They visited for only a short while, whispering heartfelt congratulations and blessings on the infant foal, before Cabbage Leaf and Granny Smith shooed everyone out so the little family could take their rest.
Windfall was wrapped in a soft blanket and laid in a beautiful crib that the younger Apple sister had constructed out of the family's namesake wood, the fragrant planks sanded to such smoothness that they felt like silk to the hoof. Apple Bloom beamed with pride to see her niece nestle in with another precious sigh, as Applejack smiled and ruffled her little sister's mane.
Big Macintosh and Fluttershy climbed back onto the bed together after the lights in the room were lowered, sharing a kiss as Granny Smith gently closed the door.
The aged matriarch of the Apple Clan said her thanks to Cabbage Leaf and slipped her a bag of bits, that the stocky earth pony in turn cheerfully split between herself, Nurse Redheart, and Zecora. Their business concluded, the midwife, herbalist, and nurse headed out into the misty dark of the early morning, the three parting with a hug and mutual well wishes.
Her eyelids drooping with weariness, the old grey mare extended the hospitality of Sweet Apple Acres to anyone who wanted to spend the night, then let Apple Bloom help her up to bed.
This left the five old friends quietly chatting in the parlor, each of them thoroughly worn out but savoring the stillness and camaraderie too much to want to let it end. Rarity shared the idea that had been forming in her mind after Rainbow Dash had shown them her gift for Windfall, and the mares quietly drew their plans for the next day.
It was bright and sunny the following afternoon, as Twilight, Spike, Pinkie Pie, Rarity, and Sweetie Belle came walking up the path to Sweet Apple Acres, happily chatting and enjoying one another's company after a delicious lunch at a new place in town called the Trotton Inn.
The three older mares each carried a small, brightly colored gift bag on their back. Spike, now much too big to ride on Twilight, walked on all fours alongside her, the waving of his tail and flaring of his stubby wings revealing his excellent mood.
As they drew close to the Acres, he sniffed the air and licked his lips. "Mmmm. Smell those apples. It's been too long since I've gotten to taste some good old Sweet Apple Acres apples."
Twilight cocked an eyebrow down at him. "Spike, we just ate not ten minutes ago."
He looked back at her quizzically. "And your point?"
Pinkie giggled as she "poinged" along beside them. "It's on her head, silly!"
Twilight chuckled and rolled her eyes. "Pinkie..."
The four mares and attendant dragon arrived to find the farm bustling with activity. A trio of earth pony farm hands paused to tip their straw hats in friendly greeting before hefting their shovels and getting back to work filling in the crater left behind by Twilight's teleportation spell.
As they approached the porch, they saw Apple Bloom passing up a bulging sack of pink envelopes stamped with apple based cutie marks to a hovering grey pegasus mare, who's eyes became a little more crossed as she hefted its weight into the air and fluttered erratically away over the trees.
When the younger Apple sister caught sight of them, she gave a little hop and galloped inside. Moments later she emerged with Scootaloo in tow, the slender orange mare following with kicked up heels and flaring wings. Sweetie Bell let out a happy shout like a chime and bounded forward to greet them.
The three young friends circled one another, trading hugs and enthusiastic greetings, before as one throwing back their heads and hollering. "CUTIE MARK CRUSADERS AUNTIES! YAAAAYYY!"
With that they thundered inside, slamming the screen door behind them. Applejack's stern admonishment could be heard in reply from the depths of the kitchen. "Consarnit! Keep it down you silly fillies, Big Macintosh is tryin' t' sleep y'know!"
On a little puff of white cloud high over the rolling hills of the apple farm, Rainbow Dash was stirred from a light doze by the distant cacophony. She craned her neck over the edge and smiled as she saw her friends standing in the courtyard far below.
The cyan pegasus took a mass of the cloud in her forelegs and buried her face in it, inhaling deeply and enjoying the familiar scent of the clouds over Ponyville for a little longer, then stood and stretched. She bunched up her athletic body and launched into the air, dispersing the cloud with her kick off, and traced a lazy spiral down to the farm below.
Dash let out a chuckle as she touched down beside them. "Geez, those kids are louder than the crowd at the Hippodrome. Hey guys!" She reached up to give Spike a playful noogie. "Woah! You're gettin' big, Spike."The little dragon laughingly batted her hoof away and gave her a hug, before they fell into step with the rest of the group.
