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Wings of their Own


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Jonagold looked up from his spot in the shade of the very last apple tree in the orchard before the farm gave way to short dry grassland, and then very quickly, desert. The tree was his own special place, the apples usually too hard and wormy from their fringe life to be of any good, so the branches were usually filled with whatever bits of natural detritus happened to catch the young colts eye when he was exploring. Currently, it was decorated with feathers he had found and strung with baker's twine to the ends of all the branches. The entire tree fluttered whichever way the wind blew.

A flock of vultures wheeled in the air near the mountains that separated Appleoosa from Raptorclaw canyon, the dreaded Griffin Lands, about a good half-hour's trot, but nowhere he'd never been before. His interest piqued, he ran back to the barn to grab his specially-made saddlebag, two pockets on one side (one for snacks, one for treasures he found along the way) deep, but easily opened; one large pocket on the other side completely filled with a waterskin containing fresh well water. A straw poked out of the waterskin side, so all Jona had to do was look back and he had instant hydration. His parents had told him to never go into the desert without adequate water.

He had just finished buckling the saddlebag on to himself when a filly came into the barn. From the white coat (although hers was a little less dirty), the gold and pink mane, and even the apple tree cutie mark, she was nearly identical, yet more delicate looking than the sturdy young colt.

Now Jona, although he lived his sister dearly, considered her at best a drag to take on adventures, and at worst a tattletale who was always getting him in trouble. "What do you want, Gala?"

Where are you going? Can I come? Was her response, while a huge pleading grin was plastered over her face. He'd argue with her, but he knew from past experience that there was no use. It was either put up with her being a drag, or she'd go tell their parents and he'd have to stay home until tomorrow.

"Fine, but I'm going on an adventure and you won't have any fun out in the desert. So don't go complaining to me when you're hot and tired and wanna go home". Gala just smiled and nodded, slipping into her similar saddlebag.

Together the siblings began the journey in the hot summer sun to the base of the mountains.

The vultures had been pecking on a now nearly unidentifiable mass of pink feathers and bones. Jona went in for a closer look.

"Jonagold, that is DEEEESgusting", whined Gala, covering her nose with one hoof.

"Well, nobody asked you to tag along!", he retorted. He looked at the pile of feathers a bit longer, stepping on one end of the bird wing, and extending the other with his free front hoof, observing how the bones were connected and the feathers worked together.

"Aw man, this is cool! I have the best idea! I'll make WINGS, to get some air off the cliffs! Jus' go home, Gala, I gotta find Nova 'n' Arpy!". The white colt gathered up some of the larger feathers into his saddlebag, despite the stink, and galloped off towards Appleoosa. "An' I gotta get me some more feathers!"

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"Sorry kid, you know the rules, this place is for big ponies. Now go on home so I don't have to talk to your parents."

The stallion walked Arrow Plain out the door and down the steps off the Ol' Salt Block. Arrow Plain had been trying for days to get in there, and she finally was able to sneak in unnoticed for about five minutes before somebody spotted her and called her out. "I AM a big pony," she muttered to herself as she scuffed her way down the dusty road. As she was thinking about how grown up she believed she is, she spotted hats on display at the hat store. "I know! Everypony in Appleloosa has a hat! If I get a hat, maybe they'll stop treating me like a little foal!" Excited, Arrow scurried on to the store and ran inside.

The bell above the door jingled. "Can I help yah, lil' one?" The clerk asked nicely.

"Pfft... little. Um, naw, I'm just lookin'." Arrow stepped slowly through the store looking at all the different styles of hats, headdresses, and wigs. Until she spotted one that look just perfect! She grabbed it off the rack it was displayed on. "How much for this one?"

"I tell you what," the mare said to her, "It's tagged at 12 bits, but I'll give it to you for 9."

"Great! I'll take it!" Arrow pulled out the spare money she had in her pack and threw it on the counter that was just out of her reach. She took her hat and turned towards the door.

She balanced herself on her hind legs to place her hat on her head. Incidentally, she used to much force and her horn ripped right through the top of the hat. "Ooooww, it tore! Stupid horn!" Arrow Plain already resented her unicorn ways, as she has been unable to perform any kind of magic. She would have much rather been a pegasus. At least then she could fly.


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Jonagold , in a cloud of dust and foam, arrived on Mane Street just in time to see Arrow Plain walk into the hat store. He was just about to speed after her when he was trounced by a grey-pink streak from the balcony of the nearby inn. He and the unicorn who had jumped on him fell into a pile in the dust.

