My Little Pony Monthly Issue 99 (January 1, 2006)

My Little Pony Monthly
A publication of Nematode (Electronic) Publishing
Established June 1997
This Newsletter is Safe for All Ages

To Unsubscribe:
To View Back Issues:
To Contact Authors:


Issue 99

January 2006


From the Editor

Greetings and good cheer to our faithful subscribers that are still hanging around and reading this! It's been half a year since I last sent out an issue of My Little Pony Monthly, but due to Clever Clover's insistence in getting his 2005 Christmas story published and the stories of a new writer, Salaries, I decided to make an effort to send out a Holiday Issue. (It would have been a Christmas Issue, but I got delayed. And now it's even past New Year's. Such is my life.) Will any more editions follow this lone publication of 2006? At this time everything is uncertain, but regardless of the outcome I would like you to please drop a line to our two authors this time around and let them know what you thought about their stories! Clever Clover can be reached at, and Salaries at

Come what may, the staff here at My Little Pony Monthly wishes you all a belated Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Tabby, Sugarberry, and all the rest


The Story of Clever Clover's 2005 Christmas Party
by Clever Clover (

Friendship Gardens was blanketed in snow. The sun had just set and the stars were starting to sparkle in the night sky. At Clever Clover's home, preparations were complete for the Christmas party, and the guests had already started to arrive. The first guest was, of course, Clever Clover's fiancee, Belle Star. Not far behind were her rivals for the purple prince's affections, Morning Glory and Minoko. Next to arrive was Lady Moonshine and her new apprentice, Hemlock. Lady Moonshine naturally brought several bottles of her most very special tea, with which she promptly spiked the punch.

Belle Star's good friend Coral couldn't make it since her agent had scheduled a Christmas day showing of her art in New Pony, but she promised to be free next year. She had invited Belle Star to the showing, but after the events of the last year, Belle thought it best to have a simple holiday at home with Clever Clover.

The guests gathered in the living room, sipping punch (except for Minoko who was drinking tea right from the bottle) and making small talk.

"You certainly have done a nice job of decorating," Lady Moonshine observed. "It's somewhat reminiscent of the great hall at Malachite Castle."

Clever Clover nodded. "Belle Star fell in love with the great hall decorations when we were at the royal wedding, what was that, three years ago already? And when I asked for her help decorating for the party, it just turned out that way."

"Oh yes! That was the best Christmas ever! So romantic," Belle Star sighed. "Clever Clover! Maybe we could have our wedding next Christmas at the castle!"

Clever Clover shrugged. "We'll see."

"I think it's a fine idea," Lady Moonshine contributed. "I can't imagine a more romantic place for a wedding than a castle. What do you think, Hemlock?"

Hemlock's mind had been elsewhere. He shook his head clear and shrugged. "I... suppose."

Lady Moonshine scowled at her apprentice. "I may let you get by with that answer in your lessons, but we are Clever Clover's guests. Try to be more polite."

The young pony bowed to Clever Clover. "Forgive me, I..."

Clever Clover shook his head. "Don't mention it. It's not like this is some formal shin-dig. We're just a bunch of friends getting together for the holidays."

Lady Moonshine shifted her scowl to Clever Clover. "Maybe you could use some etiquette lessons, too."

Morning Glory nodded knowingly. "Yes, yes. That is the one thing he had in common with that Shadow Clover, no sense of etiquette."

Clever Clover hung his head. "I wish Oak would get here; I know he'd be on my side."

"I need some more punch," said Belle Star, as she sprang up from her seat.

"Now there's a pony who's got her priorities straight," observed Minoko. "Hey, Ryo, could you bring me another bottle?"

"Meow," the lop-eared rabbit sighed and shook her head.

Minoko took the last swallow from her bottle and flung it aside. "Some pet you are."

"Don't worry, I'll get you another drink!" Belle Star, who was already at the refreshment table, dispensed some tea into a small serving bottle and set it along with her own cup of punch and a saucer-shaped teacup onto a tray. As she turned to rejoin the party, the tan pony tripped over Clever Clover's vulpix, Pixie. Belle Star twirled about, trying to regain her footing without spilling the drinks on her tray. She gyrated through the living room and half falling, half bowing, planted the tray soundly on Minoko's lap. "Here is your tea, Minoko."

The red and black pirate pony scowled. "I wanted a big bottle."

"Oops, my mistake." Belle Star took her punch and returned to her place next to Clever Clover on the loveseat.

Minoko took the bottle and cup and, setting the tray aside, got up and walked over to Clever Clover. She was just about to seat herself on the arm of the loveseat next to the prince when there was a knock at the door.

Clever Clover stood up. "I wonder who that will be."

"Merry Christmas!" Enchantment beamed as Clever Clover opened the door. "The royal party is not far behind, but I got so excited I just rushed on ahead!"

"Come in, Enchantment, and help yourself to some punch. Ah, but go easy on it."

"Lady Moonshine got to it already?"

Clever Clover nodded.

"That means Hemlock is here!" The eager filly rushed past her host into the living room.

"Merry Christmas!" the gathered guests greeted her in unison.

"Merry Christmas to you all!" Enchantment replied with a polite bow. "Especially to you, Hemlock."

Hemlock rose from his seat on the sofa. "It's good to see you again. Um, how are your studies going?" he asked, nervously.

"They're going well." Enchantment stepped closer. "How about you?"

Hemlock smiled shyly. "Ah, well..." He snapped his hooves and glanced upward expectantly, but nothing happened.

Enchantment giggled. "Is this what you were trying for?" She snapped her hooves and a sprig of mistletoe appeared above their heads.

"Yeah..." Before he could say more, Enchantment pressed her lips to his. Hemlock blushed as the guests oohed and ahhed.

After what seemed to Hemlock like an eternal moment, Lady Moonshine stepped forward. "All right kids, break it up. I think you've had enough for one night."

* * *
Meanwhile, a short distance from Clever Clover's, three travelers trudged through the snow. "I'd like to thank you for inviting me to the party," said Ironwood, captain of the royal guard. "But I feel like I'll be out of place. I mean, it is a prince's party and I'm just a guardpony..."

King Oak shook his head. "Oh, nonsense! Clever Clover is not the type to worry about such things. Besides, I have a special mission for you."

"A mission, your highness?"

"Aye, if our host is to enjoy a pleasant evening with his fiancee, someone is going to have to keep Minoko from getting between them. As Clever Clover's guest lists are always heavy on the fillies, I figured it couldn't hurt to have an extra stallion around to run interference."

"I see... I'm to 'run interference' with Minoko?"

"That's it exactly! I can imagine less pleasant ways to spend the holiday, or rather I could before I met my lovely Gooseberry."

The queen laughed. "That was a nice save, my dear. But look, it seems we've arrived. I do hope Lady Moonshine is already there. After this brisk walk, some of her tea would go quite well."

"Oh, yes, indeed," the stallions agreed in unison.

As they approached the front door, Ironwood stepped forward to knock, but the king held him back. "Tonight we are all equals. You don't need to do anything for me that I am not capable of doing for myself." With that, the king rapped loudly on the door.

Belle Star opened the door and, seeing the royal guests, bowed low. "Oh! Merry Christmas, your highnesses, and Ironwood. Please come in."

"And a merry Christmas to you. But this 'highness' stuff isn't necessary. Tonight we are all equals "

"See!" called Clever Clover from the other room. "I told you he'd be on my side!"

"Right! Now that that's been taken care of, where's the punch? It's bloody cold out here."

Belle Star led the guests to the refreshment table. Once they had been served, they made their way into the living room. Minoko had moved into Belle Star's seat next to Clever Clover. Seeing this, King Oak nudged Ironwood with his elbow. The guardpony nodded and walked over to Minoko.

"Ah, hello, Minoko. Merry Christmas..."

"You're Metalwood, right?"

"That's Ironwood."

