Taking Care

by A. Tuesday

First published

Scootaloo has become a troubled student. Can Cheerilee figure out why?

Scootaloo is called into the office for the fourth time in half as many weeks. Miss Cheerilee's student has, out of nowhere, become something of a minor delinquent, and the teacher knows there's something wrong - but, unless Scootaloo decides to cooperate, she may find out that some ponies really do want to "take care of themselves."

"...More than words can say."

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“Sit down, please.”

She stormed in the room, a mild, tangerine thunderstorm, eyebrows threatening to fall down her face at the angle they were achieving. There were no words; she had no remorse, no guilt like the fuchsia mare before her was expecting her to reveal. It was a childish response to a childish stimulus – and Scootaloo could accept that. Her teacher, however, could not.

Her purple eyes found the cushion on the floor: a dark, faded chartreuse island in a sea of floral rug. Scootaloo unceremoniously dropped her flanks on the thing, giving her wings an impatient flap as she muttered incomprehensible things to herself. Her hooves met the rug. It felt soft, like the wool of a sheep.

Miss Cheerilee’s gaze was much harder. She gave the student a blender of irritation and disappointment for a look before continuing to her own desk. The rumble of a drawer sliding out perforated the tense silence in the room as the teacher pulled out a manila folder, the word “SCOOTALOO” printed in the upper tab. The folder hit the table from a small height, sending specks of dust upwards.

An adult hoof flipped it open slowly, the head it belonged to glaring at Scootaloo simultaneously. When the papers made themselves visible, the stern look of the teacher was brought down to the cream-colored rectangle, words of both praise, neutrality, and lately, some rather unusual things as well.

Not resuming the stare she had been so good at giving earlier, Miss Cheerilee said, “Scootaloo, this is the fourth time in the last two weeks you’ve had to meet with me after school.”

The child pegasus, up until this point looking to her mentor with an expression of mock skepticism, moved her gaze to the rug. She didn’t have anything to say – and, if she did, there’d probably be a fifth meeting scheduled before the next five minutes passed.

Miss Cheerilee shook her head, trying to ease her nerves a bit. The one-sided conversation began again. “Why are you here, Scootaloo?”

The pegasus exhaled. “You saw it. You were right there when it happened.”

“No, I want you to tell me,” the teacher reiterated. “I want you to acknowledge what you did. What did you do?”

* * *

“I drew a picture for you, mommy! See?”

The toddler held up the piece of parchment to the red mare, a crude but youthfully blissful drawing of some stick-figure ponies held hooves just outside of a house with scribble paint lines. The one in the middle of two larger ones, an orange pegasus with a short, purple mane, currently waved the paper back and forth excitedly.

“Oh, it’s – why, it’s beautiful, honey!” The red mare genuinely smiled. Her little filly was always the artist, and she was getting better each day. The mother could seriously see her becoming the next great artist of Equestria. “Darling, come look at this!” she called out into the hallway.

“What?” a masculine voice, accompanied by rapid hoofsteps, returned. “What did she do?”

“She drew us a picture, hon. See, take a look for yourself!” The mare hoofed the small portrait over to her spouse, who took it a bit curiously. After a little looking-over of the artwork, he, too, lit up. “Aw, this is wonderful, Scoots.”

“Look! Look! Look! I’ll show ya!” The child jumped up and down, eager to show her parents all the neat things in her drawing that they might’ve looked over. She was happily hoofed the paper, to which she responded with a gleeful squeak.

“See?” she asked, pointing an orange hoof to the largest of the figure, a deep purple earth pony with a smile whose distance might best their house. The real grin upon the stallion portrayed was attempting to live up to that. “That’s you, Daddy,” Scoots happily provided.

“And, this here?” she continued, her hoof shifting to the red pegasus with a darker hue mane. The mare portrayed looked to the artist of the work, waiting for her to say just who this pegasus could be. “That’s you, Mommy.”

Scoots then pointed to the middle pony, holding hooves with her two parents, the only one standing in a slightly bipedal manner in order to distribute the hoof-holding equally.

“This one’s me!”

The two parents chuckled, each giving their two cents of praise. Once the showcase of the day was over, the mother scooped up Scoots and placed the child on her back. “Come on, Scoots. I think some artist needs a nap.”

“Oh, mom!” Scoots protested, but refusing to move from the comfort of her mother’s back, even as she began to trot towards her room. “But, I’m not tired!”

