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MudBug

[Ponyville] Muddy in the Mornin', Muddy in the Evenin'

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It wasn't any suprise that around lunch time one of the few ponies working was the mud monster herself, MudBug. Hooves already deep into a rich pile of soil that was being turned up for the new flowers for this specific patch, the creme coloured pony shook her rich coloured mane and sprayed healthy clumps of muck everywhere in the process. The care that if she flicked mud on some innocent passer by was FAR from her mind as she filled her senses with the rich ear beneath her, that delightful squish as she pushed down into it and then shoved it about, turning it, kicking it, making a trench, or a pile, or a line or whatever was asked of her.

As long as she got to do it in mud, she was happy and dandy.

While he worked and probably got the mess everywhere, her thoughts drifted silently over the early luncheon she'd had today before the bustle of work. Grilled dandelion and cheese sandwhich with a tall glass of apple juice. The thought even now made her belly groan in delight with the lovingly made weight that sat within it.

That in mind, perking her up even FURTHER (if that was even possible with the good mood she was in), she soon sloshed about the muck and earthy grime with greater fevour.

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Sweetie Belle trotted through town happily, scouting out new ideas to try for the Cutie Mark Crusaders to get their cutie marks. She was singing a quiet, cheerful tune under her breath.

o/~ We were trying different things, whatever we could think, seeking marks out by the lake to our favorite song... Sipping cider out the bottle, not thinking 'bout tomorrow, Singing Sweet Home Ponyville all summer long... o/~

As she was trotting along with a dance in her step, her pink and lavender hair bouncing merrily over her white unicorn foal's form, she caught sight of something that made her stop and stare. There, right there, was a full-grown pony playing in the mud, churning it up with vigorous stomps of her feet, getting splatters everywhere - especially on herself! But only little foals played in the mud! What was this full-grown mare doing?

She watched for a little bit, then stepped daintily forward, avoiding the worst of the mud splatters. "Scuse me!" she said, politely. "Scuse me! What are you doing?" she asked, curiously.

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Churning and sloshing the mud happily to herself she paused a little at the voice, raising a head to glance over her should at the pretty little filly behind her. Huh. Fancy that, she didn't get a visitor often while working. Turning she rested her back hooves in the mud and smiled at the little lavender and pink haired dear, her smile brightening to something a little more greet-friendly other than her rough'n'tumble smile she often wore around other ponies and with a foal....maaaaybe that wasn't the best so a more polite smile was deffinately the better option in this case.

Wow she was clean as a whistle, not a speck of mud on her.

"Well hey there!" She greeted cheerfully before the question finally sank in and she blinked. What was she doing? A brow arched on the young mare as she pulled her head back to look back at her work. The trenches of muck being partially made up with her being pleasently interupted before she turned back to look to Sweetie Belle. Hadn't she seen her somewhere? Around that Carousel Boutique place or something? She'd given it a wide berth but it was obvious to see ponies coming in and out of. Shaking thoughts from her head she offered a small smile.

"I'm softening the mud up for flower seeds, I was asked to make some trenches and such for their flowers and uhh..." Glancing around she leans in with a small, playful smirk. "Between you and me, working in the mud just makes my -day-."

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Sweetie Belle tilted her head to the side, peering past MudBug a little bit, both looking at what the mare was looking at, as well as getting a glance at her cutie mark. She let out a soft ohhhh. "I guess flower gardens do need to be prepared first! I didn't know you could play in the mud as a job! So is your special talent having to do with beautiful flowers?" She peered around again, trying to get a better look at the mare's cutie mark. "I think you have some mud covering your cutie mark, there." she said brightly. "I can't quite see it!"

Thoughtfully, she planted her tiny lil' hoof down on one of the blobs of mud that had gotten splashed out of the garden, feeling it squish under her hoof in a rather satisfying manner.

