Baby Noddins Discovers a Quest
written by Tabby

"Mommy Fallin' Leaves, Baby Fallin' Leaves just nearly died causa me but she didn't wanna come in so I went to tell ya only now she's mad at me," Baby Noddins explained rationally as she ran in the front door of her friend's house.

Mommy Falling Leaves blinked slowly as she digested this information. "Baby Noddins, what happened?"

"We were playin' in the leaves, you know, because she said we could, only then I jumped on top of her when she was hidin' under some of ‘em and I didn't see her and she screamed but she said she ain't hurt but I had to tell you," Baby Noddins elaborated in about ten seconds.

"Well, if she didn't come inside, I don't think she's injured," Mommy Falling Leaves said soothingly. "Why don't you go back out?"

"Nwope, I don't wanna," Baby Noddins shook her head.

"Do you want to go home?"

"Nwo. Me gotta conduct research. Can me conduct research with you?" Baby Noddins queried, her playmate completely slipping her mind.

"Oh, research?" Mommy Falling Leaves said with interest. "What kind of research? Is it for school?"

"I dwon't think so," Baby Noddins said after a pause. "I just cwame up with it."

"Ah!" Mommy Falling Leaves said curiously. "What are you going to do?"

"Okay, me gonna question you now, ‘kay?" Baby Noddins crawled up into the chair around the kitchen table, across from where Mommy Falling Leaves was sitting. "Why are your names so generic, hmm?"

"Well... umm... elaborate, please," Mommy Falling Leaves requested.

"You is Mommy Fallin' Leaves, and Daddy Fallin' Leaves is Daddy Fallin' Leaves, and Baby Fallin' Leaves is Baby Fallin' Leaves," Baby Noddins explained. "Why, huh?"

"That's a very large question for a pony your age," Mommy Falling Leaves said. "Maybe you should wait until you're older to do this research."

"Nwope." Baby Noddins shook her head. "Me gonna do it now, else I forget, ya know. My mommy says I forget a lot. So if me don't research now, me will forget. Me might forget by the time I get home, even. So I gotta do it now. You gotta help me. You're the first one who's gonna help me now."

"If you're sure about that," Mommy Falling Leaves said slowly.

"Me sure. Now, tell me," Baby Noddins requested.

"Okay, Baby Noddins. When I married Daddy Falling Leaves, I simply took his name. And we named our daughter that as well," Mommy Falling Leaves explained.

"Why?" Baby Noddins persisted. "Ain't that borin'?"

"No, it's actually quite easy to remember everyone's name that way," Mommy Falling Leaves went on.

"But couldn't you have kept your original name? What was your original name? Can you tell me?" Baby Noddins said, wide-eyed.

"The name my parents first gave me was Magenta Daffodil," Falling Leaves explained.

"But why didn't you keep it?" Baby Noddins sighed in exasperation.

"Because... because some of us ponies have more old-fashioned ways, and I decided to become Mommy Falling Leaves," Mommy Falling Leaves said. "Now, are you sure you don't want to play more outside with Baby Falling Leaves? She may want--"

"No, no," Baby Noddins said in dismissal. "I must finish my research. It is very important research. I have to get it to Miss Hackney already in the morning. At two o' clock in the morning. So I have to finish it."

"Two o' clock in the morning, is that right?" Mommy Falling Leaves said, amused. "Didn't you just come up with the idea?"

"Yes, but I still have to get it to Miss Hackney by two o' clock in the morning," Baby Noddins said impatiently.

"Is there anything else you need to ask me?" Mommy Falling Leaves questioned.

"Yes. Just let me think." Baby Noddins sat in silence for several moments. "Yes, here be a question. Another one. How come some ponies have last names and middle names and first names? Do they get generic names like yours when they get married? Huh? Why's that?"

"Well... some ponies just have multiple names," Falling Leaves responded slowly. "But some, like my family, don't."

"How'd they get multiple names? Like Tabby? She's got a middle name and a last name and a first name, ya know. She's Tabby ‘Waine Fershund or somethin' like that."

"You'd just have to ask her about that."

"Okay, cwan me call her?"

"She's at work now, Baby Noddins."

"I know that. She's there from eight to five. I'll call her there."

"I don't think she wants to be bothered at the Pokèmon Center."

"Oh, no. I call her there all the time."

"Is that so?"

"Yes. She hangs up after I say hello, but I call her there every day."

"You must really idolize Tabby, Baby Noddins."

"Oh, yes, def-nit-ly. I idol-- idoley-- idoli-- whatever-you-just-said her. Me gonna be just like her. Me gonna be a Pokèmon nurse," Baby Noddins nodded furiously. "Or maybe a vet. Or maybe a voice actress. Me don't know. But me gonna tap my hoof like this--" She tapped her hoof on the table for effect. "--and me gonna say ‘For Pete's sake!' all the time. For Pete's sake! Oh. And me gonna get three names like she got. That's how me decided on this research. To find out how to get more names. I think I will have to ask Tabby."

"Perhaps you'd be better to leave her alone," Mommy Falling Leaves said soothingly.

"But to find out how to get lots of names, I must find someone with lots of names," Baby Noddins explained. "Does anybody besides Tabby have a last name and a first name and a middle name, hmm?"

