Kerry’s-Story author:differential_Sloth feral-herd foreshadowing forest_fluffies forest_life herd_life mummah's_sorrow questionable sad-fluffy

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Kerry’s Story; Part Twenty Eight

By differential_Sloth


####

It almost broke your heart when your Wingie baby ran into the forest. Part of you wanted to chase after him more than anything else, but he had too much of a head start. Plus, he’s a wingie fluffy; you’d never catch up, especially when he’s this upset. Hard as it was and as much as it hurt, you let him go. Your Special friend did not like that.

‘Speciaw fwend, pwease!! Nee find Babbeh!!’ She begged. ‘Nee find Babbeh!! Dewe am munstahs an bad fwuffies in fowest in dah dawktime!! Pwease!!’

‘Am sowwies, Speciaw fwend.’ It was hard to even look at her, ‘Wookie fwuffies nu can find him in dah dawktime. Nee wait.’ All she didi was look at you, see places full of sad water. Then, she ran off crying, and your heart finally did break.

When the darktime comes, you don’t sleep in the den; you've always known when not to be there. Finding somewhere else to sleep isn’t a problem, not that you could go to sleep even if you wanted too. So, you spend the darktime wandering the safe place, on the off chance your Wingie baby comes back. To pass the time, you talk to the toughies, keep watch for anything that might cause problems, and check on your family after they’ve gone to sleep.

Careful not to wake them, you walk into the den. Your Special friend lies in the middle of the nestie with Snow curled up next to her. Usually she sleeps with Big Red in their den, but after what happened earlier, she doesn't want to be around him. You understand, but hope it doesn't mean they’re not special friends anymore. Their babbies will be good for the herd, and they're right for each other. As for Little, he's fallen asleep trying to hug both his mummah and Snow; poor thing.

A drop of sad water falls from your see place before you can stop it. You feel awful for your family and Flower’s, and just wish you could show it more. But, that’s not how it works; if you’re not strong, neither is the herd. Then, one forever sleepies soon mummah and one missing fluffy will be the least of anyone’s worries.

‘*Sigh...*’

If only it weren't so hard to remember that. With nothing more to do, you leave the den and go back to watching the safe place; waiting, hoping for your Wingie baby to come back. At some point, the Bestest toughie joins you.

‘Smawty nu can sweepies?’

‘Nu,’ you tell him. ‘Tuffies an wookie fwuffies see ow heaw anyting?’

‘Nu.’ The Bestest toughie says. ‘Bud, nu ask aww dem yet.’

You nod, but don’t say anything more. For quite a while, you and the Bestest toughie patrol the safe place, which helps quiet down your thinkie place. After a while, you feel more sleepy. ‘*Yawn...*'

‘Tink Smawty shud go sweepies,’ The Bestest toughie says.

You nod and leave to find a place to sleep; the darktime sky ball is out, which makes it easier to find your way around. You head for the Bestest toughie's den, where you usually go when you need another place to sleep. Tree is in their nestie, fast asleep, so you take a spot by the wall; you don’t feel like sleeping in a nestie anyway. After getting as comfortable as you can, you close your see places and fall asleep very quickly.

#

‘Um… S-Smawty?’

‘*zzz…* H-huh?’ You open your see places and look up; Tree’s standing close by.

‘Uh, Twee am sowwies fow makin Smawty be wakies, bud, id am bwighttime nao.'

So it is, you must have slept longer than usual. ‘*Yawn* Tank yu.' You get up and leave the Bestest toughie's den.

‘Um, dat am otay, Smawty.’

Once outside, you ask the Bestest toughie and the others if your Wingie baby came back; none of them saw him, and they would have found you if they had. Then you head to the long water, and the poopie place after that. Not the nummie dens, though; you don’t want to eat right now. While you’re doing all that, you see the rest of your family.

Your Special friend and Snow don’t look at you, but Little comes over and hugs you; ‘Am Daddeh otay?’

‘Yes Babbeh, Daddeh am otay.’

He hugs you again, then asks ‘Am Bwudda back?’

‘*Sigh* Nu Babbeh.’

‘Daddeh am gun find Bwudda, wight?’ Little looks at you, his see places wide open. ‘His babbehs nee dewe daddeh! Pwease!’

‘Yes, Babbeh. Daddeh… Daddeh make wookie fwuffies wook fow him.’

‘Tank yu Daddeh!’ Little hugs you again, burying his face in your fluff this time. ‘*Sniff* N-nu wan wose Bwudda…’ It hurts your heart a little more. You hug Little for a while, then gently push away.

‘Daddeh nee find wookie fwuffies, Babbeh,’ you say. ‘Go back tu mummah an sissie.’

‘Otay Daddeh, Wittwe du dat,’ he gives you one last hug. ‘Wub yu, Daddeh.’ Little leaves to catch up with his your Special friend and Snow. You watch him go for a few moments, then walk on; where to you haven’t decided, but it would be a good idea to find some lookie fluffies like you promised Little. Except for him, maybe, your family wouldn't forgive you if you didn’t at least try to find your Wingie baby. Neither would you, for that matter. No matter what he’s done, or how big of a dummy he’s been, he’s your baby. You can’t leave him out there alone.

‘Howd on babbehs, nu am wong way tu poopie pwace.' You look and see Big Red carrying Flower's babbies with his brother waling next to him. It makes you feel a little better; you didn't manage to find out where Flower's babbies were before your family went to sleep. But, you also notice you can't seem to stop looking at Big Red.

The things you said last darktime, about him being the next smarty instead of your baby, were just to get through his saddies, and force him to listen. You didn’t really mean it, at least, not at the time. But, looking at Big Red now… Well, it’s probably the part of you that always plans; after all, you have no idea if your Winge baby will come back. In that case, you need another fluffy to be the next smarty. It can’t be Little; he doesn't have what it takes, and wouldn't like the job anyway.

The Bestest toughie can't be next Smarty either; not that he couldn't, he just doesn't want to be. ‘Bestest tuffy onwy knu how tu fight,' he said the one time you brought it up. ‘Nu can be smawty.’ That’s a pity; other than him, the only ones you’d trust to be the next smarty are one of the next bestest toughies, Tree, or Big Red, who isn’t a bad choice.

He’s obviously big and strong, and not afraid to fight or punish bad fluffies. That’s easy, though. What gets your attention, is how he picked himself up and kept going after Flower went forever sleepies, even though his saddies were as bad as anyone's. He's gone back to his jobs for the herd, and helped take care of Flower's babbies; it's what your Wingie baby should have done.

Well, if the worst happens, you won't have to look very hard for a new next smarty. You shake your head, but the thoughts out of your thinkie place, and carry on; lookie fluffies, where would they be? ‘Wock!’

Rock, one of your Next bestest toughies, walks over. ‘Yes, Smawty?’

