"Hello, everyone," Tiffany said extra-cheerfully as she arrived at the Satin Slipper Sweet
Shoppe one night.
"Hey, Tiff." "Welcome." "Oh, Tiffany, hi." "Have a seat," the chorus of replies
"It's so exciting, isn't it?" Tiffany squealed.
"What is?" Clever Clover cocked his eye.
"Oh, nothing. The world is just so wonderful, and I'm here with my friends, and it's so
exciting," Tiffany said brightly.
"Ah, yes, of course," Tabby nodded.
"Well, um, how was your day, Tiffany?" Sugarberry asked.
"Just a regular, ordinary day," Tiffany said in a sing-song voice. "Nothing much.
much at all."
"You know something we don't, Tiffany," Clever Clover accused. "You never act this
"Yeah, yeah," Friendly nodded, swerving his attention over to Tiffany.
"I just said it was a wonderful day," Tiffany said innocently. "And-- oh-- it's so
"Tiffany, stop blathering like that, and tell us what you're so excited over," Tabby said
sharply. "You just keep repeating yourself."
"Well, I guess there is something," Tiffany finally admitted. "But I promised
to say anything."
"If you're going to be like this all night, you might as well just go home," Tabby
"Who did you promise not to tell?" Sugarberry asked curiously.
"Toby," Tiffany revealed.
"Toby? Then it must have something to do with the hospital," Clever Clover mused.
"If you can't tell us, Tiffany, can we guess?"
"He didn't say anything about guessing..." Tiffany sat up straight. "Okay!"
"Is the hospital getting a new expansion?" Clever Clover queried.
"No, no!" Tiffany shook her head.
"Someone... got sick?" Sugarberry asked timidly.
"No!" Tiffany said impatiently. "Wrong! Wrong!"
"They're going to start caring for Furbys?" Tabby asked, wide-eyed.
"No!" Tiffany glanced witheringly at Tabby.
"The hospital... the hospital... what else happens at a hospital..." Clever Clover said
thoughtfully. "Someone got better?"
"Wrong!" Tiffany blustered. "I mean, somebody did-- but, oh, you've got to do better
Just then, a gurgling Baby Dangles entered the shop along with her parents. "Look
over there," Tiffany urged pointing at the family.
"There's Sprinkles, Walnut Sprigs, and Dangles..." Sugarberry trailed off. "Oh!" she
gasped. "Someone had a baby!"
"Better than that," Tiffany said triumphantly.
"A Furby, then?" Tabby suggested.
"Twins?" Sugarberry squealed.
"That's right!" Tiffany said excitedly. "But there's something special about
"Whose are they?" Sugarberry asked, cutting off Tiffany's statement.
"Springtime and Melonball's," Tiffany replied. "But--"
"Are they both girls or boys?" Sugarberry prodded.
"Neither," Tiffany said.
"Neither?" Sugarberry echoed. "If they're not two girls, and not two boys, then... a
boy and a girl?!"
"YES!!" Tiffany shrieked from the excitement.
"That's nice and all, but it's not like you to take such an interest in new baby ponies,"
Clever Clover remarked. "The way you're acting, you'd think a princess had been born."
"But one has!" Tiffany prompted. "That's what I've been trying to--"
"Royalty?" Sugarberry gasped. "The twins are royalty?"
"Exactly!" Tiffany said, nearly jumping up and down. "Royal twins!"
"Does that mean..." Sugarberry breathed, "...that Dream Valley finally has its own
"And a new princess," Tiffany reminded. "But, yes! A princess and prince!"
It was at that moment that Tiffany was aware of someone standing behind her.
came Toby's stern voice, "I told you that the news about this couldn't be released until
"Well... yes... I know," Tiffany said meekly, putting on a sorrowful and regretful face.
"But I just couldn't help myself. It was too exciting." She added a few eyelash bats.
Toby's expression softened. "I guess that's true. It is an exciting occurance."
"A prince. A real live prince," Sugarberry sighed blissfully.
"Don't forget the princess," Tiffany reprimanded. "They're twins, you know."
"Of course," Sugarberry said giddily. "What do they look like?"
"Do they have sparkle in their hair? And medallion symbols?" Tamara asked
"Obviously," Tiffany said with an air of intelligence. "They have to."
