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[Ponyville] A Day with Pets in the Park (OPEN!)


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Hard Truths watched his Shetland Sheepdog frolic in the grass as he sat on a nearby bench to read. Peering over the top of his glasses every now and then, he made sure to keep an eye on the small, energetic dog. She may have been active and playful, but she was pretty old. His dog, Rue, had no eyes with which to see, but she didn't seem to need them with her keen sense of smell and sharp ears.


That didn't keep her caretaker from worrying, though. She was so friendly that she had trouble knowing where and when she wasn't wanted, happily greeting everyone and everything she could with joyful barks and tail-wags. One might have found it odd that such a grumpy old bearded unicorn would have owned such a cheerful pet, but they seemed to balance each other out as opposites.



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"Yeah yeah, calm down already," Inkbrand grumped, and got a nip to one ear for his efforts.

A sigh threatened to break out from his lips, but the grey stallion corralled it in, steadfastly making his way towards the pet park. Guilt manifested into his good behavior today, quite honestly - he'd balked on his last promised trip to Chime due to a sudden influx in business, and the Arctic Fox hadn't been very pleased…to put it lightly. Then there was the last list time he'd backed out of pet playtime - but when pretty mare bat her eyelashes at him and gestured come hither in the sweet sultry tones of an easy score…well.

What was he even suppose to do?!

So suffice it to say, Inkbrand owed Chime, a fact that his pet seemed highly keen on receiving. She had, in fact, managed to dive bomb on him from on top of the refrigerator as he'd been trying to sneak out the back door of his temporary Ponyville home. The resulting mess of claws and teeth had…not been pretty. Thus, his trek to the small park for the Arctic Fox to frolic and run free, and whatever the buck else foxes did to let loose.

The tattoo-clad stallion's musings were cut short, however, as Chime abruptly lit from her perch on his back, taking off his a blur of white onto the green field. Her goal became immediately apparent as the form of what looked like some sort of sheepdog ran up to meet his pet, molding the two of them into some sort of grey-white mishmash of fur. With an eye roll, Inkbrand left his fox alone to play as his golden eyes roamed around the area, eventually lighting onto a grumpy looking stallion with his head buried in a book. Seeing as no other pony was around the area, it seemed a safe assumption to associate the red stallion with the sheepdog.

"She's a cutie," the grey Earth Pony drawled as he trot towards the bench without anymore preamble, dropping down a good length away from the other male as he tossed his head in the direction of the white-grey blur. "What is she, like a mix?" If he'd been smart, he would have brought something to do while Chime wore herself out, but options had been limited. Random reading red stallion would have to suffice.

For now.





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As soon as Rue heard the arctic fox coming, head raised and ears perked, she yipped in delight and bounded forward to meet her. Unfortunately her lack of sight combined with her strong enthusiasm to meet a new friend prevented her from stopping in time and she ended up tackling the vulpine instead. Shaking herself off, she panted excitedly as her fluffy tail wagged non-stop.


Truths, meanwhile, had grown alarmed at the first yips and sat up on his bench. His brows creased in deep concern as he quickly analyzed the scene before him to get a grip on the situation. What he saw was Rue tackling some other furball that was slightly smaller than she and with fur nearly as thick as hers was. What in the world was she doing and where had that other creature come from?


Just as he opened his mouth to scold his pet and call her back to him, however, another sound caught his ears, which swerved toward it before the rest of his head followed in motion. The unicorn looked the Earth pony up and down, his frown deepening at the casual tone with which the other addressed him. He didn't seem at all bothered by what was transpiring with their animals, though it seemed to make sense that this was the owner of the white blur.


"What? My dog?" he snapped, his voice all but hostile. "How should I know? I'm not a dog expert." The vermillion stallion glanced back at the patches of white and grey that stood out sharply against the green grass. "I'm told she looks like a Sheltie - a Shetland Sheepdog. Anyway, is that your ball of fluff she's attacking? Aren't you the least bit worried?" He himself knew that Rue wasn't likely to hurt another living being - at least not without good reason - but that didn't mean the other pony knew.

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There is a lot of things in this world that Java never understood. Chemistry. Biology. Insanity. But possibly the most enigmatic of it all was his own cat. The cat was less than a year old, and still technically a kitten. Yet under many circumstances, his beloved feline, Sine had acted like an overly protective mother more than a kitten. And then other circumstances, like now while the feline is rapidly batting away at his head like a konga drum, she completely acts her age! She’s a little large for a cat. About the size of a medium dog, but the stallion could only assumed that was because she was a serval.


And… while he couldn't about loving the cat’s company on those lonely nights. He just had to wonder why he had ended up with a creature that’s weirder than him. No matter, the stallion thought as he entered the pet park. He hadn't taken Sine on nearly as many adventures as she’d like, seemingly every day at that. So he had to find some way to outlet her energy, less he plans on having a dangerous hunter pounce his back at nearly every corner in Canterlot. His teeth clutched down tightly on a Frisbee.


His head snapped back, immediately tugging a result. The batting on his head had already ceased, and the desert servals eyes fell dramatically on the Frisbee. There was some relief at least. Another snap, and it was sent flying through the air with the serval immediately behind it. She jumped high in the air every so often, and wildly flung her fore paws after it while it was just out of reach.


Now that Sine was well distracted, he allowed his eyes to wonder over the ponies that were in the pet park. One was a stallion with… what he thinks is a herding dog. It kind of look like it some husky in the mix as well. It was a cute one at least. He also noted that the dog was owned by a Red Stallion.


The other was a…. artic fox? Wasn't that supposed to have it’s fur another color this time of season? His eyes glanced up to the owner, wondering if it’s some rich pony with wa- Oh… Inkbrand. Never mind.


His eyes were quick to return to the Frisbee with… OH SWEET CELESTIA WHERE DID THE CAT GO.


Java immediately hopped about, his head snapping to and fro frantically. What if some pony think’s she’s a leopard?! The thing certainly looks like it with all those spots! She’d be hauled away from him! Or worse!




Sine –was- chasing after a beautifully colorful Frisbee. But something much more beautiful caught her attention in mid stride. She had slowed herself down to a stop to glance across the field. Past the tall grass. Past the trees. And certainly pass the bushes… she saw something incredibly fluffy.



