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 Nine

By differential_Sloth


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‘Upsies! Babbehs wan upsies!’ You lean down and pick up Flower's green wingie baby. Instead of hugging him to your chest, though, you hold him as far out as you can. ‘Yay! Wub upsies! Wub!’ He flaps his wingies and wriggles around too. You know he’s having lots of fun, but all the moving about makes it harder for you to keep a good hold. The last thing you want is to drop one of your Sissie’s babbies. After a while, it gets too much.

‘Sowwie babbeh,’ you put Flower’s green baby back down, which he doesn't like.

‘Babbeh wan mowe upsies! Was havin fun!’

‘Sowwie Babbeh, bud Babbeh move tuu much.’ He doesn't say anything back but pouts before wandering off to find his brother and sissie. With them occupied, you go over to Sky.

‘Du Babbeh wike upsies tuu?’ She asks Flower’s blue baby.

‘Nu wike big upsies,’ she says.

‘Otay, Sky onwy give babbeh wittwe upsies.’ She picks up Flower’s blue baby, and after a few upsies hugs her into her chest. You see a smile on Sky’s face as she looks down at your Sissie’s blue baby. It gives you heart happies, and you sit and watch for a few moments. Then,

‘Nu!’ You turn just in time to see the wingie babbies heading for the tunnel, with their pointy brother running behind. ‘Nu go oud! Mummah bwudda say-’

‘Bad babbehs!!’ It’s a little louder than you meant, but it stops the wingie babbies in their tracks; they turn and look at you, hear places hidden. ‘Wunnie say babbehs nee stay in den! Nu Weave!’

‘B-babbeh am sowwies,’ the brown baby says.

‘Nu mean be bad,’ Flower’s green baby says, ‘jus wan wun oudside fow-’

‘Babbehs nee stay in den tiww daddeh am back,’

‘Bud he am way fow wong-’

‘Babbehs stay in den!’ You say over him. ‘Undewstan?’

‘Yes, Mummah bwudda.’ He hangs his head and goes to the other side of the den with his Sissie. It makes you feel bad, but nothing would be worse than what happened to your orange friend happening to any of Flower’s babbies. It still makes your tummy go cold when you think about that bright time. Unfortunately, the story didn’t seem to make much impact on them.

‘Wai dummeh tuffies nu du anyting?’

‘Maybe shud make wingie fwuffies tuffies, so can fwy an giv biwdy munstahs huwties.’ Good idea, if wingie fluffies could actually fly. Why do you even have wingies if they don’t work? Anyway, since that didn’t work, you just have to make sure they don’t try and leave the den. The good thing is after that last yell, they won’t try again, you hope.

‘Speciaw fwend?’

‘Yes?’

‘When am Smawty’s babbeh cumin tu get babbehs?’

‘Uh, nu knu.’ He’s off helping to dig the new poopies place and filling in all the old ones; it’s a big job, they’ve been doing it all of the brighttime. Now it’s the soon darktime, and you don’t know if they’ll be done soon.

‘If he nu cum back befowe dawktime,’ Sky says, ‘du Wunnie tink babbehs can stay hewe?’

‘Hmm, maybe.’ You don’t see why not; it’ll be safer. Sky smiles and turns her attention back to Flower’s blue baby. She probably hopes they’ll have to stay here this darktime; she really loves spending time with Flower’s babbies. Unfortunately, though, their Daddeh comes back not long after.

‘Daddeh!’ His pointy baby runs over and hugs his leg; the wingie babbies follow soon after, and his blue baby too once Sky puts her down.

‘Hewwo babbehs. Whewe babbehs gud?’

‘Yes Daddeh,’ the brown one says.

‘Dat nu twue,’ the pointy one says before you have the chance, ‘wingie Bwudda an Sissie twy wun way!’

‘Hey!’

‘Bad babbehs,’ Flower’s special friend says. ‘Daddeh teww yu stay in den.’

‘Huu…’

‘Nu be bad gain, Babbehs.’ He looks at you. ‘Can Wunnie hewp take babbehs back tu den?’

‘Uh-huh,’ you nod. ‘Wunnie be back soon, Speciaw fwend. Cum on babbehs.’ Together, you get the babbies back to Flower’s den without problems.

‘Tank yu fow wookin aftah babbehs Wunnie. Tank yu fow keepin dem safe.’

‘Dat am otay,’ you tell him. ‘Bai fwend.’ You head back to your den, going by the nummie dens for darktime nummies on the way. Later on, after you've eaten, you're lying in the nestie with Sky, ready to go to sleep. You're about to, when

‘Wunnie?’

‘Yes, Speciaw fwend?’

‘When Wunnie hewp bwing big nummie ting back to safe pwace, did Smawty say yu can hav babbehs?’

Uh-oh. ‘Uhh...’ You were hoping not to have this talk for a while. Sky didn’t ask about it after Flower went forever sleepies. But now that-

‘Weww?’

‘Uh ,um, W-wunnie nu knu,’ you tell her. ‘Was wotsa fwuffies wound, a-an nu cud heaw Smawty tawkin, an nu-’

*Smack!*

‘Eee! Wai Speciaw fwend du dat!?’

‘Cause yu nu say teww Sky!’ She yells. ‘Did Smawty say Wunnie can hav babbehs?!’

Oh, there’s no point trying to avoid this; she won’t let it go, and you don’t want to be hit again! Ow… ‘*Sigh* Yes...’ For a moment, the den is qui-’

*Smack!!!*

‘Owwies!!’

‘Wai Wunnie nu put Tummeh babbehs in Sky!?’ She yells. ‘Wunnie waned hav babbehs an famiwy; nao can, bud nu du id!’

‘Wunnie du wan dat, Speciaw fwend. Bud-’

‘Wai Wunnie bein dummeh!? Wunnie nu w-’

‘Nu Wan Speciaw fwend tu go fowewa sweepies!’ The den goes quiet again, and stays that way; the mad look on Sky’s face changes to a confused and scared one.

‘Wah? W-wai Speciaw fwend tink Sky gun go fowewa sweepies?’

‘Cause dat am wat happen tu Sissie!’ The cold tight feelings live in your tummy now. ‘Sissie go fowewa sweepies when hew babbehs cum oud, an nu one knu wai! Nu, *sniff* wan dat happen tu Speciaw fwend!’

Sky’s hear places hide, but she doesn't say anything; probably because she can’t think of anything to say. You probably couldn't either. ‘Sky am sowwies, Speciaw fwend,’ she says at last. ‘Nu… Nu mean make Speciaw fwend saddies.’

You look at each other for a moment. ‘Dat am otay; Wunnie nu am maddies.' Sky nods, lays back down and cuddles close. It feels nice, but it’s not enough to take your mind off the problem; you both want babbies and to make a family, but you don’t want to risk losing Sky.

What are you supposed to do?

####

Working in the safe baby place again seems to be helping your saddies, but she was right about it taking a long time; the saddies and heart hearties only get a little better each brighttime. At this rate it'll be the middle of the next cold times before you're back to the way you were, if you even can get back to being that way.