"Oh, I knew that." Tamara sunk back in her seat.
"The girl," Tiffany continued, "is pastel blue with pale yellow hair and has a rose-shaped
medallion. Oh, that medallion!" She paused to sigh in rapture.
"And the boy," Toby continued, "is blue with yellow hair."
"And a leaf-shaped medallion," Tiffany added quickly.
"Cute, yeah, yeah," Friendly spoke-up. "They get Bushwoolies, too?"
"Oh, yes, definitely," Tiffany planned. "We'll have to select two of them from the
Bushwoolie nursery, and--"
"You're not in complete charge of this, you know," Toby reminded. "Springtime and
Melonball will have some say in this matter."
Thomas finally broke through the confused babble that followed. "If Springtime and
Melonball aren't royalty, then how can their offspring be?"
"Because they have sparkly hair and raised medallion symbols, and they were simply
meant to be royalty, the cute little things," Tiffany said giddily.
"Exactly," Tamara nodded firmly. "That's just what I would have said."
"Let's see... how does that go..." Sugarberry paused in thought.
"I believe I can elaborate," Tabby said promptly, sitting up erect. "Now, let me think
"Yep, it's that simple," Spike snickered. "Even I remember--"
Tabby shot the dragon a silencing glance, and continued. "Whenever any pony in
Valley is born having both sparkly hair and a raised medallion symbol, it is taken as a sign that
they were destined for great things. Therefore, they are automatically declared royalty, regardless
of their parents' status in life.
"Due to this, the Royal Paradise supplies the money for the royalty's bringing-up, and
when they come of age, they move into the Royal Paradise and reside there as a princess; and
therefore they have a shot at becoming queen someday.
"The queen of Dream Valley rules over the territory until her death; and upon this
occasion, a vote is held between the princesses to determine who the next ruler will be. And,
since the phenomena of having sparkly hair and a medallion symbol only occurs with females,
Dream Valley has only ever had to worry about princesses and queens.
"However, in the case that a princess of queen of Dream Valley should marry,
"I think we get the picture," Clever Clover cut her off.
"How'd you get to know so much about the royalty of Dream Valley?" Tamara eyed
"Oh, my mom had that drilled into my head by the time I was three," Tabby said
"Whatever the case, I think it's simply wonderful to have a new princess," Tiffany sighed
"And prince, yeah," Friendly said. "Fun, yeah."
And so the evening went on. The story of the new royalty in Dream Valley quickly
around the Satin Slipper Sweet Shoppe, and the entire building was buzzing with voices. The
commotion only started dying down late in the night.
* * *
The news of the royal twins had spread all across Dream Valley by the next morning,
everyone was pleased over the double birth; and the citizens were especially excited about the rare
birth of a prince.
Sugarberry made a point of dragging Tabby to the hospital maternity ward to view the
newborn foals. A festive atmosphere hung over the entire complex; it seemed as if all of Dream
Valley had come to celebrate. The two actually had to wait in line to see the twins through the
"Aww, Tabby, aren't they the sweetest little things," cooed Sugarberry as their turn
arrived. Both foals were sound asleep; the prince lay on his tummy, his little rump proudly
bearing the silver medallion. "Look at the sparkly hair on the little fellow!"
"It looks gaudy," Tabby contradicted.
The newborn princess rolled over and yawned at the same time. "Did you see that,
Tabby? She yawned! Wasn't that cute?"
Sugarberry's eyes sparkled with delight over the foals, but she and Tabby were soon
directed on into the lobby to allow more ponies the chance to get a look at the prince and
There, Princess Dawn, Princess Tiffany, and several of the other princesses were
swarming around, vibrantly discussing plans for the newest royalty of Dream Valley. "Isn't that
petite little princess a work of art?" Dawn breathed.
"Both foals are beautiful!" agreed Sugarberry.
"That little girl will grow up to be a charming and intelligent princess; I just know it,"
Tabby cocked her head. "You haven't forgotten the prince, have you?"
Tiffany waved her hoof through the air as if that was of no consequence. "Oh, yes, him.
He's nice, I suppose. I don't know what we'll do with him."
