The smell of angel food cake conducted the drooling mouths of party goers amongst the crisp cottage air, chirping sweet songs of happy tidings and birthday celebrations. Pegasi flew, unicorns conversed, earth ponies celebrated, all under a thatched roof. For today was the birthday of a special somepony by the name of Fluttershy, and her sweet kindness had touched the hearts of many a pony. It was a friends only event, as the cream butterscotch pony was not a fan of large crowds, certainly not when they were supplied with strangers, so her six best friends reckoned a small party would be just fine for the gal.

Twilight Sparkle, the corner of the house (where she currently resided) cuddling her wholesome shoulders, sipped tea daintily through a pink-stained cup. Streamers ran from the ceiling like multicolored rain as a roused Pinkie Pie hopped noisly in the background, but she ignored the yells and continued to relish her beverage. Rainbow Dash, her stamina admirable as it was doubtful she had stopped hovering in the air from the moment she arrived to the party, settled on hard cider. It wasn't as formal, she admitted, but it was an excellent weapon in the fight to wash down party food. They talked for a while, the unicorn of her studies (to which Dash yawned) and the pegasus of stunts and eggheads (the latter, Twilight found slightly offensive), when Twilight's eyes fell to a pallid clothed table. It was decorated with strategically patterned silk and linen, possibly imported from a factory in Canterlot. After all, it did smell of Rarity's handy work, and she was the one who lent a major hoof in creating this event.

"So, didja hear about Angel?" Rainbow Dash questioned with a cocked head. She looked over her shoulder; Fluttershy hosted a detailed conversation with Applejack over the apple fritters on the desert table. No need for her to be reminded of her lost pet rabbit on such a positive occasion. It was a feeble attempt to get a conversation going, but it proved effective.

Twilight shifted uncomfortably, and the floorboards moaned dreadfully under her weight. "Yes, I did. Oh, poor Fluttershy. I looked everywhere for the little guy, even in the Everfree Forest."

"I did a search too, in the marketplace. Yeah, Fluttershy said she lost him when they were at the craft fair," Rainbow sighed, and stared at her mug. "Yesh, this conversation is givin' me the creeps. Let's talk about, eh, happier things."

"It looks like Fluttershy received a decent amount of gifts," Twilight laughed. "Why, she has so many, I doubt her cottage can fit them all."

Rainbow smiled, the liquefying ice in her drink shuffling to beat of wings. "Yeah, I guess everypony here got her somethin'."

"I gave her a book on gardening. I figured she could use a little help, seeing as Mr. Greenhooves keeps over watering her flowers." She nodded toward a rectangular package on the table, decorated in lilac wrapping ribbon and matching paper. "And you?"

"Oh, uh, let's see...oh yeah! I got her a lucky rabbit's foot. Picked it up at the marketplace durin' the craft fair. Ya know, when I was looking for Angel. Pretty clever, huh? I mean, she likes bunnies, everypony needs some luck, so I figured, eh, why not?" She took a swig of cider and pointed to a tiny, circular package dressed in black and red duct tape. It was obviously hastily wrapped, messily but appreciatively with two fine hooves.

Twilight, in the fit of an unladylike spasm, promptly spit out her tea. It splashed on Rainbow in a perfect vomit arc, and a disgusting look played out on her face. "Hey, whatta do that for?"

Unease played tensions around the two, creating an atmosphere of artless confusion. Twilight was clearly stressed, and was quite obviously trying to hold herself together. "Erm, Rainbow do know what a lucky rabbit's foot is made out of, right?"

The pegasus picked her ear idly, her eyes floating like the cubes in her drink. "I figure some fake fur, stuffing...Celestia, Twilight, don't cha have a book somewhere to ask these artsy questions to?"

"It's a real rabbit's foot."

Now it was Rainbow's turn to gag on her drink. To her credit, she did manage to keep the cider inside of her and managed a gnarled swallow. The alcohol made a knot in her throat. "You mean I just gave an animal lover a dead rabbit?"

"Quick, grab the gift from the table!" Their heads whipped toward the table, but to no avail. The circular lump was missing.

Rarity, who was standing in front of them but apparently did not overhear their pervious conversation, turned around and hushed them. "Can't you darlings be quiet? Fluttershy is opening her gifts now!"

Silence took over the room, and the three could hear Fluttershy's voice.

"Yes, I am opening gifts from my wonderful friends! And the first one I'm opening right now is from Rainbow Das-"

Strangely, they never found Angel after that incident.