The other thing which changes a little each brighttime are the little babbies; they get a bigger every time you see them, and more of them have opened their see places. A couple of times, a baby has opened their see places while they’re in the nestie; you’re the first big fluffy they see when they look around, so…

‘M-mu-mummah?’

‘Nu, nu babbeh. Nu am yuw mummah.’

It nearly made you cry the first time it happened, and while it still makes you sad when it happens, it's easier to hide. Luckily, the babbies don’t bother you about it. They get too excited to see things for the first time, especially other babbies and their brothers and sissies.

‘Hehe, peep! Gun sp-spwowue!’ Not this again…

‘Nu babbeh,’ you walk around the nestie to get in front of him. ‘Babbeh stay in nestie, ow go in sowwie howe.’

‘Peep! W-wan sp-’

‘Nu, bad babbeh! Stay in nestie!’

The baby flinches and sits back, looking at you with wide see places. ‘Huuu! Peep peep! Huuhuu wan Mummah! Peeeep!!’ Your chest tightens up, and your hear places hide; you went too far. You didn’t mean too… ‘Peeep! Mummah! Peep peep! Wan Mummah! Mummah!!’

‘Wat am wong?’ Little runs down the tunnel and stops next to you. You try to explain, but your wordies don’t work. ‘Babbeh? Wat happen babbeh?’

‘Peep!! Huuhuuu!! Peep peep!!’

Little couches down and picks up the baby. ‘Shhh, nu cwy babbeh, id am otay. Nu cwy,’ He hugs the baby to his chest. ‘Shh, id am otay wittwe babbeh.’

‘Huhuuu, *sniif* peep…’

‘Shhh.’

Little hugs the baby until stops he crying, then puts him back in the nestie. As soon as he’s back, his brothers an sissies crowd around and form a huggie pile. When he’s sure the baby is okay, Little comes over; ‘Wat happen Kewwy? Wai babbeh hav big saddies?’

You open your nummie place to speak, but nothing comes out. You try again, and though your wordies work this time, the tight feeling in your chest makes it hard to talk. ‘Kewwy… B-babbeh was twyin get oud of nestie, an *gulp* Kewwy teww him he was… *Sniff* N-nu mean make Babbeh saddies…’ Your head drops, and Little gives you a hug.

‘Id am otay Kewwy, Wittwe knu Kewwy nu mean make babbeh saddies.’ You manage to nod a few times. ‘Du Kewwy wan go du oda tings? Wittwe teww Daddeh dat-’

‘Nu,’ you say. ‘Kewwy can stay. Can du id.’

‘Otay. Wittwe cum back soon.’ He lets go and leaves the little baby den. You take a few moments to breathe and get your saddies under control, then go back to watching the babbies. Luckily, the wingie baby’s saddies didn’t make the other babbies too scared or sad. Most of them have forgotten anything even happened. You do another quick walk around, then sit down to keep watch. You would lie down but it shouldn’t be too long until the babbies need to go do poopies, so you may as well stay sitting.

While you watch the little babbies in the nestie you see something move near the tunnel, out the corner of your see places. You turn your head, and see Flower’s blue baby standing there, looking at you. ‘Uh, h-hewwo…’ You get up and walk over. ‘A-am…’ You swallow hard and try again. ‘Am ewyting otay, Babbeh?’ After a moment, she answers.

‘Um, Babbeh nu wike game Bwuddas an Sissie am pwayin.’ She says. ‘Can…. Can babbeh stay hewe, wif Mummah mummah?’ Her wordies make your chest tighten up, because of how familiar it sounds. The first thing your thinkie places says is to tell her no, and send her back up. Still, she asked nicely, and you haven’t spent much time with any of Flower’s babbies…

‘Otay, Babbeh can stay hewe.’

‘Tank yu, Mummah mummah.’ Flower’s blue baby says. ‘Um, wat Mummah mummah du hewe?’

‘Uh, jus watch wittwe babbehs,’ you tell her. ‘Babbeh can watch tuu.’

‘O-otay.’ Flower’s Blue baby gets up and follows you back to where you were. You sit back down, and she sits next to you, not right up close but near by. Both of you stay quiet; you can’t think of anything to say, and it seems she can’t either or doesn’t want to. After a few moments of silence, you turn your attention back to the nestie. There’s nothing you need to deal with; the baby who tried to get out of the nestie earlier is cuddled up with his brothers and sissies, and the others are busy with their games or fast asleep.

After a while, you feel something at your side; when you look down, you see Flower’s blue baby cuddled up closer. You look at her a few moments, then turn back to the nestie; the first thing you see is a pink baby. Her fluff isn’t exactly the same as Flower’s was, but it’s close enough. It brings back lots of old thinkie place pictures. You see Flower in here with you, playing with her brothers in the den, and even when she was like these babbies; small, without her see places open. The pictures come too fast to stop, and sad water fills your see places.

‘Mummah mummah?’ You don’t notice her voice the first time. ‘Mummah mummah, wat am wong? Wai makin-’

You shake your head. ‘Kewwy am, am otay Babbeh. Am otay.’ Looking down, you notice Flower’s Blue baby isn’t looking at you anymore; instead, she’s looking at the little babbies. Then she gets up. ‘Wat am babbeh duin?’ She doesn't answer; instead, she walks to the edge of the nestie and peers at,

‘Mummah mummah,’

‘Yes, Babbeh?’

She points at the same pink baby you were looking at, and turns to look at you; ‘Am, dat wat Mummah wook wike?’

Your chest tightens up, and see places open wider. ‘W-wah?’

‘Am, am dat wat Mummah wook wike?' She turns around. ‘Daddeh nu teww babbeh wat Mummah wook wike, he nu tawkies boud Mummah.' Flower's Blue baby looks down for a moment. ‘*Sniff*' When she looks up, her see places are full of sad water. ‘B-babbeh jus wan *Sniff* jus wan knu boud Mummah.' Your chest gets tighter, and your heart gets bad hurties, but you manage to lean down and pick Flower's baby up. ‘*Sniff* Huuu,'

‘I-id am otay, babbeh,’ you say. ‘Id am, a-am…’ Your wordies stop working, sad water leaks out of your see places and some heart hurties you haven’t felt in a long time come back. You know exactly how Flower’s Blue baby feels, since you don’t know anything about your Mummah either. You know her mummah song and her voice, you think, but nothing else. It adds to the big ball of saddies wells up in your chest, and you don’t know if you can keep it in. Just as you’re about to start crying though,

‘Peep peep!’

‘Cheep cheep! Cheep!’

‘Mummah! Babbeh nee poopie!!’

Time to go to work. ‘*Sniff* S-sowwie babbeh,’ you put Flower’s blue baby down. ‘Kewwy… Mummah mummah nee hewp wittwe babbehs nao. Go back tu bwuddas an sissie.' You tell her as All mummah, and some others come down and pile the little babies on their backs.