‘Whewe am wookie fwuffies?’

‘Wock teww sum tu go wook fow nyu nummies, an oda tu make suwe bad fwuffies nu am cwose tu safe pwace.'

‘Gud. Am wookie fwuffies duin anyting?’

‘Uh, um…’ Rock shifts on his hoofies and looks to one side. ‘Uh, weww, Wock knu Smawty’s Wingie babbeh nu cum back yet, so… Wock teww sum wookie fwuffies tu twy find him.' He looks back at you, hear places partway hidden. ‘S-Smawty nu am maddies?'

‘Nu, dat nu make Smawty maddies.’ All the scardies leave Rock’s face. ‘Dat wai Smawty wan knu whewe wookie fwuffies am.’

‘Oh, o-otay Smawty!’ He says. ‘Uh, Wock teww Smawty when day cum back.’

‘Tank yu.' You walk away and wander around for a while. This feels awful, you need something to do; something to take your thinkie place off what's happening. Luckily, it comes up to you.

‘Smawty,’

‘Yes, Bestest tuffy?’

‘Bestest tuffy wan knu sumtin,’

‘Wat?’

‘How many fwuffies Smawty wet hav babbehs?’

‘Fow wat?’

‘Gettin dah big nummie tings back.’

Oh, right. ‘Uh, wotsa dem. Wai Bestest tuffy wan knu?’

‘If hewd am gun hav wotsa babbehs, dat mean can make mowe tuffies.’

You have a feeling where this is going, and you’re not in the mood for it. ‘Hewd nu am gun go find bad fwuffies!’

‘Bestest tuffy nu was gun say dat,’

Sure, now he’s not. ‘Den wat was gun say?’

‘Gun say dat make hewd mowe safe.’

‘*Sigh,*’ You don’t like this distraction… ‘Yes, dat am wight.’ You stay quiet for a while. ‘Bestest tuffy nu see anyting bad in fowest?’

‘Nu, Smawty,’ he says.

‘Gud.’ There’s that, at least. ‘Smawty am goin tu quiet pwace.’

‘Yes, Smawty.’

You leave the Bestest toughie and go to one of your quiet places, the one furthest from the safe place. There, you lie down and curl up.

#

‘Smawty! Smawty!!’

You jolt awake and open your see places; you must have fallen asleep. Before you can think about that though,

‘Smawty!!’ The Bestest toughie stops in front of you.

‘Wat?’ You get up as fast as you can. Hot prickles go right through you; pictures of many different, horrible things that could be happening go through your thinkie place. But, before you can ask what’s wrong,

‘Wingie babbeh am back!’

Your see places go as wide as they can; ‘Whewe am he? Am he otay!? Teww Smawty!!’

‘He am neaw dah wong wawa, an he am otay! Dis way, huwwy!’

You gallop after the Bestest toughie, and can’t tell the difference between the sound of your hoofies beating the ground and your heart. The trip from the quiet place and the long water usually takes a while, but you do it in no time at all. At the last few bushies, you dash around the Bestest toughie and gallop forward as fast as you can, then skid to a halt.

‘Du Babbeh hav huwties? Wat happen in fowest?’

‘Fwuffy am otay, Mummah.’

‘Wai Bwudda go way fow so wong?’

There’s twigs, dirt and bits of leafies in his fluff, but your wingie baby is back! He's back! ‘Babbeh!!’ He looks over; the two of you stare at one another for a few moments, before you rush forward and give him the biggest hug you've ever given anyone! The second you touch him, a wave of relief washes over your whole body; he's safe. ‘Babbeh… Babbeh am otay?'

‘Yes, Daddeh. Fwuffy am otay.’

‘Gud, gud…' You spend a long while hugging your Winge baby, and the rest of your family join in. For a few moments, you can't feel anything but heart happies and warmth. Everything from the past few brighttimes and how your Winge baby's acted don't seem to matter. This can't last, but you enjoy it for as long as possible.

After a while, you tell yourself to let go and pull away; your family feels it too and does the same. Again, you and your Winge baby look at each other; his face doesn't look as happy since he knows what needs to happen;, though you wish it didn't. ‘Babbeh, fowwow Daddeh.' He nods, but as you turn to go,

‘Speciaw fwend!’ Your Special friend rushes up and tries to stop you. ‘Pwease Speciaw fwend! Babbeh jus get-’

‘Mummah,’ she turns to him, but before she can speak your Wingie baby says, ‘id am otay. Fwuffy nee du dis.’ She looks at him for a while, then nods slowly. Your Special frend gives him one more hug, then goes back to Snow and Little. With that settled, you lead your Wingie baby to the quiet place.

‘Wat dummehs wookin at?' The Bestest toughie says, ‘Nu mowe duin nuting, ow Bestest tuffy make yu wowk in poopie pwace!!' A short walk later, and you're back at the quiet place, sitting face to face with your Wingie baby. His hear places are hidden, he’s scared and a little sad; but, he looks right at you and stays quiet; good. You wait a while longer to speak, so he knows he's in trouble, and so you can think of the right wordies.

‘Babbeh, Daddeh am happies yu am back, an nu hav huwties. Bud, awso hav big maddies.' He nods but doesn't say anything. ‘Yu wun way fwom safe pwace, wun way fwom famiwy, wun way fwom babbehs.' You lean closer. ‘Does am aww weawy bad tings; if oda fwuffy du dat, Smawty make dem weave hewd. Undewstan?'

‘*Gulp* Y-yes, Daddeh.’

‘Babbeh been bad fwuffy fow hewd, an bad daddeh. Yu make famiwy saddies, an giv mummah biggest scawdies.’

A small drop of sad water slips out of his see place while he nods. ‘F-fwuffy undewstan, Daddeh. Knu am biggest dummeh, an bad fwuffy.’ The next thing he says is a surprise, you have to admit. ‘Fwuffy… Fwuffy undewstan if,*sniff* u-udewstan if Daddeh wan Big Wed tu be nex Smawty nao…’

It takes a moment to think of what to say next; ‘Daddeh nu say was gun make Big Wed nex Smawty. Bud, Babbeh am wight; Daddeh nu tink yu can be nex Smawty nao.’ More sad water comes out of his see places, and his head drops. ‘Bud, Babbeh can fix dat.’ Your Wingie baby lifts his head back, and his see places open a little wider.

‘W-weawy?’

‘Yes, Babbeh. Id nu be easy,' you lean closer. ‘Nee du ewyting Daddeh say when say id. Nee du aww dah ickie an nu fun job in dah hewd.'

‘Fow how wong?’

‘Tiww Daddeh tink yu can be Smawty gain.’

Your wingie baby sits quietly for few moments, then nods. ‘Fwuffy undewstan Daddeh. Fwuffy am weady.’