Minoko shrugged. "So, do you want something?"

"I thought maybe we could talk."

"Why would I want to talk to you?"

"Well, you were a pirate. I'd like to hear all about your adventures at sea."

"I AM a pirate. Just because those charges have been dropped doesn't change who I am."

"That's cool. Maybe we could go over by the fire and talk about it."

Minoko shook her small tea bottle, which was almost empty. "Yeah, whatever. But I gotta' get somethin' t' drink first."

* * *
While Ironwood was trying to lure Minoko away, Clever Clover had been catching up with the king and queen.

"It's nice to see you both again. But I see Foxglove and Raven couldn't make it."

The king nodded. "Someone had to stay behind and watch the castle. And with Jack O' Lantern in the dungeon, it had to be someone I could trust." The king turned to Lady Moonshine. "Speaking of Jack O' Lantern, how's Hemlock been coming along?"

"Oh, he's been doing quite well, haven't you?" She turned to Hemlock who was so lost in conversation with Enchantment that he was totally unaware of what was being said not five feet away. Lady Moonshine shrugged. "The boy does have a limited attention span, except when it comes to Enchantment."

The queen smiled. "That seems to be just right for a boy his age."

"He gets that from his father, I've heard," said Clever Clover.

"Oh, he doesn't talk much about his father to me. Just who have you been talking too?" Lady Moonshine asked.

"Oh, I don't remember where I heard it, exactly..."

"All right, be that way if you like. But see if I bring you any tea for New Year's."

There was a knock at the door. "That must be Key." If anyone would believe that I talked to the ghost of Hemlock's father, it would be Lady Moonshine, Clever Clover thought as he went to the door. But then, I'm not even sure I believe it.

As he had expected, Clever Clover found Key of the Pony Sea Patrol at the door. "Hi, Clever Clover. Now, I know you're not going to be very happy about this, but he is Belle Star's brother so I couldn't just leave him behind..." Key handed Clever Clover a gayly wrapped gift and slipped past him into the house. "Merry Christmas."

"So, you made it," Clever Clover addressed the tan stallion standing on the doorstep. "Well, I guess since it is Christmas we should at least try to get along, at least for Belle Star's sake." He extended his hoof as a gesture of peace. The tan stallion didn't even acknowledge his presence. "You're not still upset about getting your butt kicked, are you?"

"Oh! Beau! You made it!" Belle Star rushed through the door and gave her brother a big hug.

"It's good to see you, little sister. Though I am surprised that barbaric boyfriend of yours allowed you to invite me."

Clever Clover hung his head and returned to the living room.

"Come in, Beau. And have some punch! It's very good! How are Mom and Dad, and Grandfather?"

"Everyone is well, though they are concerned for you. I told them about the reception I got when I first met Clever Clover, and they agree he is a ruffian."

"Oh, you two just got off on the wrong hoof. I'm sure once you get to know each other you will see what a good pony he is!"

Beau sipped his punch thoughtfully. "We shall see."

The evening wore on. Party games were played, stories were told, and a good time was had by all, though Beau never said a word to Clever Clover. It was nearing midnight when Clever Clover noticed Hemlock sitting by a window, staring at the stars with a melancholy expression on his face.

"Hemlock, is something the matter?" Clever Clover inquired of his guest.

The young pony sighed. "I miss my sister. I thought I could make it through the party without letting it get to me, but seeing Belle Star and her brother..."

Clever Clover didn't know what to say. For a minute, he just stared out at the stars himself, trying to find some words of comfort for Hemlock. "I suppose, wherever she is tonight, she's under the same stars we are. She doesn't seem quite so far away if you look at it that way."

A small smile graced Hemlock's lips. Clever Clover wasn't sure if his words had actually helped, or if he was just trying not to laugh at the lame attempt to cheer him up. Either way, it was an improvement.

"I just wish I had some way of telling her 'Merry Christmas', to let her know that I'm thinking about her."

"I'm sure she knows that you'd remember her on Christmas, the same way I'm sure you know that she remembers you. Now come on, we've all still got gifts to open."

* * *
Meanwhile, on the Dark Isle, Nightshade sat on the side of the bed that had been her brother's. There was a small, sparsely decorated tree in the middle of the room with one gift under it. "Brother, I hope that you have found what it seemed you were always seeking, whatever it was. I know it is for the best that you've left this place, for both you and for our clan, but it is for the sake of our clan that I must stay, that I must see it out to the bitter end. So that I may have vengeance for what Zotikos did to you."


The Adventures of Wild Fire
Chapter 1: Wild Fire Makes a Friend
by Salaries (

Author's note: The main characters in this story are from a race of spirits- spirits of pure good and spirits of pure evil who have been at war with one another for centuries. Two of these spirits, one of good and one of evil, fell in love and had a child. When the other spirits heard of this, they cast the family of three out of the spirit world to live a mortal life on earth.

On a cold winter day, a new pony family came to Dream Valley and moved in to one of the middle class housing projects. The stallion was a white pegasus with a silver mane and tail, light blue eyes, and a symbol of a halo on his side; the mare was a red unicorn with a crimson red mane and tail, flaming red eyes, and the symbol of a pitchfork. The filly was a red unicorn with a flaming orange mane and tail, reddish-orange eyes, and the symbol of a dancing flame. If you stood near these ponies you would feel a radiant energy about them.

As the family sat down to breakfast, the mare looked at her husband with a worried expression on her face. "Salaries, do you think it is wise for us to live amongst mortals?"

"Yes," said the stallion with a smile on his face, "if we are to live on earth we must coexist with the other ponies. If not for our sake," and he put his hoof over his wife's hoof, "for our daughter's." He looked at the filly setting next to her mother.

"I guess you are right," the mare sighed.

As they finished breakfast, Salaries got ready for work; he was a history professor for Pony Pride, with excellent qualifications as he had witnessed the past first-hoof. As he got ready to leave, he kissed his wife and child and told his daughter not to use her spirit powers, unless he or her mother gave her permission.

"I won't, Father," the filly said as she smiled at him.

"That's a good filly." He smiled at his daughter in return and then turned to his wife, giving her another kiss before leaving for work.

"All right, Wild Fire, it's time to start your first day at school," Devilin said as she got their jackets. She walked with her daughter to the administrative building at the school.

"Very well, Mrs. Devilin, we seem to have everything in order," the secretary said as she put papers in a file cabinet and called out to another mare. "Mrs. Sun Bright, would you take Wild Fire to her first class?"

"Yes, ma'am!" And a bright yellow mare came to take Wild Fire's hoof. Devilin bent down and gave her daughter a kiss; then they waved goodbye to each other as Wild Fire was guided to her class.

When they reached the classroom, Sun Bright knocked on the door, and it was opened by an elderly pony. "Miss Hackney, this is Wild Fire and she will be attending your class," the yellow pony explained, pointing to the filly next to her.

"Welcome!" Miss Hackney greeted Wild Fire as she looked down at the filly and took her hoof to guide her into the classroom. As they walked across the room, Wild Fire gazed at the other foals in their seats. Miss Hackney stood in front of the class with Wild Fire and cleared her throat. "Class, this is Wild Fire; I would like to have each of you stand up and give her your name." Each student did this, and when they were finished Miss Hackney showed Wild Fire her seat and started teaching class.

After three hours of studying, the school bell rang for recess. Out on the playground, Wild Fire strolled around and looked at the other foals playing together; then she saw some older foals picking on a young filly, who was on the ground. The filly had a purple body with lavender mane and tail, with the symbol of a bouquet of daffodils. Wild Fire walked towards them and saw the tears in the filly's eyes. "Leave her alone!" the new filly growled at the older foals in front of her.

"And what are you going to do to stop us?" one of the foals said, towering over Wild Fire.

