TextDownloadI gave you a good life By differential_Sloth #### Dawn broke over the West Virginia countryside, heralding the start of another day in the Appalachians. As the sun climbed higher into the sky, it's light fell on a farm some 20 miles out from Buckhannon. Built on a block of a few acres that was mostly woodland, it was a small, anonymous property with a modest house and some equipment sheds. What set it apart were the few dozen hutches spread around a fenced-off section of the woods. The hutches were hand-built out of quality hardwood painted various colours and distributed in small groups around the segregated area, which was carefully cultivated. Smaller trees were removed were in favour of shrubs and bushes, most of them berry and fruit-bearing. Weeds and potentially poisonous plants were removed, and the fence around the area was purpose-built to keep out dangerous predators. As sunlight filtered through the top cover and bathed the area in light, the hutches' residents woke up. ‘*Yawn*' ‘*Sigh* Hewwo Speciaw fwend.' ‘Cheep cheep!' Gradually the forest filled with the sounds of dozens of fluffies, from foals mere days old to adults nearing middle age. The fluffies filtered out of their hutches and went to the many latrines scattered nearby. Nursing mares carried foals on their backs, trying to strike a balance between getting there on time and not dumping their offspring on the ground. From one hutch came a family of six, led by an emerald green stallion with a dark brown mane and tail. Walking by his side was a salmon pink and blue mare; she was his special friend of about two years, almost half a lifetime from the perspective of a fluffy. Out in front were their offspring, three colts and a filly. ‘Fwuffy getchu!' One colt, orange with a grey mane, said. ‘Nu, Fwuffy gun getchu!!' His blue brother called back. The colts giggles and played as they went, while the filly stayed closer to her parents. Soon enough, the family arrived at the latrine, where a half dozen others were attending to their business. ‘Huuuu,' the chestnut and white pegasus held her ears flat, ‘Fwuffy hav bad pee pee huwties huuu.' ‘Id am otay babbeh,' her mother said, ‘Babbeh get du pee-pees soon.' She was right; only a few moments later, one of the fluffies by the trench finished up and walked away. The filly rushed forward, spun and squatted over the ditch. Her brothers, though, weren't as desperate and played until it was their turn. Once the young fluffies were finished, the stallion and mare gathered the young fluffies and led them back to the hutches. The colts giggled and played on the return trip and tried to join their friends when they saw them. ‘Nu babbehs,' The stallion said. ‘Bud Daddeh!' One colt protested. ‘Fwuffies wan go wun an pway nao!' His two-tone green brother continued. ‘Babbehs nee hav bwighttime nummies fiwst. Dat am Big Daddeh's wuwe.' ‘Bud-' ‘Dat am Big Daddeh's wuwe!' The stallion said over the colts. ‘Aww fwuffies nee du wat Big Daddeh say an fowwow Big Daddehs wuwes.' The colts looked equal parts angry and disappointed, but there was no further argument. They obediently followed their parents to one of the feed troughs positioned around the hutches and waited alongside the other residents. Minutes ticked by; the adults were calm and patient, but foals and juvenile fluffies wandered about or complained to their parents about their hunger. As the stallion's colts were getting rowdy enough to warrant another talking to, the soft puttering of an engine filtered through the trees. Moments later, a buggy hauling a trailer pulled to a stop near the hutches and out stepped a short middle-aged man. ‘Big Daddeh!!' ‘Big Daddeh am hewe!' ‘Big Daddeh hav bestest nummies tu make bestest miwkies fow babbehs!' ‘Morning everyone.' The man went to the trailer and gathered buckets of feed mix, carrying two in each hand. He brought the buckets over and filled the feed troughs; the assembled fluffies dug in once the man got clear. ‘Hewwo Big Daddeh!' The stallion greeted the man. ‘Hello. No problems over here?' ‘Nu Big Daddeh; ewyting am otay, an babbehs gwowin up big and stwong!!' ‘I can see that,' the man looked at the stallion's offspring. ‘They're looking good.' The stallion and his special friend beamed with pride at the man's compliment. ‘Well go on, eat.' The stallion and his special friend put their heads down and ate. The man took the empty buckets back to the trailer and pulled a thick notebook from the buggy. While the fluffies ate, the man walked among them, scribbling notes as he panned over the crowd of technicolour creatures. He paid particular notice to the adolescent fluffies; occasionally he'd pick one up for a closer look, which the youngsters loved. ‘Yay!! upsies!!' ‘Babbeh get upsies fwom Big Daddeh!! Am Bestest babbeh!!' When he was done, the man returned to his buggy and drove off without a word. Some fluffies called out a quick goodbye, but none took the man's lack of a farewell personally. Big Daddeh, after all, had his reasons for everything he did, so who were they to get annoyed? The stallion and his family continued eating breakfast; the young fluffies, like they so often did, finishing first. ‘Pway nao!' The stallion's orange colt trotted off. ‘Yu dummehs newa catch fwuffies!!' A pale blue pegasus declared. ‘Dat am wight, dummehs am tuu swow!!' His twin brother agreed, and the two bolted for a cluster of bushes. ‘Get dem!!' A dozen colts, including all three of the stallion's charged after the arrogant pegasi. There were protests from some of the adults, but no one did anything more to stop the young fluffies. ‘Wat Speciaw fwend an babbeh wan du nao?' The stallion asked his special friend and filly when they finished eating. ‘Fwuffy wan gu tu wong wawa!' The filly said at once, and the stallion's stomach tightened a little. For reasons he couldn't understand, his filly loved to play in the creek which ran through the forest; it was unlike every other fluffy he knew. The quirk earned her a fair amount of teasing from other fluffies, though it never seemed to bother her for long. Despite his reservations, ‘*Sigh* Otay babbeh,' ‘Yay!!' The filly cheered and fell in next to her mother and father as they headed for the creek. Once in sight of the water, she bolted forward and jumped past a fluffy having a drink; the dull orange mare yelled in surprise and annoyance when water splashed back in her face. ‘Hey! Nu du dat dummeh!' The filly took no notice as she stomped and pranced through the shallow water, giggling with delight. The orange mare turned and looked at the filly's parents. They looked at her apologetically for a moment, before the mare shook her head and walked away, grumbling under her breath. Embarrassment rose in the stallion's gut, but seeing the simple, pure joy on his filly's face quashed it. Together with his special friend, the stallion lay on the grass and watched their filly play in the creek, gently nuzzling one another. It was turning into an ordinary day for the pair, watching over their babbies in the gentle spring daylight. For a while, it was, and then their green unicorn came running