“So, y’all got an off switch?” Macintosh asked with a smirk.

“You wish.” She snorted. “Besides, if there’s any pony who needs to have an off switch installed, it would definitely be Pinkie Pie.”

“Eeyup.”

The conversation sort of ground to halt for a bit, so they turned back to watch Silver Spoon’s team try to make a bridge by dumping in rocks and sticks into the river. At their current rate, they would be finished in time for the next Hearth’s Warming Eve.

“…Never knew you could sing.” Rainbow Dash finally said after a while.

“Hm? Beg yer pardon?”

“You know that,” she gestured absently with one hoof. “—song you were singing yesterday to get them moving. I never knew you could, well, do that.”

He shrugged. “You never asked.” Came the easy reply.

Rainbow looked at him with mild annoyance. “You never spoke!” She waved her forelegs for emphasis. “Why don’t you ever talk to anypony?”

“We’re talking now, ain’t we?”

“You…but no I…I mean…GRAAAH!” Rainbow brought both her front hooves up in a double facehoof. “You did that on purpose!”

“Did whut?”

“That!”

“That what?”

“…You’re pulling my wing, aren’t you?”

“Eeyup.”

Pause.

Rainbow snorted. “Okay, props to you, you had me going there. But why the silent, simple act?”

“It ain’t an act. Well, the silent part anyways.” He scratched his muzzle as he chewed on his wheat. “If ah don’t have anything t’say, I don’t say it. “Ts’all it is.”

“Not exactly Mr. Sociable are you?” Rainbow queried.

Mac sighed. “Look, ah just don’t see the point in wasting a lot of big, fancy words when a few simple ones will do. Less words means less chance of bein’ misunderstood. Means less confusion, less trouble. ‘Sides, I figure if yer a smart pony you don’t need to prove it by using lotsa big words other ponies won’t follow.”

“…Huh.” Rainbow mused. “Never thought of it like that.”

Big Macintosh shrugged. “That’s just a simple ol’ farmpony’s opinion though.”

Pause.

“…You’re not simple.” Rainbow Dash said softly. “At least, I don’t think so.”

“Much obliged Rainbow. Yer smarter than you give yerself credit for too.”

“Heh, considering I give myself a lot of credit that’s really saying something!” She gave a puckish grin feeling rewarded when he rolled his eyes and chuckled. Then she turned her head to see Silver Spoon’s team scampering up a tree on the river bank. “Hmm…I wonder what they’re up to…”
& & &

“What’re we doing?!” Silver Spoon asked as Archer climbed up the pony ladder made of Snails on the bottom, then Silver Spoon as she reached for the tree branch.

Archer grunted as she grabbed hold. “We’re—HRN—going up!”

“I KNOW that.” Silver ground out. “But you haven’t explained why!”

“Because we’re gonna use this tree to help us get across!”

“How?!”

Archer kept climbing. “We’re going to use the branches as a slingshot!”

Silver Spoon and Snails dropped their jaws in unison and as one said, “No way!” Snails though, followed up with a cry of “That’s SO awesome!” Silver Spoon’s addendum replaced the word ‘awesome’ with the word ‘insane’

“You’re going to slingshot us across the river?!” Her glasses slid down her face as she stared, with wide eyes.

“Heh, not quite.” Archer smirked, sweat beading her brow. She grabbed a length of vine and tugged until it snapped. “Snails, toss me a rock. A nice, medium-sized heavy one.”

“Uh, okay.” Snails fumbled as he looked around for an appropriate sized rock. “Here you go!” He passed it up to Silver Spoon, who in turn passed it up to Archer. She fumbled with it a bit as she started to wrap the vine around the stone while securing the other end of the vine to one of the thinner tree branches right above the one she was sitting. Silver Spoon and Snails watched as Archer gently wedged the rock in a knothole.

Finally, after one last tug with her teeth, she was ready. “Now filly and colt.” She grinned. “You’ll see why I earned my cutie mark!” Tugging the tree branch as far as she could Archer narrowed her eye and let go.

The rock sailed across the river. Silver Spoon, Snails, and Archer all watched it lodge itself in the lower branches of another tree on the other side of the river.

