My Little Pony Monthly Issue 40 (July 1,
My Little Pony Monthly
Established June 1997
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Index of this issue--
1. Contest Corner
2. The Lost Prince Chapter Six by Moonjumper
3. In Memorial by Tabby
4. The Evil Dragon Part Ten by Princess of the Stars
5. The Millinery Mystery by Sugarberry
6. All in Due Time Part One by Atalanta
7. Ginseng and Sassafras Tea Chapters Seven and Eight by Sugarberry
8. My Little Pony: The Return of Tirak Chapter One by Crash Cymbal
9. Silver Swirl's Guest by Princess Silver Swirl
10. The Tabby and Sugarberry Gossip Hour! by Tabby and Sugarberry
11. Flashback by Sugarberry
12. Early Pony Special
The winner of last month's contest (to find all the threes contained in that issue) was
email@example.com! She will be
receiving personal autographs from three of our contributing authors-- Sugarberry, Barnacle, and
myself, Tabby! (Olivia, we'll be e-mailing you
soon.) Thank you to everyone who entered!
This month, we have another great prize to win. It will be an autographed copy of a
Thoroughbred Ashleigh book entitled "Derby
Day" (number seven in the series). This book was written by Chris Platt, who has donated the
book for our newsletter. A summary is as
"Ashleigh Griffen's favorite colt, Aladdin's Treasure, is set to run in the most
exciting horse race of the year-- the Kentucky
Derby. Within days of the race, Aladdin is badly spooked and throws his rider. From then on, the
colt is not himself. The jockey claims Aladdin
is ruined, and insists that he be scratched from the Derby and retired. But Ashleigh refuses to
believe that Aladdin must give up what he loves--
racing. How will she convince the colt's owners that Aladdin must run in the Derby-- and that
To win a copy of this exciting book, all you need to do is locate the hidden
horseshoe-like symbol lurking somewhere in this issue.
If you manage to find it, please e-mail me at TabbyMLP@aol.com, telling me the exact location
of where you found it. Correct answers will be
entered in a drawing to determine who will get the grand prize. Entries must be received by July
15. Good luck!
If you would be interested in purchasing other books written by Chris Platt, try doing a
search for her on www.barnesandnoble.com
The Lost Prince
by Moonjumper (firstname.lastname@example.org)
~* Late night, Dream Castle *~
Molly! Twilight called telepathically and the girl woke abruptly. Twilight?
She hasn't called me like that for so
long... Molly thought, pushing her covers off and tiptoeing to the door, trying not to wake
Lisa or Marissa who were sleeping in the same room.
To her surprise, Theo was outside the door along with Twilight.
"C'mon, Majesty needs to see us," he whispered urgently.
Molly nodded and they headed for the throne room, not knowing that Marissa had heard
them and started to follow. "They'd better
not be going home and leaving ME behind!" the younger girl muttered.
When Theo and Molly reached the throne room, along with their little shadow, Twilight
led them to one of the balconies where
Majesty and Paradise were waiting.
"What is it, Majesty?" Molly didn't like Majesty's expression, a mix of weariness and
"I was hoping that you would not have to know, but it seems that..." Majesty trailed off
and gazed into the starry sky.
"So, um, did Ribbon make a mistake in calling and we're all going to be sent back so she
can get Megan?" Theo asked with a slight
laugh, trying to ease the tension. A few months ago-- Earth Time-- Ribbon had tried to get
Megan to return to Ponyland to help the ponies; Reeka and
Draggle had started up trouble again. (Author's Note-- Hydia was on vacation.) But
Ribbon had made a mistake and transported Theo there
Under different circumstances, Majesty would have laughed; but now she just shook her
head, continuing to gaze at the stars.
Paradise took over. "The witch, Marenche, has returned as promised in the Rhythm.
That's why you were all sent to Ponyland
‘strangers... number eight.' " Paradise handed Molly a thin piece of weathered parchment.
"Reading this might help you both to understand."
Twilight left abruptly, and Marissa, who had been hiding behind the curtains, held her
breath ‘till the unicorn had passed. "Phew..."
her eyes narrowed. "Who are these people? Marenche? Reeka? Draggle? What idiot named
them?!" Marissa shook her head. This was one strange
Theo watched Twilight leave, then turned his attention back to Molly and
"The Rhythm... the promise?" Molly started, unsure of how to read it.
