Heart of Silver
"Come on, we're going to be late!"
The little pink filly was beside herself. She'd been anticipating today's award ceremony all night, and was growing increasingly anxious with each delay. As she started to rap on the door to Silver Spoon's home yet again, there was a light shuffling sound from the other side. Hoping it was her friend getting ready to finally open the door, she hopped back and tried to calm herself down.
Sure enough, as she smoothed out the last wrinkle from her new dress, the door opened and out stepped Silver Spoon, wearing a new outfit of her own. "Sorry about taking like forever," she said, fussing with her sleeve, "but I had trouble with this dress."
"You had trouble with it?" Diamond Tiara asked, walking around her friend while giving her a quick look over. Not seeing anything obviously amiss, she asked, "What's the problem with it? I mean, it totally looks fine to me."
"It's just like, really tight in a few places."
"Oh. Um, well, it could be much worse. Could you imagine having all of Ponyville watch you meet the mayor while like, wearing an old dress? or even worse: no dress at all?"
"Talk about embarrassing!" As she moved to shut the door, the shoulder pulled uncomfortably again, making her wince slightly. "Could we maybe like, make a stop at the Carousel Boutique on the way to get it fixed?"
"The ceremony begins at noon; I think it's already half past eleven now, so we don't have time for that." Seeing Silver's mood drop, she quickly added, "But it's not like we want to keep our audience waiting. We're the stars remember! We can endure being a little bit uncomfortable for our fans!"
Silver thought this over for a moment. Smiling, she agreed. "You're right. For our fans!"
Taking care not to pull too hard on the dress' seams, she hurried to follow Diamond Tiara toward the celebration being set up in the town's square.
Ponies of all types were wandering about the town square already. While a few were finishing the last minute preparations for an elaborate ceremony and celebration, the majority was just milling about, waiting for things to begin.
A makeshift stage had been erected on the steps of the town hall, complete with a podium and microphone off to one side. Ribbons and banners of all colors were hung from just about any surface that they could be attached to, while tables had been set up throughout the general area. With the exception of the two tables nearest the stage, all of the tables were stacked high with apple themed treats and drinks.
It was these last two tables that held the interest of the majority of the ponies gathered around. Their contents had been hidden from view by long white sheets, and whatever was covered was creating unusually square and artificial-looking bumps.
One mare however, had something else on her mind. Running around the square in a frantic search, Applejack was starting to let her worry give way to panic. There were a number of things that needed taken care of to get the ceremony started, and one of the more important elements, namely one of the guests of honor, was missing. Coming across a pair of ponies, Applejack slowed down long enough to address them. "Pardon me fer interrupting, but have y'all seen Rainbow Dash around here this morn'?"
"Sorry miss," one of them replied, "But I haven't seen her in a few days."
"Ah see," Applejack began as she turned to head off in another direction, "Thanks anyhow."
As she continued her search for the missing pegasus, she thought over everything she'd already checked. None of the Weather Patrol members knew where Dash was currently, nor had any of the ponies she'd met so far. The fastest flyer in Equestria had effectively disappeared shortly after saving the orchard from the wayward storm. Looking around for another possible lead, Applejack spotted Fluttershy and her ever-present companion Angel in the distance hanging up more ribbons.
Hurrying over, she slowed down well before she actually came close. In an attempt to keep from scaring her friend, Applejack called over her greeting just loud enough for Fluttershy to hear. It didn't work; when Fluttershy heard the voice come from behind her she let out a squeak and froze in place. After a moment it registered who had spoken to her, and as her body unstiffened her ability to speak returned. "Um, good morning to you too, Applejack."
"Ah hate to ask," Applejack said, sounding a little defeated, "but ah need a little favor."
"What is it? I'm not in any hurry or anything."
"The problem is, nopony's seen Dash fer a few days now." Nodding in the general direction of the pegasus' cloud home, she continued, "Could ya go over an' see what's up? She's supposed ta be here."