Wild Fire simply stared back at the colt and her eyes began to glow a fiery red. The colt's eyes began to show fear and his face became pale; he started screaming and ran away. When she turned towards the other foals, they, too, ran away.

With that accomplished, Wild Fire walked towards the filly. "Are you all right?"

The filly wiped the tears from her eyes and stood up. "I think so," she said while brushing dust off her body. Just then, the bell rang to start class once more, and the two had to run back to the classroom.

In class, Wild Fire thought to herself, "Why did I feel that I had to save that filly from those bullies? She meant nothing to me and yet when I saw her in tears, something within me wanted to help her." Wild Fire had never had this feeling before and did not know how to handle it.

When the lunch bell rang, Wild Fire went to the cafeteria to get something to eat and then went to one of the outside benches to sit down. As she ate, the filly she had helped at recess came to sit with her. "I would like to thank you for saving me from those mean ponies at recess," the filly announced.

Wild Fire looked at her and gave her a small, tentative smile, not being sure what to say.

"My name is Baby Daffodil. What's yours?" the filly asked, gazing at Wild Fire with her big violet eyes.

Without looking back at Baby Daffodil, Wild Fire answered, "I am called Wild Fire."

"Oh, Wild Fire sounds so dangerous and wild!" Baby Daffodil grinned. "That was really something, how you stared down those bullies. Do you live in Dream Valley?"

Wild Fire looked at Baby Daffodil and wondered why she was so interested in her. "What do you want with me?" she grumbled.

Baby Daffodil lowered her eyes and with a trembling lower lip said, "I just thought we could be friends."

A friend? I never had a friend before, Wild Fire thought to herself as she gazed at Baby Daffodil, feeling something warm in her heart.

Wild Fire stood up from where she was standing and walked over to Baby Daffodil, placing her foreleg on her shoulder. "I would like to be friends with you," she said with a smile. Baby Daffodil looked up into Wild Fire's eyes and gave a big grin.

The bell rang to go back to class, and the two friends walked together back to the classroom.

After school ended for the day, Wild Fire and Baby Daffodil met at the front door and started toward their homes walking side-by-side. Baby Daffodil queried of Wild Fire, "I never found out where you lived."

"I live at 618 Pony Lane in the subdivision," Wild Fire explained.

"No way, I live on the same road, at 619! We're neighbors! Isn't that wild?" Baby Daffodil enthused.

Wild Fire looked at the excited Baby Daffodil and only gave a big smile in response.


The Adventures of Wild Fire
Chapter 2: Wild Fire's First Thanksgiving
by Salaries (

When Wild Fire and Baby Daffodil got to their homes, Baby Daffodil asked, "Wild Fire, would you like to come and play at my house?"

"I'll ask my mother if it would be okay," responded Wild Fire.

"Then I will tell my mother that you are coming over so long as yours allows it," Baby Daffodil acknowledged, as the two fillies went into their separate houses.

When Wild Fire came to the front door, the door opened and her mother stood inside. "Welcome home, little one," Devilin greeted her daughter as she guided her inside and took her to the living room. Sitting on the couch together, Devilin asked, "So how did you like your first day of school?"

"It was fine. Miss Hackney was a very pleasant teacher and the other foals were okay, too," Wild Fire said.

"Did anything interesting occur at school?" Devilin asked as she gazed into her daughter's eyes.

"Well, at recess I helped out a filly with some obnoxious bullies that were hurting her," Wild Fire acknowledged.

"And how did you help this pony?"

"I, um, made the bullies' worst fears appear to them," Wild Fire admitted as she lowered her head.

Devilin's eyes began to glow red with anger. "Didn't your father and I tell you not to use your spirit powers without our permission?!"

"Yes, ma'am, but if you could have looked into those sad eyes-!"

As Wild Fire was talking, she felt her mother getting off the couch. Devilin turned toward her daughter and with her hoof lifted Wild Fire's head and gazed into her daughter's face, seeing a stray tear roll down her cheek. Devilin thought to herself, How could a mortal pony cause my daughter to show such strong emotions? Her gaze softened and she gave her daughter a gentle smile. "This pony you helped must be very special for you to take a chance on being punished for disobeying your father and me about using your spirit powers.

Wild Fire wiped the tears from her eyes and softly replied, "It felt like the right thing to do."

"And was this filly grateful for your help?"

"We have become friends and she invited me to her house to play. May I go?" Wild Fire asked pleadingly.

"And where does this filly live?" Devilin asked.

With a small smile, Wild Fire, replied, "I actually found out, while we were walking home, that we are next door neighbors."

Devilin debated on whether she should let Wild Fire go to her friends house, or send her to her room for disobeying Salaries and herself. There was a knock on the door just then, and when she opened it she saw a purple mare with lavender mane and tail; at her side was a filly that cloned her mother's looks. "May I help you?" Devilin asked.

The new mare softly gazed at Devilin, giving her a warm and gentle smile. "My name is Daffodil and my daughter told me how your daughter came to her rescue when she was attacked by some nasty baby ponies. I wanted to thank her and invite your family to our Thanksgiving dinner."

While the mare was talking, Salaries came up behind her. "What is this I'm hearing about my daughter?" As he spoke, the mare turned around to face him; as Daffodil saw the stallion he mouth dropped open and her eyes widened. He smiled at her, and her heart did a drum roll.

"I, I-" was all Daffodil could get out as she and her daughter were ushered into the house. They sat down next to Wild Fire on the couch in the living room. Salaries sat in the ez-chair; as he sat down, Devilin came and sat on the arm of the chair with one of her forelegs draped around her husband's neck with a little grin on her lips as she watched Daffodil's expression as she gazed at her husband.

As they sat down, Salaries saw that Daffodil was holding a box in her hooves. "Is that box for us?" he asked the mesmerized mare.

Suddenly, she snapped out of her trance. "Oh, yes, I made these peanut butter cookies to give your daughter for her heroic act in protecting my little baby." As she said that, she gave her daughter a hug and Wild Fire the box and a hug.

"Wild Fire, why don't you two young ones go to the kitchen with those cookies while we adults talk," Salaries suggested.

"Yes, Father; come on, Baby Daffodil, let's go," Wild Fire invited. The two fillies slid off the couch and went to the kitchen, sitting down at the breakfast table. As Wild Fire set the box of cookies on the table, she asked, "Why did you come to my house? I thought I was going over to yours after I discussed it with my mother."

"Well, when I got inside, my mother asked me about my day and I told her what you did for me at school and that you live next door to us; and before I could tell her about you coming over, she decided to come over and invite you and your family for Thanksgiving. And she also baked these cookies for you to show her appreciation for what you did." When Baby Daffodil finished her story, she noticed that her friend had been crying. "Did something bad happen when you got home?"

Wild Fire, not wanting her friend to know about her spirit powers, knew that she would have to think of a devilishly good lie. "Yes, we got a letter from my grandmother telling us that my grandfather had passed away, and it was very upsetting to hear."

"I am sorry for your loss. I hope your grandmother will be all right?" Baby Daffodil patted her friend's hoof that lay on the tabletop.

"Oh, yes, some of our relatives live in the same town, so she is not facing it alone."

"I am glad to hear that. Are you and your parents going to the funeral?

Wild Fire began to think quickly about her reply to Baby Daffodil's question. "No, the distance we would have to go would be too great to travel, so we will send our condolences to Grandmother."

"That's nice," said Baby Daffodil.

Wild Fire opened the box of cookies. "Baby Daffodil, how about we have some of these cookies?"

"That sounds great to me!"

As Wild Fire went to get glasses and plates, Baby Daffodil went to the refrigerator for milk; when they got back to the table, Wild Fire placed the dishes and set cookies on the plates while Baby Daffodil poured the milk. They sat on the chairs and began to enjoy the snack.

After some time had passed, their parents came in to the kitchen and saw the fillies' faces full of cookies. "All right, sweetheart, it's time to go back home," said Mother Daffodil.

