One lazy summer morning, Princess Silver Swirl of Friendship Castle woke up
early. This was very unusual, and generally happened once in a blue moon. The moon was
ordinary now, without the slightest tint of azure. So why the early rising? Silver Swirl was
"Jade! Melisande!" Silver Swirl awakened her dragon and her Mew Pokèmon.
"It's balloon day!" The two small creatures rose groggily.
Silver Swirl, we don't start ballooning until this evening. Why did you have to
wake us up now? complained Jade telepathically. Melisande seemed equally
"Oh, sorry," said Silver Swirl, somewhat abashed. In a moment, however, her
spirits were high again. For this very evening, she was going to do something she had dreamed
about for months. She was going to ride in a hot air balloon across the night sky. The moon
would be full, the clouds would be silvery, and...
"Snap out of it!" said Melisande.
Silver Swirl blinked and left her daydream behind. "Sorry," she said. "Here, let's
go down to the kitchen and get some breakfast."
All Silver Swirl could talk about that day was the balloon voyage, which was
planned to begin after sunset and last till dawn the next morning.. She chattered to her friends
about how wonderful it would be, how much she was looking forward to it, and how she would
tell them all about it the next morning.
"Better try to take a nap before you go," advised Princess Morning Glory. "You
wouldn't want to fall asleep in the balloon."
"Bring a book in case you get bored," suggested Princess Twinkle Star. "And a
blanket in case it's chilly."
"Don't forget snacks," reminded Lady Cupcake. "It would be hard to enjoy the
scenery on an empty stomach."
"If you have a really good time, maybe I'll try ballooning-- so make sure you
remember what it was like," Princess Ivy added.
Princess Crystal looked worried. "Be careful, Silver Swirl. I foresee strange
happenings on this trip."
"Oh, come on Crystal. You worry too much," scoffed Lady Light Heart.
Nevertheless, Silver Swirl promised to heed the advice of all her friends. She
carefully selected equipment to bring on her odyssey. She packed two blankets, a book by
Marianne Equina and a flashlight to read it by, six Balance bars (Silver Swirl's favorite snack), a
camera, her journal in case she had time to write, and a thermos of milk.
Finally, evening came. Silver Swirl, Jade, and Melisande climbed into the basket of
the balloon with all of their paraphernalia. Melisande had read a book on ballooning and claimed
to know exactly how to handle it. Sure enough, the balloon lifted off when the Mew did her stuff.
All of the other ponies waved goodbye as the balloon began to drift away.
Melisande piloted the balloon in the direction of the ocean. The sounds of the earth
below them hushed to a distant murmur, and then to pure silence. Silver Swirl gazed at the
strange new world around her.
It was everything she had imagined and more. The moonlight reflecting off of the
clouds made them look glowing and solid, like silver islands in a black sea. The stars were much
brighter and bigger than when seen from the ground. Jade, who was into astronomy, pointed out
various constellations in a whisper. None of them dared to raise their voices; it seemed that to do
so would shatter the magic of this dream world.
Silver Swirl silently passed snacks to her friends and munched a few herself as the
balloon sailed over the shimmering ocean. The night was rather chilly, and Silver Swirl was glad
of the blankets she had brought. She thought of her camera, but she knew that no picture could
show the true wonder of this trip. Besides, the night might not appreciate mechanical devices
interrupting things, and Silver Swirl was beginning to think of the night as a living being.
Silver Swirl saw that Jade and Melisande were asleep in the basket of the balloon.
In the night's magic, she forgot that Melisande was supposed to be the pilot and did not wake the
Mew. With the two small creatures asleep, Silver Swirl and the night had this whole world to
The unicorn, who had forgotten to take a nap before the nocturnal journey, found
herself getting very sleepy. She kept blinking her eyes open, trying to concentrate on staying
awake, for she didn't want to miss any of the midnight splendor. Suddenly, she was jolted out of
her thoughts by a horrible whooshing noise as the balloon began to move very fast-- much faster
than it was supposed to.
"Melisande, Jade, wake up!" Silver Swirl shouted somewhat hysterically. "There's
something wrong with the balloon!" She shook her two small friends out of their slumber.
Melisande checked their status. "There's a big hole in the balloon, and I don't
know where we are! I think we're going to have to abandon ship and wink back to the
"Wait!" declared Silver Swirl. "I see a little island down there! Let's pull the
balloon over to it and see if we can fix it, and figure out where we are."
The dragon, the unicorn, and the Mew flew towards the island, pulling the balloon
behind them. The balloon was bulky and made flying difficult, but all three were determined to
reach the shore. They landed in a grassy glen and tied the balloon to a tree.
"It's too dark to do anything now," said Silver Swirl. "Let's sleep here for the
night and check the balloon in the morning." She made a sort of nest out of the blankets. She
and her exhausted friends curled up next to each other and fell asleep.
* * *
The next morning, Silver Swirl's first thought was that she was surrounded by baby
ponies. She examined the small creatures gathered around her and-- as her vision cleared-- she
realized that they were not baby ponies but small pigs, in various shades of pink, purple, blue and
"Uh..." Silver Swirl was unsure what to say. Then she was struck by the creatures'
resemblance to someone she had once met. "Hey, is there one of you named Wissp?"
The pigs whispered to each other excitedly. Then a green pig stepped forward.
"There is. Why do you seek a pig by that name?"
