My Little Pony Monthly Issue 81 (December 1, 2003)
My Little Pony Monthly
A publication of Nematode (Electronic) Publishing
Established June 1997
This Newsletter is Safe for All Ages
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Hoorah! Check out our list of winners from last month!
Berry Brite (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Chandra Forshey (ChandraMic@aol.com)
Mr. Kidoo was Miss Hackney’s old beau. For the longest time I called him Mr. Skidoo but recently when I was re-watching the Tales series I realized there was no “S”... what a disappointment for me to find that I’d been wrong all this time!
I am a bit disappointed, however, that the number of submissions dropped so low again. Is everyone scared off by the prizes? Well, you can always opt out of being in the drawing if all you want is the webpage graphic. ^.^ C’mon, I want to keep interest HIGH!
But now, to announce the lucky winner of the Snowflake nail enamel:
Chandra Forshey! Yay! Chandra, please e-mail me your address and I’ll send out your prize ASAP.
Now, what does our box of AVON products have in store for the month of December? Ah, here is a nice holiday item which Gingerbread is all in raves over. It’s gingerbread-scented lip balm! Not only is it a necessity in these cold months of chapped skin, but it also smells nice! Gingerbread gives it her full endorsement. 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:
What cereal had the Baby Christmas Pony/Baby Stockings/whatever-you-want-to-call-her mail-in offer?
Tell me the answer by e-mailing TabbyMLP@aol.com 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.
Just two survey entries... well, at least it’s better than zero! You told us what your families thought of your pony-collecting hobby...
Arenafay (email@example.com) says...
Well my family had to deal with my older sister and as long as they are in my room and not all over the house they happen to be okay with it.
Pika-Chan (firstname.lastname@example.org) says...
My mom thinks it’s cute that I still have all my originals and that I still collect- after all, she has a huge collection of Beanie Babies! My dad grins at me when I get a new one in the mail, but is confused about the concept of customs and thinks I’m spending too much money on those. My brother just rolls his eyes, but is nice enough to listen when I explain all the things discussed on the MLPTP. After all, I listen to his discussions of DDRSTL (a message board for DDR players in St. Louis) and all the newest accessories he’s gotten for his chararcters in Virtua Fighter! ;)
And now we have another survey question to answer!
What’s the best My Little Pony-related Christmas present you’ve ever received?
The URL to enter at is:
A Christmas Tale
Baby Brightbow’s Christmas
by Melody (email@example.com)
Author’s note: I was reading Christmas stories from previous MLP Monthlys and decided that I’d try my luck at writing one. It’s kind of influenced by some of Sugarberry’s Christmas fics, so thanks to Sugarberry for inspiration! I hope everybody has a wonderful Christmas! Oh, and please let me know what you think of my story. :)
“She’s here, everyone! Megan’s here!” cried Star Gleamer, dashing through the gingerbread-scented halls of Paradise Estate.
Baby Brightbow turned around and leapt off the ladder she had been balancing on. It was Christmas time in Dream Valley, and there were signs of Christmas everywhere. Delicious scents wafted from the Paradise Estate kitchen– Baby Brightbow sniffed the air and detected gingerbread, fruit cake, and chocolate puddings. Just the thought of all that food made her hungry! It wasn’t just the food that was Christmassy. Garlands of glittering tinsel hung from the ceiling and there was mistletoe above every doorway. Brightly colored baubles decorated the enormous Christmas tree that Baby Brightbow and her friends had been covering in tinsel. And who could forget the dazzling lights of every color of the rainbow that blinked on and off rhythmically?
But Baby Brightbow wasn’t thinking about the tinsel, the mistletoe, the baubles, or the Christmas lights– she was thinking about Megan. It was obvious that her friends– Baby Starbow, Baby Rainribbon, Baby Sunribbon, Baby Countdown, and Baby Leaper– were also thinking about Megan, as all six babies tumbled out of Paradise Estate and into the snow-covered fields. In the distance they could see a blonde-haired figure, dressed in a fuzzy pink overcoat, sitting under a tree that was covered in snowdrifts. Baby Brightbow was so excited that she almost ran through the thick snow.
“Baby ponies!” exclaimed Megan, hugging each one, except of course for Baby Countdown and Baby Leaper. After all, hugging was a sissy thing to do!
“Megan, what’s that?” asked Baby Sunribbon, pointing to a curious object that Megan was holding. Megan held it out so that it glimmered in the winter sun.
“It’s called a Nativity,” Megan explained.
“What’s a na…na…natinery?” asked a very puzzled Baby Countdown.
Megan laughed and told the baby ponies to sit down. “I’m going to tell you all a story about Christmas, okay?” she said, and the babies nodded. “A long, long time ago, there lived a man named Joseph and his wife Mary. Mary was going to have a baby soon, and an angel told her that she was to name the baby Jesus.”
“Angels? Wow!” sighed Baby Starbow.
Megan smiled, but continued her story. “Now, Mary and Joseph had been traveling all day, and they needed a place to stay for the night. They asked at every inn they could see, but all the rooms were taken.”
“Poor Mary and Joseph!” cried Baby Rainribbon.
“Yes,” agreed Megan, “but keep listening… Mary and Joseph came to the last inn they could see and prayed to God that there would be a room there. They were getting desperate, as Mary knew that she would be having her baby very soon.”
“Oh dear! Was there a room at the inn?” inquired Baby Leaper.