"Oh sure. I need to go back home and pick up a few things anyway, so I'll stop over on the way." Looking down at her assistant, she asked, "Angel, can you finish hanging the ribbons without me?"
Angel seemed to be expecting that request, as he'd already picked up a spool of the ribbons they had been using. With a quick salute, he hopped away toward the next place the ribbons were to go. As he bounded past, Applejack noted the determined look on his face and silently wondered if any of the trees in the square would still have bark visible by the time he'd finished hanging ribbons on them.
Mentally reviewing her list of what else needed to be done to prepare for the ceremony, Applejack's eyes wandered over the many tables. Spotting something that made her frown, she sighed. "Well, thank ya kindly fer checking on Rainbow, Fluttershy. I'd better go check on Berry Punch; I'm afraid that mare's already had enough 'refreshments' for one morn' if ya know what I mean."
As she watched Applejack head off toward a swaying pony, Fluttershy muttered, "Um, no, I don't think I do know what you mean. You're welcome anyway."
Diamond Tiara's eyes were as wide as saucers. Beaming all the while, she just drank the scene in. "Before those letters arrived, I'd seriously thought that they weren't going to actually do anything to honor us for our heroics!"
"Totally!" Silver Spoon responded, hurrying up a little to keep up with her friend, "I guess it just took a few days for them to get everything ready."
Stopping to look over the suspicious lumps on the tables near the stage, Diamond Tiara thought about this. There was certainly a lot of work involved in setting everything up, and all of the food that was laid out on the tables couldn't have been scrounged up in a few hours. "Whatever. Anyway, this is going to be so totally awesome!"
"Yeah, it's going to be so much better than that crummy cute-ceanera ever was!"
Angry memories coming to the forefront of her mind, Diamond Tiara gave her friend a glare that threatened to crack her glasses. "I thought I said never to mention that again, Silver!"
Realizing she'd just stepped on a nerve, Silver Spoon began looking around frantically for some other target for Diamond Tiara's anger. As she stumbled to find words to apologize, she spotted a trio of foals a little ways away. Pointing over at them, she hurriedly changed the subject. "Um, say, why don't we go pay a visit to our favorite classmates?"
The abrupt question caught Diamond Tiara off guard, momentarily confusing her. But the confusion wore off just as quickly once she'd looked over at the ponies being pointed at. Grinning widely at the prospect of playing with the choicest of prey, she started over. Now that she wasn't in the crosshairs anymore, Silver Spoon sighed with relief before following after Diamond Tiara.
A short distance away three foals were busily talking with each other, unaware that anypony was walking up to them. Diamond Tiara noticed this and opted to have a bit of extra fun with it, calling over before she drew close. "Good morning, Apple Bloom."
Recognizing the voice, the foal froze. The other two Cutie Mark Crusaders looked over at the approaching duo with a visible amount of contempt. While they didn't have to deal with the two of them often, they were well aware of how Diamond and Silver treated other ponies -- especially blank flanks like themselves.
Casually walking around Apple Bloom, Diamond Tiara continued, "So, you three like, came to bask in the glory of the town's heroines hmmm?"
Confused for a moment, Scootaloo paused, attempting to follow Diamond Tiara's train of thought. Coming to her own idea of a logical conclusion, she said, "Well yeah! I wouldn't miss a chance to see the most awesome pony in Ponyville be honored by everyone!"
Diamond Tiara started to blush, surprised by the compliment. "I admit, it is quite a burden being like, so awesome."
"It must be! Just think of it; everpony looking up to you, idolizing you, trying to be you..."
The more she heard, the more Diamond Tiara's ego swelled. Grinning, she joked, "Oh stop, it's too much!"
"Well, maybe," Scootaloo said as she started to drift into daydreams of her own, "but I think Rainbow Dash can take all the praise she deserves!"
Crashing back to reality, Diamond Tiara asked, "Rainbow Dash? What does she like, have to do with anything?"
"Who else is awesome enough to have a ceremony like this set up for them?"