You smile, on the inside; ‘Gud; id stawt nao.’ You lean in closer again. ‘Fiwst ting Daddeh say du, am go see yuw babbehs. Day am in Big Wed’s den.’

A brave look goes over your Wingie baby’s face. ‘Yes, Daddeh!' He gets up and trots off. As you watch him go, you feel some more heart happies; even if he's disappointed you a lot lately, he's finally acting like his old self; acting like he should.

####

The talk with Daddeh hurt a lot, especially being told you’re not the next Smarty anymore, and won’t be until you prove yourself. Well, it starts right now! You tell all your saddies to shut up and stay out of your thinkie place. As you trot through the safe place, Mummah sees you and rushes over, but you tell her to stay away.

‘Fwuffy nee go see babbehs nao,' you tell her, ‘day nee dewe daddeh.' Though it makes her sad, she nods, gives you a quick hug and lets you walk on. Not long after, you arrive at Big Red's den. ‘Hewwo? Big Wed? Fwuffy am hewe!' A few moments later, he walks out of the tunnel and stands in front of you. For a moment, he stares down at you, but Big Red can't scare you; not after Daddeh.

‘Wat Fwuffy want?’ He’s not angry, but you can tell he isn't happy you’re here.

‘Fwuffy am hewe tu see babbehs,’ you tell him. ‘Am sowwies was big dummeh, bud nu wan be dummeh nu mowe!’ You pause for a moment. ‘Wan be dewe daddeh, nao.’

Big Red stares at you for a moment longer; maybe he’s trying to figure out if you’re lying or not. Then his face changes; it's not a happy look, but it seems he believes you. ‘Dis way.' He turns and leads you down the tunnel to his den. In the nestie, you see your babbies properly for the first time. They're in a fluff pile giving each other huggies. Two of them are wingie babbies like you are. One has green fluff like yours, but with a black tail. The other has brown fluff, but their tail is orange like your Sissie’s. There’s a blue earthie baby, who’s tail is the same colour as Flower's fluff. Then, there’s…

‘Hehe, W-wub Sissie! Cheep. Babbeh giv h-huggies!’ The last baby, a pointy fluffy like Daddeh, with grey fluff and a red tail, hugs his blue sissie. His see places are open like Big Red said, but he’s also a talkie baby; your heart sinks deep into the ground when you realise what you’ve missed…

‘*Cough* Babbehs,’ Big Red’s voice snaps you out of it, and the babbies turn to the noise. Your grey baby looks over right away and smiles, which makes your heart sink a little deeper…

‘Cheep! W-wed!!’ You grey baby starts to crawl toward Big Red; at the edge of the nestie, he waves his little front leggies at him. ‘Huggies! Chirp! Babbeh w-wan huggies!’

‘Nu am huggies time nao, Babbeh,' Big Red tells your grey baby. ‘Babbeh,' he points at you, ‘dis Fwuffy am yuw daddeh.' Your grey baby looks at you; even though his see places are small, it feels like you could get lost in-

‘D-da… Dadde-eh?' Hearing it for the first time makes your chest go tight, even more, when he looks back at Big Red. Please, please keep looking this-

‘Yes Babbeh, dat fwuffy am yuw daddeh, an he wan giv yu huggies.’

Your grey baby looks back, and his face lights up with a huge smile; ‘Cheep!! Huggies!! Wan!! Wan Huggies!!’ He waves his little leggies around, and you freeze; your chest goes cold and empty, and your leggies tingle. Then, you walk forward, pick your grey baby up, and hug him to your chest. ‘Yay!! Cheep!!’ You feel him in your chest fluff, giving you little baby huggies as hard as he can. ‘Huggies!! Chirp! Wub!! W-wub Daddeh!!’

Everything around you seems to disappear, leaving just you and your little grey pointy baby. For a while, you’re frozen in place; even your thinkie place stops. Then, you hug him a little closer. ‘*Sniff, Sob...*’ You want to kick yourself in the special lumps for leaving it this long. ‘D-daddeh w-wub yu tuu, B-babbeh.’

‘Cheep!! Wub!! Wub!!!' Your pointy baby nestles deeper into your chest fluff and gives you more huggies. It makes a big, warm, happy feeling fill your body. But, it's not only happies; right now, you're a big pile of happies, saddies, maddies, everything! You're happy to finally hug one of your babbies, mad at yourself for being such a dummy until now, and sad Flower can't be here. It's so much to deal with, and you lose track of what's happening elsewhere in the den, until Big Red snaps you out of it.

‘Fwuffy, wook!’ You open your see places, and see Big Red pointing at the nestie; you follow his hoofie and see your green and black wingie baby. He’s acting odd, pointing his head in all different directions, chirping and cheeping. ‘Hewe,’ Big Red steps over and holds his leggies out; carefully, you pass your pointy baby to him and look down at your Green baby. His face is twitching, especially around his, see places… ‘Am… A-am Babbeh gun…’

While you trip over your own wordies, your Green baby looks up at the sound. ‘Chirp chirp! Cheep!! Peep, chirp!!’ His face twitches a few more times, and then,

‘*Gasp*’ Slowly, his see places open. He gets them open part of the way, closes them, then tries again. This time, he gets them all the way open. He blinks a couple of times and stares up at you. ‘B-babbeh… Can, can Babbeh see Daddeh?'

Your Green baby stays quiet for a moment, then ‘Chirp chirp chirp!!’ He raises himself as high as he can and waves his leggies around. ‘Cheep cheep!!’ You snap out of it, reach down and pick him up. Like your pointy baby, you hug your green baby close, ‘Chirp, cheep!!’ and he hugs back as best he can. All the warm and happy feels start again; even though seeing your wingie baby open his see places can’t make up for missing it the first time, for a moment it feels like it can.

‘Am day otay?’ Daddeh comes up next to you.

‘Y-yes, Daddeh; babbehs am otay. *Sniff* Gween wingie babbeh open see pwaces!' You turn and hold your wingie baby out for Daddeh to see. He takes him from you and hugs him to his chest.

‘Cheep cheep cheep!!’

‘Hewwo wittwe babbeh,’ Daddeh says. ‘Am yuw Daddeh Daddeh.’

‘Cheep cheep!' Your wingie baby cuddles closer into Daddeh's chest fluff. Daddeh looks down at him, and you see a smile on his face, the first you've seen in a while. You pull yourself away though because there are two more babbies to meet yet!

#

You spend as long as you can in Big Red’s den, meeting your babbies properly. Eventually, though, you have to stop when they start to make poopie chirps; lucky for you, Big Red recognises what’s happening and helps you get them to the poopie place in time. Afterwards, they’re all sleepy.

‘Big Wed gun take babbehs back tu nestie nao; day nee sleepies.’

‘Big Wed go find Twee an go wif nummie findahs aftah dat.’ Daddeh says. ‘Smawty teww Snu ow Speciaw fwend tu giv dem miwkies an wook aftah dem.’