"I'm coming," replied Baby Daffodil. Before going to her mother, Baby Daffodil approached Wild Fire's parents and gave them each a hug, while sadly saying, "I am sorry that Wild Fire's grandfather died and would like to tell her grandmother that I hope she will feel better soon."

When Baby Daffodil had finished, Salaries and Devilin stared at each other and then looked at their daughter. Wild Fire slowly sank down in her chair.

Mother Daffodil looked at the ponies with sympathetic eyes. "Oh, I am so sorry to hear that you have lost a loved one. I hope you will be able to attend our Thanksgiving dinner on Thursday?"

Salaries and Devilin swung their heads to face the mare. "I have a feeling that we will still be able to make it," Salaries assured her as he looked back towards his daughter.

"Oh, that's good." Daffodil gave a gentle smile to the family. "All right, honey, let's go." As she took Baby Daffodil's foreleg and walked out the door, they all said their goodbyes.

When Devilin closed the door, she looked toward her husband and then they both looked toward the kitchen. "I think a little filly has some explaining to do," Salaries spoke with a little irritation. They returned to the kitchen and stood on either side of Wild Fire's chair and looked down at her. "Wild Fire, I would like to know where Baby Daffodil got the impression that we had a dead relative?" Salaries chided.

Wild Fire looked up to face her parents and began to explain. "Baby Daffodil had seen that I had been crying; I didn't want to tell her about Mother scolding me for using my spirit powers, so I told her it was because my grandfather had died."

Hearing that Wild Fire had also used her spirit power without permission, Salaries looked at her with disappointed eyes and told her to stay put while the two adult ponies went to the living room to discuss the problem at hoof.

After an hour had passed, Salaries and Devilin walked back into the kitchen to tell Wild Fire their decision. "Wild Fire," Salaries began, "your mother told me that your spirit power was used because you wanted to protect Baby Daffodil from those bad little ponies. Even though you used it for a noble purpose, you still disobeyed us and also fabricated a lie that put your mother and me in an uncomfortable situation, so we have decided that two weeks of grounding would be a proper punishment for you."

"Two weeks!" Wild Fire's eyes widened in disbelief and her jaw dropped to the floor.

"Yes, two weeks; but because this 'Thanksgiving' is so close, we have decided to start your punishment the week after and if anyone asks why you were grounded, you are to say that you told a big lie that got out of hoof. That is all; do you understand?"

"Yes, sir, I understand," Wild Fire said, pouting.

Then Salaries told his daughter to tell them the grandfather story exactly the way she had told it to Baby Daffodil, while Devilin started dinner. After dinner, they all went to bed and to sleep.

For the next few days, Wild Fire kept her powers in check, no matter how much she wanted to use them at times. She feared that if she used them her parents would punish her worse than they already had.

The Wednesday before Thanksgiving, Wild Fire and Baby Daffodil were playing in Baby Daffodil's backyard. As Baby Daffodil looked at her best friend who was playing with My Little People dolls, she began to giggle, making Wild Fire stare at her. "What is so funny, baby Daffodil?" Wild Fire asked.

"Oh, it's just that I'm so happy that you are going to be with me on Thanksgiving," Baby Daffodil said in a very happy voice.

Wild Fire started grinning. "What are friends for, if not to be there for each other?

After a few more hours of play, Baby Daffodil's mother opened the back door and called to the fillies, "Girls, time to come inside for dinner!"

As the two fillies nodded their heads in acknowledgment, Baby Daffodil replied, "Just let us pick the toys up and we will be right in, Mother."

"Okay, dear, but don't take too long."

"We won't, Mother." Mother Daffodil went inside and the fillies started to clean up.

When the fillies had finished and were inside, they found Mother Daffodil talking on the phone. She finished the conversation and, hanging up, addressed Wild Fire. "That was your mother on the phone, and she would like you to return home after you have dinner with us."

"Yes, ma'am," Wild Fire replied dutifully. They all headed to the dining room, where Baby Daffodil's father was seated. They all feasted on the food in front of them.

As the dinner came to an end, Wild Fire thanked Ranger and Mother Daffodil for dinner and Baby Daffodil for having her over to play. Then she trotted off to her house and went inside and walked toward the living room where she found her father in the ez-chair and her mother on the couch. Wild Fire plopped herself on the couch next to her mother.

As she sat there, Salaries cleared his throat to speak, and gazed upon the females that sat before him. "I felt that we should know more about this 'Thanksgiving' before we went to our neighbors' Thanksgiving dinner tomorrow, so we will not feel so out of place when we are there. For the past few weeks I have studied the history and traditions of this Thanksgiving and wish to enlighten my beloved family to what I have learned." So his family sat and listened to him as he told them about Thanksgiving; when they felt fully acquainted with the subject, they went up to bed.

The next morning found Wild Fire and her parents at the breakfast table talking about the Thanksgiving dinner that evening. "Does anyone have any questions on our discussion we had yesterday on Thanksgiving?" Salaries asked his family.

Devilin looked at her husband with a devilish smile and told him, "I feel confident in my knowledge of this holiday."

"I do, too," Wild Fire replied.

"Good, then after breakfast we should get ourselves ready for the evening at the neighbors'," Salaries said with an angelic smile on his lips.

As they finished their breakfast, Salaries gazed at the clock; it was ten-thirty and they needed to be at the dinner by three-thirty.

It took three hours to get ready for the dinner party, so the family decided to wait in the living room. Devilin finally began to speak, "I think that we should go ahead to the neighbors' house so that we can get a look at this Thanksgiving before it actually starts."

"That sounds like a very good idea, my love," Salaries agreed, and so they proceeded over to the home of Baby Daffodil.

When they got to the house and rang the bell, the door opened and a stallion appeared. This was Baby Daffodil's father, Ranger. He was a rusty orange color; his hair was bright yellow and his symbol was an evergreen forest. As he recognized who the ponies were, he pulled the door open wider to let them in.

As Wild Fire walked past the stallion, she greeted him with a question. "Hello, Ranger. Where is Baby Daffodil?"

Ranger looked down at Wild Fire and replied, "She is in the kitchen with her mother." So Wild Fire trotted to the kitchen to be with her friend. Ranger turned back to the other two ponies. "It is still a bit early for Thanksgiving dinner, but you are welcome to relax in the living room." As they walked towards the room, Salaries and Devilin looked at all the fall decorations covering the interior.

When they got the living room and sat down on the couch, Mother Daffodil came in with four glasses of apple cider and they all sat to chat until the food was finished cooking. While the adults were chatting in the living room, Wild Fire and Baby Daffodil played in Baby Daffodil's room. Other guests began to arrive and were introduced to Salaries, Devilin, and Wild Fire.

Then Thanksgiving dinner was ready to eat, and Mother Daffodil called everyone to the dining room table. They all sat around the table and gave thanks; everyone started to eat, or talked about family, or the last gossip. When the story of the dead grandfather was told, they all gave the three spirit ponies their condolences; the spirit ponies were overwhelmed with the compassion and friendship that these ponies gave to three strangers. When the evening came to an end and the ponies were ready to go, hugs, kisses, and hoof-shakes were given all around, and even the spirit ponies were included.

When only Salaries, Ranger, Devilin, Mother Daffodil, Wild Fire, and Baby Daffodil were left, the spirit ponies gave their thanks and went back home. As they were walking back, Devilin looked to her family and said with a sigh, "Ever since my creation, I have never felt so much warmth and caring from so many in one place... excluding meeting you and Salaries." The only response Devilin got was a loving kiss from her husband and a gentle hug from her daughter.


The Adventures of Wild Fire
Chapter 3: Wild Fire's Gift to Dream Valley
by Salaries (

Author's dedication: I dedicate this story to Tabby and Sugarberry for their wonderful Christmas stories that inspired Wild Fire's Gift to Dream Valley, and I hope that the spirit and heart that you two put into your stories that gives them so much life will always be strong and never fade away.