"What are you talking about?"
Apple Bloom sighed with frustration. "She saved ma family's farm from the flood! What, ya thought all of this was set up fer tha two o' you or somethin'?"
The Cutie Mark Crusaders just looked on in stunned silence for a moment, as if the other two ponies had sprouted additional heads. Finally, neither Apple Bloom nor Scootaloo could contain it anymore, and both burst out laughing. While they fell to their sides laughing themselves silly, Sweetie Belle looked on bewildered.
Growing irritated, Diamond Tiara stomped her hoof to get their attention. "Hey! What's so funny?"
Rolling off her back, Apple Bloom wiped a tear from her eye. "That was a funny joke ya just made. All this for you?"
"Of course it's for us!"
"Seriously," Silver Spoon huffed, "why else would the Mayor like, invite the two of us personally?"
Realizing that they were actually serious, the Crusaders slowly stopped laughing and looked at each other dumbfounded. Rolling back to her feet, Scootaloo asked, "The Mayor had you come here? Really?"
"Oh yes," Diamond Tiara scoffed, "She totally made us guests of honor."
"Apple Bloom, do you know anything about this?"
Now as confused as Sweetie Belle, Scootaloo asked, "What did you two do that was so important?"
"Well, while your precious Rainbow Dash was busy playing in the clouds," Diamond Tiara began, delicately putting a hoof to her chest, "I totally saved the lives of two helpless creatures caught in the storm."
"Psst," Silver whispered, "don't you mean 'we' saved the lives of those kittens?"
"Whatever." As she started to strut around again, she continued, "Point is, we're like, heroines to be honored and admired by all."
After hearing no reply from the trio, she glanced back at them. Seeing them trying to keep from having another laughing fit, Diamond Tiara huffed. "Come on Silver Spoon, let's ditch these losers."
With a hmph, Silver turned her nose up and followed her friend.
Rainbow Dash was having a blast practicing her stunts in the skies over Ponyville with the Wonderbolts. Ascending high over the town, they prepared to perform the daring new trick she'd been planning. With Soarin' on her left and Spitfire on her right, they paused momentarily at the peak of their climb. Once Rainbow gave her team the signal, they dived sharply, attempting to build up the speed needed to perform a Triple Sonic Rainboom.
Or she that's what she believed she was doing, as a soft rapping sound caused her to stir and return to the real world. Initially believing it to just be the wind, she rolled over and sank further into her bed. Although she was rumored to be tougher than iron, dealing with the flood, surviving a few uncomfortably close calls during the thunderstorm and then using her Rain-blow dry over the entire Sweet Apple Acres property had left her sore and worn out. As a result, she had taken a few of her unused vacation days and called off, leaving the rest of the Weather Patrol to deal with the day to day weather while she recuperated.
When the rapping continued a few minutes later, she realized that somepony was at her front door and dragged herself out of bed.
As she approached the door, she ran a hoof through her mane to straighten out some of the bedhead she'd managed to accumulate. Expecting another bothersome salesmare, she opened the door in a half-asleep huff, her eyes barely open. "Go away! I don't want whatever it is you're selling." Hearing a familiar squeak, she blinked and looked up. "Oh hey Fluttershy. 'sup?"
Fluttershy peeked out from behind her bangs, quickly checking that it was safe. "Um, sorry if I'm interrupting, but we were wondering why you hadn't arrived at the town square yet. It's almost noon."
Stifling a yawn, Rainbow asked, "An why am I supposed to be in the square? I don't remember there being any weather management scheduled there this morning."
"Well, you're a guest of honor at the ceremony that's being held there."
Dash shook her head as if she was trying to knock some fluff out of her brain. "Guest of honor? Ceremony? What are you talking about?"
"Didn't you get the letter from the mayor? I mean, everypony on the Weather Patrol was sent an invitation."