"Her awakening shall proceed
the Valley's most dire need,
For the strangers which always wait
this time, they number eight.
Precious stones, save the Lost,
they transform with a cost.
He shall come at their call;
the Lost Prince will save us all."
Majesty looked down at the ground. "She's taken Prince Magenta, the second precious
stone. Prince Sapphire is..."
"He's gone!" Twilight burst into the throne room. "He went to find his brother; what
Paradise shook her mane. "He was always the one to ignore the legends-- and
especially the Rhythm," she snorted. "And I bet she's
gotten him by now, the last prince we have here!"
Molly looked at Theo. He shrugged his shoulders. Last time I was here, it had been
just Majesty... who are these
princes? he pondered. "But then, Skydancer and I were transported to that island along with
the others before I could really hear about them..."
Theo mused quietly to himself.
"You're wrong; there is another prince here!" a voice rang out from the balcony's dark
corner over to their left. Twilight switched
on a light and revealed six ponies and one human. Five ponies were slightly smaller and much
slimmer than Majesty, Twilight, and Paradise. The
sixth was a blue baby pony.
"Ciara?" Molly was the first to speak.
Ciara dismounted from the yellow pony she'd been on and nodded. "This is Honey... er,
Prince Diamond, Majesty," she gestured to
the blue baby pony with white hair.
"The last precious stone," Majesty murmured to herself.
"Who are the rest?" Twilight asked, glancing at the other ponies.
"This is--" Ciara started.
"Sky Skimmer, Morning Glory, Petal Blossom, Dainty Dove, and Clever Clover," Theo
finished for her, naming the yellow pony,
the pink pony, the purple pony, the white pony, and lastly, the bluish-purple pony.
"How did you..." Molly looked at Theo curiously, but he just grinned.
Morning Glory smiled. "Nice to finally be able to meet you all. We're sorry we couldn't
meet earlier; but when we arrived, a
mysterious white tiger gave us a baby newborn and told us to guard him."
"And not let any know of him ‘till it was time," Sky Skimmer added.
"How did you know it was time?" Molly asked.
"When Ciara came back. She's the only one besides that tiger that knew of us, of
course!" Dainty Dove swished her mane, her
reasoning just fine to her, but faulty to the rest of the group.
"O-o-okay," Molly turned to Majesty. "What do we do now?"
"Following the Rhythm doesn't help unless you can understand it," Clever Clover
"They know that!" Petal Blossom glared at him.
Twilight exchanged a grin with Paradise. Just a bunch of teenagers! she sent her
thoughts to Majesty.
A sudden crash of thunder made everyone jump, then run inside the throne room.
Twilight closed the doors just as Marissa slipped
Ciara grimaced and thought, Why is she always around? I wish... She fingered
her butterfly clip, but with a quick look at
Sky Skimmer she put her hands down.
"That's the beginning of a long night," Majesty said, staring off into the distant
Molly came up and laid a hand on Majesty's shoulder. "What do you mean?"
Majesty turned to the group of nine ponies and four humans with a serious face.
"Marenche is coming here."
~* Early morning, near Talen's Cave *~
"She's left," the white tiger Silver had been following said shortly after they'd searched
Silver nodded, outwardly calm, but inside he was a churning mass of questions. Why
am I following him? I don't know his
name, what he's planning to do... Talen... A tear slipped from one eye and he brushed it
The tiger sighed. "Silver, I know you have many questions and doubts about me and
what we're doing, but--"
"That's just it! I don't know what we're doing!" Silver turned away, feeling more tears
"Alright... we are looking for your brothers."
Silver's head jerked up. "My brothers? But I thought..."
"There's four of you, and you are the third. The reason we are looking for them I
cannot reveal just yet. But I can tell you this, you
will know everything when the time comes." The tiger turned back to the path before adding,
"And my name is Blaze."