‘*Sob* O-otay.' Flower's Blue baby turns to go but has to wait by the tunnel until you and the other mares walk by.

####

‘Tuffies!’ The Bestest toughie stands in front, looking out at you and the others. ‘Dewe am bad fwuffies in fowest, tuffies knu dat.' There are nods all around, but no one speaks. ‘Dah Smawty say tuffies nu can go find dem an make dem go way,' he hides his maddies well. ‘So, tuffies nee be weady fow wh… IF, bad fwuffies cum tu safe pwace.' There are more nods, big ones.

‘How am tuffies gun be weady, Bestest tuffy?’ Someone asks.

‘Tuffies wememba munstah an tuffy game?’ Lot’s of you nod. ‘Am gun du dat gain.’ The Bestest and Next bestest toughies split everyone up into two different groups, toughies and bad fluffies; you and tree end up with the toughies. ‘Bad fwuffies go wif Wock,’ the Bestest toughie says. ‘Tuffies stay hewe, an wait.’

‘Yes Bestest tuffy,’ Rock turns to the bad fluffy team, ‘Dis way!’ He leads them into the forest; they disappear past trees and bushies, but you can still hear them for a while.

‘Wat dummies stayin hewe fow!?' The Bestest toughie yells. ‘Dummehs tink bad fwuffies gun cum back dis way? Bad fwuffies cum fwom any pwace!' He's absolutely right, but what should you... Of course!

‘Dis way,’ you say to Tree and a few others.

‘Whewe Big Wed goin?’

‘Big Wed an tuffies am gun go wound safe pwace tiww bad fwuffies cum back.’

Tree and the others look at each other for a few moments, then back to you. ‘Otay.’ You lead your team to the safe place and start your patrol. Around, the herd goes about their business and do their jobs. With how loud the Bestest toughie was talking, you’re sure some of them know at least part of what’s going on. Even though you know what's coming and know it's only pretend, your tummy goes tight, and cold shivers run up your back. This is what it would be like if bad fluffies did attack, coming out of the forest on a normal brighttime when everyone's doing their jobs and minding their own business.

You lead Tree and the others down past the long water, near the old poopie place and up around the nummie dens. Along the way, you pass fluffies you know; they say hello, but it’s hard to sound normal. The cold prickles turn hot, and your tummy feels like a rock. Part of you wants Rock and the others to just get this over with; you can’t stand waiting for something big to happen! At least when something’s going on, even if it’s scary, you can-

‘Wook oud!’

You and the others whip your heads around; that yell came from-

‘Day am cumin!! Tuffies!!’

‘Dis way!!' You charge toward the yells, Tree and the others close behind. As you run, Fluffies around look scared.

‘Wat am wong?’

‘Bad fwuffies hewe?’

‘Big Wed!’ Someone calls. ‘Wat am-’

‘Go back to dens!’ You yell back. ‘Wisten tu tuffies!!’ They do as you say; all around, Fluffies run for their dens. Some run for the safe baby place, either to get theirs or keep it safe. Hopefully, it's to keep it safe, but you can't worry about that; there's a fight to get to! You run through the safe place, dodging around fluffies as they run for safety.

Noises and yells get louder the closer you get to the edge of the forest until you round a few last bushies and come across the fight. It's the biggest one, real or pretend, you've ever seen!! All the toughies fighting each other at once, it's hard to tell what's happening. But, it's not too long until you recognise who's playing as the bad fluffies and who isn't. You see two of them ganged up on one of the toughies, and dive in to help.

‘Whahh!!!’ You charge the two bad fluffies and head butt him away.

‘Ooofff!!' He tumbles and rolls away; hopefully, you didn't hurt him too bad, but it's hard to focus on that when there's the second bad fluffy. He lunges and tries to jump on your back, but you crouch and bounce back up.

‘Ahhh!’ He lands on the ground and tumbles away. He tries to get up, but one of the toughies who came with you hoofs him a few times to keep him down. While that’s happening, you search for the next bad fluffy to-

‘Gahh!!’ Some slams into your side, hard! It’s not enough to knock you to the ground, but you stumble and trip a few times. You step back and search for who did that, and find him getting ready to jump at you! Despite the hurties in your side and chest, you crouch ready to jump into his attack, but Tree dashes over and headbutts him!

‘Oooff!’

Tree knocks him to the ground, then hoofs him in the side for good measure. You dash over to him; the two of you should stick together, which turns out to be the right choice.

‘Get dem!’ A bunch of the bad fluffies rush at you and Tree; both of you turn to face them, and moments later Tree headbutts one of them out of the way.

‘Bwah!!’

‘Wahhg!!’ One of them charges you; you jump to the side, jump back and slam into their side. Another tries to jump on your back, but you drop and roll; it trips him over, leaving him wide open for sorry hoofies. You give him plenty. One of the others tries to headbutt you, but you jump away just in time, turn to face him and

‘Ahhh!!’

‘Ooof!!’

see Tree slam into him and knock him to the ground. The two of you join back up and go to find the others when the Bestest toughie yells ‘STAHP NAO!' All the fights stop so quickly it doesn't seem real. The Bestest toughie says from the rock he was watching from. ‘Dat was gud, bud nee stahp nao.'

‘Wai?’ Someone asks.

‘Cause am gun make hewd tuu scawdies,' the Bestest toughie says, ‘an am making tuu many noises. Sumtin cud heaw an find safe pwace. Tuffies go back tu oda jobs nao.' He walks away; after a moment or two, the others follow. You and Tree help some of the toughies get up, apologise the ones you hurt a little too much, then walk back to the safe place and keep watch for the rest of the brighttime. Between the end of the game and the darktime, some fluffies ask if what happened was real. You tell them it was just a game so you and the other toughies will be ready if he bad fluffies come.

Nothing else happens for the rest of the brighttime, and as the sky ball starts to go down, you say bye to Tree and head for the nummie dens. Just as you walk off though,

‘Big Wed, wait,’

‘Wat?’

‘Twee wan tawkies wif yu, awone.’

‘O-otay. Whewe-’

‘Daddeh am gun watch safe place in dawktime, so he nu am in den,’ Tree says. ‘Dis way.’ With a tight feeling in your tummy, you follow him back to his den. Once you’re inside, Tree asks ‘Wat Big Wed tink boud bad fwuffies?’

Seriously? ‘Big Wed tink day am bad, an-’

‘Nu dummeh,’ Tree interrupts. What Big Wed tink boud Smawty nu wetin tuffies go wook fow bad fwuffies?’

That makes you stop and think for quite a while. ‘Id… Id nu mattah wat Big Wed tink,’ you say, ‘Smawty say nu can go wook fow dem, so tuffies-’

‘Day am wookin fow safe pwace,’ Tree says over you again. ‘Day wookin. How wong id take fow dem tu find id?’

‘Big Wed nu knu, bud… Bud tuffies can fight dem if day cum hewe.’

‘Big Wed wan dat?’ Tree looks at you. ‘Wan fight bad fwuffies in dah safe pwace?’ Well, no, you don’t. But if they come here, you won’t have a ‘Wat if famiwy get huwties? Wat if Snu get huwties?’