Seeing her friend turn her head towards a corner of her home, Fluttershy leaned in a little to see what she was looking at. In a corner of the room sat what passed for Dash's desk. On top of it was a large heap of letters, postcards, fliers and other postal droppings. Since she mostly received boring things like bills or ads, Dash had developed a tendency to just toss incoming mail over there and actually look through it when she got around to it.
Still somewhat groggy, she headed over and started sifting through the mess in search of this mystery letter. Although it was languishing under a few bills and an ad for mane dye, it was fairly easy for her to find.
Noticing it had been postmarked two days prior, Rainbow quickly flicked it open and skimmed the contents, growing more excited as she read. Dropping the letter, she began darting about her home, scrambling to get her mane under control and locate her Weather Patrol vest.
Watching the growing commotion going on inside, Fluttershy backed away from the door. "So um, you're coming to the ceremony right?"
She barely had time to duck as a multicolor blur shot out the door and sped off towards the town square. Watching the rainbow trail go into the distance, she muttered to herself, "Always in such a rush."
In the square itself, Mayor Mare walked out on the makeshift stage. Looking out over her audience, she saw that only a small number of the ponies in the square had even noticed her presence. Instead, most were busily talking with each other or ogling the treats on the tables. Giving the podium's microphone a few light taps to check it, she managed to send a sudden burst of shrieking feedback over the speakers. This did a wonderful job of setting everypony's teeth on edge, and thus turning their attention to the stage.
Seeing the crowd was ready (if frazzled), she cleared her throat and began the speech she'd prepared. "Thank you all for coming everypony. Now you have probably heard of the tragedy that befell our neighbors over in Sweet Apple Acres last week, but for those of you that have yet to hear the tale, allow me to elaborate a moment.
During what was otherwise a perfectly normal day, a terrible storm blew in from the Everfree Forest, flooding their orchards and threatened both the livelihood of our friends and the lives of a class of Ponyville students that had the misfortune of being on a field trip to their orchard. During this crisis, several brave ponies risked their own safety to aid those in need, and today we have gathered here to publicly honor and commend their incredible acts."
A short distance away, Diamond Tiara and Silver Spoon were anxiously waiting for the speech to end. Checking her tiara, Diamond Tiara whispered, "Is this balanced right? Any wrinkles in my dress?"
"I don't like, see any." Silver replied, glancing over her own clothing. "How's mine?"
"Totally perfect." Diamond Tiara paused after replying, checking the stage quickly. Nearly bursting from the excitement, she squeaked, "This is it!"
"...and so fillies and gentlecolts," the mayor was saying, "we must extend our thanks to our heroes." With a wave towards the covered tables, Applejack and Big Macintosh walked over and gripped the table covers. "Now you all have probably been wondering what is hidden under these sheets. On these two tables are the awards we will be handing out today."
On cue, the sheets were tossed aside, uncovering rows of glittering metals and a few trophies. Most of the ponies in the audience oohed and ahhed at the prizes on the tables, but a certain pair had a rather different reaction. Diamond Tiara and Silver Spoon were alternating between looking at the table and each other, utterly confused. Their enthusiasm faded quickly as they came to the realization that their limelight was being shared with quite a few other ponies.
Hearing the mayor call for the Ponyville Weather Patrol to gather on stage, Diamond Tiara started getting upset. This was supposed be about her and Silver Spoon, not some lowly weather janitors that couldn't manage to keep the sky clear for an evening! As her temper started to getting the better of her, she tensed up and her eyes began watering with rage. Just as she was about to tell the world exactly what she thought of this turn of events she discovered a hoof plugging her mouth. Looking over at the hoof's owner, she found herself looking into a pair of unusually stern eyes.
Silver Spoon shook her head slowly, retracting her hoof. "I totally know what you want to say, but it's like, not worth the effort. Trust me."
Diamond Tiara just stared at her friend for a moment. As she calmed down, she looked at the ground and pawed at it lightly. "It's not fair." she whined, "We were totally supposed to be the ones begin honored by everypony." As she watched Honeysuckle receive a special award for continuing to assist the team despite her broken wing, she continued, "Now they're getting all the praise."
