Pony POV Series
Butterflies Optional Canon Ditzy Doo and Family
Welcome to The Big City
“Wow, momma! We’re so high up!” Dinky exclaimed, looking over the side of the chariot taking us to Canterlot.
“Yes, Dinky, we far,” I said, trying not to sound as worried about what she was doing as I really was. “Just be careful, blue can’t fly.”
“It’s ok, mom,” said Sparkler, horn glowing as she used her magic to keep Dinky safely secured. “I’ve got her.”
I gave Sparkler a smile. “Blanks, Muffin.”
(Interviewer’s Notes (Pegasus): Ditzy, why do you call your daughters Muffins?)
Oh! Well I love muffins, they’re sweet, and I don’t want to think about living without them…its the same way with Dinky and Sparkler, so I call them my little Muffins.
Sparkler gave me a small nod. “No problem…so, how are you feeling?”
I looked down at my hooves nervously. “Um…I’m pine…”
I gave a small nod. “Yeah, I bless…Canterlot is a frilly fancy place, what if I don’t bit in?”
Sparkler put a hoof on my shoulder. “It’ll be alright, mom, don’t worry about it. The more you worry, the worse you’ll fit in, so just calm down, ok?”
I listened to her voice and nodded. “Yeah…thanks Sparkler.”
And with that, we just set and talked a little the rest of the way. It felt really good to finally have, I guess, a family trip with just the three of us, even if I was getting an award and would have to give a huge speech on stage.
We trotted through the streets of the capital of all of Equestria. It was my first real time in the city. Not as a visitor for a special event (ok, technically I was, but I’d be staying a few days at least), but in full dress and everything. Ok, technically I’d been here delivering mail, but I don’t have time to take in the sights when I’m doing that, and there was this cat that decided to-
(Interviewer’s Notes (Pegasus): Derpy, as exciting as that adventure probably was, we don’t have time for it right now.)
Oh, sorry. Point was, this was the first time I’d REALLY been here, not as a tourist just there for a play or something. It wasn‘t ‘get on the Friendship Express go to Canterlot, help with the Hearth‘s Warming Eve play then leave‘. Until the ceremony, I would be in Canterlot with nothing to do but be IN Canterlot.
(Interviewer’s Notes (Earth Pony): You never visited Sparkler when she lived here?)
No, I wanted to but…she was always so busy whenever I had time. She was a busy girl, she had a life of her own, I understood that. I missed her, but I had to let my muffin live her life.
I was surprised when no pony looked at me like I was a stranger before I realized this was the first time I‘d been here when I wasn‘t naked. I guess that helped make me a little less self-conscious…but not enough. Dinky was amazed by everything she saw, just like a filly should be. I’d had her shoed so her hooves wouldn’t get hurt on the hard streets, I knew how that could be, having not had horseshoes my very first time being here. My hooves hurt for weeks, I wasn’t going to let that happen to my little muffin.
Speaking of which, I had to keep an eye on Dinky all the time! The ponies were always in a rush to get somewhere, they didn’t even stop to apologize if they bumped into you! We got jostled all over the place! I was starting to feel claustrophobic! It made my head start spinning!
Maybe if they didn’t walk around with their noses in the air like that they wouldn’t bump into ponies.
(Interviewer’s Notes (Pegasus): Too high and mighty to worry about anyone else?)
Huh? No, I mean they walk around with their noses in the air! Some even have their eyes closed! And ponies say I need to watch where I’m going!
It was surreal to see Sparkler there though. She just weaved through the crowd with no problem at all. She looked so natural…and that just made me feel even more out of place to be honest.
When we finally got clear of the crowd, I was so busy making sure Dinky was ok, I didn’t even notice the stallion on the sidewalk until we were right up to him. “Hello, hello, miss, may I interest you in a doll?” he asked in an almost mesmeric voice. It was strange, it was the kind of voice a psychiatrist used during a hypnosis session they did with me, at least that’s what it reminded me of. I turned to see a green stallion with a slightly lighter green mane, and these strange red eyes. He had this really terrible green suit on him. I instantly thought of the words Rarity would probably have used to describe it at that particular moment; garish and gaudy. Even if I wasn’t a fashionista like her, I was inclined to agree.
“Um, excuse me?” I asked, blinking as my surprise settled. “Who are you?” I asked, doing my absolute best to remember the diction lessons.
