My Little Pony Monthly Issue 82 (January 1, 2004)
My Little Pony Monthly
A publication of Nematode (Electronic) Publishing
Established June 1997
This Newsletter is Safe for All Ages
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Yay! Look at all of our entries for last month’s contest!
*garej* ([email protected])
BabyDibbles ([email protected])
Berry Brite ([email protected])
Carrie ([email protected])
Cherie ([email protected])
Jaye ([email protected])
Katie/Gusty ([email protected])
Melody ([email protected])
Nibbles666 ([email protected])
Pika-Chan ([email protected])
Scribbles ([email protected])
Violet Star Shine ([email protected])
The Baby Christmas Pony was offered through the Rice Krispies cereal. My family must have consumed about two million boxes of the stuff considering all the millions of Baby Christmas Ponies that invaded the house!
And now, to announce the winner of the Avon prize:
Scribbles! The Gingerbread lip balm is yours! E-mail me your address and I’ll send out your prize ASAP.
Peachy helped me choose the Avon prize for January. It’s a metallic lip gloss in a shade called, of course, Peachy Sheen. It’s .27 ounces of peachy and metallicy goodness! Or, if you’re a guy, you’ll have a chance at a favorite toiletry item of the Big Brother Ponies: Wild Country soap-on-a-rope! To enter the contest, answer the following question correctly:
Who did Megan get the Rainbow of Light from?
Tell me the answer by e-mailing [email protected] or entering through the form at
THE RULES! *ANYONE* can enter. That means anyone as in anyone. Even if you’ve already participated in the past, you can enter; in fact, I encourage you to do so. You don’t even have to be a subscriber of MLP Monthly in order to enter. But if you’re not a subscriber, you’re probably not even reading this. ^.~
However, now that we’ve introduced *real* prizes, we will be putting a limit on how many times you can be entered in the drawing for that. If you’ve already been selected to win one of our prizes in the past, you can’t be entered again– BUT, you can still participate and get your webpage graphic! So just because you’ve won something in the past doesn’t mean you can’t have any fun at all with our contests anymore. And, of course, if eventually all contest participants are ones that have won a prize, it’s fair game for everybody again!
On the contest form at http://mlpmonthly.tripod.com/Contact.htm, you will be able to select your gender so we’ll be able to determine which prize you get. Or, if you’d prefer to be opted out of the prize drawing, you can select that on the form as well. You’ll still get your webpage graphic, however.
We had a great turn-out for the best pony Christmas present ever!
Melody ([email protected]) says...
The best (and only!) MLP-related Christmas present I have ever received was the My Little Pony wedding chapel that came with Dainty Dove. I had been admiring it on eBay, wishing I could own it and my dad came up to me and said, "You really want that, don't you?" Of course I said "yes!" and he said that he would pay for it and it could be my Christmas present. I thought it was so sweet of him - usually he grumbles about my ponies taking up too much space!
Pika-Chan ([email protected]) says...
When I was about 7 years old, Santa was kind enough to bring me the original pink castle *and* Sprinkle's Waterfall! That was a great Christmas for me!
Nibbles666 ([email protected]) says...
Paradise Estate from my Dad! :D He couldn't understand why a 15 year old would want such a contraption but he got it for me, asking if that was what I really wanted. Because that would be the only item I would be getting for a xmas present. It was $100 and back in those days, that was alot of money for a family that was going through hard times to have to spend on a toy. That was the best, most wonderful MLP present I have received and I will never forget. :) To this day, that same Estate sits in my room happily occupied by pony residents. :P Best wishes to all for this holiday season!
Jaye ([email protected]) says...
That would have to be Moonstone, the very first pony I ever got. She is still one of my very favourites, even though her tail is frizzy now. I even still have the card she came on, which shows a lot of wear and has the points clipped out. ;-)
And now we have another survey question to answer!
What is your favorite pony name– not the pony itself, but just the name?
The URL to enter at is:
New Year, New Start
December 31, 2003
by Tabby ([email protected])
Tiffany fluttered her wings in agitation as she finally reached the high-class hotel where she was expected. She had been in such a rush to make it on time that she had flown part of the way. Of course, she would not have been so pressed for time had she not run across that sad little baby pony on the street.
But she truly didn’t want to be late for this occasion, a celebrity auction of which she had been invited to be co-host. The proceeds would go to Helping Hoof, Tiffany’s favorite charity that benefitted needy baby ponies. Tiffany was determined to urge the bidding as high as she could to ensure the foundation received a sizable sum.