The members of the Weather Patrol received their awards one by one, leaving the stage afterwards. As the last pegasus returned to the audience, the mayor returned to the podium and readied the microphone again. "Before we continue, there is something else we need to address. Our Weather Patrol, while valiant and determined, was not able to deal with a storm of this magnitude on their own. Because of this, they called out to the Cloudsdale Weather Patrol for urgent assistance. For their timely response and aid in our darkest hour, we wish to honor them with a special award."
Applejack hefted a large trophy off the table. As she held it high enough for everypony present to get a good look at it, the mayor continued, "Because they are needed to tend to their own skies, this award will be accepted by their team captain, Al."
The mayor gestured to the sky overhead, and seconds later the brown pegasus stallion zoomed past. After doing a few simple acrobatic loops to the crowd's applause, he flew in to land on the stage. However, since he was inexperienced with such elaborate stunts, he misjudged his speed and landed with a fair amount of force, creating a resounding thud that shaking the stage. Embarrassed, he mumbled an apology before starting to give his acceptance speech.
"Great," Diamond Tiara mumbled, "now even people from like, other towns are more important than we are."
Silver Spoon rolled her eyes. "Totally. When are we going to be called up on stage? Like, ever?"
"At least there's still a stage. I mean, that last guy almost broke it."
Hearing the mayor clear her throat for another long speech about something, the girls sighed and got ready for another long wait. "Ladies and gentlecolts, thank you for your patience. There is yet one more side to this drama that we wish to tell. Shortly before the storm hit, our dear Cheerilee and her class were visiting Sweet Apple Acres. Upon being warned of the storm's approach, she lead her class away from the orchard and into the safety of the Apple family's farmhouse. Unfortunately, on the way two of her students became separated, and had to face the storm on their own."
At this, the sounds of gasps and murmurs rose from the audience. Looking over, Silver Spoon noticed that Diamond Tiara was still moping at being left out of the spotlight. Nudging her in the ribs, Silver whispered, "They're talking about us!"
Diamond Tiara startled. Realizing they weren't forgotten after all, she turned back to the stage as the mayor continued, "Not only did these two foals manage to ride out the storm safely, but they also discovered two other lives in danger and rose to their rescue." As the mayor was starting to ask for them to come up on stage, she trailed off in mid-sentience. Both foals had already zipped onto the stage and were smiling broadly. Trying to act like her rhythm hadn't been thrown off, she turned back to the audience. "Ladies and gentlecolts, may I present our young heroines, Diamond Tiara and Silver Spoon!"
As the crowd applauded, the foals curtsied, clearly relishing the attention. As the crowd continued to cheer, the older Apple siblings walked over carrying the medals the girls were to be given. Applejack smiled as she gingerly draped the medal over Diamond Tiara's head. With a wink she whispered, "Y'all did great out there in the woods over yonder. Keep up the good work ya hear me?"
Looking up, Diamond Tiara grinned. "Of course we will. We're like, heroines after all!"
After the awards had all been handed out, everypony present remained in the square to enjoy the food and each other's company. Most of the conversations that had begun before the ceremony had simply resumed where they left off, but a few ponies were more interested in the stories behind the awards.
Since the event had largely been sponsored by the Apple family, Applejack was playing hostess; a task that basically involved wandering around and checking that everypony was enjoying themselves. As she started to pass a group of Weather Patrol members, she heard Cheerilee call over to her.
"I was wondering," Cheerilee asked as she nibbled on a tart, "I haven't seen either of the girls since they were on stage. Where do you suppose they are?"
Pausing for a moment, Applejack looked around quickly. "Ah saw 'em in the middle of a bunch o' foals just a moment ago. Probably telling tales about their little adventure."
"That wouldn't surprise me a bit." With a brief pause to swallow the rest of her snack, she added, "They do tend to over dramatize things."
