TextDownloadMcLaughlin Fluffy Farm by Hummingbird Chapter 4 - Jo's Management Jo kept one hand on the steering wheel and drank from a skinny cinnamon dolce latte in her other hand. Well, it should've been skinny. They put coconut milk in it instead of nonfat milk. As awful as it was, Jo kept drinking it. Everyone makes mistakes, especially with a long line of grumpy customers making special demands for their morning coffee. It was understandable that they would confuse one type of milk for another. She pulled her car in between two parked trucks at the end of the dirt road that led to the McLaughlin Fluffy Farm. Parking without painted spaces was definitely "roughing it" in Jo's opinion. As she parked next to , Her spotless BMW was flanked by a beat-up pick-up truck with lots of tools, wood, and other stuff to build with (clearly Max's truck) and a shiny red pick-up truck with an empty back (clearly Lana's truck). Jo and Lana ended up stepping out of their respective vehicles at the same time. "Morning, Jo!" Lana greeted her. "Good morning!" responded Jo, who quickly assessed the cowgirl for any changes. The vibe she had gotten from Lana on day one was definitely your stereotypical horse girl from the country side. Instead of actual horses, Lana was obsessed with the miniature rainbow-colored kind. Jo needed to compliment her at some point this morning. People responded better if they were complimented and in a good mood. "Did you change your hair?" "Yeah, I'm trying out a new braiding style. How's it look?" "Looks great! Hey, I got your coffee over here." Lana came around as Jo handed her the mocha cookie crumble frappuccino (with extra everything) that the cowgirl liked. It was no wonder that the braided girl could do a 8 hour run with fluffy ponies every day. Jo struggled with her purse and the other 5 drinks as the pair headed up the path to the collection of buildings. Despite the sound of chirping birds and the rustle of the trees as the early morning breeze flew past, they kept in silence as they walked up the dirt path. "So," began Jo, "why'd you change your style?" "One of my girlfriends pinned it and I thought it looked cute." "It really suits you." "Oh, thank you," Lana beamed back. Another compliment well-landed. Lana puts a lot of effort into her appearance and was easy to compliment- a good warm-up for the day. As the pair continued up the path, Max came walking the opposite way from them, several long wooden boards nestled under his arms. Max was a tough guy who didn't like comments about his appearance. Complimenting his work ethic was the way to go. "Hey Max, good to see you working hard! Got one black coffee right here." Max grunted appreciatively as he took the cup and continued on his way. They continued on past the buildings holding the fluffy herds inside. Muffled laughter and high-pitched talking could be heard through the windows. Jo smiled at the sound, reveling in the pure joy that fluffies exuded. Being offered the chance to work with fluffies all day and get real hands-on experience running a business was almost too good to be true. They said that if you do what you love for a living, you'll never work a day in your life. By that measure, Jo wasn't working a single day this summer. Lana went off to go free the naughty ponies from the sorry-shed as Jo walked into the main cabin. Up front was Irene's desk where Irene was busy pecking away at her keyboard using one finger on one hand and an old-fashioned landline phone in the other hand. Jo and Irene exchanged smiles as Jo placed her decaf grande and made her way past. If Irene was already working the phones, that meant that there were some kind of baked goods somewhere in the office. As forced as complimenting everyone on something came, those treats were always praise-worthy. She made a mental note to grab one and eat it before the first of the morning chores took her out of the office. Behind Irene's desk was Lana's desk, practically untouched since the day when they started the exercise program for some lucky ponies. Standing next to Lana's desk in stark contrast was Katie's. Calling it a mess was an understatement. It was covered in clutter, scribbled-over paper, and a wayward food wrapper. Supposedly, somewhere underneath all the junk was some kind of supercomputer or something. The most technical thing Jo could do was graphs in Excel and restart her iPhone. Knowing the nerd staying up every night, she wouldn't be in until much later. Jo left a can of Red Bull on Katie's desk in the little free space she could find. The last two desks were Jo's and the professor's. They were both much more used than Lana's workplace and much more organized than Katie's. If Jo had to compare, the professor's desk was clean whereas her own was immaculate. Jo had taken to Marie Kondo's mantra of sparking joy when it came to her spot. Everything was in the right area for it- laptop dead center for perfect ergonomics, pens in a decorative mug near the corner, each drawer well-organized in its contents. A good leader led by example