Her previous target was abandoned, and a new mark set, she darted across the field. Natural predator instincts pulled her through the tall grasses and bushes to hide herself. Her slender body allowed her to brush by the undergrowth without even making a sound, and just barely  stirring up the leaves.


And finally it was her time to pounce. The motion was all to fluid. Well practiced in the wild before she allowed herself to join the good Scholar’s company. Her body dipped down, following through with the momentum. Her slender and powerful legs coiled up like springs. And then came the release.

She soared through the air, high above the possibly unsuspecting ponies’ heads. Her fore legs were stretched out wide like a condor’s wings. Claws retracted. If the husky hadn’t noticed her before, the only warning she would get is a high pitched yowl, “YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAR~”


Then would come the impact if the Husky had not wisened up to relieve herself of the position. Thirty five pounds of snuggly cat would come crashing down on her. Her powerful legs wrapped tightly around her pray. And then came the assault of nuzzles, snuggles, and cute feline chirpings. One might even say that it all translates into.. 

Oh my! You’re so big, fluffy, cute, soft and cuddly I just want to EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!~


((Forgive me if this is intruding. I crawled through five pages wondering if there was an OOC))


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Well then.

Somepony woke up on the wrong side of the bed this morning.

Inkbrand balked, mouth almost agape at the sheer hostility pouring out of the older stallion's mouth, before he forced it closed with a solid click! of teeth. The image of a grumpy old grandfather, irritated at the young punks walking all over his lawn, immediately sprang to mind, and while it was refreshing to meet a Ponyville pony that wasn't all sunshine and rainbows and "Oh my goodness it is so nice to meet you!", it was a little disconcerting to be abruptly faced with…this.

This, however, was at least different, causing an almost nasty grin to spread in kind over Inkbrand's face as he slid off from his seat, not to distance himself from the stranger but to give himself a height advantage, a tactic so instinctually that Inkbrand hardly noticed it. "Yeah, she's mine," he affirmed possessively, golden eyes flickering back to the balls of fluff still tumbling about in the grass, "and she can handle herself against a domestic pet anytime." Wild animals turned pets…that was a different story, for obvious reasons, but one that hadn't been tested yet. Ponies weren't allowed to have dangerous wild animals as pets anyways, save for a few exceptions - a certain sun princess with a pet Phoenix popped into mind - but for the most part, the wildest pet animal he'd ever met had been another fox.

Which is when a howl from Tautarus suddenly rang out through the air.

Bemused, Inkbrand momentarily forgot about the crotchety old stallion to locate the source of the howl, undoubtedly another pet coming to play in the warm sun. The sight of a cat with big ears and a spotted coat, however, gave the grey stallion pause, body tensing as if bracing itself for a sprint. A normal-sized house cat wouldn't have given him pause, but the larger size of this cat drew back memories of a desert sun, pulsating sands, and -

"Buck, no," Inkbrand snarled, and left the geezer in the dust to charge down the hill. Chime was swooped up into his forelegs in the blink of an eye, alarmed yelp her only protest as the chat pounced on the red stallion's Sheltie. Buck, that brown SODD was undoubtedly lurking in the bushes somewhere, or some rot like that, but no bucking way was that cat getting anywhere near his fox. The grey stallion wasn't even concerned about injuries or attacks, no - the simple fact that he knew who that cat belonged to was more than enough, and Inkbrand stomped back up towards the bench, keeping a firm hold of his now irritated pet.
"Get ready to have the rest of your day ruined," the tattoo-clad stallion muttered sourly under his breath, uncaring that the cat seemed to only be targeted on the Sheltie. As long as the beast stayed away from his fox, otherwise there'd be Tautarus in a handbasket to pay.





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((Sorry; I've never done an rp on this site before so I didn't know OOC threads usually came with each rp thread made...?))



"Hmph," the unicorn responded to Ink's remark. There seemed to be a slight curve to a corner of his mouth as if he approved of the other stallion's reaction to him. After all, not just any pony would stick around after such an unfriendly greeting from a stranger.At least this one showed guts. "Despite appearances, she's not a domestic pet; probably not any more than yours is," he answered, eyeing the pair. "I found her some time ago. It was clear she'd been a survivor in the wild, though I suppose it's hard to imagine the state she was in then, seeing her now."


"And what about yours?" he almost demanded. "A fox? And an exotic one, from the looks of it. What's it doing here in this weather?"


At the sound of the blood-curdling yowl, however, he followed the Earth pony's gaze toward a strange feline with ears much too large and too close together on the top of its head to be an ordinary cat. It sported the spots of yet another wild, exotic creature rather than a house pet. Hard Truths frowned. "What in the name of - ?!" Before he could get a proper answer, he noticed the gray stallion seemed to have vanished along with his own pet. Perhaps he'd been wrong about the younger male's guts after all.


Rue, meanwhile, blinked in surprise when Chime ran off and perked her ears at the sound of the newcomer. The Sheltie, little more than a foot in size, was not about to stay put either and followed the fox's lead as she scurried back to her caretaker. She barked tentatively once, confused and unsure of the cat-creature's intentions, but not angry that she had almost been pounced. Hard Truths, meanwhile, was a different matter.


With his dog seeking shelter behind his legs, the vermillion unicorn went from being shocked at her reaction to livid. Rue rarely sought protection from Truths, but when she did, he felt she had good reason. "Just what in Equestria do you think you're doing?!" he roared at the cat-thing. "Don't you have other creatures to attack? That's playing dirty, jumping a dog from nowhere, particularly one without eyes to see you. You're lucky she didn't bite, because I certainly would have!"

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Sine... seemingly did not pay any mind to the scolding she was receiving. Why would she? She was a cat of large stature, and practically didn't give a rat's behind about who attacked her. She was going to make sure what ever that was was gonna have a bad day. But for now, she only wanted to play! Her master never let her have any fun with other pets!

And she wonders why...


She hopped about playfully. Bouncing from here to there with his tail high in the air and wagging very similar to an overly excited dog. She even crept a bit closer to the dog, and quickly bounced away by rocking between her paws.

As for the stallion? His ear caught wind of a yelp. Not much of a yelp... more like a grumpy pony seeing something unexpected. Given that this was a pet park... and his pet was certainly not the most conventional of cat-breeds he could easily take a wild guess. He immediately darted down the hill towards the source of the voice.


