The Growing Years

This story is a sequel to A Different Perspective
Both the House of Path and Herd Path enjoy strong growth in the years following their establishment. Like all such things though, they both have their highlights and lowlights. These are vignettes in the lives of the children of Twilight, Path, Free, & Roseclaw, from foals to young adults.
This is a series of stand-alone stories of events that occur after the events of A Different Perspective, which I strongly recommend that you read first.
My collaborator, AlaskaIsCold, has written some of these and I mostly just edited them.

https://www.fimfiction.net/story/296939/the-growing-years

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6. Foalsitting

Princess Celestia yawned in a thoroughly undignified and unprincesslike manner as she walked from the throne room to her and Luna’s private dining room, but the absence of any other pony in that section of the castle allowed her to get away with it. Not that it was likely to have stopped her anyway. It had been a particularly exhausting day at court, and she was too tired to care much what other ponies thought. She perked up a bit though when she entered the dining room and realized that her sister was there.

Celestia beckoned over the servant mare who had just poured coffee for Luna, before saying, “Good evening, Lulu. Aren’t you up a bit early today? You don’t have to raise the moon for another hour yet.”

“Hi, Tia! I’m heading over to Griffonia later, and I wanted to get my work out of the way quickly.”

Celestia levitated the Royal Mug over to the maid who proceeded to fill the capacious cup with the hot, strong brew that was the princess’ beverage of choice at this time of day. While the Alicorn of the Sun preferred tea during the day, she liked a good strong espresso to help perk her up a bit after Day Court. While it was being filled, Celestia continued her conversation.

“Your visits to House Path are becoming more frequent lately.”

Luna arched an eyebrow at Celestia. “Dost thou object to this?”

Celestia shook her head with a smile. “On the contrary, I believe that the time that you have been spending with Path’s herd has been doing you a lot of good. I haven’t seen you so happy and full of life in a long time.”

Luna blushed a little. “I… never expected that to happen. I just enjoyed being able to socialize with them without having to be a princess all the time. But they have wormed their way into my heart, especially the foals. Tia… they’ve as much as said that they consider me to be family.” She bit her lower lip and looked at her sister a little guiltily. “I’m not trying to ignore thee, Sister…”

Celestia waved a hoof dismissively. “We still spend much time together on the weekends, and I don’t believe we’ll ever let anything get between us like it did a millennium ago. However, I am as busy as ever during the week, and we see little of each other then, so why not take advantage of your new family?” She paused to sip her coffee. “I like to see you happy, Lulu. It helps heal the memories of the lonely years without you.”

Luna cast her eyes down and shook her head in wistful regret. “So much wasted time, and all because I thought ponies did not appreciate my beautiful night. Had I the patience, I would have seen such growth of our civilization that would see the night become almost as popular as the day. Now, if it suits my whim, I can go to a late concert, dine at any number of all-night restaurants, or dance the night away at a nightclub….” She shrugged off the mood. “But thou art correct, Tia, I will take my opportunities now and enjoy them to the fullest.”

Luna got up from the table and went over to Celestia to kiss her on the cheek. “I’ll see thee on the morrow, Sister. Have a pleasant evening.”

Celestia smiled and nodded. As soon as Luna departed, she yawned ferociously once more and eyed her empty mug.

“Refill, Your Highness?” the maid asked, holding up a fresh pot of coffee.

“You know me too well, Café au Lait,” Celestia replied, as the maid filled her mug once more.

# # #

Free decided to give it one more try before leaving Luna to her fate. “Honestly, I was just teasing you. Snow Wing usually foalsits for us, and she can call on more help from the castle staff if necessary.”

Luna was too excited at the prospect of having the foals to herself though, and was deaf to Free’s earnestness. “Nonsense! I said that I would be happy to foalsit for you, and I meant it. Surely you don’t think that they’re too much for an alicorn to handle?” She arched an eyebrow at Free, daring him to contradict her.

Luna failed to see Roseclaw rolling her eyes or Twilight stifling a laugh behind a hoof. Only Path managed to keep a straight face… barely.

