My Little Pony Monthly Issue 24 (March 1, 1999)

My Little Pony Monthly
Established June 1997
This Newsletter is Child-Friendly

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Issue 24
March 1999

Editor's Note-- All the back issues of My Little Pony Monthly are now up on the internet! Go here:

to see them.


All The Pretty Little Ponies
(A Revisionist Interpretation of the MLP Mythos)
Chapter 13


C. Alan Loewen


For Candice and Allison

Synopsis: Megan, an eleven-year-old orphan who lives with her Aunt Constance, has been given guardianship over seven magical ponies also known as the Seven Sisters, the enchanted daughters of King Arthur and Queen Guinevere, turned into ponies by Arthur's evil half-sister Morgan. Through many adventures, Megan has now brought the ponies back to Britain and their parents. Comments and constructive criticism may be sent to

The earth shuddered under the beat of horse hooves as the column bearing Arthur's standard drew closer to the stone circle. Morgan's cries grew in fear and fury as she saw the approaching column, but with the full weight of Spike on her chest, she was helpless.

Aunt Constance, with Sarah at her side, cradled Megan's limp form, the shattered remains of Morgan's staff laying about them. The ponies, huddled around Medley where she lay on the cart with her broken leg, simply stared in awe at the approaching procession. Though they knew from the murals at Dubricius' Sanctuary that they were the daughters of King Arthur, the amnesia that came with the curse that turned them into magical ponies robbed them of any joy at the sight of their father approaching.

As the column of horsemen approached the hill, they could see the two men who led the procession. One was evidently King Arthur. Even from a distance, his regal bearing demonstrated his heritage. Riding his horse as if born to the saddle, he sat alert and straight, his handsome face adorned only with a close trimmed beard and mustache and wearing a simple crown of gold.

Next to him sat another man, a great feathered rook clinging to his shoulder, whom all the ponies recognized in an instant. With cries of "Dubricius!" they trotted to where Aunt Constance knelt, Sarah standing nearby.

Suddenly, Twilight saw the limp form of Megan. "Megan!" she cried, and the other ponies joined her. They clustered around Aunt Constance as they nuzzled the limp form of their friend and protector.

Arthur and Dubricius galloped up the hill followed closely by the king's knights. In a moment, it seemed all was confusion as the hilltop was filled with men on horseback and none knowing what to do when they saw the baby dragon sitting on the chest of Morgan, King Arthur's sworn enemy, not to mention winged ponies, and one of them on a cart with a bandaged leg, small unicorns, and other talking ponies as well as an adult woman holding an unconscious girl.

"Hold!" Arthur commanded and suddenly everybody stopped talking. "You two," the king ordered his two closest knights, "if the dragon allows, take Morgan into custody. Dubricius, see to the girl."

With a fluid motion, King Arthur slid down from the back of his steed and approached Twilight. Kneeling, he searched the little unicorn's eyes for a glimmer of recognition. "Alcyone? Is that you?"

Twilight bowed her head and knelt in the manner of ponies. "Your highness, Mother Ellen said that Alcyone was my name, and that you were my father."

Tenderly, slowly, Arthur reached out and stroked the unicorn's cheek. "All will soon be made well. Trust me."

Meanwhile, Dubricius examined Megan as she lay in her aunt's arms. "Is she hurt, Dubricius?" Ember asked, her voice trembling.

Dubricius gave the little pony a reassuring smile. "You have nothing to fear. Smashing a Staff of Power just takes the wind out of you.

"Megan," he said, "Wake up, child. You have completed your task with honor. It's time for your reward."

Megan groaned and slowly her eyes flickered open. "Dubricius?" she asked, her voice faint and slurred. "Am I dreaming?"

"No, Megan, you're not dreaming. Just stunned. You'll be right as rain in no time."

"Are the ponies okay?"

Dubricius tenderly caressed her cheek with his hand. "Yes, the daughters of Arthur and Guinevere are safe. Rest now. You'll soon see a wonder."

"I think I've seen so many wonders," Megan muttered sleepily. "What could be greater than what I've seen already?"

Leaving Megan in the capable care of her aunt, Dubricius walked over to where the two knights were having a hard time getting the baby dragon to get off the screaming Morgan. "Let me handle this," he said to the two. Kneeling on the ground, Dubricius whispered into Spike's ear. Purring, the dragon jumped off of Morgan who was immediately grabbed by the two waiting knights.

"Bring her to the king," was all Dubricius said.

Brought before Arthur, Morgan stood defiantly before her half-brother even in the midst of her defeat. Arthur stared at her sternly. "You've lost, Morgan. Your anger has brought you to this and now you stand before me my prisoner, your staff is broken and Dubricius tells me your book of spells was burned to ashes by a mere slip of a girl.

"All this because you cannot forgive. I can think of no greater punishment than to just let you go into exile where your anger will only continue to eat at you."

Morgan glowered at him. "I'll come back. You can't keep me away."

Arthur laughed grimly and pointed to Spike. "I think not. Once again, there will be a dragon at Camelot and no magic can touch a dragon. Not even yours. And this dragon will be watching for you."

Morgan turned her head to see Dubricius making his way to where she and the king confronted one another. "Merlin!" she said to the king with contempt in her voice. "The wizard who gave up his magic for what? Nothing!"

Dubricius could not help but hear which was what Morgan wanted all along. "Morgan," he said, his voice filled with pity, "I will say this once and once only with a prayer that you may someday understand. There are only two goals a person can strive for in life: power or love. You cannot strive for both as they automatically cancel one another out. I gave up being Merlin and am content to be just Dubricius. Magic no longer appeals to me and there will always be wonder in the world."

Morgan snorted her scorn. Arthur's knights made a path for her, and with a sneer, she made her way down from the hilltop.

"I've still had my revenge," she shouted. "I've poisoned the tales of King Arthur and his knights. The world to come will never know about the daughters of Arthur and the stories of Camelot will always have an unhappy ending."

"Perhaps," King Arthur called back. "But maybe in the telling, some truth of the glory of Camelot and Britain will still shine."
As they watched Morgan make her way down the dark hillside, Arthur felt a small hand slip into his. He looked down into Sarah's bright eyes. "You're right, you know," she said shyly. "I read your stories and though what Morgan said is true about the ending, the whole world knows about King Arthur and the knights of his Round Table and all about your quests and adventures."

Arthur smiled down on her. "I have my daughters back and that is what is most important to me; but I'm glad, for the sake of Camelot and my knights, that the tales may inspire the world to come."

Dubricius turned to the ponies. "Your travels are almost at an end. Please join your sister in the middle of the circle. The sun will soon be rising and we must be on our way."

A knight rode up to Arthur and placed a large bundle in his hands. Taking it to Aunt Constance and Megan, he placed it at their feet. "Morgan's staff is broken. All she has done will soon be undone. We will wait at the bottom of the hill. Bring my daughters to me."

As he turned to join his men at the bottom of the hill, Megan examined the bundle closely and discovered it was clothing, dresses made from some shimmering material.

"Megan!" Sarah cried. "Look!" Megan turned to see the seven ponies and gasped at what Dubricius had promised would be a great wonder. And it was a great wonder indeed.


Invento Ponies

by North Star:

Name: Lastly

Body: Pure White Unicorn

Hair: Silver

Symbol: Silver Music Note and Flute


Baby Starbow's Adventure
by Ciara Catalina

Baby Starbow was looking very hard to find a hiding place in the woods. All the baby ponies were playing hide-and-seek on a bright and sunny day.

Baby Starbow decided to hide in the half circle of sierra bushes, a little ways from the main path. "No one will find me here!" she said gleefully.

Suddenly, there was a flutter of color, and Baby Starbow shrank back further into the bushes. A beautiful purple-feathered bird appeared. She turned towards Baby Starbow and watched her.

Baby Starbow stared at the bird's long, shimmery tail that looked like a rainbow. "W-w-what are you?" she stammered.

The bird laughed a kind, tinkling laugh and said, "Me? I'm a Fairy Tail Bird. My name is Windsong."

Baby Starbow looked at Windsong with awe. Wind Whistler had told the baby ponies about these magical birds. They usually didn't show themselves, but one could hear their silvery voices in the early morning.

"And you are?" Windsong prompted the awed pony.

"I'm Baby Starbow," the words came out breathlessly.

"Well, Baby Starbow, I was sent to find a My Little Pony and invite her to our party. Would you like to come?"

"Oh, yes! May I?" Baby Starbow's face was lit with joy.

"My tail will carry you to our secret valley. Are you ready to go? Yes? Good! Step onto my tail and we'll start now," Windsong instructed her.

Baby Starbow forgot all about the game of hide-and-seek, and stepped upon the shimmery tail. At once, Windsong flew up, her tail carrying Baby Starbow. They flew out of the woods and higher until the trees and little stream looked like a ribbon running through some toys.

Baby Starbow had no fear of falling; she felt like she was floating on a fluffy cloud. "This is fun!" she cried out happily.

"Are you afraid, Baby Starbow?" Windsong looked back at the baby pony. Baby Starbow's face was one of complete ecstasy, and the expression grew as they flew higher through the clouds. Windsong laughed softly. The baby pony hadn't heard her, but that was okay. Baby Starbow was happy and unafraid, Windsong concluded.

If Applejack and Cotton Candy had looked up in the sky while walking through Posey's garden, they would have seen a shimmering rainbow flying freely through the air with a baby pony riding it, namely Baby Starbow.

"Look! Paradise Estate! And further, Dream Castle!" Baby Starbow said delightedly.
"Yes, and over the waterfall and mountain is Fairy Tail Valley. All of us Fairy Tails Birds live there." Windsong's face grew thoughtful.

"What is it like?" Baby Starbow asked curiously.

"It is a valley full of secrets, magic, and flowers. It is a place of happiness and peace," Windsong sighed and continued. "We've been there for a long time-- before the My Little Ponies came to Dream Valley. Even before the witches."

For the next few minutes, they flew in silence; Baby Starbow marveling at the scene before her, and Windsong lost in her memories. Baby Starbow sighed and fell asleep with a contented smile on her face.

* * *
"Let's wake her now! The party is ready to begin and she's slept for awhile now; plenty long enough!" a voice twittered.

Baby Starbow opened one eye and looked around her. She still felt a little tired, but being in a new, exciting place made her wake completely. Standing, she realized she was in a small house, woven from flower vines.

"You're awake!" Windsong appeared from the sky. "Climb on my tail again and we'll go to the party!" Windsong was giddy and carefree.

A smaller bird flew off from a nearby tree and Windsong said, "That was Rainsong."

Baby Starbow remembered why she was in Fairy Tail Valley and grinned as they took off towards a beautiful garden. Windsong's tail hadn't lost its shimmeriness, she noticed.

Looking away from the tail she stood on, Baby Starbow looked at the garden they had entered. It was almost full of Fairy Tail Birds that were dancing in a swirl of rainbow color. The swirling circle stopped as Baby Starbow and Windsong stepped closer.

"They're here!" went a cry all around. Baby Starbow stepped onto the soft moss pathway and the birds crowded around, calling out their names. "I'm Rainweaver!" "I'm Flowerbelle!" "I'm Rainsong!" said the familiar smaller bird.

Another pushed itself in front of Baby Starbow. "I'm Morningbow, and I would like to officially welcome you to Fairy Tail Valley!" The birds announced their names and began dancing again, this time with Baby Starbow in the middle.

Once again Baby Starbow had a look of pure ecstasy on her face as all the birds swirled about her. The birds' voices rose majestically in a song that put all instruments ever made to shame.

I'll never forget this day as long as I live! Baby Starbow promised herself. On and on they danced, like a dream, sometimes flying here and there and then landing softly on their feet. For such large birds, they moved very gracefully on their feet, Baby Starbow observed, watching them dance.

All too soon, the sun began to set, and Windsong had to take Baby Starbow home. "We'll miss you!" the birds chorused.

"Windsong will come and invite you and your friends to our next party!" promised Morningbow and Rainsong. As Baby Starbow climbed onto Windsong's tail, the birds called out their goodbyes in silvery voices, their tails waving.

"Goodbye! Thanks for the party!" Baby Starbow called out, waving a hoof. Sighing, Baby Starbow fell back against the fluffy tail and slept the rest of the way back to Dream Valley, dreaming all along about her wonderful dance with the magical birds.