His eyes immediately fell onto the serval just as she was about to pounce once more. In a mere second, she was up in the air with the stallion in a synchronized fashion. Only she didn't make it too much further before the stallion's body barreled into her with his forehooves wrapping around the cat. They twisted in the air, with the stallion landing on his back, and the cat flailing her paws.

Soon it turned into a very brief tussle of fur and dirt before finally the stallion found himself being pinned down by the natural huntress. Her paws wrapped around his neck with the claws sinking in, and her tongue combing his messy mane.


The stallion frowned as he tried rose to his hooves. But the cat seemed way to efficient at what she did, easily shifting her own body over the joints to hold him down. Of course he wasn't going to win this embarrassing fight. The cat might not be heavy, but he had been play fighting with her long enough for her to wisen up on a pony.


“Sorry bout that...” the stallion grumbled trying to tilt his head and grab hold of the cat. She only moved out of the way, and swatted at his nose. Finally... the stallion just gave up, and let it happen. At least she was out of trouble for now. “This... is the exact reason why I don't let her near other pets... I don't know how she'll react.”

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The bearded stallion did not seem impressed by the display of either the other pony or the Serval. He stood his ground, watching both with hard eyes as Rue continued to stay behind him. Her tail wagged a little in excitement, interested in what was going on, but not enough to join in. She wasn't keen on getting crushed under either pony or feline.


"You say that, and yet here she is," Truths growled. "Almost body-slamming my dog. And now she has you pinned like she's the master and you're the pet. Tch! Pathetic."


He glared at the cat. "Get a leash on that thing when you take her out if she doesn't obey you. Otherwise, just keep her at home. This is unacceptable and a great disrespect to the other ponies and pets who come here. Next time she could seriously injure someone and then where would you be?"



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((Seeing as our beloved Zeig will be out of commission, I’ll go ahead and drop a post.))


The stallion, wasn’t too happy himself with the response had just received. Sure, it was a scolding that was well deserved for an oversized hyper active kitten getting out of his grip. But the hostility behind it? That much wasn’t going to go unchecked.


He quirked a brow when he pushed himself to his hooves. He ignored the claws that tore him open on his sides as he shifted. And… like a kitten that knows play time is over, Sine-wave immediate hopped off and sat next to her master. Her gaze curiously flicking between the two.

Though… when she caught the glare, she immediately glared back, her tail thumping. Though… there didn’t seem to be any hostility in her eyes… or expression. She probably thought it was just a staring contest. A game no cat can loose!


She wore a collar… that used to have a bell. Obvious signs of that was a broken metal ring, yet she still bore a metal tag with her name, medical information, and owner.


“Excuse me,” The stallion began with an incredulous tone. He had to be sure that there actually was hostility in this blur of a face. And so he reached into his coat, and pulled out a pair of eye glasses. A snap of the hoof, and they were open and over his eyes.


With his vision much sharper now, he looked the stallion over once. Yep… that hostility was there in appearance as well. And so he the Canterlotian stallion tilted his head, undaunted by the other’s intimidating demeanor. His tone was level and even.


“Well partner, the only one showing a lick of disrespect happens to be you right now. Sure… my goof for letting her get out of control. But you have no right to lecture me on how to raise my little wild cat, when your dog is pre-packaged with training wheels installed.”


Plus, Java might have lied about not knowing how she'd act around other pets. The most he knew was she could apparently identify between a domesticated bird, and a wild bird... and avoids hurting domesticated birds. Strange cat.

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((No problem~))


Looking down his muzzle over the tops of his own glasses at the evidently younger male pony, Hard Truths snorted in contempt. "I am not your 'partner' in any sense of the term, so don't call me that," the unicorn retorted. "As for my respect, you have to earn it. Given your behavior and actions just now along with the fact that I am your elder, I don't see why you deserve anything of the sort."


"I don't think you understand the full weight of the consequences your obviously-impaired judgment could have caused just now, you impertinent little upstart," he continued, his voice stern and serious. "Your 'goof' could have cost someone their life, accidental or not. Considering you have to use the word 'wild' to describe her, I'd say you're not even fit to own such a creature, much less raise it!"


He glanced down at Rue when she was mentioned. The little dog perked her ears and tilted her head slightly, trying to make up for what she couldn't see with eyes she didn't have. "As for my animal, don't presume to project your assumptions onto her. I don't know what you're going on about with your irrelevant terms of 'pre-packaged' and 'training wheels', since she's a living being, not a toy."


"She was a stray I picked up and trained in the ways of acceptable public behavior before ever taking her out. You would be wise to do the same." He frowned. "Besides, even a trained animal will attack and possibly fight to the death if it feels the need to defend itself."

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((Sorry about not highlighting things lately. My desktop has been dismantled and backed up. Tablet hates this website for some reason.)


The stallion had to resist every urge to face hoof. He had no obligation to respect a pony as abrasive as he. It didn't even matter if the pony held a rank of sorts, or were in a high standing.


And then the lack of thought. Looks like the old timer fails to understand what an idiom is. Perhaps he'll even have to explain... no actually he will have to explain exactly what he meant. He didn't even need a life story about the dog being a stray, then trained to to figure that much out. It was a domestic breed, which is already easy enough to tame with a few relatively simple tactics.


A cat on the other hand... tends to do what they want. But Java will always concider a cat more noble than a mutt, a term not used in a derogative manner, anyway for the fact that they're very capable of critically thinking on their own. They don't follow orders not because they are lazy, but because they they demand to be treated with respect. Something dogs just don't show.


The stallion tilte his head slightly. Then sighed, moving a hoof over his brow avoiding his lesnes.


“Alright... First. Prepackaged with the training wheels installed. It's an idiom. I'm not entirely sure if you are a very literal buck, or you legitimately do not understand expressions. So... I'm not going to add any further tension on that note. But it means easy to train. Stray or not, if it's a domesticated breed it's not hard to train a dog.”


The pony then pointed down to his cat. The feline seemed to have regained her interest in the sheltie, and was slowly approaching the dog. She drug her stomach along the grass with her tail waving high. Steadily getting closer and closer.

“Second. I assure your I've done a better job with this cat, than most dog trainers could possibly dream of. If you've never had a cat, you'd learn very quickly that you can't train them. You can discourage certain behaviors... but it's not permanent. They think for themselves and that's how it is. Especially for her.”

