Chapter 174: The Tinny ponies

They had walked far from camp taking a few days to reach the swamps. Starfire checked the swamps from the air. It was too big to go around it so they were forced to walked through it.
"Don't worry Luna this part of the swamp doesn't look to muddy," Stardust assured her as he looked around.
"I sure hope it isn't," Luna replied.

They spent a few days in the swamp till they had reached the end and walked into the forest. Luna stopped every now and then to rub the mud off her feet.
Stardust laughed. "Just be glad it's not up to your neck."
"Wait until we find some water," Starfire told her. "There should be some around here somewhere."
Stardust walked ahead with King Sunrise and Luna beside him. Starfire and the soldiers trailed closely behind them.
Just then King Sunrise noticed a meadow with a small lake in the distance as he looked to his left.
"There's one," King Sunrise pointed.
Stardust and the others turned and headed towards the lake. Luna ran ahead towards the lake. As she approached the lake, she saw something moving on the other side of the lake. She looked again and saw was a set of yellow butterfly wings. At first she thought it was a butterfly and yet, something about it didn't seem like a normal butterfly. It was to far to see it clearly.
"What is it?" Stardust asked once he and the others caught up.
"Nothing...I guess," Luna walked into the lake scraping the mud off her feet. She turned around and saw the others doing it too. Some had more mud than her.
When they were done Luna followed them back into the forest. As they walked silently, Luna caught a glimpse of another butterfly. It didn't move like a butterfly, it flew straight from tree to tree but from a distance. When Luna looked it was gone. She looked around hoping to see it again but it was gone. Luna was so deep in thought about the strange butterfly that she wasn't watching where she was going.
"Watch out!" Starfire exclaimed.
Luna stopped in her tracks and looked ahead. In front of her was a large bush. Luna smiled and went around it then she quickly caught up to Stardust.
"You ok?" Stardust asked her.
"I'm fine," Luna answered.
It wasn't long until she looked around the forest again wondering if she would see another butterfly. Suddenly she saw three flying from tree to tree. This time she got a better look. They had large wings and a long tail. The sunlight blocked most of their details so Luna couldn't make out the rest. She didn't know what kind of butterfly would have a long tail but she did know they were following her.
"Luna, what is it?" Stardust asked noticing her constantly looking around.
"I...thought I saw something," Luna replied.
Stardust stopped and looked around. "I don't see anything," Stardust replied.
The others looked around but all they saw were trees and bushes.
"It was over there," Luna pointed towards the bright sunlight.
Starfire walked to where she was pointing and looked around then came back to the group. "There nothing there."
"But it was there!" Luna exclaimed.
"What was?" King Sunrise asked.
"Strange looking butterflies," Luna answered.
"Strange looking butterflies?" Stardust asked, "What do you mean by strange?"
"They had large wings and a long tail."
They all stood and thought about it, but none of them knew what she was talking about.
"Luna what ever they are, I'm sure they're harmless," Stardust assured her. "Let's get going. I want to get a lot of traveling done before sunset."

They continued walking till the sun started to set. The sky turned pink and purple. The sunlight shone through the forest level. They continued walking until they found a small clearing among the trees. The soldiers built a campfire and sat around it keeping warm. Stardust laid on the grass with his back feet stretched out and his front feet curled under him. Luna curled in a ball behind him. She cuddled up next to his black coat and resting her head on his back.
"That's just so cute every time I see her snuggling up next to you," Starfire whispered. He was laying on the grass next to Stardust with his wings folded. King Sunrise was laying on the grass across from Starfire. The soldier grouped together on the grass sleeping across from Stardust.
"She certainly is," Stardust agreed.
Luna was half asleep, her eyes saw almost closed when she saw a large set of butterfly wings with a long tail in the bushes walking on the ground. Luna quickly raised her head and looked at the bush but it was gone. Was she seeing things or was the butterfly still following her?
"What is it?" Stardust asked when he felt her head suddenly raise from his body.
"Nothing.." Luna yawned. "I guess I was dreaming."
She laid her head down and quickly fell asleep.

It was after midnight when Luna and everyone had fallen fast a sleep. Luna felt something on her nose. She wiggled her nose but it didn't seem to help, so she lowered her head and rubbed her nose with her hoof. Just then felt something hit her leg and fall to the ground. Luna opened her eyes and saw the tiniest pony she had ever seen. It was yellow with pink hair and yellow and aqua butterfly wings. The tiny pony gasped when she noticed Luna was looking at her. The pony stood up and flew as fast as she could into the forest. Luna was too curious not to follow. She had never seen such a tiny pony nor did she know what is was. Luna hurried to her feet and ran after the tiny pony.
"Wait," Luna whispered to the tiny pony but it just ignored Luna out of fear.

Stardust felt cold air blowing on his back. he woke up and looked behind him but didn't see Luna. He looked around camp and still no Luna. He stood up and used his senses to find her. He turned and followed his senses into the forest through some bushes. It wasn't long till he found Luna standing at a tree staring at the ground. At first he thought she was sleep walking but then he noticed her eyes opened.
"Luna, I have told you to...stay with...me," Stardust trailed off when he saw what Luna was looking at. On the ground laid a yellow tiny pony with butterfly wings. It laid motionless, its wings didn't even twitch.
"What happened?" Stardust asked.
"Luna looked up at him with tears dripping from her cheeks. "I didn't mean to...I really didn't."
"Luna, what happened?" Stardust asked her again worriedly.
"I felt her on my face, and when I went to rub it she fell. She saw me looking at her and flew off. I followed her but...I guess I scared her. She was too busy looking back that," Luna whipped the tears from her eyes. "That she hit the tree and fell to the ground. Dad, I'm so sorry, I didn't mean to."
Stardust bent his head down and looked at the tiny pony. He could see she was still breathing.
"I think she'll be alright. I think she just knocked herself out. There's nothing I can do for her so let's just leave her alone."
"Will she be ok?" Luna asked.
"I think she will."
They turned and left the tiny pony and headed back to camp.
"Dad, what is she?" Luna asked curiously.
"I'm not totally sure of this but I think it's a Summer Wing pony or a Windy Wing pony, it's hard to tell."
"What are those?" Luna asked.
"You just saw it. They're very tiny, shy and curious or so I heard. Very few have seen them. It's amazing how close we got to it. I think we are the first to get close to one."
"Really?" Luna asked.
"Yes," Stardust laid on the grass with Luna curling in a ball behind him, "Luna, if you see another one, don't follow it."
"I won't," Luna replied. She closed her eyes and quickly fell asleep.