Tiffany rushed past all the glamorous ponies gathered in the hotel to make her way to the staging area. In the past, she would have been sure to stop and take careful note of all the styles being displayed and determine how to incorporate the newest fads into her own look. But since last Christmas, her life of frivolities had changed to a life of service, aiding those less fortunate than herself, particularly baby ponies. Now she lived solely for the purpose of raising more and more funds to donate to charitable organizations. There was no end to Tiffany’s abundant desire to make life pleasant for all baby ponies the world over.
Backstage of the huge auditorium in which the auction would be held, Tiffany impatiently waited for the stagehands to finish powdering her face. Looking good on camera simply had no appeal to her any longer, not when there were baby ponies in need.
Before she knew it, the signal for Tiffany to go on stage came. She looked around for Clare, who was co-hosting the event, but she didn’t notice the Italian mare anywhere. There was no time to worry about that, though, as it was time for the show to begin. Tiffany stepped out from behind the curtain, blinking in the intense lights focused on her. Then she looked towards the spot where Clare was supposed to be. She hastily suppressed a gasp as she saw who was there instead. Why, what was he doing here? It was none other than her alienated ex-fiancé, Guido Casale!
If Guido was a little taken aback himself, he didn’t let it show for long. He proceeded to stroll forward and take Tiffany’s hoof in his as the opening strains of music began.
Tiffany smiled tentatively at him before turning her attention back to prospective bidders. “Welcome to the first ever celebrity auction, sponsored by Clare’s Creations in Vulcanopolis,” she started off a bit tremulously as the presence of Guido still had her unnerved. “We have a lot of lovely items here tonight from the households of famous stars. And all proceeds will benefit Helping Hoof. And now Guido... Mr. Casale... will explain to you in detail the bidding process.” Tiffany flashed a dazzling smile at the glamorous ponies before stepping aside to give Guido center stage. She tried to control the rapid beating of her heart while Guido went on to elaborate on how to bid, forms of payment, and the like.
Then the auction began. An attendant rolled out a cart with the first item on it. Guido pulled back the sheet that covered it and announced the treasure: “Up first we have this lovely shawl worn by Golden Sundrop for her starring role in Grangewood. The beaded fringe is composed of genuine amethysts and garnets. Bidding starts at five hundred jangles!”
Tiffany was a little disappointed that the shawl went for only one thousand two hundred jangles. Why, she could have given the foundation more out of her weekly allowance! Well, there were still many more items...
For the second item, Tiffany was given the honor of showcasing it. Agitated by Guido’s presence at her side, the princess wasn’t quite as detailed in her description as she would have been otherwise. “This is the thing... from that movie... with the guy...” she stammered nervously. “You know the one I’m talking about...”
But jewels spoke louder than words anyway, so the diamond ring brought five thousand jangles. Tiffany was more pleased with that amount.
More often than not, Guido had to help Tiffany out with the announcements; the white pegasus made an admirable but flustered assistant, describing items with lines like “The hoof... I mean the nail... the hoofnail... no, the hoofnail clipper, of Havershaw!” and “The horseshoe, from the guy, with the hooves!”
After many long hours Tiffany felt like her big smile had been permanently plastered on her face. But finally the last treasure was unveiled for bidding. It was a stylin’ cart that had been featured extensively in the popular film, Helter-Skelter.
“Wow! What an amazing machine!” Guido marveled for the benefit of the audience. “This is the chance of a lifetime, ladies and gentlemen, to own a cart driven by Whirl Wind! Bidding starts at ten thousand!!”
Tension was in the air as bidders fought over the piece de resistence. The price soared from one hundred thousand, to eight hundred thousand, to one million.
Guido banged down the decorative gavel at his disposal. “SOLD! For five million jangles!”
Groans broke out from the audience as their chance of owning the incomparable cart was extinguished, but almost everyone remained for Tiffany’s next announcement: “Thank you so much for taking part!!! Because of you, the Helping Hoof Foundation will be given nearly three billion jangles. This will be a tremendous aid to countless baby ponies all over the world!! What a truly special Christmas present this will be!! Thank you from the bottom of my... our... hearts!”
Clapping and cheers broke out for ths incredible accomplishment. Guido then went on to invite all participants to attend a formal ball being held in the adjoining room, and everyone gravitated there to join in the festivities.
Due to the nature of the auction, Tiffany and Guido had not had the time to say anything personal to each other. But, as host and hostess of the event, they were obliged to start the first dance.
Tiffany was nervous; Guido seemed very personable and charming towards her, but was that just a facade for the benefit of the participants? She knew he didn’t think very highly of her because of her former frivolous lifestyle. Tiffany sighed wistfully as he led her out onto the dance floor. This was so much like the old days, when she was his guest in Vulcanopolis. They had attended countless parties and balls together; and he had always held her so close, and looked at her so adoringly...