over. ‘Mummah!! D-Daddeh!!!' The pair turned in time for the colt to bury himself in his mother's fluff and start sobbing. ‘Huuuhuhuhuhu *sob* uuhuhuuuu!!' ‘Wat am wong babbeh? Wat happen?' His mother hugged him tight. ‘Babbeh, wat happen? Sumtin giv babbeh huwties?' The stallion asked, as did the colt's sister. After a few minutes of crying, the colt composed himself enough to speak. ‘*Sob* F-fuwffy was pwayin w-wif fwends, an *sob* an den Bid Daddeh cum an, an...' More sobs wracked the colt's body. ‘Big Daddeh take pointy fwend way huhuhuhu!!!' The stallion understood then; the fluffy his colt was talking about was born to one of the families they shared the hutch with. Both were born on the same night the stallion's litter had been to boot. The colt and unicorn were drawn to one another before they could see and had been inseparable ever since. ‘Waaahhhhuhuhuhuh!!! Fwuffy hav wowstest heawt huwties huhuhu!!!' The stallion's heart ached; he knew this day would come, they always did. ‘Speciaw fwend,' his special friend turned to him, ‘Take babbehs back tu housie. Fwuffy go find oda babbehs.' ‘Yes, Speciaw fwend. Dis way, Babbehs.' The mare led the devastated colt and his sister back to the hutch, while the stallion went to find his other babbies. He found them enjoying a game of wrestling with other young fluffies in the shade of a large tree. ‘Babbehs!' The colts looked up at their father's voice, one from the sidelines and the other from the middle of a match. ‘Babbehs nee cum wif Daddeh nao.' ‘Bud Daddeh!' One said. ‘Nao, Babbehs!' The colts grumbled and protested, but followed their father back to the hutch. When they saw their brother, the colts' annoyance turned to concern. They rushed over and tried to comfort him with little success. After a few moments, the stallion cleared his throat. ‘Babbehs, Daddeh nee teww yu sumtin.' The young fluffies looked to their father. ‘Babbehs, sumtimes Big Daddeh take fwuffies wif him.' ‘*Sob* W-wai? *Sniff*' ‘Wai he du dat, daddeh?' ‘Fwuffy nu wan gu way!' The filly grabbed hold of her mother. ‘Wan stay huhuu!' ‘Babbehs, wisten!' The stallion didn't like raising his voice, but sometimes it had to be done. ‘Daddeh knu babbeh hav biggest saddies,' he said to the colt, ‘an knu babbeh wan stay. Bud…' the stallion took a breath and steadied himself. ‘Bud, dat am wat happen. Big Daddeh take fwuffies way if he tink day am gud. He take wittwe fwuffies an big fwuffies, sumtimes he take famiwies.' ‘B-bud wai huhuhuhu!' ‘Nu knu Babbeh; dat am wat Big Daddeh du,' The stallion's head drooped; sadness welled in him as he remembered all the friends who'd been taken. He looked up and saw the sadness had spread to his babbies and his special friend. ‘Bud, Big Daddeh make wotsa nice housies fow fwuffies, an keep munstahs an oda scawy tings way fwom fwuffies.' Looks of confusion and sadness flickered over the young fluffies' faces as they tried to process what they'd heard. The price of their life in the forest was apparently the loss of their friends, seemingly at random. Soon, they were all crying. The stallion and his special friend moved closer and enveloped their offspring in a group hug. The young fluffies tears wet their fluff and their parents'. It was a while until they calmed down enough for the stallion to talk to them. ‘Daddeh knu Babbehs, Daddeh knu,' he said. ‘Id am biggest saddies. Big Daddeh take Daddeh fwends tuu, an, an…' ‘Oda Babbehs,' the mare said softly. At that, her light blue colt looked up. ‘W-wha?' His mother looked at him; ‘Oda Babbehs. Mummah an Daddeh hav wotsa babbehs; Big Daddeh take dem way.' The blue colt stared at his mother; ‘O-oda babbehs? Babbehs hav oda bwuddas an sissies?' The mare nodded, tears welling in her eyes. ‘Yes, Babbeh. Wots.' ‘W-whewe day go? Whewe Big Daddeh take dem?' ‘Nu knu Babbeh, *Sniff* Nu knu,' tears fell from the mare's eyes, but a smile spread across her face. ‘Bud, Mummah knu id am gud pwace,' she said confidently. ‘How Mummah knu?' ‘Cause Big Daddeh awways say he wan fwuffies be gud.' The mare explained to her babbies. ‘If Big Daddeh take fwuffies way, dat mean day am gudest an bestest fwuffies.' ‘*Sniff* S-so, if Babbeh am gud, dat mean can see fwend gain?' The green colt asked. A pang went through the stallion's chest; the thought of his babbies being taken by the man, no matter how many times it happened, was always hard to bear. But, he wouldn't lie. ‘Yes, Babbeh. If babbehs am gud, den Big Daddeh take yu tu gud pwace.' The colt looked at his father, and a look of steely determination washed over his face. ‘Den, Babbeh am gun be gudestest fwuffy ewa an go see fwend gain!!' The green unicorn declared to his family. Not to be outdone, his brothers spoke up. ‘Am gun be gudestest tuu!!' ‘Babbeh gun be mowe gudestest dan bwuddas am!!' The green and gray earthie retorted. ‘Nu am!!' ‘Am tuu!!!' ‘Babbehs, gud fwuffies nu fight.' The stallion's words sent looks of abject terror over the colts' faces, and they spent the better part of a minute apologising to each other. Their parents watched, full of pride they'd raised such good fluffies for the man who did so much for them. # ‘Yay!!' *Splash, splash* ‘Wub wawa!! Wub making spwashies!!' *Splash splash splash* The chestnut filly jumped and skipped through the shallows, sending water in all directions. ‘Yayy!!' She galloped from one end to the other, over and over. The stallion and mare gently nuzzled one another while the colts enjoyed a friendly game of huggie wrestle. The stallion looked up to watch his filly prance about in the creek, then glanced over at the colts. He watched them play for a few moments, then he heard the sound of footsteps, hooves and happy voices approach from behind. The stallion looked over his shoulder and saw the nice man approaching. Behind him were about a dozen fluffies. They were young, roughly the same size and age as the stallion's. His heart sank. ‘Wat am dat speciaw fwend?' The mare looked up. ‘Wat am hap...' the words died in her mouth when she saw the man and the young fluffies, knowing as well as the stallion what it meant. The man stopped a few feet away from the creek. ‘Alright guys, you know the drill,' he said. ‘Time for your little ones to come with me.' The stallion looked at the man, tears welling in his eyes. For a brief moment, like every time this happened, he thought about saying no, maybe even try to run. But, it was a stupid fantasy. There was nowhere to run; the man built this place, every corner and hiding place. Besides, he gave them and every other fluffy here a good life, and their babbies were bound for an even better place. Who was the stallion to say no? He nodded, swallowed the lump in his throat, and looked to his babbies; ‘B-Babbehs, cum tu Daddeh,' The young fluffies rushed to their parents' side, looks of concern plastered on their faces. ‘B-Babbehs,' the stallion took a deep breath, ‘Id am time fow, *sniff* f-fow babbehs tu go.' ‘W-wah?' ‘Go, way?' The filly asked wide-eyed. ‘Yes, Babbeh. Id am, am time fow babbehs tu go *sniff*.' The stallion took another rattly breath and tried to continue, ‘Bud, bud Babbeh nu wan go!' His filly rush forward and latched