"NOOOVA!"The white pony protested, "Whyya haveta greet me like that. Can't you jus' say "Howdy!" Like a normal pony?" The pale dusty mauve unicorn with the brightly colored hair looked at him with what seemed to be huge jeweled eyes and grinned wildly. "An' take those things off", he added indignantly, "They give me the willies"

Nova chuckled at him and flipped her goggles up over her forelock. "But it's just SO funny to catch you unawares, that's all", she said, "You're just usually so observant that I don't even have a chance. And the look on your face...". By now both colt and filly were laughing. "Anyway, what are you doing out here. I thought you were working on your tree today"

Jona proffered the feathers from his saddlebag to his friend and explained his idea of making a set of wings. She listened intently while suspending and spinning them above them with a swirling cloud of sand to clean them.

"Woah, that sounds so cool!", Nova exclaimed when he was done, "But we can't do it without Arpy, she'll kill us! And I haven't seen her all day. I was just looking for her too!"

Gesturing towards the hat store, the sturdy white colt said, "I just saw her go in there.", they trotted up to the store, kicked hooves off on the hoof scraper so they wouldn't drag the dust in and swung open the screen door. The feathers sneaked in behind Nova before the door shut again. When they saw the yellow unicorn standing there looking dejected in the ruined hat, they tried hard not to laugh, but couldn't help it. She just looked so funny standing there pouting with her horn sticking through the hat.

Jonagold composed himself and told Arpy about his plan to make feathered gliders like birds' wings to see if they could fly off the cliff behind Nova's house.

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Arpy, dejected look and all, saw her two friends make their way through the door, jingling the bell, and then followed by the punctual greeting from the clerk. Arpy tried to hide her hat troubles away, but then realized it was the first thing they noticed, so it was too late. They started snickering silently. "Uuuh, hey guys! What's up? Oh this?" Arpy nervously sped up her response to her friends laughing at her, but then slowed down her tempo with confidence. She stuck her chest out. "It's my new hat, and I always wear hats like this. It's the new thing..."

Jonagold, having finished his laughing, immediately began spilling his newly discovered flying experiment. He was really excited about it. After hearing all that he had to say, him leaning forward for a response, Arpy raised an eyebrow and gave a small questioning look. As she was taking in slowly everything Jona had to say, She could see two large feathers sticking out of his pack. Just then, arpy's irises touched all ends of her eyelids. She shouted, "THAT IS THE BEST IDEA EVER!!!"

Arpy began day-dreaming in her mind. She could picture herself soaring high in the sky, playfully doing loops and somersaults in the air. She imagined her front hooves magically turning into wings, as if adding old dead bird's wings was going to cause that kind of phenomenon. Arpy was ready to believe anything and that the possibilities were endless.


Arpy left the conversation for a moment due to her imagination wandering. Her eyes stared up at nothing while she envisioned her dreams.

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After watching her stare at the sky for a bit, Nova gently nudged Arrow Plain out of her reverie with a hoof. "Hey, kid, we're not quite there yet," she said, laughing a little. Nova was just two seasons older than the yellow unicorn, and felt herself much wiser sometimes when Arpy got ahead of herself with her need for wings.

"I don't know about this, Jona, your front leg JUST healed", said the pale greyish-pink unicorn, frowning a little, looking back at the white pony with the golden mane, "your mom's gonna be super mad if you get hurt again

"No, no, no, Nova, ya see, we're gonna use your magic to hold it all together, and make sure there's a buncha haystacks at the bottom of the cliff." he replied.

Nova looked at Arpy again. "You know this means we get to do all the work of moving the haystack, right? How's your levitation coming?"

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  • 2 weeks later...


Arpy nearly fell over after Nova nudged her in the side. She shook herself to her senses after day-dreaming about her wing fantasy. "Hehe, yeah.... yeah... ...we're not there yet," Arpy painfully agreed. Arpy's smile demoted to an invisible frown. It wasn't necessarily easy for Arpy to think about how hard it may be to fly. She had already been through so much already throughout her life and she wasn't too excited about having to be a little more patient to get herself in the air. However, she hid her emotional flaws well between her friends.

As her two friends began exchanging thoughts concerning Jona's recently-healed leg and the use of magic for their cause, Arpy began to understand what was soon to come. A question about 'how her magic was coming along'. Arpy dreaded those questions. She heard them from her foster parents, she heard them from her teachers, and on a soon-to-be adventurous day like today, she even heard it from her friends. Arpy was failing at magic. She was the worst student when it came to magic in her class, from all of the unicorns, that is. Occasionally, her peers would even joke that some of her earth pony classmates could perform more magic than she could.