“Oh, my apologies, miss. Pocket Watch, renown doll maker at your service,” he said with an elaborate bow. As he did so, I saw his Cutie Mark. It was a swinging pocket watch that made me feel a little light headed just looking into it. I was thankful my eyes make me resistant to hypnosis since one eye is normally focused on something else, which is why Discord had to split in two to brainwash me, and the Doctor‘s Psychic Paper doesn‘t work on me.
(Interviewer’s Notes (Pegasus): Then how did the ‘Want It, Need It Spell’ work on you?)
Oh that…well that wasn’t exactly a hypnosis spell like Discord‘s, so only one eye really needed to see it…I think…
(Interviewer’s Notes (Earth Pony): Are you blushing?)
Uh…yeah, a little…it was embarrassing to snap out of a trance and realize you‘d just been in a huge brawl with Mayor Mare over a doll! Anyway, back to the story.
“Might I interest you in a doll? They are the finest in all of Canterlot, the elites pay top dollar for them.”
I slowly looked at his dolls he had lined up in this cart he had with him. They were dolls of foals, each life-sized. They were the kind that moved all on their own, I guess by magic or something like that, I wasn’t sure. They were all dressed so beautifully. Truth be told, they were probably the most life-like dolls I’d ever seen. But maybe that was why they sent a chill down my spine. Something about them just seemed…off. Maybe they were too lifelike for my tastes.
I looked up and saw a little wind up doll of a stallion being…being hung at the gallows. “Um…T-that one doesn’t bo-look very price-I mean nice.”
He gave a simple smile looking at it. “Oh yes, that one,” he said, giving a small chuckle. “Oh, this doll is of this one stallion I used to know. He seemed so fond of foals, I personally adore foals, so innocent, so pure, but he liked them in ways that didn’t particularly sit well with me, or anypony for that matter. He liked to kidnap innocent little foals and do some…unsavory things to them.”
(Interviewer’s Notes (Earth Pony): What did he mean?)
I don’t really know…But someone taking little foals and hurting them…it sent a chill down my spine…
(Interviewer’s Notes (Pegasus): I forgot how innocent ponies where here.)
Huh? What was that?
(Interviewer’s Notes (Pegasus): Oh! Nothing! Please continue.)
I gulped. “And b-bat- I mean that happened to dim-I mean him?”
“No, no. This is merely what I and quite a few others wished had happened to him,” said Pocket Watch, his horn lighting up the same red as his eyes as he wound the doll up. “No, he was last seen being chased into caves near here, the parents of the foals he‘d had his way with had caught up with him. No one ever saw him again, but I‘m sure this would be his fate if a judge ever saw him. Yes, the verdict could only be….”
He released the crank.
“GUILTY! GUILTY! GUILTY!” the toy chanted again and again. As I looked into it, the stallion it pictured being hung over and over again, the eyes seemed…pleading in a way. It was almost as if someone was really suffering behind those eyes.
“Be bleed to be blowing vow,” I said, not caring about my diction anymore, Dinky was scared half to death by the doll and so was I. Hay, I was just plain scared of this stallion!
“Oh my Celestia, what a beautiful little filly you have here,” said Pocket Watch with a smile that was both warm and bone chilling at the same time. “What is her name?”
“Dinky, now if blue will excuse be, we filly bust be going now!”
“Dinky, what a wonderful name for a beautiful little foal,” said Pocket Watch, looking at my muffin with those hypnotic eyes. “Foals are always such pure and wonderful things, it’s a shame they can’t stay small like dolls, isn’t it? Dolls stay pretty forever, pretty silent, and obedient.”
He gave me a smile that made me feel like there was ice in my veins. “Oh well, if you must be going, do not let me detain you. I do hope we’ll see each other again. You seem like a wonderful mother, I’m sure one of my dolls would be quite happy with you.”
“B-bless, that could me price, vow come on Dinky, Sparkler, we’ve tot a got to brew!”
I think the three of us ran all the way to the palace after that. I kept looking back. I knew he wasn’t there anymore. It’s just…
(Interviewer’s Notes (Pegasus): He scared the horseapples out of you?)
Yeah, that’s about right, me, Dinky, and Sparkler…It kind of made me more on edge the whole time…more than I already was…
“Welcome, Ditzy Doo, Dinky, and Sparkler,” Princess Luna said as we entered the castle. She looked pretty tired, I think she even yawned as we showed up. Still, it was nice to see a friendly face after what just happened.