Silver stood there for a moment. Blaze... I know him... but from where? He
broke into a run to keep from being left
~* Sunrise, Paradise Estate *~
Marenche frowned at the locked gates. "Stupid ponies. I, Marenche have your
"No! You only have two!" Sky Dancer appeared over Marenche and Trixie. She dared
to fly down a bit closer before soaring back
up. She did a series of loops, as if she were daring Marenche to try and get her.
Marenche grinned evilly. "Trixie, unleash the Shadows on her! She is a fool enough to
come and try..." Marenche trailed off. She
gripped the gates' lock and wrenched it off.
Trixie gulped, but as always, did as she was told. She pulled the cork out of a dark,
curved bottle and the darkness seeped out,
leaving a crystal clear bottle.
"Shaaaaaadooooooowsss!" The darkness formed a cloud and shot after Sky
Molly leaped up from the bushes she, Theo, and Twilight were hiding in. "I've got to
Theo pulled her back down. "You can't!"
Molly pushed him away and turned to Twilight. "Can't we use the Rainbow of Light
Twilight looked at Theo for a moment, then shook her head. "We don't have it
anymore... the witches sent several groups of ponies
to a strange island and Baby Lickety Split, the keeper, was with a group. Theo, Sky Dancer,
Baby Applejack, and Baby Shadow were the only ones
who were able to return."
Molly gaped at Theo. "You've been here before?! You didn't tell me!"
Theo threw his hands up. "You never asked!"
Molly rolled her eyes. She held her breath as Sky Dancer looped and dived to stay out
of the Shadows' clutches. Just when it
seemed she'd be caught, Sky Dancer was able to jump away.
Shadows have been taken care of, just the Black Mirror left, Twilight reported
In Dream Castle, Majesty nodded. Alright... I'll send a few unicorns to take care of
that... don't do ANYTHING to let
Marenche know you are close by, Majesty sent her last thought along with a mental picture of
what could happen if Marenche got to Molly and
"We must defeat her here and now!" Majesty gave a decisive nod and motioned for
Ribbon, Windy, and Glory to go. She smiled
encouragingly at the rest of the ponies who had taken refuge a few hours before Marenche had
reached Paradise Estate. Everyone needed
encouragement, for this was to be the last showdown with Marenche.
Ribbon, Windy, and Glory reached the scene and Molly gave them each a hug before
they went to face the mirror. "Be careful," she
whispered as they left.
Marenche turned to the three unicorns and snapped her fingers. "Trixie, the mirror! I
want those for the rock hand! Three is a nice,
odd number," she smiled maliciously.
Trixie shuddered. "It's getting so hard; how can I keep going?" she whispered as she
pulled a cloth-covered object from her
knapsack. Removing the cloth, she handed the wooden framed mirror to Marenche.
It looked to be an ordinary old mirror, but Ribbon, Windy, and Glory knew better.
Marenche had stolen it from Dorin long ago and
enchanted it. They readied themselves for the fast winking they would have to do.
"Camouri, shecouri, trio!" Marenche pointed the mirror at the unicorns and a flash of
light erupted from it, making its smooth
surface become choppy.
The light reached for Ribbon first, but she was quick and winked away. It then split and
headed for Windy and Glory, but they too
winked out before it could grab them. The Black Mirror and Shadows continued to play tag with
the ponies, neither side giving in.
Trixie watched, wincing each time the light or Shadows came close to capturing their
prey. Marenche laughed and caressed the
Black Jewel that held her trump cards-- Prince Magenta and Prince Sapphire.
Molly studied Skydancer, looking for a sign of weariness, but she found none. "Good;
Twilight, tell Majesty to send the Fairy Tail
Birds now. Skydancer isn't tired yet, but we have to be ready."
Twilight nodded and hid a smile. Molly sounded like Megan. If only... no, Molly is
the one we need now, not Megan, she
thought and sent Majesty Molly's instructions; and moments later, they were joined by four of the
"I'm Windsong," the leader said. She was light purple and her tail shimmered in blue,
pink, and green.
The other two said nothing, for they were busy watching the scene before them, getting
a feel for how Shadows reacted to every
move Skydancer made.
"I hope this is over soon, real soon," Molly leaned against Twilight.
Theo nodded. "It will have to be. We can't fight her forever.