“Somehow, I don’t think that’s the case.” The mother allowed herself a smug smile as she entered the light pink room her daughter occupied. The child was lifted from her back and placed into her bed, where she slowly-but-surely crawled in, still protesting.

“Mom, I’m not even tired, though. I don’t… I don’t see why I need…” A yawn escaped from the orange pegasus’s throat, much to her dismay. Her fate was sealed. It was nap time.

“Mmhm. Sure,” Mom said sarcastically. “Well, how bout if I sing you a lullaby?”

The toddler loved her mother’s voice. It was akin to the voice of a dove, sweetly calling to its children that it would soon come home bearing the things they needed to survive. In this case, those ‘things’ were simply the knowledge that her mother would always be there. It was a voice Scoots had yet to find a match for – it was perfect in every sense.

So, it was no surprise that she hastily agreed. “Oh, can you? Can you sing the one about caring?”

Her mother raised an eyebrow. “You really like that one, don’t you? It’s the one you always ask me to sing.”

Scoots climbed under the covers, her eyes getting very wide and adorable as she nodded. The red mare tucking her in let out a happy sigh.

“Alright. For you, Scoots.”

Scoots’ mother closed her eyes, inhaling through her nose. The child’s heart leapt with excitement as the first few notes left her mother’s sweet muzzle.

“If I didn’t care,

More than words can say.

If I didn’t care,

Would I feel this way?

"If this isn’t love, then why do I thrill?

And what makes my head

Go ‘round and ‘round

While my heart stands still...?”

* * *


The pre-teen looked up to her teacher with cold, inattentive eyes, coming back into focus with the rest of the world. “Yes?”

The teacher had begun the glare again. “You looked like you were about to drift off to sleep. Do you think this is a proper time for sleep?”

Scootaloo bit her lip, fighting back the urge to come up with a retort that would surely get her shipped into military school. “No, ma’am.”

Miss Cheerliee shook her head, pressing a hoof to her forehead. The sigh that ensued was just brimming with exhaustion and irritation. Once her hoof had slid down her face and found its place on the desk again, she asked for the third time, eyes still shut, “Why are you here, Scootaloo? What did you do?”

The inquires came out as more statements than actual questions. With almost as much blandness as Scootaloo’s answer. “I told Diamond Tiara to go drown herself at the lake.”

“And do you think that is an acceptable thing to say to somepony?”

The pegasus shut her eyes peacefully. “No.”

“Okay, then.” Miss Cheerilee opened her eyes, the vision of this ordeal coming to an end just beginning to come into her line of sight. “I hope you know I had to talk to Diamond Tiara and her father, personally. She was inconsolable.”

What a baby, Scootaloo thought to herself. As long as she’s got Daddy to hide behind, her world is impenetrable. It’s a good thing I show her what the real world’s like.

“Scootaloo,” the teacher said, a tinge of sadness, just barely enough to pick up on, lacing her voice. “Is there something wrong? You’re normally such a good student – always helpful to everypony, kind, understanding. Lately you’ve been doing nothing but picking fights and saying some very hurtful things to some ponies.”

An orange head shook without regret. “She had it coming to her.”

“According to who?” the teacher demanded to know.

“According to probably everypony who was there,” the pegasus retorted, now looking eye-to-eye with her teacher. “She insulted my parents.”

“And you should’ve come to me about it,” Miss Cheerilee responded, her voice just as stern as it had been this entire time, “instead of telling the filly to go kill herself.”

“That wouldn’t have solved anything.” Scootaloo insisted. “She would’ve been right back at it tomorrow. In a way, it would be better if she killed herself.”


The yell startled the pegasus, making her jump in her seat. The teacher was fuming, her reddish-purple cheeks removing the purple entirely as she became angrier than Scootaloo had ever seen. “That is not an acceptable thing to say about anypony, anytime.

The pegasus rolled her eyes. Okay, maybe that wasn’t exactly what she meant, much less something she should’ve said in front of her teacher. “I’m only kidding,” she offered, her words a façade of innocence covering a dispassionate student.

Miss Cheerilee remained in her angry stance, her mind reeling to come up with an explanation for Scootaloo’s recent, edgy and almost depressed attitude. “Scootaloo, is there something wrong at school? Besides the teasing kids?”

The answer was as simple as it was truthful. “No.”

“What about at home? Is there something at home?”