"That they do." Applejack looked around for another few moments, and then pointed. "Okay, ah see 'em; they're over there."
Turning to look, Cheerilee tried not to laugh at the display. Diamond Tiara and Silver Spoon were surrounded by other foals, obviously telling the story of their daring rescue. After watching their theatrics for a moment, Cheerilee nodded in the girl's direction. "Let's go have a listen shall we?"
Applejack snickered. "This ought to be interestin'. I never did hear just what all happened out there."
Diamond Tiara swept her hoof through the air, as if she was pointing out the entire sky. "It was like, completely black outside the cabin."
"Totally! It was so dark you couldn't even see your own nose." Silver Spoon added, waving a hoof in front of her face.
"We were in the middle of a board game when we heard this strange sound coming from outside."
"Meow, like, me-ow!"
"We just had to go and see what was going on."
"It took a little searching, but we found a flashlight. Once we had that, we were able to see that those poor kittens had been washed away by the flash flood!"
Diamond Tiara nodded. "They were so pitiful looking, all wet and alone in the rain and stuff. I just had to bring them inside where it was warm and safe!"
"We hurried outside -- wait, what did you just say?"
Ignoring the look she was getting from Silver Spoon, Diamond Tiara continued on with her tale. "I bravely headed into the cold water while Silver here guided me with the flashlight. When I got close I found I would only be able to bring back like one of the kittens at a time." As she continued her friend's expression shifted from confusion to accusation, but Diamond Tiara didn't seem to notice or care. She was on a roll. "I managed to carry the first kitten back safely, but when I was headed to the second kitten Silver Spoon accidentally dropped the flashlight! I had to risk making the journey in the dark!"
Silver Spoon looked away from her friend and the other foals as she quietly ground her teeth. She'd already risked a fight with Diamond Tiara by bringing up the cute-ceanera, and as much as she wanted to tell the story the way it really happened, it wasn't a fight she was willing to start.
A short distance away, Applejack leaned over towards Cheerilee. "Is it just me, or is there somethin' a might fishy about the way Diamond Tiara's telling the story?"
"It's not just you Applejack," Cheerilee said nodding. "Did you see the look Silver Spoon was giving her?"
"Yeah, ah sure'nough did. Somethin' was definitely not right with the way Diamond Tiara was tellin' the story."
As the day drew to a close, the square was largely empty. The only ponies that had remained in the square were the Apples and those interested in the last of the goodies. As Applejack removed one of the last tablecloths, the sound of a pegasus landing nearby caught her attention. Tossing the soiled cloth onto a growing pile, she turned to see who had just arrived.
"Oh my." Fluttershy squeaked, looking over the empty tables. "It took me much longer than I'd expected to get everything ready." Starting to blush, she crossed her forelegs. "and um, I took too long and missed everything, didn't I Applejack?"
"Yeah; sorry 'bout that. We're just cleanin' things up now." Walking over, Applejack tapped her friend's shoulder. "But don'tcha worry none; there's still some cider, fritters and other good eats left. And I'm sure Big Macintosh won't mind if I stop workin to keep y'all company fer a spell. Right Mac?"
Her brother was busy stacking the some of the tables on a cart. Setting down the ones he was carrying, he looked over and nodded. "Eeyup."
"Thanks Applejack." Gesturing at the saddlebag on her side, she continued, "but actually I wanted to catch Diamond Tiara and Silver Spoon before they went home."
"Well, you're in luck then." With a smile, Applejack pointed in the other direction. "They're over yonder, gettin' themselves a last minute snack."
"Wow, these things are good!" Diamond Tiara said as she helped herself to another plateful of apple crumbles.
"Totally!" Gulping down the last of her own plate, Silver Spoon brushed some crumbs off her blouse. "I mean, who knew the Apples could actually make something worth eating?"
Diamond Tiara was about to answer when a soft voice cut her off. "Um, excuse me?"
Looking up at the new arrival, Diamond Tiara set her next piece of crumble back down. "What do you want... miss flutter... Flutterpie was it?"