They made their way up onto the porch, where Spike rose to a standing position and knocked on the screen door with a clawed hand.
Applejack came ambling out wearing a gingham apron and a wide grin on her face. "Howdy gals. Come on in and set a spell. I just put some apple cobbler in t'bake."
The blond farm pony beckoned her guests into the parlor, which was currently aflutter with birds and crawling with little forest animals, including a veritable carpet of rabbits, many of which clustered around an ottoman where their stern patriarch Angel sat alongside his mate Cupid, holding court among the critters like a pair of long eared, fuzzy monarchs.
Granny Smith sat in the same rocking chair as she had the night before, still knitting away at another booty, while bunnies and chipmunks dodged the rockers.
Fluttershy lay serenely on the couch, looking all the more radiant for having gotten a little sleep and a good brushing, with little Windfall tucked into the crook of a foreleg. The three teenaged mares were hovering over the tiny pegasus, cooing and aww-ing as the peach colored foal stared up at them with wide, grass green eyes.
At a nod from Twilight, Spike walked over and peered over the back of the couch, instantly drawing the little filly's rapt attention. "Whoa. She's tiny!"
The lavender unicorn chuckled. "You weren't that much bigger when I hatched you, you know."
Fluttershy smiled up at him and leaned in, speaking softly in her daughter's ear. "Who is that? Is that your Uncle Spike?"
Windfall just stared, fascinated, while her mother gave the young dragon a cheerful grin. "Hi, Spike. It's good to see you, and it looks like Windy thinks so too." She gave him a wink. "You've grown into such a handsome young dragon."
As Spike tried to conceal his blush the butter colored mare turned her attention to her other friends as they gathered around the couch. "Hello again, girls. I hope you all got some sleep last night."
Twilight returned the pegasus' fond gaze. "Well, you know what I night owl I am. How about you, Fluttershy?"
The new mother let out a soft sigh. "Oh, I got a little. Windy here had me up to feed her a few times. Big bunny and the girls have been taking shifts with her to let me get a little rest here and there when she's not hungry. He's passed out in the bedroom right now. I was going to lay her down for a nap in a few minutes."
At this Pinkie Pie gave a little hop. "Ooh! Then what are we waiting for? We brought presents!"
The pegasus mother smiled down at her filly. "You hear that, Windy? Your Aunties brought you something." She looked up at her friends "That's wonderful! You didn't have to."
Applejack nodded at the fashion designer unicorn. "This all was Rarity's idea."
The alabaster mare preened, but tipped her horn toward the rainbow maned stunt flyer. "But Rainbow Dash provided the inspiration."
Dash grinned and shrugged. "Yeah yeah, well lets stop congratulating each other and get on with it. How about you go first, Rarity?"
The unicorn gave a genteel nod and levitated her gift bag off her back, opening it with her magic. A small white satin unicorn doll with purple ribbons for a mane, sapphires for eyes, and three tiny aquamarines for a cutie mark on each flank floated out and drifted to the couch, where it landed on the cushion in front of mother and filly's fascinated gaze.
Fluttershy gasped. "Oh Rarity, that's so precious!"
Rarity smiled at the compliment. "Thank you, darling. If I'd had a little more time I would have made it a few dresses."
PInkie Pie started bouncing on her hooves. "Who next, who next?"
Rainbow Dash nudged her with a hoof. "How about you, Pinkie. You look like you're about to explode a couple times."
A wide grin spread across the pink mare's face. "Okie dokie gnocci!"
She plucked her bag off of her back and set it on the floor, fishing around inside until she came out with another pony figurine, this one crafted out of pink marzipan with curly pink frosting hair and a goofy expression with crossed eyes and a little sugary tongue sticking out of its mouth.
Fluttershy let out a giggle as she examined it. "Oh Pinkie, that's so cute!"
The pink mare's grin widened. "Thanks! Ooh, and just so you know, if she eats this one I'll always be happy to make her another one." She turned to the rainbow maned pegasus. "You go next Dashie. I can tell you're stalling for some reason."
