When They Were Young: Rover’s Day In The Snow
It was close to that special day of the year where ponies, goats, griffins, dragons, and the other creatures come together to celebrate Christmas. And though it was the season of giving, it was also the season of snow. Snow as far as the eye could see blanketed the ground in all direction. Pony foals, goat kids, young dragons, and griffin chicks would gather and play in the snow. Snowmen, named after a myth of old, could be seen being made, the children finishing them by placing a carrot in the head for a nose. Snowballs flew through the air from one snowfort to another as they waged, the children laughing each time they landed a hit on one another.
Yet underneath them was another equestrian race that couldn't come to the surface during these cold months, the diamond dogs. So use to the being underground, their bodies couldn't handle the cold of winter and would remain in their underground dens for the winter.
Rover was sitting in front of the fireplace, occasionally throwing a piece of coal in to keep the flames burning bright. Even in the underground dens winters chill would still seep through the ground, it was still plenty warm compared to the surface. The living room was barren of most things you would see in a house, aside from the fireplace and the pile of coal next to it, only a plain round wooden table with three chairs could be seen. You see Rover’s family, like most diamond dogs, was poor, barely able to make ends meet.
“Rover, dear, come here for a moment,” his mother called from the other room.
“But it’s warm here,” Rover protested still staring at the fire.
“Rover, dear, please come here,” she repeated but with a slightly sterner voice.
Rover recognized the change in tone and reluctantly got up from his place on the floor and walked to the other room. There he saw his mother, her hands behind her back as if trying to hide something.
“What is it mom?” he asked slightly annoyed.
His mother shot him a stern look, “With an attitude like that I may just have to reconsider giving you,” he brought her hand out from behind her back, in her hands was a box wrapped up in red paper with a golden ribbon bow in one corner, the stern look softened and a smile came to her face.
“I know its early but, merry Christmas son,” she said as she gave him the present.
Rover’s mind was blown to say the least, he wasn’t expecting anything for Christmas let alone a present that was in a box half his size.
“Go on, open it”
Reluctantly Rover began to open the present, the thought of his parents spending money on him haunted him a little knowing that that money could have gone to something they needed as a family. He finally finished unwrapping it and opened the box, his eyes went wide at what was in it.
Inside the box, his present, was a complete winter suit. Boot, glove, hat, and a red coat, it was all there, and it was all his size. His eyes started to tear up as he knew what this meant, a small dream of his was about to come true, To play in the snow with the other children of Equestria.
“Go on pup, get dressed.”
Her words snapped Rover out of his surprise and he started to get dressed. In a short few moments Rover was completely dressed and ready to hit the surface.
“Wow!” Rover said after he reached the surface. He had heard stories of snow but to actually feel it crunch beneath his feet and to see it sparkle in the sunlight was breathtaking.
Rover began to make his way to a nearby town knowing that there may be someone there that would play with him. He was almost there when he saw a small yellow pegasus filly with a pink mane. The stories of snowball fights came to Rover at that moment, and in the moment of wanting to actually experience one, he formed a snowball and threw it at the filly. The snowball hit the filly right in the face, and to Rovers surprise no snowball was thrown back. Instead the filly ran away, crying as she flead.
“What, why pony not play back?” Rover asked himself confused at why the filly ran away, “Maybe other pony will play with me.”
As Rover made his way into the town he was taken back by all the decorations the pony had set out, namely the giant pine tree in the middle of town that the ponies were in the middle of decorating. Colored bulbs and light were being placed by pegasi as they flew around the tree, while unicorns levitated small statues on strings and placed them on branches. He was so lost in the sight that he didn’t pay attention to where he was walking, and soon bumped into another.
“Hay! Watch it!” Shouted the unicorn filly.
Rover looked to the white unicorn with a violet mane that was in front of him, “Sorry pony, I didn’t mean to.”
“Wait…what are you?”
“Rover is diamond dog, still a pup.”
“A diamond dog? I heard your kind live underground?”
“We do, but wanted to play in snow for once. First time playing in the snow. Trying to find other children to play with? Will you play with Rover?”
“First time playing in the snow… that… wow,” the white filly said surprised by what Rover just said.
“Umm pony, you ok?”
“Um yes, sorry it’s just I’ve never known someone that hasn’t played in the snow before.”
“So… you will play with Rover?”
“I was about to meet up with some friends...” she stopped as Rover started to give her a sad puppy eyed look.“ but I don’t see why you can’t come along.”
“Yeah!” Rover shouted as he jumped with joy as he followed the white filly, “What is pony’s name?”
“Wow, what is this place?” Rover asked as he stood in front of a tree that had a small building built in the top of it.
