In the doorway leading from the Dibbun's room to the hallway stood the Abbess, blatantly horrified. Behind her was Princess Celestia, whose mouth was open in an O shape, her eyes wide with shock. Rounding out the trio was the Badger Mother, who was standing next to the Princess. Her mouth was set in a hard line, and her eyes flashed with fury.

The Abbess released her hold on the door handle and shrieked, "What in the seasons have you done?!"

Squirrelbabe, thinking quickly, covered the scissors she had been using with the strips of the blanket that she had chopped up and stood up on her feet. Adopting an innocent look, she asked sweetly, "Whatcha mean? We just playin'." She looked from one adult to another, withstanding the badger's withering glare.

"Help!"

The Ringleader winced and looked at the quilt on the floor. The back half of Fluttershy's tail was still poking out from underneath it, testifying to the mischief the DABers had gotten into. "Please help!" came the sound of Fluttershy's voice again from underneath the blanket. Squirrelbabe cringed as dread filled her tiny body.

As the adults entered the room, the male squirrel, courage bolstered by their presence, stood up and pointed at the DAB leader. "It was all her idea!" he exclaimed, then shrunk back as she glared at him. After hesitating a moment, he continued, looking up into the Badger Mother's face. "She an' the other DABers tied up Miss Fluttershy an' covered her with that quilt, an' they made a huge mess, an' ate all the cookies, an'...an'...an' she kicked Gracie, an' stole Miss Fluttershy's scissors and threatened to cut my ears off with 'em!"

The Abbess spotted the baby hare and rushed over to him. Grabbing him, she fished paper out of his mouth and confiscated the book. As he started screaming and thrashing wildly in her arms, the badger glared balefully at Squirrelbabe, who was equal parts furious and frightened. The rest of the Dibbuns stood around miserably, fully aware that they were in very serious trouble. Even the ones who weren't fully involved were going to be punished for just standing by while an Abbey guest was mistreated. That was not the Redwall way, and they understood that. Yet they had done nothing.

The Badger Mother ordered the Dibbuns who had made the paint mess by the window to start mopping it up with rags from the cabinet, and she commanded Squirrelbabe to help. As the Ringleader stalked over to the area, not daring to disobey the badger outright, the Dibbun Caretaker knelt down and started trying to untangle the kitten from Fluttershy's yarn. The 3 mice who had started the story time earlier came over to "help".

Celestia walked over to the quilt and activated the magic in her horn. As a golden aura surrounded both her horn and the quilt, all the Abbey creatures in the room stopped what they were doing and watched her with awe and a touch of jealousy. The heavy blanket lifted up into the air, revealing a teary-eyed Fluttershy who had a frightened Grace, who was clutching her blanket, under her wing.

As the winged unicorn set the quilt on the floor and smiled at the gosling, the bird shrunk back against the yellow Pegasus. Fluttershy brought her muzzle down close to Gracie's head and whispered, "It's okay, this is just Princess Celestia. She's very nice." The goose looked up into Fluttershy's blue eyes, then sniffled and stood. The Princess leaned down and told the trembling gosling, "It's alright, no one is going to hurt you anymore. We're here now. If you'll step over here, I'll untie Miss Fluttershy's ropes, and then we can leave and go somewhere else in your Abbey. Okay?" The goose gazed into Celestia's face, then nodded and stepped to one side.

Celestia turned her attention and magic to the ropes holding the Pegasus still, and after a few moments the knots came undone and the ropes fell to the floor. Fluttershy stood up on her hooves and stretched her legs, then her wings. Turning to look at Squirrelbabe, she said sadly, "Why did you tie me up like that? We could've had so much fun together, but now...now you're in trouble. Why did you do that?"

The DAB Ringleader scowled and looked away, mopping up more paint and refusing to answer.

The Abbess handed the thrashing leveret to the Badger Mother and approached the Alicorn Princess. "Oh, Celestia, and Fluttershy, I am so sorry," she said as the mouse Dibbuns continued trying to untangle the kitten. "We had no idea that the little ones would choose today of all days to misbehave. Why don't you 2 take Grace down to the orchards while the rest of the Dibbuns help clean up this mess?"

"Hey, can...can I go, too?" The male squirrel piped up. The Badger Mother looked over from where she sat on the floor holding the crying harebabe. "Yes, you can go with them, just stay clean. You," she growled, pointing at the DAB Ringleader. "Keep cleaning up. I have some words to say to you when you're done."

As Squirrelbabe continued to miserably help clean up the paint, Celestia led the male squirrel, Grace, and Fluttershy out of the room. The rest of the Dibbuns began to clean up the rest of the room while the Abbess kneeled and started working on untangling the kitten, who was crying sadly. Some the Dibbuns started sniffling when the adults informed them that they were absolutely getting baths, more chores, an early bedtime, and no desserts for a week.

After a few minutes, the Abbey leader managed to untangle the young cat from the yarn. Picking up the yarn and the pony's scissors, she put them in Fluttershy's saddlebags. Taking the bags to the door, she stopped a passing Novice and had him take them to the room that the yellow Pegasus was going to be sleeping in.

When he had left to do that task, Squirrelbabe hopped up to the windowsill and started cleaning paint off the glass. And there, crossing the Abbey lawn below, she spotted the male squirrel and Grace trailing behind the 2 winged ponies. Rage filled her. That was so unfair that they got to go off and play in the orchards while she and the other Dibbuns had to stay up here and clean. A scowl furrowed her brow. All they had wanted was to have some fun, and look what's happened to them instead!

Her scowl deepened as she glared at Fluttershy. If she hadn't been left in charge, the DAB could have gotten away with their mischief and no one would have been the wiser! In her Dibbun mind, which had been harmed by the horrors she saw when her family had been killed in the woods, Squirrelbabe didn't understand that it was her fault, and the fault of the other Dibbuns. She was only able to blame the yellow Pegasus, and the Abbess and the Badger Mother.

And as she watched Fluttershy's pink tail disappear beneath the trees that made up the orchards, she made a silent vow: Until next time, little pony.

Until next time...


THE END

Thanks for reading! I hope you enjoyed reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it.