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Dark Core, the greatest evil in all of Equestria, was out for a morning stroll, singing to himself rather flat,"...and I do it all because I'm evil! And I...Ohh what have we here?" he said to himself as he noticed a mud covered filly and a little foal chatting it up, they seemed to be having such a nice conversation, sadly for them, Dark wouldn't let that last too long, "Heheheh two perfect targets for a little early morning evil heheh!" he laughed as he ducked behind a tree and began to climb it, reaching into his pack carefully, Dark Core pulled out a couple of filled water balloons, "Let's see, a little to the left" he said as he levitated the balloons into position, "Ready...steady...FIRE!" Dark shouted as he sent the balloons flying towards the two unsuspecting fillies.

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Thoughtfully she gave a small shrug, flowers were the majority of needs for mud but it wasn't just that. The thought of planting flowers made her inwardly roll her eyes, flowers, too colourful and on a particularly pollen heavy day, could set her nose on fire. It kinda irritated her, she could admire flowers, she just couldn't understand the affinity for them to the point of fawning over them like they were foals or something. Glancing at Sweetie Belle's eagerness to look at her cutie mark she turned herself slightly to show off her flank for the little filly, she was quite proud of her mark. Her splodge of mud and her heart shaped bug showed her love for the brown stuff and how much at home she was there and hearing the little filly she just had to chuckle slightly.

"Nah, honey, that mud -is- my cutie mark, see?"

Showing it and seeing the filly squelch the mud under one dainty hoof, she couldn't help but smile ever so slightly to herself before-

"FIRE!"

Fire? Blinking and looking to the tree she saw the water balloons hurtling like huge angry bees for them and they looked full to burst. Now Muddy hated water, but she was sure this little lady hated getting her pelt wet, especially that pretty mane-do of hers. She hated situations like this. But after a moments consideration it didn't take very long for her to take off in a large, arcing leap over the filly with the help of those powerful legs that she used to pound and churn muck and earth before landing infront of the snow white little gal and taking the brunt of the balloon splash. Soon stood there soaking wet, damp mane and tail drooping and...ugh...clean. Well dripping starting to get clean but...still...clean all the same.

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Sweetie Belle blinked in surprise. A cutie mark just for playing in the mud?! They'd never even thought of that! "Wow!" she started to say, "I-"

"FIRE!" cried the voice, startling Sweetie Belle. She turned to see what the commotion was about, caught the briefest glimpse of something hurtling towards her. She ducked, sensing more than seeing the large form of MudBug leaping over her, her eyes squeezed shut as she waited for an impact that never happened.

Instead, she heard the splash of water, felt a faint spray of mist. The tiny lil' unicorn peeked out from under a hoof, to see MudBug standing like a wall before her, guarding her from the water balloons.

"Wow..." she breathed softly.

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"Heheheh...HUH?! OH BLAST IT ALL! Dark shouted out as he saw the sloppy one jump to guard the little one with the beautiful hair, "Curses...nothing ever goes exactly as planed. No matter! As long as someWHOOOA!" he gloated but lost balance and fell forward out of the tree, "Ack! Ooh my aching....everything!" Dark coughed as he stood up dusting himself off and adjusting his cloak, flipping it in a dramatic fashion, checking to make sure it wasn't damaged, "Good, good, everything intact!" looking over at the now dripping filly, Dark couldn't help but laugh, "Ahhahahahahahahah! I think you look better covered in filth! What a good way to start a day, nothing like a good water balloon toss." smiling as he began to walk away, Dark began to say "Poor poor girls...My reign of terror has only just begun!"

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Watching the dark colt fall from the tree she had to stare at him for a moment or two, soaked and shivering ever so slightly she felt the earth beneath her hooves and arched a brow. He was quite a trek away...but maybe... Glancing behind her she made sure the young filly was alright before staring at the ground beneath her back hooves, that was soft enough. Raising them she slammed them into the dirt with a resounding 'thunk' and softened up the muck, clogging it together into a hoofball sized bomb of sludge before she rested it between her hooves.