Lost in her thoughts, Tiffany missed a step and almost trampled Guido’s hoof. Oh dear, that was no way to make a good impression on him! But blushing, she met his gaze, and he only smiled at her discomfiture.
Soon enough the dance ended, and Tiffany was half-grateful, half-disappointed, when Guido released his hold on her. The rest of the night was spent primarily at his side, chatting with various guests; but there was no time for private conversation, so Tiffany could only guess what Guido was thinking. It probably disgusted him to be in her company like this, Tiffany thought despondently. He was a very good actor, though...
In the small hours of the morning, the party finally began to break up and the ballroom became sparsely populated. Inevitably, Guido shook hooves with– and Tiffany smiled at– the last guest. And then the two were alone with each other.
“It was a lovely night,” Tiffany said a little breathlessly, articulating the first inane comment that came into her head. “It was such a– such a surprise to see you here.”
“And was it a pleasant surprise?” Guido prodded.
“Oh, yes, of course!” Tiffany burst out without thinking. “I mean... naturally. You were an excellent host. But, just out of curiosity, why was there a change of plans? The last I had heard Clare would be co-hosting with me.”
“Calla came down with a bad cold, so she didn’t want to leave Vulcanopolis,” Guido explained. “She came to me for help and of course I offered to take her place.”
“That was very kind of you,” Tiffany stated.
“Not at all... actually, it was pure selfishness on my part.”
Tiffany looked at him inquiringly. “Selfishness? I don’t understand.”
“Why, I wanted to chance to see you again. Not your photo in the newspaper or on television, but in person.”
Guido chuckled and took her hoof in his. “Do you think your company is that undesirable, Tiffany?”
“I thought you wouldn’t even want to see me again, after...” Tiffany looked down at the floor and trailed off into silence. It didn’t need to be said what occasion Tiffany was referring to. They both knew it was the night before their intended wedding, two years ago, when they had had their big falling out. Tiffany had told Guido that she was only marrying him for his money, and Guido had suddenly realized that fame and wealth weren’t everything. The next day, neither of them had shown up at church for the wedding.
“You’ve changed a lot since then, Tiffany. We both have.” Guido lapsed into contemplative silence. “When I first started hearing about all the volunteer work you were undertaking, I couldn’t believe it. I’m really impressed by your ambition.”
Tiffany blushed. “It’s nothing, really... it’s the least I could do for all the years I spent concentrating on myself. I was surprised by your contributions to charity, too. Though at first I thought you were quite mad to be giving all that money away.” She smiled a bit regretfully. “But I understand now. There’s more to life than parties and looking beautiful... much more. I’ve finally found my true purpose in life... and I have you to thank for it, though it took me awhile to change. There are so many ponies that need help, and I mean to help as many as I can. Tomorrow I’m speaking to the board of Master Mark Corporation to convince them to supply funding to the new Health Works charity, and on Saturday I’m helping with a fund-raiser for Food for Foals.” She smiled wryly. “Would you believe I passed up an invitation to a ball at Golden City so I could give some of my time at the orphanage?”
“Those are all very honorable causes, indeed,” Guido said gravely. “But sometimes I wonder if you miss the kind of life you had before.”
A tiny bit of regret flashed across Tiffany’s face, but she quickly suppressed it. “Oh no of course not! I’m so much happier helping others,” she declared bravely. Guido actually respected her now! Of course she wouldn’t admit that she wouldn’t mind attending a party once in awhile... and keeping on top of the latest styles... and spending the nights gossiping with her friends. If she let on to any of this he’d surely hate her again for being so shallow!
“I see,” said Guido. “I must say I’m a bit sorry, though, to see that the old Tiffany is so completely gone. Your fun-loving spirit was one of your most endearing qualities. I’m sure it wouldn’t hurt your standing as a ponitarian if you took a little bit of time for yourself.”
“You... you think so?” Tiffany said incredulously.
“Of course I think it’s wonderful what you’re doing, but you still have your own life to live,” Guido went on. “Maybe you took all this work to an extreme... I’d hate to think I had inadvertently caused such an engaging personality to lose herself so entirely to the world.”
“Oh,” said Tiffany, still not really believing her ears. “But– does this mean– oh, what are you trying to say!”
“I’m saying, Tiffany, that the love of my life doesn’t have to be so perfect... and though she’s a devoted helper of ponykind, she can still indulge in her own whims once in awhile... and yes, even allow herself to have fun!”
Sappy music keyed-up in the background as the two estranged lovers embraced and kissed.
“What! I thought all the musicians had gone!” Tiffany exclaimed, breaking away from Guido momentarily. “Do leave us in peace!” The lone musician skulked out of the ballroom and went on his way.