Marenche frowned. "They remembered those legends!! Dorin, you will pay when I find
you. And Aurora, you think your other
two sons are safely hidden! I will get them and make you beg for their lives. But I will not be
merciful; you shall fall!"
Trixie glanced up at the sound of Marenche muttering angrily. Blaze, you'd better
get here quick... and Talen, where are
you? You said you'd save me one day... Trixie closed her eyes, blocking everything out.
<~* to be continued *~>
by Tabby (TabbyMLP@aol.com)
*sobs* Well, here it is. I felt so heart-broken over killing Thomas and Elaine's
parents off so early, that I decided to go
back and write the story behind their getting together. Now please excuse me while I go cry my
eyes out some more. (Oh, and Barnacle, if this is
too mushy for you, tough. You'll have to get past Sugarberry and I, and we're not
Characters in this story:
Cecil Monk, Caprice's father (pink
unicorn with purple hair; sea serpent symbol)
Cecilia Monk, Caprice's mother
(blue pegasus with cream hair; ring symbol)
Caprice Monk, one of the two main
characters (beige unicorn with purple hair; frilly heart symbol)
Delia Monk, Caprice's sister, about
fifteen (blue unicorn with purple hair)
Leander Monk, Caprice's brother,
about twelve (cream pegasus with blue hair)
Velvet, Caprice's cat
Jade Star, Tanzy's mother
Tanzy, Caprice's friend (bright
green earth pony with bright magenta hair [blue streak in mane]; perfume bottle symbol)
Reginald Fairfax, Dietrich's father
(white unicorn with gold hair; an outrageous thing symbol)
Helga Fairfax, Dietrich's mother
(pale yellow earth pony with sky blue hair; another outrageous thing symbol)
Dietrich Fairfax, the other key
character in this story (aqua unicorn with yellow mane [black streak in mane]; Siamese cat
A flower deliverer, not to be
confused with a Mysterious Cloaked Flower Deliverer
Excalibur, some stallion around
Storen, his name means "bother" in
Caprice entered the kitchen, looking slightly flustered in the face as she deposited the
bag of groceries on the counter. "Mother! I'm
"Hello, dear," Cecilia nodded at her daughter. "You were out longer than you usually
"I took a shortcut through the woods on the way back and... oh, I met a nice stallion on
the way," Caprice put forward, smiling a bit
"Oh?" Cecilia looked up. "Who was he, dear?"
"He said his name was Dietrich. We had a very fascinating conversation on cats. He
has a fancy for them, too, it seems."
"Dietrich," Cecilia said emphatically. "He's only the Fairfaxes' son."
"He is? I wonder why I've never seen him around before?" Caprice mused.
"Our social calender is not meant to overlap that of the Fairfax family," Cecilia said
sharply. "I wouldn't suggest meeting him any
"Are you still worried over that silly feud, Mother? He really was very nice," Caprice
argued. "I don't think there's a problem with
"The Fairfaxes and the Monks don't associate with one another," Cecilia said coolly.
"Listen to me when I say stay away from
Caprice lowered her head meekly in submission. "Yes, Mother."
"Why don't you attend to setting the table now?" Cecilia added in a gentler tone, moving
toward the bag of food items. "Thank you
for picking these things up from the grocery. I can't believe I forgot to keep tomatoes on
"Of course," Caprice murmured. "I'll get right to it, Mother."
* * *
Caprice was restless that night. Sleep was impossible as she tossed and turned in her
bed. Too many thoughts were bombarding her
mind. How could she get any rest?
A dreamy smile crossed her face as she once again remembered the kind look Dietrich
had given her and the gentle yet firm sound
of his voice. Caprice had to giggle slightly realizing that "gentle yet firm"was somewhat of an
oxymoron, but it was the only way she could think of to
The image in her mind of Dietrich slowly moved to the iced-over expression of her
mother telling her "Stay away from him."
Caprice had to sigh at that unpleasant memory. Dietrich had seemed so kind! Couldn't her
mother see that? She couldn't understand the basis for her
family's feud with the Fairfaxes, let alone this cold forbiddance of any friendship with them.