We all bowed. I remembered my diction lessons. “Thank you for inviting us, Princess Luna.”
She gave us a smile. “Think nothing of it, after all, I sought to reward you for your status as a mother because you’ve earned it,” she continued.
I looked up at her, blushing a little. “Well I don’t blow about tat,” I said, almost correcting myself before remembering the Princess hadn’t minded my problem. She’d said it was ‘unique’. It’s weird, Moonlight had said the same thing.
“Your room is already set up, is anyone else coming?”
“Yes, free friends,” I replied. “And by parents…bell, except pun of my mothers.”
Luna blinked slightly. “Forgive me, did you say, one of your mothers?”
“Yeah, my biological mother couldn’t take bit…” I explained, lowering my head a little. I was used to it by now, she always seemed so busy. “My adopted parents and biological dad bill be here blow.”
Luna nodded, seeming understanding. “I can appreciate that. Your room is already set in the north tower. I do hope you will enjoy your stay, Ditzy Doo.”
“Thank blue, Woona,” I replied, giving a bow.
Hi! My name’s Dinky Doo! Glad to meet you! My momma got an award from Princess Luna! Isn’t that cool? I told Pipsqueak, Moonlight, and Ruby about it and they all thought it was too…I’ll admit, the big city scared me a little bit…Especially that scary stallion! He reminded me of those creepy ponies that tried to foalnap me when Nightmare Moon came back!
(Interviewer’s Notes (Pegasus): They actually kidnapped you?)
Yeah, they thought I was Nightmare Moon’s chosen one or something, they weren’t very smart…Momma didn’t like that one bit, she can be really scary when me or Sparkler are in trouble, but she’s so cool! The Doctor is too, even if it’s dangerous for momma to go with him sometimes. Hehe, it was kind of funny after they beat those bad guys though.
“Great, just great,” the leader of the tied up Cult of Nightmare Moon said, grumbling with one eye blackened. “We get our flanks kicked by a retarded mail mare and…whoever the heck you are-”
“I’m the Doctor.”
“Whatever, Nightmare Moon lost, and I invested all my bits in mushroom farms!”
Derpy snarled, glaring at him. “Why bid blue kidnap Dinky any pay!”
“Our blind prophet New Moon foresaw our Queen of Endless Night would have a chosen foal among the rank of Ponyville’s rabble, she would be most pleased with us if we brought her her chosen one!”
“How’d blue show it was Dinky?”
“New Moon said it would be somepony of heroic descent, innocent, and pure to the ways of the world. Look at her colors, she’s clearly a descendant of Twilight the First, who defeated the one who challenged our queen for her throne of endless night, and who could be more innocent and pure than the foal of a retarded mail mare?”
“I must say, you’re not the sharpest tool in the shed are you? I mean really, one of those girls who stopped Nightmare Moon is named Twilight I believe, and she’s got purple fur,” the Doctor stated. “Not to mention she seems to be quite the powerful unicorn. Wouldn’t she be the more logical pick as this Twilight the First‘s descendent?”
The cult leader slammed his head into a pole.
“I told you we should’ve kidnapped Applebloom…” another one added.
I don’t know why they thought I was Nightmare Moon’s chosen one! Pip’s the one who gets along with Princess Luna!
(Interviewer’s Notes (Pegasus): You know Nightmare Moon is Luna? Most foals think they’re two different ponies.)
Of course! Those mean ponies talked about it! Anyway, like I said, Pip seems more like the pony they were looking for!
Oh yeah, we should probably get back to the story, shouldn’t we?
I came to Canterlot with momma and Sparkler. After we had that run in with that scary pony, we met Princess Luna and we went to our room. Canterlot Castle is SO big! I can see all the way across the Everfree Forest from our window! Princess Luna was so nice to give us the room!
While momma was unpacking, I was in the hall looking around a bit when I ran into somepony I didn’t expect to see!
“Moonlight?!” I asked, looking at my friend. “Why are you in Canterlot?”
“It’s not weird for me to be here, Dinky.”
“It’s not weird for you to be here,” I replied, why would it be? Was it weird for me to be there? No, so why would it be for her?