A bolt of scardies and maddies shoot through your body; you tense up, and for a moment feel like you want to hit Tree in the face! Instead, you make a mad look at him. ‘Wat Twee sayin?’

He waits a moment to answer, and looks around and leans closer before he does; ‘Dah Smawty an wong, Big Wed.’ For a moment, you can’t believe Tree said that. You can’t believe he’d dare say it. ‘Tuffies nee go find bad fwuffies befowe bad fwuffies find safe pwace.’

You take a step back, and shake your head; your tummy and chest have gone all tight, and you can’t think properly. You take a lot of big breaths to clear your thinkie place, and come up with something to say back. Even if, if Tree is right, what then? What does he want to do? What does he think he even can do?!

‘Daddeh tink Smawty am wong tuu,’ Tree goes on, ‘An, tink sum of dah Nex Bestest tuffies tink he am wong tuu.’ You try to say something, but nothing comes to your thinkie place. ‘If Twee an Big Wed, an Daddeh an dah odas go tu Smarty an say he am wong,’ Tree says, ‘den, can make him-’

‘Nu.’

Tree’s face changes so much so fast, it scares you; still, you're nowhere near as scared as he must be. Slowly, he turns to the tunnel; there, the Bestest toughie stands, looking at him. You see Tree’s nummie place move like he wants to speak, but nothing happens. The Bestest toughie walks over to Tree, who can’t help but hide his hear places and drop down. For a few moments, the Bestest toughie stares at him.

‘Babbeh, yu knu wat Daddeh du tu fwuffies dat say wat Babbeh was sayin?’ Slowly, Tree shakes his head. ‘Nu, Babbeh nu knu. Babbeh nu wan knu.’ The Bestest toughie says, then looks at you. ‘Big Wed, am dis fiwst time Babbeh say dis tu yu?’ You nod, really fast. Luckily, it seems that was the right thing to do; the Bestest toughies face relaxes, then he walks back to the tunnel. He stares out for a few moments and comes back. ‘Babbeh, Big Wed, wisten tu Bestest tuffy; newa ewa say dose tings gain. Newa tawkies boud dat gain; undewstan?’ You nod, and so does Tree. But, the Bestest toughie stares at him. ‘Wat, Babbeh?’

Tree stays quiet for a while, like he’s working up the nerve to talk. ‘Daddeh nu tink Smawty am duin wight ting,’ he says quietly. ‘Wai Daddeh nu stahp him?’

The Bestest toughie looks at Tree for a while. ‘Daddeh twy; id nu wowk. Can onwy du wat he say nao.’

‘Bud Daddeh am maddies boud id!’ Tree says. ‘An Daddeh nu am scawdies of Smawty! Daddeh can-’

‘Dat nu mattah Babbeh,’ The Bestest toughie's voice is so soft it shocks you. ‘Daddeh am maddies boud id, an tink Smawty am wong boud bad fwuffies nao.’ He looks away. ‘Daddeh tink day jus wike bad fwuffies befowe. Tink day go way aftah wittwe time. Bud, day nu goin way; day am, diffawent.’ He stays quiet for a while, then ‘Bestest tuffy see wotsa bad ting happen; knu when day cumin.’ He looks at you and Tree. ‘Bestest tuffy knu bad ting am cumin.’

Something big and hard fills up your throat; as much as try, you can’t swallow it down. ‘W-wat Daddeh sayin?’ Tree says. The Bestest toughie turns to him.

‘Hewd nee be stwong, Babbeh. If twy fight wif Smawty, dat jus make ewyone maddies. Den, tuffies nu can keep hewd safe.’ He looks back at you. ‘Bestest tuffy knu dah maddies Babbeh an Big Wed hav,’ you didn’t say you had them, but you don’t point that out. ‘Bud id nu mattah. Onwy ting dat mattah am dat hewd stwong, an stay safe. Undewstan?’

The den feels cold and spiky, and it takes a long time for both you to nod. With that, the Bestest toughie nods and lets out another breath. ‘Gud.' Then, he stands up straight. ‘Nu am gun tawkies boud dis gain, ewa.' He turns, and heads out of the den, leaving you and tree alone.

####

‘Whewe am fwuffies goin?’ You ask the toughie.

‘Am goin to wook fow knu nummies,’ he tells you. ‘Hewd am gun hav wotsa babbehs soon, so Smawty say nee find mowe.’

‘Wat boud does nummies fwuffies find befowe?’

‘Dah soon mummahs am havin does,’ another nummie finder says. ‘Day am gun go way soon.’

‘Oh,' How soon is "soon," you wonder. If you don't make Sky a soon mummah by the time they're gone… ‘*Sigh*' No time to worry about that, not now. You're going to the forest, and you've got to focus. As you walk to the meeting spot, you look for Big Red and Tree, but don't see them. That's not great, but the other tuffies should be able to keep you and the others just as safe. Hopefully.

‘Wait hewe,' One of the toughies says. ‘Nex bestest tuffy be hewe soon.' You pick out a spot to wait and sit by yourself. Somehow, none of your friends are coming along for this. Not even Daddeh, or any of his friends. That's annoying since you won't have anyone to talk to. But, with the bad fluffies out there looking, less talking is probably a good thing.

‘Fwuffies wisten tu Weaf!’ Well, that didn’t take long. You stand and turn to look at him. ‘Fwuffies am gun wook fow nyu nummies, bewwies and fwutie nummies twees.’ Leaf doesn't talk as loud as the Smarty or the Bestest toughie; you kind of like it. ‘Fowwow wookie fwuffies, an nu go way fwom tuffies.’ He looks around, ‘If fwuffies see oda fwuffies, teww tuffies.’

‘Yes, Nex bestest tuffy!’ You and the others say.

‘Gud,’ he turns to the lookie fluffies. ‘Wets go.’

#

You hope whoever said to look in this part of the forest for new nummies has to work in the poopie place; you’ve barely found anything! There was one fruit tree, a small one, and a couple of berry bushies; nothing worth this many fluffies going out. Still, the lookie fluffies push on.

‘Dis way, Fwuffy tink am gun find gud nummies dis way,’ he’s said that before…

‘How much wongah am fwuffies gun wook?’ A nummie finder asks.

‘Tiww find gud nummies,’ Leaf says.

‘Bud fwuffies aweady go wong way!’ The same nummie finder says. ‘If go tuu wong, am gun be in fowest when dawktime cum!’

‘Den fwuffies find pwace tu make nestie,’ Leaf tells him. ‘Nao shud up, dummeh; nu make tuu many tawkies.’

‘Hey, dummehs!' Too late. Leaf and the toughies turn to face the voice. When you look, you see three and three fluffies you don't recognise standing on a small hill not far away. Your tummy goes tight, and your heart starts to run fast. You back away behind some of the toughies, who've stepped out in front of the rest of you. But, you stand up as high as you can; even if it's scary, you have to see what happens.