After Thanksgiving, Wild Fire started noticing a change in Dream Valley as she gazed at the colored lights, sphere-shaped objects, and iridescent tinsel that covered the town as she was walking to and from school with her best friend, Baby Daffodil. Eventually Wild Fire questioned her friend, "Why are all the ponies hanging all these things in Dream Valley?"

Baby Daffodil looked at her friend with a puzzle expression. "Don't you know what Christmas decorations are?"

Wild Fire gave her friend a blank look. "What is Christmas?"

Baby Daffodil's eyes widened and her mouth gaped open. "Haven't you celebrated Christmas before?"

Wild Fire looked at her friend's stunned expression and tried to think of an answer that would not get her in trouble with her parents, like when she had lied about having a dead grandfather. "Where we came from, they did not celebrate Christmas," Wild Fire finally said.

Hearing this, Baby Daffodil felt sorry for Wild Fire, who had never had a Christmas while growing up. "I feel so bad that you never had the chance to experience the joy of Christmas!" She laid her right front hoof on Wild Fire's shoulder.

"That's okay, Baby Daffodil; it doesn't bother me that I never had a Christmas, so don't worry about it," Wild Fire said, hoping that Baby Daffodil would just forget about it.

"If that's what you want, Wild Fire," Baby Daffodil said with a sigh, putting her hoof back on the ground.

The two fillies reached their respective houses and said their farewells. When baby Daffodil got inside, she saw her mother tidying up the house. As she set her backpack down, she went towards her mother. Mother Daffodil looked up. "How was your day, sweetheart?"

"It was okay," Baby Daffodil said with a frown on her face.

"By the look of you, I would say that you have a problem." Mother Daffodil held her daughter's head in her hoof and looked into her eyes. "Would you like to talk about it, honey?"

Baby Daffodil was silent for a few minutes, and then started to speak. "Mother, if you knew someone who never experienced the joy of Christmas, what would you do?"

On hearing this question, Mother Daffodil sat on the couch and placed her daughter next to her. "Well, honey, that all depends on that pony's religious beliefs; some ponies have different religious beliefs from ourselves and do not celebrate Christmas like we do."

"Well, how do I find out if this pony's religious beliefs are the same as ours?"

"Just go up to your friend and ask politely what religion their family is the next time you two are together." Mother Daffodil placed her front hoof on Baby Daffodil's leg and gave a gentle pat. "Now, go upstairs and get cleaned up for dinner, sweetheart."

"Yes, ma'am!" Baby Daffodil slid off the couch and went upstairs.

Mother Daffodil watched her and wondered if the pony Baby Daffodil was worried about could be Wild Fire, knowing how close the two fillies were now. Mother Daffodil also got up and went to make dinner.

The next day as Wild Fire and Baby Daffodil were going to school, Baby Daffodil thought to herself of what her mother had told her about different religious beliefs and wondered if her friends had different beliefs than herself.

All during school, Baby Daffodil puzzled over how she would approach Wild Fire on the subject. By the time she felt comfortable bringing it up, they were heading home from school. "Wild Fire, may I ask you a question?"

Wild Fire stopped walking and looked at her friend. "This doesn't have anything to do with Christmas, does it?"

"Not directly," Baby Daffodil said with a pleading look on her face, making Wild Fire roll her eyes toward the sky and think to herself, Why me?

However, she told her friend in a cool but pleasant voice, "What do you want to ask me?"

Baby Daffodil paused to put her thoughts in order so that she would not say anything offensive. "I was wondering what church you go to on Sundays?"

"What is a church?" Wild Fire asked with a look of puzzlement on her face.

Baby Daffodil looked at her friend with a surprised expression on her face, which made Wild Fire wish that she had never opened her mouth. "You have never been to a church?" Baby Daffodil asked in disbelief.

Wild Fire, wanting to get off the subject, told her friend, "I may have gone to a church when I was very little and just don't remember."

"Then do you think I could ask your parents what church you have gone to?" Baby Daffodil asked.

Seeing that Baby Daffodil would not stop bugging her about the topic, Wild Fire decided to give in. "Let me talk to my parents and I will tell you what they say tomorrow. Okay?"

Baby Daffodil thought it over and replied, "Okay." Then they resumed their walk.

"How am I going to explain this church thing to Mom and Dad and not sound like I got myself in a mess again?" Wild Fire berated herself when she got home and had separated from Baby Daffodil. She chided herself for being too inquisitive and ever asking about Christmas; she should learn to keep her mouth shut around mortals, even if the mortal was her best friend.

When Wild Fire was finally ready to face her parents, she went to the living room where her father was reading the paper and her mother was just coming in from the kitchen. Wild Fire sat down on the couch, and Salaries looked up at her. "Aren't you supposed to be grounded in your room for two weeks, young lady?"

"Yes, sir, but I have a little problem I need your help on."

As Devilin heard this, she walked up to the couch and sat next to her daughter. "And what type of trouble is it that you're in?"

Wild Fire saw her parents staring at her and started fidgeting to find the right words to say. "Well, I got into a little discussion with Baby Daffodil about all those decorations covering the city, and she wants to know what kind of church we go to." Devilin herself looked a little puzzled at this as well as Wild Fire, but Salaries smiled at the two females.

"A church is a place that the ponies go to praise the Great Creator," Salaries explained.

Wild Fire was still a little puzzled. "Who is this Great Creator?"

Salaries and Devilin looked at their daughter with a loving smile, and Salaries decided to tell his daughter about their life before they lived with the mortals. "You see, Wild Fire, before you were born and we came to live with these ponies, your mother and I lived with the Great Creator, me on the side of good and your mother on the side of evil. We were always in battle, keeping each other from being the dominant force. Your mother and I met in one of these battles; we were both ready to destroy each other, but as we stood and stared at each other something within us- be it love, the Great Creator, or just being unsure- kept us from wanting to hurt each other. Other battles kept us busy, but the thoughts and feelings we had for each other grew, until we could no longer ignore them.

"We knew that the consequence would be for one of pure good and one of pure evil to consummate their love for each other. We did not care as long as we were together; and when your mother gave birth to you nothing in the universe could hold back the joy I felt. However, our joy was not to last as the other spirits got suspicious of our actions and found out about your birth. They were prepared to destroy your mother, you, and me. If it wasn't for the intervention of the Great Creator, we would not be here talking right now; instead of having us destroyed, He banished us to the mortal world, where we must live and act like mortals ourselves."

As Salaries finished his story, his daughter looked at him and asked, "You are not going to want me to tell Baby Daffodil that story when she asks me what church I go to, are you?"

"No, of course not; you just tell her that we are Catholic and with our traveling and our settling in Dream Valley, we never had time for a proper Christmas nor going to church on a regular basis." Now that Salaries was finished, Devilin went back to the kitchen to prepare dinner and Wild Fire went upstairs to her room for her two weeks of being grounded.

The next day, the two fillies headed to school and Baby Daffodil asked Wild Fire, "So did your patents tell you what church you go to?"

Wild Fire recalled what her father had told her to tell Baby Daffodil concerning their religion, minus the family story, and gave the information to her friend word-for-word from what Salaries had said.

After hearing her friend and finding out why she had not known her religion or what Christmas was, Baby Daffodil felt sorry for Wild Fire and decided to ask her parents after school what could be done to make this Christmas a special one for Wild Fire, but she wanted any plans kept secret. She simply looked at her friend with a smile and said, "I am glad that you and I go to the same church and that your parents did not completely forsake Christmas."

As Baby Daffodil finished talking, Wild Fire thought that the subject was now behind them and gave her friend a smile of relief.

All during school, Baby Daffodil made sure that she did not do or say anything that would reveal her plans to Wild Fire. After school, the fillies walked to their neighborhood and parted ways after saying goodbye. Baby Daffodil, upon going inside her house, sought out her parents in the kitchen.

