Minoko the Fool
written by Clever Clover

It had been a couple of weeks since Clever Clover had proposed to Belle Star and he still hadn't told Morning Glory, Minoko, or anyone else. He was afraid of how Morning Glory and Minoko, especially Minoko, would react. But he felt the time had come. He waited until Belle Star was away on an errand, so as to not put her in harm's way. He got his opportunity one lazy Saturday afternoon while Minoko and Morning Glory were watching a sappy romantic movie on TV.

"Hey you two, I've got something I've got to talk to you about."

"Can't it wait," whined Minoko.

Morning Glory nodded. "Yeah, the movie's just getting to the good part."

"I'd rather get this done while Belle Star is out."

Minoko shrugged. "Oh? This have something to do with her? Why should we be interested?"

"It actually has something to do with all of us...kinda."

"Well, why don't you just spit it out and get it over with."

Clever Clover took a deep breath. "Right, here goes. I've asked Belle Star to marry me, and she said yes."

The two mares stared back in silence. After a few moments Minoko broke out laughing. Shortly after, Morning Glory too began to giggle in a dignified manner befitting a princess. "Oh, I see. I had forgotten what day it is. Very good Clever Clover. You almost had us both fooled."

"What does the day have to do with it?" asked Minoko.

"What? You don't know? It's April first, April Fool's Day."

"What's that mean?"

"It's a day that you play practical jokes on your friends. It's the one day that it's all right to be a made a fool of."

"You need an excuse to play jokes? How lame is that? Still Clever Clover, that was a great joke. You marrying Belle Star? Yeah, right!" The pirate pony resumed her laughter.

"I wasn't joking."

Morning Glory giggled. "Oh, of course not. And let me guess, Jack O Lantern is going top be your best man?"

"Well, we haven't really discussed the details... Hey! You're not taking me seriously!"

"Give it a rest already. We all know you're not marrying Belle Star."

"I give up. I'm going for a walk." Clever Clover skulked out of the house.

* * *

After the movie, seeing as Clever Clover wasn't back from his walk yet, Morning Glory returned to her home. Minoko just sat on the couch, as she did most afternoons, reading comic books. Belle Star got home shortly after Morning Glory left and started putting away the groceries she had bought. She checked items off the list Clever Clover had given her as she put them into the pantry.

"Oh! Now how did I forget that?"

"What? Did you mess up again?" Minoko sneered.

Belle Star was frantically rummaging through the empty grocery bags. "Oh! I know it has to be here somewhere! Where could it be?"

Minoko teleported to the kitchen to see what was the matter. "So, what are you looking for?"

Belle Star looked up from the bags with teary eyes. "I was going to cook supper tonight and the recipe needed cumin and Clever Clover was all out so I was going to buy some but I forgot and now I don't have time to go back into town to get the cumin before I have to start cooking!"

"You're cooking? Is that one of those 'April Fool's' jokes?"

"No," sobbed Belle Star.

"Well, it looks like you could use a good joke. Earlier today Clever Clover told me and Morning Glory that he had proposed to you! Isn't that a hoot!?"

The tears were suddenly gone from Belle Star's eyes. "Oh, he told you? I was hoping we could do it together."

"So, you were in on it, too? You two are a couple of real comedians. Tell you what, you start cooking, I'll run into town and get you your cumin."

"Really!? You'd do that for me?"

Minoko shrugged. "Yeah, why not?" Under her breath she added, "And it'll give me a chance to try out this April Fool's Day on some unsuspecting townsponies."

"What was that?"

"Oh, I don't have any money; could you loan me a few jangles for the cumin?"

So, with Belle Star's money in hoof, Minoko set of for town with mischief on her mind.

* * *

The afternoon wore on. Belle Star began supper, Clever Clover returned from his walk, and Morning Glory returned for the evening meal (at Belle Star's invite).

"Oh! Oh! Where could Minoko be with that cumin?" Belle Star fretted. "If she doesn't get here soon, I wont be able to finish supper!"

Morning Glory sipped a glass of tea. "That's what you get for trusting that pirate with your money."

"I'm sure she'll be back soon," said Clever Clover. "You know how she is, no sense of time."