Leaf and two other toughie walk toward the strange fluffies, of which two walk down from the hill; they meet in the middle, a little closer to you and the others.

‘Who am yu fwuffies?’ The leader of the strange fluffies asks Leaf.

‘Am fwuffies,’ Leaf says back. ‘Am wookin fow nummies.’

The leader of the strange fluffies turns his head to one side; ‘Dat onwy ting fwuffies duin?’

‘Wai yu fwuffies tink fwuffies duin oda tings?’

The leader pauses, and looks at his friends, then turns back to Leaf; ‘Cause, dewe bad fwuffies oud hewe wookin fow oda fwuffies.’

‘Fwuffies nu am bad, am jus wookin fow nummies.’

‘How tuffy knu dat?’

‘Nu knu,' Leaf says. ‘Nu cawe. Fwuffies nu cawe wat dummeh tink.' The two stare at each other for a long moment. Then, one of the other strange fluffies turns to the leader.

‘Tuffy, fwuffy nu tink dese dummehs am bad fwuffies.’

The leader looks at him, then back to Leaf; ‘Maybe Fwuffy am wight; maybe day jus wookin fow nummies.’

‘Yes, dummeh.’ Leaf says. ‘Am dummehs gun wet fwuffies du dat nao?’

‘Yes,’ the leader tells leaf after a moment, but goes on; ‘Fwuffy tink yu dummehs shud go back tu hewd soon, an take hewd way.’

‘Wai fwuffies du dat?’ Leaf asks.

‘Cause of dah bad fwuffies, dummeh.’ The leader says. ‘Fwuffies aweady fight dem; day big meanies. Hewd am gun weave soon. Gun find nyu safe pwace wong way fwom bad fwuffies, an hoomins. Dummehs shud tuu.’ With that, he and the other strange fluffies turn and leave; they disappear over the hill, but Leaf and the other toughies keep watch for a while longer.

‘Fwuffies wisten tu Weaf,’ he says when they come back, ‘am goin back tu safe pwace nao. Smawty nee knu boud dis.’

####

‘Day say dewe hewd am weavin,’ Leaf tells you.

‘Nex bestest tuffy am suwe?’

‘Yes Smawty. Dat am wat day fwuffy say.’

You look at the other toughie who was with Leaf when he talked to the strange fluffy. ‘H-he nu wie, Smawty, Tuffy heaw wat dah fwuffy say; day goin way.’ You nod; Leaf wouldn’t lie to you, but it never hurts to make sure.

‘Oda fwuffies go way nao,’ everyone except you, the Bestest toughie and the Next bestest toughies leave. When you’re alone and no one’s close enough to hear, you turn to your most trusted fluffies. The Bestest toughie speaks first.

‘Wat Smawty tink?’

That’s easy; ‘Dis am gun ting fow hewd,’ His face doesn’t change much, but you can tell he has no idea why you just said that. So, you explain. ‘If dat hewd am goin way, so am oda hewds. Dat mean dewe am mowe nummies fow hewd!’ You look at everyone around you; ‘Can hav biggah hewd, an biggah safe pwace! Den nuting can huwt hewd!’

‘Sep fow hoomins…’ Rock mumbles. Normally you’d hoof someone for interrupting, but he isn’t wrong...

‘An wat Smawty gun du boud dah bad hewd?’ The Bestest toughie says. ‘Am gun wait fow dem tu go way tuu?’

Well now that he mentions it, ‘Yes!’

Now, everyone’s confused. ‘Wat?’

‘Bad fwuffies wan find oda hewds an safe pwaces,’ you tell him and the others. ‘If oda hewds weave an day nu can find dem ow dewe safe pwaces, day am gun go way tuu. Den, aww fowest am hewd’s!’

‘How wong dat take?’ Leaf asks.

‘Nu knu,’ You tell him. ‘Bud, onwy ting hewd nee du is make suwe bad fwuffies nu find safe pwace tiww day go way.’ Leaf, Rock and the other Next bestest toughies all nod. So, you turn to the Bestest toughie. After a while, he sighs.

‘Wat Smawty wan du?’

‘Dat am easy,’ you say. ‘Hewd nee make suwe dah bad wookie fwuffies nu cum cwose tu safe pwace.’

‘Wat tuffies do if dat happen?’ He asks.

You mix a mad look with a happy one; ‘Bestest tuffy knu wat du.’

#

‘Wahhh!!!’

‘Get dem!!’

‘Hewp Tuffy, dummehs!!’

You sit with the Bestest toughie off to the side and watch the other toughies practise fighting.

‘Wook oud!!' Near the very middle of the fight, Tree looks just in time to dodge a toughie trying to jump on his back. He gives the toughie a few sorry hoofies, then dashes over to help Big Red, who has troubles of his own. Not for long, though; they beat the toughie, and set out looking for others to fight. It doesn’t matter they’re on the bad fluffy team for this game, what matters is how well they fight. Even when two and two, or even two and three other toughies take them on, they manage to win. Sure, they’re bigger than all the others, but that’s not enough.

‘Bestest tuffy du gud teachin Big Wed an Twee how fight.’

‘Yes, Smawty.’

You can’t tell anything from his voice, but it doesn't matter; the problem between you has been settled, and you don't have to worry about the herd splitting apart. Even better, the herd will be just fine with toughies as good as yours to keep it safe, especially Tree and Big Red. Watching them fight, even if it's just pretending, is great; the way they fight and work together makes it look like nothing can stop them. You wonder if you should let him have babbies with Snow even though he hasn't done anything good for the herd yet. Finding a special friend for Tree would be a good idea too.

The more fluffies like them the herd has, the better.

####

‘Hehe, h-huggies! Wub bwudda!’

‘Babbeh giv Sissie huggies tuu!’

‘W-wook, wook!’ One of the babbies sits up an waves his leggies around. ‘Am dancies! Dancies!!’ He gets down, turns to you and does it again. ‘Wook big fwuffy! Wook at babbeh!’

‘Dat am gud dancies babbeh,' you say, and manage to sound happy. The baby giggles and does his dancies for a while longer, then gets down and crawls over to his friends. You get back to watching the nestie, on the lookout for anything that ‘Babbeh!'

The wingie baby you yelled at a few brighttimes ago stops climbing out of the nestie and turns around. You can tell by his face he knows he’s been caught, and done a bad thing. You walk around to the part of the nestie and look at him, but force yourself not to be as mad as last time. ‘Babbeh, dat am bad ting; nee stay in nestie.’

‘B-bud babbeh nu wan be in nestie,’ he says. ‘Jus wan-’

‘Babbeh can spwouwe when am biggah,’ you tell him. ‘Yu am stiww wittwe. Stay in nestie.’

The baby looks at you a moment longer, then hides his hear places. ‘*Sniff* O-otay. Huuu.’ He stumbles away from the nestie to his brothers and sissies. Well, that went better than last time; you managed not to yell, and he’s not crying as much. Does that mean you’re getting better? Maybe. But, maybe you’re just getting better at hiding and ignoring the saddies…

‘Uh, Mummah mummah?’

