"Tabby, it's just not possible for me to get out and buy items for Baby Noddins'
birthday except on weekends, which is when she's home all day, so would you mind watching
over her for me tomorrow afternoon?"
Such was the request made of Tabby by Frostflake, Baby Noddins' mother.
Tabby, for her part, just dangled the phone receiver in the air for several moments before replying.
"Baby-sit her tomorrow afternoon?"
"I would really appreciate it. You can't imagine how much I'd appreciate it,"
Frostflake said enthusiastically. "You'll do it, then?"
"Wait a sec--" Tabby started.
"I'm so grateful, Tabby," Frostflake went on. "I'll drop Baby Noddins off at your
house at one, okay?"
"Eh, I was--"
"And I'll be back for her at four. I'm sure she'll have a great time with you,"
Frostflake finished before hanging up.
Tabby was only dimly aware of the dead ringing in the receiver as she stared
blankly at the ground. "I have to baby-sit that nuisance for three hours tomorrow," she murmured
It had always amazed Tabby that even her arguing skills could not be beaten by
that of a parent. There had been the time last spring when Firefly had convinced her to let Baby
Firefly work at the Pokèmon Center on Take Your Daughter to Work Day; and some time later,
Surprise's fast defense of her daughter which Tabby feel like a complete idiot even if Baby
Surprise had been responsible for shoplifting a My Little People doll; and now this deal with
Frostflake. Tabby sighed. She gave up.
However, all hope was not lost. Tabby soon regained her scheming nature and
was immediately on the phone. "Sugarberry," she said coaxingly into the receiver, "would you
mind helping me out tomorrow?"
"Why?" Sugarberry asked curiously. "Need some cartoon recorded for
"No, it has to do with baby-sitting." Tabby twisted the phone cord around her
hoof. "Frostflake just called and wants me to watch Baby Noddins for three hours."
"The poor mare could use a break from Baby Noddins' infernal flow of questions,"
Sugarberry said sympathetically.
"Well... let's see here... would you happen to mind doing it for me?"
"Oh, Tabby, I'm sure you'd have a much better time with Baby Noddins than
anyone else. Besides, Frostflake did call you, didn't she?"
"Yes... but... that Baby Noddins is such a nuisance."
"I'm sure you can handle it, Tabby," Sugarberry said reassuringly. "But if you
need any assistance, let me know."
Tabby muttered as she hung up the phone. That hadn't been as easy as she
thought it would be. She'd have to try her other sources.
As it turned out, Tamara seemed to remember an important meeting with another
show-cat breeder on Saturday; Merry Treat's time would be consumed by repainting the
Pokèmon Gym; Tiffany would not be bothered with the "affairs of peasants" that day; and
Chocolate Chip had an important exam to study for. They all knew what Baby Noddins was
But one o' clock of the next day finally came around, and Baby Noddins was
successfully dropped off at Tabby's house. "Oh, Tabby, me gets to spend the whole day with
you!" Baby Noddins squealed, running into the house first thing. "I just simply idolize
"Remember, I'll be back at four," Frostflake said cheerfully to Tabby-- who was
currently petrified with fear-- before departing to do her errands. "Baby Noddins, dear, behave
"I always behave myself," Baby Noddins boasted, waving to her mother. "Bye,
Mommy! You gettin' me something for my birthday? Whatcha gettin' me, huh? And--"
Tabby pulled Baby Noddins back in by grabbing her around the neck and clamping
a hoof over her mouth. "What in the world am I going to do with you for three hours?" she
"Can I see your My Little People?" Baby Noddins asked eagerly, squirming free
from Tabby's grip. "You've got lots, don't you? You've collected ‘em for a long time, haven't
you? And you've got all the mail-order ones, right?"
"You will not be permitted to see my collection," Tabby said crisply. "Baby ponies
are prone to destroy such things."
"Oh, I know," Baby Noddins nodded in agreement. "Like Baby Falling Leaves. I
was playin' with her yesterday, and she got marker all over the nice Cynthia doll you got me for
Christmas. I was gonna stop her, but no, she had to go ahead and get the marker out. I don't like
"The Cynthia doll I got you is destroyed already?!" Tabby shrieked.
Baby Noddins looked sorrowful. "Yes. Only because of Baby Falling Leaves.
But I do not do such things, Tabby."
"Baby Noddins, is there anything you want to do besides see my My Little
"Oh, I want to gossip. Will you gossip with me? I just love gossipin'."
Tabby clenched her jaw as Baby Noddins made herself at home in her living room.
Still, gossiping would be more undestructive than showing off her My Little People.