Arpy closed her eyes and wished to herself that her magic wouldn't be brought up. Ironically, a very mild sensation ran through her horn, but it couldn't be heard or seen by her friends. And then Nova asked the dreaded question. Arpy got a nervous twitch and bounced her response around the room like a rubber bouncing ball spilling off positive and negative vibes in the same sentence. "Levi-what? OH! Levitation. Yeah, it's a, it's okay. I mean, it's not bad. It needs work. But I can do it! Yeah..." Arpy finished her answer with a false confidence. "Yeah, I can do it, no problem!"

The only thing Arpy had ever levitated was her broken feelings about her own inabilities. These feelings have hung suspended right under her proud personality for years.

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'B..But Ma!' was all Golden Delicious could get out before the bakery door was shut and she was forced outside.

Okay, so she had gotten a little tired of thumbing through the cookbooks. And had started to reorganize all of Ma's spices by stinkiest to nicest. And then there was all that flour she tipped into today's batch of sarsaparilla. Yeah - that may have been it. Problem is she didn't have any clue what to do now that she was banished out of the frontdoor of the bakery and into the town square. After being migrants for much of their life, Golden Delicious was having quite a trying time learning how to stay put. It was weird having her own room with her own stuff. And Ma and Pa were always so insistent that she go out and make some friends. Not like she plum well knew how to.

'Dag nabbit! What the hay needles am I'm gonna do now.? Hmm... Oh! I'll help Pa!' she says with a grin in a moment of inspiration... which is quickly dashed as her mind wandered over to her Pa's task for the day - clearing out a potentially usable field of cactus. She hissed to herself in mock pain at the idea of spending a day under the sun dealing with all them prickly plants. 'Err...then again I recon' he got his hooves full. Consarn it...' she mumbles to herself as she wanders away from the bakery door.

It was proving to be a dusty if not bustling day around the center of town. She scans for any sign of life that could hold her attention for more than a flicker. Ma and Pa were out of the question. Could harass the ponies working on the horse drawn horsedrawn carriages but they were no fun last time. She didn't have much in the way of bits so doing shopping was right out. Great, she was going to have to make her own fun.

And then!

*GAAAAAASP* Other ponies! Her age! Nearby! Maybe this was her day to actually make friends in the new town. She checked her ponytail. No bugs in it today. She lifted her hoof to check her breath - egh, could be worse. And now the approach. Slow and steady... that's right. Her eyes roll back as she starts to recount what her Pa told her as she moves closer,'Golden Delicious, buck on up, yah hear? You're a smart filly. Make yourself some friend and don't go on thinkin' your gonna do somethin' silly!' Seems she didn't account for how close she was the the crew because she was pretty much within earshot of the crew for the whole monologue. As her eyes reconnect with the crew, the blankflank lets out a little nervous giggle. 'Ugh, ha..a..howdy?'

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Nova nodded to Arrow Plain, understanding that sometimes the magic took time when you were a filly. She had only JUST begin to reliably use the levitation spells herself. "You an' me can practice pelting Gala with windfall apples from atop the barn later just so we can make sure we're both ready for this. Or we can get that lazy-bones Cloudburst joker who's come to town, if you want", she chuckled, winking at her fellow unicorn.

She turned to Jonagold, to get his opinion, but he was busy staring at a newcomer. A little bright-eyed and bushy-tailed golden filly had trotted up to them on the boarded sidewalk and was introducing herself, or at least trying to the white colt. Jonagold just stood there, mouth agape, on the verge of saying something that he just couldn't spit out.

Nova moved a hoof under the Jona's open mouth and shut it for him. "You'll catch flies!" She whispered slyly so that only he could hear.

"Oh how do you do? I haven't seen you around here before, so you must be new....or just visitin'!." The dusty pink unicorn flipped her goggles from her forelock and let them dangle around her neck so that they weren't holding wisps of her mane in her eyes any longer, extending a hoof. " I'm Nova, this here's Arrow Plain, but we call'er Arpy, and this eloquent fella here's Jonagold"

Jona didn't remove his gaze from the pretty filly. "You were, um, talking to yourself." said quietly. That's the only reason I was lookin' at ya like that." With that he blushed and turned away.

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Arrow giggled at Nova's statements. Her giggle was very odd and she tried to hide it. Nova reminded her of the easiest thing to do when being frustrated in one's own inability - make fun of other ponies. Arrow thought real hard for a moment what it would be like performing Nova's suggestions in the most satisfying way. But then, a new filly walked up to the trio. A gold-colored filly who seemed to spark Jonagold's interest in a way that can't easily be explained. Nova greeted her and introduced herself, Arpy, and Jona. Arrow noticed right away that the new filly she had never seen was a blank flank. Arrow grinned at this knowledge. Arrow found pleasure in other people's misfortune, probably because she had so much misfortune herself. It wasn't healthy, but Arrow couldn't steer herself away from thoughts of picking on the new pony.

"Howdy, Blanks!"

