The Beginning
written by Tabby

It was late in the afternoon, and Tabby was finishing up on some paperwork at her veterinarian clinic. She didn't have any more appointments for the day and was just about to leave when the phone rang.

Tabby snatched up the receiver. "Hello?"

"This is Tabby, right? It's Tic-Tac-Toe."

"Uh huh," Tabby confirmed.

"Well, I need to bring Baby Tic-Tac-Toe in for a check-up. Can you fit her in any time tomorrow afternoon?" Tic-Tac-Toe asked.

Tabby stared at the receiver confusedly. "What?"

"I need to bring Baby Tic-Tac-Toe in for a check-up," Tic-Tac-Toe said again.

Tabby sighed in annoyance. "Tic-Tac-Toe," she explained impatiently, "this is a veterinarian clinic. I only handle animals. Take Baby Tic-Tac-Toe to the doctor's office."

"But that closed a little while ago; the doctor moved away," Tic-Tac-Toe said.

"Look, Tic-Tac-Toe. I am NOT a doctor. I'm a vet."

"But don't you do basically the same thing?" Tic-Tac-Toe prodded.

Tabby could see she was getting nowhere and finally gave in. "Fine. Bring her in. But only this once, got it?"

"Only this once," Tic-Tac-Toe agreed. "What time?"

"I'm still free for three in the afternoon."

"Great. We'll be there."

* * *

The next day, Tabby had just finished up with a patient. She looked up at the clock with dread. Two fifty-four.

"Only six minutes ‘till they get here," Tabby sighed. "Ooh, those nasty little baby ponies!"

Tabby disliked all baby ponies-- except for Baby Lofty, who was the exception to the rule. She had no particular reason for this dislike-- they just always annoyed her so she was always nasty to them. None of the other adults approved of this.

There were two other ponies that Tabby despised-- Tex and Princess Tiffany. Again, there was no particular reason for not liking Tex-- long ago, he had done something that had annoyed Tabby, but what had actually happened had since slipped Tabby's mind. But she still continued to make his life miserable by insulting him every chance she got.

And for Tiffany, she was so snobby and rude. Tabby found her impossible to get along with.

Tabby suddenly realized that the door had opened and two ponies were standing at the counter.

"Baby Tic-Tac-Toe is right here," Tic-Tac-Toe said.

Tabby sighed. "Come with me." She led them into the next room.

Baby Tic-Tac-Toe stared around the room with wide eyes as she sat down in the chair. "Me no like doctor places."

"Well, it's not a doctor's place!" Tabby snapped as she tapped her hoof on the counter pondering what to do. "You'll need a throat culture," she decided.

"What a twoat culture?" Baby Tic-Tac-Toe said fearfully.

"It'll be fine," Tic-Tac-Toe assured her daughter.

Tabby got the long Q-tip out and approached Baby Tic-Tac-Toe, who shrunk back in terror.

"Now, now, Tabby won't hurt you." Tic-Tac-Toe patted Baby Tic-Tac-Toe on the shoulder.

"I'm just going to stick the thing down your throat!" Tabby explained in exasperation.

Baby Tic-Tac-Toe finally consented, and opened her mouth. Tabby swiftly stuck the Q-tip down the baby pony's throat.

However, before Tabby could withdraw her hoof, Baby Tic-Tac-Toe clamped her mouth down extremely hard.

Tabby gasped in pain and quickly pulled her hoof out.

"No like doctors," Baby Tic-Tac-Toe explained innocently.

Tabby wordlessly went into the back room with the Q-tip. She came back a little while later holding a prescription.

"Here, get her this medicine," Tabby said, handing the paper to Tic-Tac-Toe and glaring at Baby Tic-Tac-Toe.

"Thank you," Tic-Tac-Toe said politely. "Do you need to do anything else?"

"No, I'm done," Tabby said, nodding her head vigorously and leading the two back out to the waiting room. "You'll get the bill in the mail.

"Bye!" Tic-Tac-Toe called as she and Baby Tic-Tac-Toe walked out of the clinic.

"And good riddance," Tabby muttered under her breath after the door had swung shut. "Baby ponies-- they're just awful."

She sat down at her desk and began getting the bill ready.

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