Call it petty, but she had been enjoying her talk and been enjoying her muddiness till this balloon slinging offender came along, once she was sure he was just far enough she used the muscles in her legs to heave down her center of gravity and the mudbomb went hurtling over her head in an arc with a whistle. It wouldn't reappear for a second or two, but when it did it would he heading like a dark brown rocket for the back of that smug young stallion's head. But Muddy wasn't concerned with that, or whether it hit. If it hit near enough the message would've been clear and with that done she turned and glanced at Sweetie Belle with a faintly worried expression.

"Y'okay, kid?"

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Sweetie Belle gaped as she saw them exchange words and mud-balls, eyes wide. They were like big kids! Then Mud Bug turned back to Sweetie Belle.

"Yeah, I'm just fine!" Sweetie Belle chirped happily! "You protected me!" She giggled. "He was silly! And not that bad, at least he helped you get all cleaned up, right?"

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As the self proclaimed 'Master of Evil' is walking away, a splat of mud knocks him forward, throwing off his balance causing him to face plant "GAH!" he shouted as he fell, standing up and walking over to the two in a huff "You rotten little puddle of muck! HOW DARE YOU MUSS MY CLOAK WITH YOUR FILLLLTH! AND YOU!" Dark yells as he points at the little one "NEVER...EVER...Insinuate that I am not EVIL! Or the consequences shall be DIRE! AHHAHAHAHAH!" he cackled like a mad pony laughing at the rain, his red hair partly covered in mud falling in his face, "Now, minions, apologize before I get mad and I'll let you go free... Dark said with a evilly smug smile on his face.

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Not sure what to say at that comment she just kind of gawked akwardly at Sweetie Belle, one ear flicking slightly before a faintly nervous laugh tittered from her, sure, yeah, helping by making her clean. That was totally, totally helpful. She smiled at the little filly's innocence on the matter before her ears swivelled as her bomb hit its target. Grinning she turned and watched Dark Core as he spoke, the grin slowly drawing to a slightly worried look as she watched this colt over her shoulder for a moment or two and then glanced sideways to Sweetie Belle. Was this dude for real?

Then looking back to him she watched his point and raise his voice slightly at the foal and that ticked her off ever so slightly more and she turned to stare the dark coloured male down through her wet, still dripping bangs. Her tickedoff-ness growing more as he demanded an appology in such a condescending manner.

"Minions? -Appologise-?" Taking a few heavy hoof steps closer she narrowed her eyes at Core and found herself practically glaring at this point and time.

"Where do you get off throwing balloons at people and yelling like an amateur drama student at young foals? I should bury you in this garden for acting like some crazed buck."

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Sweetie Belle looked around, her eyes bigger than usual at the sudden spate of yelling and anger... her eyes wavered a little bit, the little pony's lower lip quivering. She hated angry yelling...

"Wh... why are you yelling at me?" she asks, nervously... "What did I do wrong?" She looks up at Mud Bug. "What are console-quiches? Or mini yawns? I was just trying to find out how to see if I could get a cutie mark like hers!" She gives a delicate little sniffle, pawing her front hooves at the ground nervously, her head low to the ground with her worry and nervousness.

"I don't even know what to apologize for. I don't remember saying anything mean!"

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"Yes, apologize... Dark said in a calm demeanor despite the insolent filly yelling right in his face, "Do you know how HARD it is to get stains out of this cape?!" he stated firmly as the little foal behind MudBug began to whimper, her eyes swelling with sadness "What...What you did wrong?!" he stammered out as he noticed the young girl didn't have her cutie mark yet, normally he didn't care whom he tortured, but Dark had a soft spot for 'blank flanks', after years of being made fun of as one "...Just never say I'm not evil again!" he waveringly yelled as he brushed the dirt out of his mane, turning back to the muddy one, "Heheh, amateur am I? Who's the one flailing around in the mud like a fish out of water? So childish...Your little friend there should run along and make herself useful, perhaps as a doorstop or a paperweight! HAHAHHAHA!" he said laughing, watching the filly shiver as clods of mud fell from her mane, it looked rather nice, realizing he was staring at her he shook his head snapping out of it, Huh, hmph, well, as much as you hate to see me go, I must be off! I must find out if the other minions in the town are as disrespectful to their future rule as you two are!" Dark scoffed, giving one last look at Sweetie Belle with a slight hint of guilt, he started to walk off again and talked to himself "Hmm perhaps there's a cleaner or something around here, blast it mud stains are horrible!"