Her parents gave her a friendly greeting. "Hi there, sweetheart, how was your day?"

When Baby Daffodil took her seat, she began to tell her mother and father about Wild Fire's religion; Ranger and Daffodil also began to feel sorry for their daughter's friend as they heard the story. As Baby Daffodil finished, she asked them, "Isn't there something we can do to make this Christmas something special for them?" She looked up at them with a pleading look on her face.

Mother Daffodil thought to herself while looking at her daughter and then her husband. "Ranger, do you think that you could get some of your buddies to help you get a Christmas tree from the Dark Forest?"

"After I tell them why we need the tree, they will be more than happy to help," Ranger said with confidence.

"That's good, and I will go and call the mares around town; I know they will donate some Christmas decorations when I tell them what the purpose is," Daffodil continued.

Baby Daffodil, feeling left out, asked, "What about me?"

"Keep your friend and her family busy and make sure they don't find out what we are doing before we are ready with the surprise," Mother Daffodil planned.

The next morning, Ranger, Daffodil, and Baby Daffodil sat down to breakfast together. "Does everyone know what to do?" Daffodil asked.

"I am going to get my friends to help us get a Christmas tree," Ranger replied.

"And I'm going to keep Wild Fire and her family busy so they don't find out what we're up to!" Baby Daffodil added.

"All right now, then let Project Christmas Surprise begin!" As Mother Daffodil finished her speech, all three slapped their front hooves together and went to their separate duties. While Daffodil was calling her friends for help, Ranger was asking his friends at work, and Baby Daffodil kept Wild Fire busy.

When the three ponies gathered back at the house, Mother Daffodil asked, "How did everything go with you two?"

Ranger looked to his wife with a grin. "My friends said that they will be happy to help."

"And some of the ponies gave sympathetic looks to Wild Fire because she doesn't know about Christmas, but I just told her that was part of the Christmas tradition," Baby Daffodil said with excitement.

"And how was your day, my love?" Ranger asked with curiosity.

"My friends said that they would be delighted to donate the decorations, and they are going to see if they can get other ponies to donate as well," Mother Daffodil said with giddiness. "Do you think you and your friends could get the Christmas tree this coming Saturday morning and have it ready to take to Salaries, Devilin, and Wild Fire's home the same afternoon?

Ranger gave a positive nod to his wife. "I don't see that being a problem."

"Good; and, honey, I want you to be here with me to help with the decorations," Mother Daffodil said, looking at her daughter.

"Yes, ma'am," Baby Daffodil said, barely keeping her excitement contained.

On Friday, Ranger, Mother Daffodil, and Baby Daffodil began getting things ready and called their friends to make sure they were still in on the plan. Salaries, Devilin, and Wild Fire were kept in the dark about the plans for the big event. Preparations were finished and dinner was eaten; they went to bed for a good night of sleep, but Baby Daffodil was too excited to sleep, thinking of Wild Fire's expression when they surprised her and her family. Finally, she gave in to exhaustion and fell asleep with a joyful smile on her lips.

On Saturday morning, Ranger, Mother Daffodil, and Baby Daffodil went downstairs to eat a quick breakfast. When they finished their meal, Ranger got up. "I better get going if I am going to have that Christmas tree here on time." He kissed his wife and daughter and went out the front door toward the forest with his friends.

When Ranger was gone, Daffodil said, "We better clean up the kitchen and get ready ourselves." Mother and daughter began cleaning up, and when they finished Mother Daffodil went to the living room to call her friends to confirm the time of their arrival. Then she and Baby Daffodil went back to the kitchen to make some snacks for the stallions and mares that would be at their house.

Meanwhile, in the Dark Forest, the stallions were still hunting for a perfect Christmas tree. "What about this one?" a yellow stallion said as he pointed to a tree.

"It's too tall for their house," replied Ranger.

After about a dozen or so trees, they all decided that the next tree that would fit into the house would be the one they took. While they were walking along, a bright light began to shine in the forest, causing the stallions to stop.

"What in Ponyland is making that light?" Ranger said as the other ponies just shrugged their shoulders. They all walked towards the light and suddenly saw the most beautiful Christmas tree any of them had ever seen. With a smile, Ranger announced, "We found our Christmas tree." He started toward it with his axe and began cutting the tree down.

Meanwhile, the mares began arriving at Daffodil's house with decorations; Mother Daffodil, being a gracious hostess, began serving snacks. Close to noon, she heard the back door open and saw her husband come in with the rest of the stallions behind him. "I didn't think you were going to get here on time," Mother Daffodil said with a worried look on her face.

Ranger looked at his wife with a big smile on his face and announced, "When you see the tree we found, you will be glad of the time it took."

By the time the clock had struck noon and the ponies had had their fill of the snacks that were laid out, they began their trek to the neighbors' house. When they arrived, Mother Daffodil told the other ponies to stand back, so as not to freak out her neighbors when their door opened.

Mother Daffodil rang the bell, and then heard hoofsteps. The door opened to show Devilin. Mother Daffodil asked, "Hello, Devilin, could me and a few friends come in? We have a little Christmas gift we would like to give you and your family."

Devilin looked at the mare that she considered to be a good friend of the family and conceded, "I guess that will be all right." She opened the door wider to let the ponies in. Mother Daffodil waved the others to come in, and Devilin saw that there were about twenty-six ponies armed with boxes and a big tree. Before she could do anything they all began to herd into the house. Irritated, Devilin started looking for Daffodil to find out what in Ponyland was going on, and finally found her talking to Salaries. When Salaries saw his wife approaching them with a none-too-happy look on her face, he decided it would be a good idea to get to his wife before his wife got to Daffodil.

"Honey, isn't this wonderful of Daffodil to give us a real Christmas this year?" Salaries said as he walked up to a now-confused Devilin; seeing her expression, he started to explain what was happening.

Upstairs in her room, Wild Fire heard the many hoofsteps downstairs; and being a curious little filly, she opened her door and went downstairs to investigate. With a dumbfounded look on her face, she saw a dozen ponies putting up a tree and hanging Christmas decorations on it and the house.

"I see a certain filly is out of her room." Wild Fire slowly turned around to face her parents, but they both assured her with a nuzzle that they were not angry about her leaving her room. "So what do you think of these decorations?" Salaries asked her.

Wild Fire, looking at her parents and Baby Daffodil, sighed happily, "I think it is the most beautiful sight I have ever seen."

When the decoration was finished, Devilin and Mother Daffodil came out of the kitchen with hot chocolate and sandwiches. After refreshments and chitchatting, the guests all headed on their way home. Salaries, Devilin, and Wild Fire gave their thanks and appreciation for the work their new friends had done.

Eventually, everyone was gone except for Baby Daffodil and her family. "Ranger, Daffodil, and Baby Daffodil, my family and I have heard that it was you three that organized this whole affair, and we are very grateful to all of you and are honored to call you our friends." As Salaries finished his speech, Mother Daffodil and Baby Daffodil's cheeks flushed.

Ranger smiled as he said, "That is what friends are for, to be there for one another." With that said, the ponies hugged and shook hooves before departing.

Mother Daffodil asked from the front door, "You will be attending the Christmas function at the church the Sunday before Christmas, won't you?"

Salaries turned to his family and then to their friends and said, "Yes, we will be there."

"That's great; let's all meet here at your house and leave together!"

"That sounds perfect," Salaries said warmly.

With light hearts they all said goodnight to each other and headed for home.

The days passed and the day of the Christmas function came closer. Devilin began to notice a worried look on her husband's face. "What is it that worries you so, my dear husband?"

Salaries, hearing his wife's concern, looked to her with a feeling of dread in his heart. "I fear that going to this church may do you harm."

She looked at her husband with a puzzled look on her face. "Why would you think such a thing?"

