A Glimpse In Time
written by Tabby and Sugarberry

"Aww, it's locked!" Lemon Treats sighed, disappointed. She was busy cleaning the attic of Paradise Estate, and had just come across an ancient-looking wooden case with gold hinges. "Well, I'll take it downstairs. Maybe I can find something to open it with down there." So she lugged it down the stairs and set it on the kitchen table.

Lemon Treats rummaged through the junk drawer, hoping to find something useful to open the case. In one of the back corners she found a heavy, ornately carved old-fashioned key. "Looks like just the thing," she said happily. She inserted the key into the case's keyhole and held her breath. To her delight, it worked! She eagerly lifted the lid and looked inside. A diary! Lemon Treats snatched it up.

A ragged edge revealed that the page that had once shown the name of the owner had been torn out of the diary. The entries told of earlier days in Ponyland, from the year 1910. Whoever had kept it had lived a happy, carefree life; her days were filled with studies, afternoon teas, and formal dances.

Suddenly, Lemon Treats' heart skipped a beat as the entries became more personal. She settled into the corner of the sofa and read as if mesmerized:

February 14, 1910

I met the most handsome stallion at the Valentine Ball tonight! I was talking with Pansy and Teardrop when he walked in. I was staring at him; and when he looked my way and caught my eye, he stopped and stared, too. Then he came to me, bowed, and asked, "Would the most beautiful pony in the world dance with me?" I blushed bright red, I'm sure, but we walked together to the dance floor and waltzed the rest of the night away. His name is Paladin. As we danced, we talked, and I felt like I'd known him forever. We like the same things and think the same thoughts. I have found my soul-mate! He walked me home, and kissed me gently on the cheek before Mother and Father came to the door to see me in. Oh, what a night! A perfect Valentine's Day- I'm so happy!

February 15, 1910

Paladin was waiting for me at the corner when I was on the way to my music lessons. He walked me the rest of the way there. And he had a flower for me, a red rose. He said I was prettier than any flower, but the rose was as close as he could come to my beauty. Oh, he is so wonderful! He waited for me to finish my lesson, then walked me to the ice cream parlor for a banana split which we shared. He walked with me back to the corner by my house, and he kissed my cheek again. Oh, my, I think I'm in love!

February 16, 1910

Pansy and Teardrop came by to invite me to go tobogganing this afternoon. Mother let me go if I promised to be home before dark. When we got to the corner, there was Paladin again. He asked if he could join our outing, and Pansy laughingly said he could if he pulled the toboggan. I think she likes Paladin, too, but he has eyes only for me. He and I walked side by side, following Pansy and Teardrop. We tobogganed all afternoon and then the four of us went to the ice cream parlor for hot cocoa. Paladin bought me a box of fudge-- "for the sweetest girl he knew" --he said when he gave it to me. He walked me as far as the corner. Mother was getting worried because it was nearly dark.

February 17, 1910

Paladin was at the corner this morning when I went to the store to get groceries for Mother. He walked with me to the store and helped me make my purchases. Grocery shopping was never such fun! He carried the bag home as far as the corner, then asked if I would be able to get away from Mother and Father later tonight to walk with him through the park. I promised him I'd try. After supper, I told Mother I had a headache and went up to my room early. Then I went down the back stairs and slipped out the back door to meet Paladin at the corner. Together we went to the park and walked the paths; even if the evening was cold and crisp, I felt warm and snug with Paladin at my side. We talked and shared dreams and sat in the gazebo on the bench side by side. Paladin handed me a box with a purple ribbon around it. I opened it, and, oh, it was a gorgeous diamond necklace! I've never seen anything so elegant. He said I'd have many more diamonds and jewels if only I'd run away with him to some other place. He promised me he'd treat my like a queen! Oh how I wanted to say yes, but I had to think about it. I'd have to confide in Mother; I couldn't just disappear. But he said not to mention it to anyone. He needed my decision tonight. But I couldn't just leave like that. So he walked me to the corner; he told me to keep the necklace and kissed me on the cheek. But something was different. I felt cold and empty as I snuck back in the house.

February 18, 1910

Teardrop came by this afternoon. She was all excited because Pansy was no where to be seen today; she had disappeared in the night. Her clothes and trunk were gone. No one knows where she went. Or why. I think I know, though. Paladin wasn't at the corner, either.