Moonlight smiled. “Dinky, I’m going to play with Pip, but I wanted to say…we’ll be thinking of you while you’re gone, and we can’t wait to play together with you again.”
I smiled. “Thanks, I can’t wait to play again either!”
“I’m sorry I was rude to you when we first met…I guess I was just jealous and didn’t want to share Pip…I’m sorry for that.”
I hugged her. “It’s ok, momma says not to hold grudges, so I’m not going to!”
(Interviewer’s notes (Earth Pony): That’s a nice way to live, Dinky.)
Yeah, isn’t it?
Sparkler and I were unpacking in our room. I had butterflies in my stomach, just looking out the window gave me goosebumps. The room was fancier than I would like, but I guess not TOO fancy. At least it wasn’t some five star hotel, but I still felt…out of place. I mean I know that’s strange coming from a pony who’s been through everything I have…but I just felt like a fish out of water in this fancy room…
As I unpacked my bags, I came to the letters that my parents had sent. “…I…I blunder if mom bill feel butter enough to some…”
“Which one?” Sparkler asked over her shoulder as she put some bags down.
“Oh, Mrs. Hooves, I beam,” I replied…it could be confusing talking about family when you have two sets of parents you considered both of to be real.
(Interviewer’s Notes (Unicorn): That is very understandable, Derpy.)
“…” Sparkler seemed upset…
I’m Sparkler, glad to meet you I guess…sorry, I’m not used to being interviewed. Discord turned me into a dancing amethyst statue…I guess I brought that on myself…
“Hello Sparkler, or do you prefer Amethyst Star?” said the diamond floating around me as Ponyville was in chaos.
“Sparkler, look, I don’t know who you are, but I need to find my mother and baby sister in this mess.”
A stop sign literally popped up right in front of me and I ran into it.
“Now now, no need to hurry,” the diamond said, floating over. “I thought you moved away to get away from your mother, not that I blame you, I can’t stand My Mother either.”
I backpedaled. “No! I mean…yes, but it’s not like that-”
“Move to another town, go by a new name, Amethyst Star is lovely by the way, and start over, be a different person, all nice and refined instead of held down by a humiliating parent. Be the cultured, popular mare instead of the daughter of the village fool, that about sum it up?”
I actually started crying. “I…I…N-no…that’s…I mean I wanted to get away from her but…” It…it was right, I had wanted to be the center of attention, to not have mom’s klutziness hanging over my head but…
“But who am I to argue?” asked the diamond, coming in my face. “In fact, I’ll do you a favor, Amethyst Star, I’ll make you a new mare, who’s dancing will always be the center of attention wherever she takes the stage,” he said, the eyes on the crystal turning into multicolored rings. “Isn’t that what you wanted? To be the star? To be the center of attention?”
Yes…yes, that is what I wanted…What I want! What I’m going to get!
I hate her guts! And my ‘little sister’ is too stupid like her to realize she’s being laughed at too! I’m th only smart one in my family, why should I be held back by those retards?! I deserve to be beautiful! I deserve to be seen! Seen as ME! Not ‘Derpy’s daughter’, not ‘Ditzy Doo’s filly’, not ‘that unicorn who baby sits other foals and has a crazy-stupid mother!’ I wish she had never laid either of those screwed up eyes of hers on me!
Nopony matters but me. Nothing else matters but the dance. I am beautiful, my dance is beautiful. I don’t need to be anyone or anything else! I am beauty! I am dancing! And everypony should know it! Look at me dance! Now and forever! Those retards don’t matter, only my dance matters! Only my beauty matters! Only I matter!
(Interviewer’s Notes (Earth Pony): Are you ok?)
Y-yeah…Princess Gaia helped me, the memories don‘t hurt like they used to, even the night terrors I had for awhile where I was that statue forever, just dancing endlessly don‘t hurt to think about…but that doesn’t change the fact I know Discord was right…that is what I wanted…why I moved away…that I liked it…
Every time she wanted to come visit me in Canterlot…I’d make up some excuse why she couldn’t. ‘Sorry mom, I’ve got a job interview’, ‘sorry mom, I’ve got to stay after work’, ‘sorry mom, I’ve got plans with my friends.’ The only reason I didn’t use ‘I’m sick’ is because she’d have been there in an instant to take care of me….I may have gotten over how I feel, but that doesn’t mean I still don’t look back and wish I’d done something different…
I hate to say it, but…I think I owe that maniac for showing me what a grade-A fool I was. Hehe, you know, I think that’s the best revenge I could hope to have on that psychopath; the fact his little game made me a better pony in the end.