“Now we zip line across!” Archer smiled as she wrapped her hooves around the vine and slid down, diagonally across the river.”

“Who ever heard of a pony zip lining?” Silver Spoon muttered as she grabbed the vine.
& & &

Dinky sighed. “Maybe this wasn’t such a good idea after all.” They had been walking up and down the river and still there was no sign of any point where the river got noticeably narrower.

“We still haven’t come up with any ideas on how to cross the river.” Sweetie Belle pouted. Pip fell back onto his rump, panting. His shorter stride and shorter build made the long walking even harder for him than it did Sweetie or Dinky.

“Can we…rest for…a bit?” He pleaded. Dinky nodded quickly.

“Oh! Sorry Pip!” She rushed over and was about to give him a quick nuzzle when Sweetie Belle met her gaze and shook her head quickly. Reluctantly, the little unicorn backed away. “D-do you want some water?” She asked tilting her head back in what she hoped was an elegant pose.

“Yes please.” Pip nodded, wondering why Dinky’s nose was in the air. Did he smell bad? Pipsqueak blushed.

“You must really be hot.” Sweetie said as she came over, upending some of her canteen’s contents onto his head.

“T-thanks.” Pip gulped.

“Oh my, this heat simply is DREADFUL isn’t it?” Three startled little ponies whirled around at the sound of the soft, somewhat effeminate but distinctly male voice. They turned to the river and saw a long purple serpentine form with riotous orange hair framing a long distinguished looking visage.

“A-are you a sea serpent?” Pip asked, wishing for his cardboard sword. “Stand back! I’m Pipsqueak the pirate and—and I won’t let you hurt Dinky and Sweetie!” He stood before the two fillies, despite the fact that each of them was half again as tall as he was. He stood with his face firm, his hooves planted, as if nothing under Celestia’s sun would ever dislodge him from that spot. It was, frankly, adorable. Dinky had to bite her lip to prevent from squealing.

Sweetie’s eyes widened. “Hey, I know you! My big sister Rarity told me about you! She said you were the most fashionable creature in the Everfree Forest!”

“Oooooh!” The sea serpent—river serpent?—cooed. “Rarity’s sister, oh what a delight! Did I startle you? Ever so sorry. Here I was just minding my way through the river systems when I couldn’t help but overhear your predicament.”

“W-what predicament?” Dinky blushed brightly, wondering just how long he’d been listening to them.

“Why, getting to the other side of the river of course!” The serpent (?) grinned, idly twisting his luxurious mustachios. “May I offer MY gracious assistance?”

The three campers’ eyes lit up.

“That’d be great!” Sweetie hopped. “We’ll win for sure! Can you take us downstream a bit? The rest of our friends are there.”

“But of course. All aboard!” The three ponies hopped onto the kindly serpent’s back and like a shot they were off heading downstream.

“I can’t wait to see Rainbow Dash’s face when we show up like this!” Sweetie Belle grinned. “Why, we might even get our cutie marks for cleverness!”
& & &

Five minutes after Team Dinky’s triumphant return on the back of the serpent—oh, let’s just call him Steve—Rainbow Dash was still rubbing her head. “Did nooot expect to see this.” She said, staring at the two teams eagerly waiting her to say something. She shook her head. “Heh, if I was Twilight I’d probably say something about how clever you were and how creative it was finding an alternate way across.”

“Really?” Sweetie Belle grinned.

“Yeah, but I’m NOT Twilight.” Rainbow frowned. Sweetie and her companions winced. “The point was to sweat a little and figure out how to work as a team. Getting somepo—er, some…anyway, getting him to help you didn’t do either. So Silver Spoon’s team wins this competition.”

“Yes!” Archer, Silver Spoon and Snails all high-hoofed.

“Uh, what do we win?” Snails asked.

Rainbow Dash grinned. “You three get first dibs on the smores we make tonight. And you get to sleep in tomorrow morning while the others do the morning chores.” Turning to Dinky and her team, she added. “Good try guys, maybe next time.”

“So what do we do now?” Snails asked.

Rainbow Dash’s eye glinted in a way that made Big Macintosh suddenly break out in a cold sweat. “Two words my little ones: Prank. War.”
& & &