‘Yes, Smawty. Cum on babbehs.' It's hard to watch Big Red leave your babbies, but Daddeh says you have other things to do now. At least there are not many fluffies they'd be safer with than Big Red.

‘Otay Babbeh,’ Daddeh says. ‘Babbeh gun hewp Wickie an Owib in poopie pwace; yu du ewyting day say, undewstan?’

‘Yes Daddeh,’ You tell him, then take a breath. ‘Bud, Fwuffy nee say sumtin fiwst; am impowtant.’

Daddeh looks at you for a moment, then narrows his see places; ‘Wat?’

‘Sumtin happen when was in fowest; Daddeh nee heaw id.’

####

‘Dat am ewyting Wingie babbeh say,’ the Smarty tells all of you. ‘Bad fwuffies wookin fow nyu safe pwaces, an dewe smawty name am “Munstah.”’

You and the Next bestest toughies sit quietly and think about what the Smarty’s said. They have looks on their faces like they don’t know what to say, or even think. Not you, though; you know exactly what to say, have since this problem first started. ‘Smawty,’

He looks you right in the see places. ‘Yes, Bestest tuffy?’

‘Smawty, hewd nee find dese bad fwuffies an make dem go way; nao.’

‘He stares at you silently for a moment. ‘Nu, Smawty aw-’

‘Hewd nu can hide fwom bad fwuffies fowewa!’ You’re the only fluffy in the herd, probably the whole world who can get away with interrupting the Smarty, and you’ll do it if you have to. ‘Smawty wet wotsa fwuffies hav babbehs cause day hewp get does nummie tings back, an aweady hav wotsa soon mummahs; hewd am gun be tuu big tu hide!’ The Smarty looks mad, really mad, but you go on; ‘Bad Fwuffies am gun find hewd. Maybe day nu find id soon, bud day gun find id! Nee make mowe tuffies, den find bad fwuffies an giv dem fowewa sweepies!’

When you're done, The quiet place really lives up to its name; no one dares talk while you and the Smarty stare at one another, which goes on for a long time. The two of you could stare each other down all brighttime since neither of you are scared of anything, certainly not of each other. Finally, the Smarty stands up and walks up to you.

‘Dis am Smawty’s hewd, Bestest tuffy,’ he says slowly. ‘If Bestest tuffy nu wike how Smawty du tings, den can weave. Smawty nu stahp yu.’ The Next bestest toughies look on, breaths held, but you sit and stare. True, you don’t need the herd like other fluffies do; you’ve spent most of your life alone in the forest, and could do it again. But, Tree likes it here; he likes being a toughie, likes his friends, and you don't want to make him chose between that and you. Plus, there are lots of good fluffies here who won’t be as safe if you left.

‘Bestest tuffy am sowwies, Smawty,’ you tell him, but he doesn’t say anything back. Instead, he keeps on staring, and you can’t help but wonder what he’s thinking; does it make him mad, or even a little scared he can’t control you like the others? After all, you only helped take the herd from his daddeh because you wanted to. You’ve only done anything for him, for any fluffy, because you wanted to do it.

‘Smawty nu wan tawkies boud dis gain. Bestest tuffy undewstan?’ He says, finally.

‘Yes, Smarty; Bestest tuffy undewstan.'

‘Gud.’ With that, he steps back to where he was, and things get back to as normal as they can. ‘Nao, dis am wat hewd gun du boud bad fwuffies!’

####

You have the brighttime off from nummie finding, so you decide to do some work on the den. It hasn’t had much attention lately; everyone was so focused on Flower and her tummy babbies, and then with… The point is, the den needs work; the floor’s hurties need to be fixed, the nestie needs new grassies, and you have to pull all the fluff out of it. It’s too warm in the darktime, and starting to smell not pretty. Kerry’s not here to help, she’s off with All mummah and some other mares; they’re doing their best to get her back to normal, or as close as they can. So, Runny’s helping instead.

‘Wunnie hav mowe wong gwassies, Daddeh,' There he is now. You stop scrapping the den floor and meet Runny at the nestie. He drops the grassies on the floor, and together you pull the old stuff out of the nestie and put the new grassies in. After some work to get things in the right place, you step back; yep, the nestie looks much better. Should be much more comfortable in the darktime now, and looks ready for… For…

‘Daddeh?’

You shake your head; ‘Yes, Wunnie?'

‘Whewe take owd gwassies?’

‘Uh, jus oud of safe pwace.’

‘Otay,’ He picks up some of the old grassies and puts it on his back. You take what’s left and carry it out of the safe place. On the way, you see the Smarty’s wingie baby walking somewhere with Rickie and Olive, the fluffies who work in the poopie place. You’re happy he’s come back; he and Flower's babbies will have their daddeh at least, and Big Red doesn’t have as much to worry about.

Him working in the poopie place isn't a surprise, though; the Smarty was getting annoyed his Wingie baby wasn't taking care of the babbies, so you can only imagine how mad the Smarty got when he ran away. There’s even a rumour going around the Smarty’s Wingie baby isn’t the next smarty now, or at least won’t be for a while. No one says that out loud, though.

‘Daddeh?’

‘Yes, Wunnie.’

‘Am… Am Mummah gun be otay?’

It takes a while for you to answer. Kerry’s taken things the worst of anyone. ‘Tink so, bud id gun take wong time.’ The truth is you don’t think her saddies will ever really go away. You still have saddies about everyone you’ve lost.

‘How wong?’

‘Nu knu, Wunnie.’ At least she’s eating properly and doesn’t freeze up and stand in place, as much.

‘Otay.' Runny doesn't say more, and the rest of the trip is quiet and awkward. On the way back from where you dumped the old grassies, you decide to ask something else.

‘Uh, hav Wunnie an Sky, um…’

‘Wat?’

‘Am Sky soon mummah yet?' Runny goes quiet and looks at the ground. Your chest instantly goes cold and tingly; that was a mistake. ‘Daddeh am sowwies, Wunnie,' you say quickly.

‘Nu, dat am otay.’ he says. ‘Speciaw fwend nu am soon mummah.’

‘Am… Am Wunnie gun make hew soon mummah soon? Smawty say Wunnie can hav-’

‘Wunnie am scawdies.’ He says over you.

‘Wha? Wai?’

Runny stops in place; ‘Wat if Speciaw fwend…’ His face twitches, and he can’t finish talking. ‘W-wat… Wat if same ting happen?’ Sad water fills his see places. ‘Wunnie nu wan… How stahp wat happen tu Sissie?’

Your heart sinks, and your hear places try to go with it. There’s only one answer you can give, and it’s not a good one. ‘Daddeh nu knu Wunnie. Nu fwuffy knu.’

‘Wha? How nu knu!?’

