Kerry’s-Story author:differential_Sloth feral-herd fighting_fluffys foreshadowing forest_fluffies forest_life herd_life questionable

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Kerry's Story; Part Twenty Five

By differential_Sloth


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'Tuffies wisten tu Bestest tuffy!’ In a clear spot not far from the safe place, the Bestest toughie and some of the Next bestest toughies stand in front of you, Tree and a bunch of other toughies. Mostly of them are younger ones like you. 'Dah wookie fwuffies an nummie findahs am seein tings in dah fowest; fwuffies dat wan tawkies, an fowewa sweepies fwuffies wif nu speciaw wumps!' Some of the toughies around you make little noises and flinch. 'Dah Smawty say dat mean bad hewd am in fowest!'

'Whewe?' Someone asks.

'When tuffies gun go fight-'

'Shud up dummehs!!!' The Bestest toughie silences everyone and waits a few moments to talk again. 'Smawty nu knu whewe bad hewd am, ow if day hav safe pwace,' he says. 'Fowest am big pwace, an hewd nu hav nuff wookie fwuffies tu wook in aww of id.' Grumbles come from all around, but the Bestest toughie goes on. 'Nu can find whewe bad hewd am. Onwy ting tuffies can du is make suwe am weady if day cum tu safe pwace. So,' he looks around, 'tuffies am gun fight. Onwy wuwe am nu giv fowewa sweepies. Undewstan?'

'Yes, Bestest tuffy!' you all yell.

'Gud. Nao, who am fiwst?' After a few moments, two toughies step out of the crowd and get into the middle. 'Nao, fight!!' At the Bestest toughie's word, they leap at one another like they would if the other was a bad fluffy or a monster! Each toughie does everything they can to win; kick, stomp, headbutt, even bites! Bites!! The older toughies never let you bite when they first taught you, and who knows how much trouble you'd have gotten into if you tried that in the safe baby place!

Out in the middle, the two tuffies fight one another for a long time; they both get their fair share of hurties, and there’s even some boo boo juice at one point! Somewhere behind you, a couple of fluffies ask what’s happening, and a toughie tells them to go away. You only think that’s what happening, though; there's no way you can look away from the fight! Finally, one of the toughies gets knocked to the ground and can’t get up. The other one pins him down to give more stompies, 'Stahp!!!' but he jumps back when the Bestest toughie yells.

He and a few others help the first toughie off the ground and walk him back to the crowd. 'Dat was gud,' The Bestest toughie walks back to his spot. 'Which tuffies wan be nex?' Two more step up and fight. This time it doesn't last for nearly as long. 'Yu nee fight mowe,' The Bestest toughie says to the one who lost. 'Go tawkies tu Weaf,' he says and points to one of the Next bestest toughies. Next up, four toughies come out and fight in pairs; it's hard to follow, and you're pretty sure they got mixed up a few times, but it's so exciting!

That fight goes for a long time, so long that the Bestest toughie has to step in so other toughies can fight. Three more fights go by; at the end of the last one when the Bestest toughie asks who's next, someone asks 'Wai Big Wed nu fightin?'

'Yeah!' Another toughie says. 'Wai he nu duin anyting?' A few prickles crawl around under your fluff.

'Big Wed shud fight!' More prickles now. Sure, you know you've stood here a long time, but it's not because you're sacred!

'Wai? Yu wan fight Big Wed, dummeh? Yu nu can beat him!' Yes, that.

'Den Twee fight Big Wed.'

You look over and meet his gaze; yes, that's a good idea. You haven't had the chance to get back at him for all those times he beat you. 'Otay.' The two of you step out of the crowd and go to the middle of the gathering; the toughies around watch and murmur, but you only pay attention to Tree. It's like all those bright times ago in the little baby den, except you're not a dummy anymore. You stare at him and try to figure out the best way to start the fight, and he does the same. Both of you have done this enough to know running right in is a great way to lose.

'Wat am day-'

'Shh!'

Tree slowly steps to the side, and you match the move exactly; for each step he takes, you take one too.

'Cum on dummehs, fight!!'

'Shud up!'

The two of you walk around one another; things seem to slow down, and all the other toughies blur together. Around you go, again and again; you can’t tell how many, but you don’t dare count. If you don’t keep all your attention on Tree, you'll miss the moment when... There, it happens so fast, anyone but the Bestest toughie and maybe a few others would miss it; Tree's front leggie goes stiff. It's started, you tense up and get ready to leap at him! You’re not left waiting long.

Tree dashes forward and a bit to the side. You rush forward to meet him, but go to the other side in case he planned to trick you into 'GAHH!' No, he wasn't. Tree slams into your side, trying to knock you over. You let it happen, then roll over and get back on your hoofies. Head down, you charge forward; Tree tries to shift to one side, but you jump the same way just in time!

'Bwah!!' Tree gets knocked off balance a little, but he digs his hoofies in and pushes back. The two of you get locked together, each trying to push the other back. This isn't good; if you don't do something, Tree will! Here goes nothing! 'Wahh!' You slip away to one side as Tree pushes forward really hard. He trips forward, you spin around and rear up as fast as you can to stomp him. But it's not quite fast enough. Tree dashes out of the way and you come down on your front hoofies really hard.

'Ahhh!!' It hurts, and almost makes you fall flat on your face! You rush to get back up, but you're a little too slow; Tree crashes into you, a head butt! It makes you stumble and trip more, but doesn't make your thinkie place go silly; there’s still a chance!! You lash out with a few sorry hoofies; even if they don't hit, it'll make Tree back off! It works and gives you enough room to move. You use it to charge him; now it's your turn to headbutt! 'Waaah!!'