It had been a long-ago incident that had started the terrible war. Back in colonial times,
when the town was first being founded, two
affluent families had relocated their publishing businesses there-- two families who were none
other than the Fairfaxes and the Monks. Neither side
wanted to give any of their ground away in their successful business, and they both worked
tirelessly to scout out new talent to publish. Undiscovered
authors were scooped-up as quickly as they were found and sabotage between the two separate
publishing houses abounded. This had been the start of
the feud, and so it unrelentlessly continued on into the present day.
Caprice could remember well all of her family's warnings against the Fairfaxes and a
detailed account of the story behind it, leaving
nothing out of the treacherous tricks employed by the opposing family. She had always thought it
sounded silly and hadn't considered it any further
than that. Of course, it had always been exciting to hear her father talk about signing-on a new
author that he had managed to keep away from the
"villainous Fairfaxes", but she had never seen a serious problem with the two successful rival
companies. Of course, as her mother had said, the
Monks didn't plan their social calender to overlap that of the Fairfaxes. So, even though they
were both affluent families in town, Caprice had grown
up not knowing any Fairfaxes. Still, she had not known her parents were this adamant
against them until her chance encounter with Dietrich
Dietrich... Dietrich... he had left an uneraseable mark on the young mare's mind. Not
even her family's disapproval could wipe it
out. Finally, her eyelids grew heavy, and she gave into the urge to sleep.
* * *
"Caprice, I was accepted into the dance academy's course for next year!" Tanzy bubbled
over exuberantly. "I can't believe it! I
can finally begin to pursue my dream!"
Caprice nearly dropped the tray of lemonade she was carrying into the parlor upon
hearing the news. "Tanzy!" she squealed
happily. "Are you serious?! Oh, that's exactly what you always wanted to happen!"
"It's going to be grand," Tanzy said excitedly. "I really did want to get accepted into
this one, since it's right in town. I'd hate to
have to move elsewhere."
"I'm so happy for you!" Caprice said sincerely. "And I'm so happy that you'll get to stay
here. I don't know what I'd do without
"It's a perfect set-up," Tanzy assured her. "I'll be a premiere world-famous dancer yet;
just wait and see."
"I know you will!" Caprice said supportivly, handing a glass of lemonade over to her
"What about you, Caprice?" Tanzy slowly sipped at the glass. "Are you going to go
further with your education?"
"I don't know," Caprice said self-consciously. "Mother and Father would just like to see
me settle down and raise a family. I
wouldn't mind that, really."
"Haven't you found any handsome stallions around town yet?" Tanzy teased. "I
personally think that Excalibur is kinda
"Well..." Caprice blushed as she stared down into her glass. "I did meet someone
"Oh? Who was he?" Tanzy pounced on the opportunity.
"His name's Dietrich Fairfax," Caprice said in a rush. "I met him on the way back from
the grocery on an errand for Mother. He
was quite nice."
"Dietrich Fairfax!" Tanzy breathed. "Now, he's really handsome."
Caprice fumbled her glass around nervously in her hooves. "Well, yes, I
"Did you set up a date with him?" Tanzy prodded. "Are you going to see him again?
Do you think he likes you?"
"Oh..." Caprice was more flustered than ever. "No, we didn't set anything like that up.
We just had a nice conversation about cats,
"You were meant to be," Tanzy intoned dramatically. "Go for it, Caprice! You've got
to call him later."
"Mother doesn't want me to associate with him," Caprice said quietly.
Tanzy calmed herself. "Oh. Is it still that old business over your family's silly feud with
"Yes. The feud." Caprice stared listlessly down into her half-empty cup.
"It's just not right!" Tanzy steamed. "The Monks and the Fairfaxes are the two most
affluent families in town. They should be
happy over this budding romance!"
"Oh, it's hardly that," Caprice murmured.
Before Tanzy could make an appropriate comeback, the doorbell rang. Caprice was
grateful for the interruption, and jumped up to
answer the door.
She was surprised to see the cart of the local flower deliverer parked outside, and the
deliverer himself waiting on the porch. "I have
a delivery for you today, Miss Caprice," he announced himself.
"Really?" Caprice's eyes lit up at the prospect. "For me?"