“But you musn’t make me wait through another tedious two-year engagement, darling,” Guido said, quickly slipping back into the familiarity they had previously enjoyed.
“Oh, no,” said Tiffany dreamily. “Another two years is much too long to wait. At the earliest possible convenience, naturally. But then there’s the old question, Dream Valley or Vulcanopolis?”
“How does an elopement sound?”
“Exceedingly convenient! But I’m afraid it will have to wait until next week. Previous engagements, you know.”
“My dear Tiffany, the point of an elopement is the spontaneity! When is your appointment tomorrow? Afternoon? Then that’s fine! We’ll leave for Vulcanopolis immediately, get married by special licence, and be back just in time. I’d even be willing to take a raincheck on the honeymoon for the sake of your work. What do you say?”
“I have always so admired your efficiency,” Tiffany sighed dreamily. “Very well, let’s do it!”
The End - or rather, The Beginning!
by Clever Clover ([email protected])
Clever Clover, Belle Star, Minoko, and Morning Glory walked through the hills outside of Friendship Garden one afternoon. Ryo, the lop-eared bunny, rode on Belle Star’s back. As they crested a rise, a stand of evergreens came into view. Clever Clover pointed toward the trees with his axe. “That’s the spot.” The group made their way to the trees and spread out through the stand.
Minoko stood gazing at a tree. “How’s this one?”
“I think it’s a little too big. My ceilings aren’t that high.”
“Oh! Oh! How about this one?” Belle Star pointed to a smaller, but slightly lopsided tree.
“Couldn’t you find a less lopsided one?” asked Morning Glory.
Minoko glared at Morning Glory. “Do you see any that aren’t a little lopsided?”
“Well then, I guess this one will do.” Clever Clover hefted his axe and with a single blow felled the tree. “Next year I think I’m going to bring a normal axe. This one makes it too easy.”
“All right Ryo, you’re on,” said Minoko. The grayish brown bunny jumped down from Belle Star’s back onto the fallen tree. In a flash of light, Ryo transported the tree and the four ponies back to Clever Clover’s home. Before long the tree was standing in the living room. The four ponies worked long into the night decorating the tree with lights, tinsel, and ornaments of every color.
“It’s awfully late; I don’t suppose I could spend the night?” Morning Glory asked once the tree was finished.
“Uh, I don’t know where you’d sleep. I’ve only got two beds, mine and Minoko’s, and Belle Star sleeps on the couch. I suppose you could have my bed and I could sleep in my chair.”
“Oh, I don’t want to be a bother.”
“No, it is late. You can have my bed for the night.”
“Oh, thank you!”
* * *
Clever Clover went into his bedroom and took a small box out of the night stand drawer and rejoined the others in the living room.
Minoko held up a steaming mug. “Hey Clever Clover! Why don’t you sit down and have some hot chocolate?”
“Sounds good.” Clever Clover sat down and picked up a mug. “Morning Glory, everything’s ready. You can turn in whenever you want.”
Morning Glory yawned. “Yes, I suppose it is that time. Goodnight all.”
“Goodnight,” replied Clever Clover.
Minoko slurped her hot chocolate; Belle Star was already asleep.
Once Morning Glory had left the room, Minoko walked over to Clever Clover’s chair and sat on the arm. “So, now that we’re, relatively, alone, what do you say we have a little fun?”
Clever Clover emptied his mug. “It’s late. We should be getting to sleep.”
“You’re no fun.” Minoko turned up her nose in a huff and stomped off to her room.
“That was easier that I expected,” Clever Clover mumbled as he gathered up the hot chocolate mugs and took them to the kitchen. After rinsing the mugs, he returned to the living room, sat down, put up his hooves, and pulled a blanket over himself. He took out the small box and started turning it in his hoof.
As he contemplated the box, he was startled as Minoko stuck her head through the wall. Clever Clover, panicking, hid the box under his blanket. “What are you doing?” he asked.
“Oh, just checking up. You and Belle Star aren’t up to anything, are you?”
“What do you think we’d be up to, anyway? Besides, once Belle Star falls asleep, she won’t wake up till noon.”
“I guess you’re right. It wouldn’t do any good to propose to someone while they’re asleep.”
“Propose!? I can’t believe Morning Glory has got you caught up in her delusions. But you’ve never been that jealous of Belle Star before. What’s up?”
“Uh hu. Well, you left her behind when you went ring shopping even though she’s supposed to be your bodyguard. Now why might you want to leave her in the dark?”
Clever Clover yawned. “Maybe I was shopping for Christmas presents. Did you ever think of that?”
“Presents? Oh! What did you get me?”
“Not a ring,” Clever Clover mumbled as he drifted off to sleep.