on before he could. ‘Nu wan!! Nu Wan weave!!' ‘Babbeh, p-pwease, wisten,' The stallion was just holding it together; as for his special friend, her tears flowed freely. Two of the colts walked over and hugged her tight. ‘W-wisten tu Daddeh, babbehs; Daddeh knu babbehs hav wowstest saddies, bud nee go nao,' he blinked away some of the tears. ‘Babbehs am gud babbehs, gudestest babbehs. D-daddeh an Mummah a-am, am so pwoud *sob*. An, an nao babbeh nee go. Go tu gud pwace.' ‘Dad… Dat am wight,' the green unicorn said. ‘Babbeh *sniff* Babbeh say was gun be gudestest, an go see fwend gain.' The same look of determination flashed over his face. ‘Am gun see fwend gain!' He declared, then hugged his father and mother one last time. ‘*Sniff* B-abbeh wub yu Mummah an Daddeh. Babbeh newa fowget, pwomise.' Slowly, he pulled away from his crying mother and walked over to the man. Next were the colt's two brothers. They said their farewells and joined their green brother. Now, it was just the filly. ‘*Sob* Huhuhu pwease, pwease nu make babbeh go way!' She cried into her father's fluff. ‘Wan stay huhuhuhu!' ‘Babbeh,' the stallion swallowed hard, ‘Babbeh nee go. *Sob* Nu can stay nu mowe.' ‘He's right,' the man said softly. ‘Time to go.' The filly looked to her mother, desperate to find an ally, but the mare was in no condition to argue with anyone, let alone the god of their little world. The filly's heart sank as it finally dawned there was no way out. ‘Uuhuhuhuuu!' She hugged her father tighter as the tears flowed freely. The stallion returned the hug, then gently pushed her away. ‘Giv y-yuw M-mummah huggies…' The filly did as she was told and hugged her mother for the last time. After a few moments, the filly finally let go and walked over to her brothers. Having got what he came for, the man turned and left without another word, leading the young fluffies away. The stallion wanted to call out one last goodbye his babbies and tell his colts to look after their sister. But he couldn't. The pain was just too much. All he could do as his babbies walked away with the man, as he'd done many times before, was cry alongside his special friend. # After some time crying into each other's fluff, the stallion and the mare returned to their hutch. Along the way, fellow fluffies gave their sympathies and what comfort they could. Every adult fluffy in the forest knew the pain very well. In the hutch, the pair huddled close in their nest; the scent of their babbies was still present and eased the pain a little. The two savoured it and did their best to commit it to memory; It wouldn't take long to fade. Being the middle of the day and out of respect, the hutch was empty of the other residents. That and the new emptiness of their nest made their home feel bigger and colder than usual. As the day went by, the two laid in place and rode out the pain and heartache together. Later on, the nice man returned with dinner, but the stallion and mare stayed put. Though they held no ill will toward the man, seeing him again so soon was just too painful. When the sounds he sounds of the buggy disappeared into the distance, the stallion finally felt able to talk again. ‘Du, *sniff* Speciaw fwend tink b-babbehs, *gulp* a-am otay?' He felt his special friend nod, then heard a faint ‘Yes, Speciaw fwend.' The mare tried to shuffle closer and bury herself in the stallion's fluff. ‘*Sob* Huuu, miss babbehs.' ‘Fwuffy knu,' the stallion whispered. ‘Bud, day am… Am in gud pwace nao,' he reminded his special friend. ‘Day am gud babbehs, and Big Daddeh take dem tu gud pwace.' After a few moments he felt his special friend nod, and they returned to silence. Later on, the hutches' other residents filtered in and settled down for the night. One pair had young of their own, and out of respect for their bereaved hutch-mates told the foals to settle down at once. Another resident of the hutch, a dam, chose not to sing to her unborn foals before sleep like usual. Soon after the last residents settled into their nests, the structure returned to silence. Slowly, the stallion and the mare slipped into sleep, where they dreamt of their babbies; all the babbies they'd born and raised during their lives in the nice man's forest. # The stallion lay near the creek and watched the water burble past. In his mind's eye, he saw his chestnut filly playing the shallows, prancing and stomping around, sending splashes of water in all directions. It has been nearly a week since the nice man had taken her and her brothers along with the dozen other young fluffies. The pain wasn't as raw; repetition had made him quicker at recovering from the initial heartbreak. Still, he was stuck in the depression which always followed, and wasn't any better or faster at getting through it. His mate was the same; she'd spent most of the past days in and around the hutch. Unlike many pairs in the forest, they preferred to grieve on their own. Behind him, the stallion heared the sound of approaching fluffies. ‘Be cawefuw of wawa, babbehs.' ‘Wisten tu Daddeh; wawa can giv fwuffies huwties.' The stallion looked over his shoulder and saw a pair of fluffies approaching; in front were their foals, nearly a month old. ‘Hehe, yay!' ‘Wub wunnin wif bwudda!' ‘Watch oud fow wawa, babbehs!' Only vaguely aware of their parents' warning, the weanlings stumbled towards the creek, too occupied with their games to be aware of its presence. Then, a dark orange colt run ahead of his sibblings; ‘Tuu fas! Am tuu fas!!' he cheered, all the way to the waters' edge. ‘Screee!!' the colt yelped when he came in contact with the cool water. ‘Eeee!! Mummah!!' He turned and ran back this mother, burring himself in her fluff. While the mare comforted her scared colt, her special friend led his reaming foals to the creek. There, the young fluffies quenched their thirst and went to go, except for one; another colt, light red, stared, at the gently flowing water. ‘Babbeh? Babbeh, wat am wong?' The colt ignored his father and continued to study the creek intently. He raised a leg and brought it to the water's edge. When his hoof made contact, the colt flinched and pulled his leg back. After a moment, though, he brought his leg back and gingerly tapped the water. He did it again, then again and again with more confidence. Eventually, he was happily stamping the water, sending splashes of water in all directions. Unable to take any more, the stallion got up and left the family to their business. On returning to the hutch, though, his special friend was nowhere to be found, and for a good reason. ‘Cheep cheep, peep!' ‘Chirp, chirp chirp! Cheep!' ‘Peep peep! Peep!' ‘Mummah wub babbehs, babbehs wub mummah,' Their pregnant hutch mate had given birth earlier in the day, not long after the stallion went to sit by the creek. For a few moments, he watched six pudgy foals, bind and still a little damp squirm awkwardly between their mother's teats and one another. Feeling sadness well and chest tighten, the stallion left. He ran a dozen feet away from the hutch and took a few breaths to calm down. Seeing him, another of the hutch residents came over and said ‘Yuw Speciaw fwend