"Tiffany, what are you saying? You're not against the prince, are you?" Sugarberry
"I would think you princesses would be most excited over the prince," Tabby pointed
Snuzzle, who was volunteering at the hospital to help handle the crowds, overheard the
ongoing conversation. "Isn't this a grand event?" she said. "We have reason to celebrate with the
arrival of a prince for the very first time in the history of Dream Valley.
"But the little princess is the true royalty," Dawn cooed.
"Besides, the other princesses and I discussed it yesterday, and we have reason to
that the so-called prince is not true royalty," Tiffany said primly.
Sugarberry disagreed. "A prince will add a new dimension to the royalty of Dream
"Not to mention a cute stallion at the Royal Paradise in a few years," Tabby
"What was that? What about a cute stallion?" Tiffany had lost track of the conversation
for awhile, admiring herself in a mirror on the wall.
Snuzzle laughed. "He's a bit too young for you, Tiffany. But the little prince will
certainly look up to you for training when he gets a few years on him!"
"Oh, the prince again. I still don't think he has a claim to the role," Tiffany
"What are you saying, Tiffany?" puzzled Sugarberry. "Of course he's a prince-- he
Tiffany cut her short. "There is no precedent that a male foal would be covered
in the designation of royalty."
"That's right," assented Dawn. "I think Tiffany's right. There have been nothing but
princesses before; we have no need, or desire, of a prince in our court."
Princess Royal Blue made an appearance out of the crowd. "Tiffany, Dawn, have you
heard if a name has been decided on yet?"
"A name? Wouldn't you need two?" Tabby pondered.
Royal Blue sniffed. "It's the princess' name I was referring to. She frowned at Tabby,
then turned to Tiffany and Dawn. "We are going to use the one I discussed last night, aren't
"You're the one that wanted ‘Adalia', right?" Dawn frowned. "I think ‘Daria' would be
"What about ‘Alida'?" Tiffany argued.
"It's too close to ‘Adalia'," Royal Blue snapped.
"Excuse me," interrupted Snuzzle, "but I've heard that the parents have already named
"What?" exclaimed an indignant Royal Blue. "They have no right! That's what we're
here to discuss with them!"
Sugarberry rolled her eyes. "They're her parents! Of course they have the right to name
their own children!"
"It's not the place of a peasant to decide matters of state," Tiffany declared.
Siding with Sugarberry, Snuzzle reprimanded Princess Dawn. "The parents may be
‘peasants', as you call them, but they do have a parent's rights over their foals until they come of
"Pray tell," asked Tiffany, "what names have the parents chosen?" Her graceful wings
fanned the air.
"They settled on the traditional family names-- Baby Melonball and Baby Springtime,"
informed the helpful Snuzzle, who knew immediately that the princesses were not happy with the
"That will simply not do!" Tiffany fumed. "They should have known to wait for us
announcing such treason." Royal Blue and Dawn were also quite vocal in their assent.
"Unfortunately, I must agree with the princesses on this one," Tabby yawned. "They
could have picked something with more originality."
A crowd had gathered around the scene of dissension, and several ponies were angrily
admonishing the princesses to leave the foals in peace.
Coming on the quarrel late, Princess Misty listened to the controversy for several
before offering her input. "Perhaps we had better go discuss this with the parents instead of
standing around arguing longer," she suggested. "That is what we came here to do." She held a
piece of paper in her hoof. "I have the notes we took last night at our discussion."
"I don't think this is a good time for you four to go bursting in on Springtime and
Melonball with your conceited plans," stated Sugarberry, scowling at them each in turn.
"Yes," agreed someone in the group. "These foals don't belong to you."
Raising her voice, Princess Royal Blue retorted, "That's where you're wrong! The
newborn princess is rightfully our concern!"
"And what of the prince?" wondered Minty from the sidelines.
"The prince is of no concern to us," declared Princess Misty. "Only a princess is eligible
to rule in Dream Valley."
At this point, Toby, searching out Tiffany, came across the gathering. "Is there a
here?" his authoritative voice cut through the tension.
Tiffany hurried to Toby's side. "We princesses must speak to Melonball and Springtime
to advise them on the rights we hold over their little princess." She unconsciously batted her
eyelashes to punctuate her plea.
Toby frowned and shook his head after carefully deliberating over the problem. "I'm
sorry, Tiffany, but Springtime needs her rest. This will have to wait."