“Hm, presents. Maybe I should get him something. Oh well, there’ll be plenty of time to think of something. I might as well get some sleep.”
* * *
The weeks before Christmas passed quickly. A few days before the holiday, Clever Clover made the rounds to his friends’ houses delivering the presents he had bought them. At Thomas and Tabby’s mansion, Thomas answered the door.
“Hey Tom. Is Tabitha in?”
“No. She’s doing some last minute Christmas shopping. She shouldn’t be too long. Would you like to come in and wait?”
“Oh no. I actually would like to ask you a question.”
“So, ask away.”
“Right. Uh, when you decided to marry Tabby, I mean, um, how did you know that she was… Oh never mind. Here are some presents.” Clever Clover handed Thomas the gifts, bowed, and hastily strolled away.
* * *
When Christmas Eve arrived, Clever Clover’s friends once again gathered at his home. In addition to Minoko, Belle Star, and Morning Glory, Key and Yuki had come up from Port Scurvy for the holiday. All but Minoko were gathered in the dining room playing cards. Minoko was in her room hastily wrapping the gifts she had bought the day before.
“Hm, I wonder if young Lucas made it back from the Isle yet?” Morning Glory mussed. “I feel sort of guilty sending him off with all those gifts at the last minute like that.”
“Well, he is a delivery boy,” said Key. “It’s his job. Besides, I’m sure he wouldn’t have accepted the job if he couldn’t get back by Christmas.”
“Oh, I hope you’re right. I’d hate to think he’d miss Christmas with his family because of me.”
“You shouldn’t worry,” said Belle Star.
“That’s right,” said Clever Clover. “He wasn’t just carrying your presents; we all sent gifts with him back to Malachite Castle.”
“But I was the one who hired him.”
Belle Star nodded. “You do have a point.”
“Oh! Maybe I should call his parents.”
“If it will make you feel better.”
Just then there was a knock at the door.
“I wonder who that could be at this hour?” asked Clever Clover.
Belle Star jumped up. “I’ll go see!” She pranced off to the front door.
“Clever Clover, you wouldn’t happen to know Lucas’ parent’s phone number by any chance?”
“I don’t even know his last name.”
Belle Star came prancing back with a large parcel. “That was Lucas back from the Isle. They sent presents!”
“You mean Lucas is here?”
“Uh-hu. I promised him a mug of hot chocolate.”
“I’ll take it to him,” offered Morning Glory. “It will give me a chance to thank him for his hard work in person.”
As Morning Glory took Lucas his hot chocolate, Minoko came out from her room carrying an armload of presents, all wrapped with the same paper and ribbon.
“Did I miss anything exciting?”
Key shook her head. “Not really.”
Belle Star’s face brightened when she saw the gifts. “Oh-Oh! More presents! Did you get one for me?”
“Yeah, yeah. There’s one for everybody. Even Morning Glory.” The pirate pony dropped the presents onto the table, except for one. The last present she handed to Clever Clover. “Here. Why don’t you open it right away?”
“I’d rather wait until tomorrow. Besides, it’s almost time for church.”
“Oh, it’s that late already?” Morning Glory returned from the front door.
* * *
After a lovely midnight mass, the party returned to Clever Clover’s house. This time, Clever Clover was ready for his guests. Morning Glory, Minoko, and Key would sleep in Clever Clover’s bedroom while he would sleep in Minoko’s smaller room. Belle Star insisted on sleeping on the couch as usual, since she would be closer to Clever Clover. And he didn’t mind having her between him and Minoko... not that it would do any good considering how soundly Belle Star could sleep. Luckily, Minoko was almost as heavy a sleeper as Belle Star. Yuki slept with the pets.
Christmas morning came quickly. Clever Clover awoke and rubbed the sleep from his eyes. He stumbled out of bed and headed to the door. “I hope I didn’t sleep too late. I’d hate to miss any of the fun.”
He stepped out of the bedroom and found Minoko waiting for him. “Merry Christmas!” she said. Clever Clover noticed her gaze was directed toward the ceiling. Clever Clover looked up.
“Oh, mistletoe. How did that get there?”
Minoko leaned close. “How’s not important. But you know the rules.”
Clever Clover’s face turned red. “Heh, yeah.”
Minoko closed her eyes and puckered up. Clever Clover touched his lips to hers momentarily, then turned away.
“What! That’s it?” cried Minoko.
“I just got up and I need to use the bathroom!” he shot back over his shoulder.
When Clever Clover finished in the bathroom, he found Minoko waiting for him once again, grinning ear to ear. He didn’t even have to look up to know he was standing under the mistletoe again. But Belle Star had just gotten up and was eager to use the bathroom. She ran into Clever Clover, knocking him over. As she landed on top of him, her lips touched his. After a moment that seemed like an eternity, Belle Star jumped up off of Clever Clover and turned bright red.
