Sparkler stared down at the diamond rings in the glass display case. They didn't
seem to sparkle as much as they had when she'd gotten them in at her jewelry shop about a year
ago. How many diamond engagement rings had she sold since then? Two, perhaps, or maybe it
was only one.
The pale blue unicorn grimaced as she turned away from the case. "All the
stallions in town are being so obstinate about proposing," she muttered under her breath. "And
I'm sick of it."
"Hello, are you open for business?" a voice queried.
Sparkler looked up at the slim periwinkle-colored stallion who had entered the
shop. "Oh! Yes!" she exclaimed brightly.
"I'm looking for a special present for Princess Dawn," the stallion explained,
coming up to the counter.
"Princess Dawn? Then aren't you that new lawyer from Friendship Gardens?"
Sparkler asked in awe.
"That's right; my name is Winkle. Perry Winkle," the stallion introduced himself.
"I'm taking over the family business in Friendship Gardens."
"That's so wonderful," Sparkler gushed. "I bet it's exciting to be a lawyer."
"Well, yes, it has its moments-- but do you have any gift suggestions for Dawn?"
Perry gestured toward the glass cases.
Sparkler straightened up. "Of course! I have some lovely engagement rings to
choose from," she suggested.
"Uh... not quite that special," Perry said, raising an eyebrow.
"I'll give you a good deal on one," Sparkle went on. Maybe she could finally make
a sale if she was clever enough.
"I was thinking more of a tennis bracelet," Perry said after a pause. "Do you carry
any of those?"
Sparkler sighed to herself, but tried to keep up her cheerful manner as Perry
inspected the tennis bracelets that were available. Something had to be done about this lack of
marriages in the Dream Valley and Friendship Gardens area!
Perry finally made his selection, a dainty diamond and amethyst bracelet. "Be sure
to see me if you change your mind on the engagement ring!" Sparkler added as he walked out the
door with his wrapped package.
Sparkler was suddenly seized with inspiration. If the stallions wouldn't come to
her, she'd go to them-- or to their phone lines, at least. She glanced up at the clock. It was early
evening; she might be able to catch them at home.
"Why, hello, Toby," Sparkler said sweetly into her phone receiver. "How are you
on this fine evening?"
"Who is this?" asked a bewildered voice from the other end of the line.
"Sparkler. I run Sparkler's Jewelry Shop at the mall," Sparkler said briskly.
"Oh," Toby recalled. "That's... nice."
"I thought you might be interested in knowing that I'm having a sale on all
engagement rings in stock right now," Sparkler continued. "I have in a lovely selection at low,
"Engagement rings?" Toby echoed.
"Yes, engagement rings," Sparkler went on. "I thought I'd announce the sale to all the...
"--to all the eligible bachelors?" Toby supplied.
"Exactly!" Sparkler said smoothly. "I'm announcing the sale to all the eligible
bachelors in town."
"How long is this sale on?" Toby questioned.
"It's a month-long deal," Sparkler said. Certainly she could sell some rings at
reduced prices in a month's time.
"I might drop in sometime," Toby said distantly. "Goodbye." And then he hung
"They are so hard to convince," Sparkler seethed. "They'll come to their senses
someday-- they had better! But for now... I'll just call Tex."
Tex's reply was basically the same as Toby's after Sparkler had gone through her
speel again. "Tamara might not like something I pick out, if I did pick any out," he worried.
"She'd have to pick something out. I'll think about it. Thanks for calling."
Sparkler mumbled something that couldn't be made out and then stomped her hoof
on the ground. "This is so pathetic," she hissed. "I have to sell some of these year-old diamond
"I reckon I could help you out there, Sparkler," a voice carried from the door.
Butch trotted calmly into the shop.
"Do you need an engagement ring?" Sparkler asked anxiously.
"No, no," Butch chuckled. "I was just watching for-- I mean, I couldn't help but
overhear your dilemma."
"Oh." Sparkler's face fell.
"I think you need a different advertising strategy," Butch said critically.