Silver Swirl could tell that she was in a touchy situation. "Oh, I'm not seeking her;
it's just that she's the only one of you I've ever met. I'm a friend of hers, sort of." Silver Swirl
had once saved Wissp from a Rhydon, and the magical pig had rewarded her with flying
"Silver Swirl?" A purple pig pushed her way through the crowd. "It really is
Silver Swirl recognized the pig. "Wissp! It's good to see you."
"Silver Swirl once saved me from a large, hostile creature," Wissp explained to the
other pigs. "She is a kind pony. We have nothing to fear from her or her companions."
Silver Swirl was relieved that Wissp seemed to be smoothing things over. "My
friends and I were taking a ride in a balloon, but it crashed," the unicorn explained. "Maybe you
could help us get home."
The pigs looked very serious. They conferred with each other for a few minutes.
"I'm afraid we cannot do that," finally replied the green pig.
"Oh," said Silver Swirl. "That's all right. We'll just wink back." Silver Swirl
grabbed hold of her friends and closed her eyes, visualizing the palace. She reopened her eyes.
Nothing had happened.
"What happened?" Silver Swirl was very confused. Winking was a method of
transportation used by unicorns for centuries. It had never failed her before.
"There is much about this place that you do not know," said the green pig
mysteriously. "Sit down. I will do my best to explain this situation to you." The rest of the pigs,
including Wissp, vacated the area. Silver Swirl, Jade, Melisande, and the green pig sat down in
the shade of a tall tree.
"We of this island are formally called My Little Piggies, although we are usually just
referred to as piggies," explained the green pig, or rather piggy. "We have lived on this island for
longer than we can remember. Our legends say that we once inhabited a far larger place, and
shared it with your kind, the Little Ponies. Then somehow, the ponies and piggies had a
disagreement. Our ancestor piggies, being timid folk, left their homeland to seek another
"After much traveling, the piggies reached a green and beautiful place. However, it
soon proved to be inhabited by horrible monsters. The terrified piggies used the magic powers
they possessed to flee, settling at last on this island. Wanting only to be left in peace, the piggies
created a powerful spell to keep creatures from entering or leaving the island by magical
"Since then, we have lived in harmony here on our island. No matter what, we
must not let anything endanger our lives here. So that is why we cannot let you leave," the green
It took a moment for Silver Swirl to fully understand. "But you have to let me
leave! This place is nice, but I can't stay here! I won't bring monsters, I promise! I won't tell
anyone! Not a soul! Please, you've got to let me get back!"
The green piggy cut through Silver Swirl's babbling. "I'm sorry, but this is the way
it must be. You will learn to like it here. I will have Wissp show you around." With that, he
After a few hectic minutes, Wissp appeared with four other Piggies-- two pink
ones, a blue one, and a green one, all smaller than Wissp and very excited-looking.
"Wissp, the piggy in charge won't let me off this island!" Silver Swirl informed the
"I know," Wissp replied. She looked almost as unhappy as Silver Swirl felt. "But
try to be happy here. It's nice on this island, and maybe the authorities will change their minds.
They really aren't mean, just very cautious. Come on, my friends and I will show you a great
place to swim."
Wissp led the way out of the grove and across a field to a beautiful, calm bay. The
piggies proceeded to paddle around merrily. Silver Swirl, Jade, and Melisande just sat and
watched. The piggies were surprisingly good swimmers for their portly shapes.
They seemed to be playing a game of tag. One of the pink piggies was chasing
after the other ones, who were all laughing. The blue piggy fled to an area near where the bay
emptied into the ocean. Suddenly, a large creature arose from the depths and lunged toward the
"Shark! Shark!" screamed the other piggies. Without thinking, Silver Swirl flew
over to the shark and tapped it on the head. When it turned to see who was behind it, Silver Swirl
snatched up the blue piggy and carried him to safety.
The piggy panted and thanked Silver Swirl again and again. Wissp and the other
piggies comforted the blue one, whose name turned out to be Yorui.
"Come on, Yorui; Jinji and I will take you home," offered one of the pink piggies,
and Jinji (the other pink one) agreed. The two of them stood next to Yorui and all three
"Thank you, Silver Swirl," said Wissp softly. "Yorui is my little brother, and I
don't know what I would have done if the shark had gotten him." She closed her eyes and
seemed to be thinking, or meditating, or maybe praying. Silver Swirl hugged Jade and Melisande
to her. Things could be worse. At least they were together.
"Silver Swirl," Wissp's voice cut through the silence, "I believe that you are
trustworthy. I believe that if you get off the island, you won't tell anyone about us piggies. I
believe in you, so I am going to take you to the one place on this island where you can wink back
home. Come," she beckoned.
Silver Swirl, astonished, stepped toward her with Jade and Melisande. Then they
all vanished from sight and reappeared on a mossy tree stump. On the stump were Silver Swirl's
journal, Marianne Equina book, thermos, and flashlight.
"The piggies who made the island magical knew that someday, piggies might need
to escape from here. So they left one place where winking-- or teleporting, as we call it-- could
be used to get off the island," Wissp explained. "Good luck, Silver Swirl. I think we will meet
again someday," the piggy finished.
"I hope so," replied Silver Swirl. She held on tight to her two friends and all of her
possessions and winked back to the castle.
When she got there, she was pelted with cries of "You're alive!" and "Where were
you?" and "We were so worried!" Silver Swirl calmly explained that they had gotten lost and had
had to wink back to the castle. It was true, of course, and Silver Swirl figured that what the other
ponies didn't know couldn't hurt them.