* * *
Baby Starbow woke as Windsong descended at Paradise Estate's gates. "Thank you ever so much!" Baby Starbow exclaimed, her eyes full of stars.

"You're welcome, but the sun has almost completely gone down, and I bet somebody's looking for you!" Windsong said, her eyes twinkling. "Remember to tell the other ponies!" she added.

Baby Starbow nodded and raced through the gates just as Sky Dancer descended. "Baby Starbow!" she exclaimed. "Where in the world have you been? Wait, come to the pool and tell everyone at once."

They hurried to the pool where Baby Starbow told all the other My Little Ponies about her wonderful time in Fairy Tail Valley and all the new friends she had made.

Baby Starbow's adventure with the Fairy Tails Birds began parties between them and the My Little Ponies that still go on today!


You're Too Slow, Baby Tic-Tac-Toe!
by Bubblefish

The next day, everyone was very busy; even the Baby Ponies were hard at work-- they had been told to gather as many of the prettiest flowers as they could, and the Flutter Ponies had even allowed them to pick the flowers in Flutter Valley.

The adults got two of the longest tables and put them in the orchard, where the Sport's Day would be held, so no one had to travel very far to get there.

After two days, Tootsie announced that the Sport's Day was going to be the next day; that day they worked even harder, and by the time they had gotten everything ready, they were so exhausted that they fell fast asleep almost straight away-- remembering to set their alarm clocks first!


A Poem to Say Goodbye to My Little Pony
by North Star

Once upon a time long ago

My Little Pony ruled, I know

But now they're gone without a trace

Missing from every single place!

No matter laughter or smiles

I've looked for miles

Oh where have the ponies gone?

They're gone but life will go on

The answer isn't here

Oh the ponies are gone forever, I fear

Where is the magic? the laughter?

Is this for ever after?

Because of Hasbro's fatal mistake

All pony lover's hearts now break

Don't make no difference, gone for good

Will they come back? They should

Will it matter, do they care?

Oh, the ponies aren't anywhere!

All I can do is hope and pray

My Little Pony is back someday....


=/\=PONY TREK=/\=
by Blu Flyer

======= Episode 3: A.I: Part Four =======

Previously, on the Starship Lollypop...

The entity "living" inside the warp core of the Lollypop has been discovered to be a network of small machines. Upon closer inspection, it is revealed to bear the emblem of PonyFleet.

And now... da conclusion!

*Writer's note: This episode segment was written while watching Star Trek Voyager and TNG, so it should be kinda nifty. ^.^ Also, COOL to the person who wrote about Pokémon! Hehe-- gotta catch ‘em all! Yeah! I may try that out. *ahem" I'll try to wrap this up today; we need to move on to other characters. Each one of the main crew will get their own "episode" and thereafter rotate, so you can meet them all. :) And perhaps I'll do other types of stories... Pokémon crossovers, etc. Or maybe some ordinary MLP stories, even! Hehe!

Big thanks to Michael Pillar and Jeri Taylor for all their influence, and of course, Gene Roddenberry for obvious reasons. ^.~

Medley stared in disbelief at the tiny black hoof-print on the little machine as it swam about in the warp core fluid. It looked like a Grob nano-probe. But what was it doing with the PonyFleet emblem? She tapped at the screen with a hoof as if it would do anything. She looked to Flyer, who looked deep in thought. The Captain took a breath, and came to a conclusion.

"Lieutenant, assemble an away team. Take them to S1 and eject the core. I'll be in my ready room." The Captain looked at Medley with a tired sparkling eye and turned back to the turbolift.

Medley considered briefly, and touched her comm badge. It chirped with more enthusiasm than she felt. "Medley to Ensign Countdown; meet me in transporter room four." She was so tired, and was tempted to order a site-to-site transport. Instead, she continued to the turbo and on to the transporter room, calling crew as she went. She called Lieutenants Glory, Ringlets, and Paws. Ringlets and Glory were usual members of her teams whenever they set out to get something accomplished, and Paws was a member of the Security team. Hopefully it would be well-rounded. They were, after all, blundering into unknown territory. She was quite sure she would have been more excited if she hadn't been so darn sleepy.

She nearly blundered into the transporter room, nodding her head and drooping her eyes. Countdown caught her.

"You okay?" he asked. "Maybe you should stay here? I'm sure I can handle the away mission myself; you don't look too good..." He helped her to her side and she yawned. Ringlets was on time, and gasped when she saw Medley.

"I'll... I'll be fine..." Medley said sleepily as she yawned. "Just replicate me some coff--" She blinked, hesitating.

"Get the pony a coffee," Glory ordered whole-heartedly to the transporter crewman, who was happy to oblige.

Medley chugged the coffee and began to wake up. It was a good thing she hadn't had such a fall on the mission. That would have been bad. She blinked bright-eyed, and shook her mane, which hadn't been brushed in a day. She sighed. When this mission was over she'd take a nice, hot, old-fashioned shower. With water! Not one of those sonic-showers.

She stood up on all fours, and stepped on the transporter pad again. The crewman activated the transporters, and they beamed out.

* * *
Medley blinked as her eyes adjusted to the dim light of the corridor. She looked around to make sure the rest of her away team had made it. Countdown nodded, and Medley took off in the other direction. She looked at her tricorder, making sure to stay out of the corridors that the AI had sensitivity in. She finally found the wall panel she was looking for, and snapped it open. The buzzing blue lights stirred inside, as small impulses traveled along in the form of electric shocks and nerve impulses through the neuro-gel packs.

She replaced several chips and re-routed the power. Well, not re-route, but developed an access port to the main engineering to the panel. Hopefully the AI would not... mind. As she tapped the last key, she hoped that nothing would happen.

All that did was a small chime that told her the sequence had been successful. She sighed with relief, then got back to work. First, she had to by-pass security codes. This would take time. She had gotten tricorder recordings of security codes from the Captain and other executive officers. Although it would work, she still had to fix the computer to accept pre-recorded messages. After this was done, she moved down the hall to a bio-neural gel pack chamber while Glory began playing back the security codes. Medley opened the panel into the chamber, and shot a small ray of potassium and sodium molecules towards it, creating a crude, yet effective, artificial impulse. If she programmed it right, it would alert the AI that there was danger in all areas of the ship; that the environmental controls had malfunctioned and the ship was loosing it's high temperature. Speaking of which, the AI had raised the temperature so dramatically that small beads of sweat were appearing at her brow. She turned to Countdown.

"Countdown, could you access environmental controls, please? I'm burning up here!"

Countdown nodded gratefully. Before long the temperature dropped to a comfortable, cool temperature. Medley nodded silently in thanks as she completed the sequence of impulses.

Finally she glanced down at her tricorder. The AI was drawing back! She watched with amazement at the speed as it retreated back to the warp core according to false messages. She turned to Glory.

"On my mark, and no later, eject the core," she ordered. She watched intently at the small tricorder monitor.

"Five, four, three, two, one... mark!" she exclaimed as the AI pulled itself completely into the core.

The segment shuddered ever-so-slightly as Glory ejected the warp core. Medley ordered a site-to-site transport to the bridge. As she arrived, Glory turned to Ops and activated the view screen. The warp core pulsed quickly, then slowed. The pulsing faded like a bad dream. Medley tapped her comm badge.

"S-1 to S-2," she said.

"Flyer here. Mission status?"

"Successful, Captain."

Flyer grinned at Tacky. Medley had certainly proved herself in this. But still, there was the mystery of the Ponyfleet emblem...

"Captain, incoming transmission from Pony Fleet," Tacky said, punching absent-mindedly at her chair-console.


Admiral Night Glider peered at her from her desk at PonyFleet HQ.

"Hello Blu, Tic-Tac-Toe," she said. "Congratulations. I'll be looking forward to your logs. We need them for our evaluation."

"Evaluation??" Blu said, hiding her annoyance. They were being evaluated? "What exactly do you mean by... evaluations?"

Night Glider coughed lightly. She didn't seem like she wanted to be the object of Captain Flyer's annoyance. "Yes. Sorry we had to keep it from you, Blu. It was necessary. We are developing a new... piece of technology that we hope to pitch against the Grob. It is similar to their assimilating technology, but apparently it still has a few bugs to shake out."

"So you were just going to pitch us against this new technology, and if it kills us, be satisfied?"

Night Glider avoided looking at the viewscreen. "No, of course not, Blu. WE would have stopped it before then." Night Glider smiled sweetly at Blu.

"Over and out, Admiral," Blu said between gritted teeth. Tacky ended the transmission just in time. Blu turned to Ops.

"Let's pull this ship together," she said.


Tabby's Treasure
by Tabby

It was nearing the end of Tabby's work day at the clinic. She tapped her hoof impatiently on the main desk. Sugarberry, the receptionist at the clinic, had had to leave a little early, so Tabby had to manage the main desk-- it really wasn't a good job to put her in charge of. There were no other scheduled appointments for her; Tabby was just hanging around to make sure no one came in.

At that moment, the doors swung open. Tabby looked up with interest as the figure entered the building-- it was a human, and they were not usually found in Ponyland. Following the man was a large St. Bernard dog.

"I'm looking for the vet here," the man said, coming up to the counter.

Tabby looked indignant. "I am the vet here!"

The man looked at her in surprise. "You don't look much like a vet; more like a receptionist."

Tabby glared at him. "Well, anyway, what's wrong with your dog?"

"He's got a cut on his back," the man said, gesturing towards the large dog. "It might need attention. We'll see if you can fix it."

Tabby's eyes gleamed with fury. "Fix it! I'll fix it, all right! Come on, just follow me." She led the two into the appointment room.

"Okay, so..." Tabby inspected the cut once the dog had been lifted up onto the counter. "I suppose I'll clean it out first." She busied herself attending to the task.

Once it was cleaned out, Tabby searched around for the special ointment for cuts. Oh, where those things kept? She glanced over at the man, who was smiling slightly. This made her anger flare up again. She wasn't about to make a fool of herself in front of this guy!

"Try the cupboard marked ‘Ointments'," the man finally suggested after Tabby failed to uncover what she was looking for.

"Right," Tabby sighed. Dejectedly, she flipped open the cupboard indicated. The cut ointment was sitting right out front.

After applying some of the ointment onto the cut, Tabby handed the tube to the man. "Here, take this," she instructed. "So, like, put it on the cut every day, and it should heal fairly quickly."

"What, no instant cures?" the man said, amused. Tabby clenched her jaw and ignored the question as she walked back out to the main desk to ring up the bill.

She pressed a few keys and cocked her head at the result on the screen. "Uhh... three jangles? No, that can't be right..." Frantically she pressed some more. "Two thousand? What's with this machine? Oh, why'd Sugarberry have to leave!"

The man burst out laughing at Tabby's confusion. "How about accepting this as payment?" He pulled out an ancient-looking rolled-up paper.

Tabby glanced at the paper and shrugged. "Sure, sounds fair." She took the paper from the man; he waved as he and his dog departed from the building.

"Tabby, you've screwed-up the computer," Thomas sighed as he came up behind her.

"The program doesn't make any sense," Tabby complained.

Thomas pressed some keys. "You should've charged twenty-five jangles."

"But I got this instead!" Tabby waved her prize in the air.

"What is it?" Thomas took the paper from Tabby and began to un-roll it.

Tabby peered over at the paper expectantly. Her eyes gleamed when she saw what it was. "That's a treasure map if I ever saw one!"

Thomas studied the paper. It did, indeed, look like a map. "Interesting..."

"And it's mine!" Without warning, Tabby snatched it back from him.

"Hey, who said that?"

"Well, I did, of course--"

"I'm the owner of this clinic, so I should get it," Thomas argued.

"But I'm the one he gave it to!" Tabby clenched her jaw defiantly and held the map protectively.

"Umm, are you open for business?" came a timid voice. Tabby and Thomas both whirled around. There was Skylark, with her pet hamster.

"Why, yes!" Tabby said brightly, not missing a beat. "Thomas can attend to you!" She pushed Skylark forward. "And I do believe I'm done for the day, so bye!" And before any more words could be spoken, Tabby trotted out the doors with a triumphant smirk on her face, and leaving a dumbfounded Thomas.