*Smack*

Whatever part you hit, it was hard! Your head and thinkie place tingle, but it’s not so bad you can’t ignore it. But it doesn't matter, cause Tree got it worse! He stumbles, trips, and try as he might he can’t stay on his hoofies. Now’s your chance, probably the only one you’ll get; you jump at Tree again and finally knock him to the ground! But it's not over, not even close. Even though Tree must have bad thinkie place sillies, he kicks and kicks; two times you have to jump back, so your special lumps don't get hit again. This isn't going well, your sorry hoofies aren't landing properly, and you can't give enough of them fast enough!! Tree aims another kick near your special lumps, then 'Nu!!'

Somehow, Tree manages to slip away again!! He dashes away, but you know better than to chase. Instead, you dig in your hoofies and get ready to meet his next charge, which comes pretty soon. 'Waagh!!' Tree crashes into you, but you push back and strike out with some sorry hoofies. He rears up, you jump to the side and slam into him again. Tree lets it knock him over, and he rolls back onto his hoofies like you did. You're ready with more sorry hoofies, but he's ready!

The two of you fight on and on; each time one of you has a chance to win, the other manages to slip out of it. Your chest has hurties, so do your leggies and hoofies and other parts you don’t know the names for; but, you don’t give up. There’s no way you’ll let Tree will win because you have too many sleepies and hurties to go on! After dashing away from him again, you aim another headbutt at his side, when 'Stahp! Stahp nao!!' You skid to a halt, and look at the Bestest toughie.

'Babbeh an Big Wed stahp nao,' he says.

'*Haff haff' Bud, bud Twee nu-'

'Yu an Big Wed am getting tuu many huwties,' the Bestest toughie says over Tree. 'Nu can be gud tuffies if hav tuu many huwties an sweepies. An oda tuffies nee fight tuu.'

The last thing you want is to end the fight without either of you winning, but now you’ve stopped there’s no way you can get going again with all the hurties and sleepies. With a heavy sigh, you and Tree walk back to the rest of the toughies. From then on you watch other toughies fight, and hope the Bestest toughie will give you and Tree another chance. But he doesn't.

'Id am nex bwighttime nummies nao. Aftah hav nummies, tuffies go du oda tings.' He says. 'Bestest tuffy wan tuffies tu keep fightin, bud nu giv tuu many bad huwties!' When he's done, you all turn and leave for the nummie dens. On the way, Tree catches up with you.

'Big Wed was gud,' he says. 'Du wots bettah dan in safe babbeh pwace.'

'Tank yu. Big Was gun win.'

'Nu,' Tree says, 'Twee was gun win.'

'Nu was!'

'Was tu!!'

You stop and stare at each other for a moment. 'Big Wed an Twee fight gain at dawktime! Den find oud who win!'

'Otay!' Tree says. With that, you go to the nummie den. On the way there,

'Bwudda!'

####

You walk over to Big Red as fast as your tummy will let you; every time you wake up, it seems to be a little bigger. All Mummah said soon you'll be too big to be out of your den for a long time, but for now, you can still walk. 'Bwudda!'

'Hewwo, wat Sissie wan?'

'Fwowah wan knu if… Wat happen? Wai bwudda hav owwies?'

'Twee an Big Wed fight,' his friend Tree tells you.

'Wai?'

'Cause Daddeh say so,' he says. 'Say nee be bettah tuffies fow keep hewd safe.'

Little cold scardies crawl up your leggies. 'C-cause of dah bad fwuffies?' You've heard some fluffies talking about bad fluffies in the forest, but you don’t know much about it. Mostly, it’s because you don’t want to know anything about them.

'Uh-huh, bud Fwowah nu nee be scawdies,' Tree looks at Big Red. 'Hewd hav bestest tuffies ewa. Bad fwuffies nu can huwt hewd.'

'O-otay.' If he says so; they're both big and strong, and the Bestest toughie is so scary he probably doesn't have to fight much at all! It's a good thing he's on the herd's side. But anyway, 'Uh, am Big Wed duin sumtin?’

'Am goin tu get nummies. Wai?'

'Fwowah wan knu if Big Wed wan wook fow pwace tu put den.' You tell him.

'Uhh,' Big Red uses his thinkie place for a moment, then looks at Tree.

'Twee can get nummies fow Big Wed if wan go.'

'Big Red nods and turns back to you. 'Otay, Big Wed an Sissie go wook fow pwace tu put den. Whewe wan wook?’

'Speciaw fwend say dewe am gud pwaces neaw dah wong wawa.' You tell him. 'Dis way.' Together, you walk away from Tree and go to the spot. 'How many tuffies did Bwudda fight?'

'Onwy Twee.'

'Wai?'

'Cause nu cud beat him,' Big Red says. 'Bud, he nu cud beat Big Wed. Am gun fight gain at dawk time.'

'Wai?'

'Cause nee knu who can win.' Okay… 'Wai Sissie wan hewp Big Wed find den? Sissie am soon mummah; nu shud bein duin so much.'

'Id am otay,' you tell him. 'Aww Mummah say Fwowah nu can huwt tummeh babbehs goin wakies in dah safe pwace.'