and Jo had not held back when it came to workspace cleanliness. As Jo set her own drink down, the diminutive Professor Matsuhima came from out of nowhere and pushed her aside and slammed a box half her size onto Jo's desk. The harsh slam knocked over the pens and mug onto the floor with a loud smash. "Here are the receipts that you asked for." Jo took a second to recover from the sudden shock and noise. "Uhh, thanks." The professor had started to walk away when Jo remembered that she had a drink for her. "Wait! Professor! I have a coffee for you!" The professor did not respond and disappear out of the front door. Jo was left standing with an extra coffee, a broken mess, and a box full of papers to go through. She threw the drink away and grabbed a broom to clean up the mess. After that, she'd go through and try to clean the mess of receipts and expenses on her desk. ~~~~~~~~ When Jo had been offered the work study opportunity at McLaughlin, her advisor had warned her. "The dean wants to see the place succeed, and he's giving it all the aid that he can get. But it's still not doing too well. Try and see if you can turn it around." Having taken several days to go through everything the professor gave her and transfer it all into an Excel document, it became clear to Jo that it was doing worse than not well. For every one dollar put into the farm, they spent ten. At least that was true for the last month which was only pushing the ten-to-one mark because of the Luna type foal they sold. They would need several dozen designer fluffy ponies a month to be profitable with their current expenses. In all fairness, Irene was bringing in a decent amount for the fluffies that they were selling. The idea of the small-time farmer hand-raising fluffies was more appealing to their core demographics than factory-bred or adopting strays from the pound, and they were willing to pay more for that. Jo came to the conclusion that it was time for budget cuts. No manager wants to be the bad guy, least of all Jo. She was trying her best to win the approval of what would be considered her employees. The last thing she wanted to do was upset any of them. Or worse yet, make them angry at her. Expenses were high due to some of their decisions. Josefina would have to put on her big girl pants and toughen up to turn this ship around. The email went out the previous day calling for an all-hands-on meeting first thing in the morning. Everyone was on-time in the office, including Katie, whose head kept dipping back and forth despite downing a Monster mixed with a Five Hour Energy. Maybe all the caffeine went to Jo instead, whose heart was racing as she sipped from her skinny pumpkin dolce latte. Her nerves were not calmed by the fact that the barista got her order wrong again. How did they even still have pumpkin sprinkles this long after fall? Jo kept trying to calm herself down as the entire crew enjoyed the blueberry muffins Irene brought in and sipped their drinks, save Katie. "Well alrighty, let's get this show on the road!" Jo announced to the group. A nervous laugh slipped from her mouth. Why did she laugh? This is her first real meeting as a real manager! Confident managers don't laugh nervously. Is everyone looking at her? This should be no different than the mock meetings that she did in class. She would just try to imagine everyone in their underwear, that would help. Jo looked over at Katie and imagined her in a black lace negligee and stockings that came up to her thick thighs, teasing and tantalizing- no! Managers were not supposed to have sexy fantasies during meetings! Especially not between supervisor and employee! Katie was a senior to Jo's junior, though. Was it weird thinking of the older girl as an employee? "Dear? You alright?" asked a confused Irene. "Yep yep yep!" Jo had suddenly forgotten what she was going to announce. She had it written down on a piece of paper. She started feeling around for it as everyone's eyes burned into her. Instead of confidently bringing the paper up in a single motion, her arms were now floundering all over her desk. She could hear the professor chuckling at her. Were Jo's pits sweating through her top? Finally, she found the paper and brought it up. Jo cleared her throat, hoping that it would give her more composure, and started reading from her paper. "As some of you may know, the McLaughlin Fluffy Farm is not doing well. The business, as a whole, is under performing." Jo took the moment to look up and landed directly upon the professor. The older woman was glaring at her. "What do you mean, under performing?" spat the professor. "Well, uh, we're losing money. Fast." "How fast?" Max asked. "Last month, we lost ten dollars for every one we brought in." The mood in the room dropped lower than the farm's bank account. "Luckily for us, you have me!" Jo tried to lighten the mood. Her statement failed to raise any spirits. "As manager, I'm going to be working with Irene on getting more out of our sales, but I'll need all of your help with some budget cuts." "Are you cutting our