Dash woke up and yawned. What a beautiful day it was! Early spring, trees and flowers were just beginning to bud, grass was turning green, birds were chirping, and the sun was shining and warm. Everything was renewing, and leaving the cold winter behind.
Dash wanted to celebrate this special day so she thought she would go on a picnic and invite some special pony to go with her. She packed peanut butter and jam sandwiches, crackers, grapes , chocolate chip cookies and juice boxes and put them neatly in her picnic basket. She carefully folded a blanket and layed it on top of the food, closed the basket, and flew to the treehouse.
"She's not here." Apple Bloom told her, “I think she went over to Fluttershy’s house.”
So Dash flew to Fluttershy’s cottage, and there was Scootaloo helping her feed her animals. Dash landed next to her. “Hey squirt!” She said, “How would you like to go for a picnic with me?”
Scootaloo’s eyes lit up. “I would LOVE to go on a picnic with you!”
“Rainbow Dash, before we go, I want you to see Fluttershy’s new bunny.”
Dash set the basket down and went to see BunBun, the newest addition to Fluttershy’s family. “He’s so cute!” Dash exclaimed, and smiled as she watched Scootaloo feed him a carrot. Scootaloo loved animals and they loved her.
“He’s my favorite.” Scootaloo said, and looked at him with love in her big purple eyes.
“ He likes you too. ”Dash said, and then asked if she was ready to go. She had planned on going to Crystal lake, which was a long walk away. Crystal lake had a little beach for ponies to play and they could go swimming. “I'm ready!” Scootaloo said, and the two embarked on their journey. They walked for awhile, talking about Scootaloo’s studies and Dash getting ready to try out for the Wonderbolts, when suddenly Dash stopped cold in her tracks.
“What’s wrong?” Scootaloo asked.
“Oops. I forgot the picnic basket.”
“That’s ok, we can just go back and get it.”
So they turned around and started back. “Wanna race?” Scootaloo asked and got in her running position.
“You got it!” Dash replied, and they galloped as fast as they could back to Fluttershy’s, Dash falling behind to let Scootaloo win.
“I can’t keep up with you!” She panted, as they approached the cottage. Scootaloo held her head high and her tail aloft and pranced the rest of the way.
“I don’t see the picnic basket.” Dash said, looking around the yard. It wasn’t where she had left it. Figuring Fluttershy took it inside, they began to walk towards the front door and then saw it. It was on the side of the house, all the contents spilled out, the sandwiches had gotten eaten by the dogs and the rest was scattered all over the yard. Dash picked up what was left of the sandwiches and smiled. “That’s ok,” Scootaloo said, we can make new ones, can’t we?”
“You bet we can. "
They made new sandwiches, and on the way out of town they stopped at Pinkie Pie’s for two strawberry cupcakes. Pinkie placed them very gently in the basket. “Where are you going for the picnic?” She asked.
“Crystal Lake. “ Dash told her.
Pinkie wished them a good time and the girls started out again.
"Rainbow Dash?" Scootaloo asked.
“Why did you ask me to come with you today?”
“Because….I thought we could go out and have a good time together, you know, like sisters.”
They crossed a meadow, picked flowers, put them in each other’s manes and started back in the woods. Not too far in, Scootaloo stepped in a briar patch and got briars everywhere. They were in her tail, her mane, even stuck to her sides and back.
"Rainbow Dash, look!”
Dash looked at her. Scootaloo looked ashamed.
“Oh my.” She said, “Sit down, kid, and I’ll pull these out.” Scootaloo sat down and Dash began the arduous task of pulling out briars. They were nasty little things and it hurt her lips and tongue to pull them out, but Scootaloo was worth it. “Rainbow Dash?" Scootaloo asked.
“Sorry? For what?”
“Getting these briars all over me. “
“It’s ok, Scootaloo. It was a mistake.”
“Do you ever make mistakes?”
“Yes…oh my gosh, yes!! Everyone makes mistakes Scootaloo!”
“Yes!! We aren’t ponies if we don’t make mistakes. We have to make mistakes in order to learn. We can’t learn from them without them. You didn’t know it was a briar patch, but now you know. If you walked into another one knowing what it was…well, that would be silly. Now you know what they look like and you know to avoid it next time!”
“Have you ever been in a briar patch?”