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"YEAH!" She yelled after him. "YOU BETTER GET LOST, YOU CREEP!"

Gritting her teeth in frustration she watched the other leave and snorted faintly, what a total and utter jerk he was. A doorstep!? The poor kid! As he walked away she looked over the stain on the cloak and smirked, silently wishing that it never got washed out before she pressed more important matters first. Turning and looking to the foal worriedly she lowered her head and watched Sweetie Belle. Those eyes could make any pony feel bad and dang if they weren't making her feel awful.

Poor little thing.

Nudging Sweetie's side with her nose she tried to offer a sincere smile at the young filly, watching all her precious mud fall from her bangs and fur, but it was more important that this little one be seen too first and she watched the tiny unicorn hopefully to see if she was alright.

"Hey, don't take any notice of that creep, the guy's obviously got his horn stuck in his brain." She winked at the tiny foal and then looked over herself. Ugh. She was so...-clean-. Glancing over her shoulder she glared at the dark unicorn, who did that guy think he is? Minions indeed. Pfft. She had half a mind to dunk him in mud as she'd said to do, but with that said she supposed it was better to 'take the higher ground' and instead made sure she was here for the unmarked foal.

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Sweetie Belle sniffed sadly, pressing up against MudBug's leg, her head tucked underneath the larger mare. "I'm not useless!" she pouted. She was used to other foals picking on her like that, but she'd never had an adult tell her she was useless, before... "Why do the bullies always say we're useless just 'cause we don't have our cutie mark yet?" She sniffled again, then her back stiffened. "Well, I'm *not* useless!"

Her voice raised as she yelled at the departing Dark Core, her tiny hoof stamping the ground petulantly, her stylish pink and lavender mane bouncing with the ferocity of her tiny rage. "You're just a big bully! A big bully just like all the other bullies who pick on us for having a blank flank! Well, I don't care! Cause I could have *any* cutie mark! Any cutie mark I want! And when I get it, it'll be awesome! You were probably *first* in your class to get *your* cutie mark! And that's why you're so mean!"

Then she ducked her head and hid under MudBug again, sniffling. "I'm not useless..." she mumbled...

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Stopping dead in his tracks at the sound of the young foals words, Dark stood motionless for a moment and silent for a moment,"As a matter of fact.....I was the last in my class..." he mumbled quietly but loud enough for them to hear "....Who makes fun of you for not having a cutie mark?!" he said without looking back, tears of remorse and rage falling down his cheeks, "NO ONE DOES THAT! NOT ON MY WATCH! I WILL MAKE THEM PAY!" Dark yelled, "Such things will not happen so long as I rule this land!" his rage building as he thought on the past bullying he received and the bullying his sister was going through at this very second, he couldn't let it just happen, not on his new turf, not when he was just gaining a foothold, at least in his mind, beginning to calm down some so he could plot, Dark spoke, "I never make fun of someone for having a blank flank, even I'm not that low, now tell me" he glances over his shoulder, "Who's making fun of you for not having their cutie mark? In the name of all that is evil, they willl rue the day that they picked on MY minions!!" he said turning around to face the two, not noticing the hair dye in his pelt started to run a little around his face.

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Bug watched on with a great ammount of respect as Sweetie belted out her feelings heart and soul at the jerkwad, smiling akwardly as it dwindled off to sniffles and hiding under her like she was a pony umbrella or blanket and leaning her head down to try and coersively nudge the tiny foal's cheek, in some manner of comfort. She'd never dealt with foals a lot, but they needed gentle words and comfort as much as any fretting or upset pony.