go tu dah fwowah bushies.' The stallion knew the place, it wasn't far from the hutch. ‘Tank yu, fwend,' he hugged the other fluffy and headed for the bushes. There, he found his special friend under one of the shrubs with blue flowers, her favourite colour. Carefully, the stallion walked over and laid next to his special friend; there were large damp patches under her eyes. The stallion gently nuzzled the mare on the side of the neck. Soon, she returned the gesture. A few minutes of mutual nuzzling and caresses managed to bring the pair out of their mutual funk. A few moments more, they felt ready to talk. ‘Am Speciaw fwend otay?' The mare nodded; ‘Am jus saddies,' she dropped her head. ‘Miss babbehs,' The stallion nodded, then took a breath. ‘Did, Speciaw fwend see fwend hav biggest poopies?' ‘Yes,' the mare nodded. ‘Fwuffy hewp hew.' A few tears slipped from her eyes, but she smiled. ‘Day am gun be gud babbehs fow Big Daddeh.' The stallion smiled and nuzzled his special friend again. Then after building up his courage, he cleared his throat and asked ‘Du Speciaw fwend wan make mowe babbehs fow Big Daddeh?' The mare went silent, and the stallion held his breath. He was a good judge of when his special friend was ready to have foals again. Still… ‘Soon, Speciaw fwend,' the mare smiled and nuzzled the stallion's neck. As it would turn out, "soon" meant later that afternoon. Gradually, the pair's nuzzling grew more affectionate and intense until they went to find a quiet spot in the forest. There they spent the time before dinner nuzzling, hugging, and fucking each other silly. Later that night the stallion and the mare slept soundly in the hutch, wrapped around each other and content in the knowledge that they'd soon have new foals to dote over. New foals to raise into good fluffies for the nice man. It was exactly what they needed to heal. # ‘BIGGEST POOPIES!!!' Though the stallion was a few dozen or so feet from the hutch, his special friend's cry was as clear as if she'd been next to him. He turned and galloped for home, whatever he'd gone to do forgotten. The stallion charged up the ramp and ran to the mare's side. The pink fluffy shuffled about in their nest, straining to birth her foals. ‘SCREEEE!! *HAFFHAFF* EEEEE!!!' ‘Fwuffy am hewe Speciaw fwend!' The stallion gave his special friend a reassuring hug. ‘Id am gun be otay!' ‘SCREEE!! REEEE!!!' The mare heard him, but the pain and effort or foaling stopped her from answering. Unperturbed, the stallion did everything he could to help his special friend. He was soon joined by some of their hutch mates; together, they helped the mare through her latest round of foal birth. ‘SCREEEE!!' *Sport* With a scream and a push, the pair's first foal was born. The pure grey pegasus, slick with birthing fluid, tumbled out of his mother trailing an atrophied umbilical cord and landed in the soft nest. ‘*K-kaff, kaff!*' The newborn cleared any fluid left in his mouth, then ‘Chirp, chip!! Cheep!!!' ‘Daddeh am cumin babbeh!!' The stallion left the mare's side and went for the foal. Carefully, he pulled the grey colt away from his mother and set about cleaning him. ‘Cheep cheep! Peep!!' The colt squirmed in his father's grip, still too young to recognise the new embrace meant safety and warmth. The stallion kept cleaning through the colt's movements and taste of the fluid, unpleasant even after all this time. He was almost done, when *Splort* ‘*Hack* Peep peep! Cheep!!' A dark blue filly emerged from the mare and landed awkwardly. The stallion finished with the colt, put him in a safe spot and went for the filly. He picked his filly up to clean her, but just then another colt, this one yellow, was born. He landed and started to chirp madly, but one of the other fluffies attending the birth grabbed the colt and took him away to be cleaned. Working together, the stallion and his hutch mate got both foals clean before the forth, a black earthie colt, emerged. The last foal born was a dark green unicorn filly. She took a while longer to be born than her sibblings but came out kicking and chirping just like them. There was more good news when the stallion cleaned her. ‘Am gud babbeh,' the stallion said to himself as she cleaned the second filly. It sent a bolt of happiness through his heart. Their last litter had also been five foals, but the fourth colt was a runt, and barely lived long enough for a goodbye hug from her mother. Speaking of the mare, she lay on her side, panting away the pain and exhaustion. One of the mare's hutch mates took the remains of her placenta and carried it away. With that, the stallion started to move the foals. He put the blue filly and grey colt near their mother's teats and put their sibblings up near her forelegs. ‘*Haff haff,* H-hewwo babbehs,' the mare said. ‘Fwuffy a-am yuw mummah. Am so happies tu see *haff* yu.' ‘Cheep cheep cheep!!' ‘Peeeep!!' ‘Chirp! Chirp chirrrp!!!' ‘Shh, nu cwy babbehs,' the mare said gently. ‘Yu get miwkies soon. Mummah wub babbehs, babbehs wub mummah,' The mare's soft voice calmed the loud, hungry foals. Their chirps and peeps changed tone, and they shuffled closer to their mother. As for the foals by the mare's teats, her song gave them another reason to be happy besides the delicious, warm milk they sucked down by the mouthful. As for the stallion, he sat and watched with an enormous smile on his face. Once again, he had a family. # The stallion hurried through the darkness and shadows; it was a short trip from the hutch to the latrines, but at night distances seemed multiplied. The nice man kept the fluffies' fenced-in forest safe from the monsters they sometimes heard in the night, far out in the world beyond the fence. But, there was always a niggling little doubt that maybe, just maybe, one got in. The stallion tried to keep his mind off those thoughts and control his fear. Otherwise, he wouldn't be able to do his business, defeating the purpose of the trip. It was far from easy; the forest seemed utterly alien in the dark, and each inky black shadow oozed menace. After what seemed like an hours-long trip, the stallion arrived at the latrine. He cocked his leg over the pit and after a brief moment when it felt like nothing would happen, his body cooperated. Job done, he dashed back to the safety and warmth of the hutch and his nest within. The stallion tiptoed up the ramp and across the floor to his nest, careful not to wake anyone. Before he settled back down with his family, he took a moment to watch them sleep despite the low light. The foals lay with their mother; the green filly and black colt slept near their mother's head and the other three nestled in the space between her front and rear legs. Though he had to strain his eyes, the stallion watched the foals' chests rose and fell in their sleep. His grey colt wriggled around slightly, and the stallion wondered what sort of dream he was having; was he running and jumping about, or maybe even fly- *Crack-bang!* The sudden noise almost made the stallion jump into the roof. ‘Screeee!!!' ‘Wat dat!?!' ‘Peep peep!! Mummah!!!' ‘Id am otay babbehs,' the stallion started, ‘dat am onwy-' *Crack-bang! Crack-bang crack-bang!!