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(ooc): Just got approved to RP the Sheriff, I'm up to speed and won't get in the way of the mane storyline


"This is turnin' out ta be a very perdy day!" Sheriff Silverstar said outloud as he trotted out of his office and into the street. The brown furred mustached stallion prepared to begin his daily 'stroll around town.' He was living his dream here in Appleloosa. Since the settlement was founded, Silverstar had been actively involved in watching over the fine pony citizens of town. He took his job as sheriff very seriously, having earned the respect of the majority of the Appleloosians in the process. As he walked down the dusty street, he greeted everypony he met by name, giving all of them a respectful bow of the head as he went on this way. Soon he spotted a group of younger ponies gathered together.

"Well now, thar's sumtun y'all don't see every day," he said to himself. "I wonder what them youngin's is up to. Sure hopin' they ain't fixin' to git into a peck of trouble. Better see what'a goin' on."

Sheriff Silverstar walked casually up to the group, not wanting to spook or scare them away.

"Hello thar youngin's!" he said with a polite smile. "Ain't this an absotively perdy day? What's y'all doin'?"

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The filly was still nervously smiling like that one time she snuck into the Salt Lick without permission. Good to see the crowd didn't find her rambling introduction too off-putting. She grasped that extended hoof and gave it a firm shake just like her Pa taught. "Well greetin's there Gala, Arpy, and Jona. Fam'lies moved into the bakery. Ma does the pies and Pa does all the hard laborin'. So, yeah, all new and sorts." She turns her gaze to catch the slackjawed male as she gives him a sideways glance. She was going to make some hushed comment to Gala but is interrupted by his question, "Oh, well see... well, I ain't the best versed in speekin'. Kinda had to give myself a little peppin' up!" she says with a smirk.

Her attention focuses now on the yellow unicorn and her "blanks" comment. She blinks a little and the comment goes right over her head. She instead smiles back to her and gives back a friendly smile. "Hey Arpy. Nice to meetcha. Umm... nice hat." she says, likely unaware of the unis difficulty and the resulting hole she added to it a moment before. The golden earth pony was feeling far more relaxed now that all the introductions had finally wrapped up and they all seemed nice enough. All in all, one right good introductions without any apparent slip-ups.

She watches as the sheriff makes his way towards the group and gives him a big old smile, "Afternoon sir! I ain't got no clue myself. What were you guys fixin' to do? What's them buzzard feathers for?" she says with a point of her hoof. Sure enough, those same two rouge feathers are sticking out conspicuously from the pack. And it likely didn't help their cause that the authority may be clued in on the youngin's plans.

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Jonagold was appreciative for the distraction that the sherrif brought. He didn't know why he was so durn tongue-tied around this new filly; usually fillies, especially girly ones like his sister Gala, made him roll his eyes, except, of course Nova 'n' Arpy, who were just as good as colts.

"Howdy Shurrif Silverstar, um, we're just fixin' to build a kite! That's right, a kite, and we're gonna see how high we can fly it! he grinned widely "I'll sure be fun, doncha think?"

Nova smiled at her friend "Don't worry, Sherrif, I'll keep him in line," she added hastily, "We won't do anything too foolish, just kid-stuff. Jona learned his lesson good from the last time.". Nova wasn't all that great at the subtleties of lying to authority figures.

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Arrow waited for some kind of humiliated response from the newly introduced filly. At this moment, Arrow was guilty of setting up a verbal conflict. Fortunately for the time being, Golden Delicious didn't seem phased by her remark. But then in Arrow's amazement, she returned an adorable smile and replied with a half-hearted compliment about her hat, giving gesture to the fact that it was worn so erroneously. Arrow jumped to conclusions in thought. How dare she poke fun at me like that. She was about ready to burst and lash out negative comments with no regard of feelings towards the little filly. Arrow wasn't always a bully to others younger than her nor was she somepony who lacked the ability to meet new ponies. There was just something about Golden that twisted Arrow's tail in a direction she did not much like. She leaned forward in an attempt to interject a verbal lashing. But before she could, the law himself intervened into the situation.

Arrow was very surprised that Jonagold told the first lie of the day. Usually on these adventures, Arrow would be the one using her tongue as a manipulative diving board. She wasn't mad though, as it kept the magnifying glass off herself. The last thing she needed was an older pony, especially the Sheriff, weeding out her lies and confronting her, asking for the facts of her day. And it certainly wouldn't have been the first time the Sheriff dealt with Arrow's rowdy personality.