Even then, she was suprised at what happened next. The other's yelling made her groan in faint frustration, about ready to pummel the stupid stallion as she rose her head and stared defiantly at Dark Core. There he went. Flapping his lips. Yelling. Crying-wait. What?

Arching a brow in faint confusion she couldn't help but blink at the male for a moment or two...was he standing up for the little foal after all that insulting and mayhem he tried to cause?

That...was confusing.

She kept herself next to Sweetie quite protectively as she watched Dark Core, lavender eyes narrowed behind her forelock that had finally stopped dripping and watched as the dye ran out of his cheeks with his tears....he dyed his pelt? Didn't mares do that? That was just...weird. He saw the faint colour of white under the watered down black and then glanced to the foal.

"Not to burst your bubble, but how exactly are you going to 'rule this land' as you so eloquently put it? More water balloons?" She motioned to herself with a faint smirk. "Somehow I doubt that's gonna cut it."

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Sweetie Belle looked up at Dark Core in confusion, her little brow furrowed. "But... you did..." she sniffles, confused. "You called me useless... " She let out a whuffle, shook her head.

Then she straightened up, taking a deep breath. "You stay away from the cutie mark crusaders!" she cried, suddenly feeling stronger now. She wanted her cutie mark, true, but she wasn't the most sensative about it. Apple Bloom, depsite how tough the little farm foal was, had been far more hurt at not having her cutie mark. And she wouldn't let him hurt her friends! "Apple Bloom doesn't need you making her feel bad just because she doesn't have her cutie mark, either! You come near Scootaloo or Apple Bloom and I'll... I'll... I'll give you such a kicking!"

She turned her back on Dark Core, kicked her hind hoof at the dirt, sending up a little puff of dust, and dismissed him with a toss of her stylish mane.

"Come along, Miss ... um ... " she said. As usual, when times were tough, she resorted to trying to act like how she imagined Rarity would act. "Miss whoeveryouare. We are ladies, and a lady does not allow a bully to make her lose her composure. You were telling me about your gardening work?"

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"Hehehe, spunky...I like that, you'll do just fine kid" Dark said sniffling a little, "Crusaders huh...hahaha, best of luck with that! Don't take guff from anyone, besides, I don't make fun of ponies for not having their cutie mark, I often find those WITH cutie marks are more useless than those without heheheh" he laughed regaining his usual smug and better than you demeanor, "But remember child, if you or your 'Crusaders' interfere with my plans at world domination, I won't be nice about it! I'll not have some meddling foals running amok and foiling me, stay out of my way and when I rule this world, the ones who called you a blank flank will be strung from the highest hills or perhaps fed to a Hydra even, OOH that gives me an idea!" Dark said with confidence as he reached into his pouch to pull out a blue print, he had all sorts of 'evil' things is his Pouch of Doom, from water balloons to itching powder to bottled Poison Joke extract, "I could take some vines and wrap them up and use them as a yo-yo over a hungry Hydra, oooh the possibilities!" he said lost in thought drawing sketches on his blue print, rather sloppily though.

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A newfound respect had been birthed for the little foal infront of her before seeing the perky little filly kick up dust to which she laughed heartily at, this girl knew how to look after herself alright. She was the bomb. Taking one more cautious look back to the strange pony who was now going on about some ridiculous and dangerous sounding plan she couldn't help but turn with Sweetie Belle and mutter something quiet enough for only the young lady to hear.

"That dude's a little loopy in the brain, maybe we should see about heading him off to the crazy barn." It was more a playful joke than anything as she smiled at Sweetie Belle and found her hooves deep back into the mud, letting out a small, pleased sigh as she squished her hooves around indulgently once more.

Something then popped at the top of her head as she turned back to the foal and smiled to her.

"By the way, the name's MudBug, heh, for obvious reasons." Making her point clear by stepping on a large pile of mud and listening to the sloshy squelch as it escaped around her hoof.

