When Wild Fire and Baby Daffodil got to their homes, Baby Daffodil asked, "Wild Fire, would you like to come and play at my house?"
"I'll ask my mother if it would be okay," responded Wild Fire.
"Then I will tell my mother that you are coming over so long as yours allows it," Baby Daffodil acknowledged, as the two fillies went into their separate houses.
When Wild Fire came to the front door, the door opened and her mother stood inside. "Welcome home, little one," Devilin greeted her daughter as she guided her inside and took her to the living room. Sitting on the couch together, Devilin asked, "So how did you like your first day of school?"
"It was fine. Miss Hackney was a very pleasant teacher and the other foals were okay, too," Wild Fire said.
"Did anything interesting occur at school?" Devilin asked as she gazed into her daughter's eyes.
"Well, at recess I helped out a filly with some obnoxious bullies that were hurting her," Wild Fire acknowledged.
"And how did you help this pony?"
"I, um, made the bullies' worst fears appear to them," Wild Fire admitted as she lowered her head.
Devilin's eyes began to glow red with anger. "Didn't your father and I tell you not to use your spirit powers without our permission?!"
"Yes, ma'am, but if you could have looked into those sad eyes-!"
As Wild Fire was talking, she felt her mother getting off the couch. Devilin turned toward her daughter and with her hoof lifted Wild Fire's head and gazed into her daughter's face, seeing a stray tear roll down her cheek. Devilin thought to herself, How could a mortal pony cause my daughter to show such strong emotions? Her gaze softened and she gave her daughter a gentle smile. "This pony you helped must be very special for you to take a chance on being punished for disobeying your father and me about using your spirit powers.
Wild Fire wiped the tears from her eyes and softly replied, "It felt like the right thing to do."
"And was this filly grateful for your help?"
"We have become friends and she invited me to her house to play. May I go?" Wild Fire asked pleadingly.
"And where does this filly live?" Devilin asked.
With a small smile, Wild Fire, replied, "I actually found out, while we were walking home, that we are next door neighbors."
Devilin debated on whether she should let Wild Fire go to her friends house, or send her to her room for disobeying Salaries and herself. There was a knock on the door just then, and when she opened it she saw a purple mare with lavender mane and tail; at her side was a filly that cloned her mother's looks. "May I help you?" Devilin asked.
The new mare softly gazed at Devilin, giving her a warm and gentle smile. "My name is Daffodil and my daughter told me how your daughter came to her rescue when she was attacked by some nasty baby ponies. I wanted to thank her and invite your family to our Thanksgiving dinner."
While the mare was talking, Salaries came up behind her. "What is this I'm hearing about my daughter?" As he spoke, the mare turned around to face him; as Daffodil saw the stallion he mouth dropped open and her eyes widened. He smiled at her, and her heart did a drum roll.
"I, I-" was all Daffodil could get out as she and her daughter were ushered into the house. They sat down next to Wild Fire on the couch in the living room. Salaries sat in the ez-chair; as he sat down, Devilin came and sat on the arm of the chair with one of her forelegs draped around her husband's neck with a little grin on her lips as she watched Daffodil's expression as she gazed at her husband.
As they sat down, Salaries saw that Daffodil was holding a box in her hooves. "Is that box for us?" he asked the mesmerized mare.
Suddenly, she snapped out of her trance. "Oh, yes, I made these peanut butter cookies to give your daughter for her heroic act in protecting my little baby." As she said that, she gave her daughter a hug and Wild Fire the box and a hug.
"Wild Fire, why don't you two young ones go to the kitchen with those cookies while we adults talk," Salaries suggested.
"Yes, Father; come on, Baby Daffodil, let's go," Wild Fire invited. The two fillies slid off the couch and went to the kitchen, sitting down at the breakfast table. As Wild Fire set the box of cookies on the table, she asked, "Why did you come to my house? I thought I was going over to yours after I discussed it with my mother."
"Well, when I got inside, my mother asked me about my day and I told her what you did for me at school and that you live next door to us; and before I could tell her about you coming over, she decided to come over and invite you and your family for Thanksgiving. And she also baked these cookies for you to show her appreciation for what you did." When Baby Daffodil finished her story, she noticed that her friend had been crying. "Did something bad happen when you got home?"
Wild Fire, not wanting her friend to know about her spirit powers, knew that she would have to think of a devilishly good lie. "Yes, we got a letter from my grandmother telling us that my grandfather had passed away, and it was very upsetting to hear."
