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Vexing and Vibrant, but not Verdant

by WandererD

The sun rose in Ponyville and Fluttershy took a long, deep breath the moment she felt the warmth on it on her cheek, a smile playing on her lips just before letting it out and stretching in bed. Her eyes opened and she jumped out, trotting merrily across her room.

"Good morning, Angel Bunny!" she said into the little burrow under her bed where he would hide just before she woke up. (He liked to sleep in.)

"Good morning, little birds! Good morning, Mr. Badger!" she chimed as she passed each and every little nest, nook, hidden cubby and hideout in her home, greeting everything from the butterflies to the toads.

She opened the windows to let the wind and light through; she pulled on pulleys and levers that had been added to her home by Applejack to make feeding the animals an easier chore (not that she would ever complain about it!) and essentially followed her regular schedule for the morning.

She beamed at her animal friends as even Henry the Bear came over to greet her and get a hug. "I am so happy that we can spend today together, everyone!" she said, wings fluttering to lift her up just enough to be visible to all her guests. "I've been planning all month for this, so--oh my, that is so kind of you, thank you!"

She placed the flowers the blue birds had brought over in a convenient vase nearby.

"As I was saying, I've been planning all week for our outing and I'm really looking forward to spending time with all of you. It's been so long since we've had the time!"

A cacophony of barks and chirps, buzzing and gurgling, croaking and chittering was the reply, and she was filled with the warmth of knowing that all of her dear friends had missed spending time too.

But no more! It was, after all, a brand new day in Ponyville! And she knew she it was going to be perf--

Her butt buzzed, and the windows were angled just right to reflect the light shining from it. Fluttershy blinked a couple of times then it dawned on her.


With a sigh, Fluttershy faced the others and smiled apologetically. "Sorry everycreature, I'm afraid we will have to postpone our outing."

She suffered the disappointed looks with a smile. "Don't worry, I'll be back soon!"
And then she was gone.



Angel Bunny grumbled and turned around, away from the light and the growling.

"Angel! Come on, get up!"

With a sigh he did not bother hiding, Angel turned around and glared at Henry, who had not only managed to get into the house, but snuck his head into Angel's cubby.

"What do you want? I already told Fluttershy I didn't want anything to do with--"

"It was canceled! Again!"

"What?" Angel sat up, cracked his neck, rolled his shoulders and hopped out after Henry's rapidly retreating face. He jumped up onto the bed and faced the group of despondent animals. "Why?"

"It was that thing that makes her cutie mark shine," Badger said, rather irritably, but not as irritable as Angel himself was starting to be.

The Tree of Harmony seemed to think their work hours included weekends. She thought about mentioning to Twilight that she had been planning this, but thought better of it. After all, Twilight was her friend and even if she was responsible for the Tree of Harmony and their missions, it would probably make her uncomfortable, and well, it was never nice to cross royalty in any case, even if she could technically just ignore a tree.

"It's that tree the busybody princess planted again," Angel grumbled.

"Her name is--"

"I know her name!" Angel snapped. "It's 'busybody princess' and don't let anyone tell you otherwise!"

"So what do we do now?" Henry asked.

The large grizzly bear was usually the default spokes-animal for the group, since the others thought his size would dissuade Angel from getting violent.

It wouldn't, but Angel supposed it was nice to feel safe sometimes.

"Well, you can do the camping trip on your own…" Angel started, only to roll his eyes at the disgruntled looks on every animal and insect's faces.

Before meeting Fluttershy he wouldn't have known that tarantulas could pout. Now he did.

The other animals started arguing back and forth, forcing Angel to thump his foot down several times to gather their attention.

"Okay, okay! Calm down! Dammit, I said calm down!"

Once he was sure even the cicadas were listening, he cleared his throat. "It's obvious that we need to address this issue at the source. Complaining will not get us anywhere, especially if no pony or creature out there actually understands us."

The others exchanged glances.

"What's the source?" a frog croaked nervously from the back of the room.

"The Tree of Harmony," Angel declared.

"So…" Henry ventured after a moment of silence stretched almost too long. "There's nothing we can do."

"That's not what I said!" Angel retorted, narrowing his beady black eyes in that way that made lady bunnies swoon and everyone else cringe in horror.

"It might be a terrible tree, Angel," Beaver pointed out. "But technically, tempting trees to transition into taping out…" he shook his head. "Verdant vegetables very rarely vary their nature."

"What did he say?" Angel asked.

"He said that convincing a tree is not something you can just do. They're trees."

"Well, certainly not with the overgrown 'verdant vegetables' we have out here," Angel said, sniffing dismissively. "But we're not talking about the same thing. The Tree of Harmony is different! It's made of crystals and stuff."

"Verdant vegetable it might not be," the beaver said, still looking unconvinced. "So what? This troublesome tree tribulation remains a problem."

"He thinks you can't do it regardless," Henry translated.

"Why do you have to aliterate everything?" Angel muttered, but seeing that the others were looking more troubled, he looked up resolutely. "But yes, it is definitely a thinking tree and we can use that to our advantage."

Henry tilted his head. "A thinking tree?"