"There you are," he stated, handing a fragrant bouquet over to her. "Have a nice day."
With that, he made his way back to his
Caprice securely closed the door behind her before she stopped to fully comprehend the
bouquet of roses she held in her hooves. It
was a glorious bunch of flowers, and the fragrance of it alone was splendorous. She still hadn't
gotten enough of the bouquet when Tanzy came
running to see what was up. She stopped dead in her tracks when she saw the flowers.
"For you?" she breathed in awe.
"I guess so," Caprice said, her face flushing. "They're so beautiful. I've never seen
flowers this magnificent before in my
"Who sent them? Who sent them?" Tanzy was quick to ask.
Caprice groped to open the small envelope attached to the bunch. " ‘To the fair
Caprice,' " she read aloud, still slightly stunned. "
‘Please accept these flowers as a token of my respect for your resplendent beauty and your sweet
smile. Love, Dietrich'..." Caprice blinked rapidly as
she leaned up against the wall, her face a brilliant flaming crimson.
"Caprice!" Tanzy shrieked, running up to her. "Is that really what he wrote?! It's the
most romantic thing I've ever heard! You
must have made quite an impression on him yesterday."
"I... I don't know why he sent them," Caprice fumbled for the words.
"Because he's madly in love with you, silly!" Tanzy retorted. "Now, don't you dare say
you're going to let your parents get in the
way of this. You are going over to that phone and you are going to call him right
"But I wouldn't know what to say," Caprice squeaked.
"You'll say that you adore the flowers and that you would love to see him again over a
quiet dinner some evening," Tanzy
instructed. "Go on, go on!"
Caprice still resisted the urging of her friend. "I don't know," she stuttered. "I couldn't
"Why not?" Tanzy said impatiently. "You're going to miss out on a great opportunity if
you don't, Caprice!"
"Just think of how hurt he'll be if he doesn't receive word from you about his lovely
gift," Tanzy said threateningly.
"I guess... some sort of thank-you would be appropriate."
"And that's why you're going to call him." Tanzy trotted over to the phone and, picking
up the receiver, instructed Caprice, "Here.
Come and find his number in the phone book."
"But what if he's not home?" Caprice protested. "I don't know what times he would be
"Time..." Tanzy murmured, searching for a clock on the wall. "Time..." Her eyes
suddenly opened wide. "Oh my gosh! It's three
fifteen, Caprice! I told Rosetint I would have those papers to her by three! I completely lost
track of time! I've gotta run!" Frenzied, Tanzy ran for
the door. "Goodbye, Caprice! And don't you dare forget to make that call, even if I'm not here!"
With that, the door was abruptly opened and closed
again as Tanzy left, leaving Caprice alone in the house.
Caprice glanced from the phone to the flowers, and clutched the stems all the tighter in
her sweaty hooves. It wasn't necessary to
reply immediately, she finally assured herself. She would at least tell her parents about the
delivery that evening over supper, and she would go from
there on what to do. With butterflies in her stomach, Caprice quickly deposited the empty
lemonade glasses in the kitchen and then fled up to her room
with the bouquet.
* * *
"I received these this afternoon while Mother was out shopping." Nervously, Caprice
presented herself at supper that evening,
displaying Dietrich's bouquet before her.
"They're pretty," Delia, Caprice's younger sister, said enviously. "Where'd they come
"Oh, Caprice!" her mother breathed. "What a beautiful arrangement!"
"I knew the stallions would come around courting her eventually," Cecil, her father,
nodded in satisfaction.
"Who did send them, dear?" Cecilia questioned.
Caprice hesitated. "They're... they're from that stallion I met yesterday. Dietrich." She
deemed it wise to refrain from mentioning
his last name.
This announcement caused a great commotion around the table. Her two siblings that
were present knew of Dietrich, and had let
their parents imprint a great fear in their minds of the Fairfaxes. Their eyes opened wide as they
looked in shock at Caprice. Her parents were the first
to speak, however.
"Dietrich? Dietrich?" Cecil stormed. "Do you mean that the young Fairfax has grown
so bold as to send flowers to my
"Caprice, I told you yesterday to stay away from that stallion," Cecilia said sternly. "I
don't like to see you encouraging him like
"I... I didn't," Caprice defended herself. "But can't you see--"
"Those flowers aren't fit to be held in your hooves, Caprice, let alone be delivered to this
house," Cecil said stiffly. "They should
have been thrown-out immediately."