"I am sorry for your loss. I hope your grandmother will be all right?" Baby Daffodil patted her friend's hoof that lay on the tabletop.
"Oh, yes, some of our relatives live in the same town, so she is not facing it alone."
"I am glad to hear that. Are you and your parents going to the funeral?
Wild Fire began to think quickly about her reply to Baby Daffodil's question. "No, the distance we would have to go would be too great to travel, so we will send our condolences to Grandmother."
"That's nice," said Baby Daffodil.
Wild Fire opened the box of cookies. "Baby Daffodil, how about we have some of these cookies?"
"That sounds great to me!"
As Wild Fire went to get glasses and plates, Baby Daffodil went to the refrigerator for milk; when they got back to the table, Wild Fire placed the dishes and set cookies on the plates while Baby Daffodil poured the milk. They sat on the chairs and began to enjoy the snack.
After some time had passed, their parents came in to the kitchen and saw the fillies' faces full of cookies. "All right, sweetheart, it's time to go back home," said Mother Daffodil.
"I'm coming," replied Baby Daffodil. Before going to her mother, Baby Daffodil approached Wild Fire's parents and gave them each a hug, while sadly saying, "I am sorry that Wild Fire's grandfather died and would like to tell her grandmother that I hope she will feel better soon."
When Baby Daffodil had finished, Salaries and Devilin stared at each other and then looked at their daughter. Wild Fire slowly sank down in her chair.
Mother Daffodil looked at the ponies with sympathetic eyes. "Oh, I am so sorry to hear that you have lost a loved one. I hope you will be able to attend our Thanksgiving dinner on Thursday?"
Salaries and Devilin swung their heads to face the mare. "I have a feeling that we will still be able to make it," Salaries assured her as he looked back towards his daughter.
"Oh, that's good." Daffodil gave a gentle smile to the family. "All right, honey, let's go." As she took Baby Daffodil's foreleg and walked out the door, they all said their goodbyes.
When Devilin closed the door, she looked toward her husband and then they both looked toward the kitchen. "I think a little filly has some explaining to do," Salaries spoke with a little irritation. They returned to the kitchen and stood on either side of Wild Fire's chair and looked down at her. "Wild Fire, I would like to know where Baby Daffodil got the impression that we had a dead relative?" Salaries chided.
Wild Fire looked up to face her parents and began to explain. "Baby Daffodil had seen that I had been crying; I didn't want to tell her about Mother scolding me for using my spirit powers, so I told her it was because my grandfather had died."
Hearing that Wild Fire had also used her spirit power without permission, Salaries looked at her with disappointed eyes and told her to stay put while the two adult ponies went to the living room to discuss the problem at hoof.
After an hour had passed, Salaries and Devilin walked back into the kitchen to tell Wild Fire their decision. "Wild Fire," Salaries began, "your mother told me that your spirit power was used because you wanted to protect Baby Daffodil from those bad little ponies. Even though you used it for a noble purpose, you still disobeyed us and also fabricated a lie that put your mother and me in an uncomfortable situation, so we have decided that two weeks of grounding would be a proper punishment for you."
"Two weeks!" Wild Fire's eyes widened in disbelief and her jaw dropped to the floor.
"Yes, two weeks; but because this 'Thanksgiving' is so close, we have decided to start your punishment the week after and if anyone asks why you were grounded, you are to say that you told a big lie that got out of hoof. That is all; do you understand?"
"Yes, sir, I understand," Wild Fire said, pouting.
Then Salaries told his daughter to tell them the grandfather story exactly the way she had told it to Baby Daffodil, while Devilin started dinner. After dinner, they all went to bed and to sleep.
For the next few days, Wild Fire kept her powers in check, no matter how much she wanted to use them at times. She feared that if she used them her parents would punish her worse than they already had.
The Wednesday before Thanksgiving, Wild Fire and Baby Daffodil were playing in Baby Daffodil's backyard. As Baby Daffodil looked at her best friend who was playing with My Little People dolls, she began to giggle, making Wild Fire stare at her. "What is so funny, baby Daffodil?" Wild Fire asked.
"Oh, it's just that I'm so happy that you are going to be with me on Thanksgiving," Baby Daffodil said in a very happy voice.
Wild Fire started grinning. "What are friends for, if not to be there for each other?