* * *
Later that evening, in the privacy of her own home, Tabby was studying the map. Amazingly, she could make sense of most of the landmarks pictures on it-- there was the Dark Forest, and perhaps the Black Mountains. It appeared that a trail through the forest led up into the mountains, and that was where a large X was drawn.

"It looks easy enough to find," Tabby said thoughtfully. She grimaced, recalling her encounter with the man earlier. Imagine, her not looking like a vet! She'd come across as looking clueless. That's how she always came across as. Everyone expected her to be lost and confused no matter what she did.

A grin slowly spread across her face as she came up with an idea. She'd show them! She'd show them she wasn't just a weak, confused, irresponsible little pony. She'd show them all!

Yes, Tabby knew what she was going to do. She was going to find that treasure on her own if it was the last thing she did.

* * *
The next morning, Sugarberry was heading out to work. She glanced back at Tabby's house. She could see no lights on; it looked bleak and desolate. That was odd; Tabby should be getting ready for work as well.

"Maybe she went over early," Sugarberry said aloud. Then again, that didn't sound like Tabby. She preferred to be late. "Well, it's always a possibility."

Sugarberry trotted on towards the clinic with a hopeful heart. She pushed through the doors, and took her place behind the desk. She glanced around the room-- no Tabby.

Thomas appeared out of the hallway. "Hello," he greeted her.

"Has Tabby shown up yet?" Sugarberry asked anxiously.

"No." Thomas smiled grimly. "And I think I know where she is."

"What do you mean? The Satin Slipper Sweet Shoppe isn't open yet--"

"One of the clients paid with a treasure map yesterday," Thomas explained. "And Tabby ended up with it."

"A treasure map? The things that happen while I'm away!" Sugarberry commented. "But do you really think she'd go off in search of treasure without telling anyone? That doesn't sound like her."

"That pony is nothing but trouble," Thomas said bitterly. "She's always late--"

"Only five minutes each day--"

"She's always skipping out--"

"Not that often--"

"The salary I pay her is outrageous--"

"It's really not that much, considering--"

"She's constantly misplacing things--"

"Well, everybody does that upon occasion--"

"And I don't see why I don't just forget about her and hire a new vet," Thomas finished.

Sugarberry's eyes opened wide with terror. "Oh, no! You couldn't do that!"

"You bet I could!" Thomas stormed off into the next room.

Sugarberry sat still in shock. Tabby was in big trouble this time, and if she didn't get back soon... oh, why had she had to run off? If Thomas hired a new vet to take Tabby's place, it wouldn't be near as much fun working here. Sugarberry was going to have to do something...

Quickly glancing around to make sure Thomas wasn't in sight, Sugarberry bolted out the door.

* * *
Meanwhile, Tabby was traveling through the Dark Forest, following the directions on the map. The previous night she had hastily packed a backpack with provisions, and early that morning had departed for her journey. The daylight emerged sunny and without a cloud in the sky-- a wonderful day for treasure hunting.

Unfortunately, none of this showed in the Dark Forest. The trees were so tall and thick, all sunlight was blocked out. Never was there a single ray of light in the forest.

So far, Tabby had been lucky and hadn't run into any monsters or others evils. But who knew what was lurking around the next tree...
She glanced down at the map she had in her hoof. Since the original copy was so tattered, she had scanned it into her computer scanner and printed it off for a stronger copy. According to the map, there was a cave somewhere on the edge of the Dark Forest. There was a path drawn next to the cave, and that led through the forest up to the Black Mountains. Tabby'd found the cave, and was trying to follow through on the path.

Tabby shrugged and bravely trotted forward. She hummed the Sea Pony Song to pass time. "Shoop bee doo shoop shoop bee doo..."

* * *
Sugarberry trotted onwards to Tabby's house. Maybe she'd be able to find something that would help her figure out where Tabby was headed-- providing she could even find a way in the house.

She cautiously turned the handle of Tabby's front door. Yep, Tabby had forgotten to lock it. Sugarberry let herself in. She felt slightly guilty about breaking into her friend's house, but it was for good reason.

"Now, where do I begin?" Sugarberry wailed. There were so many rooms to look in, and there might not be any clues anyway.

She paused and thought the problem through. Where did Tabby spend most of her time? Her computer room, probably. She spent hours making lists of things to put up on the internet.

Sugarberry trotted into the computer room, where all Tabby's really cool computer stuff was kept-- like a scanner, digital camera, and printer. She glanced around the room. Something seemed off... ah ha! The scanner lid was up, not down like it was supposed to be.

Sugarberry peered into the scanner bed. Interesting, there was a paper in it-- ancient, tattered looking paper. She picked it up, and could hardly believe her luck. It was the treasure map!

She studied it. There was a cave on the outskirts of a forest, with a path running next to it. The path led up to some mountains. "Let's see..." Sugarberry said aloud. "The forest must be the Dark Forest, and the mountains the Black Mountains. So I'll have to find that cave!"

Sugarberry remembered seeing a cave near the raspberry patch. "Well, I guess I can try it." She trotted out of the house and towards the berry patch.

When she got there, she hesitated slightly. Did she really want to go after Tabby, all on her own? Remembering that Tabby'd probably be out of a job if she wasn't found quickly, Sugarberry bravely stepped onto the path next to the cave and continued onward.

* * *
Meanwhile, Tabby was skipping along merrily on the forest path. She had to admit, though, that she was getting worn out. She had been walking for quite some time now; it must be late morning, as she'd started out early.

"La de da," Tabby hummed. "Maybe I'd better stop and rest." She sat down on a grassy patch under one of the trees and stretched. She pulled out a piece of cold chicken she had packed in her backpack and nibbled on it.

After taking a drink of grape juice from her thermos, Tabby yawned. Her eyes slowly closed and she drifted off to sleep.

* * *
Sugarberry opened her eyes wide when she saw something on the path up ahead. Why, it was... pink! A pink unicorn! It could be none other than Tabby!

Sugarberry ran up to her friend, who was still sleeping. "Tabby!" she cried as she shook the unicorn's back. "Wake up!"

Tabby slowly came to her senses and shook her head to clear her mind. "What? What do you mean? What?"

"Tabby, you've got to get back to Dream Valley!" Sugarberry urged.

Tabby sighed as she drowsily remembered what had happened. "Look, Sugarberry, I'm treasure hunting. I'm not going back until I have that treasure!"

"Thomas threatened to hire a new vet to take your place!" Sugarberry quickly explained.

Tabby's eyes opened wide. "That can't be!"

"Well, he was awfully mad, and came down pretty hard on you."

Tabby snapped her head around. "Oh, really? What'd he say?"

"Umm... that you were always late, and he paid you too much, and you skipped out, and you misplaced things..." Sugarberry stuttered.

Tabby narrowed her eyes. "Well! If that's what he thinks of me, maybe I'd rather not work there anyway."

"Tabby!" Sugarberry wailed. "You can't mean that!"

"I mean it, all right!" Tabby hissed. "That does it; I'm quitting!"

"Oh, Tabby, no!" Sugarberry moaned.

"Now I'm off to find the treasure." Tabby flicked her tail and continued down the path. "I'll prove that I'm more than just an irresponsible wimp."

Sugarberry ran after her. "I can come with you, can't I?"

Tabby whirled around. "I'm finding this treasure on my own. I don't need any help!"

"But, Tabby, it might not be safe all by yourself! This is the Dark Forest, you know," Sugarberry argued.

"I'll be fine." And before Sugarberry could do anything, Tabby was gone-- winked away.

"Oh, dear!" Sugarberry sighed. "What am I going to do now? What a mess this is!"

Sugarberry stared around at all sides of the path. She could try to catch up with Tabby again... but she was probably too far ahead. Maybe Sugarberry'd better just go back to Dream Valley to get some help.

Sugarberry dejectedly trotted back down the path to Dream Valley.

* * *
Thomas sighed. Now both Tabby and Sugarberry had run off-- Sugarberry was most likely in search of her friend. Maybe I did come down a bit hard on her, he thought regretfully. She really wasn't that bad, and he had to admit it was a bit boring without having her around. Yeah, he really wouldn't want to hire a different vet.

Luckily, it was a slow morning at the clinic and he hadn't had many patients to attend to. In fact, there wasn't another scheduled appointment for half an hour-- Thomas started thinking.

From what he had seen of the map, he remembered a cave drawn on the edge of a forest with a path running by it. Assuming the forest was the Dark Forest, he thought he'd seen the cave before.

Yep, he'd better go off in search of Tabby and Sugarberry. Who knows what dangers they might run into? Thomas stuck the "Closed" sign in the window, locked the doors, and took off.

* * *
Tabby was still walking along the path, wondering if she would ever get to the mountains. She'd been going on for what seemed like miles. Would it never end?

At that moment, she saw a brown, furry head sticking out of some bushes on the side of the path. Tabby held her breath. What was that?

The creature looked up at her. A smile lit Tabby's face. She knew this guy! It was Tiny the Bigfoot; she used to get her magic injections from him.

"Hey, Tiny!" she greeted the Bigfoot as he emerged from the bushes. "How ya been doing?"

"Good," Tiny grunted. "What you doing out so far?"

"I'm off in search of treasure," Tabby said. "I got a map from some human who stopped in at the clinic."

"Human? What he look like?" Tiny asked curiously.

Tabby gave a brief description of the man, and Tiny nodded wisely. "Me know him! Got recipe for magic injections from him."

"Cool!" Tabby commented. "He must wander the countryside."

"No one with you?" Tiny questioned. "That be dangerous."

"I'm going alone to prove my worth," Tabby explained.

Tiny looked skeptical. "Be careful," he warned.

"I will!" Tabby waved to him cheerfully as she continued on her way.

* * *
Sugarberry was still walking down the path, but she thought she was getting close to the raspberry patch. Now, who am I going to get to help me? she thought. How could anyone help me, anyway?

At that moment, she saw a flash of white up ahead. No other pony would be on this path, but... "Thomas?" she cried out.

Thomas appeared fully in Sugarberry's sight. "Yes, it's me," he said. "I thought you and Tabby might need my help."

Sugarberry nodded slowly. "Err... yeah... but..."

"Where is she, anyway?"

Sugarberry blinked slowly. "Well... I ran into her..."

"And?" Thomas prodded.

"I told her what you'd said about her... and that you were going to hire a new vet... and that got her pretty mad," Sugarberry said haltingly. "And then she said she was going to quit." She looked at Thomas expectantly.

"Great," Thomas moaned.

"And she's not letting anyone help her find the treasure," Sugarberry finished. She paused. "I hope she hasn't put you on her blacklist for good. That could get ugly."

"This is certainly a mess," Thomas said. "I say we'd better find her and talk some sense into her."

Sugarberry nodded. "It's not safe being alone in the Dark Forest."

"And I'm not going to have her quit her job! Come on!"

* * *
"Oh, no!" Tabby sighed as she came to an obstacle in the path. Well, not an obstacle exactly, but it was confusing. The path split off into two smaller branches. Tabby consulted the map. It didn't say anything about a branching-off path.

"Which way is right?" She cocked her head in thought. "Well, right is right, of course." She shrugged and started off on what she thought was the right-hand path, but it was actually the left one. She'd gotten sorely confused. Onward she went.

This smaller path curved around, but Tabby didn't think much of it. She just hoped that it got her to the Black Mountains.

After walking for quite some time, Tabby was getting discouraged. She was just about ready to give up on this whole treasure deal and wink back home when she saw something: the path she was on opened up onto a larger path! She excitedly skipped up to the new path. She was closer to the mountains now; she was sure of it!

Merrily Tabby skipped along. Somehow, something seemed familiar to her, but she didn't really think about it (she didn't really think about anything).

Then she saw something up ahead that made her stop dead in her tracks. She opened her eyes wide with confusion. Walking up ahead on the path were... Sugarberry and Thomas?

"This isn't right!" Tabby cried out-loud without thinking.

Sugarberry and Thomas both whirled around. "Tabby!" the both exclaimed.

Tabby trotted up to them. "I'm supposed to be ahead of you, not behind you!" she complained. "What happened?"

"Probably the path you took curled back around," Sugarberry said reasonably.