"It can talk, and it can reason with the ponies, and if it's a plant that talks to ponies, it stands to reason that it speaks to animals too."

"I… don't follow that logic."

"So you are proposing that we engage this not-so-verdant vegetable result of vexing volcanism in vandalism?" the beaver said, eyes wide.


"He's asking if you really intend to talk to the tree that is not a tree."

"Yes!" Angel said, punching the air with his paw. Then he lowered it slightly. "I think. If you mean by that we'll terrorize it into giving us some quality time with Fluttershy."

"Isn't it some sort of ancient, powerful creation?" A bird asked. "Another bird told me that it's very magical."

"It makes Fluttershy's butt glow," Angel stated. "Of course it's magical."

"Yeah, I heard Discord say the same thing!" a mouse said excitedly. It then cringed under Angel's glare. "I mean… maybe? I thought that's what he said, but I'm not sure if it was glowing at the time."

"Okay enough about Fluttershy's magical butt," Henry growled. "What are we doing about the vex… vexi--" He turned to Beaver for help.

"The not-so-verdant vegetable result of vexing volcanism," Beaver responded helpfully.

"Yes, that."

"Can we just call it a tree?"

The beaver huffed. "Nominally naming normally noted necessities is one thing, but in this case this unique undisguised--"


"He's arguing that you can't just change what it's called." Henry said, then frowned and scratched his head. "I think."

"Tree." Angel said. "It's a tree. Let's call it a tree."

"Of Harmony!" someone shouted from the back. It sounded like a trout.

"Yes." Angel sighed. "Anyway, I got a plan."


Beaver, Angel and Henry stood in the cavern where the mythical Tree of Harmony was housed since time immemorial.

"Oh my!" Beaver said. "I can't believe I have never been here! Just look at these crystals! Such a vibrant vestigial valley of--" he caught sight of Angel's frown "--vexing volcanism?"

"Right." Angel hopped in. "Follow me."

Henry made a very un-bear-like sound as they went deeper in, and the crystals around the wall slowly started glowing with a purple-pink aura. "Are you sure it's safe?"

"No, but it's too late to go back," Angel said.



Beaver and Henry stared.

"I thought that the ponderous purple pony princes provided poor promulgation of proper public parlance!"

The magical illusion that looked just like Twilight Sparkle blinked and turned to look at Angel. "WHAT?"

"He said that he didn't think you could speak to us," Angel explained. "But he also thinks you're Twilight."


Henry waved shyly. Angel cursed silently. Henry had a Twilight crush! So much for the muscle.

"U-understood," Beaver said, cringing slightly, "I find that I often obfuscate observable objects often obliviously, offense of course oftentimes occurs but is not objectively obtained."


"He meant no disrespect," Henry translated.

The Tree of Harmony looked at Beaver once more. "NONE TAKEN." Twillusion regarded them all. "WHAT BRINGS YOU HERE THEN?"

"Well, you see, your not-so-verdant vegetable result of vexing volcanism…ness," Beaver started.

The Tree of Harmony turned from him to Henry via Twillusion.

"He said you're not a tree," Henry provided.


"Are you though?" Angel asked. He shook his head. "Anyway, we're here because you keep taking Fluttershy away from us," Angel said, having grown tired of the pleasantries. "I figure that you being a tree, or something similar--"

"I AM A TREE." Twillusion frowned. "I REALLY AM."

"P-perhaps a very vibrant vestige of verdant vegetable variation…"

"We're really not here to argue whether you are a tree or not, come on, who cares?" Angel snapped. "We want--"

Twillusion shook her head. "THIS IS A VERY IMPORTANT MATTER. FOR WHAT ELSE CAN I BE IF I AM NOT A TREE?" She moved to the side and motioned with her hoof. "BEHOLD! MY BRANCHES!"

She glanced down expectantly at Beaver.

"Basically beautiful branches do benefit benevolently by bountiful quantities," Beaver acknowledged. "But vibrant vestigial versions don't qualify quantitatively towards reality."


"You look like a tree," Henry said, "but that doesn't make you a tree."

"Can we please talk about Fluttershy's magical shining butt?"


We. Don't. Care. About your existential problems. Can you call Fluttershy less, please?" Angel snapped. "Otherwise Beaver here is going to chomp your roots!"


"Wait, if you didn't, who did?" Angel asked, while the Twillusion turned back to argue with Beaver. "What was the point of coming here then?!"


Meanwhile, in the realm where the vibrant vestigial essence of the universe gathered…

Fluttershy giggled as Discord served her another cup of tea. "Oh, I really do appreciate you making time for me, Discord. I did forget but I have to admit that 'booty call' as you call it really was an easy way to remember our date."

"Of course it is, my dear Fluttershy!" Discord said with a grin. "I AM very sorry that you had to change your plans with your animal friends, however. Do tell them I will make it up somehow to them."

"Oh, I don't know… maybe I'll wait," Fluttershy said, smiling a bit self-consciously. "You do know how Angel tends to jump to conclusions."

"Oh yes. I am well aware," Discord replied. "He tends to assume the worse, I'm sure he'll figure out the root of the problem eventually." He raised his claw. "Muffin?"

"Yes please."