Just then, Arrow realized her situation. According to the older ponies at the Salt Block, Miss Arrow Plain was sent home on the account of her trying to sneak into the bar and use the house piano as a launchpad for her first flying trick. What if the bartender had told the Sheriff? What if he knows I'm not supposed to be out here? Arpy considered the choices. She thought about running. She thought about begging for mercy. Heck, she even thought about flying away as a possibility. But since none of those options seemed feasible at this current juncture with her friends and acquaintances all together she decided to do it the way she usually does it, play it cool. Arrow removed her hat.

"Howdy, Sheriff!" Arrow refused eye contact but addressed him positively. "Yup, we're just buildin' a kite to see how high we can fly." Arrow knowingly paused. "IT. How high we can fly IT." Arrow grinned playfully, trying to bluff away the detection of their mischief.


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"A kite ya say?" Sheriff Silverstar asked, giving the entire group a look over. He gave a close look at their gear. Seemed odd that all of that was equipment used in kite flying, but the mustached stallion decided to give them the benefit of the doubt. "Must be one humdinger of a kite! I can remember when I was your age, youngins, I tried to fly a box kite. Never thought I'd git that durn thing off duh ground! Took several tries till I got it up in the wild blue yonder! Yes-sir-ee! Flyin' a kite can be a real barrel of fun! Y'all be careful out there and stay close to town. I hear tell thar's some nasty characters out in the desert. Not talkin' bout our buffalo friends, talkin' bout real, fierce lookin' critters that'll chase right after ya! And if'n y'all do stay outside too long, best bring plenty of water! Fun's no fun if'n ya gits your brain all sunburnt! If'n ya need any help, give a good loud yell and I'll come-a runnin'! Ok?"

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“Oh!†she exclaims as she is finally brought into the plan, “A kite is it? Well, I reckon we can fashion up a dandy! And with the breeze and all we can sure get ‘er goin easy!†As yes, she was already starting to work out the plans. Her mind wandered for a moment as she started to replace her usual kite making bits with what she could find around. Hmm... tumbleweeds ain’t gonna make straight enough sticks. Suppose she could sneak back in the bakery and get a few old burlap sacks. Oh! She was so excited and she was already makin’ friends!

She perks back up right as Sheriff Silverstar finishes that story of his with an ‘ok?’ as she pops back to attention. “Aww yes sir, sir. I’m sure we’ll be doin’, er... whatever you said we were to be doin.†okay, so she was caught up thinkin’ about how to make kites and didn’t catch some most any of it.

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Nova wryly "We'll do just that Sherrif, sir. An' you know that my saddlebag's always filled with water. We'll be careful" She wasn't a fan of lying to the the mustached pony, wasn't a fan of fibbing at all actually, but if they were gonna have any fun at all, he had to be kept in the dark. "'Shame, really", thought Nova, "His stories are always really funny."

Arpy piped up with the least subtle response imaginable. She was in rare form today, the dusty pink unicorn decided. Between the mischievous twinkle in her eye, and calling the newcomer "Blanks" in hopes to get a rise out of her, Nova could tell it was going to be quite hard to keep this a secret for long.

Jonagold finally regained his composure, "Golden Delicious, you wanna tell your folks you're comin' over to the Opuntia Orchard? That's Ma and Pa's farm, it's over t' the south of town. We're gonna see if we can rustle up Cloudburst, he's this pegasus in town, and get some flight pointers, mebbe some feathers."

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Arrow held her cheesy grin until Sheriff Silverstar had left the conversation. She let it out with a satisfying exhale, for she wasn't in trouble... yet, anyway. After Nova gave the Sheriff assurance that they'd be alright, Jonagold spoke up to Golden and invited her over in their journey. It appeared that Golden still didn't know exactly what they were doing.

Arrow gave the small lashing she had tried so hard to hold inside. "Yeah, what are we waiting for, guys? Let's get going with this flying." Arrow peered at Golden and gave a needless bark. "You better not slow us down, missy, ya hear? Let's go!" Arrow was beginning to get impatient.

If Jonagold's idea was anywhere close to being worthy of trying, Arrow wasn't going to miss it for the world. She disagreed, however, with Jonagold's implication that Cloudburst would be of any help. She viewed Cloudburst as a waste of a pegasus pony, lazy and uninspiring. She believed if she had wings, she would do more in one day than Cloudburst has ever done in his life. "Are you sure we should be wasting our time with Cloudburst, Jona?"

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As Sheriff Silverstar departed, he had a big grin on his face.

"Them youngin's and their kite!" he said to himself. "Fine buncha foals. Maybe if I'm lucky, I'll git to see their kite over the horizon once it gits in the air."

The mustached stallion walked down the street.

"Not a whole heckova lotta wind today. Sure hope them foals can handle that kite. They'll be powerful disappointed if'n they can't fly it today. Maybe I should go help'm. Nope! Somethings a foal's gotta learn on their own."

Sheriff Silverstar continued on his way.

