“Can’t you swing me higher?” I plead. My brother chuckles behind me.
“If I swing you any higher you might get an unscheduled flight lesson,” he says between mild coughs.
It sounds like he’s getting sick again. He is always catching something now and then. Not everypony believes it though and think he’s just being lazy. I know better, he sometimes has to go to the hospital.
“I am a pegasus anyway, I should fly,” I claim. I have not learned how to fly just yet. My brother is trying to teach me but I just never get it. Best I can do is flap the wings fast as I can but they don’t take me off the ground.
“Look kiddo, if you don’t know how to take off, you don’t know how to land and…” he has to stop while trying to hide dry coughs. I hear it but say nothing. Thunderlane would just brush it off and say I don’t need to worry about it.
“As I was saying, take off and landing go hoof in hoof, you can’t do one and not the other,” he tells me.
I sigh and roll my eyes, I have been hearing that a lot. I wonder if Scootaloo has to hear it as well, I know she can’t fly yet either. She is not on the playground right now so I can't ask her; there are plenty of other foals around though. Thunderlane and I decided to come here to play today because it was sunny and nice.
“Rumble, are you alright?” I hear him ask. I had been silent for a bit I guess. He is still swinging me on the swing but it is slower.
“You are coughing,” I whisper and look at the grass. Thunderlane chuckles and tries to hide another cough.
“It’s nothing kiddo, just dry throat,” he says but I know better.
“Dad said that too,” I point out and the swings stops.
I turn to look at my brother. His ears are down and he looks sad. I’m sad too. Dad had been like Thunderlane, always catching something. Coughed and sometimes coughed badly. He always brushed it off and told us he was fine. Then one day he began coughing very bad and it didn’t go away, he coughed for months and then he was gone. Mom often worries that Thunderlane will do the same and so do I.
“Hey look kiddo…” Thunderlane stopped talking but this time not to cough. He looks at me smiling and trying not to cry.
“Alright you got me; I have a tickle I can’t get rid of right now. But I have already talked with the doctor. He’s told me it’s nothing, just some dryness that will pass,” he continues and reaches with one hoof to ruffle my mane.
“You won’t get rid of me this easily,” he said and I giggled. “We are friends remember.”
“We are,” I agree and he begins swinging me again.
Thunderlane and I always play together when we can. But it isn't often enough in my mind. I still have school and he is a junior member of the Ponyville Weather Team so he is busy. That is if he dosen't catch something, then he is either home in bed or at the hospital. Then I play board games with him or cards, but not always because sometimes he is too tired to do anything.
“I want to go higher,” I call and wonder if I can go higher if I start flapping my wings.
“Alright already,” Thunderlane laughs and I feel him push harder at the swing and I do go higher.
“Higher,” I shout laughing. This felt like flying, like when Thunderlane sometimes flies with me on his back. I start flapping my wings in excitement.
“No Rumble. Don’t flap your wings!” Thunderlane shouts but I hear him too late.
All I know is that suddenly I am no longer on the swing. I see the ground below me and all the other foals looking up at me. I was flying and I shout it over and over before I hear gasps and can see the grass coming closer. I am not flying at all, I'm falling and my wings still aren't strong enough to prevent that.
I almost hit the ground but Thunderlane appears and grabs me with his front legs. We land with a thud on the grass and he gives me a glare that I know means he is not happy.
“Sorry,” I grin and try to look cute and innocent.
“Don’t ever do that again kiddo,” Thunderlane grunts and sits up still holding me with one leg. He looks away and uses his other front hoof to cover his mouth as he coughs. My brother takes a moment to dry his hoof on the grass.
“Sorry Thunderlane, it was just so much fun, can we do that again?” I ask and smile wide and giggle when my brother takes me in a headlock and ruffles my mane.
“Are you trying to get me into trouble with mom you little rascal?” he asks laughing.
“No but it was fun and I know you will catch me, because you are my big brother and best friend,” I say and give him a hug.
“Best friend huh? Yeah I guess so kiddo.” He hugs me back.
We let go and stand up. Thunderlane crouches a bit so I can jump up on his back and he walks me back over to the swings.
“Alright, one more time but then we better head back home for lunch,” he says.
“Okay,” I jump off him and run back to the swings and climb into one. Thunderlane takes position behind me and begins pushing.
“Higher, higher,” I yell and laugh. My big brother pushes me higher and we don’t stop until it’s time to head home for lunch.