You turn and see Flower's Blue baby at the bottom of the tunnel. ‘Oh, hewwo Babbeh.’ It takes a few moments to make your wordies work again. ‘Am game tuu scawies fow Babbeh?’

‘Nu. Jus… Babbeh jus wan be wif Mummah mummah.’ She says. ‘Am dat otay?’

Thinking about it gives you a couple of saddies, but you don’t really want to make her go away, and none of the other fluffies would think it’s bad, so ‘Yes, dat am otay Babbeh.’

‘Tank yu, Mummah mummah,' she walks over, and looks at the little babbies for a few moments. In your thinkie place, you see the old pictures when Flower was in here looking at the little babbies. You half expect Flower's Blue baby to look up and say "Day am pwetty, Mummah," just like Flower. But instead, she just looks at them and doesn't seem to react. Eventually, one of the babbies notices her and waddles over. He sits up and waves his leggies at her.

‘H-huggies? Cheep!’

Flower’s Blue baby looks at the baby for a moment, then at you. ‘Babbeh can giv wittwe babbeh huggies,’ you tell her. She nods, slowly, then steps forward and hugs the little baby.

‘Yay! Cheep! Wub huggies!!' The baby cheers. Flower's baby, on the other hand, doesn't look like she's having much fun. You don't quite understand, which worries you. It could mean she has saddies, but how bad are they if she doesn't enjoy huggies? As bad as yours? Please, don't let that be true…

‘C-can…’ You snap out of it. ‘Can Babbeh stahp givin huggies nao?’

‘Uh, y-yes, Babbeh.’ As soon as you say that, Flower’s blue baby lets go of the baby she’s hugging, a little too quickly.

‘Eeee!' He stumbles and falls over; for a moment, he looks like he doesn't quite know what's happened. Then, ‘Peep peep peep!! Mummah! Peeep!!'

Flower’s blue baby steps back, with a scared look on her face and hear places hidden. Quickly, you step forward and pick up the baby. ‘Shhh, id am otay wittwe babbeh, nu cwy.’ You hug him into your chest fluff. ‘Oda babbeh nu mean id.’

‘Peep, peep. *Sniff,* huuu…’

‘Shh, id am otay.’ You hug the baby a while longer, then put him down near some others; they make a little huggie pile, and soon enough, he calms down. With that settled, you turn to Flower’s blue baby, and your heart sinks a little. She’s crouched down near the wall of the den, hear places flat against her head and face hidden under her front leggies. ‘Babbeh,’

She uncovers her face, but doesn’t get up or try to speak.

‘Id am otay babbeh, yu nu du anyting bad,’ not really. ‘Wittwe babbeh nu hav huwties, he jus get wittwe scawdies.’ Some of Flower's baby's scardies go way, but she still looks upset. Well, there's a way to fix that. ‘Du babbeh wan huggies?'

‘*Sniff,* Y-Yes Mummah mummah,’ Flower’s blue baby gets up, and you give her a big hug. She cries for a while, but not that loudly. That’s another why she’s different from her mummah. After not too long, she pulls away and looks up at you. ‘*Sniff* Babbeh am sowwies…’

‘Id am otay, babbeh nu du anything wong,’ you tell her again. ‘She nods, but your not sure if she believes you. For the next few moments, neither of you talk. You distract yourself by glancing at the babbies in the nestie, but you can’t ignore the icky feeling from all this quiet. After a deep breath, you turn back to Flower’s blue baby; ‘Du babbeh wan tawkies boud, *gulp* boud yuw Mummah?’

She nods, ‘Babbeh wan tawkies boud Mummah. Can Babbeh an Mummah mummah du dat nao?’ You get a tight knot in your tummy, and when you try to talk your wordies don’t work. ‘P-pwease?’ Flower’s blue baby says. You take a breath, and try again.

‘N-nu can nao, Babbeh. Mummah mummah nee keep wittwe babbeh safe.’ You tell her. When you see her hear places hide and a sad look go over her face, you quickly say ‘Bud Babbeh an Mummah mummah can tawkies at dawktime.’

She looks up; ‘Weawy?’

Well… You said that before you thought all the way through. You didn’t... No, you can’t make one of Flower’s babbies sad, especially when all she wants is to know what her mummah was like. ‘Yes, Babbeh. Mummah mummah find yu when id am dah dawk time.’

‘Tank yu Mummah mummah!' Flower's Blue baby gives you a big hug and snuggles into your fluff. You let her stay that way for a while, then you hear Little’s voice.

‘Kewwy? Am Bwudda’s babbeh in hewe?’

‘Uh huh. Wai?’

‘Wittwe am takin hew Bwuddas an Sissie tu dah poopie pwace.’ He says. ‘She nee go tuu.’

You look down at her; ‘Go on Babbeh,’

‘O-otay.’ Flower’s Blue baby pulls away and follows Little up the tunnel. Now that you’re alone again, you turn your attention back to the little babbies in the nestie. It’s why you’re here after all, and you need something to distract yourself from the tight feeling in your chest. You never thought having to talk about one of your babbies would give you so many scardies and saddies.

#

After the last of the little babbies get collected late in the brighttime, you leave the little baby den and go into the big place. Flower's special friend got their babbies a little while ago, so the only fluffies up here are ones like you. They’re doing some work to make sure everything's ready for when there are more big babbies. You say goodbye to your friends and leave the safe baby place. Instead of your den or the nummie dens, though, you head for the long water to get a drink and ready yourself. After fixing your thirsty hurties, you breathe lots to make your scardies and saddies go away. In your thinkie place, you tell yourself that you said you’d tell Flower’s Blue baby about her, and that good fluffies always do what they say they’ll do. Good mummahs do it, and so do goo mummah mummahs.

It takes a while, but when you feel ready, you turn and go look for her, though you don’t far before your Special friend comes over. ‘Speciaw fwend? Wai nu cumin tu hav dawktime nummies?’

‘Uh, Kewwy am, a-am…’

‘Wat? Speciaw fwend, wat am wong?’

You take a breath and try again. ‘Fwowah’s bwue babbeh wan knu boud hew. Kewwy, say dat…’ You have to pause to shake your head and make the saddies go away. ‘Kewwy say was gun teww hew boud Fwowah.’

‘Oh,’ Your Special friend’s hear places hide and he looks away, but only for a moment. He looks back, and says ‘Fwuffy wan cum tuu.’

‘Bud, Kewwy nu teww-’

‘Fwowah was Fwuffy an Speciaw fwend's babbeh,’ he says. ‘An Fwuffy wan tawkies boud hew gain!’ Some sad water comes into his see places. ‘Fwuffy nu tawkies boud Mummah, ow Bwudda an Sissie. Nu wan… N-nu wan be wike dat fow Fwowah *Sniff.*’

You want to kick yourself for even thinking he shouldn’t come. He’s right, like he’s been about lots of things. He should come too; he needs to. ‘Yes, Speciaw fwend. Kewwy am sowwies.’