Caught off guard, Rainbow dithered a moment, then gave a shrug and acquiesced. "Okay, okay. Well, this isn't a hoof made, one of a kind original like the others, but I hope you and Windy like it anyway." She reached under her wing and produced the Wonderbolts souvenir doll that bore her likeness and set it down in front of Fluttershy and Windfall.
Fluttershy's eyes widened. "Goodness! Oh Rainbow Dash, that's so cool!"
Pinkie cocked her head and looked at the cyan pegasus as Rainbow dug her hoof on the floor. "What are you talking about, Dashie? Of course you made your gift. You worked on yours a lot harder than any of us did."
The pegasus looked dubious. "How do you figure that, Pinkie?"
The bubbly earth pony started to hop in place. "You had to become a Wonderbolt, and then become a big enough star that a toy company would want to make a doll that looked like you."
Twilight broke her observant silence to chime in. "And how many other dolls can you say went through a sonic rainboom with the one and only Rainbow Dash? I'd say that makes it a one of a kind."
Dash blushed and rubbed the back of her multicolored mane. "Aw geez, guys..."
Applejack stepped forward and set down a little basket. "And anyway, yer not the only one who had a li'l help with her gift. If'n y'don't mind, Twi, I'd like to give her mine next."
The lavender unicorn nodded her assent and the blonde earth pony lifted out a wooden figurine of an earth pony with knotted yellow yarn for hair and a coat of orange paint with three red apples on each flank as a cutie mark.
Fluttershy smiled up at her as she set it down in a line with the others. "Applejack, I love it!"
The farm mare bobbed her head at her younger sister. "Heck, I just painted it. Apple Bloom carved it, and Granny Smith helped me with the tail and mane."
Apple Bloom chimed in. "It was gonna be Holly Hobbyhorse, but I think this is way better."
At this Rarity spoke up. "Applejack, darling, this suits you to a T. The wood came from the land you tend and the Apple family pitched in to make it so wonderful." She gazed at the little pony figurine with a critical eye. "There's only one thing missing."
With that, she levitated a tiny cowpony hat out of her bag and deftly placed it on the figurine's head.
Applejack squinted at the doll's headgear, then cocked an eyebrow at the fashionable alabaster mare. "Are those rhinestones on the brim there?"
Rarity raised a hoof to her mouth with a smug chuckle. "Just making it twenty percent cooler, my dear."
The others laughed as the farm pony rolled her eyes. Pinkie turned to the other unicorn. "Okay, Twilight, you're up."
The lavender mare gave a cryptic grin and levitated her bag to the floor in front of her. She was met with looks of confusion as a book floated up out of the bag and laid itself down on the couch cushion behind the row of pony figurines.
Fluttershy craned her head forward to read the title, her brow furrowed in puzzlement. "'The Friendship Letters, A Correspondence with the Princess by Twilight Sparkle' Oh... It's... It's your book... Thats... nice."
Applejack pursed her lips. "Uh, Twi... y'know we all have copies of yer book already."
PInkie giggled. "And Windy's too little to read yet, silly!"
Rainbow Dash cocked an eyebrow. "I don't get it, Twilight."
Rarity huffed. "Indeed. This wasn't what we agreed on, darling."
Twilight held up a hoof. "I wasn't finished. Just watch."
She inclined her head as her horn began to softly glow. Before the mystified eyes of the other ponies, the book started to shake, and then with a sudden pop it transformed into a lavender unicorn figurine with a silky dark violet mane streaked with purple and pink.
The full sized version looked up at them all with a satisfied grin. "And magic makes it all complete."
The wind rustled the acres of apple trees outside and fluttered the blinds of the bedroom window as the muffled sound of happy chatter and laughter could be heard through the walls.
Little Windfall Apple, the first of many beloved foals, lay asleep, the soft blankets rising and falling almost imperceptibly with the rhythm of her breathing. The pale yellow face of her mother, her warm aquamarine eyes radiating love between the silky pink locks of her mane, gazed down on the tiny pegasus like Celestia's sun and Luna's moon on Equestria. She reached up and nudged the mobil hanging over the apple wood crib, causing the five gently swaying little ponies to prance their lazy circle.
No matter where her friends were, across the whole wide world, they would always be there in spirit, watching over her children with her.
The characters depicted in this fiction are copyright and trademarks of Hasbro, Inc. This is a work of fan fiction, and the author makes no claim on Hasbro's copyright or trademarks.