‘Cause… *Sigh* Cause fwuffies nu knu. Nu knu wai sum soon mummahs go fowewa sweepies when day hav biggest poopies.’ You shake your head. ‘Am wike wotsa tings; fwuffies nu can knu.’

Runny stares at you then, drops his head and starts to cry. ‘*Sniff* W-wat du?’ He says. ‘Wunnie wan hav babbehs wif Speciaw fwend, bud nu wan… *Sob*’ You give him a hug.

‘Wunnie,’ you tell him, ‘Daddeh nu can say wat du. Onwy Wunnie can.’

‘*Sob* Huuuu…’ You hold him for a while longer until he stops crying.

‘Du Wunnie wan keep hewpin Daddeh wif den an nestie?’

‘*Sniff* Yes.’

You go back to the den and keep working; fixing up the floor is a lot of hard work, but it takes Runny’s thinkie place off what’s worrying him. By the time everything’s finished, you’re both sleepy; Runny doesn’t seem happy, but at least he’s not as upset.

‘Daddeh? Bwuddah?’

You turn around and see Big Red walk into the den. ‘Hewwo Big Wed.’

‘Wat Bwudda doin?’

‘Big Wed am gun hav Nex bwighttime nummies with Speciaw fwend an Fwowah’s speciaw fwend.’ He says. ‘Du Wunnie an Daddeh wan cum tuu?’

You look at Runny; he nods. ‘Otay,’ you tell Big Red, and follow him out of the den to a spot not far from the long water. Snow’s already there, and so is her brother; with him are the babbies. Three of them play on the ground just next to him while the last one, the blue and pink baby, lies asleep on Snow’s back. The Smarty's wingie baby looks up at you, then down at the babbies.

‘Wook babbehs, id am Mummah Daddeh.' The two wingie babbies don't take much notice, but his pointy baby looks over.

‘Cheep!!’ He pulls away from the game and crawls over the grass towards you. ‘Y-yay! Peep!' He goes as fast as he can, but you walk over and pick him up. ‘Yay!! Mummah Daddeh!! Cheep!! He nestles into your chest fluff and hugs you. ‘Huggies!! W-wub!!' You hug him back, and enjoy the lovely warm feeling; it doesn't make all the saddies go way, but it helps. While you hug Flower's pointy baby, Snow puts some nummies down near you.

After a while, you take Flower's pointy baby back to his daddeh, then lie down to have your nummies. There's not much talking at first, but slowly you all talk more and more, especially about the babbies. They've all opened their see places, and the pointy baby is trying to walk already. The Smarty’s wingie baby has also moved back into his den, and the babbies live with him most of the time. It makes you happy to hear how things are going; it looks like they’re, slowly, getting better.

Partway through next brighttime nummies, Sky comes over and sits next to Runny. The two talk and nuzzle one another, and play with the babbies too. It also makes you happy; they’ll make a great mummah and daddeh, and so will Big Red and Snow. Hopefully, they’ll all have babbies soon.

After a while, you feel someone cuddle up close to you; it’s Kerry. She doesn’t look much better, but she’s here, so it’s a step in the right direction. She looks at the babbies for a while, then huddles a little closer. You rest your head over hers; while you do, though, you notice Flower's blue and pink baby looking over at you.

####

It’s another brighttime, and you’re watching the forest with Big Red; Daddeh too, but he’s gone to do poopies. While it’s just you and Big Red, you take the chance to talk, which you don’t get to do when Daddeh’s around.

‘Snu nu am maddies at Big Wed nu mowe?’

‘Nu,’ he says quietly. ‘She stahp bein maddies when hew bwudda cum back.’

‘Am Big Wed happies he am back?’

He takes a moment to answer. ‘Yes. Sissie’s babbehs nee dewe daddeh.’

You nod. ‘When Big an Snu gun hav babbehs?’

‘Nu knu. Big Wed nu du gud ting yet.’ That’s right; his leggie had hurties when the big nummie things were found. The Smarty did say you could have babbies, but you don’t have a special friend yet, so maybe you should give your good thing to- ‘Tink Bestest tuffy cumin.’

You sit up straight and lock your see places on the forest; just like Big Red said, from behind you hear Daddeh walking up. No long after, he sits back in his spot. A few scardies flicker through you, and you hope Daddeh didn't notice the talking; he might just do something about it. He seems madder than usual; you don't ask why, and he won't say. But, you think it has something to do with the Smarty.

You and Big Red aren't allowed to sit with Daddeh and the Next bestest toughies yet, but the voices from the quiet place were louder than normal. No one was allowed close enough to hear clearly, but if Daddeh and the Smarty had a fight, you’re pretty sure what it was about.

‘Babbeh an Big Wed see anyting?’ He asks.

‘Nu, Daddeh.’

‘Gud.’ After that, the three of you go back to quietly watching the forest. Nothing much happens; some birdies fly around, and a small branchie falls off a tree. At one point, though, you see something move and point it out to Daddeh, but he shakes his head. ‘Dat am nuting,’ he says. ‘Maybe jus mousie.’

‘Wat am dat?’

‘Id am wittwe ting, mowe wittwe dan babbehs am. Day nu huwt fwuffies, bud sumtimes day twy take nummies fwom dens.’

‘Du tuffies giv dem huwties?’

‘If can catch dem, bud dat am hawd.’ He says. ‘Nu mowe tawkies.’

‘Yes, Daddeh.’ A long time passes without much happening; even though you’ve done this enough times to be used to the boredom, it still gets to you after a while. Then, sounds start to come from up ahead; the sounds of hoofies. The three of you stand up, ready to fight, but relax when a familiar voice calls out.

‘Am nummie findahs!’ You breathe out and stand next to Daddeh as the nummie finders, lead by some toughies and a lookie fluffy, approach. Most of them walk past on their way to the safe place, but one of the toughies stops.

‘Bestest tuffy, Tuffy nee say sumtin,’ he says in little wordies.

‘Otay,’ Daddeh waits for the nummie finders to leave, but once they’re, the tuffy doesn’t speak. ‘Wai dummeh nu tawkies? Dummeh say yu nee teww Bestest tuffy sumtin.’

‘Yes, Bestest tuffy! Bud, uh…' He glances at you and Big Red. ‘Day am stiww hewe.'

‘So?’ Daddeh says.

‘Day am stiww nyu tuffies! Day nu can-’

Daddeh leans so close to the toughie their faces nearly touch; ‘Tawkies. Nao.’

The toughie takes a step back and nods. ‘O-otay. *Gulp* Nummie findahs wewe diggin fow gwound nummies, an wookie fwuffy see sumtin.’

‘Wat?’

‘Was oda fwuffies,’ the toughie says. ‘Day neaw sum bushies, watching nummie findahs.’

‘Wat tuffies du?’