"I don't really know, Baby Noddins," Falling Leaves said, at a loss. "Shouldn't you be heading home--"

"Oh, no. Mommy swaid I could stay here ‘till... ‘till awhile yet. So I still got awhile yet," Baby Noddins corrected. "But Tamara has more names, too. Is there anybody besides Tabby and Tamara that have many names?"

"Perhaps you'd just better ask their mothers," Falling Leaves said in exasperation.

"Okay," Baby Noddins said seriously. "I have Tabby's mother's phone number."

"You do?"

"Yes. Tabby gave it to me once when I was callin' her. She said, ‘Here, just call my mother, and maybe that'll keep you off this line for awhile.' I'm not swure what that meant, but it sounded important. I wrote the number down, but I never called it yet. I think I will. Then I'll get more names. I never called it ‘cause I've still been trying to talk to Tabby and I never get to do that."

"Baby Noddins, your mother gave me strict instructions to have you home half an hour ago. I don't know where the time went. We'd better get you back there right away. She's probably worried sick. Now, come on, say goodbye to Baby Falling Leaves and I'll walk you home..."

* * *

Later that evening, Baby Noddins was writing up a report for her current findings in her research:

Momy Fallin Leves says her name was diffrent before she got maried. Said somethin about oldfashion. Some ponys have multipull names like Tabby. My momy says that she kept her name and she and daddy named me somefin diffrent. But still only one name, me will call Tabby's Mom now, she will know.

Next, she found the scrap of paper she had scribbled the phone number of Tabby's mother on and ran downstairs to the phone, furtively making sure none of her family members were around.

"Hello, who is calling?" a voice queried from the other end of the line after what seemed like an eternity to Baby Noddins.

"Bwaby Noddins," the baby unicorn said promptly.

"Oh..." There was a pause. "Who are you calling for?"

"I must speak to Tabby's mom for some research," Baby Noddins explained. "It is of utmost importance. Are you Tabby's mom?"

"Ah, you mean Miss Agatha! Just a moment, please."

Baby Noddins appropriately tapped her hoof on the counter while she waited. "For Pete's sake!" she muttered. "I'm conducting research of utmost importance and they're not at their phones."

In reality, Baby Noddins only had to wait approximately half a minute until the voice of Tabby's mother came through the receiver. "Hello! I was informed that there is a certain baby pony wanting to speak to me?"

"Yes, I think so," Baby Noddins said slowly. "I am conducting important research that must be done by... one o' clock this morning. One o' clock, def-nit-ly. Are you Tabby's mom?"

"Oh! You know my Tabitha? Yes, I'm Agatha Fershund."

"I know her very well," Baby Noddins affirmed. "I can copy her tone exactly of how she says, ‘Not you again!' I ido-- ideo-- idea-- whatever-Mommy-Fallin'-Leaves-said-earlier her."

"Are you calling from Dream Valley? Do your parents know you're on the telephone?"

"Oh, they always let me use the phone," Baby Noddins said absentmindedly. "I am Baby Noddins and I must ask you a question of utmost importance."

"That's fascinating!" Agatha said politely. "Go on."

"I need to find out about... about... how does me phrase it... oh! How come some ponies have more than one name and some only one and some are really generic? ‘Cause I was talking to Mommy Fallin' Leaves today and her name is boring and so is the name of Daddy Fallin' Leaves and Baby Fallin' Leaves but I got a diffrent name only it's still one name but Tabby has three names and how'd that happen, hmm?"

"Ah... you are researching names?" Agatha said slowly.

"My report is due to Miss Hackney by tonight at midnight," Baby Noddins clarified. "Why does Tabby get three names? And Tamara has three names too, right? How about you? Do you have three names?"

"Well..." Agatha began. "Most of the families that originated in Dream Valley have only a first name, but there are some that come from different regions who had different naming traditions."

"O-o-oh!" Baby Noddins breathed. "Did you come from a different region?"

"Well, yes, my ancestors did," Agatha said vaguely. "Baby Noddins, did you know this is a long distance call?"

"No, but that don't matter," Baby Noddins said quickly. "How can I get a bigger name like Tabby's? I only got one. Two, if you count the ‘Baby' part, but that don't count."

Agatha paused. "I suppose you could marry someone with a last name."

"Can you find someone with a last name to marry me?"

"Aren't you a bit young for that?"

"How else will I get a bigger name?"

"Well, come back to me on the matter when you're older, then."

"Okay, I will keep your number. I will put it under Tabby's. Are there any ponies in Dream Valley that have a first name and a last name and a middle name?"

"I'm sure there are, Baby Noddins. Now, if I let you go, you could devote more time to local research and find them."

"Me got a quest now!" Baby Noddins squealed. "Goodbye, Mommy Tabby."

"Oh, please, call me Agatha."

"Okay. Goodbye, Agatha." With that, Baby Noddins carefully put the receiver down and brought out her report to add to it.

Awhile later. Tabby's mom, her name is Agatha, that's what she told me to call her, says its ponys from diffrent regions that have three names like Tabby. But my family ain't from a diffrent region, so I only got one. Now I have a quest to find the other ponys around here with long names from diffrent regions. I will show my findings to Tabby. Maybe I will be famos. I will find hystories of all the long names around here. I will report more later on my findings. Goodbye.

Baby Noddins set down her pen and yawned. She would continue on her report tomorrow. Maybe she would ask all the kids in her class about their names. And she would call Tabby at the Pokèmon Center after she got home. And then...

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