“Not exactly, Baby Leaper. You see, the innkeeper told Mary and Joseph that there were no rooms left, except for the stable. Seeing as there was nowhere else for the couple to stay, they had to agree; and the innkeeper led them to a stable.”
“Did the stable have cows and donkeys and horses in it?” asked Baby Brightbow.
“Yes it did, Baby Brightbow. And all the calves and foals and chicks and their mommies watched as Mary had her baby. And she followed the angel’s directions– she named her baby Jesus.”
“Ooh…” breathed Baby Sunribbon, imagining the scene.
“People came from far and wide to see the baby Jesus. Three kings rode on camels and brought the baby gifts. Some shepherds came too and everyone bowed down in front of Jesus.”
“But why?” asked Baby Countdown, a little confused.
“Jesus was their savior. He was God’s son,” Megan answered.
“Who’s God?” asked Baby Leaper, a little embarrassed at not knowing the answer.
“God is very powerful, but He cares deeply for all of us– in fact, later on, He sacrificed his only son, Jesus, so that we could live! And whenever we do something wrong, we can pray to God and He will forgive us. Isn’t that great?” said Megan.
The baby ponies all nodded and smiled.
“And you know what people on earth say, baby ponies?” asked Megan.
The group shook their heads.
“Jesus is the reason for the season! Christmas, that is,” she grinned.
“Jesus is the reason for the season,” echoed Baby Brightbow, under her breath. What a nice little rhyme!
“That was a great story, Megan! But what has it got to do with the… navitny?” asked the inquisitive Baby Countdown.
“The Nativity shows the scene at Jesus’ birth. See the shepherds and the kings? And there’s the star that told the world of His birth,” she said, pointing.
“Ooh, and there are all the animals,” cried Baby Sunribbon happily. “Look, there’s a lamb and a calf and a foal– kind of like us!” she grinned.
“Right!” said Megan, passing around the Nativity so that everyone could see.
“So the reason we celebrate Christmas is because of Jesus’ birth?” said Baby Leaper.
“It sure is,” replied Megan.
“That means that Christmas day is… Jesus’ birthday! Isn’t that right Megan?” said Baby Rainribbon.
Baby Brightbow hadn’t the slightest idea what ‘precisely’ meant, but she was feeling more and more excited by the minute. An idea was forming in her brain and she couldn’t wait to buy the perfect birthday present for Jesus…
* * *
“Mommy, what does Jesus like?” asked Baby Brightbow as she nibbled on a gingerbread man.
Mommy Brightbow was rather startled by her daughter’s question. “I don’t know, honey– why?” she asked, a little puzzled.
“Well, I’m going to give Him a birthday present this Christmas,” Baby Brightbow said matter-of-factly.
“Oh, that’s very thoughtful of you! Why don’t you go and choose a present now?” said her mother, who hadn’t really heard the conversation properly, as she had been busy talking to Daddy Brightbow.
“Okay, mommy!” said Baby Brightbow, and off she went.
* * *
Baby Brightbow stared through frosted shop windows. There was the golden spinning top she wanted Santa to bring! But it wasn’t something someone as important as Jesus would like. That was the problem…
As Baby Brightbow passed bookstores and shoe shops and clothing stores and toy stores, she knew in her heart that none of them would house Jesus’ perfect birthday present. Suddenly an idea struck her– it was so obvious! She would talk to Baby Rainribbon– after all, she was the smartest little baby pony in Ponyland! And as if by fate, there was Baby Rainribbon, trotting into the toy shop.
“Baby Rainribbon! Wait up!” called Baby Brightbow, puffing as she caught up with her friend.
“Hiya Baby Brightbow! What’s up?” asked the purple baby pony.
“You know that story Megan told us? About baby Jesus?” asked Baby Brightbow.
“Sure– it was a wonderful tale,” agreed Baby Rainribbon.
“Well, I’m trying to find a birthday present for Jesus, but I can’t think what to get Him,” Baby Brightbow admitted.
“That’s a brilliant idea! But I’m afraid I don’t know what Jesus would want… after all, He is a very important person,” answered her friend gravely.
“That’s the problem…” sighed Baby Brightbow.
“Hey, cheer up! You can help me pick a Christmas present for my little sister,” said Baby Rainribbon with a smile.
The pair had a wonderful time looking at teddy bears and spinning tops and skittles and yo-yos and board games, until they finally chose a beautiful snow-white teddy bear for Baby Rainribbon’s sister.
“Thank you, Baby Brightbow. Baby Yo-Yo will love it!” said Baby Rainribbon, as she paid five jangles for the bear.
Baby Brightbow smiled and said, “Not at all, not at all. I’d do anything to help a friend!”
Suddenly, Baby Rainribbon reached into her mane and pulled out her golden ribbon. She handed it to Baby Brightbow.
“Here,” she said. “This is for all your help!” Baby Brightbow thanked her very much as she tied the ribbon in her own rainbow mane.
* * *
Baby Brightbow trudged along the snow-caked paths until she came to a hill, where Baby Countdown and Baby Leaper were pulling a sled up the slope. They waved and a thought occurred to Baby Brightbow. This was great!
Baby Countdown and Baby Leaper could build a fantastic go-kart in just one day– and win the go-kart competition with it! They could swim faster than any of the other baby girls and boys, and they would probably know exactly what Jesus would want for his birthday.
Her heart thumped as she walked over to the two boys and told them of her plan. Both boys were absolutely thrilled.
“Maybe Jesus would like a go-kart!” suggested Baby Countdown.