hours?" asked Max abruptly. "No! No no no no." "Are you cutting our pay?" "Everyone will still get the same paycheck they get every week. We don't need to cut personnel expenses yet. We have other areas that we can cut first." "Like what?" asked Lana. Jo looked back down at her list, her nerves now more calm than at the start of the meeting. She got this. All she had to do was read the bullet points from her paper. "First, no more wet food for the fluffies. For the cost of one can, we can get enough generic dry food to feed ten fluffies for a day. Cutting our daily food costs by 90% would help us out." Irene objected. "But the little dearies love Purina Fluff-chow!" "No buts!" Jo was trembling as she asserted herself. Katie chuckled- or rather, she blew air out of her nose- at the phrasing. ~~~~~~~~ Arbequina, named thus for his luxurious olive green mane and dark brown fluff, hated everything about the farm. He hated the hard wooden floors he had to sleep on. He hated walking on the nasty dirt paths. He hated the old toys in the play room. He hated his mommy and daddy for leaving him there. He hated that he had to share a stable with other fluffy ponies. Back home, he had satin pillows to sleep on, smooth ivory tiles to walk on, new toys everyday, and he was the only fluffy pony in the herd. Mommy and daddy loved him very much. He was sure that they would be back for him soon, and he would give them big owwies for leaving him here for this long. The one thing that kept Arbequina tolerated about the farm was the food. Everything else about his life had changed save for the sweet, savory taste of Purina Fluff-chow. Arbequina had been fed the wet food since he gave up milkies. Even if the spaghettis they fed him here were poop compared to what mommy and daddy gave him. The daily nummies kept him going. It was another feeding time as Arbequina was in the middle of three herds of stallions. Up ahead were the stallions with red ribbons on their tails, forced to run as fast as possible for nummies by the meany lady. Behind them were the stallions with blue ribbons on their tails, forced to walk slowly by another meany lady. None of the meany humans were attending to the six stallions in the middle, trotting along hungrily towards the feeding station. The brown-furred fluffy made sure to keep his distance from the others as they marched along. They might try to hug him with their dirty hooves. Inside the feeding station, Arbequina waited patiently at one of the feeding bowls, waiting for the meany humans to pour some nummies out for him. The meany lady was now over his nummy bowl with a big bag of nummies in-hand. Arbequina tried to keep his composure, but his legs started pacing back and forth in anticipation. "Awbuhkina wan nummies! Gif nummies!" "Bottoms up!" said Lana as she poured nummies into the bowl, the kibble bits clinking against the grey surface. Wait, kibble bits? These nummies were not Purina Fluff-chow! "Whewe am wet nummies?" "It's dry food only from here on out. It's just as good for you." That was it. Arbequina had dealt with the indignation of this horrible place for far too long. The one reprieve he had- Purina Fluff-chow- gone! Just like that! This injustice would not stand. "Awbuhkina wan wet nummies! Gif meanie wady owwies! Gif wet nummies!" The enraged unicorn charged at the meany lady's ankle and struck deep with his horn. Feeling it hit something solid, he twisted it around violently, hoping to draw boo-boo juice. Maybe the meany lady's boo-boo juice would make the dry nummies wet like Purina Fluff-chow. Lana felt a poke in her shin and looked down. The olive-maned unicorn was writhing its head around angrily. "Nope, time for the sorry box," she stated as she reached down and lifted the petulant fluffy up by the nape of its olive neck. Being threatened with the sorry box only made Arbequina madder. "Meanie wady nu gif wet nummies! Meanie wady get sowwy poopies!" As the unicorn flexed its body to aim its anus at the cowgirl, Lana instinctively lunged her finger straight into the puckered hole. It was another old fluffy farmer's trick to prevent any leakages, mean or otherwise. The little unicorn yelled bloody murder at the intrusion as Lana could feel its slippery anal muscles trying to repel her finger out to no avail. Other fluffies were starting to panic and defecate on the floor near them. "Let's get you out of here." "Awbuhkina nu wan poopy pwace huwties! Onwy wan wet nummies!" "You get no nummies today, mister angry-butt. Only the sorry-box." "Nuuuhuhuhuuu..." the unicorn wept as Lana held it up by the neck and anus. ~~~~~~~~ Breathing a sigh of relief that Irene didn't push the issue further, Jo looked back down at her list before continuing. "Second, no more disposable sorry-boxes. I've already invested in some plastic sorry-boxes. As part of getting bad fluffies out of the sorry-shed, you'll have to hose down the boxes each morning. After removing the fluffies, of course." The group didn't voice any complaints about that change. Jo was worried when Katie jolted