* ‘Screeeeee!!!' ‘Mummah!! Mummah sabe babbeh!!!' ‘Peep peep!! Scawies!! Peeeep!!!' The foals squirmed, peeped and cried out in fear. The blue filly took the noises worst of all; she gripped her mother with all the strength in her stubby little forelegs. ‘Shh, id am otay Babbehs,' the mare pulled her foals close. ‘Ewyting am otay Babbehs, dat nu am munstah. Am jus Big Da-' *Crack-bang crack-bang!!* ‘Squeeee!!' The stallion lay down next to the mare and did his best to shelter their foals; they were all in a complete panic and wriggled madly between the two adults. They did everything they could to comfort the terrified foals, and in the meantime hoped the nice man was finished or would be very soon. As the minutes ticked by though, no more of the terrifying noises came. Eventually, the stallion relaxed, but there was still the matter of their foals. ‘Huuhuhu, peeep!!' ‘Scawies huhuhuhu!! Tuu scawies!!' ‘Mummah! Peep peep!! Mummah huhuhuuu!!' ‘Shh,' the stallion scooped up two of his foals and held them to his chest, ‘Id am otay Babbehs, nu cwy nu mowe.' ‘Huhuhuu *sniff* huuu scawies,' ‘Daddeh knu babbeh,' ‘Huuu nu wike, peep! Nu wike woud noisies!' The blue filly cried to her mother. ‘Wai happen? Nu wike!!' ‘Shh, id am otay, Babbeh. Mummah knu day am scawies, bud day nu huwt fwuffies.' The mare explained to her filly. ‘Dat am jus Big Daddeh makin munstahs go way.' ‘*Sniff* B-big Daddeh?' The foals had seen the nice man a few times since opening their eyes but didn't comprehend who he was and why he was significant. ‘Dat am wight, Babbeh; Big Daddeh. He make munstahs an oda scawy tings gu way wif his big sowwy stick.' She smiled at the filly. ‘He make suwe munstahs nu can huwt fwuffies ow babbehs. He nu mean giv babbehs scawdies.' The filly looked at her mother with wide, teary eyes, her mind struggling to comprehend what her mother said. After a while, she nodded; ‘O-otay, Mummah. *Sniff*' ‘Otay babbehs,' The stallion said, ‘Id am time fow sweepies gain. He shepherded the foals back into their sleeping potions and curled up next them, putting the foals between their parents; safe and warm, just what every foal wanted. Though still a little shaken bu the gunshots, the foals managed to settle down and fell back asleep # Days passed and turned into weeks, and the foals grew up. They grew more confident in walking until they happily galloped almost everywhere they went. Weaning was difficult, the foals were highly unwilling to give up their mother's milk, even though their teeth were coming through and she physically couldn't make enough for five growing foals anymore. It took time and sometimes firm encouragement, but they made the transition to the same food everyone else was fed. Once they did though, it seemed like the foals got bigger and stronger every day. Their hearts swelled with pride, even though like with every litter, there came times for discipline. When the black colt bit another weanling in a play fight, he earned a round of sorry hoofies from both parents. Despite the occasional bump and roadblock, the stallion and mare knew their babbies were growing up properly. One day, they'd grow into good fluffies that would make the nice man happy. Even though the thought made them sad, they knew their babbies would earn a spot in the good place the nice man took young fluffies too. # It was the mare who saw him coming this time. The family were spending the day by one of the dense bush clusters; two of the colts and one of their sisters spent the time chasing one another around and through the paths created by the sprawling bushes. The yellow colt and his blue sister took a more low-key approach, carefully exploring the patch with their father not far behind. They were close to the mare when the stallion heard her gasp, a sound he knew and dreaded. Soon after, he heard the footsteps. Heart sinking to the ground, the stallion turned and saw the nice man coming towards them through the trees. Slowly, the stallion walked over to his special friend, ears flat and tail held low. He sat next to her and waited to say goodbye to another beloved litter. The nice man stopped a few feet short of them, and the stallion readied himself. ‘Hey guys, I want you two to gather up your little ones and follow me.' ‘Yes, Big Daddeh,' the stallion turned and went to gather his babbies. He was so used to this routine, it took him a few steps before he fully grasped what the nice man said. He turned back; ‘Huh?' ‘Get your little ones and follow me,' the nice man repeated. The stallion stared at him a moment. ‘Big Daddeh wan Fwuffy an Speciaw fwend cum tuu?' ‘Yes. Now come on, get your foals.' A few more seconds passed; then, a massive smile burst over the stallion's face. ‘Yes, Big Daddeh!!' he yelled. ‘Fwuffy get babbehs!!' He galloped over to his young. ‘Babbehs! Babbehs um tu Daddeh!!' The young fluffies stopped their game and ran over. ‘Wat am id Daddeh?' ‘Wat Daddeh wan wif-' ‘Babbehs am goin wif Mummah an Daddeh tu gud pwace wif Big Daddeh!!' The young fluffies faces lit up; ‘Gud pwace?' ‘Babbehs goin tu gud pwace?!' ‘YAYYY!!!' The grey colt jumped for joy. ‘Gud pwace! Gud pwace!! Am gun see oda bwuddas an sissies an fwends gain!!!' The five young fluffies cheered and celebrated, hugging each other and jumping around until their father interrupted. ‘Huwwy babbehs, Big Daddeh wan go nao!! Fowwow Daddeh!!' The stallion turned and lead his brood back to the nice man. The mare hugged his leg tight. ‘Tank yu!! Tank yu so much Big Daddeh!!' Tears of joy dripped onto the man's trousers. ‘Am su cited! Nu can wait tu see babbehs an fwends gain!!' ‘Yeah,' the man nodded, and gently pulled his leg away, ‘you'll see them. Come on, follow me.' He turned and lead the family away from the bushes, down a fluffy path to the forests' access track, where the man's buggy and trailer sat waiting. He pulled out a wood ramp and set it up; ‘In you get,' the family ran up and got settled. ‘Am weady nao Big Daddeh!' The stallion said. ‘Am weady fow go tu gud pwace!!' ‘You sure are,' the man put the ramp back and got in the buggy. ‘Make sure you all lie down.' ‘Yes, Big Daddeh! Du wat Big Daddeh say Babbehs,' he said, as the man started his buggy and gently pulled away. ‘Am so cited! So cited!!' The black colt said. ‘Nu can wait fow see gud pwace!!' ‘Wat tink gud pwace wook wike?' ‘Id wook gud! Dat wat make id gud pwace!!' The young fluffies continued to speculate about the true nature of the good place as the man drove them through the forest. As for the stallion, he looked out at the passing scenery and took it in one last time. He was so caught up in the excitement of moving on with his young, the stallion didn't appreciate until now he was leaving the only home he'd ever known. The thought stirred a mix of emotions in him, made worse by the fact he was also leaving his friend behind, all of them. Fluffies the stallion had known for years, some since he was just a foal; he'd never see them again, and didn't even think to ask if he could say goodbye. A wave of sadness and guilt flowed through the stallion; he felt selfish for rushing off with