The stallion glanced back down to the feline. If the dog didn't seem to be showing any interest in wanting to play with her, he'd carefully pull Sine back to his side by the scruff of her neck.


“Now for Sine.. I don't even know the story for her. Her species is found in savanah's and deserts. She is literally a wild cat. She was apparently born in Ulssai, made her way to the Everfree forest.I picked her up in an adoption fair... and she chose me. Followed me home. So I took her in. And so far, she hasn't hurt any pony. And she's proven to be more than capable of ridiculous feats.”


The pony crossed his arms. And gestured to Sine. "Now... if you are going to sit there and tell me that you -can- in fact train a Serval. By all means. Go ahead. Prove me wrong and make my day."



The feline's gaze pulled away from the dog to look to her owner. Then back to Hard Truths with eyes beaming with intelligence.

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((You're fine. I don't mind having no format or layout at all. Text is text so long as I can read it.))


"I understand idioms just fine," Hard Truths grumbled. "That one in particular, however, is not one I'm familiar with. Even if it was, it doesn't apply to Rue. Ever tried to train a blind dog with the attention span of a fish?" He scowled.


"You talk as if you think all dogs are the same or their breed defines them. There's only so much that can be found in genetics. Just because a pony might come from a long line of farmers doesn't mean they're easier to train to be a farmer more than any other pony. Especially if they hate farming, they're already past their prime, they're blind, and maybe spent the majority of their life out in the wilderness on their own."


Rue, who could hear the cat's approach as her stomach pressed against grass blades, sat and lay as still as possible underneath her shelter that was her caretaker. She might have felt more inclined to play if Hard Truths wasn't so full of tension she could sense. The unicorn watched the Serval with narrowed eyes as if daring her to attack his animal again.


"I don't care what kind of job you've done compared to anyone else. What matters is it's still not good enough to set her loose outside like this! I don't see anypony else taking their cats out to play with other animals. Perhaps cats can't be trained in the same manner as dogs, but that just further proves you should have never brought her outside. The only cats who prowl around outdoors are the strays or vagabonds no one intends to take responsibility for if something goes wrong."


"That's a wild animal," the vermillion stallion bellowed. "Again, even if she weren't, you can't just take her out and hope for the best! Just because she hasn't hurt anypony so far doesn't mean she might not hurt others, accidental or not! If she'd tackled my dog, who's probably not even her size, Rue could have gotten seriously injured! And even if not, if she'd felt threatened, she might have attacked your - your 'Sine'! Would you have been alright with that?"


He stomped his hoof and snorted in exasperation. "I'm telling you this for the good of you, your pet, and everypony else. If you intend to keep her, keep her at home."


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The feline showed… and sounded out her digust to the very idea of being cooped up all week long. Or maybe her owner had spoiled her a bit by taking her outside on a regular basis? And on adventures at that. Yes, yes… she wouldn’t give that life up for the world to turn docile.


“A vaid option, but not a good one. Well… a terrible option for Sine... and any serval really,” The stallion hummed his eyes returned to sine, whom had hopped up onto his back, and planted her fore hooves on his head. She even went out of her way to lean forward to get a good look at her master’s eyes.


The stallion relaxed a bit deciding to change up his tactics of rhetoric now. Java noticed he didn’t seem to making any sort of ground in this argument. And so far it hasn’t been going either way. Perhaps he’d try giving him some information? Yes… a tactical reassessment on both ends could easily disarm ones mental disposition. But that’d also mean he’d be digging himself a deeper hole if he failed.


“You’re right. A traditional cat would be perfectly content with staying indoors. But that only applies to traditional felines…” He pointed to the… very large cat that was now lazily stretching out past Java’s snout. She reached out with a paw, trying to place a foot hold on the other stallion. If she could, she’d try to crane forward to give the other… first a playful nip… then a lick.

“However… a serval is a wild cat. They can’t be completely domesticated like regular pets. They have a sense of independence. So… there is a substantial amount of respect that has to be shown to them, and a larger amount of maintenance. The… ah… mare that introduced me to her. Fluttershy? Yes… that was her name…. I want to call her a druid given her unique knowledge in husbandry… but apparently that term is deniable..”

The stallion blinked, catching himself in a tangent. “Er… I digress. Fluttershy had informed me of the proper care for servals. One of which is they cannot be locked up, needs frequent exercise, and a large open space with various things for them to climb, hide in, and to swim. Typically outdoor areas, as a backyard isn't enough unless it's a farm.”

The stallion soon sat down, wincing when the sudden shift caused his companion to dig her claws into his body. He shuddered visibly with a minor hint of a tear welling up.

“I bring her from Canterlot to this park regularly... because she's familiar with this area. The reason why I kept her away from other pets... was well... she spent some time as a hunter. I have thought of a leash… but they are an utterly different set of problems.”


His eyes returned to the cat once more, "Though... I am wondering if I should be less restrictive... she didn't harm two canaries that belonged to another pony. Just... er... mollycoddled them... if that's the right word."


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(( Just to clarify, no, an OOC thread isn't required for an RP, or even expected. Some people like to have them to garner interest in the RP, especially if it's going to be a closed RP. But they're not required at all, so no worries Kitomyx! ))


…Well this was turning out better than he'd imagined.

Inkbrand, still sprawled out on the bench and clutching Chime to his chest, couldn't help but let his eyes wander back and worth between the two…conversing ponies, hostilities apparent in their tones of voices. Buck, That SODD was way more interesting to be around when it wasn't himself that had to deal with the other stallion's "eccentricities". In fact, it was downright amusing to unabashedly listen into the conversation, for once content to be fully ignored as he kept Chime out of the contended fray.

Doubly content, it would seem, and this time, the grey stallion couldn't stop an eye roll from escaping as the two stallions suddenly started lecturing each other. Thank buck he was firmly out of this conversation, otherwise he'd probably have to pull a few strands of hair out just to keep himself sane.

Seriously. What was it with ponies that felt the need to impose their world view on others at the first chance they got?

Still, despite an obvious biased against the brown Earth Pony, Inkbrand could still agree with the older red stallion. Hay, That SODD had even admitted that he didn't let his wild cat near other pets because he couldn't account for its behavior, yet he still felt it fine to let it roam about a pet park? Without even a leash? Oh, because it was a wild cat but hadn't hurt anypony yet but he really didn't know how it would react because it wasn't domesticated yet still apparently completely safe but but but -

And the bucker called himself smart.