"Well, anyway, that's not important. I'm supposed to be finding this treasure on my own!" Tabby shrieked in outrage.

"Just let us come with you," Thomas prodded.

"No, no, no!" Tabby stomped her hoof on the ground. "I'm going alone, and that's it!" And with that, she winked out again.

"That pony!" Sugarberry sighed. "You can't keep up with her!"

"Hmm... but I have an idea..." Thomas, being a unicorn, winked out as well, leaving Sugarberry in the dust.

"Unicorns," Sugarberry sighed again. "Sometimes I wish I had a horn."

Sugarberry's eyes opened wide in alarm as she heard something rustling in the bushes. "It can't be a monster, now that I'm all alone!" she wailed.

The creatures in the bushes were not to be feared, however. Two Furbobs (first cousins of the Bushwoolies) emerged: one aqua, and the other lavender.

"Furbobs!" Sugarberry exclaimed with delight. "I haven't seen any of you for ages."

"We've been busy," the aqua one said.

"No we haven't," contradicted the lavender one.

"I could really use some help," Sugarberry said.

"What with?" said the aqua.

"It's probably nothing," said the lavender.

"I'm looking for two friends of mine who've winked ahead. They're headed to the Black Mountains," Sugarberry explained.

"The Black Mountains? We know those!"

"We do not."

"Do you think you could help get me there?" Sugarberry pleaded.


"We can't do it."

"Umm, okay," Sugarberry said uncertainly.

"We know a secret path that will get us there in no time."

"There's no such thing."

Shrugging, Sugarberry followed after the aqua Furbob. The lavender one grudgingly came after.

* * *
"You forget that I'm a unicorn as well," Thomas said as he winked in beside Tabby.

Tabby sighed. "Won't you listen? I'm off to find this by myself."

"Come on, Tabby! You just can't go treasure hunting on your own."

"I'm surprised you're even talking to me, after what Sugarberry said you said about me back at the clinic." Tabby stopped and glared at him.

"Okay, I apologize for that. I was annoyed and wasn't thinking straight."

Tabby was silent for several moments as she kept walking. "All right, all right," she sighed grudgingly. "I'll forgive you."

"And you won't quit?"

"Probably not," was all Tabby said in reply. "And hey, how many times do I have to tell you? I'm finding this treasure on my own. So don't follow me, would you?"

Thomas looked at her disapprovingly, but kept trailing after her.

Tabby shrugged and continued on.

* * *
"Here's the Black Mountains!" the aqua Furbob announced. Sugarberry stared up in awe at the awesome mountains.

"These aren't the right ones," said the lavender Furbob.

"Now, where are Tabby and Thomas?" Sugarberry said worriedly.

"I'm sure they'll get here soon."

"No they won't. They'll be late."

Sugarberry was supremely confused after having to listen to those two talk. She sat down on a rock and rested.

After about ten minutes, Sugarberry was jerked out of her daydreams by a familiar voice. "And I don't skip out that often... there was only that once..."

"Three times," Thomas reminded Tabby.

"Whatever. Anyway--" Tabby suddenly looked up and saw Sugarberry and the Furbobs. "Sugarberry! Really, can't I get away from you guys?"

"Tabby, how many times do we have to tell you? You can't go treasure hunting all by yourself!" Sugarberry said in exasperation.

"Oh yeah?" Tabby challenged.

Their conversation was cut short when they all heard the rumbling of rocks. There was a cascade of various-sized rocks tumbling down the mountainside, coming in the group's direction.

"Oh, dear," Tabby said as she looked up in dismay at the falling rocks. The rest of them had already scurried out of range of tumbling rocks.

"Tabby! Don't you think you should move?" Thomas said in exasperation as he pulled her back to safety.

Tabby blinked slowly. "Oh! Yeah!"

"Close call," said the aqua Furbob.

"It wasn't that close," said the lavender.

Tabby cocked her head. "Wonder what caused that."

"I'm sure some creature did it." Sugarberry shuddered. "He's guarding the treasure."

"See, Tabby? You can't face monsters all by yourself," Thomas said wisely.

"Yes she could."

"No she couldn't."

"Nope." Tabby shook her head. "I'm going up there by myself, and that's final."

"Well, we could just leave you here," Sugarberry said.

"Fine with me," Tabby said cheerfully. "Just what I've wanted all along."

"Okay," Thomas said skeptically. So, the Furbobs, Sugarberry, and Thomas turned around.

"I'll be back with the treasure!" Tabby called after them as she started the ascent up the mountain.

She felt a twinge of uneasiness. It was kind of scary... she climbed higher. The path got rockier, and she struggled to keep moving up. Tabby gasped in terror when a small rock started to roll down the slope, and nearly hit her on the leg.

All in an instant it hit her: she was a wimp, and there was no changing that. She fled down the mountain in terror to join back up with the group. "Hey! Hey, come back! No! Don't leave me here! Noooo!"


You Might be a My Little Pony Fanatic if....

by Berry Bright:

--you're at the beach, you fall in the water, and cry, "HELP! SEA PONIES, WHERE ARE YOU!?"

--you spend every second of your free time playing the MLP CD-ROM computer game.

--your dad is on the computer, so you go ask your older sister (who hates MLPs) to play ponies with you.

--you won't respond to any name except for Megan.

--you don't like any boys except those by the name of Danny.

--a boy asks you, "Wanna be friends?" You say, "Sure," and ask what his name is. "Jack," he says. You say, "Never mind," and walk off in disgust.

--you get a cat and name it Tabby.

--you're studying volcanoes and for the twentieth time you say, "Miss Hackney, witches live on the Volcano of Doom," and get the dunce cap.

by Baby Glory:

--you have a "Pony of the Week" award for your "favorite" MLP of the week.

--the shelf your mom got you specifically for storing clothes is full of MLPs.

--you brag about your MLPs at school, and everyone thinks you are insane.

--you beg to go to thrift shops whenever you are out of the house.

--you decide not to go to a fast food restaurant, even though you are starving, because you have a feeling that there are MLPs at the thrift shop next door.


By North Star

Lastly sighed as she glanced out the window. There in the sunshine, Ember was frolicking among the flowers. Lastly shook her head, discouraged. I will never get through to Ember, she thought. Ember was one of her best friends and was an adorable Little Pony, but Lastly had a problem with her. Ember had a habit of not focusing when Lastly was trying to teach her. What can I do, she thought.

Just then, Ember pranced in and picked up her flute. She turned to Lastly and asked if she would help her with the music.

Lastly sighed, and went to help Ember. She thought to herself as she played with Ember. Maybe I am not putting myself in her shoes, she thought. Maybe she has low self-confidence.

Lastly put her flute down and looked into Ember's deep blue eyes. She saw a shy but happy-go-lucky pony there. Lastly continued to stare at Ember while she played.

Finally Ember put her flute down and looked towards Lastly. "What is it?" she asked.

"Nothing, I was just looking at your beautiful eyes," Lastly replied.

Ember ducked her head and looked away shyly. "My mom says they are as blue as the sky,'" she told Lastly.

Lastly looked at her and said, "You know, you are really talented if you just give yourself a chance. I know that it's hard being the beginner flute, but you need to have a good attitude and stick with it. When you do try, you sound just like me."

Ember's eyes lit up with something Lastly had never seen before. "Thanks!" she said as she picked up her flute again. Then she proceeded to play the exercise smoothly and steadily without making a single mistake.

Lastly realized that she had to build up Ember's confidence and she would succeed. That day she had learned to see with her heart instead of her mind, and Ember had found an understanding friend.

Lastly and Ember finished their practice and went outside. There, the sun seemed to shine brighter than ever to Lastly.


Go Fly a Kite
by Sugarberry

Baby Ribbs and Baby Noddins were looking for something to do, so their mother, Magenta Mist, set them to work making kites to fly in the strong March winds.

Magenta Mist supplied the little darlings with lightweight strips of wood, construction paper, scissors, string, markers, and blue; then she left them to their own creative devices while she baked a batch of sugar cookies.

Busily making plans, the two baby ponies discussed kites. "Me favorite kites are the ones that look like dragons," said Baby Ribbs. "I going to make a dragon kite." He took sheets of red paper and cut out a dragon shape; he used a marker to add a frowning mouth and scales, and cut out eyes to glue on to his dragon-- as he held the glue bottle upside down and dribbled it onto the paper, he queried, "Why doesn't glue stick to the inside of the bottle?"

Ignoring her brother, Baby Noddins was happily making a traditional diamond-shape kite out of paper and glueing it to the thin strips of wood. To make it look really pretty, she added cut-out pictures of flowers, and glued lace along the edges.

Both baby ponies finished their work and simultaneously asked, "How you like my kite?"

Baby Ribbs told Baby Noddins her kite was a sissy kite; Baby Noddins responded that Baby Ribb's kite looked mean and scary. Magenta Mist came in to check on their progress, and complimented them both on their wonderful kites.

"Kites need tails, Mommy," reminded Baby Noddins. "Can you help us?!"

So with a little help from Magenta Mist, the kites soon had tails made from string with strips of paper streaming from them.

Baby Ribbs and Baby Noddins ran around the room, trailing their kites behind them. "Go outside!" screamed Baby Ribbs.

"Yes, Mommy. Now!" agreed Baby Noddins.

"Just a minute," Magenta Mist stated firmly. "I have a surprise for you."

On cue, Sky Flyer and Slugger came from the kitchen. Sky Flyer was holding a brilliant and beautiful nylon kite.

"Oh, it looks magical!" the baby ponies cooed in unison.

"How about going up to the big hill and helping us fly this thing?" Slugger invited.

"Yes," added Sky Flyer, "you two can learn how to fly a real kite!"

Giddy with excitement, the baby ponies led the way out of the house, still clutching their homemade kites in their hooves. The merry group headed for the side of the hill with the fewest number of trees. Arriving at the highest point of the hill, Sky Flyer prepared the kite for lift-off.

"Here, you two," Sky Flyer called to the baby ponies. "You each grab on to the line, and hold tight!" She explained to them about aerodynamics, wind speed, and uplift.

Slugger held the kite aloft and released the fluttery kite to the currents of wind. Sky Flyer guided the little hooves in releasing more and more line to allow the kite to rise higher and higher. Before long, the colorful kite was so lofty that the baby ponies' necks hurt from straining upward, and their eyes got tired from watching the kite ripple through the expanse of blue sky.

First Baby Ribbs and then Baby Noddins released their hold to Sky Flyer. They walked off away from the adults. Baby Ribbs admitted, "Kites are boring!"

"Yeah," agreed Baby Noddins. "No fun at all."

Just then, the breeze rustled their handmade kites which they were still carrying. Baby Ribb's dragon appeared ready to try his luck in the open air. Baby Ribbs released the kite to the full three feet of string that their mother had allowed, and the paper dragon hovered and flew and dipped in the space around the baby ponies. "Hey! This is neat!" Baby Ribbs took off running down the hill, his dragon following obediently behind.

Baby Noddins gingerly launched her ornate kite and squealed with delight as the wind caught it and took it over her head, the tail streaming behind. She was soon following her brother down the hill.

Sky Flyer, Slugger, and Magenta Mist watched as Baby Ribbs and Baby Noddins ran gleefully up and down and around the hillside, laughing and shouting, their paper and glue kites rising and falling like dancing butterflies.

Sky Flyer looked up, up, up at her perfect kite riding the draught, sterile and elusive and untouchable. Then her gaze dropped to Baby Ribbs and Baby Noddins as they ran giggling up to the trio of adults and dropped onto the ground at their feet.

Sky Flyer handed the line of her kite to Slugger. "You take care of this for me, please." Then she reached down and accepted the string that Baby Ribbs offered her. With a wink and a whinny, Sky Flyer took off with the wide-eyed dragon. "I'm going to fly me a real kite!"


The Evil Dragon
by Marissa a.k.a. Baby Glory


1. Beauty Bloom: sweet pony that has been "chosen" to lead a group of ponies to defeat the evil "Tornado" dragon

2. Atlas: yet another Brilliant Brother that is Beauty Bloom's best friend

Beauty Bloom and Atlas were walking down the sidewalk when, suddenly, a flash of light shone less than a foot away from the two now-terrified ponies. The light said, "Which one of you is Beauty Bloom?"