Free shrugged. “You know where to find us if you need us. It’s only a social occasion, and no business will be discussed, or at least not if I have any say in it. We’re all going there to relax and enjoy ourselves. We love our children to bits, but everypony needs a break now and then.”

Luna smirked. “And yet you all are still here, worrying about me. Begone!” she commanded as she waved a hoof dismissively. “Auntie Luna is on the job!”

Roseclaw spread her wings wide to chivvy the others out. “You heard the foalsitter – let’s get going and let her do her job!”

With the four adults finally gone, Luna turned to the children and smiled widely. “Who wants to hear me read a story?”

There was a chorus of positive replies, and Luna guided them to the family room. “Which story shall we read?”

Where’s My Cow?!” shouted Flix.

“What? ’Tis a silly book!”

However the other children started calling for the same story, and looking at Luna with pleading eyes.

Luna sighed. “Alright, we shall read Where’s My Cow?” Then under her breath, she added, “For the hundredth time.”

The foals made themselves comfortable around Luna as she settled down on the family room rug, or in Destined’s case, in his favored position on Luna’s back, looking over her shoulder. Luna found it awkward but endearing, and tolerated it far more than she knew she should. She levitated the book from its all-too-familiar place on the bookshelf and opened it in front of her. She started reading aloud…

“Every day, Commander Ham Dines of the City Watch would be home at six o’clock to read to Young Bam, who was one year old. Six o’clock, no matter what… or who… or why… because some things are important.” * She continued on with the story of the griffon father who always read to his son every night, while doing all the silly animal noises that made the story more fun. She was sure by now that the children wanted her to read the book not so much for the story, but all the silly nonsense that she did to liven it up, but perhaps that was why she always relented when they asked for it.

The book-reading took only about twenty minutes. As always, Epiphany got charged up on the excited emotions of everyone, and started fidgeting from the extra energy. She jumped up and started bouncing around the room, repeating all the animal noises that Luna had done. By this point, Free or Path normally took charge of their daughter and helped burn off her extra energy. However, Luna had the other three foals to concern herself with. Destined was only a problem in that he had curled up to have a nap on Luna’s back, and she was loathe to disturb him. Lucida and Flix got up to start playing tag with Pif. Because they had wings, it would seem that they had the advantage over the earth pony filly, but of course she was also a changeling. Diaphanous wings sprouted from her back, and soon she was buzzing around the room, chased by the two hippogriff siblings.

   

 

Luna chewed her lower lip in concern. While not a problem so far, she knew that their excitement would only grow greater, and that’s when things started to get knocked over. She wanted them to have their fun, but she also wanted the herd to come back to an intact family room. She was about to reach out with her telekinesis to slow them down when they solved the problem of damaging the room by themselves… they zoomed out into the rest of the castle to wreak their havoc elsewhere.

It took only seconds before an indignant shriek followed by the crash of metal trays came back to Luna. She sighed before carefully lifting Destined off her back and placing him on the rug, hopefully without disturbing him. Then she dashed out in pursuit of the other foals. She passed by one of the castle’s servants still picking up the contents of two trays that he had been carrying.

“A thousand apologies!” Luna said as she galloped past in pursuit of the children. She caught a glimpse of Flix headed upstairs. He was the slowest flyer, so she presumed that the other two had to be ahead of him somewhere. She spread her wings and zoomed up the grand staircase, looking and listening for further clues as to where the foals might be. Another series of noises came from the Grand Ballroom.

“By the Moon, no!” Luna exclaimed as she burst into the room. The ballroom had been set up for a big event that would be held the following evening. She could not believe how so much damage had been done in so little time as the foals tore over and under tables, and through the decorations. Apparently the hippogriffs had still not caught Pif whose buzzing flight-path was far more erratic than their more classic flying techniques could cope with, and they constantly overshot her as she jerked away in some unexpected direction.

Luna’s horn flared, and Epiphany was caught in a telekinetic field and brought back to Luna’s side. Unable to escape, Lucida and Flix caught up and tagged her.