"Bucking figures," Inkbrand sneered at the end of the red stallion's tirade, still lounged on the bench as he shot a glance towards the red stallion, "told you so - er, gramps." The grey stallion caught himself mid-fumble, eyes narrowing on the red stallion with a speculative frown as he realized he didn't even know the other's name. He'd been too busy attempting to stare the other down, as it were. Ah well. Whatever his name was, the red Unicorn was speaking his language.

…If, he himself were fifty years older and as crotchety as sandpaper against bark, that is.





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((Oh, alright! Thanks for the info, Zeig!))


Ignoring Sine, Hard Truths continued to scowl as he made his argument. "Well then maybe you should have thought of that before taking in a Serval as a house pet!" he lectured. "If she's wild, then she's wild and can fend for herself. If she's your pet, then take responsibility for her! Which is she? Make up your mind! She can't be both!"


When the feline reached out to nip the unicorn, he wrinkled his muzzle at her in distaste, but all he said was, "Stop that." He didn't approve of her behavior or her apparent lack of discipline, but he knew better to blame the Serval for it. Clearly her caretaker was the one at fault. If a child grew up to be rotten, it was their parents who should have been held accountable, not the child.


"You can't tell me this pampered, spoiled thing has a sense of 'independence' if you clean and care for and shelter it like an infant. Worse yet, you let her walk all over you and then claim she can't help her nature. That would have fine with me had you not imposed her onto my dog and I, who were just minding our own business." He snorted again in irritation at the mention of Fluttershy. "I highly doubt said mare intended for you to treat the beast like a domestic cat and sic her on innocent bystanders."


"If you have a farm - a farm with fences high enough to prevent her escape - then by all means, let her roam there. If you don't have such a large, open, private space to call your own, then naturally you don't have sufficient resources to provide for her. I don't think anypony appreciates you allowing her to make this place her personal playground instead - at least not without some way of controlling or restraining her if need be, such as with a leash. This is public property, after all. We shouldn't have to fear for the lives of ourselves or others here!"


"Again, perhaps you should have thought of that 'utterly different set of problems' before you obtained her. If you don't have the patience, knowledge, or resources to properly care for her, then you should turn her over to someone who does. Carrying on this way is not fair to Sine or anyone else exposed to her. If you really keep her away from other pets, then how did she get so close to my dog?"


Java's final words brought Truths' steadily rising anger to boiling rage. "The only one 'mollycoddling' anyone here is you, you hard-headed dolt! Haven't you been listening to a word I've been saying?! She needs more restriction, not less! At least if you plan to take her out like this! Why in the name of Celestia would you have allowed her to get close enough to coddle canaries?! What would you have done if she'd eaten them?!"


Under his protective stance, Rue whined and lowered her head onto her paws in the grass, unsettled by her caretaker's tone and state of mind. It wasn't until the grey stallion from earlier spoke up that both dog's and unicorn's ears swerved in his direction.


"You - what are you still doing here? I thought you'd left ages ago," he said, brow raised inquiringly. He didn't seem displeased to find that the other had remained, however. So, that one must have had the guts to stay after all. But if this was the reason the tattooed pony had been so eager to avoid the other young male... Truths supposed he couldn't have blamed him for wanting to move away.


Rue suddenly got to her feet and trotted over to lay under the bench where the grey Earth pony sat with his fox. Her caretaker gave her an odd look before glancing to the young male she evidently felt comfortable around. "My name isn't 'gramps', it's Hard Truths," he said slowly, as if attempting to impress the bit of information into a mentally-challenged mind. "What's your relation to this fellow here, anyway? I take it you two know each other. Ex's, perhaps?" Not that he himself generally went for other males, but he couldn't speak for these young stallions.

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Java kept his indifferent expression. What could he say? He honestly didn’t need any of this today. Especially not from a cranky gramps whom seems to know better because of experience. He had half a mind of telling the pony to bugger off. But, Java held his tongue. It was better for him to see things his way when he walks a mile in his shoes. Besides, he loved that quirky nature of Sine!

Speaking of sine she was glaring at Hard Truths now the moment she picked up on his anger. She had began to bare her fangs and was tensing up on Java’s head. The stallion had felt the sudden change, and allowed his eyes to roll up to glance to his cat. He had just caught her when her fur was beginning to rise.

He frowned, this isn’t really what he needed to help his case. And so the stallion made an audible click with his tongue. The first one was a loud audible one, then the next few were rapid burst. It was infact enough to catch the seething feline’s attention, who’s gaze looked down to him.

Java gave her a frown and shook his head. Sine shot him an even glare, then settled down. Her paws curled up while she rested on his back. Her gaze turned pointedly away from the grumpy pony in front of her. The cat’s ears shifted with agitation as the stallion released a sigh.

His gaze turned away to only spare a moments glance to Inkbrand to turn back around. Jeez he was still there? And here he was expecting the stallion to be gone for good. Whatever.

“Him? No,” The stallion said very dryly, and all too quickly. He paused, and left it that with a brief inhale.


What was his name again? Hard Truths? Well the name suits him at least.

“Right… so I don’t feel that this is going anywhere. Usually, I’d take any advice seriously, but your pessimistic outlook is beginning to show very little backing. I am a realist, sir. I know the risks. And I know and tried many of the things you've mentioned. But I also know that there are unknowns. As it’s unknown what can actually happen. Yes you can make an educated guess, but it’s not always correct. I prefer to see results, and preferably carefully obtained results. If there is a small chance of a different  and more favorable outcome, I'm going to do what it takes in my power to see it happen. That being said, I'm not going to cage Sine for the rest of her life.”


The stallion glanced down to his Frisbee, and scooped it up with a hoof. He rasied it up in the air, and waited for sine to bite down on an end and lift it up. Afterwards he’d drop his hoof and continue.


“She didn’t approach the birds. Against instinct, they did. She didn’t hurt them. She –fed- them. And allowed them sleep on her. No harm done. That’s all that matters. Now till you’ve walked a mile in shoes with this cat, I’m afraid your advice will be taken with a grain of salt.”

The stallion’s eyes then dropped into a glare, “And I’m not giving up my cat because some old crank told me I’m incompetent.”