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Golden was still none the wiser of her newfound friends’ schemes. As far as she was concerned it was going to be a nice day of kite making. She smiles back to Jonagold, “I shor’ can. Iff’in you need any supplies I’m sure between Ma’s bakery and Pa’s tools I right find us a heap of stuff for makin’ kites. Lookin’ forward to it all.â€Â

As she turning to head back to the bakery to tell Ma and nose around for a few kite worthy supplies, she catches Arrows barbed comment. And once again, the orange haired earth pony doesn’t even register the bark. She giggles and gives a salute with her right hoof, “Yes mam, mam! I’ll hurry to - on the double – with an extra little giddy-up ta spare! Yeeee-hooo!†she says before trotting her way from the group and back to the bakery.

She even catches up past Sheriff Silverstar as she hurriedly reaches the door of the bakery and pounds on the door. “Maaaaa! Come on Ma! I ain’t gonna sit on my tookus no more! I got me some genuine friends who are goin out for kite makin! I’m gonna help!†as the door opens from the over end Golden gives a little wave back to her collected new pals, “I’ll see you all on over in the drop of Pa’s beaten ‘ol hat!†And she vanishes looking for building supplies.

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Cloudburst was laying on his back in a cloud above the saloon, soaking in the sun, and sending little puffs of cloud skyward for his own amusement. The young stallion was bored, SO bored. Come to think of it, unless he was makin' time with the fillies he was ALWAYS bored. Somepony in town was always askin' him to do something he didn't wanna do. "Earn his keep" they said. "Be part of the community."

Well, he wasn't having it. Just because he had some wicked cool weather skills didn't mean they were the town's for the taking. Sure he'd do a little crop-watering for enough bits for his weekend trips to the Salt Lick, but he did it when he wanted, where he wanted, for WHO he wanted. And that was that.

So when a group of who he considered mere foals came up the dusty road shouting his name, he did what any young and immature adult would do. He pretended he wasn't there.

"Ah know you're up there, Cloud, I kin see your tail", Jonagold cried out, "we need a couplea feathers and some flight tips".

Cloudburst peered over the edge of his cloud at Arrow Plain ("Pain in the flank", he thought), Nova ("Will be fine and foxy in a few seasons"), and Jonagold "Weird kid who won't leave me alone. What a pest. Sister's hot though.").

WHAT do you little dorks want? he sneered at them, crankier than was usual, even for a generally sarcastic pony like him, "FLIGHT TIPS". He doubled over laughing in his cloud. "How are two midget unicorns, and a chubby mule gonna get get airborne?"

"Jona, this was a stupid idea. Arpy's right. Cloudburst's a jerk. He'll never help us. Let's just go figure this out ourselves" whispered Nova, a little louder than she intended to.

"I'm a WHAT, little miss pinkmane?" the pegasus thundered to the ground, eyeing up the filly. Once the cloud of dust his hooves stirred up upon landing abated, the trio could see that he was bandaged in many places and had a cast on part of his wing. There were gaps in the flight feathers of his wing. Bruises were noticeable underneath his pale yellow coat.

"Woah, what happened to you?" Nova asked, astonished, but secretly suspecting that Cloudburst mouthed off to the wrong stallion.

"None of your business, princess." The yellow pegasus growled, shaking his turquoise and sea green mane. He turned to Jonagold. "You show me bits, you get some feathers. Not giving you flight lessons though. I'm not wasting my time on the likes of you foals". With a flick of his tail, he launched himself back to his cloud, leaving Nova to have to magically raise the bits up to the surly young pegasus. In response two sad, slightly broken lemon-colored primary feathers floated down, and were caught by a breeze, leaving the trio to chase them back towards the bakery where they were supposed to meet Golden Delicious.

'What a MEAN JERK," Nova shouted back at Cloudburst when they finally caught the feathers.

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Just as Arrow asked Jonagold her critical question concerning Cloudburst, Jonagold spotted Cloudburst in the sky. After Cloudburst's inevitable and scurrilous dialog with the others, they chased after the two feathers Cloudburst left being carried by the wind. Nova caught one of the feathers. Arrow jumped as high as she could and caught the second one with her mouth, doing a little showing off in the process. She spit the feather out onto her hoof as soon she realized whose feather was temporarily lodged in between her teeth. She held the feather up in all of it's bent and broken glory. "THIS!? This is what he gives us?"

Arrow flicks the feather back into the air before it falls slowly towards the ground again. She began pacing just outside the bakery as the three waited for Golden Delicious. "We're not going to be able to fly with these feathers. We're going to need to get more. But from where...?" Arrow taps her chin a few times as she thinks about where they could get feathers. And then it dawned on her. A new store had just opened in Appleloosa a few days ago, and it was called Davenport and Son. They specialized in selling furniture, something several settler ponies could use out in the uncivilized desert of the Pinto Plains. But, they also supplied inkwells and quills for the use as writing utensils. "Hey guys, we can get a bunch of quills from that new store that just opened up and use them for flying! What'd'ya say, Jona?"