“Aw! Auntie Luna, that’s cheating!” The changeling child gave her the biggest saddest eyes.

Luna immediately started feeling bad. In fact she was feeling really depressed about having to spoil their fun. It was awful! It was…. “Pif! Stop that!

Epiphany blinked and stopped draining Luna’s positive emotions. It hadn’t been a malicious act – the young changeling queen did it instinctively. Free Agent was normally there to catch her at it early and prevent it from going too far though. Luna hoped that self-discipline would soon put a stop to that, and she wondered not for the first time how Free’s griffon parents had coped with him during his early years.

Still carrying Epiphany, Luna led the other two foals out of the ballroom. She passed by the same castle servant who pressed himself against the wall to avoid another collision.

“Inform the staff that repairs need to be made in the ballroom as soon as possible,” Luna informed him.

The elderly griffon bowed his head and said, “Yes, Milady.”

“Auntie Luna, I’m hungry!” Lucida announced.

“Nonsense – dinner was but an hour ago,” Luna replied.

“I’m hungry too,” Flix said, following his sister’s lead.

“Me three!” Epiphany added.

Luna scowled at her. “Didn’t thou not just have a big snack on my emotions? Thou cannot be hungered!”

“Cookie?” Epiphany asked unabashed.

Luna sighed and capitulated, knowing that they would probably nag her constantly now that they had gotten the idea in their heads. She took them to the kitchen and started looking about for wherever the cookies might be.

“Can I help you, Milady?” asked one of the kitchen staff, an earth pony mare.

“Where dost thou keep the cookie jar?”

The mare led her to a shelf full of jars of various kinds of cookies, and the alicorn thanked her. Turning to the foals, she asked, “What kind of cookie would you like? Only one each!”

“Raisin!” Epiphany said.

“Peanut butter!” Lucida said emphatically.

“Chocolate!” Flix chirped.

Luna snorted. Of course they all wanted something different. She levitated the raisin cookies down first and passed out one to Epiphany who started munching it immediately. Next in line were the chocolate cookies, so she got out one for Flix. After looking through the jars, she found the peanut butter cookies and gave one to Lucida. Destined Path was waiting his turn, and Luna asked what he wanted.

“Raisin, please.”

‘Now why didn’t he ask in the first place while she had that jar out?’ she grumbled to herself. As she passed it out to him though, something suddenly occurred to her. Didn’t Destined hate raisins? And didn’t she leave him asleep in the family room? She glared at the colt. “Pif?”

The foal stuffed the cookie in his mouth and cantered away, magic fire flaring about his form to reveal Epiphany.

Luna begrudgingly gave the foal credit for fooling her, even as she made plans for creating a small spell to prevent that from happening again. She took out a chocolate chip cookie which she knew that Destined liked, and brought the other two foals back to the family room. She found Epiphany snuggled up innocently with her half-brother who yawned and woke up. He saw the cookie that floated in front of his eyes and grabbed it with his own magic.

“Thanks, Auntie Luna!” he said before starting to munch on it.

Luna nodded and then said, “What do you wish to do before bedtime?”

“Ball catch!” Destined suggested excitedly.

“Read another book!” Lucida pleaded.

“Play a game!” Epiphany insisted

“Sing songs!” Flix exclaimed, and proceeded to do so.

The little hippogriff had a wonderful voice, and Luna loved to listen to him sing. Unfortunately all the other foals decided that they would do their own thing also at the same time. Lucida brought over a book that she wanted Luna to read, Destined found his training ball and hovered it near Luna’s face, while Epiphany dug out her favorite board game.

“Children! I cannot do everything at once!” Luna protested to no avail, and the situation deteriorated further. For the first time, she started to doubt her ability to cope by herself. Nevertheless she still didn’t wish to call on the House’s staff after adamantly denying the need for them. She dithered for a bit before realizing that she had an ace in the wing. She used her magic to pull the cord that summoned a staff member, and shortly a maid turned up.

The maid looked askance at the chaos in the room before asking, “How may I serve you, Milady?”