“Or a racing car… or, or, or a rocket ship!” chimed in Baby Leaper.
“How about a sailing ship?” Baby Countdown added eagerly.
“Ooh, I know! What about you give Him a tall tree to climb!” said Baby Leaper.
Baby Brightbow loved the sound of these, but where would she get them all? And to top it off, they sounded like things that Baby Leaper and Baby Countdown would like, not things that Jesus would like.
“Thank you for all your help, but I really don’t think Jesus would like those things,” she said, a little disappointed.
“Maybe not… but cheer up! You can hop in our sled and we can zoom to the bottom of the slope!” said Baby Countdown.
Baby Brightbow gasped. “Oh that would be excellent!” she squealed, jumping in the sled.
The three ponies spent a delightful hour in the sled, sliding down the hill (well, there were a few bumps!) and then getting out at the bottom, and dragging the sled all the way back up to the top, only to go rushing down again and again!
Much as she loved playing with the two baby brother ponies, Baby Brightbow knew that the day would soon be over– tomorrow would be Christmas, and there were only a few hours left of daylight. She had to find a present for Jesus now or there would be nothing to give Him on Christmas day! And that would be terrible!
“I have to go find Jesus a present now, okay, guys?” she said, brightening at the thought of the perfect gift.
“Aww, okay then– but come play with us some other time, Baby Brightbow!” said Baby Countdown.
Just then, Mommy Leaper came prancing towards the three little ponies, holding a tray. Balanced on top were three steaming hot chocolates and she offered one to each pony.
Baby Leaper and Baby Countdown thanked Baby Brightbow for playing with them, and she set off sipping the hot chocolate, promising to return the mug the next day.
* * *
By now, Baby Brightbow was beginning to worry. Where would she find a present for Jesus?
The answer came to her in an instant– why hadn’t she thought of it before? Almost laughing, Baby Brightbow set off to find her best friend, Baby Starbow– after all, best friends knew everything. She found Baby Starbow at the park, having a full-fledged snowball fight with Baby Sunribbon. She galloped over and the two ponies stopped the snowball fight.
“What’s up, Baby Brightbow? Wanna play with us?” asked Baby Starbow.
Baby Brightbow shook her head. “I’m sorry, but I can’t. I still have to find a birthday present for Jesus…” she trailed off.
“Oh, too bad,” said Baby Sunribbon sadly. But in that instant, snow began falling to the ground– but not the tiny cool snowflakes they loved– this snow came as fast as it could! It whistled around them as loud as a bell, and sounded to the three frightened babies like a screaming ghost!
“Hurry, let’s get to Paradise Estate– fast!” All three ponies ran blindly to the safety of the huge pink estate they called home. Once inside, they sat at the window seat, watching the snowstorm. Baby Countdown, Baby Leaper, and Baby Rainribbon joined them.
“Did you find a present for Jesus?” asked Baby Rainribbon.
Wiping a tear from her pink cheek, Baby Brightbow said, “No. Now Jesus won’t have the perfect birthday after all!” The baby pony began to cry, the tears spilling down her face. Her friends comforted her, but there wasn’t much that anyone could do to console her.
At that moment, Megan walked inside and the baby ponies crowded around her. Baby Brightbow stopped crying and bravely walked over to Megan.
“Megan, er, how do you talk to Jesus?” she enquired.
“You pray to Him! Like this,” Megan bent to her knees. “Then you tell Him to forgive you for your sins, and… well, you just tell Him whatever you’d like and maybe ask Him for something. Of course, you can’t be greedy,” said Megan.
“Thank you, Megan,” said Baby Brightbow.
“No problem– now, who wants to hear another story?” Megan replied, smiling at her friends.
“Ooh, me, me!” they cried, and Baby Brightbow’s sorrow was momentarily forgotten as she sat down on Paradise Estate’s soft carpet and listened to Megan, while the snow swirled and whirled around outside.
Megan finished her story and kissed each pony on his or her forehead. “Now, it’s time for you to go to bed if you want Santa to visit you tonight!” she told the sleepy little ponies.
They dragged their hooves over the carpet to go to their separate rooms and said goodnight, each secretly dreaming of what they would receive for Christmas the next day. But when Baby Brightbow went to her room she sank to her knees and closed her two front hoofs together.
“Dear Jesus,” she began. “My friend Megan, who is very smart and knows everything, told me that this is the right way to pray. I’m supposed to ask you to forgive me for my sins (whatever they are) so that’s what I’ll do. Will you forgive me for my sins, Jesus? Anyway, I spent all of today looking for the perfect birthday present for you, but I couldn’t find anything. I looked everywhere, Jesus, truly! My friends helped me too, but I couldn’t find anything and I don’t want you to be sad on your birthday, Jesus,” she sighed, trying to think what to say next. “Oh yes, I’m supposed to ask you for something I want! Well, all I want, Jesus, is for you to have a happy birthday tomorrow. Merry Christmas! Oh, and amen!” she finished. Just then, she heard a voice.
“Baby Brightbow, the best presents come from the heart. Your love for Me is the most perfect present of all,” said the voice.
Little Baby Brightbow looked up in awe. “Jesus?!” she said in disbelief, whirling around to look behind her. But the voice said nothing more. Baby Brightbow smiled and ran down the corridor into the kitchen.
Mommy Brightbow was standing with Star Gleamer, Diamond Dreams, Sundance, and Megan. All four adults, and, of course, Megan were singing Christmas carols while they put cupcakes, gingerbread, and cookies into the oven.
