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A Helping Hoof [LunarDisplay, Szalhi]

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Starshine's pink mane fluttered in the wind at the train stop. Using a simple levitation spell, Star carried her suitcases off of the platform she arrived at. Tucked away in her suitcase was an invitation to the animal shelter in Ponyville. Just thinking about the animals that were waiting for her made Star giddy. She couldn't wait to take care of them!

 

The light breeze that carried through her mane, causing it to lightly flick her face, reminded her that she needed to focus. Star had only ever been in Ponyville a couple of times, mostly on the outskirts, and would need to be observant if she was going to find the shelter. Starshine began trodding through the streets of Ponyville. All around her were buildings of different shapes and sizes, some were curvy and ornate, others rectangular and formal. Overall Ponyville was a diverse place, so it was no surprise that the building themselves were unique. Star scanned her area, she recognized the fields where she had helped during Winter Wrap-Up awhile ago, but that was really it, aside from the obvious landmarks.

 

It took Starshine another twenty minutes before she finally asked somepony for directions. The mare gave her exact directions, before hurrying along. It took Star not even three minutes to find what she was looking for. Star, upon seeing her destination wheeled her suitcase behind her, packed with supplies, at an increased speed to reach the shelter.

 

Once she had walked inside, Star wasn't exactly sure what she was supposed to look for. The invitation hadn't really told her which pony she should talk to, so Star stood there, a confused look on her face. As far as she could tell, nopony seemed to aware of her presence, and nopony seemed to recognize her as their guest... Was there a specific pony that she was supposed to meet? Had she arrived too late? Too early? She released the levitation spell on her suitcase handle. She unzipped it and pulled out her invitation, and then rezipped it. She left it floating in front of her as she reread.

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There was a mare that she had never seen before standing there, with what she assumed was a confused expression. Zipporwhill was in the middle of some routines at the shelter as somewhat of an intern when she spotted the mare who had just walked in. Zipporwhill was the only pony in the building at that moment, everypony else was busy at the time, Fluttershy was off at her own house, while Dr Fauna was busy treating some of the more wounded animals with the proper equipment. So it was just her who was really in charge around here. It made her feel good that she was trusted enough to run the place, but the truth was that she didn't really know how to deal with the public in situations like this. She had resorted to doing what she normally did and as such, she did not notice the mare at first until Ripley informed her, after his one minute delay as he could not be bothered to do so at first. Was she supposed to be formal, professional, or casual. It wasn't really clear since this was a non-profit shelter. Ah well, she should just be herself she thought.

 

"Welcome to the Ponyville Animal Shelter. Are you here to pick up one of these poor creatures?" She asked spreading her hooves out essentially gesturing to the animals through the building. "Or maybe you're interested in helping out? I'm probably not the right one for you to ask, but I'm the only one here at the moment and I'm sure they wouldn't mind."

 

She turned and saw that the mare had a suitcase with her which peaked more of her interest. "Are you not from around here? If so, it seems like this is the first place you've visited. What an honour. It kind of does make sense because I've never seen you before. What brings you out to such a place as this?" She noticed that Ripley was still lying over in what would be named 'his corner' and beckoned for him to come over, much to his dismay. "C'mon Ripley, come say hello to the mare." 

 

 

 

 

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Star's attention was drawn from her invitation as a filly spoke to her, Starshine took in her features first, noting that the young pony already had her cutie mark. Triple paw prints, which means that her talent must have something to do with animals. "Oh. Actually, I was invited here to help out at the animal shelter, though it seems you aren't expecting me...how odd."

 

The puzzled mare reread her invitation, before putting it away, she returned her attention back to the filly at the mention of her suitcase. "That's right. I've only ever been in Ponyville a couple of times, though mostly for short visits. My suitcase is actually filled with a bunch of supplies, I forgot that the shelter might have it's own. You see, I run my own vet clinic and it functions as a sort of shelter." Star realized she had been babbling when the smaller pony called over a dog. Star was forced into a sense of awe, as the most adorable dog came over to the pair. "Nice to meet you, Ripley. I'm Starshine!" Star put out a hoof for the canine to sniff, before petting him lightly. "I almost forgot to introduce myself to you, as I'm sure you gathered, I am Starshine. Though I normally go by Star. I don't believe I caught your name, though."

 

Once the introductions were made, Star set her suitcase off to the side hoping it wouldn't be in the way. "Alrighty, I'm all ready to get to work! Just point me in a direction and I'm there." The darker mare's enthusiasm for animals was certainly showing through, as she was almost bursting with joy. She had her mother watch over her clinic while she was gone so that the animals wouldn't go without food. 

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"They didn't inform me of your arrival. Maybe they forgot. Such hard workers are bound to forget," She explained. "I think they were called out for emergency reasons. The animal shelter is great and all, but the vet is still a better place for caring with injured animals. Also, not all animals are really compatible with this place, the big scary ones. I know it's all natural, but I just prefer the cute and cuddly ones." She gestured towards Ripley.

 

"The shelter has been around for long enough that we basically already have all the supplies we need. But i don't really know the full measure of what we have so I'm not sure if I can really say that. If you already have your own place, then what are you doing here? I should probably ask about the condition of it first. I mean, I know now that you were called out here, but would you really leave your clinic to come all the way over here?" 

 

She called Ripley back to her, offering a treat of reward, which he accepted. She of course, habitually forgot to account for his increase in size of time. "I was too distracted talking about the shelter that i forgot to mention my name. I'm ZipporWhill. The moment I finish school I'm going to try and come here more often." She looked over to Ripley who trudged back over to his corner. "I like to pretend that he's not, but I swear he's growing faster than he should be. I fear he might not be around for as long as I'd like. I think I'm just overreacting. I don't entirely like to play favourites, but I can't deny that he is mine."

 

She put her hoof to her chin while she thought. "Um, well, I usually just do what looks like needs to be done," She explained before thinking. "I don't think I've gotten to the birds yet, if you want to do them. Oh right, Ashley needs her medication in fifteen minute, it's really easy to do if you want to see me do it. Come to think of it, I don't know what they're for, maybe they told me and I just forgot."

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Star nodded her head as the filly talked, her pink mane bouncing as she did so, ”I totally understand why you would prefer the cuter animals, though I find all animals to be of my liking! In their own way, all animals are cute, even the weirder ones...sort of.” Star looked to her bag when the filly mentioned having enough supplies. Star knew that they would have their own supplies here, but she didn’t want to use all of their stuff and then leave.

 

”I just enjoy helping animals. Whenever I receive the opportunity to help an animal out, I have to take it. If I didn’t and the animal's condition got worse I would never forgive myself. My special talent is that I’m supposed to make others feel better, and by helping animals and helping ponies find the right pet for them, I’m doing just that.” Star felt strange explaining her passion to other ponies, but she figured if anypony could relate it would be somepony like the filly in front of her.

 

At the mention of helping, Starshine perked up. ”I would gladly help with the birds, after all, it’s what I’m here for! I’ll let you take the lead. Just tell me what the birds need and I’ll hop along to it. This will make great practice if you ever plan to own a vet or shelter of your own. It’s how my mother taught me to operate.” Star knew exactly what to do but, as she mentioned, this would make great practice for ZipporWhill. The birds most likely needed to be fed, maybe bathed, or they may even need to have their talons trimmed. Star was sure ZipporWhill didn’t need the extra practice, but it never hurt.

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