"But Toby," Tiffany implored. "This is a very serious matter."
"And it involves all of Dream Valley," cautioned Royal Blue.
Toby once again carefully considered his options. His first concern was Springtime and
her foals, but he knew the princesses well enough to realize that they would not back down from
such an important discussion. Finally, he spoke.
"Tiffany, you and the other princesses sit down with Snuzzle and explain your concerns
Tiffany started to speak, but Toby stopped her with an influential glance.
Toby continued, "Snuzzle, you will act as mediator between the princesses and the
parents. Present the concerns of royalty to Melonball and Springtime, and help iron out any
difficulties." He smiled at Snuzzle. "I'm sure you will handle this well." He knew that Snuzzle
was the most compassionate and the most energetic of all the hospital's volunteers.
"I suppose that will have to do," Tiffany sniffed. "Snuzzle, would you have the time
Snuzzle was excused from her duties, and she and the four princesses were soon seated
a quiet room away from the conversation outside. "Now, ladies, what are your major concerns
for the twins?"
"The names," Dawn protested right away. "I like ‘Daria'. She's the heroine in the novel
I'm reading now, and she is such a wonderful character."
"I don't know about ‘Daria'," Royal Blue continued, "but she needs a better name than
‘Baby Springtime'. It would be a terrible name to put upon royalty."
Snuzzle was carefully jotting down these notes. "What about the prince? Do you
object to him being ‘Baby Melonball'?"
"We couldn't care less about this so-called prince, could we, girls?" Tiffany looked
around at the others, and received their agreement.
"Why exactly do you feel this way about him?" Snuzzle questioned.
"There has never been a prince before, so we are led to believe he cannot be a prince
because there are to be no princes in Dream Valley," Misty put in wisely.
"You're saying he should be considered a ‘peasant' while his sister is a princess?"
"Exactly," Royal Blue nodded.
"But he shows the signs of royalty. Just because we've never had a prince before
doesn't mean there can't be any."
"Snuzzle," Tiffany said indignantly, "a prince would be a disgrace to have at the Royal
Paradise. Just think of how much attention he would detract from us princesses, the true rulers!
Why, his poor, dear sister had already been pushed out the spotlight because of him."
"Okay." Snuzzle looked up from her paper. "I'll present these arguments to Springtime
and Melonball as soon as I am able. Was there anything else you wanted to say?"
"That will be all," Tiffany said crisply.
"For now," Misty added.
"Shall I stop by the Royal Paradise after I have had a discussion with the parents to let
you know how they feel on the matter?"
"Certainly. But let them know that they cannot get away with naming the princess
‘Baby Springtime'," Tiffany said threateningly as the princesses filed out of the room.
* * *
It was the next evening when Queen Serena called the princesses together for a meeting.
"Snuzzle has brought it to my attention that a group of you... have taken a strong interest in the
new prince and princess' welfare," the queen began.
"Snuzzle? Did she get back to you?" Royal Blue asked anxiously.
"As a matter of fact, yes. She explained the matter to me..." Serena paused as she lifted
her eyebrows. "...which before then I had not known of."
"You were just so busy," Taffeta interjected. "We didn't think we'd hassle you with this
deal of the prince and princess."
"Whatever the case, it is my duty to share with you the information Snuzzle collected
from the parents of the twins," Serena continued. "The first topic is of their names."
"The names Springtime and Melonball have picked out for them are terrible," Royal
"Springtime and Melonball have reported that the twins will definitely be Baby
and Baby Melonball, and there will be no changing that at this point," Serena said firmly.
"But--" Pristina began to object.
"However, after they have come of age and move to the Royal Paradise, they will have
the option to change their names then, if they wish it to be so," Serena concluded.
The princesses began to whisper among themselves, but the queen raised her hoof for
silence. "There is still the second topic to discuss, which is of greater importance even than the
"That's right," Tiffany nodded. "The prince," she added scornfully.
"Is it correct that you doubt the authenticity of the new prince?"
"Of course," Misty spoke-up immediately. "There has never been a prince of Dream
Valley, so I don't see why it should even be considered that the new child is true royalty."
"Never been one?" Serena smiled to herself, and began to speak again, but was cut off
"Besides," Pristina declared, "it would completely detract from our images if there was
a prince among us."