"I feel that being in a place that worships the Spirit of pure good may be unpleasant for one born of pure evil," Salaries expressed his concern.

Devilin smiled at her husband and said, "I think living all these years with you has given me some immunity, don't you think?"

While holding his wife in a loving embrace and placing his lips next to her ear, Salaries whispered, "But to play it safe, I will learn more about this religion to see what we should do to make sure you will not have any trouble while at church." Then he turned to face his wife and with all his love gave her a passionate kiss.

The day before the Christmas function, Salaries gathered his family in the living room to discuss how they would precede. Salaries looked with conviction towards his family. "I have done a deep study of this religion and think that if I touch anything that the priest has blessed, I will be able to absorb the good energy from it so that Devilin will not have any discomfort during our time at the church."

Devilin looked at her husband with a disconcerting look on her face. "Salaries, I don't think that if I touch a blessed object I will go up in flames."

"You mean everything to me and I will not take any chances with your well-being," Salaries replied as he took his wife's hoof in his.

Wild Fire, thinking about what her father had said, gave him a tap on his leg to get his attention. As Salaries looked at her, she asked, "What about me?"

Seeing the worry in his daughter's eyes, Salaries smiled. "Wild Fire, being born of both pure good and pure evil, you are immune to both sides.

Wild Fire felt relieved at hearing this, but then took pity on her mother's frustration. She walked to her mother and placed her forelegs around Devilin's waist and hugged her. "Don't worry, Mother, I will protect you."

Devilin looked down at her daughter and gently patted her head. Giving a great big sigh, she announced, "With my two protectors with me, what do I have to worry about?" With that settled, they all gave a group hug and went to their daily duties.

The day of the Christmas function came around, and Wild Fire's family prepared themselves for the journey to the church. Baby Daffodil's family came over before it was time to leave, and were let inside. "Is everyone ready to go?" Mother Daffodil asked excitedly.

Salaries looked to his wife and daughter for a sign that they were ready; both females gave him a smile, so he turned to Mother Daffodil and said, "We are ready, willing, and able." With that said, the two families headed to church with the two fillies leading the way.

When they finally got to the church and went inside, Salaries, Devilin, and Wild Fire observed Baby Daffodil's family placing one of their front hooves into a bowl of water and then touching their foreheads, chests, and shoulders. When it was his family's turn to do the same, Salaries went to the bowl of water first; as his hoof touched the water, any good energy in it was absorbed into his body, making it safe for Devilin and Wild Fire to perform the ritual. Salaries casually touched the bowl again and returned the good energy that was in it.

Salaries did this to every object he felt would harm his wife in any way. As the ponies found a place to sit, Father Isaac came out of the back room and stood behind the altar. "I hear that we have three new ponies in our congregation today, and I would like to have them stand up so we can welcome them," the priest announced. Mother Daffodil motioned Salaries, Devilin, and Wild Fire to stand; the family did so, looking at the congregation around them with unease. Father Isaac lifted his forelegs like an orchestra leader, and all the ponies in the church welcomed the newcomers. The ponies sat down, and Father Isaac began to say Mass.

When the Mass was over, the ponies went to the church hall for a Christmas lunch. Salaries, Devilin, and Wild Fire were the recipients of many personal greetings during this time from other ponies in the parish. Wild Fire and her family stood and stared at the large dining hall once they entered the doors. Their good friends took them by the hoof and guided them to a reserved table where Father Isaac was sitting. The six friends sat down and things began to settle down; then Father Isaac got up and tapped on his glass to get the other ponies' attention.

"This Christmas will be a very special one for three ponies who never had the chance to celebrate Christmas until they came to Dream Valley, and these ponies are the same ones that we welcomed at Mass this morning." Father Isaac paused in his speech, and all eyes turned to Salaries, Devilin, and Wild Fire, making them a little tense. Father Isaac began to speak again. "And I, for one, wish these ponies all the joy and happiness that this holiday brings." With those last words, Father Isaac lifted his glass with an angelic smile and said, "Merry Christmas."

Then all the ponies in the church hall lifted their glasses high and with a great joy that Christmas brings, yelled out in unison, "Merry Christmas!" With that done, Father Isaac gave thanks for the food they were about to partake, and then the ponies started to chow down on the meal in front of them.

After the meal was over, the ponies slowly began to head home; before Wild Fire's family left, Father Isaac stopped them and asked, "You will be here on Christmas Eve to see the Living Nativity, I hope? It will be so festive."

Before they could say anything in reply, Mother Daffodil came up and said, "Oh, of course they will be at the Living Nativity. Isn't that right?" The three ponies stared at the mare with a surprised expression, but could only nod in agreement. Father Isaac said his goodbyes and went on his way.

When the ponies were back at their house, Salaries asked their friends, "Would you all like to have a cup of hot chocolate before going home?"

"That would be nice," Mother Daffodil said warmly.

As Devilin passed her husband, she gave him the look of an evil spirit ready to destroy her adversary, making Salaries get a shiver down his spine and wondering what was bothering his wife.

While the fillies went to Wild Fire's room to play, the adults went to the living room to sit down. Devilin excused herself to the kitchen to make the hot chocolate, and Salaries followed her to find out what was wrong. "Is there something bothering you, my love?"

When Devilin heard her husband's question, she turned to him with flames in her eyes. "Is there something bothering me? Well, let's see. We were put on exhibition by that Father Isaac while we were at church, and I know that Daffodil had something to do with it. And talking about Daffodil, what gave her the right to tell that priest that we were going to that Living Nativity?" she spat.

Salaries looked at his wife and tried to come up with an answer that would please her. "You know Daffodil, she always over does things a bit, but she does it out of love for us."

Devilin just looked at her husband and said, "Sometimes I wish she had a little less love for us than she does."

Salaries came closer to his wife and held her in a loving embrace, placing his lips on hers. Mother Daffodil chose this instant to enter the kitchen, asking, "Do you need any help in here?" However, then she saw them kissing. "Oh, excuse me, I didn't mean to interrupt." With an embarrassed look on her face, Mother Daffodil turned around and trotted right back to the living room.

Salaries and Devilin, after being interrupted, looked at each other and smiled. "I better get the hot chocolate made, even though Daffodil did seem a bit flushed," Devilin announced. Salaries got cups out while Devilin boiled water.

Ranger saw his wife come back into the living room with a reddened face. "What has made your cheeks so flushed, my dear?"

Mother Daffodil sat down next to him on the couch. "Let's just say that I picked an improper time to go into the kitchen."

Ranger, thinking that their friends were doing things other than making hot chocolate, just looked at his wife with a grin.

Awhile later, Salaries and Devilin appeared with cups of cocoa in their hooves. Devilin set the cups down and then went to the stairs to call the fillies down. "Wild Fire!"

Wild Fire heard her mother call and went to the door to answer. "Yes, Mother!"

"You and baby Daffodil come downstairs for some hot chocolate!"

"Yes, ma'am, we'll be right down!"

A short time later, the fillies came down and headed to the living room. They all sat drinking hot chocolate and having casual conversation into the late hours of the night.

Before Mother Daffodil and her family left, she reminded her friend, "We will be over Christmas Eve to take all of you to the Living Nativity."

Devilin looked at her husband and then back at Mother Daffodil and said with a smile, "We can hardly wait to go." Under her breath so that only Salaries could hear, she added, "Yeah, I can hardly wait to be bored out of my skull."

When their friends had disappeared from sight, Salaries smiled indulgently at his wife's remark as he guided her back into the house.

The days flew by before Christmas Eve, and the day was finally upon them. Salaries, Devilin, and Wild Fire were getting ready for the outing when the doorbell rang. Wild Fire went to answer it and found Baby Daffodil and her family; happily, she let them in.

When Mother Daffodil had the audience of Wild Fire's parents, she announced, "My family and I thought that we all should get a bite to eat at a restaurant before heading to the church, if that is okay with you."