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(ooc): Good fortune is about to shine on the foals!


Sheriff Silverstar walked back towards his office when he met Louise LaMare, one of the newest residents of Appleoosa. The famous pioner pony/Western novelist and author had just moved to town to live, wanting to fulfill her lifelong dream of truly living in a frontier pony town! The brown furred Pegasus was sort of 'sweet' on the Sheriff, though she hadn't really been brave enough to say it yet. Louise met the Sheriff in front of his office, dragging a rather large but surprisingly light burlap sack in her teeth.

"Good morning, Sheriff!" Louise said after spitting out the sack from her mouth.

"Good mornin' Miss LaMare! How's the moving going?"

"Well, I haven't found a plot of land or house I want to purchase yet, but I shipped all of my things out here to put them in storage. The problem is, I shipped out so much stuff there isn't room to store it in the storage barn I'm renting.

"I'm power sorry bout that, Miss LaMare. Anythin' I can do to help ya?"

"There is one thing you can give me, some information. I managed to sell some of my excess furniture to a nice pony couple a half hour ago. I'm trying to get rid of some things I really don't need anymore. Does Appleoosa have a city dump or someplace to send garbage?"

"Absoltively we do, Miss LaMare. But tell me, that thar sack you're draggin' around looks big but seems to be very light. If ya don't mind me askin', whatcha got in there?"

"Well, this is part of the stuff I want to throw away. It's full of all the feathers I've ever molted since I was a foal. I know it's silly, but I kept them all. Every once in a while, a Pegasus molts it's feathers much like birds do.

"And you saved ALL of them? If'n ya don't mind me askin', Miss LaMare, but why?"

"Sedimental reasons, I suppose. I'm been a hoarder all my life. Guess that's why I have so much stuff, I just don't like throwing things away. But after much thought and the fact that I have no room to keep this sack in storage anymore, I just want to get rid of it."

"SAY! I jist had a jim dandy idear! See them youngin's over there? They're gonna go out into the desert to make and fly kites! Bet they could put that thar sack of feathers to good use in buildin' them."

"Perhaps they could! I would like to see them put to good use. I'll do it!"

"Worse they could say is 'no thanks', right?"

"Right! Thanks Sheriff! I knew you'd have the answer!" Louise said just before giving him a quick kiss on the right cheek. "See ya around!"

As the Sheriff stood stunned at the mare's surprise gesture of affection, Louise tossed the sack of feathers on her back, steadying them with her extended wings before grabbing the top of her sack with her teeth. She then proceeded to trot over to the place where the foals were gathered.

"Hello foals," the dark maned Pegasus said after spitting out the top of the sack from her mouth. "My name is Louise LaMare and I wonder if you could do me a big favor. I have this sack of old feathers I need to get rid of, and the Sheriff said you were all making kites! Could you use these feathers to build your kites with? After all, feathers are one of the most naturally light substances in nature and I'll bet if you sewed them together right, they would make kites that could stay airborne longer. I'm not trying to sell them to you, I just want to be rid of them. They're all yours if you want them. Otherwise, I'm going to toss them in the trash."

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  • 2 weeks later...

"Why hold on there Golden Delicious!" complained her mother Peach Cobbler, "What in sam hill you think your doin'?" This question was warranted seeing as how the filly was taking to tearing the kitchen apart for no discernable reason. She stood by the stove and scowled at the little filly who just then emerged from a storage closet with a pail on her head.

"But Mah! I'm..." she eyes up at the pail and flicks it back into the closet. She wandered closer to the spectacled mare, "Mah! I'm makin' friends! There's a boy 'n two girls and they want to goin' make some kites! They fixin' for supplies though and I thought I'd rummage through the cubbards!" she responds by looking under the sink. This lasts until there’s a tickle in her nose as she backs away and lets out an exasperated cough, "Eww, them mothballs smell nasty!"

Peach Cobbler’s expressions changed from annoyance to care for her little filly. "Well, now. Good to see your makin' friends. So, kites you say? Well, we still got a bunch of sacks you can use. Might need to use somethin’ to close up the holes..." as the mare talks Golden Delicious has vanished and returned with notepad and pencil as she jots down these notes with the pencil in her teeth. "I suppose you can use whatever you need from the supply closet. Just tell me all your gonna take, you here missy?" Cobbler's tone was firm but still loving and Delicious lifts her head and smiles brightly, "Yes mam!"