“Please go to Corporal Leatherwing’s room and ask him to join me here as soon as possible.”

“Immediately, Milady,” the maid replied and hastily exited.

# # #

Leatherwing always enjoyed Luna’s jaunts to visit the House Path members. When it was merely as far as the Ponyville castle, it was a pleasant break from his more boring duties. However, it was more often to the Griffonian House, and that was really enjoyable. The princess insisted that she did not need a personal guard while there, and dismissed him the moment that they arrived. He had the run of the castle, and he enjoyed the use of all the facilities there, and ate some superb meals. He also had his own permanent room now, and although it was the least opulent of all the guest rooms, it was still magnificent in comparison to his usual barracks. He was currently comfortably lounging on a huge stuffed sofa, reading a book while nibbling on a bowl of snacks. The knock on his door was unexpected though. Leatherwing got up and answered the door.

The maid waiting outside gave him a respectful nod of her head before saying, “Milady Luna requests your presence in the family room as soon as possible, sir.”

Princess Luna never summoned him, and this exception surprised him. Nevertheless he responded immediately, grabbing only the harness which held his weapon. He pulled it over his head as he flew down the hallway, heading to the family room as fast as possible. If the Princess needed his services, he would not be found lacking!

The chaos and cacophony in the family room brought him to screeching halt, and he spent precious time trying to sort out what was happening. Luna’s voice swiftly brought focus though.

“Leatherwing! Attend Destined and Epiphany at once!”

Leatherwing saw that they were engaged in a wild game of ball tag which involved them dodging and weaving throughout the room, while incidentally wreaking havoc on anything that got in their way. Epiphany had sprouted wings and horn to compete with Destined on an equal basis, and they were both telekinetically hurling the ball and catching it with little regard for whatever else might be in the way. For a moment he was paralyzed with indecision. He had been an only child with no siblings to deal with, and he was still a bachelor inexperienced with having foals of his own. He was trained as a Royal Guard, not a foalsitter!

Leatherwing!

Luna’s command tone snapped him out of it, and he took to the air to intercept the ball. If he thought that would put an end to the game though, he was sorely mistaken. Instead, he became the target, and he found himself desperately fending off two alicorn foals. Leatherwing was pulled this way and that both physically and telekinetically, and he desperately looked for an alternative. A glance at the princess showed him that Luna was quite preoccupied with the hippogriff siblings who seemed to be squabbling over something so fiercely that it was taking all of Luna’s attention.

Luna was on the verge of panicking. In all her centuries, she had never learned the skill of dealing with bickering children, and all her attempts to defray the situation had instead made things worse. She tried to pull the two apart with her horn, but they were so tightly wrestling with each other that she could not separate them without unintentionally hurting them. While Lucida was much bigger than her younger brother, he was fierce and determined, and armed with razor sharp claws. Fur and feathers were flying as Luna pleaded with them to stop fighting.

At last she had an idea. A blast from her horn flung the balcony doors open, and she spread her wings and launched herself outside, with Lucida and Flix in tow. A few moments later, there was a huge splash as she flung them into the moonlit pond nearby. The hippogriffs quickly resurfaced, their fight forgotten, paddling wildly while squawking in shock. Luna let them cool off a bit more before she lifted them out of the pond. They hung in mid-air, suspended in Luna’s magic field, while pond water dripped off their bedraggled forms.

Luna scowled at them and said, “Auntie Luna is very cross with you both.”

Lucida pouted. “He started it!” she said as she pointed out her brother.

“Nuh uh!” Flix said emphatically, sticking his tongue out at her.

“Did too!” Lucida managed to flick her tail tuft in Flix’s face.

Flix tried to lunge for her and would have succeeded if he’d actually had something to push against.

“Do you want another swim?” Luna asked as she drew them further apart.

“No, Auntie Luna,” they chorused.

“Good. Now let’s find some towels and dry– OOF!

Luna was knocked off her hooves as Leatherwing flew out of the night gloom and collided with her shoulder. Surprise caused her to drop the telekinetic field, and the siblings dropped to the grass. Luna was not so lucky, and she toppled into the pond.