"What do you mean?" Sparkler asked curiously.
"You scare the stallions off by calling them engagement rings, and the mares
wouldn't buy an engagement ring for themselves," Butch said matter-of-factly. "Just advertise
them as straight diamond rings."
Sparkler's face lit up. "Brilliant, Butch! Brilliant!" she cried out. "That's so--
perfect! Why, I--"
"All in a day's work," Butch said modestly. "Hey, are you busy tomorrow
"Tomorrow night?" Sparkler mentally made plans to close up early the next
evening. "Oh, no, nothing at all. Why do you ask?"
"Why not come to the Satin Slipper Sweet Shoppe with me then?" Butch
suggested. "My treat."
"That would be wonderful," Sparkler beamed. "You're so nice, Butch."
"I'm always nice to jewl-- I can't help but invite a beautiful mare like yourself out,"
Butch corrected himself quickly.
"I'm sure I'll make tons of sales tomorrow, thanks to your advice," Sparkler
gushed. "You're simply so clever."
"Aw, stop the compliments," Butch laughed, putting his hooves up in the air. "Just
don't forget our date."
"Oh, I definitely won't!" Sparkler promised.
* * *
"I had no idea you were selling such glorious diamond rings," Powder cooed the
next day as she stared at the merchandise under an attractive sign. "And they're on sale?"
Sparkler nodded happily. "Twenty-five percent off the marked price." Butch's
theory had been correct. The interest in her diamond rings was certainly soaring today.
"That one's just what I need for my New Year's Eve party," Powder declared,
pointing at the centrally-located ring. "May I purchase it?"
Due to her shop's prominent placement in the mall and the catchy sign out front,
Sparkler was able to drawn in many of the affluent mares in Dream Valley-- and some of the
affluent stallions, but these were few and far between. But, she had already sold three of the rings
she had so tired of.
"I can't wait for tonight with Butch," Sparkler sighed blissfully during a lull when
the shop was empty of customers. "He'll be so happy to know how well his suggestion worked.
And he's actually pretty cute."
By the end of the day, Sparkler was overjoyed by how sales had gone up. A young
stallion she had never seen before had even purchased one of the glittering rings. "At least there
should be one wedding in this town after all this time," Sparkler reflected.
And finally it was time to close up for the day. Sparkler hurried to meet Butch,
and the two were soon together at the Satin Slipper Sweet Shoppe.
"This is so nice of you," Sparkler bubbled over enthusiastically. "And that idea
you gave me last night really did work. I'm so excited."
"Oh, it's no problem at all to help the occasional damsel in distress," Butch said
"You wouldn't believe how well sales went today," Sparkler continued. "You
should make a career of advertising."
"Well, now, I'd never thought of that before," Butch pondered.
"Maybe you could even take a little job from me to plan advertising campaigns for
the shop," Sparkler suggested.
Butch frowned in thought. "Why, Sparkler, that's awfully kind of you to be
offering. But what would this job involve?"
"Designing fliers and posters, coming up with slogans, taking the finished layouts
to the print shop," Sparkler explained. "And I'm sure you could do most of it from home."
"Home?" Butch looked a bit crestfallen as if the last word had just broken a dream
of his; but he quickly recovered, taking note of Sparkler's sweet smile. "Sparkler, I think that'd
be just great."
"You'll have fun with it, I'm sure," Sparkler beamed.
"If I'm working for you, Sparkler, it certainly will be."
Sparkler blushed at the compliment. "Well, we can get off that topic for awhile.
How's that duck of yours doing? It is a duck you have, isn't it?"
"Yep, my Quackers. He's doing mighty fine. He even found himself a nice little
mate in the woods one day."
"That's so sweet! I think ducks are so cute."
"I'd never thought about them either way until I ended up with Quackers. How
about you-- do you have any animals?"
"Oh, yes, there's--"
And so their conversation continued. It appeared that they were getting to know
each other quite well by the end of the evening. And, perhaps, the engagement rings were directly
responsible for getting them together.