up, having fallen asleep briefly. The nerd girl fell back asleep just as fast. ~~~~~~~~ Irene slammed the door to the sorry-shack open, her free hand holding up a tomato-red unicorn named Sunrise by the neck. Not by the nape like one would normally carry a fluffy pony, but with bony fingers wrapped around the throat as if a harsh throttling were to come at any moment. The struggling pony waved its legs around frantically, failing to gain any traction against thin air. All the pony could do was gurgle as it tried to call for help. The old lady pulled the string handle to the one light in the shed. The new illumination shown upon an assortment of plastic boxes on the ground where sobbing and begging went ignored. Several fluffy ponies had been disobedient that day. To the left was the shelf where they kept spare sorry-boxes tucked away and a counter-top that Max had built in a day. Dangling nearby was a tangle of strings with colored papers on the end, resembling a collection of tags that a store might use to mark discount goods that had to go. Irene placed the choking pony onto the counter-top and watched as it regained its breath. "I'm going to ask you again," Irene started with an unwavering voice. "Are you sorry?" "Sunwise nu sowweh!" The fluffy pony puffed its cheeks out in defiance. Irene's left hand pushed the fluffy pony down onto its belly as the right slapped the pony square across the face. The meaty clap frightened the other ponies in their punishments, causing them to cease their cries. Irene held her right hand up, ready to slap again on the back swing. "Do you have any idea how bad most fluffies have it? Huh?" Sunrise looked up at the angry woman with tears in her eyes. The pony didn't see the hand coming as Irene slapped her again. Irene's hand turned into an accusatory point as she jabbed at the pony's face in unison with her rage-filled words. "We give you a home, lots of food, and lots of toys, and all we ask is that you make babies and raise them well! You should be thankful that you can even have babies!" "Sunwise nu wan dummeh bab-" The pony was cut off by another harsh slap. "Those babies are the only thing you're good for! That Luna baby was worth a hundred times more than you'll ever be worth!" The pony spat back. "Sunwise hate munstah babbeh!" That outburst earned her another slap to the face. "All of your babies are worth more than you! They all have perfect colors! Yet their mother is such a brat! Why do you not give your babies any milk?" "Sunwise nu wan be mummah..." Another slap to the face caused blood to start dripping out of the pony's nose. "Being a momma is all you're good for! And you're going to keep making babies until God himself decides that you're done!" Irene pulled one of the new, unused sorry-boxes off of the shelf and slammed it down next to the shaking pony. "You're going into the sorry-box until tomorrow where you're going to hug your babies and give them milk. Do you understand?" The fluffy pony started crying at the mention of the sorry-box. Irene slapped the pony again across the face. "Are you deaf?" "Nu..." "Are you going to be a good momma from now on?" "Pwease nu sowwy-bocks..." Another slap. Blood splattered across the counter top as the pony's nose was broken. "Pwease, Sunwise nu wike sowwy-bocks..." Tired of this non-sense, Irene picked the bloody pony up and opened the lid to the sorry-box. These new sorry-boxes were made out of recycled plastic and molded to give any captives next to no wriggle room. The bottom and sides were covered in erratic points designed to be as uncomfortable as possible for anything inside. As per most sorry-boxes, it contained no windows or holes that the fluffy might use to look into the outside and hold onto any hope. The box was designed to be a budget-friendly way to quash rebellious spirits. With a quick scoop, Irene placed the pony into the sorry-box and closed the lid. She grabbed a yellow paper and tied the lid shut with the attached string, denoting that it was a breeding female contained inside. They didn't want to mix up the genders when letting the ponies go in the morning- after all, it only took ten seconds for a colt to impregnate a mare. Irene angrily whispered into the box at the trembling pony, "Tomorrow you're going to start being a good mother or God help me this sorry-box will be all that you ever know!" With that final warning, she placed the box on the ground, pushed it over by the other filled boxes, and left. Inside the sorry-box, Sunrise was diving deeper into terror. Her eyes were unable to focus upon anything in the near pitch black. Her leggies tried to gain solid footing on ground that wouldn't give any. The boo-boo juice flowing from her nosie pumped harder as her little heart raced faster and faster. "Sunwise nu wike sowwy-bocks, Sunwise nu wike sowwy-bocks, Sunwise nu wike sowwy-bocks," she kept repeating over and over like a broken record caught on a scratch. Out of pure survival instinct, her rear end expelled everything it could in an attempt to scare off any predators. Feces