“I am so sorry! I was just in such a hurry I wasn’t watching where I was going.”
“That’s all right…” Clever Clover began, but was cut off as Minoko grabbed Belle Star by the shoulders and began to shake her.
“You’d better be sorry! I had Clever Clover right where I wanted him and you had to mess it up!”
Belle Star began to cry. “Oh! I am so sorry!”
Clever Clover, back on his hooves again, broke up the fighting mares. “Calm down Minoko! It’s Christmas morning; can’t you try to be nice just this once? Besides, it’s not like Belle Star tried to kiss me or anything. It was just an accident.”
Minoko let go of Belle Star, who rushed into the bathroom and slammed the door. The fiery pirate hung her head in shame. “I’m sorry if I ruined your Christmas. I just wanted this to be a special day.”
“You haven’t ruined Christmas. And it can still be a special day. Now, why don’t we get some breakfast?”
Before Minoko could collect her prize, Clever Clover was leading her by the hoof away from the mistletoe into the kitchen.
In the kitchen, Morning Glory and Key were already hard at work preparing breakfast. They already had a large stack of hot and golden Belgian waffles ready and were preparing a tray of jams and jellies to go with them.
“Merry Christmas Clever Clover!” Morning Glory beamed.
“Merry Christmas,” Key chimed in. “To thank you for your hospitality, we thought we’d fix a special breakfast for you.”
“Well, thank you; and Merry Christmas to both of you. Come on Minoko, we can carry the food to the table. Then when Belle Star gets here, we can eat!”
Before long all five ponies and Yuki were gathered around the table enjoying a most excellent homemade breakfast. Key couldn’t help but notice that Belle Star was still a little flushed and that she kept glancing embarrassedly at Clever Clover.
“By the way, what was that commotion earlier?” the sea patrol pony asked.
“Oh, nothing,” Minoko replied and continued eating.
Belle Star remained silent, but her blush deepened.
“Just your typical early morning traffic jam,” explained Clever Clover.
By this time, Morning Glory had noticed how Belle Star was acting. “Are you sure you three aren’t plotting something?”
Belle Star stood up. “Oh my, is it getting warm in here. I think I’ll step out for some fresh air.”
“I wonder what that was about?” asked Morning Glory.
Clever Clover shrugged. “I don’t know. But if you’re all finished, we could move into the living room and start opening presents. Yuki, why don’t you go tell Bell Star.”
The snow-white bushwoolie jumped up. “Yeah-yeah! Presents!” He hurried off after Belle Star. “Belle-Belle! Presents!”
The rest of the ponies took a minute to clear the table before moving into the living room. Minoko rushed ahead of the others. As soon as Clever Clover came into the room, Minoko shoved the present she had wrapped for him the night before into his arms.
“Here! Open mine first!”
Morning Glory turned her nose up. “Couldn’t you try to show a little self control for the holiday?”
Clever Clover took the package and sat down while Minoko stuck out her tongue at Morning Glory.
“I’ll open it as soon as Belle Star and Yuki get back.”
It wasn’t long before they returned. “Sorry to keep you waiting. I don’t know why I felt so warm all of a sudden.”
“That’s all right. I was about to open Minoko’s present.” As Clever Clover tore off the ribbon and paper, Minoko leaned close as if to catch every detail of the opening. As soon as the top of the box was cleared of paper, it sprang open and out shot a plush Ryo on a spring with a sprig of mistletoe clenched in its paws.
Minoko smiled. “Well, well, look at that! You and me under the mistletoe again. It must be fate!”
“I should have expected this sort of stunt from you,” Morning Glory huffed.
Clever Clover grinned nervously. “Oh well, I guess if it’s fate.” As Clever Clover and Minoko kissed, Key glanced at Belle Star, who was giggling.
Afterwards, Minoko grinned. “There, that wasn’t so bad now, was it?”
“No, it wasn’t. But in all fairness, I should give everybody a chance.”
“What? But it was my present! After all the thought and effort I put into it, you can’t just go around kissing everybody.”
“Come on Minoko, in the spirit of the holiday, don’t make trouble.”
“Oh, all right.”
Clever Clover stood up. “So, Morning Glory, how ‘bout it?”
Morning Glory grinned and shot a satisfied glance at Minoko. “I must say, Minoko, your gift is quite touching.”
Minoko fumed as her rival kissed Clever Clover, but did her best to control her temper.
Then Clever Clover turned to Key. “In all fairness I guess I should at least offer you a chance.”