The answer was as simple as it was completely false. “No.”

The teacher sighed. She was at her breaking point, and she was beginning to run out of both patience and answers for the student in front of her. Scootaloo had been such a good student – Miss Cheerilee was beginning to wonder if more than one of those so-called “phases” was going on in the background of the pegasus’s life.

“Scootaloo, look,” the teacher finally stated, coming clean with her intentions, “There’s obviously something going on that you aren’t telling me. If there’s a problem, you can tell me. I want to help you, Scootaloo. This isn’t who you are.”

The reply given by the pegasus in discussion wasn’t entirely expected by Miss Cheerilee.

“Who cares?”

* * *

“I do.”

“I now pronounce you husband and wife. You may now kiss the bride.”

Applause came out from the small radio as the red mare lounged on the couch, reeling in the memory of her wedding day. It was often a cliché that weddings were filled with magic and happiness – but, for her, that day truly was. That’s why she had the sound of it recorded. She couldn’t have picked a better stallion to spend her life with.

Nor could they have produced a better daughter. Scootaloo was everything she had wanted in one, but most of all, she was a daughter – her own flesh and blood. The red mare loved her unconditionally.

So, when the tangerine pegasus burst through the door, tears streaming down her face, the ears on the larger mare perked up immediately, honing in on the sobs coming from her daughter’s muzzle.

“Scoots, honey,” she began, trotting over to Scootaloo, who was now merely standing at the door, bawling, apparently unsure of how to proceed from that point, “What’s wrong? What happened?”

“M-mommy…” The child often stopped to sniff, making the entire story much longer than Scootaloo wished it was, for she just wanted it to be over. “These – these k-kids, they were p-p-pegasi, and they – they can fly, and I – I can’t, and they k-kept telling me that I would n-n-never fly, and that I was really and e-earth pony with f-f-fake wings.

The story concluded with a cacophony of sobbing and sniffling, much to the mother’s sorrow, who held her child as tightly as she could, rocking her back and forth gently. Small “hush”es and “shush”es were whispered to the crying Scoots, who not only managed to pull tears out of seemingly endless tear ducts, but broke her mother’s heart. She hated to see her little Scoots so worked up.

“Honey, it’s gonna be alright,” she offered weakly. “You’re home now, see? They can’t insult you anymore for today.”

“Y-yeah,” the daughter admitted, “B-but I-I-I’ve got to see them t-tomorrow! And they’ll d-do it again!” With that, another bout of crying was commenced.

The red mare rubbed a hoof comfortingly on her daughter’s back. “There, there, I know, I know. The kids at school are rough sometimes.”

Scootaloo nodded, with her head buried in her mother’s chest. “C-Can’t you do something about it? C-can’t y-you call in and – and get them expelled?”

Mom resisted the urge to laugh, remaining sad along with her daughter. “I’m sorry, Scoots, but this is one battle – this is one battle I think you’re gonna have to fight on your own.”

The crying paused, Scootaloo looking up at her mother questioningly. “H-huh?”

A red hoof stroked the purple mane of the orange pegasus. “Scoots, I’d love to help – but, things don’t exactly get easier as you get older. You have to learn to fight your own battles, solve your own problems. I know you, Scoots – you can do it.”

The eyes of the filly looked down at the ground, letting all of this sink in. “S-so what you’re saying is… y-you aren’t gonna tell on ‘em? You aren’t gonna do a-anything?”

Her mother frowned. “I’m afraid not, darling.”

“B-but… don’t you love me?” the child asked, breaking her mother’s heart twice unknowingly. “Don’t you care?”

Mom held the filly close, still sitting on the mat by the door. She stroked her purple mane gently, looking sagely down into her daughter’s similarly-colored eyes. “Scootaloo, honey, if I didn’t care, I wouldn’t have told you that. Do you know why?”

The younger pegasus shook her head innocently, having no clue.

“It’s because that’s one of the most important life lessons you can learn. And it’s the best way to get rid of bullies.”

She smiled weakly at her daughter. “If I didn’t care, I’d never have let you in on that.”

Scoots looked at her mother confusedly, only for about a moment more, trying to process that.

The red mare was both a bit startled and undeniably relieved when the tangerine pony wrapped her mother in tight embrace, which she returned with a bit more grace, and equal amounts of love.

“You’re right, Mom. I love you so much. And hey, maybe…”

* * *

“… Maybe I care.”