‘Tuffies twy fight dem. Day fight fow wittwe bit, bud den wun way. Tuffies chase dem way so day nu cum back.’

‘Day nu fowwow fwuffies hewe?’

‘Nu Bestest tuffy, tuffies an wookie fwuffy make suwe day nu du dat.’

Daddeh nods, slowly. ‘Gud. Go teww Smawty.’

The toughie looks surprised for a moment. ‘B-bud, wai Bestest-’

‘Nee stay hewe,’ Daddeh says. ‘Nao go teww Smawty wat happen, dummeh!’

‘Yes Bestest tuffy!!’ The toughie runs for the safe place, and Daddeh sits back down next to you. You're all quiet for a while until you can't hold the question back.

‘Daddeh?’

‘Yes, Babbeh. Daddeh tink does wewe bad fwuffies.’

A shiver runs up your back. ‘Wat am gun du, Daddeh?’

‘Tuffies am gun du wat Smawty say du.’

‘Wat am dat?’

Daddeh stares into the forest for a while, the look on his face getting madder; ‘Nuting.’

####

‘Du Kewwy hav tu?’

‘Yes Kewwy fwend,’ All mummah leads you toward the safe baby place. ‘Kewwy nee du tings in hewd gain.’

‘B-bud…’

‘Kewwy nee du id,’ All mummah says again. ‘Smawty say Kewwy nee du tings fow hewd gain. An, Aww mummah an oda mawes wan Kewwy cum back.’ She looks at you. ‘Kewwy du weawy gud in safe babbeh pwace.’

She has a point; you did well working with the babbies, and it was fun. Plus, a few other mares have had babbies, and there’ll be more soon. The safe baby place has to go to work again, and you’re still not good enough at anything else. But, your heart hurties and saddies are still so big; you’ve gotten a little better, or so you’re told, but it’s still nearly too much. You cry at least once each brighttime. Worse are the sleepy pictures; you see Flower going forever sleepies, again and again. In a few, her babbies went forever sleepies too!

‘Kewwy?’

You shake your head; ‘Am, am otay…’

All mummah stops and gives you some huggies. ‘Aww mummah knu Kewwy stiww hav bad saddies. Knu heawt huwties am stiww wowstest.’ You have to open and close your see places a few times. ‘Bud, duin tings fow hewd gain make dem bettah.’

‘Weawy?’

‘Uh-huh,’ All mummah nods. ‘Id can take wong time,’ now she tells you, ‘bud id happen. Saddies an heawt huwties am gun go way; Aww mummah pwomise.’

You nod and hug her back. ‘*Sniff* Otay.' All mummah lets go, and you keep walking toward the safe baby place; it's not long until you get there. The big bushie looks like it's gone back to how it was before the big branchie gave it hurties; in fact, it might be larger than before. When you get to the way in though, you stop. All mummah turns around.

‘Id am gun be otay fwend,' she says. You nod and slowly walk inside.

#

‘Chirp chirp.’

‘Cheep! Cheep cheep!’

‘Peep, huu. Chirp!’

‘Shh, id am otay babbeh,' you pick the sad baby up out of the nestie and give her a small hug. At first, though, it doesn't seem to help.

‘Peep peep! Huu, peeep!' She must miss her mummah and daddeh a lot.

‘Nu cwy babbeh, nu cwy.’ Maybe it’s you; it’s not her fault she can't cheer up if you don't sound happy. After a few more moments, you put the baby back in the nestie. Some of the others crawl over and pile around the little baby; it stops her crying better than your huggies did. ‘*Sigh*' You get up and walk around the nestie to check on the babbies; there aren’t many so it doesn't take long, and there's nothing you have to deal with.

Why are they even here? What’s so important that their mummahs have to leave them? Why don’t their mummahs stay in their dens and spend time with them instead of jumping right back into work? What if some of those mummahs are nummie finders, and don't come back from the… ‘Mnh' You shake your head, hard, so your thinkie place stops talking about, that stuff. If it starts, you won't get to the end of this.

‘Kewwy?’

You look at the way into the little baby den and see Little. ‘Yes?’

‘Um, bwudda am hewe.’ Your chest tightens. Before you can say anything, though, Little says ‘Kewwy nu nee wook aftah babbehs, Wittwe jus… Jus wan teww Kewwy…’

‘Dat am otay, tank yu.’

Little nods, and walks back up the tunnel. You go back to watching the little babbies. From the big baby place, you hear a few different voices; you recognise Flower's special friend, one of the other mares, and ‘Hehe, pway! Wan pway!' one of the babbies, the grey pointy one. He likes to run and play even more than his wingie brother and sissie. This is all stuff you've been told, though.

It makes you feel terrible, but you haven’t seen much of Flower's babbies since, since… ‘*Sigh*’ It’s not that you don’t love them, or don’t want to see them! But, it still hurts too much to be around them for long, especially after the grey baby opened his see places and called you… ‘*Sniff*’ The only good thing about Flower being forever sleepies (if you can even call it that) is she'll never know what she’s missed, and will miss. You squeeze your see places shut and shake your head; you just have to make it until next brighttime nummies, then you can do something else.

You sit in another spot and go back to watching the babbies. They sleep, hug one another and crawl about looking for their brothers and sissies, or maybe their mummahs and daddehs. Nothing much happens; one baby tries to crawl out of the nestie, but you think it’s because he got lost; when you put him near some others, he settles down. Nothing much else happens after that, but you start to feel something odd. It's like an itch that's not quite real; like, someone's watching you…

Slowly, you turn your head and look at the tunnel into the den; there at the bottom, you see one of Flower's babbies. The little blue one, who's tail is the same colour as Flower's fluff. She sits there looking at you. ‘Uh… H-hewwo.' You manage, but Flower's little blue baby doesn't say anything. ‘Am, a-am wittwe babbeh otay?' You take a small step forward, but she still doesn't say anything. You're about to try again when Little walks down behind her.

‘Nu babbeh, yu nee stay wif bwuddas and sissie.’ Little picks up the blue baby in his nummie place and puts her on his back.

‘Eee!’

‘Sowwies Kewwy,’ Little says. ‘Wittwe take hew back nao.’

‘O-otay.’

Little nods, turns and walks out of the den. As he does, Flower's little blue baby turns back and looks at you.

####

‘Daddeh am back, babbehs !’

‘Yay!’ Your pointy baby leaves the game they’re playing and stumbles over. You walk forwards, meet him part way and pick him up. ‘Yay! Daddeh! Daddeh am back!!’ He gives you the biggest hug he can manage. ‘Wub Daddeh! Cheep! Babbeh wub Daddeh!’ You sit and enjoy the heart happies for a while, then put your pointy baby on the ground and move him up to your back.

‘Cum on Babbeh, time tu get Bwudda an Sissies.’ You walk over to the rest of your babbies, where Little waits to help get them on your back. ‘Whewe babbehs gud?’