“This is Applejack’s clubhouse, the friend I was coming to play with”
Rarity then turned her attention to the clubhouse and took in a deep breath. Rover watched, confused at first.
“APPLEJACK! I’M HERE TO BUILD THE SNOWMAN!” Rarity shouted as loud as she could, the sheer volume of her voice causing Rover to fall backwards onto the cold ground.
There was silence for a moment, and no one came out of the Clubhouse.
“APPLEJACK!!!” Rarity shouted again.
Again no answer.
“Thats wierd, Applejack said she was going to be here. It not like her to go back on her word.”
“Maybe something came up, so what we do now?” Rover asked.
“Humm, I know! Rainbow Dash, another friend of mine, is having a snowball fight with the other foals by Sugarcube Corner, lets go there.”
“Haha take that!” Rainbow Dash shouted as a snowball flew from her hooves right into Rarity’s face, “SCORE!”
“For Pa-” Pinkie Pie was about to say party before being interrupted by a snowball thrown by Rover, the Diamond Dog snickering all the while. Pinkie soon found herself giggling as well.
The group of foals and diamond dog had been at their snowball war for close to an hour now. Every now and then switching up their teams and or going free for all. However all things must end, and this little game ended with the setting of the sun. The foals said their goodbyes and started going back to their homes for the night.
“That was fun!” Rover said full of excitement, walking with Rarity.
“Indeed it was Rover. Hey want to come to my house and have some hot coco before you head back home? I’m sure my parents won’t mind and you look like you need to warm up.”
“... What is hot cocoa?” Rover asked.
“You're about to find out! come on!” Rarity grabbed Rover’s paw with her magic dragging him along as she started to race to her house.
“Mum, how much longer is it going to take.” Rarity wined sitting at the table waiting for the hot cocoa to finish.
“Just a minute dear.”
Rarity then noticed Rover looking at her funny.
“You say mom funny.”
“Whats wrong with the way I say mum?”
“Nothing, just sound weird.”
Rarity’s mother soon came into the room, a tray levitating next to her with two mugs and some cookies sitting on it. “Here you two go,” she said as she levitated the mugs to the two children, setting the tray of cookies in the middle
“Yeah!” Rarity squealed in joy as the mug was set in front of her.
Rover however started examining his mug from all sides with a confused look, poking the mug every now and then, “See smoke, but where is fire?”
“Thats not smoke silly, thats steam. Be careful it’s still very hot,” Rarity warned.
Rarity blew on her hot cocoa a few times before taking a sip, Rover watched and did the same. The sweet warm liquid was like nothing Rover had ever tasted before. He had to set his cup back down as he tried to register the taste of the drink. It was good, like nothing he ever felt before and the warm feeling in his stomach felt amazing.
The he grabbed a cookie and took a bite. It too had the same sweet taste as the cocoa, the bread of the cookie seemed to melt in his mouth. As with the drink, he had to set the cookie down and give his body time to process what he had just eaten.
“Rover are you ok? You're crying.” Rarity asked.
Rover quickly wiped the tears from his eyes, trying to hide the fact that he was crying.“I’m...do...do ponies always have this good of food?” he asked trying to keep his composer.
“I...I need to go home now. Bye Rarity” Rover said, excusing himself from the table and left for home.
Rarity just sat there confused on what just happend.
Thought of poverty filled Rover’s head as he traveled home. He knew his family has had it hard, he himself only ate jerky for food and had a pile of straw for a bed because it was all his family could afford, and some nights his mother would give up her share to make sure he was fed. The only reason they had coal to keep them warm was because his father found it so easily will mining for metals, but most of the time would only come up with worthless gems and coal.
“Why, why can pack not find metals?” he asked himself.
“Rover!” Rarity yelled her voice in the distance.
Rover turned to see Rarity running through the snow as fast as her little legs would run. Rover stopped to let the little unicorn catch up to him, curious on why she followed him, and why she had her saddlebags on.
“Mum told me about the diamond dogs situation after you left,” Rarity said between pants trying to catch her breath, “and after she told me, I thought you need this a lot more then me,” Rarity finished as she pulled out a pouch from her saddlebag and floated it to Rover.
Rover took the bag and opened it to see what was inside and his eyes went wide at the amount of bits he saw inside.
“It’s my allowance from the last two months, I was saving it for, well I forget what I was saving it for. But you need it alot more then me so their yours now, Merr-”
Rarity was cut off as Rover leaped to her giving her a hug.
“Thank you!” Rover shouted behind tears of joy, “This...you don’t really know how much this means to me, or my family, just thank you.”
“Your welcome Rover. And Merry Christmas.”