‘Dat am otay. *Sniff* Du Speciaw fwend knu whewe Fwowah’s babbeh am?’

No, you don’t. You should have asked where she’d be! You’re such a dummy sometimes…

‘Id am otay if Speciaw fwend nu knu,’ he says, ‘can go an wook.’

‘Otay.’ You go and look for Flower’s baby, together.

The first place you check is the Smarty’s den. When you get close, you find him and his special friend out front.

‘Wat du fwuffies wan?’ He asks. ‘Am sumtin wong?’

‘Nu Smawty,’ your Special friend says. ‘Am wookin fow Fwowah’s speciaw fwend, y-yuw wingie babbeh.’

‘Oh, otay.’ the Smarty relaxes. ‘ He nu am hewe. Babbeh sweepies in his den nao.’

Of course, why didn't you think to go there first? ‘Tank yu nice Smawty,' you tell him, then walk to his Wingie baby's den. You're fine for most of the trip, but when you get close, your tummy gets even tighter. In your thinkie place, pictures of that brighttime pop up; Flower crying and screaming as she went through biggest poopies, the peeps and cheeps of her babbies, and how happy her Special friend was. Then, there was how scared All mummah sounded, and then how scared all of you were when, when…

‘Fwuffy am scawdies tuu,’ Your special friend says. ‘Bud hav du dis.' You nod and keep walking. Your Special friend goes to lead the way in, but you step in front; this was your idea, your promise, so it should be you. In the den, Flower's special friend lies to one side while most of the babbies play. Their Blue baby stays by his side though, cuddled up close.

Since you were so quiet coming in and the game is so noisy, no one notices you for a few moments. Then, Flower's Grey pointy baby looks up from the game; ‘*Gasp*’ Id am Mummah mummah, an Mummah daddeh!!’ He runs over to give you a big hug. ‘Mummah mummah!! Gwed am so happies tu see yu!’ You really haven’t said much to him, though it’s probably just how he is.

‘Mummah mummah am happies tu see yu tu.’

‘Mummah mummah!!’ The wingie babbies rush over too, eager to give you hugs. They crowd around and try to get around their Grey brother, who’s trying to get away and hug your Special friend.

‘Babbehs!’ Flower's Special friend comes over. ‘Be cawefuw. Hewwo, wat am Kewwy an Fwuffy doin hewe?’

‘Uh um,’ you try, ‘Kewwy an Speciaw fwend wan tu, w-wan tu...’

‘Wat?’

‘Daddeh?’

Flower's special friend looks down at his blue baby. ‘Wat babbeh?'

‘Day… B-babbeh waned Mummah mummah tu teww babbeh boud… Boud Mummah.’

Flower's Special friend gets a sad look on his face. ‘Oh, o-otay.’

‘Can, can Babbeh-’

‘Yes,’ He says a little quick. ‘Yes babbeh, dat am otay.’ He looks at the other babbies. ‘Du, Gwed an oda babbehs wan go tuu?’

Your tummy goes tight; you didn’t plan for that, and you really don’t want to-

‘Nu Daddeh.’ The Grey baby says. ‘Gwed wan keep pwayin with Bwudda an Sissie. Gwed nu am bad babbeh?’

‘Nu Babbeh, dat am otay. Wat boud-’

‘Nu Daddeh,’ the Wingie babbies say at almost the same time. ‘Babbeh wan keep pwayin,’ the green baby says, then looks over at you. ‘Bud, m-maybe find oud boud mummah soon.’

You nod, but the den goes quiet for a while. Luckily, you know how to break the silence; ‘Um, wai Fwuffy caww Gwey babbeh Gwed?’

‘Casue dat am Babbeh’s name; Gwed!!’ Flower's grey baby, Gred, says proudly.

‘Fwuffy waned giv babbehs names, bud was hawd,' Flower's special friend says. ‘Gwed am gwey an wed, su, Fwuffy caww him Gwed.'

‘Dat am, am gud name,’ you tell him.

‘Weway?’

‘Uh huh.’

‘When am Babbeh an Sissie gun hav names tuu?’ The green Wingie baby says.

‘When Daddeh tink of names, babbehs.’

‘*Cough* Um, id am gun be dawk soon,’ your Speical friend interrupts. ‘Fwuffies nee go nao,’ he looks at Flower’s Blue baby, ‘Cum on Babbeh.’

She nods and walks over to the both of you. You all say goodbye and leave the den. The walk to yours is long and quiet, and not nice at all. All the while, your tummy twists itself into knots and hard things, and your thinkie place goes crazy, trying to decide how to tell Flower's Blue baby about her. It still hasn’t figured anything out by the time you’re at the den. Together, you go inside and sit near the nestie.

Well, this is it; time to tell Flower's Blue baby all about her mummah. You open your nummie place to speak, and nothing comes out. Not because you have nothing to say, though, it's another problem; there's so much you want to say, so much to say, it all tries to come out at once.

‘W-wai Mummah mummah nu tawkies? Mummah mummah said was gun teww Babbeh boud Mummah!’

‘Id am otay Babbeh,’ your Speical friend says, ‘nu be saddies, id am otay.’

Flower's Blue baby looks at him, the nods. ‘*Sniff* O-otay. Jus wan-’

‘Mummah daddeh Knu, Babbeh,’ your Speical friend looks at you. ‘Mummah daddeh can tawkies fiwst.’ You swallow the hard things in your throat and nod. ‘Otay,’ he takes a deep breath. ‘Babbeh, dis am wat yuw Mummah was wike.’ Your Speical friend starts by telling Flower's Blue baby about the first time he met her when your family came together at last.

He tells stories about when Flower was growing up with Big Red and Runny. By the time you get to Flower and the Smarty's wingie baby becoming special friends, you finally join in. At parts, you have to go back through the story to tell Flower's Blue baby things your special friend left out, or maybe didn’t know. At times, you have to stop and let him take over because the saddies get too much. But, his get bigger the more he talks.

When you’ve told Flower's Blue baby everything about her Mummah, all of you are crying. The three of you hug one another and make sad water into each other’s fluff. It’s like there was a big ball of saddies in each of you that were waiting to get out, but it needed the right time. You cry and make sad water for such a long time, that when you all finally stop you’re too tired to do anything else. The three of you get into the nestie, make a fluff pile with Flower's Blue baby in the middle, and go to sleep.

#

‘*Yawn*’ You open and close you see places a few times, and look around; it seems you’re the first one to wake up. Carefully, you step out of the nestie and stretch out; you thought you were careful enough not to wake your Special friend or Flower’s Blue baby, but you hear yawning soon enough.

‘*Yawn* Hewwo Speciaw fwend,' He gets out of the nestie and comes over to give you a hug. Not long after, Flower's Blue baby does too. The three of you share a hug for a while before your Special friend steps back; ‘Fwuffy am gun go get bwighttime nummies.'

‘Otay, Speciaw fwend.’ You watch him walk out of the den, then turn to Flower’s Blue baby. ‘Am Babbeh otay?’