‘Uh-huh,’ your brother says after he gets your Green winge baby on your back. ‘Day wewe gud, bud bwue babbeh du wittwe bad ting.’

‘Wat she du?’ You crane your head back, but can’t see where she is.

‘She go in wittwe babbeh den,’ Little points with his hoofie. ‘Nu knu wai.’

You look at the tunnel, but only for a few moments; so long as she didn’t try to leave the safe baby place. ‘Otay. Du Bwudda wan hav dawk time nummies with Fwuffy an Sissie?’

‘Nu, sowwies,’ Little says. ‘Nee hewp Mummah wif nestie.

‘Otay. Bai.' You leave the safe baby place and head for your Sissie's den. When you get there, you find she's gotten nummies for you and herself; your Sissie has more because she's been helping to feed the babbies.

‘Hewwo wittwe babbehs,’ she says as you walk in, then helps get them down.

‘Am miwkies nao?’ Your Brown baby asks.

‘Wan miwkies!’ Your Green baby asks. ‘Babbeh wan hav miwkies!’

‘Soon Babbehs; Snu wan hav nummies fiwst.’

‘Bud Babbeh hav big tummeh huwties!’

‘Pwease Daddeh Sissie! Wook, am dancie babbeh!’

‘Wan hav miwkies nao!’

‘Nu, bad babbehs!' Your Sissie stares at them for a moment. ‘Babbehs get miwkies soon.' They huff and look mad, but your pointy baby starts up a game of huggie wrestle; he, your green and brown babbies join in and forget about their tummy hurties. As for your blue baby, she sticks close to your Sissie. With the babbies settled, for now, you grab some berries and start to eat.

After a while, your Sissie asks ‘Wat was poopie pwace wike?’

‘Id nu smeww pwetty,’ you tell her. ‘Bud, Wickie and Owib am nice fwuffies. So am dewe babbehs.’

Your sissie nods and has some more berries. When she doesn't say anything else, you decide to ask a question; ‘Sissie nu am maddies at Big Wed nu mowe?’

She looks at her berries for a moment; ‘*Sigh* Nu.’

‘Dat am gud. Wan Sissie an Big Wed tu stiww be Speciaw fwend; Fwuffy was bein dummeh.'

‘Bwudda nu was bein dummeh,’ she says. ‘Was jus saddies boud, boud…’ Her wordies stop, and her hear places hide.

You shake your head. ‘Fwuffy nu wan tawkies boud dat nao, Sissie.’

She nods her head, a tiny bit of sad water in her see places. ‘Am sowwies.' Neither of you says much after that, but your babbies' game distracts from the weird feelings. However, it’s not long until Snow asks something else. ‘Wat Bwudda teww daddeh when cum back?’

‘Huh?’

‘When Bwudda cum back,' she says again, ‘yu teww Daddeh sumtin, an den was wotsa woud tawkies. An, an den…' She looks around like she's worried someone else is hear listening. ‘Nao Daddeh an Bestest tuffy am maddies at each oda.’

Parts of your fluff stand up. ‘H-how sissie knu dat?’

‘Cause day nu tawkin wike day du nu mowe,’ she looks at you; the scardies on her face makes your tummy tighten up. ‘Pwease, Bwudda; wat yu teww Daddeh?’

It takes some time to work up the nerve. You glance at the babbies, but they’re too wrapped up in their game, and they probably can’t understand you anyway. You look at the tunnel, but it doesn’t seem like anyone’s listening. ‘Sissie nu can say dis tu any fwuffy.’

She nods ‘Sissie Pwomise.’

‘*Sigh* Otay…’ You walk a little closer to her. ‘Was in dah fowest, an Fwuffy heaw sumtin…’ You tell her most of the story; not all of it, but enough for her to know what happened. She looks at you, see places wide and hear places hidden.

‘Bad fwuffies chase Bwudda?’ She says quietly. You nod, and she hugs you tight. You can feel her scardies, and tell she’s trying not to cry.

‘Huggies!!’

‘Yay huggie game!’

A few moments later you feel the babbies cuddle up to you and your Sissie, and give you both huggies. It makes you feel a little better. Snow pulls away and picks up your green baby. You can see she has sad water in her see places, but she’s smiling again. You pick up your blue and pink baby and hug her to your chest. About then, Big Red shows up.

‘Hewwo Specaiw fwend,’ he walks over and nuzzles her, then looks at you. ‘Hewwo Fwuffy. Hewwo babbehs!’

‘Yay, Big! Big Fwuffy hewe!’ Your pointy baby cheers. Big Red carefully picks up him and his brown sissie, and hugs them for a while. Then, he looks at Snow, and the happy look on his face goes away.

‘Speciaw fwend, wat am wong?' She looks at him a while, then tells him quietly, so she doesn't upset the babbies. When she's done, Big Red nods. ‘Big Wed knu; Bestest tuffy am maddies Smawty nu wan go find bad Fwuffies.'

‘How big Wed knu dat?’

‘Cause…’ He looks around, then says ‘Bestest tuffy tawkies tu Big Wed an Twee boud id.'

You and Snow look at each other, then back at Big Red. ‘Wat Bestest tuffy say?’

Big Red stares at the ground for a moment; ‘Onwy dat he wan go find bad fwuffies befowe bad fwuffies find safe pwace.’

A few chills go up your back, and your chest feels a little empty and tight at the same time. ‘*Sniff*’ You look at Snow; she’s got some more saddies and scardies on her face now. Big Red notices them too; he puts down your babbies, goes over and hugs Snow.

‘Nu be scawdies Speciaw fwend. Big Wed nu knu wat Smawty ow Bestest tuffy gun du boud bad fwuffies, bud Big Wed pwomise newa, ewa wet dem huwt Speciaw fwend.’ He looks at you, ‘Big Wed nu wet dem huwt anyone in hewd; pwomise.’

You start to feel better; as long as there are fluffies like Big Red around, the herd will be safe. One brighttime when you're the smarty, you'll have Big Red as the Bestest toughie. You can’t think of a better fluffy to be the new Bestest toughie. Well, except for Tree. But that’s no problem, you can always have two bestest toughies.

Things may have gone really bad, but they’re getting better.

####

You can’t sleep, your thinkie place won’t let you. No matter how hard you shut your see places and think about other stuff, your thinkie place won’t stop talking about the problems you need to deal with. That’s pretty much the life of a smarty; a new problem comes up as soon as one gets solved. Sure, it’s been like that ever since you took the herd from Daddeh, but this problem is new, and harder.

‘*Sigh*’ Careful not to wake your Special friend or Little, you get out of the nestie and leave the den. The darktime sky ball is out; the shadows are as dark as ever, but there's’ enough light to find your way. Sometimes you’ve wondered why it can’t be out every darktime; monsters might not be able to sneak up on fluffies so easy. But, maybe you’d be easier to find. No matter, there are far more important things to think about; it’s not like you’ve got a choice.