"What about yourself, tiger? What's your name?"

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Sweetie Belle couldn't help but giggle at MudBug's quiet comment, her nose ducking and her shoulders hunching up sweetly. She stopped as her front hoof squelched into the mud, and lifted it up, the hoof covered in brown muck. She lowered her head to peer uncertainly first at her hoof, then at the churned, wet garden patch. She lowered her hoof once more, feeling the mud squish beneath her hoof.

"My name's Sweetie Belle!" she informed MudBug cheerfully, as she took another step into the mud, then another. Once all four hooves were muddy, though, she seemed to lose her reservations, prancing daintily through the mud. The little foal kept her head high, and her posture pristine, as she traipsed through the mud, making 'getting muddy' seem proper and lady-like.

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Watching on quietly, she found her smile tugging slightly at the corners of her muzzle. It did her heart good to see ponies enjoying mud, sloshing around like happy piggies to enjoy the soft, moist squelch, the cooling sensation against their pelt. It was a perfect way to spend the day and seeing this pure white little foal prancing around like a show pony in the muck just made her titter good naturedly. She moved to join her as she squelched and smooshed her way into the mud, dragging her hooves into the dirt to part the muck like waves and pile them into vertical lines whilst Sweetie enjoyed herself.

"I'm glad you're having fun, this is probably one of the funnest jobs there is, to me atleast, I can't spend one whole day without getting my hooves into some nice wet, sludgy mud."

Looking over to the foal as she moved some mud aside with her nuzzle before playfully nudging her messy muzzle on Sweetie's side.

"I sometimes help up at Sweet Apple acres with the pig sty, the dirt for the seeds, the old trees and the like, it's a lot of fun and a big level of freedom....'cept when ponies complain about me being dirty."

There was a faint roll to her eyes. Dirty, there was nothing wrong with her mud. She was just enjoying herself. If ponies didn't like her being muddy, it was their problem and they could just live with that.

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Sweetie Belle pranced merrily through the mud, and she had to admit that it was kinda fun, squishing through the wet gooey muck in nice neat rows. She nodded, listening politely, but what was really running through her head was a little music, turning it into a song, the words tumbling over each other much like the globs of mud flying from her hooves. She didn't even mind when MudBug smeared mud all over her side. And as usual when a song bubbled up inside her, she just *had* to open up her muzzle to sing it softly.

o/~

Blub glub plop, little squishy mudpit,

squelch underhoof as I trot all around!

Blub glub plop, little squishy mudpit!

what is as fun as this wet sticky ground?

Blub glub plop, when the rain has fallen,

your soothing gloop sends your worries away

Blub glub plop, while the sun is burnin'

you still stay wet and and cool all the day!

Blub, glub, plip, plop!

o/~

Her hooves squished through the mud in merry counterpoint to the song bubbling softly up from her throat, her eyes lightly closed as she just enjoyed the warm sun, the cool mud, and the merry music that was always a part of her.

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Mid work she couldn't help but blink mid slosh of mud as the little foal opened up her pipes and started singing, sitting herself down she listened on and couldn't help but stare in awe of the little lady for a moment or two. Dang, this kid didn't have a cutie mark? It was pretty obvious what her talent was! I mean she was shocked the birds hadn't started joining in with this little honey, still she supposed it was better for her to find out on her own. That didn't stop her raising her hooves and clopping as she cheered at the foal with a fevour, she did appreciate a good song.

"Woo! Dang kid, you got some serious pipes on you, that was an -awesome- song!" Moving to her hooves she smiled, noticing the white foal was now caked with mud and smirking somewhat worriedly, she did come from Carousel Boutique right? A thought struck her and she hid a small, mischevious glint in her eyes. That prissy perfect unicorn would have a fit to see an equally perfect little unicorn caked in mud, besides, the kid enjoyed herself and it would be a scorcher today. She could tell. Best to let her keep the mud.

Still..

"So kid, I noticed you now and then coming out of the boutique, you work there?"

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