the nice man, even though he clearly deserved to. Briefly, he considered asking the nice man to stop but thought better of it. The nice man wouldn't hear him over the noise of the buggy, and the time to ask was gone. The stallion made his choice, and now he'd have to live with it. Still, he was comforted by the knowledge he might see them again one day. After all, he'd proven himself a good enough fluffy to be taken by the nice man; surely his friends would get the same chance one day. Yes, one day they'd be reunited, together with l their babbies; all of them. The stallion couldn't wait. After a short drive, the man stopped his buggy just short of the fence that contained the fluffies' sanctuary. He hit a button on the dashboard, and the gate swung open. He drove through, and the gate closed automatically. The man checked his rearview mirrors for any fluffies who slipped out, but it was more out of habit. The fluffies were well behaved and knew to never go beyond the safety of the fence. Past the fence, the family were treated to a glimpse of the world beyond. The forest around them looked nothing like the carefully cultivated one they knew; it was wild and unkempt, dangerous. The sight of it confirmed the nice man was right to fence them off and using his scary forever sleepies stick so often. The stallion knew the world was full of monsters, and the nice man kept them at bay. But, the stallion didn't pay much attention to the wild forest. It was time to look ahead. He was so excited to see all his babbies again and see the kind of fluffies they'd grown into. Many of them would have babbies of their own by now; the stallion was likely a grandfather at the very, very least. The possibility filled him with a whole new kind of anticipation. Such was his excitement and that of his special friend and babbies, they weren't put off when the buggy stopped at a modest shed close to the man's house. ‘We're here,' the man shut off the buggy, walked around and put the ramp back in place. The family rush down the ramp but stayed near the man. ‘Whewe am gud pwace Big Daddeh?' The black colt asked. ‘Dis nu wook wike gud pwace,' the green filly added. ‘You'll be there soon, don't worry.' The man assured them. ‘Follow me,' he led the family towards the shed and through the door. Inside, he led the family to one of a half dozen pens long one of the walls, opened the gate and ushered them in. ‘Wat am dis pwace?' The grey colt asked. ‘Wai fwuffies heaw?' The mare added. ‘Big Daddeh say fwuffies am goin to gud pwace.' ‘You will,' the man said. ‘You've just got to stay here for a few days.' ‘Bud Wai?' ‘Because I say so,' the man closed the gate. ‘Settle down; I'll go grab some food for you.' He disappeared through another door, and the family got to grips with their new home for the next however long. It was similar to the hutch, but with a litter box in one corner. It wasn't bad by any means, but a little cramped. The young fluffies did a quick walk around their new home. ‘Wai Big Daddeh put fwuffies hewe?' The grey colt asked. ‘He say famiwy goin tu gud pwace.' ‘Nu wowwie babbehs,' The stallion said. ‘Am onwy gun be hewe fow wittwe time. Den, famiwy go tu gud pwace.' ‘Daddeh am suwe?' ‘Yes Babbeh, Daddeh am suwe,' The stallion assured the colt. ‘Big Daddeh newa ewa wie tu fwuffies.' ‘Otay,' The grey colt nodded and looked around the family's temporary home. ‘Dis am tuu smaww fow chasie game.' ‘Dat am otay,' his yellow brother said, ‘Babbehs can pway huggie fight!' ‘Otay den!' The black colt leapt on his yellow brother. The two rolled around the pen floor, cheering and giggling wildly; their remaining brother and green sister joined in soon after. The remaining filly decided to join her parents, who were curling up on the bed. The two adults shifted about on the bed; it wasn't quite as comfortable as their nest in the hutch, but it would be fine for the few days they'd be here. The stallion and mare couldn't help but notice the smell of other fluffies on the bed and around the pen. The scents were faint and much too faded to tell if he recognised them, but they were there. Neither of them paid much attention, though. The nice man had taken many, many fluffies on this same trip, so obviously their scent would be there. The pair settled down with their filly and watched their other babbies enjoy their game. No sooner were they comfortable though, the nice man returned with a large bucket of feed; he poured the mix into the pens trough. ‘That should do you until tonight,' he said. ‘See you then.' ‘Otay. Bai bai Big Daddeh,' the stallion called as the man walked away. The family crowded around the feed trough; the food looked different than what they were used to. It seemed better. The yellow colt was the first to try a mouthful; he then took another and another. The rest of his family joined in, and the trough was empty in no time at all. Bellies full of the rich food, the family wandered over to the bed and settled down for a nap. So far, it had been a near-perfect day, and things were set to get far better. # ‘Huuu, how much wongah Daddeh?' The grey colt asked. ‘Fwuffy wan go tu gud pwace!' ‘Fwuffy wan go tuu!!' His black brother added. ‘Nu wan dis housie nu mowe! Wan wun an pway gain!' ‘Nu be saddies babbehs,' The stallion said, ‘Id nu be wong nao.' The two colts grumbled and moaned, then returned to their corner of the pen. The stallion felt sorry for them; the two loved to run, and the few days spent in the pen had been hard on them. Still, it couldn't be long until they moved on to the good place; they just had to be patient. The stallion left the two and walked over to his other babbies, who sat with their mother. ‘Famiwy am stiww cited fow gud pwace?' ‘Yes, Daddeh!' The blue filly said. ‘Babbeh am gun hav wotsa fun,' he told the filly. ‘Am gun see yuw oda bwuddas and sissies, an see owd fwends gain!' ‘Nu can wait!' the filly cheered. The stallion smiled and settled down next to his special friend. The pair settled into their usual routine of mutual nuzzling. They were only at it for a few minutes though before the door to the shed opened and in walked the man. The family stood to attention and assembled near the pen door. ‘Hewwo Big Daddeh!' The stallion said. ‘Am famiwy goin tu gud pwace?' ‘Yep,' the man reached down and unlatched the gate. ‘Follow me,' ‘YAY!! GUD PWACE, GUD PWACE!!' ‘Am gun see oda bwuddas an sissies!!' ‘Gun wun an pway gain!!' ‘Huwwy babbehs, fowwow Daddeh!!' The stallion led his family after the man as he walked from the pen to yet another door. The man opened the door and stood aside. ‘In you go,' The fluffies obeyed at once, dashing past him into the room. Once inside though, their excitement turned to confusion. They didn't know precisely what they'd find on the other side, but they didn't expect all the shiny, cold looking objects. They recognised pens like the ones they'd lived in for the past few days, even though they were much smaller. As for the rest, they had no idea. The Stallion turned back to the man, who'd shut the door. ‘Uh, Big Daddeh, wat am dis pwace? Big Daddeh said was takin-' The man pointed to one of the pens; ‘Go