Like when your Wingie baby ran away, you walk around the safe. In the darktime light, you can make out the toughies keeping watch. You can’t see well enough to know who they are, except for the big ones by the bushies. You turn away since you're not in the mood to talk to the Bestest toughie. In truth, that's part of why this problem with the bad fluffies keeps you awake. The two of you never disagree, not like this at least. No matter what's happened since you've run this herd, you and Bestest toughie have always thought the same thing or close enough. Now though…

There have been whispers here and there; fluffies believe you're mad at one another, or even don't like each other anymore. They're partially right, but if they weren't, what would it do to the herd if everyone knew the whole story? Would everyone demand you do what the Bestest toughie says and go find the bad fluffies? Worse, what if some or most wanted to start a new herd with him, or even try to make him the new smarty?

Cold, sharp hurties wrap around your tummy when you think about everything that could happen. You’re not scared for yourself, but for your family, and the herd. Even though you’re sure the Bestest toughie wouldn’t try to make his own herd or take this one from you, someone else might. No matter what, you’ve got to make things better with him. If you can’t, you’ll have to ask him to leave; even if he’d probably do so if you asked, it’s the last thing you want.

The truth is, he’s sort of right about the bad fluffies. Oh, you’re not wrong; sending a bunch of toughies out to the forest to hunt bad fluffies is a bad, dummy idea! But, he’s right that the herd can’t hide forever; it’s getting too big. Nummie finders and lookie fluffies on their way back from the forest say they can hear the safe place from much further away than you like. They can smell it too when the breezie monsters run the right way.

Not to mention, strange fluffies found one of the nummie finding groups, and only a dummy would think they weren’t from the same herd who tried to catch your Wingie baby. You got lucky both times, but, how long will it be until they follow some nummie finders or someone else back here? Even worse, what if they already know? What if he, it, already knows?

You reach the edge of the forest and stare into the dark; Monster, huh? It suits, what else would you call something that leads a herd of bad fluffies? But who, or what, is he? A fluffy? An actual monster? Whatever the answer is, the thought sends chills up your back. The herd, the safe place, everything you’ve built is in danger from the bad fluffies led by this “Monster,” and it might only be a matter of time before they come. If and when that happens, you’ll need every toughie you have, especially-

‘Wat Smawty tinkin boud?’

You don't answer, at least not at first. The Bestest toughie walks up beside you and stares into the forest as well. Both of you are quiet for a while, a long while. Finally, when you can't take it any longer, you ask ‘Bestest tuffy tink bad fwuffies am gun come hewe?'

‘Yes,’ he says after a moment.

‘How Bestest tuffy knu?’

It’s another moment for the answer; ‘Id am wat Bestest tuffy wud du.’

You look at him; even with as long as you've known him, the Bestest toughie’s told you almost nothing about where he came from, or what he’s done. He might not be so different from the bad fluffies; maybe he even was one long ago. It would explain a lot. While you’re staring, he turns and looks at you too. After a while, he turns back to the forest.

‘Nu am gun weave hewd,’ he says. ‘Babbeh nu wan weave, an Bestest tuffy nu wan weave Babbeh.’

A few of the cold feels in your chest go away. You know for a fact the Bestest toughie isn’t lying; Tree is only thing he really loves, and wouldn’t leave him for anything.

‘Bud, stiww tink Smawty am doin wong ting.’

And they’re back. You stay quiet; you’re in no mood for an argument, and loud yelling in the darktime can’t lead to anything good.

‘Dah bad fwuffies am gun find safe pwace, Smawty,' he says. ‘Nu knu when bud day gun find id.' He goes quiet, maybe waiting to see if you’ll say anything. When you don’t, ‘Bestest tuffy make suwe oda tuffies am weady.’

Slowly, you nod. ‘Gud.' With that, the Bestest toughie leaves. Now it's just you again, staring into the forest. The more you stare, the more it feels like the forest, or something else is staring back. After while longer, you turn and head back to your den.

Comments

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Anonymous1: Ever since Kerry took off to the woods to live a hugboxers dream, i have just simply been scrolling through these stories. Skipping essentially everything for quite a few months. If this is some type of build up, fucking get it to the end already.

But seeing as i can scroll past 99% of each chapter and still end up right back where it began. I hear by past judgement that this story will have no plot twists or progressive future that will have an ending.

It is obvious the writer has no idea on where to lead this and where to end it.
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Stealthderp: Character driven style of telling a story. I personally enjoy this piece immensely.
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CwinicawDepwession: @Anonymous: "Skipping essentially everything for quite a few months" why would anyone give a shit about your opinion on it then?
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Anonymous2: anon 1 is full of shit, this is probably one of the best stories on the booru imo. keep it up man
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Anonymous3: @Anonymous: Hugboxer's dream? You really have scrolled past 99% of each chapter.
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Anonymous4: @Anonymous: retard alert!!!!
"Get a brain moran."
DS keep up the good work.

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SmawtySpewmatozoon: I echo everyone’s sentiments here: this is my favourite story. Please keep writing!
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Anonymous5: I got a feeling that shit is about to hit the fan with Kerry and the heard I'm not sure if it's going to be soon but I think what's going to happen is that after the fight if there is one the herd is discover by humans brings them to a fluffy breeding mill the same one that ruby's mom got sent to. Kerry and the others die in the mill while her owner lives happily ever after with his own family and a new fluffy that's been fixed.
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Anonymous6: @Anonymous: i agree. Sloth doesn't know where to take this, so we get more of thos character driven bullshit stories, while he continues to circle jerk the Booru. Shit or get off the pot, cocktease
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Anonymous7: i'm quite pleased with the pace this story is taking. Not that rushed, and with some nice character development. The build up will probably leave to some nice climax since the author is taking his time to come up with ideas. This story, alongside with that "the life of a hugboxer" or something...(I forgot the name) are two of the best stories I have read here in the booru.

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differential_Sloth: @Anonymous: @Anonymous:
I know exactly where I'm going M80s, i just happen to like the scenic route.
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Anonymous8: @differential_Sloth I have had more of an emotional attachment to a fluffy in 1 chapter than any of these for the last 20.
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Researcher_7201: I very much enjoy the pace of this story it feels more real somehow because the pay off isnt instantaneous. Their is a real world being built characters being fleshed out and a slice of life narrative from many different perspectives which can't be easy for the author to keep strait which just adds to me being more impressed that they have kept all those plates spinning. This is one of the very few stories that I could honestly believe seeing being published as a book. Its got the structure, and the length. Most importantly its got me watching the booru for the next chapter, and rationing each new one to stretch out the enjoyment please keep up the amazing work!