“That’s all right, I’ll pass. I’m not much of the kissing type.”
Clever Clover shrugged and turned to Belle Star. “Then I guess it’s your turn.”
Belle Star turned bright red. “Oh! I don’t know, I mean, I am you’re bodyguard. It might not be…appropriate.”
“She does have a point…” mussed Minoko.
“I can’t think of any regulation against it,” interjected Key, as she gently nudged Belle Star toward Clever Clover.
Clever Clover smiled gently. “I won’t report it to your superiors if you don’t”
“Well…in that case…” Belle Star gave Clever Clover a quick kiss, turned even brighter red, and started giggling lightheadedly and collapsed onto the couch.
“What’s her problem?” asked Minoko.
Morning Glory shook her head. “I don’t know. You don’t suppose…”
“Hu? You think she… But she hasn’t even been trying!”
“Maybe she’s playing hard to get. But then who knows what she does when they’re off on those digs together.”
The two mares glared suspiciously at Belle Star, who was gradually regaining her composure.
“What are you two up to now?” Clever Clover asked.
“Oh, nothing!” they replied in unison. “Why do you think we’re up to anything?”
Now that the kissy-kissy stuff is over (for now), let’s get on with the presents!
* * *
From the ponies at Malachite Castle, they each got a fine, monogrammed, silk scarf. Minoko gave Key and Belle Star matching antique swords, Yuki an antique dagger, and Morning Glory a velvet cape, all booty from her pirating days. (And of course Clever Clover got a plush Ryo, with mistletoe!) From Clever Clover, Minoko got a pirate ship in a bottle, Belle Star got a deep blue hair ribbon, Morning Glory received a flint-knapped flower pendant… Well, everyone (even the pets) got fine presents and no one was disappointed. (Although Clever Clover would have really loved an antique sword.)
The Yuletide celebration continued long into the night, and into the wee hours of the next morning. There was food and drink, song and dance, games, mistletoe, and the occasional fencing match (Key and Belle Star just had to try out their new swords).
Early the next afternoon (after a party like that, you just don’t worry about the next morning) Key and Yuki had to return to Port Scurvy to tend the ships and all the official chores that came with being officers of the Sea Patrol. Morning Glory returned home, Minoko returned to her normal routine, while Clever Clover and Belle Star started cleaning up after the festivities of the past days (and if Morning Glory or Key had hung around, the cleaning might have gotten somewhere; Clever Clover and Belle Star are the worst cleaners, after Minoko).
* * *
The week after Christmas passed quickly; and before they knew it, the whole gang was back together to ring in the new year together. Clever Clover’s dining room table was dominated by a large punch bowl. A spread of chips, dips, crackers, spreads, and other edibles covered his kitchen counters. It all would have been overkill if not for the combined appetites of Clever Clover, Belle Star, and Minoko, each of whom could easily eat twice as much as the average pony.
Shortly before the party began in earnest, Clever Clover stood in front of the bathroom mirror, composing himself. He held the small box he had been carrying for weeks now, turning it over and over in his hoof. So caught up in whatever ponders he occupied himself with was he, that a knock at the door came as quite a shock.
“Hey Clever Clover! You gettin’ sick or something?”
The purple prince tucked away the little box, took a moment to regain his composure, and replied. “I’m fine, Minoko.”
When he opened the door, Minoko regarded him quizzically. “Are you sure? You’ve been acting awfully strange lately.”
“Yeah, I’ve just got a lot on my mind.” He poked his head through the door and looked around for any mistletoe.
“Don’t worry; I learned my lesson after that spring-loaded Ryo fiasco. Come on, your guests are waiting!”
But before they could go anywhere, the doorbell rang.
“I wonder who that could be?” Clever Clover mused as he went to answer the door. Opening the door, he found Lady Moonshine, with a bottle of her special “tea”.
Without waiting for an invite, Lady Moonshine stepped past Clever Clover into the house. “I’m sorry I couldn’t make it to your Christmas party. Morning Glory told me it was quite a blast. But at least I made it for New Year’s Eve! I’ll just throw some of my ‘tea’ into your punch bowl and then we’ll be all set.”
Clever Clover still stood by the open door. “Hi Lady Moonshine. Come in and make yourself at home.” He closed the door and returned to the increasingly crowded living room.
Everyone had a glass of punch in hoof. As soon as Clever Clover stepped into the room, Lady Moonshine handed him a glass.
“Here, drink up! We’ve only got three more hours left to this stingy old year! We might as well make them count!”
Clever Clover sheepishly took the punch. “That’s what I was planning to do.”
* * *
The next morning, Clever Clover woke up with a throbbing headache. He was laying on the kitchen floor. As he stood up and surveyed his surroundings, he grimaced in pain at the sight of the squalor. “What happened?” he mumbled.