"This is not a matter of keeping images up, Pristina," Serena said sharply.
"But think about it," Tiffany backed up Pristina. "Even now, everyone is commenting
about the ‘prince' and completely forgetting about the poor darling princess. Imagine the
psychological problems this could produce for her as they grow older!"
"There simply are not princes of Dream Valley," Royal Blue said stubbornly.
"But that's where you're wrong," Serena said, smiling knowingly.
"Huh?" Royal Blue said in confusion.
"What do you mean by that, Serena?" Pristina prodded.
"I can see that you haven't retained all the knowledge we learned in history class,"
Serena said, winking. "For there has been a prince in Dream Valley's past. A relation of Dawn's,
in fact, I believe."
All eyes in the room swerved over to Dawn, who had remained silent throughout the
meeting. "Dawn, what do you know about this prince thing?" Royal Blue said accusingly.
"Well," Dawn said timidly, "not many remember him anymore, because it was awhile
"And?" Tiffany prodded.
"My... my great-grandfather was a prince," Dawn said in a rush.
This statement caused an instant uproar throughout the room. "If that's true, why
we heard of this prince before?" Tiffany challenged.
"You must admit..." Dawn stared down at the floor. "We never did pay much attention
to history class, or to our past fellow members of royalty."
"I find this bit about your great-grandfather hard to believe, Dawn," Royal Blue argued.
"Do you have any proof of this?"
"I do have a... photograph," Dawn swallowed.
"Why don't you go get it so we can all see, Dawn?" Serena suggested.
Dawn excused herself from the room and dashed off. The rest were silent until her
return, waiting in anticipation.
"Here," Dawn said breathlessly, re-entering the meeting room. "Here's the picture. My
great-grandfather, Prince Prism." She placed the old, tattered photograph in the center of the
Everyone crowded around to get a view. For the first few moments, no one said a
as they gazed at the black-and-white picture of a good-looking stallion in regal surroundings.
Even without the vibrant colors, they could make out a raised medallion symbol and sparkly
Pristina finally broke the silence. "He's cute," she breathed.
"Yeah! Why didn't you say anything about him to us before, Dawn?" Misty
"Well, he was a little old for you," Dawn giggled.
"This isn't a joking matter, Dawn," Taffeta said primly.
"I'll leave you to discuss this in peace now, princesses," Serena dismissed herself.
"Dispatch your decision to me so that I may, in turn, pass it on to Snuzzle." With that, she left
"There really was a prince?" Starburst said in awe.
"I had no idea," Tiffany breathed.
"If the kid grows up to look like that-- well, it might be fun having him around the
Royal Paradise," Sparkle put forth.
"But what if we're all married by then, anyway?" Starburst fretted.
"You know, maybe we've been acting a bit too conceited over this whole thing," Dawn
"Conceited?" Tiffany looked miffed at the remark.
"You have to admit that Springtime and Melonball do have certain rights over
their foals," Dawn continued timidly.
"Maybe we were being too meddlesome," Misty said thoughtfully.
"But Baby Springtime and Baby Melonball!" Sparkle protested.
"Serena said they'd be allowed to change their names when they come of age," Dawn
"Having it put that way... I'm beginning to regret acting so in control of the twins,"
"Yes, me too."
"I guess so."
Slowly, all eleven of the assembled group agreed with Royal Blue's sentiments.
"I suppose that living in such luxury, we're prone to forget that others have a say in
things, as well," Pristina added.
Dawn glanced again at the picture of her great-grandfather. "Then what does everyone
say we treat the prince and princess as equals and live with their names until they're older."
And all eleven decided that would be best.
"Can't we still pick out Bushwoolies for the two?" Pristina asked anxiously, breaking
silence of the room.
"I don't see why not," Dawn said cheerfully.
"I'm going over to the Bushwoolie holes right now!" Pristina squealed. "Anyone with
"The rest of you may pick out Bushwoolies, but I am going to get the twins some
adornments to show off their rank," Tiffany said snobbishly.
Dawn wrinkled her brow. "You mean crowns and stuff? I don't know about everyone
else, but I think they really need some more attention themselves. I'm going back to the hospital
to see them."
With that settled, the princesses all went off in their separate directions to get done the
required duties. Perhaps they couldn't have full control of the twins... but maybe the could have a