(Interviewer’s Notes (Pegasus): Yeah, nothing makes a bully madder than finding out he’s helped his victim more than hurt ‘em.)
Thanks. It also made me realize something else…Mom’s life has been hard enough without me making it harder by being a brat who cared more about how her ‘embarrassing’ mother looked than that her mother loved her. But it took another monster to make me realize how good I had it.
Mom had told me and Dinky the story a million times. How she got her Cutie Mark. Mom and Dinky are too innocent to really think about it and realize the truth, so was I when I was little. But as I grew up and became more realistic, I looked back on the story and saw it for what it really was. And to be honest, it clopped me off.
(Interviewer’s Notes (Pegasus): I do not blame yah, I feel the same way.)
Uh…are you sure the filly should hear this part?
(Interviewer’s Notes (Unicorn): She must stay, sadly, continue.)
Ok…for the most part, I just kept it to myself. Mom and Dinky both didn’t mind her, Dinky actually really likes her. I think the only time that miserable old mare had a semblance of happiness was when Dinky visited and she could pretend Dinky was ’Derpy without the issues’. And Celestia, did that make me mad. I saw my mom and sister treating that monster like she was a pony, and only I saw through her.
Why did I never tell never tell the Royal Guard on her? Because…I don’t want to destroy the grandmother mom and Dinky know. I know Applejack would go on about how the truth needs to come out, but…I’m just too weak to break their hearts.
(Interviewer’s Notes (Unicorn): No, Sparkler, you’re just smart enough to know when breaking their hearts isn’t worth it.)
Thanks…so yeah, I thought grandma was a monster…But…after Princess Gaia’s day, I got to thinking about what kind of mare might be under all that crud…then she was the ONLY one of my grandparents to refuse to show for their daughter being declared the best mother in Equestria. Do you have any idea how much that hurt mom? Of all the ponies she wanted to be there, I think Mrs. Hooves is the one that she wanted the most. She still feels like she failed her mother, all her life she’s wanted that mare to be proud of her, and the one moment when she should’ve been more proud of her than any other, she blows her off.
So I took a balloon to the Hooves’ residence and just waited for Mr. Hooves to leave. I knew no matter what I said, she wasn’t going to tell him unless she wanted her little secret to get out. To be honest, I WANTED her to tell him so maybe, just maybe, she’d admit it to herself and the world what she’d done.
Some small talk and I’m inside where I can speak privately.
I gave her a glare I think rivaled mom’s ‘get away from my Muffins’ look in sheer fury. “Listen to me, grandmother, and listen good,” I said, not taking my eyes off her. “I know you tried to MURDER your own daughter because you thought she was ‘challenged’. I think deep down inside, mom knows it too, and is just too nice to accept it.”
She backpedaled, looking like she’d seen a ghost. You know, she looks an awful lot like mom when I really think about it. Same gray coat, same yellow mane and tail. I think that’s why it hurt her so much. I know it doesn’t make me feel good. It made doing that harder than it should’ve been.
“I…I thought I was doing it for her own good! I thought she had not future!”
And that just added fuel to the fire. I don’t LIKE the Doctor, I really don’t. He’s not my father, he never WILL be. I don’t like him endangering mom with his stupid adventures…but I agree with him that it can be VERY irritating when someone makes up excuses just to convince themselves a heinous crime was justified.
(Interviewer’s Notes (Unicorn): She didn’t even deny it?)
To be honest, I think she already knew I knew.
“No future, huh? Well look at the future she actually GOT. She just got invited to Canterlot to be honored by Princess Luna herself. She’s been employee of the month at the post office for as long as I can remember. She’s been the best mother to me and my sister a pony could ask for. And she’s HAPPY! While you’re miserable,” she shuddered. “Yeah, I said it, you think I can’t tell? Every GOOD thing mom has going for her is like a knife through your heart, isn’t it? To know she’s a better mother and a better PONY than you’ll ever be?”
“BUT IT WAS ALL I KNEW AT THE TIME!”