"But that's unreasonable!" Caprice cried out. "He really is nice! Can't you learn to let
go of this feud with the Fairfaxes?"
"Caprice, we're not going to hear any more talk of this Dietrich in this household," Cecil
declared. "Give those flowers to
"But--" Caprice was reluctant to hand them over.
"You must forget about him, dear," Cecilia said in a softer tone. "We only want the best
for you. This is for your own good. Give
us the flowers."
"They're mine." Caprice was seized with a sudden streak of boldness.
"Caprice..." her father said warningly, pushing back his chair and standing up. "You
can't keep them."
"Why not?" Caprice took a step back.
"They'll only remind you of that villain Dietrich. You'll be better off without
Caprice's lower lip began to tremble. "Fine, then! Take the stupid flowers!" she
sobbed, throwing them to the floor. "But if you
think I'll ever forget Dietrich, you're still wrong!" With tears flowing openly down her face,
Caprice turned and ran from the room.
* * *
Caprice cried that evening for all she was worth as she lay there on her bed. Her pretty
Abyssinian cat, Velvet, tried to comfort her,
but to no avail. Caprice finally had to smile, though, as she felt the rough sandpaper tongue cross
"Oh, Velvet," she said softly, pushing herself into an upright position and snuggling the
warm feline. "I've never had a fight with
them like that before. I don't want them to be disappointed in me. But Dietrich at least deserves
a thanks for those flowers, doesn't he?"
Velvet seemed to approve as she set to washing her fluffy tail, and her gentle purr filled
the room. Seized with sudden inspiration,
Caprice set the cat down gently and tip-toed to her closed door. Softly opening it and peering
down the hallway, it didn't look like anyone was around.
She could hear her parents talking downstairs, and Delia and Leander must have disappeared into
their rooms after supper as well.
Taking the chance, Caprice walked quietly down the hall where a small stand held the
upstairs telephone. With shaking hooves, she
flipped through the phone book and found the F section. It didn't take her long to find the page
with the Fairfax numbers on it. Unfortunately, she had
forgotten that the Fairfaxes were an affluent family. There were a lot of them listed.
Beginning to panic, Caprice tried to calm herself down and think. If she didn't try to get
in touch with Dietrich now, she never
would. It was vital that she keep cool and try to think rationally of which Fairfax Dietrich
would be listed under.
He was still at home with his parents, she knew. But who were they? Caprice thought
frantically as she skimmed over the page of
Fairfaxes, hoping something would jump out at her. She paused as she saw the name of Reginald.
It sounded like a name her father had mentioned
before. Dietrich was the son of the chief owner and operator of the Fairfax publishing company...
so he had to be at this number listed under Reginald
Fairfax! Her hooves shaking, Caprice set to dialing the number.
Her stomach was tied in knots and her skin was clammy as she listened to the phone
ring. She halfway didn't want anyone to be
there so she could just forget about it, but the other half of her wanted desperately to get in touch
"Hello, this is the Fairfax residence."
Caprice jumped as she heard these words spoken over the line, and hurried to compose
herself. "Is... is Dietrich there?" she said in a
tone hardly louder than a whisper as she inched her way back to her room.
"This is he."
"Oh!" Caprice breathed a sigh of relief. She had found the right number! "Dietrich,
"Caprice? Is that really you?" Dietrich's spirits rose visibly upon hearing this
"Yes, and I received your flowers today. They're very beautiful. Thank you." Caprice
quietly clicked her door shut and sat down
in the desk of her chair with the receiver held up intently to her ear.
"That's wonderful! I sent the blossoms most closely matching your beauty."
"Oh... that's really sweet," Caprice giggled nervously.
"You've been the only thought on my mind, Caprice, since I first laid eyes on you
yesterday," Dietrich continued in a softer
"I know." Caprice twisted the cord around her hooves. "I haven't been able to stop
thinking about you, either."
"Will you have any free time in the near future, Caprice?" Dietrich persisted.