"I am," replied Beauty Bloom meekly.

"Who are you?" the light said to Atlas.

"I," he said boldly, "am Atlas."

"I have intriguing news; you have been chosen by the forces of God to be the leader of a group whose mission is to defeat the evil ‘Tornado' dragon who wishes to take over Ponyland. Your instructions are on this piece of paper," the mysterious light said as it left the two frightened ponies with a piece of paper that read:

Beauty Bloom, you have been chosen to lead a group of ponies to defeat the evil "Tornado" dragon; your instructions are

1. You must choose a group consisting of eight ponies.

2. You need to get an oracle at Misty Mountain.

3. You will find a clue there which, from that, will lead you to more clues. In turn, these clues will show you the way to the dragon's lair.

4. Go now, and be swift; and remember, God will always be watching over you.

"Gosh, I didn't expect this; all we were doing was going to the Satin Slipper Sweet Shoppe, and all of a sudden you are chosen to be a heroine!" Atlas said, much intrigued by the interesting upcoming event.

"I suppose, as my best friend, you will be coming?" Beauty Bloom questioned.

"Well, I guess so," Atlas said, not in the least willing. be continued in the next newsletter issue; you may send any comments or critisism to


The Dance
by Tabby

"La de da," Tabby hummed as she and Sugarberry sat in the waiting room of the hospital. While out skating that night, Tiffany had gotten a bad case of frost-bite and her two friends had had to take her into the hospital.

"I hope she's okay," Sugarberry commented with concern. They had been waiting quite a long time already for their friend to come back out.

"I told her it was too cold to skate!" Tabby sighed. "And this is what it got us."

The two sat in silence for awhile. Sugarberry looked up. "Oh, there she is!" she exclaimed. Tiffany was being escorted back out into the waiting room by the doctor.

"Ah, girls," Tiffany gasped as she joined back up with Tabby and Sugarberry. "It's taken all the energy out of me."

"You'll be all right, won't you?" Sugarberry questioned.

"Yes, but right now I just feel like resting... help me back to the Royal Paradise, would you?" Tiffany requested.

"Okay, okay, so come on," said Tabby as she started dragging the princess out of the building with Sugarberry helping.

* * *
The next evening, Tiffany was feeling a bit better and she, Tabby, and Sugarberry were hanging out at the Satin Slipper Sweet Shoppe.

"The doctor I had was so cute," Tiffany gushed.

Tabby raised her eyes. "Why does that not surprise me?" she said dryly.

"In fact..." Tiffany continued, "he asked who the ‘beautiful pink unicorn' was."

Tabby opened her eyes wide in alarm as Sugarberry smiled at her friend. "My, Tabby!"

"This is not what I need!" Tabby's eyes flashed.

"Come on, Tabby," Tiffany prodded. "It's about time you met up with a handsome stallion."

"Not in my lifetime!" Tabby declared recklessly.

"I agree with Tiffany," Sugarberry said. "You've got to become interested in someone someday."

"And also..." Tiffany looked over at Tabby. "I've scheduled to have a small dinner party tomorrow evening at the Royal Paradise."

"Oh really?"

"Among the guests, you and the doctor are invited," Tiffany finished.

"Why don't you go, Tab," Sugarberry encouraged.

Tabby tapped her hoof on the table. "You're not getting me to any dinner party, especially not with that doctor around!"

"Think about it, Tabitha. Think about it," Tiffany said as she waved her hoof through the air.

* * *
The night after that, the conversation she had had with Tiffany had completely slipped Tabby's mind. When she and Sugarberry went to the Satin Slipper Sweet Shoppe for their daily visit, they noted that Tiffany wasn't there.

"Weird," Tabby commented.

"Creepy," Sugarberry agreed.

"It's not like her not to show up," Tabby said. "Where could she be?"

Sugarberry wrinkled her brow. "Wasn't she having some sort of a party or something?"

Tabby waved her hoof in dismissal. "No, no, that was next week. I think... well, anyway, I say we go over to the Royal Paradise and see what she's up to."

"All right," Sugarberry shrugged. And off they went.

* * *
Upon arrival, Tabby knocked her hoof on the Royal Paradise's door. It was opened immediately by Tiffany, who was decked out in fancy jewelry and an ornate hair style. "Tabby! You decided to come, after all!" the princess greeted her brightly.

Tabby stared back at Sugarberry. "What do you mean, ‘come'?" she demanded. "We just came to see why you weren't at the Satin Slipper Sweet Shoppe."

Tiffany shook her head. "Don't you remember? I'm having my dinner party tonight... the one I invited you and the doctor to."

Tabby groaned. What a mess this was going to be! "No way, Tiff! I'm not setting a hoof inside!"

Sugarberry stood back in silence.

"The doctor is very anxious to meet you," Tiffany prodded.

"That makes it even worse! That does it, I'm leaving this second!" Tabby was just about to turn around when Tiffany made an offer.

"Not yet, Tabitha! I'll make a deal with you-- if you attend the full party, I'll buy you all the new My Little People that come out for a full year."

Tabby stopped in her tracks. "Everything, huh? Does that mean every doll, every puzzle, every watch, every miscellaneous item, everything...?"

"Everything," Tiffany assured her. "For a full, entire year."

"Hmm." Tabby paused in thought. "Everything..."

"Will you agree to it?" Tiffany said anxiously.

Tabby sighed. "I know I'm going to regret it... but for the My Little People, I'll do it. Sugarberry can come in too, can't she?"

"Oh, yes, of course," Tiffany said.

"And about this doctor... doesn't he have a name?"

Tiffany paused and looked around nervously. The guests inside were milling around behind her, waiting for something to happen. "Umm..." she wracked her brains. "It's..." In the end, she just turned to the group and raised her hooves high. "Just mingle, everyone! Get to know one another, and then we'll sit down to eat." With that, she pushed Tabby and Sugarberry inside.

"I've got a bad feeling about this," Tabby whispered to her friend.

"It'll be fun!" Sugarberry encouraged her.

"And it's getting worse," Tabby said in a low tone. Someone was approaching them... a dark purple stallion, with bright yellow mane and tail.

"Why, hello," the stallion greeted Tabby. "And you're Tabby?"

"Yeah," Tabby said grimly. "Who're you?"

The stallion blinked slowly. "I'm..."

Tabby shook her head in exasperation at Sugarberry. "He can't even remember his own name," she complained.

"I'm sorry, but I was stunned into silence by your beauty," the stallion continued.

"You don't have to lay it on so thick," Tabby groaned.

"But I'm known as Toby," the stallion finished as he took Tabby's hoof in his.

Tabby wrenched it away immediately and shuddered. Then without another word, she scurried away to the far side of the room.

"Sorry about her," Sugarberry said apologetically. "She tends to get rather... umm..."

"Yes, well, I'm hoping to get to know her better," Toby said.

"Uhh... yeah," Sugarberry stammered, knowing her friend's distaste of romance.

Meanwhile, Tabby was slowly inching her way towards the door, hoping no one was noticing her.

"Your friend seems rather... skittish tonight," Toby commented as he watched her.

"Oh, well..." Sugarberry searched for an excuse. "Really, she's not usually this bad."

At that point, Tiffany entered the room. "Dinner will be served shortly! Follow me into the dining room; there are name cards set out at the seats." Noticing Tabby at the door, she added, "And Tabby, you are not leaving."

"But I just remembered that I have something of extreme importance to do at home," Tabby defended herself. "I've really gotta run, like, so..."

"No, no, you can't do that!" Tiffany shook her head. "Or you won't get your My Little People," she added in a lower tone.

Tabby considered this threat. Maybe the My Little People would make this evening worth it... "All right," she sighed as she followed the group into the dining room.

"Now, we'll have to do a slight rearranging of chairs, with Tabby and Sugarberry here," Tiffany said as she surveyed the table. "Tabby will be seated next to Toby, and Sugarberry will have my seat. Move, Bushwoolies, move! Arrange the chairs!" The Bushwoolies scurried around, doing what they were commanded to.

Tabby sat back in her chair with a grim expression on her face. "Could you try to look more cheerful?" Sugarberry pleaded with her.

Tabby's frown didn't go away. The main course was served (which happened to be chicken and potatoes, Tabby's two favorites).

"And I hear you work at the vet clinic," Toby directed at Tabby, attempting to strike up a conversation.

Tabby, however, wasn't listening. She was watching one of the chairs across the table intently. It was Clever Clover's seat, but he was stooped over and appeared to be fiddling with something under the table. "What is that pony up to?" she said outloud to no one in particular.

"Clever Clover!" Tiffany exclaimed. "What are you doing?"

"Playing with Theodora," Clever Clover explained as he sat up straight in his chair again. "She's under the table." Theodora was Tiffany's pet cat.

Tiffany frowned and looked at Clever Clover disapprovingly, but her smile returned when she realized how cute he was. "Oh, that's fine," she said happily. "Continue on with the dinner, everyone."

"Do you know that Clever Clover?" Toby questioned Tabby.

"Why, yes!" Tabby said brightly. "He's a good friend of ours. Isn't he, Sugarberry?" She nudged her friend.

"He gets kind of strange sometimes, but we like him," Sugarberry explained. "He's an archeologist."

"Interesting," Toby murmured.

The dinner continued like this, Tabby acting very disinterested. Finally, when all the dishes were cleared away, Tiffany announced, "And now we will play a game! Tabby, it's the My Little People game!"

Tabby couldn't stand being there any longer. "Oh, no, not me," she said, backing away out into the hallway. "I'm out a' here! I've got important matters to attend to at home." She dashed out the door, leaving the group aghast.

* * *
"Tabby, that wasn't very nice of you," Sugarberry said crossly the next day at work as Tabby arrived at the clinic. "You should have stayed for the game."

"I stayed long enough for me," Tabby said haughtily.

Sugarberry snorted. "You missed out on a lot of fun. And..." She paused. "Since you didn't stay for the game, Tiffany said she wouldn't buy you all the My Little People for a year."

Tabby's eyes gleamed with fury. "What? What do you mean? That can't be!"

"And frankly, I agree with her," Sugarberry said disapprovingly.

"So I spent that whole evening for nothing!" Tabby moaned. "This is disgusting."

"And what were those ‘important matters' you had to attend to at home?" Sugarberry demanded.

"I had forgotten to clean Callie's litter box," Tabby explained.

"Ha! You're just making that up. It's not like she uses her litter box anyway."

Tabby glared at Sugarberry. "Are you insulting my cat or something?"

Sugarberry shrugged. "Well, it is the truth."

Tabby flicked her tail in anger and stormed off into her office.

"What's up?" Thomas said, slightly dazed as he entered the room.

Sugarberry sighed. "Tabby is just being obstinate, like she always is."

"What happened this time?"

"Well," Sugarberry started out, "we went to a dinner party at Tiffany's last night."

"Tabby at a dinner party?" Thomas raised his eyes.

"Yes, see, Tabby only went because Tiffany promised to buy her all the My Little People for a year," Sugarberry explained. "And then she was rude to the doctor Tiffany wanted to fix her up with."

Thomas snapped his head around. "A doctor?"

"His name's Toby," Sugarberry supplied. "Tabby left right after supper, and didn't stay around to play the game, since she was getting fed up with Toby. So then Tiffany and I agreed that she wouldn't get her My Little People since she didn't stick around for the whole thing."

Thomas's eyes gleamed with jealousy, as he rather liked Tabby himself and didn't want this doctor to win her. "In that case, I'm glad she didn't stay at the party!" And then he stormed off.

Sugarberry sighed again. Working here sure got... interesting.

* * *
A week passed. Sugarberry, Tiffany, and Tabby all made up and Tabby was getting used to the fact that she wasn't getting her My Little People. It was in the evening, and Tiffany and Clever Clover were out ice-skating. Tabby and Sugarberry stood off on the sidelines, watching.

After Clever Clover left, Tiffany walked over to her two friends with a dreamy expression on her face. "Isn't Clever Clover a wonderful pony?"

"He is fun to be around," Sugarberry admitted.

"Yeah, sure," Tabby snorted. "Didn't get frost-bit this time, did you?"

"Oh, no, not with Clever Clover at my side," Tiffany explained.

Tabby laughed out loud. "So ol' Cleve Clove prevents frost-bite, does he?"