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The grey stallion idly reached down under the bench to lightly scratch at the Sheltie's head, even as his golden eyes continued to run back and forth between the two contenders. He was soon corrected on the stallion's preferred form of address though, which had been a toss-up anyways - sometimes old geezers didn't mind being told that they were, found it endearing or…elderly. Otherwise hated it. Seemed this stallion belonged in the latter group, albeit with much less shouting than he'd originally anticipated. A careless shrug was Inkbrand's ineloquent answer to the red stallion's introduction, though a quirk of his lips at the older male's affronted tone couldn't be helped.

Though, that quirk was just as quickly replaced with an almost slack-jawed expression as Hard Truths incorrectly - oh so incorrectly - assumed his relationship to the other stallion in the area.

Which, inevitably, forced Inkbrand to actually think about such a horrid occurrence happening.

Which, in turn, very nearly resulted in his previously enjoyed lunch ending up all over the grass.

"Buckin' flank, no," the tattoo-clad stallion denied forcibly, venom clear in his tone as he shot a glare towards That SODD, as if the brown Earth Pony were somehow responsible for placing the thought in Hard Truths' head. Bucking of course the other stallion just calmly shrugged off the question. Little rot was probably too busy fantasizing about the two of them or something gross, buck. "Not even with twenty other mares in the room with me."

A whole rant was simply waiting to pour forth, but it seemed Hard Truths was done with him, turning back towards That SODD, and Inkbrand felt the words falter to a halt before they left his throat as the two resumed arguing. Buck, it was obvious that Gramps felt strongly about the issue, but for all his claims about he, Inkbrand, being more stubborn than a sheep, it was somewhat surprising how closed-minded That SODD was being. His argument was enough to make the grey stallion roll his eyes thrice over, proclaiming his cat as unpredictable yet citing his trust in it because of its behavior towards some birds. Combined with its claimed intelligence, such was apparently enough for That SODD to believe himself fully knowledgeable about its actions.

…Which, by definition, made the cat entirely predictable, rather than the reverse. Was it a feral animal that couldn't be trusted like a domesticated cat, or a tame kitten that could confidently interact with others without fear of any consequence?

The round-about argument was depressingly reminiscent of the several he and That SODD had gotten into - though at least he himself didn't put on airs of being a free-thinking and idea-embracing mind. He knew his own short-combings, buck it, and didn't pretend to be any better than anypony else. Buck, That SODD's elitist noble heritage was ringing through so clearly that Inkbrand couldn't understand how he'd taken so long to realize it. Probably because of the abundance of coffee odor, and the other stallion's generally disheveled look, or something.

Still, despite the growing urge to remove himself from That SODD's annoying presence, it was pretty amusing as Tautarus to watch the brown stallion get his own, courtesy of the brash and opinionated Hard Truths. Just like it was amusing to see Canterlot elitism turned back on its deliverer - rare but precious, something to be cherished when possible. Inkbrand didn't bother attempting to interject into the argument anymore, and instead draped himself sideways on the bench with his head propped up on one raised foreleg, the opposite idly swinging off the bench. Chime, newly freed, leaped downwards to join the Sheltie, and together the three of them settled down to enjoy the show.





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((This... is behaving more so as a polite bump.))

“So... hostilities aside....” The stallion sighed. His eyes flicked behind himself after feeling a glare settle on his back. His head followed his eyes only slightly, once again noticing Inkbrand. His eyes met the other's dully. There was a painful lack of interest that he usually regarded any creature with. He let out a light puff of air when he saw just how intense that glare was. And he was going to let him know it.


“For a buck whom claims to only have a thing for mares, you're spending a good amount of time gawkin my backside. This... on top of how many times I caught you staring in the past? Hmm... odd.”


Java was holding true to what he had told the irate punk earlier. It still wasn't a conversation. And they weren't quite in Tartarus yet!


The stallion's gaze returned to hard truths. His eyes glanced down for a moment when he noticed the feline wondering away to join the collie. But once again, she stopped short of a couple of hooves away. Soon the feline dropped her chest to the ground, hindquarters high and tail waving excitedly. A behavior very similar to a dogs when they wanted to play.


“Hostilities aside...” The stallion let out a long sigh, “ again. I did try just about everything in the book.”

He began to run down the list. “Treat and stick. Turns out that does not work well with cats. News Paper... she just tears it up. Watergun... which was pointless after learning that Servals are aquatic felines. Leashes... which I did try... I'm guessing you didn't pick that up... she destroys cloth, she learned how to remove the harness, and wire gets in the way. Coin cans don't bother her. She plays with tape. I did not dare to use a cage for my own weak moral reasons. She doesn't use a litterbox... which I am thankful for... she does her business outdoors and far away from the house. And... I even tried using the book it's self.”

The stallion rolled his eyes, after pulling out a large tome titled "Training Exotic Pets"  from his jacket's.... pocket. A very physically impossible feat. Especially seeing as there was no signs of volume in the pocket before hand. He spun it around in his hoof revealing the deep claw marks along the casing of the book. Not to mention it's horribly disfigured guts of paper.

“She was still a nice kitten. And friendly to me. She just didn't appreciate what I was doing. So... I just do what I do best... and use my sarcasm to solve the problems.So... I wondered what an education does! Because if it works for foals! It'll most certainly work for kittens! Cubs? What ever the young-lings are called.”

Java's lips pursed together. A small hint of disbelief being shown in his eyes.


“It's working better than I expected... which was not at all. This began some time ago The end result is she has stranger short blasts of maturity... almost motherly... to me... she's capable of existential thought... reading... poor writing skills... sorting... math... and flying airships after several months of training. This is my curse for asking for an intelligent pet at an adoption fair.”

The stallion paused for a moment. Something clicked inside of him. Perhaps all those previous encounters with Inkbrand gave him what he needed. Not the pony directly. To imply that he was capable of teaching a lesson would likely lead to the sudden implossion of an entire world, and forum. No a philosophy he's always had since he was a foal. Someone don't like what you're doing because it's odd? It's unusual? Or they want you to do things their way? Buck em, you don't need them. You went through an entire several years of school with ponies you resented and came out on top! You were raised independently for a reason! Your mentor taught you to think for yourself! Serve only yourself and whom you've deemed worthy! Not to rely on others! So buck this guys opinion. He can stick it up his arse and spin it around for all this pony cared!