'Otay. Bud-'

'Fwowah wan hewp Bwudda find pwace fow den, cause Bwudda hewp Fwowah make den.' You explain. 'Big Wed am gud Bwudda, so Fwowah nee be gud Sissie tuu. Ooh,' You waddle over to one of the spots your Special friend told you about. 'Wat Big Wed tink of dis pwace?' Big Red walks over and takes a good look at it.

'Hmm…' His face scrunches up. 'Tink dewe am wots of wockies hewe,' Big Red taps the ground with his hoofie. 'Dat make diggin tuu hawd.'

'Bud Bwudda am stwong, an weawy gud at diggin!'

'Big Wed knu, bud if get tuu many huwties fwom diggin den nu can be gud tuffy. Wat boud dewe?' You follow Big Red over to the spot; it's by some other bushies and closer to the long water. He looks around for a bit, and says 'Tink dis am bettah pwace.'

'Bwudda wike id?'

'Uh-huh. Dis make make gud den fow when Big Wed nu can wive in Mummah an Daddeh's den nu mowe.' Big Red says.

'An when Bwudda hav babbehs wif Snu?'

'Uh-huh! U-uhhh…' Big Red's hear places hide, and he looks at the ground.

'Wat am wong?'

'N-nuting.'

'Du Bwudda nu wan hav babbehs wif Snu?'

'Nu! Ah, uh…'

'*Sigh* Wai am Bwudda bein big dummeh!?' You tell him.

'W-wha?'

'Bwudda am bein big dummeh; Wunnie hav Speciaw fwend, an he am twyin du gud ting so can hav babbehs. Fwowah am soon mummah!' You look at Big Red. 'Wai Bwudda nu wan Snu tu be Speciaw fwend?’ For a while, Big Red looks at you, hear places hidden; his face scrunches up and changes a lot, then settles into a very sad look.

'Cause… Cause Big Wed am scawdies…’

What? 'Scawdies? Wat am Bwudda Scawdies boud?’

It takes a while for Big Red to answer. 'Am… Am scawdies Snu nu wan be Speciaw fwend…’ You're about about to tell Big Red he's being a dummy again, but before the wordies come out, you see sad water in his see places. Now you feel really bad; this isn't going how you thought it would, and you really didn't mean to make your brother sad. Well, there's only one thing for it; you walk over and give him big huggies.

'Pwease nu cwy Bwudda, Fwowah nu mean make yu saddies.' Big Red doesn't say anything, but you feel him nod. For a while, neither of you talk. When you step back, the sad water's gone from his see places, but he still looks sad. Well, there's more you can do. 'Bwudda nu nee be scawdies; Snu nu say she nu wan be yuw Speciaw fwend.'

Big Red looks at you for a moment; 'How Sissie knu?'

'Cause Speciaw fwend say Snu wub yu,' you tell him, 'an she nu tawkies tu oda stawwions in hewd. Dat mean she onwy wan be Big Wed’s Speciaw fwend.’ Your brother looks at you for a while, and you can tell he still doesn’t believe it.

'Sissie tink so?'

'Yes!' You nearly yell. 'Snu wub Big Wed! She wan be speciaw fwends an hav babbehs. Bwudda jus nee ask hew.'

'*Sigh* Nu knu...'

'Pwease Bwudda, Fwowah nu wan yu be saddies nu mowe!' Then, you put as good a mad look on your face as you can. 'Fwowah wan Bwudda pwomise tu ask Snu tu be Speciaw fwends!' You look him right in the see places until he speaks.

'Otay, Big Wed pwomise.' He says. 'Tank yu Sissie, Big Wed was bein dummeh.'

'Dat am otay,' you tell him, then hug him again. 'Fwowah knu Bwudda am gun be bestest daddeh ewa!' You give Big Red huggies for a while, then look back at the spot. 'So, Big Wed wan put den hewe?'

####

There wasn’t enough time left after next brighttime nummies, and looking at the den spots to keep your promise to Flower. Plus, the Bestest toughie took you and Tree out into the forest for the next part of the brighttime, so you didn’t get a chance to slip away for a few moments. It means you have to wait until darktime, which is annoying because the more time you spend thinking about it, the more scardies you get.

You know Flower would never, ever lie to you, not for anything or anyone in the world! But still, a mean little part of your thinkie place tells you over and over that Snow doesn’t really love you. It says she only wants you around to feel safe, not to be speical friends and have babbies! It fills the rest of your thinkie place with all kinds of scary and sad ideas; what if Snow does talk to and like other stallions? What if she’s found another to be her special friend in all the time you’ve spent not asking her? What if she loves Tree!?!

It's hard, but you keep the mean part of your thinkie place quiet and do your best not to listen to the horrible things it says. Because even if all of it’s true, you’ll still ask Snow this darktime. You made a promise to Flower, and there's no way you'll break it! When the Sky ball goes down and the brighttime ends, you go back to the safe place and look for Snow. Like when you asked her to have darktime nummies way back in the cold times, she’s hard to find. You walk from one of the nummie dens to the long water, then you head towards-

'Hey!' You turn and see Tree, who has a mad look on his face. 'Wat am Big Wed doin? Am sposed be fightin nao!'

'Big Wed du dat soon,' You tell him. 'Nee du oda ting fiwst.'

'Wat ting?' He doesn't believe you. 'Wat Big Wed nee du? Am Big Wed suwe nu am tuu scawdies-'

'Big Wed am gun ask Snu tu be Speciaw fwend!' You say loudly. 'Am gun ask Snu tu be Speciaw fwend, den am gun beat Twee! So wait!!'

