It was a cold and windy day of autumn, colder than the weather ponies had predicted, but the sun was high in the sky and warmed the ponies from its glow. Like everyday, ponies tended to their tasks. Some enjoyed the coolness of the breeze while reading a delightful book, some worked hard to buck the very last apples off the branches before the freeze, and others were tucked inside sipping some warm cocoa. Like everyday, ponies had their ups and downs; a humongous party for a loved granny, a foal tripping on a rock calling for her mommy. Each and every pony concerned by the events of their daily life.
It had been a full month since her the local mailmare had taken a day off, the very first she ever took one would tell you. None had ever known the true reason for it, nor would anypony ever know for sure. All of them were glad of course when she would return and deliver again the letters and precious packages, the day right after. Only a single day had passed but it was enough for many to miss her cheerful attitude, her reliable almost like clockwork timing, and even her funny bright eyes and colorful spelling. However the situation was not like they remembered.
The first week, most if not everypony had noticed the changes. While the most perceptive could see the dark circles under her eyes, the others would take notice of her lack of energy first. The heart-warming cheerfulness of her smile reduced to a shy smile, forced when they looked directly at her. The inextinguishable burning enthusiasm in her luminous eyes cooled down to a weak flickering light. Like any good pony worthy of respect, they asked about of her troubles, offering help if she desired it. But, she refused politely, in her own particular way, and they knew better than to force the blue-gray pegasus. Maybe a far-away relative was sick or had died? , they thought and went back to their daily life.
In the next two weeks, the mailmare seemed to take a turn for the better. Her expression became less sad, less mournful, and more neutral. On the exterior nopony would have been able to take note of anything particular about her, but that was in fact the most troubling thing. From her previously usual happy figure to her joyless spirit of before, the mailmare was now wearing a blank mask void of emotions. Day after day, she would do her work, delivering letters and packages fast, silently, without a word. Some were intrigued by her new attitude which was so different, and almost unsettling, compared to what they remembered of the blond mailmare. Others who used to know her, slightly more than the rest but not much, tried to cheer her up going as far as to make a big party for her only. But to no avail, she never attended. The well known Party Pony even offered her some of her famous 'Super-Duper-Happylicious' cupcakes, a most unique recipe kept for the most special occasions, but she declined them. After this, many ponyvilians got worried for her well being, never from pony memory had she ever refused a 'muffin' as she called them. But the pegasus would tell them that everything was 'as it should be', and they would all return to their life... All but one purple unicorn and her little dragon; one day a message was sent to somewhere unknown.
Today marked the first month, since a certain little unicorn had been torn from her loved home. The day when the world had collapsed for a certain brilliant, yet somewhat clumsy pegasus. It was a cold day of autumn, quite breezy, and most of the leafage had already fallen from the trees near the mailmare's house, creating large puddles of red and golden leaves everywhere.
The house was already buzzing with activity that morning, as it was still early for this pony to start her day. It was earlier than normal even with the new heavily charged schedule she had insisted to take a few weeks ago; all in the hope that the work charge and fatigue of the day would ease her pain and block her mind, but with little success. The poor mare hadn't slept well again the night before, because she knew what day the Sun would bring next, and at the present moment she only desired to occupy herself in order to forget the gloomy date.
A moment before, she was securing the pouches that would hold her burden for the day, the next moment she was answering the door after she heard three gentle knocks. As she opened the door, the amount of surprise suddenly painted on the visage of the mare would have scarred any cockatrice, for on her doorstep was two ponies. One stallion in its golden armor, reflecting the first rays of the Sun, and one much smaller who was holding carefully between its teeth a letter with the royal insignia.
To my loyal subject: Miss Bright-Eyes Hooves.
42 Maple Street, Ponyville.
Dear Miss Hooves:
I write to you personally, in this day of the Fall Season, in regard to the events involving you and the Ministry of Social Development upon the removal of your daughter (Dinky Hooves).
It has come to my attention that reports, from anonymous sources, had led the branch of the Equestrian Foal Protection Agency (EFPA) to take actions over your case. It would seem that hasty measures had been taken by this committee, following the apparent urgency of the mentioned reports based on minimal evidences from your 'condition', from which I hadn't been informed until very recently.††For this, I must give you my sincere excuses.
I wish for you to believe my words, when I say that the tragic situation that your family had been the object is a rare and uncanny occurrence that shouldn't have happened. But, as everypony in this world aren't exempt of mistakes, some are bound to happen. Rest assured that an official will be hired shortly to look upon the process which led to this error, in order to prevent any more mishaps and to perfect the procedure.
I must salute your devotion as a mailmare, from the various letters of praise and recommendation received in the last week from the small town of Ponyville, and again I must apologies. I can only hope that this whole matter hasn't permanently undermined your trust and respect toward the Equestrian Government.
Celestia De Solaris of Canterlot, Prime-Ruler of Equestria, Princess of the sun.
The letter, lying on the ground over a bed of gilded leaves, wouldn't be read by either concerned ponies until much later that day, as both were held close into a tender motherly embrace. Each one now on their knees holding the other, as if they feared that the other would vanish if they let go for even a second. Nopony moving to break the moment, warm torrents of tears dripping from their faces.
The royal guard couldn't help but smile at the display of raw emotions, even though he was a veteran, such amount of love would soften even the hardiest of heart. Especially for an old stallion like himself. Passing discreetly around the family, he grabbed the letter before it flew in the wind, and put it in the mailbox. He too had foals waiting for his return and so, giving a last look at the pegasus and the unicorn, he flew away with the finely decorated coach in direction of Canterlot.
Several minutes after they were left alone, Bright-Eyes finally found the will to liberate Dinky from her protective hug, and look in her beautiful daughter's eyes still wet from all the crying. The young mare's voice was soft and filled with tenderness, as she gathered all the concentration she could mustered at that moment.
†††''Muffin! ...m-MY Muffin! Love forever, never fish away again''.
Once more Dinky hugged her mother, this time as they entered their dear home after having left its reassuring warmth for far too long. Once more the post office would be asked for an exceptional day off, which would be given no question asked, this time for a completely different purpose.
During the rest of the day, they would play together around the house more than they ever did before and they would roll amongst the ocean of leaves giggling heartily. Soon, as the sun progressively set and illuminated the interior with the twilight, the happy members of this family would slowly enjoy some hot cocoa while listening patiently to each other tall tales of adventure and imaginary battles of heroic proportion. Before either of them would realize it, time had passed and night was upon them, and so they readied themselves for bed. Under heavy blankets, after a story of knights and princesses and a goodnight kiss, both would join the kingdom of their dreams.
Amongst the cottony clouds of candy and the giant muffins, two ponies could be seen galloping and jumping hoof in hoof, as they made their way toward the moon. The stars, which were smiling at them, let go many bright shooting lights, during that fantastic night. Finally, they would be happy ...and forever together.