“And all she knew when I was a foal was I was stubborn, disrespectful, and thought she was embarrassing, but did she try to throw me away just because I MIGHT become a delinquent?…You know, thinking about it, I’m going to thank you. For showing me what a fool I used to be. I used to be embarrassed of mom, I moved to Canterlot to get away from Ponyville and her…and looking at you, at the bitter, miserable old nag you’ve become, I realize what a moron I actually was. I was a worse daughter than she ever was to you, and all she’s ever done is love me with all her heart and do whatever she could to make me happy.”
I looked her in the eyes, I could tell. She wasn’t angry, she wasn’t depressed. With each word I said, she looked like I did when I looked in the mirror after it hit me how rotten I’d been to mom. Small, scared, and wretched.
“After everything you’ve done to her, all the pain you’ve put her through, all the love you should’ve given her and didn’t, and she doesn’t even know you tried to kill her. She’s just too nice a pony for that thought to cross her mind. She still wanted you there to see her honored by Luna, not to rub it in your face, not to brag, but so once in her life, she knew you were proud of her. Personally, if I were her, I’d have just told you to go straight to Pony Hell…Actually, you’re already there, aren’t you? I hope you enjoy it.”
…She broke down crying at that point, I told her if she was any kind of mother, she’d show up to the ceremony. And I left…
Part of me thinks I was too harsh, that I went to far…oh who am I kidding, she needed to hear that…mom won’t, the Doctor? As much as I don’t like him, I know he cares about mom. He proved that when he stood up for her so she could keep Dinky and I saw on Princess Gaia’s day that he’s a good pony. But I’m afraid of what he might do. I was the only one who could…
Do you think I’m a bad pony for telling her that?
(Interviewer’s Notes (Unicorn): No, I think you’re right; sometimes the only way someone can heal, is if the thorn is pulled out. Her excuse is something that needs torn down so she can move on. She‘s living in a fantasy she needs woken up from.)
(Interviewer’s Notes (Pegasus): Even if you have to drag her kicking and screaming to the light, we know how that is. She needed a good kick in the flanks.)
…I did feel good standing up for mom…It felt good to build her up instead of being another burden that poor mare didn’t need.
(Interviewer’s Notes (Pegasus): Foals are never burdens for their mothers, when they start seeing them as burdens, they become like that mare.)
Thanks…Hey!…It’s ok…Thanks for the hug, filly…
I was jolted out of my thoughts by a knock on the door. “Huh?” I went over to the door and opened it.
“Hello, Ditzy,” said Rarity in that sweet voice she always had.
I blinked. “Oh! Hi Rarity! What are bl-you doing here?”
Rarity smiled. “Well I just got moved into my room. Twilight was such a dear, she got Celestia to get me a room in the castle while I was getting some dress supplies! I see Luna did much the same for you.”
It was…awkward. Here I was, freaked out just by a slightly fancier than normal room…and Rarity looked so…at home here. She seemed just so happy, like this was her element. It made me feel even more like a fish out of water than I already did.
“Yeah, that was so pri-nice of her,” I replied, giving a smile that I wish I could say didn’t look as nervous as I felt.
She blinked, then smiled. “Oh, I understand. Ditzy, darling, you’re nervous about the ceremony, aren’t you?”
“…I guess…a brittle, I mean little,” I replied, looking down at my hooves. While feeling out of place was a big part of why I felt nervous, I suppose that was giving me butterflies in my stomach.
Rarity nodded and gave me a kind smile. “Well, I’m sure you’ll do perfectly fine, good luck.”
I nodded. “Ban-I mean thanks Rarity.”
Rarity nodded. “Well I’ve got to be going, I’ve got a few things I REALLY want to do while I’m here. Good luck with everything, darling,” she said, waving to me.
“Bye Rarity…” I replied, watching her go. I looked from her to me.
Rarity was considered one of the fanciest mares in Ponyville, and I couldn’t argue with that. Her mane and tail perfectly done, her coat was always perfectly white, she had a fancy accent, and she knew about everything big in Canterlot and everywhere else.
I was just a normal gray furred Pegasus with a plain yellow mane, wall eyes, a bad mouth, and more knowledge of space and time than what the next big thing was.
Seeing her just made me feel even more out of place than ever…
“Momma!” called Dinky, running over.
Sparkler came over. “All packed, ready to get something to eat?” she asked, putting a hoof on my shoulder and giving me a smile.
Thankfully, my Muffins were there to make me feel a little more at home…