To your surprise, the mad look on his face goes away. 'Otay, Twee undewstan. Wait fow Big Wed neaw fightin pwace.'

You let your cheeks go down, and make your maddies go away. 'Tank yu, fwend. Big Wed gu wook fow Snu.'

'Big Wed nu nee du dat.'

A little chill runs up your back, and your leggies start to tingle; Slowly, you turn around and look at Snow. Your chest always gets a little tight when you see her, but this time, it feels like you can't breath properly. You open your nummie place to talk, but nothing comes out. You try a couple more times, but still nothing. A cold shivery feel goes over, and your thinkie place goes all dummy. But before you get really scared, Snow smiles, takes a few steps forward and says 'Du Big Wed wan be Speciaw fwends?'

Her wordies snap you out of it; your thinkie place clears, and a lot of the scardies disappear. 'Yes, Big Wed wan be speciaw fwends,' You tell her. 'Big Wed wan be Snu's speciaw fwend an, *gulp* a-an hav babbehs. Du, du…' Some scardies come back, but you push through them. 'Du Snu wan be speciaw fwends tuu?' Time seems to slow all the way down, and you're sure your heart's stopped beating. Then, Snow's smile gets bigger.

'Yes! Snu wub be speciaw fwends!'

At first, you can't believe what you’ve heard, but then some of the biggest happies you’ve ever felt rush through your body; everything else gets pushed out. You rush over and give Snow the biggest huggies you’ve ever given her, and she gives you big huggies too! For a while, the two of you sit still and hug one another. Happy feels wash over you, and happy pictures flash through your thinkie place. You could stay this way all darktime, but Tree interrupts.

'Am gun fight nao?'

'Huh?'

'Wha?'

'Big Wed ask Snu tu be speciaw fwends,' he looks at you. 'Am gun fight nao?'

Well, you said you would. 'Otay. Big Wed am sowwies Sn… Speciaw fwend.' You tell Snow, 'Bud, Big Wed say was gun fight Twee. Pwomise be back soon!'

Snow hugs you again. 'Dat am otay Speciaw fwend, Snu undewstan. Pwomise nu get big huwties.’

You look at Tree. 'Big Wed Twy Speciaw fwend.' You give Snow one last hug, then walk off with Tree to the fighting place. As you go, you look back at Snu, your Special friend; she smiles as you walk away.

####

'How much wongah?'

'Nu am wong way nao, Smawty,' the lookie fluffy tells you. 'Dis way,' he leads you, the Bestest toughie and two of the Next bestest toughies trough a clump of bushies and little trees. Not far past those, the lookie fluffy brings you to a larger tree and stops near it. 'Hewe.' You and the Bestest toughie walk past him and stop near the forever sleepies fluffy.

The first thing you can tell is he’s not one of yours, which is good. The next thing which stands out is what, or who gave him forever sleepies. Right away, you can tell it wasn’t barkie monsters or a kitty monster; they give fluffies forever sleepies because they want to make you into nummies, and no part of this fluffy has been eaten. That’s the first clue.

'Fwuffies do dis,' The Bestest toughie says.

'How Bestest tuffy knu?' The lookie fluffy asks. 'Wat if id was, hoomins?'

'Huwties nu am big nuff fow be hoomins,’ you’ve seen what humans, especially their forever sorry sticks, do to fluffies; these hurties are nowhere near that bad. Plus, there's also the matter of what this fluffy is missing.

'Sumtin take his wumps,' The Bestest toughie says, 'wike does oda fwuffies wookie fwuffies find.'

'Yes,' Something crawls around in your tummy; this isn't good. The forest has never been the nicest place, but it seems a lot darker and meaner all of a sudden. Without meaning to you look over your back, but there’s nothing there; for now.

'Wai dis happen?' The lookie fluffy says. 'Wai am dewe fowewa sweepies fwuffies wif nu speciaw wumps in dah fowest?'

'Id am dah bad fwuffies,' the Bestest toughie says. 'Day twyin tu find safe pwaces.' The lookie fluffy stares at him, not understanding. 'Dah bad fwuffies find wookie fwuffies an nummie findahs fwom oda hewds, and giv dem owwies an huwties tiww day say whewe safe pwace am. If day nu say,' he looks back at the forever sleepies fluffy, 'day take wumps.' The lookie fluffy freezes in place for a few moments; then, he starts to shake, and hides his hear places.

This gets worse every brighttime; based on what Rickie said, you pretty sure you're dealing with an entire herd. But, you didn't think they'd be quite like this, or maybe you only hoped. How much longer will it be until it's one of your nummie finders or lookie fluffies? Can they go through, this, without telling the bad fluffies where the safe place is? How would you even know who can and can't?

Well, the only thing that's for sure is there's nothing more you can learn here. 'Fwuffies go back tu safe pwace nao.' You leave the forever sleepies fluffy and follow the lookie fluffy back to the safe place. The whole time, all of you make extra, sure no one is watching. Back at the safe place you, the Bestest toughie and all the Next bestest toughies go to your quiet place and talk.

'Tuffies nee go find bad fwuffies an giv dem aww fowewa sweepies!' Rock says. 'Dat fwuffy was tuu cwose tu safe pwace!'

'Tuffies nu knu whewe bad fwuffies am dummeh!' One of the others says.

'Den make wookie fwuffies find dem!' Rock yells back. 'Dat am wat day fow!!'

'An wat happen if bad fwuffies cum tu safe pwace if tuffies nu am hewe?' Leaf asks. 'Wat den, dummeh?'