“Baby Brightbow! What are you doing up so late?” Mommy Brightbow stopped singing ‘Deck the Halls’ and hugged her daughter.
“Mommy, may I please have a plate and a gingerbread man?” asked Baby Brightbow.
“Of course!” said her mommy. “Are they for Santa?” she said with a smile.
“Nope! They’re for Jesus,” she said, happily. While Mommy Brightbow stared at her daughter, Megan winked at Baby Brightbow, who grinned and winked back!
Baby Brightbow took the plate with the gingerbread man down to her room and took a piece of paper from her chest of drawers. “Dear Jesus,” she wrote on the paper. “Happy birthday– or should I say Merry Christmas? Lots of love, Baby Brightbow,” she wrote.
By then, she was feeling terribly tired, so she crawled into bed and pulled her blankets up before drifting into dreamland with a long yawn.
* * *
“Hooray! It’s Christmas!” Baby Brightbow leapt out of bed and tipped the contents of her stocking onto her bed. There was the golden spinning top she had been wanting for ages! And a new barrette that was shaped like an ice-cream cone. She was about to dash off to the Christmas tree when she remembered the plate she had left for Jesus.
With a gasp, she walked to where the empty plate sat on her writing desk. There was a new piece of paper on it that read, “Merry Christmas, little one.”
Baby Brightbow smiled and scrambled to the window. The snowstorm had turned into a gentle fall of snowflakes, and Baby Brightbow stared at the beautiful blue sky, hugging the piece of paper.
“Merry Christmas to you too, Jesus!” whispered Baby Brightbow, smiling– and she knew that somewhere above her, Jesus was smiling, too.
Merry Treat and Baby Stockings’ Surprise
by Steamer (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Every year, around Christmas, Merry Treat and her baby, Baby Stockings, were very busy. They were making and wrapping presents for all the baby ponies in Ponyland to match all the wish lists that they received.
One year, as Merry Treat was going out to the mailbox to get the wish lists that had come in that day, she found a wrapped gift on the doorstep. Hmmmmm, wonder how this got out here, she thought to herself, thinking that it was for a baby pony. Upon closer inspection, she found out what she thought was wrong. On the tag, it said “To Merry Treat and Baby Stockings, From: All the Baby Ponies in Ponyland”.
Merry Treat smiled and took the gift in to show Baby Stockings. “Look what the baby ponies left us,” she said.
“A gift? For us?” asked Baby Stockings. “Can we open it?”
“No, we’ll wait till Christmas Day like everyone else,” replied Merry Treat. “Besides, we have work to do; tomorrow is Christmas Eve.” She then put the gift in a corner in the living room and got back to work filling the sack with presents for the good baby ponies.
That night they each made sure they got plenty of rest; they knew they’d be up late that night delivering all the presents. They finished loading the sleigh, checked, double-checked, and even triple-checked the lists, making sure each baby pony got his or her wish. That night, with the help of eight special ponies, they delivered the presents to all the houses in Ponyland; and when they got home, they went to bed.
Even thought they didn’t get to bed till late, they were each up early the next morning. Each had the same thing on her mind– what did the baby ponies give them? They went downstairs and into the living room.
Merry Treat said Baby Stockings could open the gift. So she did, and what they saw brought tears to their eyes. Inside the package was a snow globe, showing Merry Treat and Baby Stockings out in front of their house; and a wreath, adorned with little baby ponies, representing all of the baby ponies in Ponyland. A note was in the present as well that said “Merry Christmas from all of the Baby Ponies.”
Merry Treat smiled and hung the wreath on their door, and put the snow globe on the mantel; and from then on, every Christmas, their two special presents would go in the same place.
A Twinkle-Eyed Christmas
by Melody (email@example.com)
Author’s note– Obviously, this story took place before the Twinkle-Eyed ponies had Twinkle Eyes.
Fizzy sighed as she watched the Baby Ponies tumble down the stairs of Dream Castle, all rugged up in snowsuits or fuzzy jackets, ready for a snowball fight. She longed to be out there with them, but knew that it would be best to try and help out with the Christmas preparations. But what could she do? She poked her head around the corner and noticed her friends– Gingerbread, Sweet Pop, and Masquerade– decorating the Dream Castle Christmas tree.
“Hi, everybody!” she said, bouncing over to them. “Can I help decorate the tree?” She picked up a box of bright ornaments and began placing them on the tree.
“Uh, okay, Fizzy, but please be careful!” said Sweet Pop.
At that precise second, Fizzy tripped over a shiny red bauble. “Whooooaaaaa!” she squealed, toppling into the Christmas tree. The sudden force of her body weight against the tree caused it to wobble slightly. Fizzy hurriedly untangled herself from the tinsel and took a step backwards. Masquerade, Sweet Pop, and Gingerbread watched in disbelief as the tree swayed back and forth before finally collapsing all over poor Fizzy! The others helped pull the tree up and Fizzy emerged from under its branches, shaking a little from the shock.
“Oh, Fizzy, look what you’ve done!” cried Gingerbread in frustration.
“You’d best get out of here,” whispered Masquerade to her friend, ushering her out of the room.
“B-b-but I want to help…” she trailed off as the door was banged shut in her face. Feeling rather left out, Fizzy trotted off to the kitchen. If she couldn’t help with the tree, perhaps she would be allowed to bake some Christmas puddings. She entered the kitchen and saw Whizzer, Galaxy, and Sweet Stuff putting some trays in the oven.
