“Not again,” thought Charlie Brown to himself as he stared at the football Lucy was holding out for him for the umpteenth time, “I know what you’re doing,” he said aloud.
“What’s that?” Lucy asked, feigning an innocent look.
“You know,” said Charlie Brown. “You’re going to pick it up and make me look foolish, just like every other time.”
“How do you know? Maybe this time will be different,” Lucy said. Then, to the crowd of other children that had begun to form around them, she yelled, “Blockhead here doesn’t think he can kick a dumb ball!”
“Well, you do have a history of…” Linus started to say, but Peppermint Patty cut him off.
“Kick the ball, Chuck!” she shouted. The other kids began to egg him on, too.
“Hurry up. I want to go sunbathe,” said Lucy. Charlie Brown’s class had gotten to take a trip to the beach as a reward for having the best grades in the school. But, of course, he couldn’t just relax and try to enjoy life for once. Lucy just had to pull the same old tricks she always did.
But then again... "What if it’s not a trick this time?” Charlie Brown thought. “What if this time it’s actually for real? What if I actually kick the ball out into the ocean? What if everybody looks at me and says, ‘Wow, this kid’s actually kind of cool’? Maybe they wouldn’t even call me ‘blockhead’ anymore!” His mind made up, Charlie Brown readied himself to run for the ball.
“You don’t have to do this, Charlie Brown,” Linus said. Then, to Lucy: “And you have it too close to the edge. If you do pull it away, he could fall into the ocean.”
For a very brief moment, Lucy seemed to be reconsidering, but then she said, “But I’m not going to pull it away,” with a slight smirk. This didn’t make Linus feel any better.
Not having paid attention to this exchange, Charlie Brown took one last look at the ball, a few feet away from a small cliff (about ten feet high) that overlooked the ocean, and began to run as quickly as he possibly could, without regard for the rapidly approaching drop-off.
Just as he was about to give the ball a mighty kick, Lucy pulled the ball away, as always. Too late to prevent it from happening, Charlie Brown flew up into the air and subsequently found himself falling farther than he’d expected, slamming into the water with a loud splash.
A couple of the children nervously laughed, but the rest merely looked expectantly at the spot where Charlie Brown had been submerged in the water. After fifteen or twenty seconds had passed with no sign of him, they began to get a little worried. Lucy looked shocked, already feeling bad about the stunt for once.
Another minute passed, and there was still nothing. “Someone should get the teacher, right now!” Linus shouted, breaking the stunned silence. But it was too late. The current was already carrying Charlie Brown farther out into the ocean.
When Charlie Brown had hit the water, he had immediately fallen unconscious. Doing a back flop into the ocean really hadn’t been the safest way to go for a swim. As the children were watching the water, hoping for him to resurface, he was quickly being pulled farther and farther out into the ocean, and sinking deeper and deeper into the depths.
Within a minute, his lungs had begun to take in water. He was drowning.
But just as his brain was about to shut down from lack of oxygen, he was sucked through an invisible portal and emerged…somewhere else. The current carried him to shore, where he remained unconscious until somepony came to see if he was alright.
Roseluck nudged the unconscious body of the Earth pony she had found on her walk across the beach. He was mostly yellow with some black patches, and he didn’t respond. Luckily for Charlie Brown, she knew CPR. Several breaths and presses on his chest later and he was coughing up the water he had inhaled. “Thank you,” he said, his vision slowly coming into focus.
And then he saw Roseluck. “A - A pony?” he asked. He shook his head. “I must be hallucinating. This must just be a dream. My mind Is probably shutting down from lack of oxygen, or maybe I’m in a coma. Why did I have to try to kick that stupid football?”
“No, I’m real,” Roseluck said.
Charlie Brown flinched backward in surprise. The pony could talk, too? Now he knew this was a dream. “Ponies don’t talk,” Charlie Brown said, thinking he was stating something obvious.
“But you’re a pony and you’re talking...” Roseluck said, wondering if this other pony needed further medical attention.
Charlie Brown looked down at his hooves and gasped. "Good grief," he said, and fell unconscious again.
When Charlie Brown woke up again, he was in a hospital room. “So I was in a coma,” he thought. He sat up, looked down at his hooves, and nearly fainted again. But this time, his mind was a bit more prepared, and after a few moments of confusion and heavy breathing, he had calmed down and begun to accept the idea that he was in fact a pony. Or at least dreaming that he was one.