'Dummehs shud up nao!!' The Bestest toughie yells. After a few moments of quiet, he talks. 'Tuffies nu can go wook fow bad fwuffies, nu knu if day hav pwace tu find! Can onwy make suwe aww oda tuffies am weady tu keep safe pwace safe.'

You look around at the Next bestest toughies; by the looks on their faces, you can tell some of them still want to argue. But, there's not way they’ll go against what the Bestest toughie says. There’s still more to talk about though. 'Wat boud nummie findahs an wookie fwuffies?' Leaf asks. 'Wat if day find bad fwuffies in fowest? Wat if bad fwuffies giv em huwties an twy make dem say whewe safe pwace am?’ Good question. There’s no way you can make them not talk, but there is something you can do to keep them safe in the forest.

'Wookie fwuffies an nummie findahs nee knu how fight.' You say.

'Wat Smawty mean?'

'Next bestest tuffies an oda tuffies nee show wookie fwuffies an nummie findahs how fight,' you say again. 'Dat keep dem safe fwom bad fwuffies, an hav mowe fwuffies tu keep safe pwace safe fwom bad fwuffies.' The Next bestest toughies look at each other, and there are a few mummers. After a while, Rock looks at you.

'Dat take wotsa time, Smawty.'

'Smawty knu,' you tell him, 'bud nee du id. Nu knu wat oda tings can du.'

He and the other Next bestest toughies nod. 'Otay Smawty, Nex bestest tuffies teww oda tuffies dat.'

'Gud,' you get up. 'Dis am ovah nao.' The Next bestest toughies leave and go to talk to as many toughies as they can find. Before the Bestest toughie goes, you turn to him. 'Wait.'

'Yes, Smawty?'

'Smawty heaw boud Big Wed an Twee fightin.'

'Uh-huh,' he says. 'Day gud, an fight fow wong time. Day keep fightin ewey dawktime.'

'Who win?'

'Nu knu Smawty,' he says. 'Big Wed nu can beat Babbeh, an Babbeh nu can beat Big Wed.’

You nod. 'Smawty wan Bestest toughie teach dem mowe boud fightin. Hewd nee dem.’

'Yes Smawty, Bestest tuffy du dat.' With that, he walks off to find them. You don't know if he'll make them as good as he is, but if they only get a little bit better it'll be a big help.

####

'Dis way.'

'Whewe am Daddeh-'

'Nu Tawkies,' you say to Tree, 'jus fowwow.'

'Otay.'

'Yes, Bestest tuffy.'

You lead Tree and Big Red out of the safe place and into the forest back to the clear spot the toughies use to practise fighting. 'Stahp hewe.' You turn and look your baby and Big Red. 'Wisten tu Bestest tuffy; nu make tawkies.' They nod. 'Yu knu dewe am bad fwuffies in fowest; day giv dat fwuffy Wickie's hewd wowstest huwties.' They nod again but don't talk. 'Wookie fwuffies am findin mowe fowewa sweepies fwuffies in fowest wif nu speciaw wumps. Dat mean bad fwuffies am wookin fow safe pwaces.'

Your baby and Big Red go stiff, and get a look on their faces that's mad and scared at the same time; Big Red especially. 'Wat am tuffies gun du?'

'Am gun giv bad fwuffies huwties, Daddeh?'

'If bad fwuffies cum tu safe pwace, tuffies giv dem aww fowewa sweepies,' you tell them.

'Dat am wai tuffies fightin!' Your baby says, 'So can be weady!'

'Dat am wight,' you tell him. 'Babbeh an Big Wed duin gud ting by stiww fightin.' You see little smiles on their faces. 'Bud, Babbeh an Big Wed can du mowe an be bettah tuffies. Dat am wai Tuffies hewe.'

'Du Daddeh wan Twee an Big Wed fight gain?'

'Nu,' you tell him. 'Babbeh an Big Wed am gun fight Bestest tuffy.' Their see places go wide, and Big Red's nummie place opens a little.

'Daddeh wan fight Twee an Big Wed?'

'Wai?'

'Cause, yu weawn mowe boud fightin,' you tell them. 'Bestest tuffy wive in fowest fow wong time wif nu hewd; had fight wotsa bad fwuffies an munstahs. Bestest tuffy knu mowe boud fightin dan any fwuffy.' For a few moments, you stay quiet and look both of them in the see places. 'If Babbeh an Big Wed fight Bestest tuffy, yu be bettah tuffies.'

Their faces go from surprised to excited, and they start to nod. 'Otay Daddeh, Twee fight wif Daddeh!'

'Big Wed wan be bettah tuffy! An weawn how Bestest tuffy fight!’

'Gud, bud wisten,' you tell them. 'Bestest tuffy gun fight wike Babbeh an Big Wed am bad fwuffies, ow munstahs. Onwy ting Bestest tuffy nu do am giv fowewa sweepies. Undewstan?’ Your baby and Big Red look nervous, but they don’t take back what they said.

'Twee undewstan.'

'Big Wed undewstan tuu, Bestest tuffy.’

'Gud. Nao, who am fiwst?'

Your baby and Big Red look at each other; Big Red nods and steps forward. 'Big Wed fight fiwst!'

'Otay. Babbeh stay hewe.' You turn and walk into the middle of the clear place; once you’re there, you spin around and charge Big Red, who’s not far behind. The last thing you see before you put your head down is his surprised face.