“OH YES! When I was a filly just like you, I was running around and my mom told me to watch out and I didn’t listen and I ran right into it, just like you did. It took my mom HOURS to get them all out! They were in my ears, on my belly, on my tail…everywhere. “
Scootaloo smiled. It took Dash about two hours to get them all out, and when she pulled the last one out Scootaloo squeed and jumped up and down and twirled around, she even rolled in the grass.”Thank you!” She squeaked. “You’re welcome.” Dash replied.
Again, they started on their journey. Soon, they came to a fork in the trail. “Let’s see, “ Dash pondered, “I don’t remember which one it is. “
Scootaloo looked at her, puzzled. Dash didn’t want her to know she wasn’t sure about it so with confidence she asserted that the trail going left was the one.
They walked for a long, long time. Nothing to Dash looked familiar.”Dash?” Scootaloo asked
“Are we lost?”
“ Not lost, Squirt, but I think we took the wrong road.”
“That’s ok, we can just go back and take the other one.”
It felt like a long walk back to the trail, but they found it, and took the other way, and it led them straight to Crystal lake.
When they arrived at the lake, much to their disappointment there was a sign on the beach that said the beach was closed temporarily and there was no swimming allowed. “That’s ok,” Scootaloo said, “we can go to Spring Lake instead!”
“Good idea, Scoots.”
So they went through the woods to Spring lake. Spring lake wasn’t closed, but not many ponies, if any at all, came swimming here. That just meant Dash and Scootaloo got the whole place to themselves!
Dash spread out the blanket and the girls sat down and enjoyed the sunshine. “All this walking is making me hungry!”Dash exclaimed, and opened the basket to distribute the food. “OH no!” She said, “look!”
One of the juice boxes had opened up and leaked all over their food.
“That’s ok,” Scootaloo said, “The cupcakes are still ok, aren’t they? Pinkie Pie put them in very carefully.”
Dash picked them up. One of them was dripping like a sponge, the other was ok.
“We can share,” Scootaloo offered, and Dash split the cupcake in half, giving Scootaloo the bigger half. They took turns drinking from the juice box. Scootaloo plopped a bit of frosting on the blanket and soon there were ants-lots and lots of ants-crawling all over the blanket.
“Ewwww! Ants!” Scootaloo shouted.
“Eat one!” Dash exclaimed.
“Yeah! They taste like different stuff! Watch!” She let an ant crawl on her hoof then slurped it up in her mouth. “This one tastes like chocolate!”
Scootaloo followed suit and ate one. “Mine tastes like root beer!”
So the two of them sat on the blanket eating ants, shouting out which flavors they were. “ Vanilla ice cream!”
The ants kept coming, and soon there were more and more of them, and they started to crawl all over the girls. Screaming and laughing, they jumped in the water…and oh, did it feel good! They splashed each other and had swimming races and filled their mouths up with water and squirted each other.
Scootaloo bet Dash three cookies that she could swim to the other side of the lake. “Deal.” Dash said, and shook Scootaloo’s hoof. Scootaloo started out strong, but by the time she got to the middle of the lake she was just treading water. “You ok Squirt?” Dash hollered.
“I…I think there’s an alligator in here.”
Dash flew up to get a closer look and indeed, there was not one, but two alligators, circling the little orange foal, ready to snap it’s jaws and pull her under. A little filly like Scootaloo was no match for an alligator. Dash wasted no time swooping down to grab her, just as one of them snapped it’s jaws, grabbing ahold of her tail as Dash pulled her out, pulling most of her fur right off, leaving her with a bob tail. Dash landed and held onto the trembling Scootaloo tight, who was still so scared she couldn’t even open her eyes.
"R...R...Rainbow Dash?" She asked.
“Are you scared of anything?”
“I’m scared of a lot of things.”
“Well..I worry about the clouds, what if I don’t do something right and I make a blizzard in the summer? What if, when I try out for the Wonderbolts, I fail? What if I make it to the Wonderbolts and they don’t like me? What if something happened to Tank? Yes, Squirt, Im afraid of a lot of things. But I don’t let that stop me from doing things. I can’t.”
“I didn’t think you would be afraid of anything.”
“Of course I am..I just don’t show it. Just because I don’t show it doesn’t mean it isn’t so.”
Scootaloo hugged her tight, and held her tighter, Dash wrapped her in the blanket and rubbed her back.
“Thank you for saving me.”
“You’re welcome, kid.”
When Scootaloo felt better she looked at her tail. It looked like a rabbit’s fuzzy button tail. She laughed at it when she tried to hold it up. “Look at my tail!” She said, “at least it matches my mane now!”