Now given free reign of the supply closet Golden Delicious vanishes inside. Hmm... kite supplies. Well, plenty of old burlap sacks still smelling of apples. She can take as many of those as she can fit on her back. String... what could they use? Well, there’s some bailing wire. Maybe not the best for string but could be good for keepin’ all the sticks together! Ah, and there we go! Some twine cord for when Pa needs to knot up somethin’ round the house. That'll be plenty of string.

She goes through the checklist. Oh shoot! The frame! She banged around in the closet trying to find anything that would work. No, nothing that would be a decent frame. Oh! Food coloring though! Those will make the kites look real pretty and not all nasty and brown.

Golden Delicious looked over her collection. About 9 or 10 large burlap sacks, various half empty food coloring bottles (with green mostly full), bailing wire, and some string. Piling this all together into one of the sacks and placing it on her back, she trots out of the room and makes her way to the door.

"E-hem!" comes the voice behind the filly as Golden Delicious's head turns with a sheepish smile. Okay, so maybe she was a little concerned she couldn't get away with all that stuff. But after a quick inspection the mare gives a nod and smiles, "You go on and have fun with your friends, sweetpea." GD smiles and gives her mom a warm hug in reply, "Thank yah Ma! I'll be back soon!" "And in one piece! Don’t you all get in trouble or I'll right sick the Sheriff on you!" Cobbler teased to her daughter.

"I ain't!" she calls back as she opens the door and trots back outside. She finds her newfound friends not far from where they were. Ohh! And some more feathers too! This is going to be a great day for flying a kite!

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  • 2 weeks later...

After their unfortunate encounter with Cloudburst, the trio was visibly down in the dumps. Falling about the railing of the general store in exaggeratedly morose postures, they didn't even notice the dusky pegasus mare toting the huge sack of feathers.

"Aw horseapples, I'm sorry guys, sometimes he isn't SUCH a jerk. But I shoulda known he's only kinda nice to me when nobody else is around.", Jona lamented, chipping off slivers of wood from the weathered sidewalk with a hoof. "I just don't know where we're gonna get feathers in time, and we haveta go back to school tomorrow." Ruefully, he looked at the sad little assortment in his saddlebag "I guess another week gives us time to gather together a buncha feathers, but today was such a perfect day. I wish a sack of feathers would just drop out of the sky!!!!"

Amidst this downtrodden scene, Louise Lamare trotted up:

"Hello foals,""My name is Louise LaMare and I wonder if you could do me a big favor. I have this sack of old feathers I need to get rid of, and the Sheriff said you were all making kites! Could you use these feathers to build your kites with? After all, feathers are one of the most naturally light substances in nature and I'll bet if you sewed them together right, they would make kites that could stay airborne longer. I'm not trying to sell them to you, I just want to be rid of them. They're all yours if you want them. Otherwise, I'm going to toss them in the trash."

Jonagold just stood there speechless for a moment, eyes wide as if he had made this miracle happen himself.

"Why am I the only one that ever remembers my manners?" Nova thought to herself and sighed.

"Oh my GOODNESS, thanks Ma'am, this is JUST what we needed to finish our kite, how did you know???"

Jonagold just stood there a moment longer. This mare looked familiar and her name sounded familiar. Was she one of his parents' friends? One of Nova parents' friends? He thought a moment longer and could place her smiling sunnily in a field of golden wheat, a sight far removed from dusty Appleoosa. Of course!

As the mare turned to leave, Jona hissed at Nova stamping his feet excitedly, knowing her parents also had a few of LaMare's novels on their shelves. "Do you know who that was? That was THE LOUISE LAMARE. To think, my wings...i mean..OUR wings will be FAMOUS! I know! We'll call it....Air LaMare! And say what you will, Cloudburst's sad two little feathers will be just the splash of color we need against all this grey."

Nova just giggled at her starstruck friend and winked at Arrow Plain. He may not be able to get off the ground, but Jonagold sure had his head in the clouds often enough. Nova knew that Arpy was going to have some pointed comment to deflate him and bring him back to earth a bit.

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Thistle looked around in the dry, dusty town her parents had brought her to. All the ponies were wearing funny hats and there didn't seem to be many bugs to chase or flowers or pretty things. She didn't even see any meats when she looked in the general store window. She'd chased a tumbleweed earlier in the day, but the entertainment value of that was exhausted fairly quickly.

At the moment, she lounged on the roof of one of the buildings, talons dangling off and paws sprawled on the roof. Why'd her parents have to go and bring her to this dusty old town anyways? She didn't even know anyone. She was pretty sure they didn't either. Oh well. Not like she could do anything about it. "It's so boring here!" she griped, rolling over onto her back and resting a talon across her eyes.

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