When Luna had flown outside, Leatherwing had taken the opportunity to take the mêlée out of the room. Securing the ball once more, he had dived for the doorway before one or the other of the foals could stop him. The competition was no less fierce in the open, but at least nothing was likely to be damaged, right?

The poor light conditions out in the garden did little to slow down Epiphany and Destined. In fact, it seemed to spur them to greater speeds now that they weren’t confined to the living room. To Leatherwing’s dismay, the game had escalated into a game of dodgeball, with him as the target. Catching the ball proved to be the wrong idea because that just became a challenge to tackle him and wrestle the ball away. Desperately afraid of hurting them, he instead took a lot of physical abuse. The Royal Guard were trained to deal with everything from troublesome protesters to potential assassins, but rambunctious foals were definitely out of his skill set.

“For Luna’s sake, please stop!” he begged them, but they were so wrapped up in their competition that they were deaf to his pleas. In desperation, he intercepted the ball once more and accelerated away as fast as he could, hoping to wear them out in a protracted chase. It was a good idea, if only Destined hadn’t managed to tackle him from the side before he got up to speed. While not enough to stop him, nevertheless Leatherwing was pushed off course. He only had an instant to realize that he was on a collision course with an alicorn before he impacted.

Leatherwing watched in horror as Luna plunged into the cold water of the pond, unable to prevent it in the slightest. He scrambled to his hooves and started to see if he could help her, but was stopped when the water exploded and the Moon Princess rose out of the pond, her normally ethereal mane plastered to her body, and her eyes glowing with power.

I command that all will CEASE!” Luna thundered in the Royal Canterlot Voice. Her magic flared and all the foals and also Leatherwing were caught up in a stasis field. It finally got through to the foals that their Auntie was really angry, and perhaps they had gone too far. They cringed a little under her fierce glare, and even Leatherwing failed to get off free.

“Thou wert supposed to help, not make things worse!” she accused him.

“M-my d-deepest ap-pologies, Y-your Highness,” Leatherwing stammered.

Luna glared at him for a while longer before she sighed and let him free. She had spent too much time trying to get him to loosen up around her as her personal guard to want to jeopardize their relationship with harsh criticism. “Apology accepted. I was no less successful controlling Lucida and Flix, so I suppose it would be hypocritical of me to expect more of thee. Go to the bathroom and prepare a hot bath. We have four foals to clean off and warm up.”

Four, Your Highness?”

Suddenly Epiphany and Destined were hurled into the pond. The foals emerged coughing and sputtering, with Epiphany returned to her normal earth pony default form.

Leatherwing nodded. “Right – four foals,” he confirmed with a trace of satisfaction.

Leatherwing was tasked with ensuring the four children were properly bathed and dried off while Luna went to her own room’s en suite bathroom to do the same. Happily, the foals remained subdued by Luna’s anger, and cooperated with him. When they were all dried off, he took them back down to the living room, but he was shocked by its state of disarray. While he had been preoccupied by Destined and Epiphany, things had evidently gotten much worse. He turned to frown at the foals, and they had the grace to look guilty.

Luna joined them just then, and after a glance inside, she snorted and said tiredly, “There will evidently be no more use of this room until it is righted. I think it best if the foals be put to bed now.”

“Aw, Auntie!” Lucida complained.

“Nay, child, no protests from thee. If thou had behaved, I would have considered letting thee go to bed later, but that is a reward for well-behaved foals, not rambunctious ones.”

“Can we at least have hot chocolate?”

Luna was about to deny that too, but she reconsidered it. The family always sent their foals to bed after a mug of the chocolate milk, and she was loathe to break that habit. Besides, she knew from past experiences that a full stomach made for sleepy foals.

“Very well, let us go to the kitchen. Leatherwing, please ensure that none wander off.”