After a few more hours of play, Baby Daffodil's mother opened the back door and called to the fillies, "Girls, time to come inside for dinner!"
As the two fillies nodded their heads in acknowledgment, Baby Daffodil replied, "Just let us pick the toys up and we will be right in, Mother."
"Okay, dear, but don't take too long."
"We won't, Mother." Mother Daffodil went inside and the fillies started to clean up.
When the fillies had finished and were inside, they found Mother Daffodil talking on the phone. She finished the conversation and, hanging up, addressed Wild Fire. "That was your mother on the phone, and she would like you to return home after you have dinner with us."
"Yes, ma'am," Wild Fire replied dutifully. They all headed to the dining room, where Baby Daffodil's father was seated. They all feasted on the food in front of them.
As the dinner came to an end, Wild Fire thanked Ranger and Mother Daffodil for dinner and Baby Daffodil for having her over to play. Then she trotted off to her house and went inside and walked toward the living room where she found her father in the ez-chair and her mother on the couch. Wild Fire plopped herself on the couch next to her mother.
As she sat there, Salaries cleared his throat to speak, and gazed upon the females that sat before him. "I felt that we should know more about this 'Thanksgiving' before we went to our neighbors' Thanksgiving dinner tomorrow, so we will not feel so out of place when we are there. For the past few weeks I have studied the history and traditions of this Thanksgiving and wish to enlighten my beloved family to what I have learned." So his family sat and listened to him as he told them about Thanksgiving; when they felt fully acquainted with the subject, they went up to bed.
The next morning found Wild Fire and her parents at the breakfast table talking about the Thanksgiving dinner that evening. "Does anyone have any questions on our discussion we had yesterday on Thanksgiving?" Salaries asked his family.
Devilin looked at her husband with a devilish smile and told him, "I feel confident in my knowledge of this holiday."
"I do, too," Wild Fire replied.
"Good, then after breakfast we should get ourselves ready for the evening at the neighbors'," Salaries said with an angelic smile on his lips.
As they finished their breakfast, Salaries gazed at the clock; it was ten-thirty and they needed to be at the dinner by three-thirty.
It took three hours to get ready for the dinner party, so the family decided to wait in the living room. Devilin finally began to speak, "I think that we should go ahead to the neighbors' house so that we can get a look at this Thanksgiving before it actually starts."
"That sounds like a very good idea, my love," Salaries agreed, and so they proceeded over to the home of Baby Daffodil.
When they got to the house and rang the bell, the door opened and a stallion appeared. This was Baby Daffodil's father, Ranger. He was a rusty orange color; his hair was bright yellow and his symbol was an evergreen forest. As he recognized who the ponies were, he pulled the door open wider to let them in.
As Wild Fire walked past the stallion, she greeted him with a question. "Hello, Ranger. Where is Baby Daffodil?"
Ranger looked down at Wild Fire and replied, "She is in the kitchen with her mother." So Wild Fire trotted to the kitchen to be with her friend. Ranger turned back to the other two ponies. "It is still a bit early for Thanksgiving dinner, but you are welcome to relax in the living room." As they walked towards the room, Salaries and Devilin looked at all the fall decorations covering the interior.
When they got the living room and sat down on the couch, Mother Daffodil came in with four glasses of apple cider and they all sat to chat until the food was finished cooking. While the adults were chatting in the living room, Wild Fire and Baby Daffodil played in Baby Daffodil's room. Other guests began to arrive and were introduced to Salaries, Devilin, and Wild Fire.
Then Thanksgiving dinner was ready to eat, and Mother Daffodil called everyone to the dining room table. They all sat around the table and gave thanks; everyone started to eat, or talked about family, or the last gossip. When the story of the dead grandfather was told, they all gave the three spirit ponies their condolences; the spirit ponies were overwhelmed with the compassion and friendship that these ponies gave to three strangers. When the evening came to an end and the ponies were ready to go, hugs, kisses, and hoof-shakes were given all around, and even the spirit ponies were included.
When only Salaries, Ranger, Devilin, Mother Daffodil, Wild Fire, and Baby Daffodil were left, the spirit ponies gave their thanks and went back home. As they were walking back, Devilin looked to her family and said with a sigh, "Ever since my creation, I have never felt so much warmth and caring from so many in one place... excluding meeting you and Salaries." The only response Devilin got was a loving kiss from her husband and a gentle hug from her daughter.