Just then, there was a commotion outside and Minoko came rushing through the front door, without even bothering to open it. She collapsed onto the floor, sitting with her back against the door, panting.

Belle Star rushed over to her. "Minoko! Have you got the cumin?"

"Oh right, I was supposed to get cumin. It must have slipped my mind with the whole town up in arms against me!"

"What did you do now?" asked Morning Glory.

Belle Star's eyes began to swell with tears. "So you don't have the cumin?"

"Sorry, but I figured it was more important to get away with my hide intact."

The commotion outside was getting louder. Clever Clover peeked out the front window. "It looks like the entire town is out there with torches and pitchforks! What is going on here, Minoko!?"

Minoko shrugged. "Maybe it's an April Fool's joke?"

"So you really do have the cumin?" asked Belle Star.

Minoko glared at the blond pony.

"Minoko," said Morning Glory, sternly. "What IS going on here?"

"I don't know. I went to town to get Belle Star some cumin. On the way to the market, I stopped to have a friendly conversation; and by the time I reached the market, there was an angry mob chasing me. I tried to lose them and double back for the cumin, but they were everywhere. Even the checker at the market chased me, so I came back here."

"M-hm, and just what was the topic of this 'friendly conversation' of yours?" demanded Morning Glory.

"Well, we started off talking about the weather, and how much rain we have had lately. Jack made some comment on how you'd have to be a newt to appreciate this kind of weather..."

Minoko's narration was interrupted by a loud banging at the front door. Clever Clover opened the window beside the door a crack. "What is going on out there?"

"You are harboring a witch!" came the reply.

"A witch! A witch!" echoed the mob.

"And we intend to burn her!" concluded Sundance, the spokespony for the angry mob.

"Burn her! Burn her!" chanted the mob.

"You can't burn Minoko!" said Clever Clover.

"I'd like to see them try," Minoko growled.

Morning Glory grinned. "So would I."

Minoko shot to her feet. "What do you mean by that!?"

"Just what I said!" Morning Glory shot back.

"Oh! Please don't fight!" cried Belle Star.

Clever Clover turned his attention back to the mob. "Why do you say Minoko is a witch?"

"She turned me into a newt!" cried out Jack.

The mob quieted down a moment as all eyes turned to Jack, who was quite obviously not a newt.

"I got better," he said, sheepishly.

"Is that all?" asked Clever Clover

"Of course not!" replied Sundance.

"No! No! She's a witch! Burn her!" cried the mob.

Sundance nodded. "I saw her walk right through a wall!"

"So?" replied Clever Clover. Minoko's power to walk through walls was well known in Friendship Garden. "And what's the deal with the torches? Don't you have any flashlights?"

"She hexed them! All the batteries in Friendship Garden are dead!"

"I didn't hex any batteries!" Minoko called out the window. "I may have turned a couple of ponies into newts, briefly, but that was it!"

"And where did you get so many pitchforks?" Clever Clover asked.

"From Lantern, the tinkerer. Why?"

"Just curious." Clever Clover was starting to understand what was going on. "What else was he selling?"

"Flashlight batteries."

"Dead flashlight batteries?"

"He said Minoko hexed them. She's a witch!"

"A witch! A witch! Burn her!"

"Minoko is not a witch! Lantern scammed you!"

"What? Lantern is an honest tinkerer. Why'd he scam us?"

Clever Clover shook his head. "Lantern is an evil wizard who doesn't like us. He sold you dead batteries so he could turn you against Minoko and sell you a bunch of pitchforks you don't really need."

Sundance's jaw dropped. "You mean HE'S the witch?"

"Ah, that's one way to put it."

The spokespony turned to the mob. "Lantern is the witch! Back to town! We'll burn Lantern!"

"Yeah! Burn him! Burn him!" The mob marched back to Friendship Garden in search of Lantern, the tinkerer.

Minoko scratched her head. "Why would Jack O Lantern do something like this?"

Clever Clover shrugged. "Maybe he hoped the townsponies would be able to do what his goons haven't been able to, since we wouldn't want to hurt them. Or maybe it was just his idea of an April Fool's joke."

"I don't find it very funny," said Morning Glory.

"And I still don't have any cumin," pouted Belle Star.

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