"That sounds fine. What restaurant did you have in mind?" Salaries said with a smile.

Grinning, Mother Daffodil said, "We are going to the Estate Manor." Then they all herded out the door.

Once they were seated at the Estate Manor, Salaries, Devilin, and Wild Fire just stared at the medieval design of the restaurant. The waiter came to the table and gave out menus to the group; Salaries looked at the prices and his jaw dropped.

Mother Daffodil saw the bewildered look on the stallion's face and announced, "Don't worry about the price; my husband I will be treating."

"But it's so expensive," Salaries declared.

"Just consider this an early Christmas present from us to all of you for being such good friends." Before Salaries could reject the offer, Mother Daffodil put a hoof over his mouth and said, "And I won't hear any 'but's' about it." With that said, the ponies stared at the menus and gave their orders to the waiter. While they were waiting for their food, Mother Daffodil asked her friends, "Will any of your relatives be visiting on Christmas Day?"

"No, we will be spending Christmas alone," Salaries replied.

"Oh, a cozy family Christmas sounds sweet," Mother Daffodil said unconvincingly, making Salaries, Devilin, and Wild Fire wonder what could be on the mare's mind. Then the talk went to other things that were happening around Dream Valley.

The waiter came with their food, so the ponies stopped talking and began to eat. After they had finished and paid the bill, they went on to the Living Nativity held at the church. A herd of ponies had already gathered when they arrived. When they got closer, they saw that some foals were dressed in biblical costumes. Standing with the adult ponies, Father Isaac noticed their arrival and walked over to the newcomers. "I am so glad that you could all make it here," he said warmly, shaking their hooves. Looking at Wild Fire and Baby Daffodil, he added, "If it is all right with your parents, how would you two like to go to the church hall? We have games and toys you can play with until the activities start." The two fillies looked to their parents for permission, and with a nod of the head and a warning to be back for the activities, the fillies went off to play while the adults mingled with the other adults.

When the sun began to set, Father Isaac gathered the foals that were in the Living Nativity. The colts and fillies in the church hall came outside to be with their parents; when Wild Fire and Baby Daffodil were back with theirs, the lights around the stage for the nativity dimmed. Unfortunately, they then started flickering and then went out completely. The ponies sighed in disappointment.

Wild Fire, seeing all the ponies sad looks, went to her parents and asked, "Isn't there something we can do to help?"

Salaries, hearing his daughter's plea, whispered to Devilin and Wild Fire, "Follow me to the back of the crowd." When they were away from the other ponies, Salaries continued, "Now, let's hold hooves and concentrate together on bringing light to this Nativity." As they were concentrating, a pure white light began to appear way above the ponies, becoming brighter and brighter with each second. One of the mares finally looked up in the sky and exclaimed, "Hey, everybody, look at that!" She pointed up with her hoof, causing all eyes to look up at the spectacle. Suddenly, the light cast its illumination over the entire Nativity, giving it an angelic glow and making all the ponies feel surprisingly warm and joyful, bathed in the light's glow.

When Salaries, Devilin, and Wild Fire heard the ponies' excitement, they opened their eyes to view the scene in front of them. "What's going on with everyone?" a puzzled Devilin asked Salaries.

Salaries, looking up in the sky, responded, "It seems that when we focused our spirit energy to create light we inadvertently created the Holy Star, which we created many centuries ago to guide the mortals to the Creator's Son this same faithful night. All the ponies are feeling the love that was felt those many years past."

While Salaries was talking, a stallion's voice rang out, "I found them!" It was Ranger with his family.

"We were wondering what happened to all of you when the lights went out," a worried Mother Daffodil said.

"We decided it would be safer against the wall here," Salaries explained.

While the ponies were talking, newsponies from the television and newspaper came to report on the mystifying light in the sky. While the families watched the reporters, Salaries decided that it would be a good idea to head back home since it was getting so hectic in the area. They walked back to their street together.

On Christmas Day itself, Salaries, Devilin, and Wild Fire met each other downstairs and went to the Christmas tree to open the presents they had gotten for each other with the help of their good neighbors and friends. As they were opening gifts, the door bell rang. "I wonder who that could be," Devilin said in a sarcastic tone as she got up to answer it. She opened the door and continued sarcastically, "Oh, look, Daffodil and her family is here. What a surprise." She opened the door wider to let them in, however.

Mother Daffodil saw that the ponies were still opening their gifts, and she looked apologetic. "Oh, I am so sorry; I didn't mean to interrupt your sharing of gifts."

Salaries, giving the mare a reassuring smile, said in reply, "That's quite all right. You and your family are always welcome in our house, anytime, day or night."

Mother Daffodil, now feeling a bit better for intruding, gesturing to her daughter to hoof-out the gifts they had brought. Salaries looked at Baby Daffodil with a smile as she hoofed him his gift. "You all did not have to bring us these presents; you have done so much for us already."

"Nonsense; what are gifts for but to give to those we care about?"

Hearing Mother Daffodil's kind words, Salaries realized he needed a conference with his family. "Would you all excuse us for a minute? I would like to talk to my family." He gestured for Devilin and Wild Fire to follow him to the kitchen. When they were gathered there, Salaries continued, "We must give these kind and loving ponies something special."

"And what do you suggest we give them?" Devilin asked.

Wild Fire spoke-up, "I know what will make a nice gift that they will all enjoy."

"What type of gift do you have in mind, little one?" Salaries asked.

With a big smile, Wild Fire explained, "The Magical Crystal Orb of Creation. With it, they can see Ponyland's past unfold in front of them that before they could only read about in books."

"And how do we explain to them that we have an orb that can see the past?" Salaries queried.

Devilin looked at her husband and placed a hoof gently on his face. "You will think of something to say; you always do." She gave him a loving kiss on the cheek. So, Salaries summoned the crystal orb and they headed back to the living room.

With the orb in one hoof, Salaries stood in front of their friends with Devilin and Wild Fire on either side. He announced, "You three have shown my family friendship, caring, and devotion, and have made us feel like part of your family since we arrived in Dream Valley. And so, we would like to give you all this crystal orb that has been in our family for many generations. With it, you are able to peer into Ponyland's past."

Ranger, Mother Daffodil, and Baby Daffodil stood silent for a few moments, and then Mother Daffodil began to speak. "We couldn't take something that's been in your family for generations!"

Devilin walked up to Mother Daffodil and said, "As far as we are concerned, you and your family are as much a part of ours as if you were blood relatives."

Hearing this warm sentiment, Mother Daffodil burst into tears of happiness and gave Devilin a hug of affection. Devilin returned it the best way she could, being pure evil though she was and not understanding the emotions that Mother Daffodil was showing.

Salaries set the orb on the table so that their friends could look at it more closely. As they stared at it, they noticed four figures that supported the orb; three of them they recognized as the three types of ponies that inhabit Dream Valley, the Earth, Unicorn, and Pegasus ponies. However, the fourth one looked like a combination of the other three.

Ranger asked, "So how does this orb show Ponyland's past?"

"All you have to do is look into it and think of what time and event in the past you wish to see, and it will appear before you," Salaries explained.

"So who's going to look into it first?" Ranger asked, turning to his family.

Devilin added, "The orb can show multiple images to many ponies at the same time; and if you wish to share a vision with another pony, all you need to do is touch that pony."

So Ranger, Mother Daffodil, and Baby Daffodil each looked into the orb and as they did, they began to view many past events. Ranger and Mother Daffodil agreed that the orb was a wonderful gift to receive and thanked their very good friends for it. They invited them to their house for Christmas dinner and if you had happened to see these ponies walking from one house to the other, you would swear that angels from heaven were walking beside them judging from the angelic smiles on their faces.


Go Back to My Little Pony Monthly Index
Go Back to Tabby's Dream Valley