"When I'm with him, I'm surrounded with a warm glow that fights off the cold," Tiffany said.

"Oh, man, that's funny!" Tabby giggled uncontrollably.

Tiffany glanced over at Sugarberry and winked. "But it's true. You ought to try it with Thomas or Toby someday."

Tabby's expression turned grim. "How many times do I have to tell you guys? You're not getting me into any romance!"

This time it was Tiffany and Sugarberry's time to giggle. "No, really, we just like bugging you about it. You tap your hoof on the ground so cute--" Tiffany said.

"And your eyes gleam with fire," Sugarberry added.

Tabby's eyes gleamed with fire as she tapped her hoof on the ground. "Just leave me alone about it, would you?" And with that, she trotted off into the cold night.

* * *
It was not surprising when the three friends got together at the Satin Slipper Sweet Shoppe the next time-- that was what they did pretty much every night. Once they were seated, Tiffany said, "I heard the most exciting news!"

Sugarberry instantly perked up. "What is it?"

"Princess Sparkle is having a dance party in a week in honor of her birthday," Tiffany announced. "Everyone will be invited; the invitations will be sent out tomorrow but I found out early."

"That should be fun!" Sugarberry exclaimed.

Tabby sighed. "It's just another dance."

"I'm sure Clever Clover will accompany me," Tiffany said.

"And I'll most likely go with Quarterback," Sugarberry piped up.

Two pairs of eyes swung around to look at Tabby.

Tabby blinked slowly. "What?" she said innocently.

"Your date to the dance. Who will it be?" Sugarberry questioned.

"You can have your pick of either Thomas or Toby," Tiffany prodded on.

Tabby put up her defenses. "Who said I have to have a date in the first place?" she said, glaring.

"Come on, Tabby!" Tiffany exclaimed. "You've got to."

"And I simply could not stand that Toby at the dinner party," Tabby went on.

Sugarberry rolled her eyes. "That's just because he likes you. I thought he was awfully nice."

"How about Thomas? Can you stand him?" Tiffany asked.

"Not if he asks me to the dance I can't!" Tabby declared.

"Why is it you're so against dating, Tabby?" Sugarberry questioned.

"Because it's so much fun annoying you all," Tabby explained.

"Really," Tiffany sighed. "That's not a good reason."

"Oh, yes it is!" With that, Tabby abruptly pushed back her seat and hurriedly left the shop.

* * *
A few days later, the three were gathered at Tabby's house in the evening playing the My Little People board-game.

"Yes! I'm in the lead!" Tiffany cheered.

"Not for long!" Tabby said as she rolled the dice.

At that moment, the doorbell chimed. "Oh, be right back," Tabby said as she jumped up from her seat to answer the door.

Tabby pulled open the door and frowned when she saw who it was. It was the mysterious cloaked figure that delivered flowers. No one knew much about him.

"I have a flower delivery for Miss Tabitha," the cloaked figure said simply.

"Fine," Tabby snarled as she took the long white flower box from the figure. He turned away and ran back to his cart.

"Who was it?" Sugarberry called as Tabby returned to the table.

Tabby set the box down on the table. "It was the flower deliverer," she said grimly.

"Oh, Tabby!" Tiffany exclaimed with glee. "Who're they from?"

Tabby slowly opened the lid to reveal a beautiful bouquet of red roses. She pulled the card out of the envelope and slowly read it. "They're from Toby," she said as she slammed the note down onto the table. "And he's asking me to the dance."

"Are you going to accept?" Tiffany asked anxiously. "Sugarberry and I are taking bets on who you'll end up going with. I'm guessing Toby--"

"And I think it'll be Thomas," Sugarberry finished.

"Well, I'm not going with anyone!" Tabby snarled. "And that's final. Sugarberry, you can take the roses home with you. I don't want them..."

* * *
Hey, guess where Tabby was headed the next evening? You got it, the Satin Slipper Sweet Shoppe, obviously. She arrived there and ordered her strawberry sundae, and glanced around the room to see if any of her friends were around. She saw Sugarberry and Tiffany sitting at a table, and froze when she saw who was sitting across from them. Toby.

"Great, they set this up, I'm sure of it!" Tabby groaned outloud. She was about to make a run for it, but Sugarberry was already waving at her to join them. Tiffany jumped up and dragged her over to the table and plopped her down into one of the empty seats.

"You two!" Tabby snarled.

"Hello again, Tabby," Toby greeted her.

"Yeah, yeah, whatever," Tabby said, flashing an angry glance in his direction.

"You seem rather upset about something... did you get the flowers from me?"

"Yes, and I am not-- I repeat, not, going--"

"Is there room for one more?" said a very annoyed Thomas.

Sugarberry and Tiffany looked at each other. "Why, certainly!" Sugarberry said quickly and pulled out an empty chair.

"So, Tabby..." Thomas started as he took the seat.

Tabby was at wit's ends. She was going insane... it was highly exasperating having guys fight over you. Before any more words were spoken, she made yet another abrupt exit from the shop.

* * *
Tabby was nerve-wracked the next day while working at the clinic. Oh, man, she was confused. Her mind was really going.

That evening, though, of course, she joined Tiffany and Sugarberry to go to the Satin Slipper Sweet Shoppe.

"Maybe Clever Clover'll be here," Tiffany said dreamily as they entered the shop.

Tabby glanced around the tables and saw something that made her secretly smile. "Oh, Tiff, it looks like he is. Over there." She pointed to one of the corner tables.

Tiffany glanced over as well. She gasped. "Why... why... no! That can't be!"

Tabby couldn't hold back her snickers. Clever Clover looked like he was in deep conversation with Berry Bright.

"Maybe it's not as bad as it looks," Sugarberry said hopefully.

"I'll go see him!" Tabby offered as she trotted over to Clever Clover's table, leaving Tiffany with her mouth hanging open wide.

"Hey, Cleve Clove!" Tabby greeted her friend. "Whatcha up to?"

"I'm just on a date with Berry Bright," Clever Clover explained.

"Hi," Berry Bright said.

Tabby raised her eyes. "Hmm... what happened to Tiffany?"

"Oh, she's a good friend and all, but I like Berry Bright too," Clever Clover went on to explain.

"A good friend!" Tiffany stormed; she and Sugarberry had followed Tabby over.

"We're going over to see a movie after this," Clever Clover said.

"It'd be wise to take Tiffany with you," Tabby advised. "Otherwise things might get ugly... or you could just avoid her."

"Oh, I'd love to go to a movie with you!" Tiffany exclaimed suddenly.

"Sugarberry and I will come too; won't we, Sugarberry?" Tabby stared over at her friend.

"Sure!" Sugarberry said excitedly. "What're you going to see?"

"The Prince of Egypt," Clever Clover said. "It's supposed to be good."

"Well, come on, gang!" Tiffany prodded them on. "Let's get going!"

The group departed for the movie, and Tabby inwardly groaned when Thomas joined them. When they got there, Tiffany immediately sat down next to Clever Clover, with Berry Bright on his other side. Tabby was careful to seat herself between Berry Bright and Sugarberry, leaving Thomas on the end.

They sat through the movie, and afterwards decided to go to Pony Hut for dinner.

"What a great movie," Sugarberry sighed as they made there way to the restaurant.

"Yes, it was terribly good," Tabby agreed.

Their seating arrangement was much the same at Pony Hut. Tiffany looked over at the table next to theirs and silently steamed. There sat Ivy and a bunch of the other girls from Friendship Gardens.

"Hey, Clever Clover!" Ivy called over to him. Clever Clover waved back in acknowledgment.

Tabby ordered the salad bar, which she preferred to the pizza. There was no long wait. "Tabby, there's no lettuce in that salad," Tiffany pointed out.

"There's no need for lettuce when you have all the other good stuff!" Tabby declared insanely.

During the rest of the evening, Tiffany steamed with jealousy. Clever Clover kept talking with the girls from Friendship Gardens. She clung to his side, and kept making comments on what he said. Clever Clover, however, didn't seem to be noticing her very much. He was clinging to Berry Bright.

It was Tabby's turn to laugh this time. "Clever Clover and Berry Bright, we're heading back home," Morning Glory declared. "Want to come with us?"

"Sure!" Berry Bright said as she and Clever Clover prepared to leave with the rest of the Friendship Gardens ponies. They departed.

This left no one for Tiffany to cling to but Thomas. "Had any interesting patients at the clinic?" she asked him, batting her eyelashes.

Tabby and Sugarberry whispered among themselves. "That Tiffany!" Tabby said gleefully. "I wonder what she'll do about Cleve Clove?"

"I wouldn't bug her about it," Sugarberry advised. "She's mad enough as it is."

Anyway, they talked on for awhile longer. "Thomas, you'll walk me home, won't you?" Tiffany finally questioned.

Thomas looked undecided as he glanced over at Tabby. ‘Sure," he said at long last.

"Come on, Sugarberry, let's get out of here!" Tabby grabbed her friend's hoof and dragged her out of the restaurant.

* * *
"Remind me never to get stuck with Tiffany again," Thomas declared the next day at the clinic.

"She's such a flirt, isn't she?" Sugarberry said sympathetically.

Tabby just snickered and ran off into her office.

"She seems awfully skittish lately," Thomas commented.

"She's avoiding you so you can't ask her out to the dance," Sugarberry explained.

"I thought so," Thomas sighed.

* * *
That evening, Tiffany called up Clever Clover. "Oh, Clever Clover! What are you up to tonight?"

"What did you think of the movie last night?" Clever Clover said excitedly.

"Oh, it was okay," Tiffany said.

" ‘Okay'?" Clever Clover said in disbelief. "Just ‘okay'? It was excellent!" After a pause, he added, "Berry Bright thought so, too."

Tiffany suddenly perked up. "Did I say ‘okay'? I meant it was totally fabulous! The best movie I've seen in a long time."

"That's better," Clever Clover said in satisfaction. "I can't wait until it comes out on video."

"I'll be one of the first to buy a copy," Tiffany declared breathlessly.

"Berry Bright is hoping to buy all the dolls from it at Pony-Mart," Clever Clover added.

Tiffany clenched her jaw. Why must he keep bringing up Berry Bright? "So, what'll you be doing tomorrow evening?"

"Practicing my bagpipes," Clever Clover responded immediately.

"Oh, your bagpipes!" Tiffany exclaimed. "I simply love listening to you play on them. Would you mind if I came over to watch?"

"Well, sure, if you want to," Clever Clover said. "I wouldn't think it'd be that exciting for you to do."

"I'll have a wonderful time, I'm sure!" Tiffany said brightly. "See you then!"

"Good night, Tiffany," Clever Clover said as he hung up the phone.

* * *
The next night, Tiffany had just arrived at Clever Clover's house in Friendship Gardens. As soon as she entered the living room where the bagpipe music was coming from, she bristled with anger. There on the couch sat Berry Bright.

"Hello, Tiffany!" Berry Bright greeted her.

"What's she doing here?" Tiffany asked Clever Clover through clenched jaws.

"Why, she's a good friend of mine, too," Clever Clover said, setting down his bagpipes for the moment.

"Do you like her even more than me?" Tiffany questioned, her eyes looking pitiful.

"We did grow up together," Clever Clover explained. "I like you both."

In silence, Tiffany sat next to Berry Bright and listed to Clever Clover on his bagpipes for several hours.

* * *
Much later that same night, after Tiffany was back at the Royal Paradise, she received a call from Tabby. "Hey, Tiff! I heard you were going over to Clever Clover's tonight. How'd it go?"

"Berry Bright was there," Tiffany sighed.

Tabby paused. "Hmm," she said thoughtfully. Actually, she was wondering which one of them to root for.

"She has the advantage over me," Tiffany complained. "She lives so much closer to him than I do."

"Well, maybe he's not the pony for you," Tabby suggested.

"But he's so cute," Tiffany said dreamily.

"There's plenty of others to choose from. Why not hook up with someone closer to home?"

"Closer to home? Someone like... doctor Toby?"

"Just a suggestion," Tabby said lightly. To herself, she thought, If she gets together with him, then that's one of them off my tail... then I'd only have to worry about Thomas. "I'd be glad to get him to quit following me."