“Hello? Is anybody here?” he asked. The door of the room opened and a white pony with a Red Cross cutie mark walked in.
“You’re awake!” she said. “Do you remember anything?” After what Roseluck had told her, Nurse Redheart assumed that he must be suffering from amnesia – likely due to whatever accident had befallen him in the ocean.
“I…um…my name is Charlie Brown. Some people call me Chuck. I tried to kick a football, but I fell in the ocean and ended up here, I guess,” he said.
“A football?” Nurse Redheart asked. “Do you mean a buckball?”
“No, I mean a football,” Charlie Brown said. “I should go. If this is really happening, I need to get back home.” He climbed down from his hospital bed.
“Wait, the potion must not have taken effect yet. You should stay here,” Nurse Redheart said.
“Potion?” Charlie Brown asked.
“Yes, a memory potion. It should have restored your memory, but the effect might have been delayed for some reason,” Nurse Redheart said.
“I haven’t forgotten anything,” Charlie Brown said, and opened the door to leave.
“But you clearly have amnesia!” Nurse Redheart said.
As Charlie Brown left the hospital building, he wondered whether he should have paid them anything for their services. “Oh, well,” he thought. This probably wasn’t even happening, and even if it was, he doubted they’d be able to find him once he got home. He just needed to get his bearings.
From what he remembered of the first time he woke up, he was sure that he had arrived on a beach here, which made sense considering he had come from a beach in the first place. So he just needed to ask which direction he needed to head in to get to the beach.
As he looked around the street on which he was standing, if it could be called a “street,” he was surprised to see unicorns and pegasi along with the more typical ponies. “Huh,” he said. After what he had already experienced, it didn’t particularly faze him. He walked up to one, a blue pegasus with a rainbow-colored mane and tail.
“Do you know where the beach is?” Charlie Brown asked.
“What?” the pony said. She had been distracted by something else for a moment.
“The beach – do you know where it is?” Charlie Brown asked again.
“Oh, sure, I go there all the time!” the pony said. “The name’s Rainbow Dash. I can take you there if you want.”
“Thanks,” Charlie Brown said, and he followed Rainbow Dash all the way to the beach. He thanked her again, and she left.
Not sure exactly where he had come from, Charlie Brown simply dived into the water and began swimming out as far as he could, hoping the ocean would take him wherever he needed to go. Swimming with pony legs was a bit different from swimming with human limbs, and his lack of experience meant progress was slow. He kept getting pushed back by small waves and having to regain the distance he had lost all over again.
Finally, he grew tired and began to sink. “I guess this is it,” he thought as he fell unconscious again. But once again, just as his brain was going to shut down from lack of oxygen, an invisible portal opened up and he was sucked in.
Charlie Brown slowly opened his eyes, coughing up large amounts of water as he did so. No one had come to save him this time, but though he didn’t know it, Nurse Redheart had given him a 24-hour healing potion. The potion would keep working for 24 hours from when he had taken it even if he sustained new injuries, and in this case it had helped his body to push the water out of his lungs. (It couldn’t work while somepony was still inhaling water, but it could once the inhalation had stopped.)
He looked down and saw that he still had hooves. He must still be in Equestria, he thought at first. Then he heard Linus’s voice. “Is it just me or does that pony look kind of like Charlie Brown?” Linus asked. He turned around and saw his class coming toward him. As with the potion situation, he didn't know it, but only an hour or so had passed in his world. But something must have gone wrong with the magic of whatever portal had transported him between worlds, because he was still a pony. With his luck, it wasn't all that surprising.
“It is me,” he said, not sounding particularly enthusiastic, and the class gasped.
“I know what you’re doing,” Charlie Brown said as he stared at the football Lucy was holding out. Two days had passed, and to his surprise, everyone had already started to accept the idea of him being a pony. Things were mostly returning to normal.
“What am I doing?” Lucy asked, feigning an innocent look. They were at sea level this time, and a bit farther back, so she had at least learned one lesson.
“You know,” said Charlie Brown. He didn’t bother to elaborate this time.
“How do you know? Maybe this time will be different,” Lucy said. Then, to the rest of the class, she yelled, “Blockhead here doesn’t think he can kick a dumb-“
Charlie Brown kicked the football. In his new pony form, he was faster than before and had already managed to reach it while she was looking away at the rest of the class. The ball flew several hundred yards and landed in the ocean, a speck in the distance.