Bowling Adventure
written by Tabby

"The gang"-- which consisted of Sugarberry, Quarterback, Spike, Clever Clover, Friendly, and Tabby-- were gathered at the Satin Slipper Sweet Shoppe for an evening get-together. Tabby was tapping her hoof impatiently on the table.

"Would you stop that annoying tapping, Tabby?" Clever Clover said in exasperation.

"Sorry," Tabby mumbled and tried to hold back her hoof.

Just then, Tex approached their table. "Great, just great," Tabby said under her breath.

All the rest of the table waved cheerfully at Tex as he neared them. "Anyone for bowling later?" Tex questioned.

Quarterback looked pleased at the suggestion. "Hey, let's!"

Clever Clover pondered this. "That might be fun. I haven't bowled in a long time."

Spike also considered it. "Maybe..." he said tentatively.

"I'd go, but I already promised Tiffany I'd go ice-skating with her at the rink tonight," Sugarberry said apologetically.

"Bowling..." Friendly said slowly.

Tabby shrank back and opened her eyes wide. "Bowling?" she gasped in terror.

"What, can't you lift the ball?" Sugarberry laughed. "Too feeble?"

Tabby sniffed. "Of course I could lift the ball!"

"I'll go!" Clever Clover finally decided.

"Yeah, me too," Spike agreed.

"Me won't go, yeah, yeah," Friendly said.

"And how about you, Tabby?" Tex said.

"Why, I wouldn't go bowling, especially not with you around--" Tabby started out.

"Come on, Tabby; why don't you try it out?" Sugarberry tried to convince her friend.

"Yes, come with us," Quarterback added.

"Besides, you've got to prove you can lift the ball," Clever Clover pointed out.

This infuriated Tabby. "I'll lift the ball, all right! You'll see!"

"Then you'll have to come!" Spike said.

"I don't know how I get into these things," Tabby sighed. "Fine, I'll go."

And so, the five of them headed out: Tex, Spike, Quarterback, Clever Clover, and Tabby. When they reached the bowling alley, Tabby tentatively followed the rest inside.

Tex went up to the counter to pay for their games and the rest of the group went over to the shoe rack to each pick out a pair of shoes (for bowling, they only needed shoes for their two back feet). Once she had her pair picked out, Tabby stared out over the long row of lanes stretching out before her.

"We're in lane five," Tex said, coming over from the counter. "Let's go."

Tabby trailed along behind the others as they walked down the short flight of stairs that led to the lanes. Then they all grouped around lane five, and looked over the rack of bowling balls on the wall.

Tabby stared at the balls in confusion. Great. What am I doing now? she thought.

Quarterback pointed out one of the balls. "Try lifting this one," he instructed.

Tabby picked up the ball indicated, but could hardly keep it in the air for a second. "Man! That's heavy!" she gasped as she dropped it back into the rack.

Quarterback frowned. "Hmm, and that's the lightest one here."

Clever Clover and Spike had been watching the performance and they both burst out laughing. Tabby glared at them.

"There's a rack of lighter balls for the baby ponies up there," Quarterback said as he walked back up the stairs toward the other rack of balls.

"Baby pony balls?" Tabby echoed.

"Well, try this one," Quarterback said, pointing to one of the neon pink baby pony balls.

Tabby meekly tried picking up the ball. "Yeah, this'll work," she mumbled.

Quarterback stared back down the stairs. "We can start playing now!" Tabby followed with her head ducked down low.

Tex was typing their names into the computerized scoreboard. He glanced at Tabby's ball and smirked. "A baby pony ball, huh?"

Tabby scowled. "Wanna make something of it?"

Tex ignored the question. "Clever Clover, you're up first."

Clever Clover picked up his ball and boldly strode up to the lane. He went through the three steps, and tossed the ball down the lane. Tabby watched curiously. The ball smashed into the line-up of pins, knocking down nine of them.

"Not bad," Clever Clover said contentedly and waited for his ball to come back. He picked it up from the ball machine and tossed it again. It knocked down the last pin.

Then it was Spike's turn. He hit down two pins.

Next came Tabby. She picked up her ball, and glanced around the room quickly. Good, they were about the only ones there. She didn't want anyone else to catch her using a baby pony ball.

Quarterback walked her through the three steps. "Put your right hoof forward, then swing the ball down, and then let go," he instructed.

Tabby tried to mimic this. She held her breath as the ball started rolling down the lane. It went into the gutter. Tabby scowled again.

"You'll get another turn!" Spike called out from his seat. Tabby nodded and waited for her ball to come back.

She went through the steps again. Again, it went right into the gutter.

"You'll get better," Clever Clover said encouragingly.

"Yeah right," Tabby mumbled under her breath.

And so they went on. Quarterback knocked down five, and Tex did six.

Tabby went through the next three rounds without knocking a single pin down; it went into the gutter every single time.

"Why don't you set it right at the start of the lane, and push it with your hooves?" Quarterback finally suggested.

Tabby sighed and did as she was told. Sigh, it still went in the gutter. Her second time she tried the same thing, and what do you know? Into the gutter it went. By this point she was beginning to wonder it she'd hit any pins tonight.

The next time around, Clever Clover hit a strike. He walked back with a smug expression on his face.

On her sixth turn, when again she didn't hit a single pin, Tabby was about to give up. The graphic on the computer screen once again flashed, "Oh dear; missed."

"You don't have to rub it in!" Tabby growled.

Interestingly enough, on her seventh turn, the ball stayed rolling in the center of the lane once she pushed it off. Was it possible... was it going to hit?

Yes! It did hit! Eight pins down! She walked back with a look of triumph on her face.

"Not bad," Tex said.

Unfortunately, her next ball wound-up in the gutter again. Tabby nearly screamed.

At that moment, Tabby heard a group breaking-out in laughter behind her. She whirled around. There was the horde of baby ponies.

"Look!" Baby Heart Throb giggled. "Tabby use baby pony ball!" This made the group laugh even harder.

"Nasty baby ponies!" Tabby clenched her jaw. "Just shut up."

The snickering baby ponies ran off to their lane. Tabby ignored the sound of the pins dropping as the babies bowled.

After watching Clever Clover bowl another strike and Spike dropping down eight pins, Tabby went up for her turn again.

She picked up the ball, set it down at the start of the lane, pushed it off, and squeezed her eyes shut. She waited.

Tabby dared to open her eyes again just in time to see the ball reaching the pins. Wow, it was knocking quite a few down... eight... nine. What? However had she managed to do that good? The tenth pin wobbled, and then fell with a crash.

Tabby walked back to the chairs with a smirk on her face. "You can't laugh at me now, can you, baby ponies!" she said smugly.

"That's the way to push a bowling ball, Tabby!" Clever Clover congratulated her.

"Lucky shot," commented Tex.

Quarterback high-hooved Tabby. "Way to go!"

Spike was so happy he nearly burned the bowling alley down; luckily, he got his flame under control.

"I can't wait to tell Sugarberry how well I did!" Tabby exclaimed. "Hey, guys, we gotta do this more often!"

"Works for me," Clever Clover said.

"Yeah, that'd be fun!" Spike added, and Quarterback agreed.

Tex, however, shook his head. "Keep practicing, Tabby. Maybe someday you'll be ready for a real game."

Tabby shot an "if-looks-could-kill" glance at Tex. "Anyone for pizza?" she asked the rest of the group.

"I'm for it!" Clever Clover said cheerfully.

"Let's go to my house, then," Tabby suggested. "We'll order from Pony Hut!"

So off they went.

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