Java's slowly his lips parted into a grin, his tone filling with energy as quickly as his self respect was rising. “You know what. So far I love it! Now I just consider her an equal with mutual respect. A pony if you want to go that far. Which! Brings me back to what you told me earlier. Something about me being the pet and her the owner? I... really just don't care. She still hasn't harmed any pony or any creature that is owned. That's results and evidence that trashes all assumptions. So obviously I'm doing something right. She might be a delinquent, but not every pet can't be perfectly controlled, and some owners prefer personality. Which I came to love this little fart's personality.”

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  • 3 weeks later...

((Sorry, Moonshine, but Rue is not a Collie. XD The dog on the right is a Collie and on the left is a Sheltie. They might look like miniature Collies, but Sheltie temperaments are completely different. Also, the pictures in the bottom-left corner of this image show the difference between their head shapes.


Also, I'm sorry this took me so long. XP I've been so busy.))


Rue's tail wagged wildly when Inkbrand reached down to pet her. She wasn't too sure what was going on other than sensing tension and hostility, but despite Ink's vehement response to Truths' question, he seemed to be staying out of it. The Sheltie was happy at least someone seemed to be calm and reasonable enough to avoid an angry argument, much as he might have liked. When Chime came down to sit with her, she attempted to give the arctic fox a happy lick.


The click commands that Sine's owner gave her surprised Truths. So, it seemed he had some method of controlling her after all. Why hadn't he just said so, then?! What was all that nonsense about not having been able to train her when he seemed to have done just that? "You certainly enjoy wasting others' time to hear yourself talk, don't you?" he grumbled, watching Sine drop down to go approach Rue again.


Despite the serval's gesture, since the Sheltie had no sight and the movement was very similar to that a cat made before pouncing, Rue couldn't identify it as a dog's play bow. Her sense of smell told her it was a feline, which generally weren't in the habit of performing play bows, and Sine's earlier attempt to pounce her only reinforced the idea that maybe she was going to try again. Hastily, Rue backed up under the bench Chime's caretaker lounged on.


Hearing both the gray and brown stallions' responses to his question, Truths smirked slightly. He had partly asked to change the subject from this tiring, roundabout conversation regarding Sine, but he was also curious as to what their responses might have been and how strong they voiced them. Just as the other had seemed amused at his touchiness at being called 'gramps', the unicorn was amused in turn at the tattooed pony's apparent disgust at the suggestion he and the brown one might have been a couple. "Really, now? And what would other mares in the room have done to improve the situation, anyway? Unless you thought it might increase your attraction in their eyes, somehow."


But what was this? The brown idiot had started up again! And worse yet, he was going on about his cat being able to learn like a foal. Reading, writing - flying ships?! Did he honestly expect him to believe that? He gave the stallion an incredulous look. The longer he heard the brown Earth pony talk, the more Truths felt like his brain was being mashed into mush by faulty logic, countless inconsistencies, and a myriad of contradictions. At last, the elder unicorn couldn't take it anymore.


"You're right about one thing," he said. "This is getting nowhere. I can't reason with someone who has none. How can you ask to brush away hostilities after just calling me 'some old crank' to my face?" Nodding his head toward the benched pony, Truths continued, "And then taunting him like that right after? Both of those would count as hostile acts in my book." The stallion snorted and tossed his head. "I love a good argument or debate as much as the next intellectual, but you make no sense. I'm done here."


Hard Truths turned toward the bench where the pets and the gray stallion sat. It was almost as if they'd been waiting for him to realize his arguing had been pointless. Rue happily rose to her paws and barked.


"I forgot something important," the vermillion pony sighed to his small audience. "'Never argue with a wisepony or a fool'. And I certainly know which this one is..." he murmured. "You...come on. We're leaving."


Even when the Sheltie ran over to his side, however, his gold eyes remained on the seated Earth pony's. It seemed it wasn't Rue he'd been addressing.

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The stallion wore a light hearted smile as the equivalent of a cranky eighty year old stallion talked once more. His brow rose when the stallion seemed to grow tired of his reasoning. Of course, he knew his reasoning hardly makes sense. An engineer’s reasoning hardly ever makes sense! Either from the lack of any other plausible methods, or from the engineers uncanny nature of limiting facts. If you wanted to know how many legs a spider has, an engineer expects you to already know the real answer when he says, ‘many’. And that click method? It’s just an unusual sound that meant nothing. It just catches the feline’s attention when she hyper focuses like a hyper squirrel.


Java’s light smile only seen to grow larger when the older male began to lay a small smack down on Inkbrand. It seems that he was adding onto his little quip to Inkbrand about his constant gazes. Which was quite a good one.


But then this same pony dared to make him look like a fool? The stallion burst into laughter, moving a hoof to cover his face. Java knew he already looked like a fool to them, they so far showed only one sided thinking. After all, Cranky hooves didn't seem to acknowledge any attempts Java had stated. But, good to know that a cranky pony can be fairly arrogant as well. Oh well, time to rectify that. Or… well perhaps not. Sometimes it’s just better to keep hold of his humility, than to belittle another with an even more hurtful truth. Usually, when a pony tried to lable themselves as smarter than he, or more wise, Java would be quick to prove them wrong. Show them that they are no smarter, no dumber, nor wiser than he. Utterly make a fool out of them with a series of questions and challenges to their answers. He remembered why he began to bite back his tongue all those years ago.

“Well by all means what I have said is only hostile if I said things that were unfair, or antagonistic.” The stallion’s tone had shifted to a humorous one. His hoof tapped away at his chin. “Both were hurtful yes, but there was nothing more than merit behind the words. As they are 'hard truths' you see. They’re unusually hurtful, or comes off as hostile and mean. But true as it's name states. Something I thought you’d respect.” 


A playful little twist of words that was. Not only did he just admit to calling Hard Truths a cranky old fart, as it is true, but it also continued his jabs at Inkbrand.


With that being said, the engineer showed no sign of satisfaction or dissatisfaction with what he said. In fact, he just threw out like it was a fact. And now seeing that his stay was no longer welcomed, he slowly turned around to pick up the frizbee. But he paused for a moment when he noticed that Sine had found the time to go digging through his pockets, and had pulled out a small black note book and pencil.