Luna then led the way to the kitchen with the thestral bringing up the rear. The way they looked at him and giggled did not fill him with a great deal of confidence however. Once they were there, both of them realized that they had no idea how to go about making the hot chocolate. Fortunately there was always at least one of the kitchen staff on duty to cater to the whims of the House members, and soon four mugs of hot chocolate were presented to the foals.

Destined looked up to Luna with a milk moustache that made her smile. “Cookie please, Auntie Luna?”

Luna shook her head. “Thou hast had thy cookie tonight. Finish thy chocolate milk.”

Destined looked disappointed, and the other three’s hopes sank also.

When the foals were finished, Luna took them upstairs to the common room, with Leatherwing bringing up the rear once more. Amazingly, it seemed to Leatherwing that there would be no more incidents before they put them to bed. Alas, he was to be disappointed. As they placed the foals on the bed, Destined suddenly disappeared with a small flash-bang.

Leatherwing gasped. “Wha… what happened?”

Luna blinked in surprise. “By the stars! He has teleported!”

“Teleported? A foal can teleport already?” the thestral asked incredulously. “Where’s he gone, Princess?”

“One moment…” Luna’s horn lit up and for a moment she concentrated, only to disappear herself. A few seconds passed and she reappeared with a grumpy foal in her arms. “The scoundrel went to the kitchen and was headed for the cookie jars,” she explained. “Fortunately I could trace his magic and follow. Now go to bed, child.”

Destined reluctantly complied, and Luna spread a blanket over the four.

“Goodnight, children. I will guard your dreams tonight,” Luna said as she and Leatherwing left the room.

Just as the door closed though, there was a faint noise.

Leatherwing looked at Luna. “Did you hear what I heard, Princess?”

Luna nodded grimly. “Hold tight, Leatherwing.” Luna powered up her horn, and an instant later they teleported into the kitchen.

After a moment’s disorientation, Leatherwing spotted the alicorn foal with his hooves on the cookie jar. He flapped over and grabbed the little thief, relieving him of the jar.

Destined Path pouted and shouted, “BAD BAT!” His little horn lit up, and in a flash, Leatherwing disappeared.

Luna caught the falling foal in her telekinetic field and turned him to face her. “That was extremely naughty of thee! Where hast thou sent him?”

Destined just frowned and refused to talk.

Luna sighed in resignation. She could not trace the non-magical thestral, but she doubted he would end up anywhere harmful. She also knew that the stubborn foal would be unlikely to be able to tell her anyway. She recognized the instinctual use of magic, which meant that the foal really didn’t know other than somewhere not close by. She took him back to bed and tucked him back in. This time she laid a light slumber spell on him to ensure he did not try a cookie raid again. She stood there for a long moment, watching their seemingly innocent faces, and wondered how she had ever thought that foalsitting would be simple. In fact it was complex and very tiring, and she had to give credit to the herd for keeping their foals under control with such deceptive ease.

“Auntie – can I have a cuddle?” Lucida asked uncertainly.

Luna considered the hippogriff filly. Normally she was a well-behaved and inquisitive child, but this evening had shown another side of Lucida. Now that she had calmed down, Lucida realized she had been misbehaving in front of her favorite Auntie, and being older than the rest, felt the need for reassurance while the others had probably forgotten most of it by now. Luna climbed up onto the bed next to Lucida and gave her a long hug.

“No more fighting with thy brother, understand?”

“Yes, Auntie Luna.”

“Good. Rest well, for tomorrow awaits thee.”

Some minutes, Lucida fell asleep in Luna’s arms.

# # #

Leatherwing reappeared amidst a cacophony of noise and smells that was strangely familiar. Surprised shouts from griffons surrounding him drew the stares of even more. Then one grinned and clapped him on the back with his large wing.

“Hey, it’s Batty! Where’s Moonbutt? I’ve never seen you here before without her. Come to join us in a drink at last like you promised?”

Leatherwing blinked and recognized the griffon. “Hi, Shrill Shriek. I kind of hadn’t planned on coming. Luna’s back at the House.”