The angst-ridden Scootaloo looked up from her spot on the floor, drifting into memories again. “W-what?”

“I said, maybe I care,” Miss Cheerilee repeated. The teacher got up from her desk and walked over to Scootaloo. “Look, I want to help you, Scootaloo. I care for all of my students, and I don’t like it when they feel their problems can’t be helped by anybody else.”

“I can take care of myself, thanks,” Scootaloo retorted, shifting her gaze to avoid her teacher walking into it.

“Can you?” Miss Cheerilee challenged politely, standing next to a sitting student on the rug. “Because the Scootaloo I know and the Scootaloo I know that can take care of herself isn’t destroying school property and telling fillies to go drown themselves.”

Scootaloo’s response was a short huff of an exhalation. Not what the teacher was looking for, so she went even further.

“The Scootaloo I know is one who has her friends supporting her, and tells bullies to stop what they’re doing, or finds a way to do better than them. That’s how you take care of yourself. Right now what you’re doing is letting a problem overtake you, and that’s not caring for yourself.”

Miss Cheerilee sat down next to Scootaloo. “So, tell me – what’s the problem? Is there any way I can help?”

Scootaloo shook her head, less hostile than before, but still very cold. “I told you, I can take care of myself. Not that anypony cares enough to help.”

“Scootaloo, I told you, I do care. That’s why I’m trying.”

“It doesn’t change anything, and nopony seems to be able to see that. So, nopony really cares.”

Miss Cheerilee sighed again, closing her eyes once more. “You’re sure there isn’t anything I can do to help out?”

“I told you, Miss Cheerilee – I can handle it. I’ll – I’ll do better next time, I guess.”

The teacher opened her eyes, looking at her student, who all of a sudden seemed to become very depressed. The room seemed to get a bit colder, and the wall took on a bluish tint that shouldn’t have been there.

“Scootaloo.” Miss Cheerilee rejected the overwhelming sadness and despair about to take over the room. She would help her. “Scootaloo, if there isn’t anything I can do, well – well, what about your parents?”

The tangerine pony gave a short, scorn-laden huff. “’Doubt it,” she stated coldly.

“Nonsense!” the teacher replied, a bit proud of herself that she had once again seemed to find an answer. A real one this time, hopefully. “If anypony knows you, Scootaloo, it’s your parents. They’ll be able to help you.”

“My mom always said that I needed to learn to take care of myself.”

“And? It’s not always possible, Scootaloo. Why do you think we live in a world with other ponies? Hmm?”

Scootaloo remained sitting, the expression on her face back to that cold, stoic disposition she had at the beginning of the meeting.

“That sounds good. We’ll talk to your parents. Maybe with their help we can see why all of a sudden you seem to be having problems. Where do you live? Can you give me the address? And, no ‘buts’ – we’re settling this problem.”

Silence. The teacher had begun getting her things together to put in her saddlebags, when she noticed the lack of an answer coming from the child. She looked up at Scootaloo, who seemed as still as the statues in the Canterlot Gardens. Something wasn’t quite right.

“Scootaloo, your parents? Where do you live?”

At the word ‘parents’, the child blinked, squeezing her eyes shut. Miss Cheerilee noticed the force of the motion – she seemed to be holding back something.

“Scootaloo…” The teacher hesitated before going further. Either this might be the end of the problem, or it could be the beginning of a new one. One way or another, it was a step forward.

“Scootaloo, where are your parents?”

* * *

“Still out. You know how carriage rides are.”

“Hm. I guess so.” Her friend grabbed the die in two hooves, shaking it wildly above her head for a moment before throwing it down on the board. “Three. Why can I never get a five? I need a five all the time.”

Scootaloo laughed as her friend moved the token down the side of the board. “I don’t know, Sweetie Belle. Maybe Slides and Stairwells just isn’t your game.”

The two friends laughed at that. Why they had even chosen to take out such a little-filly game like Slides and Stairwells was a dumb reason – getting an older kick out of a simple game. It was turning out to be a lot more fun – and a lot more difficult – than the two imagined it would’ve been.

“Your turn, Scoots,” the unicorn said, tossing the pegasus the die.

“Watch and learn, filly,” Scootaloo said, taking on the cocky attitude that her prismatic idol, Rainbow Dash, so often had. Maybe she could win the game right now, before her parents came home.