Dash just smiled.
The wind started to pick up, signaling an approaching storm. The clouds rolled in and just like that, the sky opened up and it started to pour down rain. The girls ran under a tree and covered themselves up with the blanket and waited for it to pass, it came down in buckets.
“Do you like anybody?”
“You mean…like like…like…a boy?”
“Well…I’ve never told anybody this…nobody. So you have to keep it a secret. I kind of like Soarin.”
“Kinda. What about you?”
Scootaloo’s face turned red. “I like Snails.”
“Yes…I wanted to ask him to go for a walk with me the other day, but I was scared he was going to say no.”
“Scootaloo…just ask him. Chances are, he would love to go for a walk with you. You can’t be afraid to do something because you’re afraid of the outcome. You have to take chances. Most of the time the things we worry about…never ever happen. We hold ourselves back and keep ourselves from doing great things because we are worried about the outcome. Just ask him..and you’ll see…he’ll go for a walk with you.”
“Ok. I will. What if he says no?”
“If he says no..than forget it. Just move on..there will be someone else who wants to go for a walk with you.”
A gust of wind blew and took their blanket and blew it into the trees. The girls ran under a big tree for cover. There was a loud CRACK and everything turned white. The thunder boomed so hard it made them jump. Dash smelled burning wood and grabbed Scootaloo and dragged her away from the tree. “Our tree got hit by lightning!” She shouted. They ran away far enough and just in time for the smoldering, falling tree top to land a few inches away from them.
The stunned girls hugged and found cover in a nearby bush. It was nice and cozy in there.
“ Do you think I’ll ever get my cutie mark?”
“Of course you will! Scootaloo, you just have to live your life and be the best pony you can be. Don’t wait for it, or expect it, because when we do that, it never happens. The best things always happen when we least expect them to. Once you find that special thing, your cutie mark will appear..I promise.”
“What if Sweetie Belle and Apple Bloom get theirs before me? What if they don’t like me anymore?”
Dash put her hoof under Scootaloo’s chin and looked into her eyes. “Scootaloo…your friends don’t like you because you HAVE something…they like you for who you are. Apple Bloom and Sweetie Belle would never do that to you, I know it, because they like you for YOU.If you have a friend who only likes you for what you have..then you don’t need them as a friend.”
The rain passed, like rain does, and soon the sky was sunny and bright again. The girls came out from the bush and shook themselves off.
“What do you want to do now?” Scootaloo asked.
“How about a flying lesson?”
“Yes! Yes, can we, please, please, can we?”
Dash instructed Scootaloo to climb on her back, and she ascended. Scootaloo held on tight, in awe about being so high in the air. “Go higher, Dash!” She said, and Dash climbed higher, even past the birds. When they were sufficiently high enough, Dash motioned for Scootaloo to climb over her head and into her outstretched arms.
Dash was holding her up and Scootaloo was ‘flying’. “I’m flying!” She squealed.
“Spread your wings out!” Dash shouted. Scootaloo did so, and it felt so good. She held her head up high and closed her eyes. “I’m really really flying!” Scootaloo flapped her wings, and in doing so she lost her balance and fell out of Dash’s grip. She began to plummet down-fast. She buzzed her little wings but they offered no help. Her terrified eyes met Dash’s just as Dash scooped her up and back into her arms. Dash landed and again, held the trembling little foal until she felt better.
“Am I ever going to fly?”
“Maybe. Maybe not. If you do, it’ll come in time. That’s another one of those things you just can’t wait for. When the time is right, and you are ready…you’ll fly. If you never fly, well..that’s ok too. You’re still a fabulous foal who has a lot of good traits. At least..you are to me.”
The sun was beginning to set and Dash asked Scootaloo if she was ready to go home. “It’s been a long day,” she said, and Scootaloo agreed.
They started to walk home, and it wasn’t long before Scootaloo fell behind. Dash turned to look at her and saw that she was yawning and stumbling. “You ok back there?” she asked, and realized that Scootaloo was having a hard time staying awake. “Get on my back,” Dash said, and as soon as Scootaloo was on her back she was out cold. Dash took her home and put her in her bed. She smiled at her bob tail as she covered her up with the blanket. She was so cute. Dash bent down to give her a kiss goodnight.
"Rainbow Dash?"Scootaloo whispered.
“Today was the best day ever."
"It was, Scootaloo. It really really was."