"I'd think you'd be glad to have such a handsome stallion following you," Tiffany said disapprovingly. "But then... Toby and Tiffany... it has a certain ring to it, doesn't it?"

"It sure does," Tabby said in total agreement. "Go for it, Tiff!"

"All right, Tabitha!" Tiffany said, with renewed energy. "Good night!"

"Good night, Tiff!"

* * *
The following evening when Tabby arrived at the Satin Slipper Sweet Shoppe, she looked around and grinned with pleasure. There, seated at one of the tables, were Toby and Tiffany. And they looked like they were having a good time.

"Score one!" Tabby whispered aloud after she'd ordered her strawberry sundae.

The next couple to enter the shop were Clever Clover and Berry Bright. They seated themselves at the table next to Toby and Tiffany.

Hmm, this ought to prove interesting, Tabby thought to herself as she watched Tiffany notice Clever Clover.

After several minutes of conversation, the two couples seemed to be getting along quite nicely. Tiffany looked very satisfied.

Tabby didn't stick around any longer than she had to, though-- she had to avoid any run-ins with Thomas, of course. She scurried along back home.

* * *
Later that night as the phone rang, Tabby snatched it right up without thinking (she had began not answering the phone, to avoid any invitations to the dance). However, she didn't have anything to fear. It was Tiffany.

"So, Tiff! I saw you at the Satin Slipper Sweet Shoppe this evening..."

"Oh, yes!" Tiffany sighed dreamily. "Toby is fast helping me forget about Clever Clover."

"Wonderful," Tabby said slyly.

"And he's agreed to be my date to the dance," Tiffany continued. "Isn't it great!"

"Very great indeed," Tabby echoed.

"And how about your date?" Tiffany prodded. "Have you got one yet?"

"Tiffany, must you even ask?" Tabby sighed. "I do not have one, and I don't think I'll even go at all."

"Tabitha!" Tiffany moaned.

But in a fit of anger, Tabby slammed down the receiver.

* * *
The night of the dance finally came. Fortunately for Tabby, she had avoided any private conversations with Thomas, so he hadn't had a chance to ask her to the dance. True to her word, she was staying home that night.

As she sat on her couch with nothing to do, Tabby finally had time to think over the events of the past week. She was so used to turning down all suggestion of romance, she didn't even think before she said anything anymore. She had done it for as far back as she could remember-- just like she had told her friends, it was much more fun being contrary to what they thought than to go along with them.

But as Tabby sat there, she very slightly began to regret her actions. It was okay that Toby and Tiffany had ended up together... but... what about Thomas?

Tabby shook her head to clear her mind. Eek! She didn't like herself getting this sentimental! But at this point, she couldn't help but admit that she wouldn't mind being at the dance with him.

She glanced at her clock. It was nearly nine o' clock, and parties like this usually lasted long into the night. As far as she knew, Thomas hadn't wound-up going with anyone. Yes, there was still time! She dashed out her door, and headed towards the Royal Paradise.

* * *
When Tabby got there, she silently crept inside. No one seemed to notice her entrance; they were all busy dancing. Yes, there was Clever Clover and Berry Bright... Quarterback and Sugarberry... Toby and Tiffany... and everybody else.

And now... what to do? Tabby scanned the room thoroughly and scurried around the edges of the room.

"Tabby!" came Tiffany's voice; she had just came off the dance floor. "I thought you weren't coming!"

"Umm... yes... well..." Tabby stuttered.

Tiffany looked at her knowingly. "You're looking for Thomas; I know you are!" she exclaimed brightly. "Come with me!" She grabbed Tabby's hoof and started tugging her forward.

"Hey, I never said that!" Tabby said in protest; even if what Tiffany had said was true, Tabby wasn't about to give up her act quite yet.

Tiffany ignored Tabby and started pulling her towards one of the corners of the room, where a certain unicorn stallion was hanging out.

"Thomas! Oh, Thomas!" Tiffany called out merrily. "I believe she's here after all!" She thrust Tabby forward.

"Oh, Tabby! You're here!" said a very surprised Thomas.

"Just don't get sentimental on me, and I'm sure we'll have a good time," Tabby said sharply as she extended her hoof forward.

Laughing, Thomas led Tabby out onto the dance floor. Yes, that was the Tabby he liked!

Tiffany stood back and surveyed her work with a smug smile on her face. Yes, Thomas and Tabitha doesn't have a bad ring to it, either! ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Brightblade Warpony
An Epic

Recorded by Clipper as dictated by the bard Ramon

Chapter 14

Brightblade Warpony continued telling the tale of his journey back to Ponyland after recovering the Warrior's Horn from the Temple of Light.

Ramon, Breeks, and I passed near the place where we had been confronted by one of Kerberus' lieutenants after fleeing into the land of Death (see chapter seven for the details). My memory of the outcome of that encounter made me uneasy and I was eager to be gone from that place as soon as possible; but my companions were fatigued and it was growing late, so we made camp.

As we rested around our small fire, Ramon and I ate from our store of supplies gathered from the woods about the Temple of Light. Breeks flew off by himself, as he did most nights. I didn't know what he was up to and I didn't ask. When it was time to sleep, Breeks usually returned to roost on the Horn.

It was shortly after midnight when I was rudely awakened by a shove. I wearily opened my eyes to find a mangy wolf breathing in my face. "Kerberus promised us safe passage," I mumbled. "Go away or I might have to demonstrate how this Horn works."

The wolf laughed a weak and wheezing laugh. "I no longer serve Kerberus; I've a new master now."

The voice was familiar but at the time I was too tired to care. "Huh?" was all I could say.

"You don't remember me, do you?" the wolf snarled. "It wasn't far from here where we last met; across the border, in the land of Death."

Realization struck me like a bolt of lightning. I was wide awake and on my feet in an instant. "You…you're…it can't be…"

"Oh, but it is. And my new master has an interest in you. He has given me great power; such power could be yours as well, if you abandon your quest and join us. Otherwise, you will serve him anyway, as a slave."

"I serve the Light," I replied, though I know not where the words came from. "And the Light is my power!" The Horn upon my brow began to glow. The wolf shied away from the light of the Horn.

"Your Light is nothing," the wolf laughed defiantly. "Compared to my master's darkness, which shrouds his servants and hides them in shadows, your Light is a beacon, calling your enemies to you."

"Let them come! I am no coward, and my Light can cut your master's cloak of darkness and leave you exposed to the Light. When you are not hidden, you are powerless." The Horn glowed brighter.

The wolf scowled. "You are a fool! My master's power is greater and you will serve him, one way or another."

"No, your master has no power. You say he is strong and yet you shy away from the Light. If darkness is greater, why do you fear the Light?" The Horn's light flashed as brightly as the sun. My tormentor recoiled as if he had been struck by a physical blow.

The wolf snarled at me and then turned to Ramon, who was still asleep. "Denounce your Light. Denounce it and lay aside the Horn or I will kill the rat."

"No! " I cried, and leapt between the wolf and Ramon just as the wolf lunged for my friend. I was able to cut him off. The Horn flashed and the wolf howled in agony.

The commotion awakened Breeks, who had moved his roost to a small, gnarled tree. "Kraaa!" he squawked. "A ghost! Warpony, quickly be rid of it, before it's too late!"

"Cursed bird," the wolf snarled.

I lowered the horn and advanced on the wolf. "Be gone, dark shade, or whatever you are!" The Horn glowed brighter than I had ever seen it glow before. The wolf shrank away and disappeared into the night, but the Horn didn't stop glowing, or at least the light didn't go away. Even when I went back to check on Ramon, the extent of the light remained as it had been when the wolf fled.

Breeks woke up Ramon with a peck on the head. "Huh, what's up, you two?" the rat asked groggily. After we filled him in on the events of that evening, we decided it would be best if we took turns keeping watch for the rest of the night, but none of us got any more sleep. The light from the Horn remained until dawn and there was no further sign of the wolf.

We set out at first light that morning. We wanted to get as much distance as possible between us and the land of Death before we had to make camp again. Oddly, that same morning, I saw what could have been the same red-furred rabbit I had seen after our first encounter with the wolf.

In the dark underworld where Epona, Breeks, and Brightblade rested, the flame-maned pony slowly shook her head at the conclusion of Brightblade's tale of the odd encounter. "I wish you had told me of this sooner, though it is not of too great importance, but it would have been nice to know what other players are involved."

"What do you mean?" Brightblade asked.

"Though the evil we have come here to fight is the most immediate threat, there are others who would take advantage of the current situation. There is no need to worry; if we are successful, the situation will no longer be available for their advantage. Come, it is time to move on."


The Tabby and Sugarberry Gossip Hour!
by Tabby and Sugarberry

Sugarberry: Well, Tabby, here it is: March.

Tabby: March, eh? But let's got on to business. Is there anything that happened last month, or will be happening this month?

Sugarberry: The Valentine Party was loads of fun.

Tabby: Valentine's Day has got to be my least favorite holiday of them all.

Sugarberry: Why do you say that, Tabby?

Tabby: Just because, Sugarberry. Think about it.

Sugarberry: What's to think about? There's lots of chocolate candy, and pretty flowers, and dancing...

Tabby: I've proved my point. All of that stuff is vile, except for the chocolate, of course.

Sugarberry: It's romantic!

Tabby: Even worse!

Sugarberry: Your time will come.

Tabby: What's that supposed to mean?

Sugarberry: Some day, when you're least expecting it, romance will enter your life.

Tabby: But I insult everyone that comes along.

Sugarberry: Some day, when you're least expecting it, a pony who likes insults will enter your life.

Tabby: Not gonna happen.

Sugarberry: Care to tell me what your story's about this month?

Tabby: Err... umm... well... err...

Sugarberry: Just as I thought.

Tabby: For Pete's sake, Sugarberry! Let's get off this topic!

Sugarberry: If you please...

Tabby: I've really got to get a Meowth of my own, Sugarberry.

Sugarberry: Hasn't Clever Clove found one for you yet?

Tabby: No, he hasn't even caught sight of one! And I'm paying him one thousand five hundred jangles to get me one!

Sugarberry: Well, personally, I think Psyduck is absolutely precious!

Tabby: Yeah, but Meowth is still cooler.

Sugarberry: Hey! There's another birthday this month.

Tabby: Hmm... it's Friendly's, isn't it? And how come we only mention our closest friends' birthdays?

Sugarberry: Don't worry about technicalities.

Tabby: Anyway, what are you going to get Friendly?

Sugarberry: Probably a Quake II figure; he likes that computer game, you know.

Tabby: And I shall get him... *waves her two front hooves in the air* I shall get him... a Quake II figure as well!

Sugarberry: Very original, Tabby!

Tabby: Well, you know what they say: "Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery..." or however it goes.

Sugarberry: Tabby, do you know what amazing event took place last month?

Tabby: Cleve Clove introduced me to the really cool world of Pokèmon.

Sugarberry: No, no! Venus and Jupiter appeared in the sky!

Tabby: Is that all? Really, you get excited over the smallest things.

Sugarberry: It was beautiful! Those two bright lights hanging in the sky seemingly next to each other!

Tabby: They'd just look like more stars.

Sugarberry: Oh, you just don't understand it, Tabby!

Tabby: La de da. Nothing happens anymore! La de da.

Sugarberry: You're right.

Tabby: Are we going to have to sign off this soon?

Sugarberry: There's nothing else to say...

Tabby: This show is fading off into oblivion.

Sugarberry: It's sad.

Tabby: Hey, does anybody reading this have any suggestions? E-mail me at!

Sugarberry: That's a good idea! We're signing off now--

Tabby: But remember-- don't evolve your Pikachus too soon!


Beware the Ides of March!
by Sugarberry and Tabby

"March is a boring month!" declared Tabby.

"Especially with all the snow melted already!" agreed Clever Clover.

"Yeah! It's just cold and dreary!" sighed Sugarberry.

"And no football," Quarterback groaned.

"How can you think about football at a time like this," Tabby snapped. "We're trying to come up with something to do!"

The depressed ponies were gathered at the Satin Slipper Sweet Shoppe, along with many of Scoops' regular customers, bemoaning a winter season that was becoming way too dull.

"We could have a party," suggested Chocolate Chip, but she quickly dismissed the idea when she saw Tabby glaring at her.