*SMACK*

You feel the top of your head crash into Big Red. He doesn’t make much noise, but you feel him fall to the ground. You jump, turn around, run at him again, and headbutt Big Red in the side as he's trying to get up. He makes a funny sound like a scream and a cough and falls back down. While he lies there, breathing funny and trying to get back up, you kick him hard. This time there's no yell or scream, but after a few moments you hear him trying to breath; you can tell from the sound Big Red's got really bad hurties. Lucky for him, this isn't a real fight.

You turn back around and look at him. 'Wat was dat, dummeh!? Big Wed nu twy an fight?! Nao yu am fowewa sweepies, an bad fwuffies huwtin hewd!!'

'Big Wed nu was weady, Daddeh.'

You look up; your baby doesn't flinch too badly when he see the look on your face, so you'll give him that. 'Nu was weady!? Yu dummehs tink bad fwuffies an munstahs wait tiww tuffies am weady!?!' You take a few steps toward him. 'Tuffies awways nee be weady! Munstahs an bad fwuffies nu say when day cumin!! Dummehs undewstan!?’

'Yes, Daddeh…'

Big Red makes a sound, which might be a yes. 'Gud.' You walk back to Big Red; sad water pours down his face, but it looks like he can breath properly again. 'Babbeh, hewp Bestest tuffy get Big Wed up.' He runs over, and together you help Big Red get back to the edge of the clear pace. 'Big Wed stay dewe tiww owwies go way,' you tell him. 'Babbeh, nao yu fight.'

'Y-yes, Daddeh.' Again, you walk into the middle of the clear place, with your baby a little bit behind. This time, you hear running. You dash to the side and see him rush past. He knows the mistake he's made and tries to fix it; he turns towards you and puts his head down, but you're faster. You headbutt your baby in the side and knock him over. He tries to roll all the way, but you're ready for it. You leap forward a bit and land on his side, which stops the role. Then, you give his chest and tummy sorry hoofies. 'Gwurk!!' You jump off, but instead of giving him a chance to get up, you spin and kick. Your baby makes the same cough and scream sound Big Red does but doesn't get back up.

'Dat was bettah,' you say, 'but nu am gud nuff.'

'Y-yes, Bestest t-tuffy…'

'*Cough, hack*'

You look at the two of them; you don't think you were that rough with them. If you had been, they wouldn't still be awake. But, they're in no shape to fight again, certainly not with you. That's disappointing, you wanted to spend more time on this. But, there's other brightness. 'Tuffies am dun hewe,' you tell them. 'Nu nee du oda tings dis bwighttime.' You help your baby get up, then walk back to the safe place with him and Big Red. It takes much longer to get back than it did to get out here because of their hurties. Finally, you get back to the safe place, and as soon as you walk out of the forest,

'Big Wed? Big Wed wat happen?'

####

'Weawn how fight? Bud, wai Wunnie nee tu? Wunnie nu am tuffy!'

'Daddeh knu, Wunnie,' he says.' Bud, id am wat Smawty say hav du. Smawty say dewe am bad fwuffies in fowest, so wookie fwuffies an nummie findahs nee knu how fight.'

'Bud, wai nu jus wun way fwom bad fwuffies?'

'Cause sumtimes, nu can wun way.' Daddeh tells you. 'Sumtimes nee fight. An if wun way, bad fwuffies fowwow. Maybe back tu safe pwace.'

He has a point; you don't want the bad fluffies to find the safe place or your friends. Or Sky. 'Otay Daddeh, bud how Wunnie an Daddeh weawn how fight?'

'Dat am easy; Daddeh an Wunnie ask Big Wed!'

Of course, you should have guessed. Well, it’s a good thing in some ways; Big Red probably won’t hurt you too badly, and be nicer than the other toughies. Now you have to find him, which is proving a bit tricky. He’s not at Mummah and Daddeh’s den, or at Flower’s. He’s not at the long water, the nummie dens, or the poopie place. Where could he be? On the way back from the poopie place, you run into Snow.

'Snu!'

'Huh? Oh, hewwo Wunnie!'

'Du Snu knu whewe Big Wed am?'

'Hmm, Snu tink he go intu fowest wif Bestest tuffy.' She says.

'Wai?'

'Nu knu, day nu say. Sowwies.'

'Dat am otay, tank yu.' You and Daddeh leave Snow and keep looking. 'Shud Wunnie an Daddeh go wook fow Big Wed in fowest?'

'Nu,' he says. 'Nu knu whewe day go. Daddeh an Wunnie wait tiww day cum back.'

'*Sigh* Otay.' Luckily, you don't have to wait long at all. You and Daddeh head back to the long water to get a drink and see The Bestest toughie, Tree and Big Red come out of the forest. 'Dewe!' You walk over to meet them, but something seems wrong.

'Big Wed? Big Wed wat happen?' Daddeh runs over to Big Red, and you follow close behind. Now you're up close, you can see he's got some really bad hurties, and so does Tree! 'Wat happen?' Daddeh asks, scared this time. 'Wai Big Wed hav-'

'Bestest tuffy was showin Babbeh an Big Wed how fight bettah.' The Bestest toughie says. 'Day wewe fightin Bestest tuffy, dat am wai day hav huwties.'

Daddeh looks at the Bestest toughie; 'He, he nu hav bad huwties?'

'*Cough* Big… Big Wed be o-otay, Daddeh…'

'He be otay,' the Bestest toughie says. 'Am sowwies giv him bad owwies, bud dat am how weawn be gud tuffy.'