She nods. ‘Yes, Mummah mummah. Tank yu fow tewwin Babbeh boud mummah.’ Some sad water comes out of her see places. ‘*Sniff* Bud, bud wish cud see Mummah.’

You feel some more heart hurties, and hug her close; ‘Mummah mummah wish cud see Fwowah gain tuu.’ The two of you stay that way for a while, then walk out of the den to go meet your special friend on his way back. Along the way, the Smarty's Wingie baby comes over.

‘Hewwo. Am Kewwy an Babbeh otay?’

‘Yes, nice Fwuffy,' you tell him. Then, when you remember how you didn't ask, ‘Kewwy am sowwies fow makin babbeh stay in den aww dawktime.'

‘Dat am otay. Fwuffy knu Babbeh am safe wif Kewwy an yuw speciaw fwend.’ He looks at his baby. ‘Cum on babbeh, Daddeh an oda babbehs gun hav nummies wif yuw Daddeh mummah.’

She looks at you for a moment, but turns back to her Daddeh; ‘Otay, Daddeh.' She hugs you goodbye and leaves with her Daddeh. Watching them go, even though she'll want to talk about Flower again, gives you heart hurties. But, at the same time you feel, something; it's like, something's been let out or, something. You're still sad about Flower, but it doesn't feel quite as bad, or as big.

‘Speciaw fwend,’ Your Special friend comes up with nummies on his back. ‘Whewe babbeh go?’

‘Wif hew Daddeh,’ you tell him.

‘Oh, o-oh.’ A sad look goes over his face. ‘Fwuffy waned... Tink was gun hav nummies wif hew…’

You nod. ‘Kewwy waned du dat tuu.’ The two of you head back to the den to have your nummies. Mostly, you eat in silence; after all the talking last darktime, it's the last thing you want to do. Not your Special friend, though.

As you’re just about finished, he says ‘Um, Speciaw fwend, Fwuffy wan ask sumtin.’

‘Wat?’

‘Weww, *cough*,’ he takes a breath, a big one. ‘Fwuffy was tinkin boud… In dah cowd times, Fwuffy an Speciaw fwend say was gun hav, h-hav…’ He Swallows hard. ‘Was, gun hav babbehs gain.’ Yes, that’s right; it was all such a long time ago, or seems it. ‘Smawty say dat Fwuffy an Speciaw fwend can hav babbehs, bud Fwuffy nu say cause…’ He trails off, then sighs. ‘Fwuffy weawy wan hav babbehs gain, Speciaw fwend. Wan du ewyting Fwuffy nu did befowe.’

You look at him for a few moments, then at the ground since that seems to make your thinkie place work better. Your Speical friend is right; the plan was to have more babbies when the cold times were over. That was before Flower went forever sleepies, though. With all the saddies and problems they caused, you completely forgot. If your honest, having babbies again was, maybe not the last thing you wanted to do, but…

‘Fwuffy *gulp*,’ you look back at your Special friend. ‘Fwuffy undewstan if Speciaw fwend nu wan hav mowe babbehs’ he says, quietly. ‘Fwuffy undewstan.’ He looks down and away, and you can tell he’s trying to hold back sad water. It gives you awful heart hurties; you know how much he was looking forward to it. There was so much he missed with Runny, Big Red and Flower, and he’s wanted another chance ever since.

And, you still do too.

You miss being in a fluff pile with him and the babbies, and the darktimes spent talking and playing with them. More now, since Flower’s blue baby sleeping over reminded you about them. You think about it more, and more, but it doesn't take too long for you to decide what you want.

‘Speciaw fwend,’ he looks up. ‘Kewwy stiww hav big saddies.’ Just as he drops his head, you say ‘Bud, Kewwy wan hav mowe babbehs wif Speciaw fwend.’

His see places go a little wider. ‘Weawy?’

You smile; ‘Yes Speciaw fwend!’ You step forward and give him a big hug. He hugs you back just as hard.

‘T-tank yu Speciaw fwend. *Sniff*.' You hug each other for a while before your Speical friend asks. ‘So, um, when am Fwuffy an Speciaw fwend gun hav speciaw huggies gain?’ Yes, that’s right, the two of you to have those to make more babbies. Well, you're both here now, and you’ve wanted to have special huggies again for a while. You might as well have some right-

‘Kewwy!’ Oh no, ‘Kewwy, wai nu am at safe babbeh pwace yet?’

‘*Sigh* Kewwy am cumin Aww mummah.’ You turn back to your Special friend. ‘Sowwies speciaw fwend,’

‘Id am otay, Fwuffy shud go find nummies.’ He sounds really disappointed; you are too. But before you leave, you lean in close and speak into his hear place.

‘Kewwy an Speciaw fwend hav speciaw huggies in dah dawk time.' You feel him smile and hug you again, and with that, you walk out to meet All mummah.

‘Am Kewwy bettah?’ She asks as you walk to the safe baby place.

‘Huh?’

‘Kewwy nu wook so saddies nao.’ All mummah says. ‘Am gettin bettah?’

You look at her and nod. ‘Kewwy am gettin bettah.’

Comments

- Reply
CwinicawDepwession: Good shit my dude
- Reply
Anonymous1: Loving it, as usual! Can't wait to see where you take this. Knowing that it's gonna go bad is killing me, but I'm in for the long haul.Keep up the excellent work, Sloth!
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Anonymous2: Murderboner waits patiently...
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Anonymous3: Smarty's plan is gonna get his herd killed.
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FosterFluffy: Oh god,it's here, thank you!!
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Anonymous4: @Anonymous: At this point it's more of a murderpriapism.
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GewawtofWivia: Wow man, you write grief-stricken characters really well. I wish I could write something as multi-layered as this.
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Anonymous5: It's quite a refreshing change to read about fluffies going through character arcs and learning to live through depression, grief and reconciliation rather than the usual stuff about a smarty and its herd getting murder raped by a passerby
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Researcher_7201: At first I agreed with the smarty to try to out last the bad heard because based on what he knew it was just a band of (all be it effective) bad Fluffies. But now that leaf has told him their are hoomins involved I'm surprised to see he isn't more fearful. Although at the same time if a hoomin is involved it makes sense h3 wouldn't want to send his tuffies to tangle with it since he knows they could never win. Given his previous experience with starvation it also make sense that he would not risk a move during the summer because that would give them so little time to move and get a safe place prepped for winter. Many would naturally starve and it would be horrendous, but the other smarty leaf meet has the right of it. If you run now some will live, but if the hoomin and bad Fluffies come theirs a good a chance as not that none of you will. To me it seems like the smarty is paralyzed by his fear of his herd starving, and in that fear may lead them to destruction. Its a rare smarty that is a benevolent dictator like ours but like a bad smarty hes letting personal feelings and fears cloud his thinkie pwace. Granted unlike a bad smarty its coming from a good place of not wanting to see his herd starve vs megalomania, but the end result may well turn out the same. Also another great chapter cant wait for the next one!
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Fluffy_Angst: Wow. Love the development