“Ooh, that looks easy. May I help?” asked Fizzy.
“Sure!” said Whizzer, handing Fizzy a tray of gingerbread cookies.
“Just put them in the oven, okay?” said Galaxy over her shoulder. Fizzy nodded and started towards the oven, balancing the tray. Just then, she noticed that a particularly large star decoration was about to fall from the roof - straight onto Baby Gusty!
“Baby Gusty– look out!” she cried, completely forgetting about the tray she was holding. She dived and pushed the startled baby pony out of the way, just as the ornament landed and shattered into a million pieces. Baby Gusty hugged Fizzy tightly, but Sweet Stuff was not so happy.
“Look, Fizzy! Not only did the ornament break, but all my beautiful gingerbread cookies are completely ruined! Out! Now!” she said, shoving Fizzy out of the room, and slamming the door.
“All I want to do is help…” said Fizzy, sadly.
* * *
That night, Dream Castle was ablaze with the lights of candles, as all of the ponies sat in a circle around the newly decorated Christmas tree singing Christmas carols. “Deck the halls with boughs of holly. Falalalala, lalalala!” sang Fizzy loudly, causing some of the ponies to hold their hooves over their ears. Fizzy felt awful– she couldn’t even sing right.
One by one, the ponies retired to bed, until it was only Sky Rocket, Speedy, and Fizzy, singing a quiet version of “The First Noel”, while the candles flickered and the winter breeze blew them out.
Sky Rocket and Speedy yawned and gave Fizzy quick hugs before climbing the stairs to go to bed. Fizzy waved goodbye to her friends and turned on the Christmas tree lights. She stared at them and admired how they twinkled like beautiful jewels. She gave a yawn and checked the clock at Dream Castle. Oh my! she thought. It was almost midnight– Fizzy hadn’t realized how late it was; and if she didn’t get into bed soon, then Santa wouldn’t come! Although the other ponies thought that Fizzy was slightly immature for believing in Santa, she still had a childish belief that Santa really did come– perhaps it was what, for Fizzy, contributed to the magic of Christmas…
Fizzy leapt up from her place under the Christmas tree. What on earth had that noise been? Her first thought was that it had been a ghost, but even Fizzy didn’t believe in ghosts. But her second thought was something truly unbelievable. No matter how much she wanted it to be Santa, she knew she was being foolish and that he didn’t really exist… or did he?
Her heart thumping so loudly that she thought it would explode at any second, Fizzy crept to the door and opened it, not knowing what to expect. She peered into the darkness and sighed– there was no one there. It had probably just been an animal– why had she gone and gotten her hopes up? It was then that Fizzy heard the noise again– it was coming from the roof! Fizzy could see a dark shadow moving about on the rooftop. It looked to be thrashing quite violently. With a gasp, Fizzy realized that whatever it was, the thing was in trouble! It needed help!
“Are you all right?” called Fizzy tentatively.
“I’m stuck!” cried a voice that sounded terribly frustrated.
“Don’t move! I… I’ll try and get you down!” Fizzy called back up to the creature. But what on earth could she do to help? She dashed as quickly as she could up the steps of Dream Castle, and then hesitated. She was standing at the base of the steps that led to the turrets... only the most courageous ponies ever came up here. After all, it was said to be haunted! A little frightened, but determined to save the creature in need, Fizzy bravely mounted the steps to the central turret, armed with some items she thought may be needed. In her sweating hooves, she clutched a long rope, a pair of scissors, a lantern, and a lump of sugar, in case the creature was terrified and needed some reassuring.
She climbed the staircase step by step, grimacing all the time, until she reached the turret. “Okay, Fizzy, you can do this!” she whispered to herself, then pushed the window of the turret open. She held the lantern out in front of her and flooded the Dream Castle roof with light. “A reindeer?” squeaked Fizzy, as she saw the creature that was in distress.
“Rudolph’s the name,” said the reindeer. “I was with Santa and the other reindeer but the strong blizzards blew me off course and I crashed on the roof and became tangled in tinsel!” said the reindeer desperately.
“Oh, you poor thing!” exclaimed Fizzy, sliding down the roof, clutching the sugar cube and scissors in one hoof, and the lantern in the other. “Don’t you worry, Rudolph– I’ll untangle you!” she said, snipping the tinsel with her scissors. “There! You’re free to go,” finished Fizzy, stepping back to admire Rudolph’s shining red nose.
“Thank you!” exclaimed Rudolph, nuzzling Fizzy. “But what is your name?”
“Oops, I forgot to introduce myself. My name is Fizzy. Pleased to meet you,” she replied.
Rudolph stood up and shook the snow off his face. “That’s much better,” he exclaimed, but then let out a gasp of fright. “Uh-oh…” he began, and Fizzy could see the color draining from his face in the lantern’s glow. “Oh no! I’ve lost my bridle!” he cried sadly.
“Oh dear!” exclaimed Fizzy.
“Yes, it is rather sad. You see, the bridle was a Christmas present from Santa last year– it’s studded with precious stones of every color imaginable– there are rubies, sapphires, amethysts; and even a rare, exotic, bright pink jewel that came from a far off country…” Rudolph sighed, and Fizzy imagined the fantastic jeweled bridle. She simply had to see it! And whatever happened, she had to help Rudolph. She wondered what Santa would do if he found out that Rudolph had lost a prized bridle and shuddered at the thought. She hated it when ponies were angry with her and did not wish the same fate upon the poor reindeer.