They’d be home any minute now. They were out on some “romantic carriage ride” for the evening, and Sweetie Belle’s mother and her own said it was alright for the unicorn to stay with Scoots for a bit, just playing board games or listening to music or whatever. It gave Scoots something to occupy herself with while they were gone, as most of the time “night-outs” usually meant Scootaloo went to bed early, out of boredom.

The die left tangerine hooves and hit the plastic board with a rapid taps as it rolled to a final position. Two dots in a diagonal line face the ceiling.

Scootaloo, by chance, had also needed a five.


“Down the slide it is for me, too,” the pegasus said dejectedly. “Sweetie Belle, why did we ever play this game? We suck at it.”

“I know, right?”

For the second time in about thirty seconds, the two friends lost it in a fit of giggles, just before an old, wooden grandfather clock in the house rang out, chiming that it was now eight o’clock at night.

“Eight o’clock?” Sweetie Belle gasped. “Oh, shoot, I’ve gotta get home.” The unicorn stood up hastily, trotting swiftly to the door. “Sorry, Scoots! See ya around! Tell your parents I said thanks!”

“It’s alright!” her friend called after her. “And I will! See ya!”

The unicorn opened the door magically and bounded off into the nighttime air, rushing to get back to the boutique before somepony noticed she wasn’t there. The door was once again enveloped in Sweetie Belle’s aura before shutting once more, sealing the house from the outside world.

Scootaloo sighed. They’d have to play this game again another time. It was… an interesting experience, to say the least; playing a child’s game when you’re almost a teenager makes the game both more annoying and more fun. It was definitely something to tell her parents. They’d get a kick out of it.

As if on cue, there came a knock on the door: three dull raps against the wood. Just as Scootaloo had placed the lid on the box of the game, too.

“Hey, Mom and Dad!” Scoots called out, expecting the door to open with her two parents striding in, giving their greetings and asking if Scoots had “burned down the house”, as they always did when the pegasus stayed home alone. Instead, there was no reply.

The door didn’t even open.

The knocking came again.

What, did I lock it?

The pegasus trotted over to the door, giving a short, “Coming!” as she neared it. It was only when she had her hooves on the knob and was turning it that she realized she wasn’t the last one to touch the door.

When the door swung open, the figures that stood before her were not her parents, but two burly stallions in police attire. They gazed down at the pegasus filly skeptically.

Scootaloo’s mind raced to think of what she did. She didn’t think she committed a crime. Unless, they were really cracking down on loitering nowadays…

“Uh, little girl?” one of the officers asked, interrupting the trailing thoughts of Scootaloo. “Is there someone else home? An adult, maybe?”

“No,” Scootaloo replied innocently and honestly, and very confused. “My parents left me home alone while they went on a date. I mean, my friend was here like two minutes ago, but she had to go home.”

“I see…” Whatever the police officer was here for, he didn’t seem happy about it. “So, you’re the only one home?”

Scootaloo nodded. “Yeah. Why? Somethin’ wrong?”

The words had barely registered in Scootaloo’s mind when they were first uttered – even so, when they finally reached her ears, the temperature outside became sub-zero.

“There’s been an accident…”

* * *

Miss Cheerilee almost wished she had never asked where Scootaloo’s parents were, but at the same time, in a very twisted way, she was glad she did.

The pegasus had taken her teacher to see her parents. And now, Miss Cheerilee stood before them.

It was granite, the slab of rock which their names were carved into; along with the dates of their birth and their death, it included a short but meaningful poem, and their positions in life, the most notable being “Mother and Father of a Beautiful Daughter.”

The wind outside in the cemetery howled, and yet was more silent than the rock the two ponies looked at.

The teacher had no words. At this rate, it was in no way appropriate to say that Scootaloo’s problem had been solved, nor had it really been figured out. Miss Cheerilee knew why. But, knowing that wouldn’t help the poor girl.

She… she had no idea…

“Do you see, now?” Scootaloo said, solemnly. The fuchsia mare beside her was shocked that the pegasus had no tears to spare for her parents, but then soon realized that there were probably many tears, sometime before this. “Do you see why my parents wouldn’t be able to help?”

In a reverse of the situation in her office, now the teacher remained silent, only nodding.

Scootaloo shook her head. “It was my mother who taught me to care for myself. The greatest life lesson, in my opinion. There was no need, in my mind, to burden the others with my own problems. They were mine for a reason – my parents should’ve been role models for all of Equestria.”