February 19, 1910

No sign of Pansy or Paladin again today. How can my world crash so suddenly? I thought he loved me as much as I loved him.

February 20, 1910

Teardrop got a letter from Pansy today. She is with Paladin and he has promised her a life of riches and glamour far from Ponyland. She said she probably won't have time to write again.

February 21, 1910

I put the diamond necklace that Paladin gave me in a wooden box today and as soon as the ground thaws enough to dig, I'm going to bury it under the lilac bush out behind the house. I hope by doing that I can put the memory of Paladin behind me. Then I can continue my life from the point before he entered it, and start over again. If anyone ever finds this diary, they are free to claim the necklace as their own. For whoever that might be, the necklace would not be tainted with the memory of Paladin for them as it is for me.

That was the last entry. Lemon Treats sighed and just sat there awhile, holding the diary and staring at the cover. "It's so sad," she said to herself after contemplating it. "But, I wonder if I could find that necklace!"

So she strolled outside and looked around Paradise Estate. "There are TONS of lilac bushes!" she exclaimed. "I'd never be able to find the one she buried the necklace under! Maybe I missed something in the diary." She went back inside and re-read the diary carefully, but still Lemon Treats couldn't find any clue as to which lilac bush the necklace was buried under.

"I'll never find it," Lemon Treats sighed. "And I really wanted to-- it sounds so beautiful!" She placed the diary back in the case, but just as she was about to close the lid she noticed the velvet lining was turned back in one corner.

Lemon Treats gasped excitedly. The lining wasn't fastened down tightly! She stuck her hoof underneath and pulled out a yellowed piece of paper, and the crumbled remains of a red rose.

"Yes! It's a map!" Lemon Treats exclaimed after she had carefully unfolded the paper. She studied it. It showed the location of a lilac bush growing near the river. A rock was next to the bush and the necklace was buried between the two things. A note off to the side of the paper said an "X" had been scratched into the rock to mark the spot.

Lemon Treats anxiously trotted outside and found a shovel. Then she headed down to the river. She walked along the shore and soon found a lilac bush next to a large rock. "This must be it!" she exclaimed, and inspected the rock. "Hmm... but there's no "X" on it..." Lemon Treats started to dig anyway.

After digging a few minutes she felt tired, and sat down on the rock to rest.

Then Friendly the Bushwoolie walked by. "Hi, Lemon Treats!" he greeted her. "What you doing?"

Lemon Treats sighed wearily, still tired from digging. "Well, see, Friendly, it's like this..." she explained the whole story to him.

Friendly paused and thought for awhile. Then he hopped over to the rock and started pulling grass and dirt away from it.

"Look! There's the "X"!" Lemon Treats exclaimed after Friendly had been at it for awhile. "The necklace is definitely here!"

"I dig some more," Friendly said, grabbing the shovel and digging in the hole Lemon Treats had started. Then the shovel made a clicking sound.

"Did you hear that?" Lemon Treats asked excitedly. Friendly nodded and continued to dig. Lemon Treats worked with her hooves. Soon they had uncovered a rough wooden box. They hoisted it out of the hole.

"Lid nailed on," Friendly pointed out after looking at the box.

"I'll pry them out with the shovel," Lemon Treats said and worked at it. Soon the lid was off.

"There's a sack in here!" Lemon Treats lifted it out and reached her hoof in. She pulled out-- the necklace!

"Isn't it gorgeous?" breathed Lemon Treats, fascinated. She was holding it up in the sunlight; it sparkled and sent out rainbows of color.

"Yes, very pretty," Friendly agreed. He looked at the glittering necklace and added, "Like frost on sunny winter morning."

"Thanks for your help!" Lemon Treats told Friendly, and he hopped off cheerfully.

Lemon Treats went back into Paradise Estate. She sat down on the couch and opened the diary again, and re-read all the entries about Paladin.

A tear fell from her eye and dropped on the dazzling necklace. Lemon Treats silently sat there, thinking. Suddenly she knew what she had to do.

She walked back outside to the river, and, in the dusk light, reburied the diamond necklace where it had rested before.

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