“I’ll help you find it,” she told him matter-of-factly.
Rudolph stared at her in admiration. “You are a kind pony. How will I ever repay you?” he said.
“No need! Now, let’s find this bridle!” she said as Rudolph flew her back to the door of Dream Castle.
“We can look through the snow by lamp light,” she said, already scanning the ground for a glimmer of color.
“That’s fine by me,” said Rudolph, and the pair set to work.
* * *
Fizzy yawned loudly and closed her eyes for a second. She was so tired, and according to the Dream Castle clock, which she could see through the window, it was 2:00 am. Fizzy longingly dreamt of the soft warm bed that was waiting for her in her nice, cozy bedroom, when she tripped over something.
“Oh dear!” she grumbled sleepily. “When will the baby ponies ever learn to put their toys away?” She bent down to pick up the object, and to her immense surprise found herself looking down at a dazzling kaleidoscope of colors. Their brightness was simply stunning, and they twinkled like the stars in the deep blue sky. Fizzy breathed in and gleefully ran her hooves over each of the jewels that were studded in the bridle. “Rudolph!” she whispered. “I’ve found it! It was hidden in a snowdrift!” she grinned, as Rudolph came cantering over.
“My, my, my! It’s all in one piece! What a miracle!” said Rudolph, snorting in delight, as Fizzy clipped and buckled the bridle onto his snout.
“Rudolph, you look stunning…” said Fizzy, not being able to think of a word to describe the bridle. “It’s… indescribable!” she added with a grin.
Rudolph blushed and his face turned scarlet. “Well, I’d better be on my way. The only problem is... I don’t know where Santa has gone,” he said.
“Oh, that is a problem…” said Fizzy, wishing that Wind Whistler were standing beside her. The logical Wind Whistler would have been able to figure out the answer to the dilemma in the blink of an eye.
“I’m so terribly sorry, Fizzy. I’m such a curse! You shouldn’t have to worry about me. I’ll find Santa by myself. You shouldn’t be burdened with a reindeer like me,” said Rudolph, shaking his head in disgust.
“No, wait, Rudolph!” said Fizzy, as an idea formed in her mind. “We can go and see the Moochick!” she exclaimed. “Come with me…” she began trudging through the snow, but Rudolph stopped her.
“You give me directions, and I’ll fly you there,” he told her. Fizzy was startled but jumped on the reindeer’s back, and wiggled into a comfortable position, holding Rudolph’s reins, which were also jewel-studded. “Hold on!” he yelled above the wind, and Fizzy felt all her worries melt away as she was carried into the air. They streaked through clouds and Fizzy laughed as her mane and tail streamed out behind her. She felt on top of the world– there was no real way to describe flying, but to Fizzy, it was the most wonderful feeling she had ever experienced. She closed her eyes and imagined how wonderful it would feel if she were a pegasus pony, like Sweet Pop or Whizzer or Masquerade…
“Head south!” she directed Rudolph, and he soared like a bird in a southerly direction. “Okay– time to land!” said Fizzy, reluctantly. She had never wanted to stop flying, but knew that Rudolph needed her help.
* * *
“Oh Mr. Mooooochiiiick,” called Fizzy, rapping on the door of the Mushromp rather loudly, forgetting that the Moochick might be asleep. “Are you home?” she called again, but was quieted by Rudolph.
“He’s home. I hear footsteps,” he told her. That moment, the door creaked open, revealing a sleepy looking dwarf-like little man, in a nightcap and dressing gown. Standing next to him was an equally tired-looking hare, who yawned as he let the visitors in.
“Now, ah, let me see… what seems to be troubling you?” queried the Moochick, attempting to stifle a yawn.
“It’s my friend Rudolph. You see, he got lost in a blizzard and he can’t find Santa and he’s in trouble and what if he never comes home, Mr. Moochick? And we really need your help!” Fizzy blurted out.
Mr. Moochick was instantly taken aback. He hadn’t the faintest idea how to solve a dilemma such as this. “Er, indeed… it is a problem,” he agreed, pacing up and down the little room. All of a sudden, the hare began gesturing madly towards the chimney– pointing and hopping up and down in surprise.
“Now really! Whatever is the matter with you?” began the Moochick in a huff.
“Mr. Moochick– look!” cried Fizzy, gasping as they heard a whooooosh! All of a sudden, an enormous man burst into the room– from the fireplace! As soon as he saw the group assembled nearby, he gave a small yelp, and frantically scrambled back towards the fireplace. “I don’t believe it!” said Fizzy, gaping in surprise.
The Moochick’s eyes widened and they almost popped out of his head as he stared at the visitor. “It’s… no, no, it couldn’t be Santa!” he stuttered, but the man nodded. Just then, he noticed Rudolph standing in the shadows just behind the group.
“Rudolph!” he bellowed heartily, rushing forwards.
“Santa!” the reindeer cried ecstatically. Rudolph rushed towards Santa and rubbed his head on Santa’s hand. “Oh Santa, I was so worried!” he began.
“Shhh, shhh… it’s all right, Rudolph. Why don’t you tell me everything that’s happened to you? Let’s start at the beginning,” said Santa, settling into a comfortable red armchair, before the Moochick could even begin protesting.
* * *
“So that’s what happened,” concluded Rudolph, smiling at his new friend. Fizzy smiled back.
“Do you mean to tell me that this little pony untangled you from tinsel, helped you look for your bridle, and took you here to see this Moochick fellow just so you could be united with me?” Santa said, not quite believing the story.
