A week ago, Steve Cochrane started farming fluffy ponies. Having too much time on his hands and, as Katie at FluffMart put it, “more money than God”, he grabbed some ferals that wandered near the house to make his start. It’s not the way a conventional breeder would start, but Steve never imagined himself as a conventional guy.
Now that the fluffies had had time to settle in, it was time to do some breeding. Steve figured he would try first to breed Seraph with Grapefruit. After some reading in his breeder manual, Steve knew it would take a good bit of experimentation to determine which alleles each fluffy had. If the pair produced only pegasi, it was possible that both Seraph and Grapefruit were both pure pegasi. If they had any earthie foals, then neither of them was purebred.
There were two pens at the far end of the barn: one was small, like the pen that Candy inhabited. The other was a large pen, which Steve believed could later house weaned foals. The small pen was where the magic would happen.
Steve picked up Seraph, the energetic black pegasus stallion who acted as herd leader. All it took was a promise that he would be having “special huggies” to ready him for the task at hand. Grapefruit was a happy, compliant fluffy, but Steve figured he would need to prepare the orange mare a little bit differently.
“Grapefruit, come here.” The pink-maned pegasus waddled over to where Steve stood next to the mare pen. She raised her leathery hooves in the “huggies” pose, and Steve picked her up and sat down with the fluffy in his lap. He gently stroked her fluff, scratched her mane behind her ears, and the fluffy cooed contentedly.
“Grapefruit, do you want to have babies?” Steve asked. He hoped he knew the answer.
“Yus, daddeh. Wuv babbehs. Babbehs am fo huggies, an wuv, an pwayin’, an huggies--”
“That’s right, Grapefruit! Babies can do all of those things. Now, do you know about ‘special huggies’?”
“Siwwy daddeh, Gwapefwoot kno aww ‘bout speshuw huggies. Speshuw huggies mean babbehs comin. Ow, babbehs ‘pose tu come…”
“What do you mean, Grapefruit? Special huggies are what make babies come.”
“Weww, Dummeh Smawty make Gwapefwoot haf speshuw huggies evewy bwite-time, and Gwapefwoot nu haf nu babbehs. Nu mawes fwom hewd eva haf babbehs wif Smawty.”
Steve grinned. I’ll bet that little fucker was a stray who had gotten fixed as a foal. No wonder the herd never had any foals except when they took in a pregnant mare. “I promise you’ll get to have special huggies here and make all of the babies you want.”
“Weawwy?!? Gwapefwoot wan haf babbehs! Dat’s why Gwapefwoot wun ‘way fwom owd mummah. Owd mummah towd Gwapefwoot dat mummah wouwd gif foweva sweepies to Gwapefwoot an aww Gwapefwoot’s babbehs.”
“Well, no worries about that here. How would you like to have babbehs—er, ‘babies’—with Seraph.”
“Dat gud, daddeh. Sewaf am gud fwuffy. Wiww be gud wingie-daddeh fo babbehs.”
With that, Steve knew the match was made. He set Grapefruit down into the breeding pen next to Seraph, who declared Grapefruit a “pretty mare”. Within three minutes, the deed was done. Steve, who had turned his back on the proceedings—it was awkward enough hearing all of the ‘enf’ing—took Seraph back to the stallion pen. A quick cleaning and “biggest huggies” later, and Grapefruit went back to the mare pen. There wasn’t any need in moving her to a pregnant mare pen until he knew for sure that she was pregnant, and that could take a few days.
Next, it was Wizard and Pineapple’s turn. Steve knew that Pineapple was itching for foals. She had practically toppled out of his arms at the sight of Candy—the first pregnant mare she had seen since her herd’s demolition at the hands of Old Man Polk. Wizard was a different case. Like Pineapple, Wizard was a unicorn. He had beautiful colors—a bright blue coat, with a mane and horn as white as snow. But Steve suspected that his passive nature came from beatings at the herd smarty’s hands. Wizard was Seraph’s polar opposite, but still did everything he was told.