Key poked her head up from behind the punch bowl. “Don’t ask me.”
As Clever Clover wandered about the house, the rest of the gang gradually started to come to.
“That was a great party,” said Minoko. “I think. How late did it go?”
Belle Star yawned. “Last thing I remember it was 1:30.”
Clever Clover shook his head. “You remember 1:30? I can’t even remember making it to midnight.”
“Oh yeah. You were standing on the sofa reciting ‘Beowulf’ until midnight. Then you started acting really strange. At 1:00 you went to the kitchen to get some ice. Uh, that was the last time I saw you.”
Minoko stared in disbelief. “You actually remember all that?”
“Well…I think so.”
Clever Clover went into the bathroom to wash up. After washing his face, Clever Clover reached for the small box, but it wasn’t there. “Oh no. I hope I didn’t do anything rash.”
Clever Clover rushed out of the bathroom. “Belle Star! You said I was acting strange last night. What exactly did I do?”
“Well, you kept asking me if you could ask me a question, but you never did. Well, I guess you did ask a question, but it was only the question about if you could ask another question; and I’m all confused. I need some green tea. I don’t know what you were talking to the others about.”
“Do you know if I gave anyone a…present?”
“Uh, I don’t remember.”
While Belle Star got her tea (real tea), Clever Clover began frantically searching through the clutter from the night before.
“What are you looking for?” asked Morning Glory. “Would you like a hand?”
“Ah, nothing important. I can take care of it myself. You get yourself some breakfast.”
And so the new year began with as much chaos and confusion as Clever Clover had come to expect in his life.
Agatha vs. Caprice, Part One!!!
by Tabby ([email protected])
The evening promised to be entertaining, Tabby thought. She had invited Spike, Friendly, and Clever Clover over to her house so they could watch a certain Godzilla movie in Spike’s collection. Tabby had been quite distraught to learn that she had somehow missed the initial viewing of this particular movie, in which Godzilla fought a giant crustacean monster!
Godzilla movies were always so funny! All four of them laughed hysterically as Godzilla and the giant lobster tossed rocks back and forth at each other. It was so ridiculous and corny! Tabby loved it, even if she thought she was going to die laughing.
Suddenly, a voice intruded on the foursome’s raucous laughter. “Oh, Tabby, am I interrupting?”
And then the spell was broken. Tabby automatically clapped her mouth shut, even as Godzilla made a particularly ridiculous move, scrambled up from her seat, and turned her back on the television screen. “Why, of course not, Caprice! How are you tonight? Did you need me for something?”
“Oh, it’s nothing important,” Tabby’s mother-in-law shook her head. “I’m sorry I barged in like this. It’s just that I found one of Faline’s dolls she had left behind at our house and I thought she might miss it.” So saying, Caprice held out the sparkly-haired princess My Little Person which was on of Faline’s favorites.
“How kind and thoughtful of you!” Tabby enthused, steering Caprice out of the room. “Faline will be exceedingly grateful. Is there anything I can get you while you’re here? Something to drink, at least?”
“Oh, no, that’s fine,” Caprice said, embarrassed to be made so much of. “I really just dropped in quick to return it. You don’t have to leave your friends. Really, I’ll just let myself out again– ”
“That’s fine,” Tabby brushed it off. “I was about to get away from all the noise anyway. It’s a very vulgar display, actually. I fail to see what those friends of mine see in movies like that.” Tabby shook her head in exasperation. “But anyway. Can I get you a glass of water or anything? A slice of cake? Just sit down here and I’ll be right back.”
Caprice sighed and acquiesced, seeing as there was little else she could do as Tabby hurried off.
* * *
“Thomas, do you have a minute?” Caprice tentatively peered into the study where her son was to be found.
“Well, of course, Mom,” Thomas said, setting a book aside. “What’s on your mind?”
“It’s Tabby,” Caprice confessed. “I’m concerned– ”
“Why?! What’s wrong?”
“It’s just that she– oh, she acts so differently for me and Dietrich than when she’s with her friends,” Caprice sighed. “She’s so dutiful, and kind, and thoughtful; but I feel that she’s going out of her way to impress us. She’s not quite normal with us, is she?”
“No, she’s not,” Thomas shook his head. “So you’ve noticed, too.”
“She never talks about her hobbies, or interests, or anything,” Caprice continued to fret. “In fact, I’m given the impression she’s going out of her way to hide them because she’s embarrassed of what we’d think. Why does she think she has to be so perfect for us?”
“She’s in awe of you and Dad. She just doesn’t realize it.”
“In awe of us? But why?” Caprice said, puzzled.