“Then you have no excuse not to drink with us,” Shrill Shriek replied jovially as he chivvied Leatherwing towards the bar of the Herd Path’s favorite pub. The thestral had always deflected the offers of alcohol with the excuse of being on duty, but he had promised to join them for a drink one day when he wasn’t, knowing full well that he had no intention of coming here without the princess. Now, as Shriek had said, he no longer had an excuse.

“Two specials,” Shrill Shriek ordered. “My buddy and I have some serious drinking to do!” He looked back at Leatherwing and asked, “What’s that you’ve got there?”

Leatherwing sighed in resignation and held up the jar that he was still holding. “Would you like a cookie?”

# # #

When the Herd Path adults arrived home, they headed directly to the family room. While it was fairly late and the foals were unlikely to be up still, nevertheless they thought that Luna might be found there. What they did find left them all gaping in shock. The orderly alicorn was most distressed by the mess.

“What happened to our beautiful family room?” Twilight wailed.

“I sense the foals might have something to do with this,” Free said.

“Where’s Luna?” Path wondered.

“Where are the children?” Roseclaw asked even as she turned and headed upstairs.

The others followed close behind as they hastened to the common room, pausing only to quietly open the door. They crept inside and when they saw the occupants of the bed, they all started to grin.

Luna was fast asleep with Lucida still in her arms, but she had also gained an alicorn foal curled up on her back in his favorite position while the remaining two had snuggled up to her. The Moon Princess’s mouth was open and gently snoring as she drooled on the pillow.

Free snickered and softly said, “Mares and Gentlecolts, I present to you the foalsitter!”

# # #

The moon was already well past midnight when two griffons flew down to a sloppy landing on the front porch of House Path and released the burden that they had carried between them.

Leatherwing staggered to his hooves, barely able to walk let alone fly. “Shanks, flies… I mean thanks, guys. Be seein’ ya!”

Shrill Shriek grinned. “Your turn to buy next time, Batty.”

“Shoor fing, Screechy. Gotta go. Prinshess Moonbutt awaits!” He took one step, stumbled, and fell flat on his face.

Shrill Shriek helped him up and pushed him towards the door while the other griffon held it open for him while giving a mocking bow.

“At eashe!” Leatherwing said as he threw him a salute, promptly losing his balance again in doing so. He did an amazing pirouette as he tried to regain his balance, all four legs going in random directions, but astoundingly he stayed upright. “Aced it!” he said proudly.

The griffons chuckled, closed the door behind him, and flew off.

Leatherwing stumbled his way to the family room, burst in the door, and loudly proclaimed, “Reduting for porty! Er… Reporting… duty…” He looked around blearily and found no one there. “All’sh well,” he declared happily before slumping to the rug and passing out.

# # #

Celestia was making her way to the private dining room when she saw a familiar thestral. Although he was out of his Lunar Guard uniform, she easily recognized Luna’s personal guard. However, he was hanging his head and his bat-like wings were almost dragging on the ground as he slowly shuffled in the direction of his barracks.

“Good heavens, my little pony!” Celestia exclaimed, “What happened to you?”

Leatherwing stopped and shuddered at the sound of Celestia’s piercing voice. He turned to her, showing his hangdog expression and bloodshot eyes. “Foalsitting,” he explained and started shuffling away before he stopped once more to add, “Your Highness” with a salute. He winced as his hoof tapped his head, and then resumed walking.

Celestia watched him go for a long moment before resuming her trip to the dining room. Shetrotted a bit faster, hoping to catch her sister there. ‘If that’s an example of whatever happened last night at House Path, I’m very eager hear the rest of this tale!” she thought with a huge grin.

   

 

Author's Note:

Where's My Cow? is an actual book by Terry Pratchett. I only changed the names. I admit that I saw it used in another FiMFic recently, and while I had originally intended to make up my own generic children's book for this story, I knew that this was perfect for it. And yes, 'tis indeed a very silly book.

Anyway, it was about time that Luna's starry-eyed view of raising children was given a shake-up, don't you think? Yeah, the Herd's foals are far from perfect. At least Streak kept himself out of trouble while out with his girlfriend.... for a change! 

   
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