If Fluttershy noticed Diamond Tiara's gaff with her name, she didn't show it. "My friends wanted to thank you again for saving their lives during that awful flood."
Reaching down, she gently undid the strap to her saddlebag and set it on the ground. Flipping the lid open, she said, "It's okay; you can come out now."
Two familiar white heads popped out of the bag and looked around. Seeing the ponies that had rescued them, the kittens hopped out and began scurrying over to their rescuers.
Diamond Tiara braced herself, expecting the pair to run into her at full speed. Instead, the two kittens ran past her, heading straight for Silver Spoon. Once they reached the gray filly they started brushing against her and purring loudly. As Diamond Tiara looked on surprised, Silver Spoon knelt down to cuddle them back.
Quietly walking up beside Fluttershy, Applejack grinned at the sight. "Well, don't that beat all."
Later that night, after they'd finished cleaning everything up in the square, the Apple family was preparing to settle in for the night. Aside from the enormous task of dealing with the food and furnishings, the past few days had been spent clearing out the flood debris from their orchard. They still had a fair amount of broken leaves, mud and other refuse to collect and drag away, but it was enough for the time being.
However, despite how tired she was, one of the ponies in the family wasn't quite ready to go to bed just yet. Apple Bloom's bond with her sister had always been a strong one, and she was keenly aware that something had been on Applejack's mind this evening. Being as quiet as she could to avoid waking anypony, Apple Bloom let herself into her older sister's bedroom. As she'd suspected, while Applejack was in bed, she was still awake, lying on her side staring idly at the nearby wall.
Walking over, Apple Bloom asked, "Sis? Everythin' alright?"
Applejack let out a long sigh before she looked down at her little sister. "Yeah, there's jus' some things on ma mind is all."
"Good things or bad things?"
"Well, kinda a mix really." Rolling onto her stomach, Applejack continued, "It's just that ah saw somethin' earlier that reminded me of somethings ah'd rather not think about."
Finding a comfortable position, Apple Bloom sat down and looked up at her sister's weary face. "What happened?"
"Well, didja hear Diamond Tiara's version of how they saved those kittens?"
Rolling her eyes, Apple Bloom groaned. "Ugh, how could ah have missed it? She was telling everypony, even if they didn't wanna listen!"
"Well, let yer big sis let ya in on a little secret." Leaning in close to her sister, Applejack whispered, "Fluttershy brought over the kittens, and that pink filly didn't want anything to do with 'em!"
Apple Bloom blinked. "Really?"
"Yep, the kittens ran to Silver Spoon and ignored her friend completely! Ah'll bet that she's really the one that saved 'em."
"So it's this secret that has ya all worked up?" Hopping back, Apple Bloom smiled. "Well that's easy! Jus call her out on it tommara! Then it's not a secret any more!"
Chuckling, Applejack shock her head. "Nah, that's not what ah've been mullin over. That's jus what started me thinkin' about it. Listen, remember when I told ya and yer friends that story about how I got my cutie mark?"
"Um, yeah, ah think so. Ya went to live with Aunt and Uncle Orange in Manehatten."
"Right. And to fit in there ah had to hide away part o' who ah am. Ah had to act just so or risk losing the acceptance of the ponies ah was around." Turning her gaze out the window, she continued, "Ah'm just sitting here wonderin' if Silver Spoon is doing something like that. She never did stop Diamond Tiara from tellin' her tall tale."
Meanwhile, in a house on the far side of Ponyville, Diamond Tiara was grimacing. "I still can't believe you actually adopted those fur balls."
Silver Spoon just giggled a little as the 'fur ball' she was brushing tried to bat at her braids.
"I mean seriously, they'll shed everywhere. You'll get their fur all over your nice dress!"
Putting down the brush, Silver Spoon tossed her head so that the braids swung about. As she watched the kitten at her feet jump after them, she said, "Oh, don't worry about it Di. I was only going to wear it for a day anyway."