and urine sprayed all over the back of the box, tipping the poor pony off-balance even further. One consideration that none of the humans had taken into account when switching to the new boxes was the effect of the material when exposed to fluffy ponies defecating or urinating in. With the cardboard boxes, when a fluffy expelled liquids, the material absorbed most of the moisture, compromising the back wall but keeping the pony mostly clean. Plastic does not absorb urine and other liquids like cardboard does. Sunrise kept repeating the fact that she didn't like the sorry-box over and over as her boo-boo juice, poopies, and peepees mixed together on the bottom of the box. The movement of her hooves trying to find someplace not painful sloshed the liquids together, creating a foul concoction whose scent could raise the dead and then kill them again. Sunrise's murmurs grew in volume from low whispers to screams as she repeated the same phrase again and again. "SUNWISE NU WIKE SOWWY-BOCKS! SUNWISE NU WIKE SOWWY-BOCKS!" Her screams led the chorus of suffering as the other prisoners resumed their pained cries. ~~~~~~~~ Pleased with the lack of concern over the sorry-box change, Jo continued. "Finally, the last immediate cut we're doing right now involves Spaghetti Day every Friday. We are no longer going to Alfredo's Pasta as our spaghetti supplier." The others groaned immediately. "Does that mean we're going to Pasta by Alfredo instead?" Lana asked. "That place is horrible!" The others chimed in on just how horrible Pasta by Alfredo was. "No no no, seriously, first off, Pasta by Alfredo is not that bad, OK?" "Yes it is!" Max shouted. "Second, we're not going to any restaurant for Spaghetti Day! We're going to buy bulk from the grocery store." "From the grocery store?" asked Lana. "My daddy's got a spaghetti guy. Even cheaper than the generic. Straight from the factory." "Thank you for showing initiative," said Jo very awkwardly. "I would be glad to get in touch with your dad's spaghetti guy." Katie finally perked up to speak. "Hol' up, does that mean that Pizza Fridays are canceled?" "Aw hell nah. Pizza Friday is my jam, what what!" "Please, never do that again." ~~~~~~~~ Today was Spaghetti Day and Lucy was leading the charge to the feeding station. The moccasin-tan pegasus had left her special-friend Klaus back with the foals in their stable as part of the daily ritual on the farm. She clambered inside and took ownership over one of the bowls, waiting for delicious sketties to join her. Max was usually in charge of getting the spaghetti deliveries from Alfredo's Pasta and was used to scooping heaps of pasta out of those styrofoam containers all restaurants use for left-overs and pick-ups. Today was the first day that they were trying out this new spaghetti supplier Lana had connected them to. Shortly after the morning started, a giant bag of preheated spaghetti was delivered to their main office. Max was left in charge of hauling it around, considering that it weighed more than most of the women. Only the bottom of the bag still had spaghetti in it as he took a ladle to the remaining slop and dumped it into the bowl in front of Lucy. To Lucy, it was if a five star meal had just been placed in front of her. The juicy meatballs, the savory noodles, the steaming tomato sauce- all three ingredients essential for making sketties. She drove her muzzle forward and started eating without abandon. With each bite, a new combination of flavors danced on her tongue. With one bite, wet noodles slid down her throat on a wave of sauce. Another bite, and a chunk of meat squirted out its hot juices to blend with the acidic sauce, both enhancing the taste of the other. A third bite led slurping noodles to pull down the remains of the meatball down her throat like a bold lover bringing their shy partner into the nest. A final fourth bite and the sketties hit its crescendo, exploding pure deliciousness onto her taste buds. The pegasus lifted her head from the bowl, licking at the sauce drenched in the fluff around her mouth, hoping to keep the climax of food going. "Wucy wuv sketties!" she announced. Max watched as the fluffies enjoyed the new spaghetti. He didn't want to know what was keeping the spaghetti steaming hot this late into the afternoon, but he wasn't the one going to be eating it. Uploader hummingbird, November 5, 2019; 20:14 Tags abuse bad_mummah breeding_farm budget_cuts crying mclaughlin_fluffy_farm purina_fluffchow sketties sorry_box spoiled_brat starbucks Source Unknown Locked No Parent None Rating Questionable Comments November 5, 2019; 20:15 - Reply hummingbird: Finally, the formatting is OK-ish! Any and all feedback is appreciated. November 6, 2019; 01:07 - Reply Anonymous1: it's been a while since I've heard a fluffy mare not wanting to be a momma. the abuse in this beautiful done and I can't wait to see what happens next. November 6, 2019; 11:45 - Reply Anonymous2: Justified abuse, imo, anon November 6, 2019; 16:53 - Reply Apostle: Sunrise may posed as a problem. Hope they put her down ASAP.