"First, I would like to gossip about Baby Falling Leaves," Baby Noddins declared,
bouncing up and down on the sofa. "I don't like her."
"You don't say. Why not?"
"She's boring," Baby Noddins said venomously. "She always does borin' stuff,
like building borin' forts out of snow. No exciting stuff. And she gets markers on my
"As you mentioned before," Tabby murmured.
"She always wants to do something outside," Baby Noddins prattled. "But it's so
cold outside. I don't like goin' outside all the time like she does. I like doing interviews. Can I
interview you, Tabby?"
"Certainly. Ask away," Tabby sighed.
" ‘Kay," Baby Noddins said. "Lemme think. Okay. Who is your bestest
"Sugarberry, I suppose."
"Oh. I guess mine is Baby Fallin' Leaves, but I don't like her. I'm your favorite
baby pony, though, right?"
"I dislike all baby ponies, Baby Noddins. I can't have a favorite."
"I must be your favorite. You like me bestest, don't you? ‘Cause I like
"Wasn't this an interview?"
"Oh, yes. I was taking notes. I was taking notes in my head by talking. Anyway.
What do you do for a living?"
"I'm the Pokèmon nurse, Baby Noddins."
"Okay. Do you work at the Pokèmon Center?"
"Yes, Baby Noddins."
"Just gettin' all the details," Baby Noddins explained. "Where did you used to
"Baby Noddins, you already know all this, don't you?"
"Yes, but I need it for my interview. It is very important."
"Would you like a summary of my entire life, then?"
"Forget I said that, okay?"
"I'm starvin', Tabby," Baby Noddins complained.
"Your mother didn't say anything about feeding you," Tabby snapped, getting up
from her seat.
"Wait, no, I'm thirsty," Baby Noddins corrected herself. "May I have something
to drink, Tabby?"
"How about a delightful glass of water?" Tabby suggested.
"That sounds very nice," Baby Noddins said seriously.
A few moments later, Baby Noddins was seated at the kitchen table with a glass of
water in her hooves, courtesy of Tabby. "You've already wasted a whole half hour with your
talking," the pink unicorn commented cheerfully.
"Ooh, really? That sounds impressive, whatever it means," Baby Noddins
Tabby raised an eyebrow. "Tell me, Baby Noddins, why do you ‘idolize' me so?
"Oh, because you are so kind and honorable," Baby Noddins said earnestly.
"Nobody else thinks that," Tabby pointed out. "Why do you?"
"And you have a Furby, too," Baby Noddins continued.
"Ah! A Furby makes me kind and honorable?"
"Yes. May I see your Furby, Tabby?"
"He's not working, Baby Noddins."
"What's his name? What's he look like? Or is he a girl? I got a Furby, too. I love
"Ah-Loh is kept in a special place that isn't open to visitors," Tabby said
"Oh! He's too sick to have visitors?" Baby Noddins asked.
"Something like that," Tabby said quickly. If it would keep Baby Noddins away
from him, she'd play along with it.
"My Furby's name is Waylo," Baby Noddins prattled on. "I think that's what it is,
anyway. What's ‘waylo' mean, Tabby?"
"It's the Furbish term for ‘sleep'," Tabby said without missing a beat.
"Oh. He sleeps a lot, so it makes sense. He's real pretty, Tabby."
"What does he look like?"
"Oh, he's lavender n' pink n' aqua. I think he's real pretty. My brother doesn't
like him, though."
"That's probably because Furbys are so much more intelligent than he is."
"You think so? Cool! I'll tell him you said that when I get home, ‘kay?"
"Fine with me."
"Do you really think Furbys are really alive, Tabby?"
"Of course. It's--"
"Oops, Tabby," Baby Noddins interrupted. "I think I spilled my glass."
Tabby just stared venomously at Baby Noddins as the remainder of her water
oozed across the table's surface and cascaded over the edge. "Baby Noddins..." she hissed.
"I spill things all the time at home," Baby Noddins prattled on. "My mommy's
used to it, though. Will you clean it up for me?"
"No, I will not," Tabby snapped. "Get some paper towels and do it
" ‘Kay. Where are those? Will a napkin work instead?"
Tabby sighed as she thrust a pile of paper towels at her charge. "Here. Get to
Baby Noddins nonchalantly pushed one paper towel across the table. "It's all wet
now, Tabby. Am I done?"
Tabby wordlessly grabbed the towels from Baby Noddins, seeing that it would be
faster to do it herself. Baby Noddins watched in awe as Tabby, fuming, had the mess cleaned up
in a matter of moments. "Ooh, you work fast when you're mad, Tabby."