Steve picked Wizard up. Wizard didn’t make a sound, but that was typical. He wasn’t one to speak unless spoken to. Steve took him over to the breeding pen and set him down. Wizard sat on his rump and stared back up at Steve until Steve left for the mare pen. Pineapple was busily stacking blocks with Orchid, but came as soon as her “daddeh” called. Steve didn’t have to go through the same speech as with Grapefruit. She was already arching her tail and dry humping the air by the time Steve got her to the breeding pen.
As soon as Pineapple touched the concrete, Wizard laid down on his tummy. His head lay flat on the ground, and Steve saw a small tear run down his right cheek.
“Wizard, what’s wrong?”
“Fwuffy nu kno. Haf saddies.”
Shit. It was one thing for Wizard to act like a beta male—Steve was used to seeing him defer to Seraph in eating, playing, and picking out which bed they would sleep in. It was quite another for Wizard to lie to him—and Steve had read all over the fluffy forums that you can tell a fluffy is lying when it won’t use its name. Goddammit, why isn’t that Fluffy Psychology class for another three weeks?
“Wizard, you are lying to me. Only bad fluffies lie to daddy, and bad fluffies get the sorry stick.”
Both fluffies winced at the mention of the sorry stick. Wizard had never been sticked before, but Pineapple had gotten the sorry stick for hoofing Cherry in the nose over blocks yesterday.
“Pwease, daddeh. Nu huwt Wizawd wif sowwy stick.” Pineapple was a smart fluffy, although Steve would never tell her so. “Pineappuw wiww tawk wif Wizawd an gif huggies. Huggies make aww fings bettah.”
Steve decided to leave the two of them alone for a while. He decided to use the interlude to set up the baby monitor he bought at Walmart. Candy had a week, or maybe less, until her foals arrived. Steve wanted to make sure he heard her when she went into labor. Katie told him that mares usually foaled between sunrise and sunset, but Steve wasn’t taking any chances with his first foals. His first foals! And by the time hers were weaned, he hoped he would have two more litters born—as long as Wizard wasn’t a bust.
Candy had been completely immobile for about four days. Steve had moved her litter box over behind where she lay on her bed, and her food bowl and water bottle were barely in her reach. Play was out of the question, so Steve was certain she was bored. Her boredom made her bitchy. About the only thing that calmed her was Steve brushing out her fur with the fluff-safe brush he bought a couple of days ago at FluffMart.
“How time tiww babbehs, daddeh? Candee am sowe, an tiwed, an wan wun an pway, an gif huggies an wuv tu babbehs.”
“I know you do, Candy. Just a few more bright-times. I promise.”
“Candee wan babbehs NAO!”
Steve bopped her on the nose. “Owwies! Why huwt soon-mummah Candee?”
“Candy, you do not yell at daddy. Good fluffies do not demand things.”
“Yus, daddeh. Candee wuv ‘oo.”
“Daddy loves you too, Candy.”
Steve continued to stroke Candy’s fur as the sun went down to the “enf, enf, enf” sounds at the other end of the barn.
Things were pretty stable on Steve’s fluffy farm for the next few days. Three days after the first breeding day, both Pineapple and Grapefruit said they could feel babies moving in their tummies! Although Steve knew that mating meant a 99% chance of conception, he was still pretty excited that all had gone well--especially given Wizard’s initial reluctance to give “special huggies”.
Two days ago, Steve decided to breed Orchid and Cherry with Seraph and Wizard, respectively. Only one problem came up—Wizard huu huued when Steve told him he would be having special huggies with Cherry.
“Wizard, you know that Cherry is a very pretty mare, and she really wants to have babies. You don’t want to make her sad, do you? I’ll bet that would give her ‘heart hurties’.”
“Wizawd am sowwy, daddeh.” The blue unicorn looked up at Steve with big tears streaming down his cheeks. “Wizawd nu wan gif Chewwy wowsest heawt huwties. Bu-bu-bu…”
“What is it, Wizard. Daddy is listening.”
“Wizawd wuv pwetty pointy-fwend Pineappuw. Wan be Pineappuw’s pe-pe-pe…speshuw fwend!”
Oh, boy. Wizard is in love. Steve half-expected this to happen. Wizard was a sweet fluffy who always did what he was told, but he was about as much a beta male as any fluffy had ever been. Not a great recipe for a breeding stallion.