'O-otay, Fwuffy undewstan,' Daddeh says. 'Cum on Wunnie, Hewp Daddeh get Big Wed back tu d-'

'Nu, nu take Big Wed tu den,' he says. 'Nu wan Mummah get scawdies.'

'Can take Big Red tu Wunnie's den, Daddeh.' You say.

'Otay, Daddeh an Wunnie du dat. Cum on Big Wed,' Daddeh gets on one side of Big Red, you get on the other, and together you help Big Red walk to your den. Luckily, you don't run into Mummah on the way, which is good; she wouldn't want to see Big Red like this. 'Hewe,' Daddeh helps him get into your nestie. 'Am Big Wed gun be otay?'

'Uwww, yes, Daddeh. Big Wed be otay…' It doesn't sound like it to you.

'Otay. Cum on Wunnie, Big Wed nee sweepies.'

'Bud-'

'Nao, Wunnie.'

You sigh and follow Daddeh out of your den. At the top, you meet Snow again. 'Am Big Wed in dewe?' You nod, and Snow runs past you into the den.

'Wat Wunnie an Daddeh du nao?'

'Ask oda tuffies,' he says, but who? Wait, you know!

'Can ask Speciaw fwend's Daddeh! He am tuffy!!'

'Otay. Daddeh tink see him at dah nummie dens.’ You walk over there, and sure enough there he is.

'Hewwo Wunnie,' he says when you get close. 'Id nu am time fow nummies yet. Sumtin wong?'

'Nu nice Tuffy, bud Wunnie an Daddeh nee knu how fight nao.'

'Uh-huh, Tuffy knu,' he says. 'Next bestest tuffy Weaf teww Tuffy. Du Wunnie an Fwuffy wan Tuffy show yu how fight?'

'Uh-huh!' You nod.

'Otay. Nu can du id nao, bud Tuffy find yu in dah dawktime,' he says.

'Otay, tank yu nice Tuffy.' You and Daddeh walk away. Right, that's one thing sorted. But now you've got to find something to do until darktime. Daddeh has something in mind, though.

'Cum on Wunnie,'

'Whewe goin nao?'

'Big Wed find pwace tu make den,' your tummy falls to the ground, and your hoofies start to hurt. 'Daddeh an Wunnie am gun stawt diggin id.'

Well, he did help make yours. 'Otay Daddeh…'

####

'Dis way, Babbeh.’

'Wat am gun du, Daddeh?'

'Smawty an Babbeh am gun go tawkies tu Bestest tuffy an Next bestest tuffies.' Daddeh says. 'Nee ask dem how oda tuffies am.'

'Wat boud dem?'

'If day am fightin, wike Smawty say tu.' He looks at you. 'Wai Smawty wan dem fight?’

You use your thinkie place hard, and scrunch up your face; it was about, about… Oh, yeah! 'Cause bad fwuffies am cumin!'

'Shh!!' Daddeh hisses. 'Nu tawkies wike dat,' he looks around, but it looks like no one's heard you. 'Newa say bad fwuffies am cumin if day nu am cumin; dat make hewd scawdies fow nuting.'

'Oh, o-tay Daddeh, Fwuffy am sowwies.'

'Nu du id gain,' he says. 'Nao, wai Smawty wan tuffies tu fight if nu am bad fwuffies hewe?’

You use your thinkie place again. 'Cause… Cause tuffies nu hav tu fight wotsa times,' you say after a while. 'An if tuffies nu fight wotsa times, day nu fight gud nu mowe?'

'Dat am wight,' Daddeh says. 'Babbeh am gun be gud smawty.' A warm tingle goes through your belly, but before you can thank Daddeh, the Bestest toughie walks up.

'Smawty,'

'Yes, Bestest tuffy? Yu fight wif yuw babbeh an Big Wed?’

'Yes, Smawty.'

'How day du?' Daddeh asks.

He shakes his head. 'Nu gud. Bestest tuffy twy gain when dewe huwties go way.'

Daddeh nods. 'Gud. Bestest tuffy cum wif Smawty an babbeh.’

'Yes, Smawty.' Together, you go to find the Next bestest toughies. For a while, none of you talk, but you can't stay quiet; there's something you've wanted to Daddeh about for a while.

'Daddeh?'

'Yes, Babbeh?'

'Um… W-when am Fwuffy gun be smawty?’

Daddeh looks at you, then back forward. 'Babbeh am gun be smawty when Smawty am tuu owd an sweepies tu be smawty. Ow, when Smawty gu fowewa sweepies.'

A sharp cold shiver goes through your tummy. 'Fowewa sweepies?'

'Yes Babbeh, fowewa sweepies.'

'Bud… Dat, dat nu happen fow wong time, wight?’

Daddeh doesn't say anything for a while. 'Nu knu, Babbeh,' he says quietly. 'Nu knu when am time fow fowewa sweepies. Id happen when id wan.'

You open your nummie place to say something, but your wordies go dummy and nothing comes out. Then, you have to open and close your see places a few times when you feel sad water in them.

'Dis am wai Babbeh nee weawn aww dewe tings,' Daddeh says, 'an wai nee du id ewey bwight time. Babbeh cud nee be nyu smawty nex bwighttime.'

The thought makes a cold hard, sharp feeling crawl under your fluff, and your thinkie place goes fuzzy.

'Babbeh,' Daddeh says, 'Smawty knu dat am scawies. Bud, babbeh nu can be scawdies nao.'