“Yes. It’s exactly what happened,” Rudolph replied to a very astonished Santa Claus. Fizzy gave a yawn. She couldn’t really help it, though– after her long night she was very, very tired.
Santa noticed and grinned at her. “Come with me, little pony– what did you say your name was?” said Santa.
“I didn’t get around to telling you, actually. But I’m Fizzy,” replied the aquamarine pony, as Santa enthusiastically shook her hoof. She, Rudolph, Santa, and the other reindeer, which were assembled outside the Mushromp, waved to the Moochick and his trusty hare.
“Goodbye, Mr. Moochick! Thank you for all your help!” called Fizzy as Santa helped her into his sleigh. With a swish of the reins, the sleigh flew into the star-dotted sky, and Fizzy marveled at the beautiful snow-covered fields and tiny houses she could see below.
“Beautiful, isn’t it?” said Santa.
“Oh, it is,” said Fizzy in agreement. “But I think Christmas lights or shining jewels are the most beautiful things of all,” she added, pointing out a tree that was covered in blinking lights.
“Yes, they are,” said Santa, enjoying the little pony’s company.
“Santa, may I ask you a question?” asked Fizzy.
“Certainly,” said Santa, curious as to what the pony would ask.
“Have you delivered presents to everyone on Earth tonight?” she asked breathlessly.
Santa gave a small chuckle. “Why yes, Fizzy– everyone except the residents of Dream Castle, actually! And that’s where we’re headed now, of course,” said Santa. Fizzy nodded and watched as the night sky turned to a beautiful orange-pink hue.
“It’s dawn. Almost time for sunrise,” grinned Santa, and Fizzy watched as the sun rose over the horizon, drowning everything in a pale morning light. The sleigh landed outside Dream Castle and Fizzy dismounted.
“Thank you for everything, Santa, and thank you, too, reindeer!” she said, happily.
“No, Fizzy. It’s my turn to thank you. Rudolph?” said Santa, as Rudolph trotted forward, positively beaming.
“W-W-What’s going on…?” stammered Fizzy.
“Fizzy, what is your one wish?” asked Santa.
Fizzy closed her eyes tightly and thought with all her might. “My one wish,” she said carefully, “is for all of my friends to have twinkles in their eyes– like the jewels on Rudolph’s bridle.”
“Aha– then your wish will come true, Fizzy! But I think I can do better than that.” Suddenly the jewels flew off Rudolph’s bridle and circled over Fizzy’s head. In a dazzling eruption of pink sparkles, Fizzy gasped at her reflection in the Dream Castle window– her eyes were now two glittering pink jewels!
“Oh, Rudolph, Santa, thank you!” she said, flinging herself onto her two new friends.
“Here. Take these jewels. The minute your friends touch one, they will be Twinkle-Eyed too!” said Santa, jumping on the sleigh. Fizzy waved.
“Thank you, everyone– not only for the best Christmas ever– but for the most amazing and wonderful Christmas surprise!” shouted Fizzy.
* * *
“It’s Christmas! It’s Christmas!” The baby ponies were thoroughly excited as they bounded down the stairs. Fizzy shivered with excitement as her own friends– Whizzer, Gingerbread, Sweet Stuff, Galaxy, Masquerade, Sweet Pop, Speedy, and Sky Rocket– came cantering downstairs.
“Merry Christmas, everyone!” she cried, handing out the jewels to the stunned ponies. Within minutes, they were all admiring their new twinkling eyes.
“Thank you, Fizzy! Thank you!” they chorused.
Just then, Gingerbread stepped forward. “Fizzy, Sweet Pop, Whizzer, Masquerade, and I are sorry we yelled at you when the Christmas tree came down,” she said shyly.
Fizzy just shook her head. “That’s okay!” she began, but she was interrupted by Sweet Stuff.
“Um, Whizzer, Galaxy and I are terribly sorry that we shouted at you for ruining the Christmas cookies…” she sighed.
“Don’t worry about it,” said Fizzy, positively brimming with happiness. She hugged each of her friends one by one. “In fact, it’s been a very…” she paused, not knowing quite what to say, then suddenly an idea came to her in an instant. “It’s been a very Twinkle-Eyed Christmas!” she finished and the other little ponies agreed that “A Twinkle-Eyed Christmas” suited the day perfectly.
MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYBODY!~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
A note from Tabby– You will observe that I made no contribution to this year’s Christmas story. So sad! At least, I’m sad. The rest of you probably aren’t. After all, you just have a thirty page story to read instead of forty!! But I was trying to get my part done, really I was. But I blame it on the late Thanksgiving. It lulled me into a false sense of security that I still had plenty of time after the holiday before December arrived. I was quite unpleasantly surprised to find that it was in fact only three days. All three of which I had to work long hours. Goodbye, Christmas story! Well, in any case, Sugarberry didn’t let you down; and I can revamp mine just as easily into a New Year’s story for next month.
Christmas in Dream Valley, 2003
by Sugarberry (Sugrbery@aol.com)
“This is super!” exclaimed Cockleburr. “I love having snow for Christmas!” The colt and several of his friends were skimming over the ice at the skating rink, a flooded and iced-over plot in the neighborhood to give the ponies a safe place to enjoy the blast of cold winter weather that had held Dream Valley in its grip for the weeks leading up to the holiday.
“Yeah,” agreed Baby Leaper as he sped past Cockleburr. “Catch me if you can!”