"Thanks for the compliment," Tabby muttered.
And so the afternoon went on. Baby Noddins seemed satisfied to simply keep
talking and not pry into Tabby's possessions. Tabby, after listening to the constant stream of
words, was not sure which of the two evils she would prefer.
"Tabby, you ever gonna get married?" Baby Noddins asked cheerfully at one
"Why do you care, twerp?" Tabby snapped.
"Oh, I am just looking out for my friends. I must make sure they all get
"How thoughtful of you," Tabby said sarcastically.
"I know. I only want the best for my friends. I'm gonna marry someone with a
last name," Baby Noddins explained.
"Fascinating. You still want a last name?"
"Oh, yes, I need a last name like you. How'll I find someone with a last name to
fall in love with me?"
Tabby sighed. What had she gotten herself into? "Perhaps he will just drop out of
the sky one day."
"Ooh, really? Fun!" Baby Noddins squealed. "When will he drop out of the
"I don't know, Baby Noddins. Just be quiet for once."
"Oh, okay. Tabby, what'll happen if you marry somebody with a different last
name? Does Thomas have a last name?"
"Baby Noddins, stop this obsession with last names."
"Will my Furby have a last name when I'm married to someone with a last
"Ask Waylo yourself."
"He'll know? Okay. Does Ah-Loh have a last name?"
"Not that I know of, Baby Noddins."
"Have you asked him?"
"I never thought of doing so."
"I'm gonna ask Waylo as soon as I get home."
"Baby Noddins, do you want to do anything besides talk for three hours
"Will you tell me a story, Tabby?"
"Will you be quiet if I do?"
"I think so. Maybe. Tell me about Atlantis. You were in Atlantis, weren't you?
What is it?"
"You want to hear about Atlantis?" A slight smile crossed Tabby's face and her
"Yes, please. Can I sit in your lap?" Without waiting for an answer, Baby
Noddins crawled up into Tabby's chair. " ‘Kay. You can start now."
Tabby winced at having a baby pony sitting contentedly in her lap, but began her
tale of Atlantis anyway. "Now, it all started on the fateful day when Sugarberry and I made
Clever Clover clean out his house. Fascinatingly enough, he discovered that he had the key to
Atlantis buried in his junk drawer..."
Surprisingly, Baby Noddins kept her mouth shut as Tabby continued on. As the
end of the story drew near, Tabby was pleasantly surprised to look down and see that Baby
Noddins had fallen asleep. She wasn't really concerned over wondering if Baby Noddins had
fallen asleep because she was a boring storyteller or not; she was just glad to have her quiet.
Tabby quickly finished the tale. "And then Clever Clover and I turned the guy into
a whale like he'd demanded, and then we made a run for it..."
It was at that moment that the doorbell rang, and Baby Noddins was immediately
back on her hooves. "Tabby, Tabby!" she yelped, slipping down onto the ground. "The doorbell!
"You didn't say a word in there for a whole fifteen minutes," Tabby commented,
heading to the door.
"Were you really in Atlantis, Tabby? Did all that really happen? It sounds cool. Is
Mommy at the door? Does she got presents for me, huh?" Baby Noddins asked
"You were better when you were asleep," Tabby sighed. "Oh, Frostflake, it's
"Hello, Tabby," Frostflake said cheerfully, stepping into the hallway. "Baby
Noddins! How are you? Did you have a good time?"
"MWOMMY!" Baby Noddins shouted, streaking towards her mother. "Did you
get presents for me?! Huh?!"
"They'll wait for your birthday, dear." Frostflake embraced her daughter. "Did
you have a good time with Tabby?"
"Yes," Baby Noddins said solemnly. "She didn't yell at me as much as you
"Certainly," Tabby said under her breath. Where did Baby Noddins get all this
confidence in her, anyway?
"Wonderful, Baby Noddins," Frostflake smiled. "Tabby, you really did a great job.
I'll be sure to call you next time I need a baby-sitter."
"Eh... um... whatever..." Tabby trailed off.
"Come along, Baby Noddins. It's time to get home," Frostflake prodded. "Say
goodbye to Tabby."
"Gwoodbye, Tabby!" Baby Noddins called merrily as she skipped down the porch
steps. "I will call you later!"
"Oh, goodbye," Tabby sighed in relief as the two disappeared out of sight. "I
actually survived three hours with the nuisance! I can't believe I lived through it. Sugarberry'll
never believe it!" She grinned as she ran across her yard to Sugarberry's door. What a story
she'd have to tell.