wait in there.' ‘Bud-' ‘Do what I say, or there'll be no good place.' The stallion ushered his family into the small pen without another word. The young fluffies complained about the cramped space and cold walls, but the stallion cheered them up, like he always did, by reminding them they'd be in the good place very soon. He was so wrapped up in his task, the stallion didn't take notice the man put on a large apron, some heavy-duty gloves and goggles, and grab a basket of supplies. ‘-an dewe am gun be wotsa bushies an nice gwassies,' the stallion went on as the man approached. ‘Am gun be fowest, sept am gun be biggah an-' ‘Eeeep!!' The green filly squealed in fright as the man yanked her out of the pen. Her family watched as the man put the filly on a small table. ‘Wat am Big Daddeh duin?' The stallion asked, taken aback. ‘Wai Big Daddeh-' ‘Wai Sissie goin fiwst!?' The filly's black brother asked, annoyed at being left behind. ‘Babbeh wan go tu gud pwace an see-' ‘Eeeee!!' The filly yelped as the man fastened something around her legs, then ‘Screee!!' screamed as the man lifted her off the table and hung her upside down from a strange rack. ‘Screee!! Nu wike!!' The filly struggled against the restraints and her odd predicament. ‘Nu wike, nu wike!! bad uppsies!! Hewp!!' ‘Big Daddeh, wai giv babbeh bad uppsies?' The stallion asked, confusion turning to concern. ‘Babbeh am, gud babbeh! Newa du-' ‘Eeee!!' The man ignored the stallion and plucked his black colt from the pen next. The young fluffy received a pair of manacles on his hind legs like his sister and was hung up next to her seconds later. ‘Nuu! Nu wike dis!' The colt writhed about and kicked out with his front legs. ‘Nu wike!! Dis am bad uppsies!!' ‘Big Daddeh wait! Wat am, nu!!' The stallion yelled as the man grabbed another of the colts. ‘Nu Big Daddeh!! Nu giv babbehs bad uppsies!! Day am gud babbehs!! Gud babbehs!!' The stallion's words fell on deaf ears; the man fixed shackles to the colt and hung him with his brother and sister. Fear rose in the stallion, along with confusion; what was going on? Why was the nice man doing this? What could his babbies have possibly done to- ‘Scree!! Hewp!!' The stallion was interrupted by his remaining colt being grabbed from the pen and hung up with his sibblings. ‘Mummah, mummah!!' The blue filly ran to her mother and hugged her tight. ‘Sabe babbeh! Nu wan bad upsies!!' The mare, stunned by what was happening only weakly return the hug. A few seconds later, she wished she'd held on tighter. ‘Screeee!!! Nuuuu!!!!' The filly screamed as she was lifted out of the pen. ‘Babbeh!!' Shocked into action, the mare ran to the side of the pen. ‘Babbeh!! Babbeh!!!' she called desperately. ‘Pwease big Daddeh, pwease staph!!' She begged. ‘Nu giv babbehs bad uppsies an huwties!!' ‘Pwease big Daddeh!!' The stallion added. ‘Babbehs am gud babbehs! Day nu du anyting wong! Day newa du anyting wong!!' ‘Hewp!! Hewp Mummah!!' ‘Bad uppsies huhuhuhu!!' ‘Weggie huwties!! Weggie huwties!!' ‘Babbehs, Daddeh am hewe!!' ‘Mummah sabe yu babbehs!!' The mare tried to clamber over the pen wall. ‘Pwease weggies, nee sabe babbehs fwom bad upsi-screeee!!' The mare shrieked as she was lifted from the pen. Soon enough, her rear legs were in shackles, and the terrified fluffy was hung on the rack with her babbies. ‘Wat am Big Daddeh doin!?' The stallion cried, terrified and confused. He had no frame of reference for this, not a shred of clue why the man, the nice man who protected them for so long was punishing his family like this. ‘Pwease tawkies tu fwuffy!! Jus wan knu wat famiwy du wong!!!' Instead of an answer, the stallion was lifted out of the pen. ‘Eeeeeep!!' He struggled in the man's grip as he was carried the short distance to the table. ‘Eeeee!!' The stallion cried out at the cold feel of the bare metal, and desperately writhed against the man's grip. But it was useless; the stallion felt his rear legs pulled out straight then ‘Screee!!!' the bite of the shackles going on. Before he could process that, the stallion was lifted off the table; the terrified fluffy's vision span and his world turned upside down. ‘Screeee!!!' The man hung the stallion on the rack next to his special friend; he swung and flailed about, his efforts to steady himself made things worse. After a few moments, his wild motion stopped, but he had new problems. The stallion felt his face swell and head pound as blood rushed down from his body. ‘Hewp!! Mummah, Daddeh, sabe Babbeh!!' ‘Nu feww pwetty!!' ‘Huuu wai Big Daddeh huwt babbehs!? Am gud babbehs!!!' ‘Hewp Speciaw fwend!' The mare called. ‘Nee hewp babbehs!!' ‘Am *grunt* am twyin!!' The stallion tried his best to do, anything, but he didn't have the strength to do much else than wriggle. There was only one option; ‘Big Daddeh! Pwease wet famiwy down!! Fwuffy an famiwy nu knu wat du, bud pwomise newa ewa du id gain!!' The stallion lost track of where the man was but could hear him walking about. ‘Pwease, Fwuffy am famiwy jus wan go tu gud pwace an see oda babbehs an fwends ga-' ‘Eeep!! Huwties!!' the green filly squealed. ‘Nu huwt pwetty fwuff!! am gu-wurklll...' The odd noise managed to break through the pandemonium; he didn't recognise the sound, but it seemed wet and- ‘SCREEEEEEEEEE!!!' The black colt's ear-splitting scream filled the room. ‘SISSSIEEE!!!' The stallion managed to crane his head around, and what he saw filly his body with ice. Blood fell in a thick red stream, splattering on the floor and the man's apron. The stallion gazed at the gory waterfall, utterly stunned by what he saw, only to be snapped out of it by the colt's screams as the man gripped his mane and pulled his head back. ‘NUUUU!! SABE BABBEH!! SABE-' The man drew his hand across the colt's neck; the stallion couldn't see exactly what the man had done, but the result was clear. A second downpour of blood poured to the ground, and the smell finally hit the stallion; warm, wet and metallic. ‘NUUUU!!! NUUUUUUUU!!!' The grey colt next in line struggled madly; he tried to kick with his rear legs over and over, desperate to escape the shackles. ‘NU HUWTIES!! GO WAY!!! SCREEEE!!!!' He screamed as the man took hold of his mane and exposed his neck. ‘MUMMMAHHH!! MUM-' Another swift motion of the man's hand brought another cascade of blood. It added to the pungent stench filling the room and kicked the fluffies primal terror up another notch. ‘SCREEEE!!! STAY WAY!!!' The last of the three colts lashed out as the man approached, razor-sharp blade in hand; the blood of the yellow colt's sibblings dripped off the keen edge. ‘MUMMAH!! DADDEH!! HEWP!! NU WAN HUWTIES!! BABBEH NU WAN HUWTIES!!!' The colt aimed kick after desperate kick at the man as he approached, but it was futile; the man easily avoid the attacks, bent the colt's head back and slit his throat. ‘Gwww! Hwwuk!!' The colt's screams turned indistinct and garbled as the blade destroyed his vocal cords and blood poured into his mouth. Next was the blue filly. ‘MUMMAH!! MUMMAH!!!' She swung back and forth from the restraints, trying to reach her mother. ‘SABE BABBEH!! NU WAN FOWEWA SWEEPIES!!!' ‘BABBEH!! MUMMAH CUMIN