The granite slab which bore the role models’ names gave as much into the discussion as the teacher did – absolute silence.

“I used to be upset. Upset that nopony cared. But then, I realized a long time ago... I realized I never needed anyone to care. Only I did. My parents were the only other ones who ever did, and I was grateful for that.

“I don’t bother anypony with my problems, Miss Cheerilee – that’s why nopony cares. And I’m fine… I’m fine with that.”

Miss Cheerilee looked over at the pegasus, who seemed to be pausing a lot more often. The thought of her parents was getting to her again.

Her parents were the only ones who ever cared, because they taught Scootaloo self-responsibility. Scootaloo felt better knowing there was somepony behind her, even if she refused to admit it. There was an escape plan, somepony to run to if things got too rough.

But, now there wasn’t.

Everything but the overcast sky became clear to Cheerilee.

“This… this was why you told Diamond Tiara what you did,” the teacher stated out loud. “’Cause she’d never know – ‘cause you’d never tell her.”

“There’s no need to,” Scootaloo said, her voice cracking a bit, “She – especially Diamond Tiara – has no right being in my personal business.”

“What about your friends?” Miss Cheerilee asked, her voice becoming softer for no reason. “Don’t they know?”

Scootaloo remained silent. It told the teacher all she needed to know.

“Scootaloo,” Miss Cheerilee began, “I can’t say I know what you’ve been through. But, you need to realize – you can’t do it all on your own. Especially not this. You need to let ponies in.”

“Nopony cares,” Scootaloo repeated, her tone getting a bit more louder. “Nopony cares about me. They don’t care what I’ve been through, the fact that I can’t fly, the fact that I’ve been quieter and a bit more depressed in school, nopony cares about that!”

“Because you haven’t told anypony, Scootaloo.”

“I don’t need to tell anypony! I don’t need to tell them about the death of my parents! It’s my problem, not theirs! And, like I said, Miss Cheerilee, it’s me! Even if I did tell anypony, I haven’t done so for so long that nopony would care anyway! Nopony cares, and nopony ever will!”

The pegasus began hyperventilating staring with sad, sad eyes into that of the teacher’s, who was on the verge of breaking down herself. Miss Cheerilee gulped, tensing herself, telling herself that she needed to be strong.

“Scootaloo… I care.”

No!” The angry student yelled out, “No, you don’t!

“Scootaloo…” Miss Cheerilee paused, taking it very slow with her next choice of words. “Scootaloo, if I didn’t care, you wouldn’t have told me. I’d have never known about this if I didn’t care, and you know that. But… but I do. You’ve let me in, Scootaloo.”

The pegasus stood still, unable to think, speak, even breathe. All she did was attempt to process what her teacher was saying.

“Scootaloo, you’ve let me in… because… because I do care.”

There was lingering silence. Wind tossed both of their manes, for whatever reason barely audible despite its strength.

And then, the pegasus walked forward.

Slow, unsteady, unsure hoofsteps, but hoofsteps all the same. Right until she was at Cheerilee.

She looked up to her teacher – the only pony who’d ever taken the time to help her, despite Scootaloo refusing to tell her anything. She was the one pony who Scootaloo had eventually told, reluctantly; as the fear of even her teacher being dispassionate about her parents’ death had remained in her mind. She was the one pony who saw and cared without knowing.

She did care.

The pegasus buried herself in her teacher’s coat, crying her eyes out, letting the all the sorrows of the past couple weeks without her parents come out. But more than that, the sorrows of thinking that nopony else cared about her. That she was a lone wanderer, and she had just acquired the concept that made her so: becoming an orphan. Losing the two ponies who had cared no matter what.

The teacher wrapped her hooves around her student, as no words were shared. Only the muffled sobs of the tangerine filly in her hooves became the ambience in that cemetery – and for all Cheerilee cared, all of Equestria.

And that was all it was – a teacher holding her student as she cried the sorrows of her life out. As she finally let go of what she had instilled in her own mind. As she finally moved on from the notion that in her parents’ death, she had lost the only other ponies who cared. As she finally realized that she was not alone in this world.

Somehow, it seemed, the wind in the cemetery carried a song. Scootaloo thought she could make out her mother’s voice, singing to her from beyond the stars.

If I didn’t care,

More than words can say.

If I didn’t care,

Would I feel this way…?