This dare was accepted with alacrity by Cockleburr, and the two colts raced merrily across the ice, headed directly for Baby Noddins, Baby Falling Leaves, and Baby Leafy at the far end of the rink. The three fillies were intent on learning a synchronized dance pattern on skates and were completely oblivious of the colts until the two speeding bodies rushed by them with such force that the three girls were knocked into a tangled heap of manes, tails, and legs.
“Oops!” Leaper grinned as he and Cockleburr swooped back to rescue the threesome. “I thought you saw us comin’.”
“Likely story,” grumbled Noddins, who happened to end up on the bottom of the stack. “Falling Leaves, get your mane out of my mouth!”
“I would if Leafy would get off me so that I could move my head!”
“I’m trying. I’m trying,” groaned Leafy, struggling to disengage her limbs from the melee.
She smiled gratefully at Cockleburr as he offered her a hoof and pulled her upright. Falling Leaves was then able to extricate herself while Noddins remained prostrate on the cold ice.
“I feel like a ton of bricks fell on me,” she complained.
“We’re not that heavy!” countered Falling Leaves. “Here, give me your hoof.” With Falling Leaves pulling and Leaper pushing, they soon had the filly on her hooves as well.
“Brrr!” Noddins shivered. “The ice made me cold.” She glared at Leaper. “And it’s all your fault!”
“Hey! Cockleburr was chasin’ me!”
“The snow is gettin’ thicker,” noted Cockleburr, an expert at avoiding arguments because of his experience with five younger siblings. “Maybe we should all head home.”
“Mom said she’d make hot chocolate for us,” Falling Leaves announced. “Everybody’s invited.”
“Let’s hurry,” muttered Noddins, “before I turn into an ice cube.”
“That I’d like to see,” Leaper smirked.
The group was out of their skates and on the way to Falling Leaves’ house when Leafy groaned.
“What is it?” asked Cockleburr in some concern. “You didn’t hurt yourself when you guys fell down, did you?”
“No. I wish that was all it is. I just remembered that I left Star locked in my bedroom because Mom didn’t want him pestering her when she was wrapping presents. He always
wants to get in the boxes or play in the paper,” Leafy went on to explain, “and makes an awful nuisance of himself. He’ll need to use the litter box by now, so I can’t come to your house, Falling Leaves.”
Seeing the disappointment on his friend’s face, Cockleburr spoke up. “I’ll walk you home, Leafy.” Turning to Falling Leaves, he added, “Thanks for askin’ us over, but my mom could probably use some help with all the kids at home with still so much to get done before Christmas.”
Once Cockleburr and Leafy had turned down their street amidst a medley of holiday greetings, Noddins, Falling Leaves, and Leaper continued on to Falling Leaves’ house, only to meet up with a couple more neighborhood friends, Teddy and Parquet. Those two quickly accepted Falling Leaves invitation to come to her house for hot chocolate; they were nearing the back door when Falling Leaves began to giggle.
“What’s that your holding, Teddy? Your teddy bear?” All the foals stopped to stare.
Teddy rolled his eyes. Would his friends never let him live down that episode? “No. It’s not my teddy bear. It’s not even a bear. It’s a...” He held up the floppy fabric animal and studied it. “... a cat, I think.”
“So you’ve graduated to a kitty-cat?” Leaper taunted, ducking as Teddy took a swing at him.
“I found it. Parquet was there... he’ll tell you.”
“Yeah,” his friend backed him up. “It was just lying in the path covered in snow. Teddy stumbled over it and picked it up when he realized what it was.”
“Some little kid probably dropped it,” Teddy said, frowning. “He might be missing it, too.” Teddy knew how sad it could be to lose a favorite stuffed animal.
“It’s a Puffalump,” Falling Leaves noted. “My baby sister has one, only hers is a dog.”
“Um, guys,” Noddins winced, “my ankle is really starting to hurt where Falling Leaves landed on it. I think I should go straight home after all.”
“Do you need some help?” Parquet asked.
Noddins shivered. “I think I might need someone to lean on,” she admitted. “It’s started to hurt something fierce while we’ve been standing here talking.”
“My house is closest to yours, so I’ll go with you,” volunteered Teddy. He moved to offer his support to the lavender unicorn filly as the snowflakes continued to fall around them. “Merry Christmas!” he called back to the dwindling group of revelers.
“Merry Christmas!” the three chorused in return.
* * *
“The snow is coming down heavier,” observed Sugarberry as she and Vanguard and Banderol neared Woodlawn. “It will be heavenly to get out of the weather.”
“I’m just glad that there are enough ponies traveling today to keep the path readily visible,” replied Vanguard, squinting through the snowflakes to make sure they were headed in the right direction. “Everything looks rather mystical.”
“It’s beautiful,” agreed Sugarberry. “But I’d enjoy it more if we were closer to your parents’ house than we are.”
“It’s not that much farther,” Vanguard assured his wife. “Why don’t I take Banderol again? He must be getting heavy for you.”
“The wetter he gets from the snow, the heavier he seems,” grimaced Sugarberry. She kissed the little foal on the top of his head before handing him over to his father.
Banderol had been little trouble on the trip from Dream Valley to Woodlawn as he had been mesmerized by the snowflakes that had begun gently falling when the family had been only a couple miles out of town; as the morning had progressed, however, the pace of the snowflakes had increased until now they seemed to blanket the countryside under a downy blanket of white. As Vanguard had noted, the path would have been obliterated if not for the number of ponies hurrying to reach their holiday destinations before travel became impossible.