BABBEH!!' The mare struggled just as madly to get to her last living foal, desperate to get to her before the man did and escape from the horror. ‘WOWK WEGGIES!! NEE SABE BABBEH AN WUN WAY!! SPECIAW FWEND, HEWWP!!!' But the stallion didn't answer, couldn't answer. The shell shocked fluffy hung from his restraints, gazing in horror at his beloved litter hanging with throats cut, dripping blood and twitching their last. ‘SQUEEEEEEE!!!!' The man took hold of the filly's mane. ‘MUUUMMMAHHHH!!!!' She wailed. ‘BABBBEH!! BABBEH NUUUUUU!!!' The mare could only watch as her filly's tear-stained face was pulled back; she saw the underside of the filly's neck pulled taught, and stared in horror as the man's bloody knife came close. The keen edge sank into the soft blue fluff, staining is crimson. Then the blade moved, and ‘SCREEEE!!!' the mare was treated to the sight of the man opening her filly's throat. Blood, hot and steaming, spurted from the wound and splashed on the mare's face. The spurt turned into a gush and poured from wound as the filly's own heart pump her system dry. In mere moments, the spout turned to a dribble. The filly bucked and fidgeted but quickly grew still aside for some nerve twitches. ‘BABBEH!! BABBEEEHHHSS!!!' The mare wailed. ‘WAIII?!? WAI BIG DADDEH GIV BABBEHS FOWEWA SWWPEIS?!!?' She screamed as the man exposed her neck. ‘WAI SPECIAW FWEND NU SABE BABBEHS??!!? WAI-' The mare's hysterical screams were cut short by the blade. The stallion watched the blood pour from his special friend gory open throat, and listened to the pained gurgles of her life slipping away. Now, it was only him. Unlike the others, he hung still from the restraints, mind overloaded by what he'd seen. The man who'd built their homes and kept them safe just killed the stallion's entire family without hesitation. With a bolt of horror, the stallion realised this must hav been the true the fate of every fluffy the man had ever taken with him, every adult and every young fluffy. The stallion's friends and babbies, all his babbies, died terrified and screaming, begging for rescue and mercy that never came. As the man gripped the stallion's mane and pulled back his head, the stallion understood; it was a lie from the start. He hardly felt the sting of the knife opening his throat, and only managed a couple of spasms. As the taste of blood filled his mouth and darkness clouded his vision, the stallion only wished he could warn the others. # Leroy took a long drag on his cigarette and held it in for a few moments. He'd a met a few types of customer in his line of work; the ones who wanted their fluffy meat "distressed" were his least favourite. Even if it took longer, he much preferred taking them in one at a time, stunning them and cutting their throat, just like was done at the slaughterhouse. Leroy was far from squeamish, especially when it came to killing animals, but killing a bunch of fluffies while they begged and screamed for their lives made him feel, uneasy. Some people wanted their meat that way, though, and with the economy the way it was, especially around his neck of the woods, Leroy wasn't really in a position to refuse. Do what you gotta do, son, his father's voice said in his mind. Whatever it takes to keep the roof standing and food on the table, so long as you ain't robbin' anybody. Leroy finished his cigarette and went back to his own abattoir. The bodies hung limply by the shackles, the last of their blood dripping from their open necks into the trough below. Leroy again donned his apron and gloves, and picked up his butcher's knives and went to work. He started by flushing the blood out of the trough, then went to work on the X filly. Leroy separated the head from its body, then took off the pelt and set it aside. Properly cured, they'd fetch a reasonable price. Leroy finished by slitting the belly from top to bottom; out came the filly's guts and other offal, all of which would go to the compost pit. It stank to high heaven, but nothing made his crops grow as well. With the filly done, Leroy moved on down the rack. In short order, he had the colt beheaded, skinned and gutted. In a little under an hour, he'd done the entire family. Leroy hated to admit it, but he felt a pang of guilt when he got to the stallion. He'd picked the fluffy from a litter years ago on a hunch he'd sire good foals. Leroy's intuition proved correct, and the stallion did his job well for a good few years. He'd have done for a few more too, had Leroy not gotten that email a few days ago. A wealthy fellow from Virginia wanted something special; a whole family. It was for a special occasion, something about an anniversary or birthday, Leroy didn't really care. He explained to the guy it would cost him, but it was no problem apparently. So, Leroy went out to look for some suitable candidates; the stallion and his family just happened to be in the right, or wrong, place when he came looking. After he'd stripped all the junk off the carcasses, Leroy took them off the rack and carried them, one by one, to his walk-in chiller. He hung them up by the shackles and left them there; tomorrow he'd vac-seal the bodies, pack them in a box and hand them over to the courier for delivery. Job done for now, Leroy hosed down his kill area, cleaned off gear, and went back to his house for some lunch and a few more smokes. A few more pangs of guilt wormed there way in, but he put the blame out of his mind, as he always did, by reminding himself that he'd given the stallion and his family a good life. Uploader differential_Sloth, October 7, 2019; 14:37 Tags author:differential_Sloth betrayal family-dies farm fluffies_as_food small_businessman Source Unknown Locked No Parent None Rating Explicit Comments October 7, 2019; 22:23 - Reply dizzy99: HOLY. SHIT. DUDE. Wow. October 7, 2019; 23:02 - Reply Anonymous1: A good life indeed. Free range fluffies. October 8, 2019; 00:40 - Reply Anonymous2: Stallion thought all his previous foals suffered like he did before dying, but they probably got the humane option. Lulz October 8, 2019; 13:03 - Reply Fluffy_Angst: Goddamn. Always delivering great stories. Thank you, differential_Sloth! October 8, 2019; 19:28 - Reply Anonymous3: Nice story, a bit long October 8, 2019; 21:39 - Reply Researcher_7201: "The psychological toll this takes on a person cannot be underestimated. Slaughterhouse work has been linked to a variety of disorders, including PTSD and the Lesser-known PITS (perpetration-induced traumatic stress). It has also been connected to an increase in crime rates, including higher incidents of domestic abuse, as well as alcohol and drug abuse."~metro.co.uk Gee cant imagine why. October 12, 2019; 11:50 - Reply Fluffus: Stellar work that had me on the edge of my seat . Lovely and well paced development with great set pieces. October 13, 2019; 17:57 - Reply Anonymous4: Having worked in the meat industry I feel for this guy. Watching a bull thrash in agony after 3 failed shots to the head is an experience I hope never to repeat. October 14, 2019; 23:38 - Reply WarlordSotos: Industrial Abuse (to include Fluffy Breeding/Farming) is some of the best Abuse.