"I... I don't know." Caprice lowered her gaze. "My parents don't want me to have
anything to do with you."
"I was afraid of that. It's the confounded Monk and Fairfax feud, isn't it?" Dietrich said
with a bitter edge to his voice.
"Yes, it is," Caprice said quietly. "What of yours? Are your parents any more accepting
"No, they feel the same way yours do," Dietrich scowled. "They were furious when I
told them I'd sent you flowers."
"I'm sorry, Dietrich."
"There's nothing for you to be sorry for, Caprice. That right is reserved for our parents,
"I suppose, then..." Caprice trailed off.
"No, Caprice!" Dietrich said quickly. "You mustn't give up hoping yet."
"But what can we do?"
"We can meet in secret."
"I hate to sneak around behind their backs, and I'm sure you do, too, Caprice; but unless
we do, there may never be an end to this
silly feud that's keeping us apart in the first place."
"I don't know what to do, Dietrich."
"Say you'll meet me at seven o' clock on Wednesday evening. Do you remember the
place in the woods we met yesterday?"
"I remember it well."
"Then we'll meet there again."
"I'll be there, Dietrich."
"I'll be looking forward to it, Caprice. Goodnight, then. I'll see you on
"Goodnight, Dietrich. I'll be looking forward to it as well."
Caprice hung up the phone that night with her conscience hanging a little heavy on her
mind, but her heart was more than light
enough to make up for it.
* * *
Caprice hardly dared wonder over the fate of her precious bouquet, but when she came
down to breakfast the next morning, not a
word of the incident was mentioned. She smiled and acted as though nothing had happened, but
she almost wished her parents would say something
about it. Was it possible that perhaps, maybe, they could have softened their opinion of Dietrich
after having sufficient time to think about it?
She was brave enough to broach the subject with her mother while washing the
breakfast dishes. "About last night..."
Cecilia looked over at her sharply. "Yes, your father and I talked about it
"You still don't want me to see any more of him?"
"We only want to protect your interests, Caprice. There are many more stallions around
much more fitting to you than this
"None of them can compare to Dietrich," Caprice lamented.
"There are those who are better than he is," Cecilia sniffed. "No, dear, it would be best
to forget him."
"Won't you ever change your mind?"
Cecilia thought it best to change the subject instead. "We're done here, Caprice. Why
don't you go outside and watch Delia and
"Alright, Mother," Caprice sighed, hanging up the wet towel. "I'll see what they're up
The Monks' backyard was spacious and filled with lush grass and tree groves-- the
perfect playground for young ponies on summer
vacation, like Caprice's two siblings. She found Leander hunting for toads near the garden, while
Delia was more interested in the flowers that grew
profusely in well-tended beds.
"Oh, what is his obsession with toads?" Delia complained as her sister drew near. "I've
grown so weary of them."
"You used to enjoy finding them for him when you were younger," Caprice reminded.
"You two had lots of fun together doing
"Well... yes, I suppose I did," Delia recalled, affixing a brilliant purple violet behind one
ear. "But one can enjoy looking at only so
many toads in a lifetime."
"Delia..." Caprice said, hesitating. "What did Mother and Father do after I left the room
"They weren't too happy," Delia said, cocking her head. "The bouquet got thrown out--
that was a pity, really. It was very nice.
Father read the card on it before that, but just scowled at it. He didn't tell us what it said. What
did he write to you, Caprice?"
Caprice shook her head, easing herself down into one of the seats on the swingset. ‘It
was nothing, really."
"He and Mother were quite riled, and talked for a bit after that," Delia went on, taking a
seat next to Caprice. "Leander and I didn't
say much. They seemed to have plenty to say themselves."
Caprice sat in silence, slowly rocking back and forth on the swing. Delia finally broke
into the quiet, though. "Oh, I can't wait
until I'm as old as you and get nice flower bouquets from handsome stallions," she sighed
"It's not as easy as you might think," Caprice said wistfully.
"Do you really like him, Caprice?" Delia looked intently at her sister. "Dietrich, I
"I don't know. I might," Caprice blushed.
"I've never met any of the Fairfaxes. I wonder what they're really like," Delia