“Wizard, come with daddy.” Instead of lifting Wizard up out of the pen as he usually did, he opened the gate and let him shuffle out. Seraph was in the outside part of the pen chasing a butterfly, so there wasn’t any risk of his wanting to interfere.
Steve and Wizard walked over to the mare pen. Pineapple, Grapefruit, and Cherry were all hugging Orchid, who was still huu huuing after her breeding pen experience—Seraph had been a little rough.
“Pineapple, come get upsies!” The yellow unicorn waddled over right away, humming a tune to herself. She reached up with her hooves, Steve picked her up and then set her down next to Wizard.
“Pineapple, Wizard has something he wants to say to you.”
“Hewwo, Wizawd-fwend. What du Wizawd wan?”
Wizard looked at the ground, pawing at the concrete with his hoof. “Weww, ummm…Wizawd wan…wan be…Wizawd wan be Pineappuw speshuw fwend!”
Pineapple’s eyes lit up. “Weawwy? Pineappuw am Wizawd speshuw-fwend? Yaaaaay!” Once Wizard realized that his proposal had been accepted, he started jumping around with Pineapple, and they shared a hug. Pineapple cooed softly, expressing her “wuv” for the shy blue unicorn. Still, Steve had to straighten one thing out.
“Now, Pineapple—I’m glad you and Wizard have decided to be special friends. I really am. In fact, I am so glad that I’m going to let you two share a pen together. Just the two of you. And your foals, when they come.
“Weawwy, daddeh? Fankoo daddeh. Am bestest daddeh eva! Gif huggies to da--”
“—that being said, I have one condition. Pineapple, you can be Wizard’s special friend, and you two can live happily ever after together. But I need Wizard to give special huggies to other mares, so that daddy’s herd can have more babies.”
“Bu-bu-bu daddeh, speshuw fwends am fo WIFE! Nu wan speshuw fwend haf heawt huw--”
“It otay, speshuw fwend. Pineappuw unastand. Hewd onwy haf too stawwions—Sewaf an speshuw fwend. Nee mo babbehs fo hewd. Pineappuw wuv ‘oo. Gu gif Chewwy tummeh-babbehs.”
Wizard tried to protest, but Pineapple eventually hoofed him on the nose and told him to give “special huggies” to Cherry or not to come to the “speshuw-howsie fo Pineappuw an Wizawd”. In a show of good faith, Steve took them both to the new pen and let Pineapple inside. She curled up on the bed in the corner and told Wizard to come when he was done. That was all the affirmation that Wizard needed.
Now that Pineapple and Wizard were housed together, Steve wondered how he should situate Grapefruit. He didn’t want to put the orange pegasus by herself—isolation didn’t do Candy any favors. In the end, Steve decided to leave Grapefruit in with Orchid and Cherry, and hoped that the two earthie mares ended up pregnant, too. It would be easier to deal with the herd if there were no jealousy issues.
One side benefit to multiple-fluffy ownership was all of the manure. The little bastards seemed to shit out half their weight every day, and Steve had already covered a decent part of his garden in the foul-smelling waste that would make for a bumper crop of vegetables this year.
About the only major disappointment Steve had experienced so far was the spaghetti trap he had set out in the old dog run. So far, he had caught three opossums, a raccoon, and a smarty fluffy. The possums and raccoon he shot on the spot, and then cleaned the cage. Steve grabbed the smarty’s tail and beat its brains out against a tree—it hadn’t been worth the bullet.
Walking back to the house that evening, Steve saw a moving figure near the dog run/spaghetti trap. When he got closer, he saw that it was a pale yellow fluffy. Steve found only disappointment, as the fluffy—an earthie mare with two foals on her back—had both back legs chewed off, and entrails spilling out of her backside. A dog or something must have gotten her .
“Pwease gif huggies, nice mistah. Mummah haf wowstest owwies, an nee nummies fo make miwkies fo gud babbehs.”
Steve shook his head. There was nothing he could do. A quick glance at the foals showed that they had died, likely chirping for “milkies” as they expired. Mercifully, Steve brought his boot over the mare’s head and put all his weight on top of it.