The ponies fell into silence, staring at their half-finished sundaes as if even ice cream had lost its thrill.

Suddenly, the doors to the Satin Slipper Sweet Shoppe burst open, and there stood... a little man, dressed in a blue outfit with a pointy red hat perched on his head and a long white beard. All eyes in the shop swiveled to see this odd creature.

"Beware the Ides of March!" boomed the little man, and then he was... gone.

"What was that all about?" Quarterback questioned as the ponies sat bewildered.

"The eyes of March. Highly interesting," murmured Tabby.

" ‘Ides,' not ‘eyes'," Clever Clover explained. "It looked like it was a gnome that came in. He had the classic pointy red hat on. ‘Beware the Ides of March...' that's March fifteenth."

"The Ides of March is the day Julius Caesar was killed, right?" Sugarberry queried.

"Yes," agreed Clever Clover. "And it's just two days away."

"Good grief!" gasped Chocolate Chip. "I hope this isn't a bad omen!"

Tabby had obviously not been listening to the conversation. "What're we going to do on Friendly's birthday? It's coming up in a few days."

"That's right; it is coming up soon!" Sugarberry exclaimed. "On March fifteenth!" She paused, and then gasped. "March fifteenth! Friendly's birthday is one the Ides of March!"

"So we're to beware of Friendly's birthday," Tabby pondered.

Chocolate Chip whimpered. "I won't want anything to happen to Friendly!"

"Who'd want to hurt Friendly, anyway?" questioned Sugarberry. "This is mysterious!"

* * *
The next day, Sugarberry visited the library to find out more about gnomes. And sure enough, Clever Clover had been right-- the little creature who had appeared so briefly at the Satin Slipper Sweet Shoppe was indeed a gnome; he looked exactly like the pictures in the book: blue coat, brown pants, beige boots, red cone-shaped hat, and a face nearly covered with a white beard and mustache. His cheeks and nose were red, and his eyes twinkling... and all very small.

Going to the counter to check-out the book to show her friends, Sugarberry was amazed to see a gnome standing inside the front door repeating the same refrain, "Beware the Ides of March!" and quickly disappearing.

Sugarberry ran outside to see where the elusive little man had gone, but there was no gnome in sight. She thoughtfully returned to the counter to check-out her book and questioned Streaky, the librarian, "Have you ever seen that gnome around here before?"

"No," responded Streaky, "but I heard from Miss Hackney that one popped into her classroom yesterday with the same message."

"Did anyone see where he came from or where he went?"

"I'm afraid not," Streaky answered. "He came and went so quickly that even the students were taken by surprise."

"We have a mystery on our hooves," commented Sugarberry as she turned to leave, "and these little people are at the heart of it!" Her hoof tapped the book she was carrying; the picture on the cover looked exactly like the gnome she'd seen by the library door.

Returning to the vet clinic where Tabby was just finishing her examination of Medley's canary, Sugarberry shared her knowledge of the gnome sighting at the library and Miss Hackney's report that one had been at the school. Each time, the only words spoken were, "Beware the Ides of March!"

Tabby just shook her head. "Really, I think you're getting worked up over nothing. It's probably just a joke. Maybe those gnomes are throwing Friendly a surprise party and want to throw everyone off track."

Thomas came from his office to listen in on the conversation. After looking through the book Sugarberry had brought from the library, he commented, "Mischief, thou art afoot!"

"Whatever that means," Tabby said as she waved her hoof in dismissal. "If we're going to talk about anything, let's talk about Pokèmon. I wonder what's going to happen in today's episode; Cleve Clove wouldn't tell me..."

Sugarberry frowned. "No, this gnome thing is a mystery, and it needs solving."

"Meowth is just the cutest thing," Tabby sighed. There were no responses. Tabby looked around in annoyance. Thomas had since gone off, and Sugarberry was scribbling notes on a paper.

"Well!" Tabby huffed. "I don't have any pets to attend to for another half hour; I'll just call Tiffany up from my office. So she trotted down the hall.

Once seated behind her desk with the office door closed, Tabby smiled evilly. There was no particular reason for it; she just felt a certain sense of power when in her very own office.

Anyway, she dialed the Royal Paradise's number. "Hello, Pristina... I need to talk to Tiffany."

Tiffany was on the line a few moments later. "Yes, this is Tiffany," Tabby heard, and she could practically hear the princess batting her eyelashes.

"Tiff, it's Tabby. Have you had any--"

Tiffany sighed with disappointment. "Oh, it's you. I was hoping it would be Toby... well, what did you want to talk to me about?"

"Have you had any mysterious gnome sightings at the Royal Paradise?" Tabby asked promptly.

"Gnomes? Ah, gnomes! Why, of course we don't have gnomes over here!" Tiffany exclaimed.

"There've been gnomes popping up all over Dream Valley, warning everyone to ‘Beware the Ides of March.' Sugarberry thinks it's a mystery, but I don't see what she's so worked up over."

"Yes," Tiffany said enthusiastically. "I wouldn't worry about a few gnomes. Nothing bad could happen on March fifteenth, I'm sure."
"You know the Ides of March is March fifteenth?" Tabby questioned.

"Why, of course," Tiffany said quickly. "Being a princess, I did receive a certain amount of education. Now, I've really got to go. Goodbye!" And with that, she hung up.

Tabby replaced the receiver thoughtfully. Something about Tiffany's behavior had seemed a bit off... but she quickly dismissed that thought from her head. Most likely, she had just been giddy over possibly getting a call from Toby.

* * *
Toward the end of the workday while Tabby and Sugarberry were finishing up with the last patient, a little gnome came into the waiting area and repeated the message-- "Beware the Ides of March!" And then he disappeared out the door.

"Ooh!" Tabby fumed. "I'm getting sick of gnomes!" She snatched up a magazine from one of the tables in the waiting area, and held it up as if ready to swat something. Then she took off after the gnome.

As Tabby ran off down the street after the gnome, shrieking, Sugarberry watched, and then took after her friend.

Sugarberry caught up with Tabby at the end of the street, where there was a clump of bushes, though all the leaves were gone, of course. "Did you find him?" she asked breathlessly.

"No." Tabby scowled. "He disappeared when he got down here. He'd better not show his face around here again, or I'm really gonna give it to him--"

"There's Tiffany!" Sugarberry exclaimed. Tiffany was indeed strolling along in the meadow on the opposite side of the bushes. "Tiffany! Come over here!"

After pausing for a few seconds, Tiffany walked over to the bushes. "Why, hello, you two! It was just taking a walk in this wonderful March weather--"

Tabby cut Tiffany off in mid-sentence. "Where's the gnome?"

"Oh, a gnome!" Tiffany exclaimed. "A gnome... uhh..."

"The tiny guy in the pointy red hat! You had to have seen him!" Sugarberry burst out.

"Oh, and he had on the blue coat, too! No, I didn't see him," Tiffany said quickly.

"You're hiding something, Tiffany," Tabby growled. "Spill it!"

"I don't know what you're talking about," Tiffany said loftily, and fortunately for her, Princess Royal Blue happened by just then and pulled Tiffany along with her. "Excuse us, girls, but we're late for an appointment! See you!"

Sugarberry and Tabby watched the two princesses walk a ways down the meadow, and then cut through some more bushes to get back onto the street. "Tabby," Sugarberry said, "something strange is definitely going on with those two. You go close up the clinic; I'm going to follow them."

"Close up the clinic? That's what Thomas is there for!" Tabby protested.

"It's my responsibility to lock it up every day," Sugarberry said.

"I have never closed it up before and I do not plan to start now," Tabby said in annoyance.

"I have a mystery to solve!" Sugarberry explained. "Just this once. You'll never have to do it again."

"Hmph," Tabby mumbled as she walked back down the street to the clinic.

Sugarberry set off discreetly behind Tiffany and Royal Blue, keeping a safe distance without losing track of them. After several minutes, Princess Dawn joined up with them. Interesting! thought Sugarberry.

The princesses headed for the printing shop-- Pony Print-- and entered through the back door. Sugarberry hid herself in a recessed entry across the street and waited to see what might happen. Over the course of the next half hour, Princess Starburst, Princess Pristina, and Queen Serena entered Pony Print, too.

But what happened next made Sugarberry's eyes pop. From around the corner came an entire group of gnomes, so small that Sugarberry became aware of their presence not by sight but by sound. Some of the gnomes were singing, others were talking, and still others seemed to be reciting poetry. They all were in very good humor, and they walked directly to the Pony Print door and were admitted by Queen Serena herself.

Hmm... thought Sugarberry. Whatever the gnomes are doing in Ponyland, the princesses are behind it.

Sugarberry eased out of her hiding place and moved cautiously across the street and around the corner to the front of Pony Print; slowly, she peeped through the front window, but to no avail. Whatever was going on was happening in the back room, out of sight. So Sugarberry returned to her hidden niche to await more action.

Night had fallen and Sugarberry was cold and tired before the door of Pony Print opened, and out filed the gnomes and princesses. They each carried what appeared to be tubes; as Sugarberry watched, the group disbursed in every direction through the streets of Dream Valley. She waited until all but the last princess was out of sight before falling into silent step behind her.

It was Princess Dawn, and Sugarberry had no problem staying hidden while watching Dawn unfold the "tube" which turned out to be a poster. Dawn affixed the poster to the front door of the library and moved off down the street. Sugarberry stayed behind to read the poster from the glow of the street light:

"Beware the Ides of March"
In honor of
Friendly's birthday
the Princess Ponies
are hosting
a theater production
of the
Shakespearian play
"Julius Caesar"
on March Fifteenth at the Royal Paradise by the William Shakespeare Acting Troop with assistance from the Gnome Theater Group

"Wow! So that's the mystery!" giggled Sugarberry. "A Shakespearian celebration of Friendly's birthday! Leave it to the princesses to try to bring some refinement to our ordinary lives! ‘Mischief, thou art afoot,' indeed! Wait ‘till I tell Tabby!"

Off she dashed to bring the news to her friend. The kitchen light was still on at Tabby's house, and Sugarberry realized she was starving, having missed supper and desert at the Satin Slipper Sweet Shoppe. She rapped on Tabby's door.

Tabby opened the door several minutes later to admit her friend, and started spewing off a steady stream of conversation. "I did remember to lock up the clinic, ya know. Of course, it took me while, because I ran into Merry Treat, who was out looking for Pokèmon, so I joined her. After that we went to the Satin Slipper Sweet Shoppe and hung around awhile. Then after she left I remembered to lock up the clinic. And then I came home and watched today's Pokèmon episode. Ya know, I'm really surprised that it recorded it. I'm an absolute klutz when it comes to VCR programming. Spike and Cleve Clove keep trying to teach me, but I can never remember exactly how to do everything. But it actually worked! So I finished watching that, and then I went into the kitchen for a snack-- hey, how'd your spy work go? What'd you find out? What's going on here?!?!?!"

Sugarberry momentarily pondered how Tabby could talk so long without taking a breath of air. "First get me something to eat," Sugarberry said wearily as she slipped into one of the chairs at Tabby's kitchen table.

Tabby browsed through her food cupboards. "How's cherry pie filling sound, straight from the can? That raw cookie dough you buy in stories? Any of that? No, I didn't think so."

Finally, Tabby found something that would suit Sugarberry. "Here," she said as she tossed a package of brownies on the table.

"Wonderful!" Sugarberry was already ripping into the package.

"Now. What is going on?" Tabby demanded as she locked her eyes in on Sugarberry's.

Between bites of brownie, Sugarberry outlined her night's experience. She finished her story. "So that's it!" she laughed. "The play ought to be interesting to see, though."

"What? WHAT?!?!" Tabby shrieked. "All this gnome business over a Shakespeare play? A SHAKESPEARE PLAY!"

"Aren't you at least going to go see it?" Sugarberry prodded.

"Are those little gnomes gonna get it! I'm gonna-- ooh! A Shakespeare play! That you probably won't be able to understand half the words from! Ooh!"

Sugarberry slipped outside, silently laughing to herself, as Tabby continued her ranting.


All submissions are expected to stay true to the sweet, innocent nature of the MLPs. This means nothing immoral and nothing violent. I shall reject any submissions I do not think meet these requirements.


Our next issue will be sent April 1st.


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