'*Gulp* Y-yes Daddeh.' The rest of brighttime passes by pretty quick, but you feel terrible; the things Daddeh said sit in your thinkie place, and make it hard to focus. At long last though, the brighttime ends and you can go back to your den.

#

'Wat am wong Speciaw fwend?' Flower asks. 'Wai wook so saddies an nu havin nummies?'

'*Sigh*,' it's hard to find the wordies to tell her; you've got so many strange sad feels, most of which you don't know the names for. 'Fwuffy am scawdies.'

'Boud wat?'

'Boud bein smawty.' You tell her.

'Wai? Speciaw fwend nu nee be smawty nao.'

How do you make her understand? 'Daddeh say… He say dat…'

'Wat?' Flower asks. 'Wat yuw Daddeh say?'

'Daddeh say dat, *gulp* cause Daddeh nu knu when he am gun go fowewa sweepies, Fwuffy cud be smawty nex bwighttime.' You look at Flower. 'Nu knu if can be smawty yet, Speciaw fwend. Am scawdies.' Flower looks at your for a bit, then leans over and gives you huggies.

'Id am otay Speciaw fwend, yu nu nee be smawty fow wong time.'

'How Fwowah knu dat?'

'Cause yuw Daddeh hav wotsa tuffies tu keep him safe,' she says. 'Hav Bestest tuffy and his babbeh, hav Big Wed an Nex bestest tuffies tuu. Day keep him safe!'

'Fwowah tink so?'

'Yes, Speciaw fwend,' she gently nuzzles your cheek. 'Id be otay; Speciaw fwend am gun be weawy gud smawty, an hav wotsa bwighttimes tu weawn how.' A warm feeling starts near your tummy and starts to spread out. It isn't strong enough to push our the scardies and saddies, but you feel better than you did before.

'Tank yu Speciaw fwend,' you nuzzle her back, then look at her tummy; it's gotten bigger, and your soon babbies are much easier to hear. Sometimes when you look really really close, you can even see them move! The warm feel gets bigger and warmer, which pushes more saddies and scardies out. You can't wait to meet them.

'Fwowah nu can wait fow babbehs tu cum oud tuu, Speciaw fwend.'

The two of you spend a while longer nuzzling and giving each other huggies until it’s time to go to sleep.

Comments

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Fluffus: First!
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Stealthderp: Maybe I am a soft-hearted, slack-jawed faggot, but I still think about Kerry's owner and how her stunt screwed him over. Really hoping for him to show up again.
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WestMesaFluffCollector: @Stealthderp: Same. I kinda hope there is a reunion, or maybe Alfred adopts a new fluffy. It's a shame that Kerry still thinks he had ill intent towards her foals, though. Then again, I am musing about fictional chimeras. Good stuff.
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Anonymous1: @Stealthderp: He's probably fine, it seemed like his lady friend stepped up to help him in that trying time last we saw him, but yeah, I too hope he returns at some point.
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Nuuu: I always enjoy a new part of this story.

And I also still think about Alfred. I'm glad Kerry doesn't seem to be the main protagonist anymore, because I still don't like her actions.

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AnonymousFluffery: Good. I still can't deal with the point of view character changing without any labels, though. Sometimes I get halfway through a section before I know who is narrating. The names have helped a little, but not everybody has them.

I suppose I would like to see if these nut buster fluffies can make a herd member go sterile. I've always wondered how a feral would deal with that, not understanding the mechanics and stuff.
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Anonymous2: I feel like my murderboner knows something is going to happen....but it keeps refusing to happen.
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Anonymous3: Maybe I'm just a hugboxing faggot, but I genuinely want things to go right for Kerry, her little family, and the herd. Great job, sloth. You've made me care about a bunch of shitrats.

But seriously, great work! Can't wait to see where you take this next, and how it will all eventually come crumbling down.
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Stealthderp: @WestMesaFluffCollector: Among the best around here, I hope you guys inspire each other in the best possible way.
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Stealthderp: @Anonymous: Would it not be awesome if Sloth pulls a Game of Thrones and screws us over with a short, rushed ending revealing he only wanted us to be invested not to feel for the characters but be disappointed in real life? Kerry's Story; Part Twenty Six: They all die in a forest fire. There were no survivors. FIN.
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Anonymous4: @Anonymous: I feel like things are always going Kerry's way and she's had nothing but good luck and rarely do her actions make her suffer. Running away and successfully surviving alone in the woods then lucking out and finding a great herd. Only bad thing to happen to her is the lose of 2 foals. Feels like it's the right time for her luck to run out. I love this story and am enjoying the crap out of it but only wish for Kerry to have some struggles or something.

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differential_Sloth: @Stealthderp: HOW'D YOU FIND MY PLOT OUTLINES!?

@Anonymous:

"Feels like it's the right time for her luck to run out."

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Anonymous5: Am I the only person who doesn't have a hate boner for Kerry nor feel she was in the wrong from her persepective? She's a furry horse thing with the intelligence of a 4 year old human, of course she's not gonna understand things like pet policies or see an abortion in the same light as an adult human would. It's like people acknowledge fluffies are fucking stupid and yet still hold and expect them to behave at the same standards as an intelligent human.
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Anonymous6: @Stealthderp: i’m hoping for a “Caesar is home” moment where he accepts her new life and they part ways amicably. Kerry was always too smart to just be a pet.
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Anonymous7: @Anonymous: If it weren't for double standards we wouldn't have any standards at all.