She was already at work flipping through pages upon pages of notes, studies, math, and diagrams of vector fields, before she found an empty page. She scrawled something quickly on the page with the pen in her jaw, just before ripping it out. Java didn’t even get a chance to read it, she was gone just as quickly as she had ripped the page off. She had attempted to get in front of the elder buck. Her eyes were large and glassy. Ears laid back. Lips puckered in such a way that her whiskers were jutted forward, and her fur fluffed out. She bobbed her head, letting the paper flap in her jaws in an attempt to show him the page. 


The page was upside down, revealing that the feline didn’t exactly fully grasp the concept of a Pony’s glyphs. And the skill of maw writing was lost upon her, as the lines were jagged, sketchy, and uneven. And she had the grammar of a newborn child. But the message was more or less still legible.


“Eye want play with daughter”


Java had blinked at the display, and slowly approached the feline to look over her head and down to the page to read it for himself. I want to play with Daughter? By “Daughter”, Java guessed she meant the dog. The stallion visibly frowned. Bit his lip even. The note just drove a dagger, a Sword, an arrow, and an axe through his heart.


The stallion fell silent, studying the paper… then the feline. The stallion sighed, as he moved a hoof to pluck up the paper and slide it into his pocket. Great, he was setting a poor example to a feline with the learning ability of a foal. And destroyed her chances of making a friend. Now he felt like garbage. The stallion soon bit down on the scruff of the cat’s neck and hoisted her up onto his back. The feline in turn threw a fit, and displayed her displeasure with a flurry of paws attacking the air and an annoyed hiss, and then a saddened heartbroken feline yowl. The first was probably from the meaning of her message being lost on her master. The second, possibly she wanted to play with the other pets? That last one was most likely the case to Java.


Java felt for her. He hadn’t allowed her near other pets, and the one moment it happened, was by two birds denying an act of instinct. Naturally, that peaceful meeting should have been proof enough that he should start introducing her to other animals, now that Java thought about it. Instead of thinking of her as an apex hunter. But, too late now. He had just given up on trying to play nice with stubborn ponies, but he’d do it for her at a moment’s notice.


 But, with a grumpy grandpa like that. He’d doubt an apology would be a “forgive and forget” sort of exchange. And it will be met with a nasty exchange of words. As for the fox? Its behavior shows that it belongs to Inkbrand. Whom… made a point to grab the stupid thing and run off with it. Obviously the cat being associated with him was not doing well for her reputation.


He should probably find a lake or a river. Let the fussy feline on his back cool down with a swim while he reads a book, think to himself, or something. His gaze silently turned away to a nearby river with a contemplative glance. That… probably won’t work. She’ll be grumpy with him for another month after this.

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(( OOC : Thanks for waiting an entire day before skipping me in the posting order. I'm out. ))


In one sentence, Hard Truths had just summed up That SODD better than he could have in six hundred.

Inkbrand couldn't help but be impressed, one lazy eyebrow raising slightly as he idly pet the top of the Sheltie's head. 'Wasting others' time to hear yourself talk' was just about as accurate a statement about That SODD that Inkbrand himself had never been able to manage, at least not succinctly. Well. He already knew about the talking part, considering that the brown Earth Pony often felt it entirely appropriate to answer questions that had never been asked in the first place - because he thought other ponies were just that interested in him? - but loving the sound of his own voice definitely provided a new and more accurate perception.

The cat was unpredictable, but could be counted to know what to do. The cat couldn't be trained, but clearly knew how to respond to specific sounds that told it what to do. What was next? It couldn't hold its breath but could construct and pilot an underwater suit to dive two thousand feet into the ocean?

Yeah, right. Like pet like owner, he supposed. That SODD wasn't an elitist, but was so arrogant and hypocritical that he couldn't look over his upturned muzzle enough to recognize it.

And ponies called him full of himself!

"They wouldn't have done anything if he were in the same room gramps, that's what I'm saying," Inkbrand bemoaned, completely ignoring That SODD's hypocritical statement. And one that sounded very familiar, if he thought about it - just in reverse. Maybe that was the problem, then, with an easy fix. He wouldn't even look at the brown stallion, wouldn't acknowledge his existence…even though that was exactly what he'd been doing before That SODD showed up in the park. Maybe the second time would be the charm, and the other Earth Pony would get the bucking message and stop claiming to be completely disinterested while continually showing interest in him.

At least he wasn't the only pony noticing That SODD's irrational and hypocritical arguments. The elder red stallion seemed to have had enough of the other's caterwauling, and approached the bench to retrieve his pet. To Inkbrand's surprise however, Hard Truths didn't immediately bid farewell to the relative sanity of anywhere that wasn't where That SODD was, but instead - stopped, and turned. Towards him.


A glare settled on the grey Earth Pony's face, eyebrows furrowing even as a lazy smirk split his lips. The old timer was clearly used to getting his way and had no problem letting other ponies know it - probably some crazy ex-military, special forces type stallion, or some rot - and Inkbrand certainly didn't let anypony else order him around like that. But…well.

Buck if it wasn't amusing as all Taurtarus!

"Ay, go buck yourself!" the tattoo-clad stallion called out cheerfully as he finally unwound himself from his sprawled out position, Chime jumping onto her feet right after him, "I'm not your bucking lap dog." Despite himself, Inkbrand couldn't help the low chuckle that escaped his lips as he swaggered past the red stallion, the white blob hardly identifiable as his pet scampering between red hooves before following after. "See 'ya gramps!" A last flick of his tail, a semblance of a lazy goodbye, and the grey stallion was out of the park, a light whistle on his lips.

That SODD had gotten told off by a cranky old timer at least five times his age, and Chime had made a new friend.

…Yup. Pretty successful afternoon.

[[ Exit ]]

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  • 4 weeks later...




A shaggy, unkempt stallion trotted over towards the park with his pet raccoon Rascal following beside him.


"A walk in the park is a great way to get some exercise," Pigpen spoke to his raccoon friend.  "And it's good to get away from the old junkyard every once in a while, right Rascal?"


The ringtailed raccoon nodded and chittered a bit in agreement as the pair approached the park entrance.


"Look Rascal!  Looks like some other ponies had the same idea we did!  Stall we introduce ourselves?" Pigpen asked, receiving another nod and chitter from his faithful pet.


Pigpen and Rascal walked over to all of the others gathered in the park.


"Hi there!  I'm Pigpen and this is my pet raccoon Rascal!  Beautiful day, isn't it?"

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