Chapter 47: The hole

It was in the afternoon, the sun shined brightly and the birds chirped from tree to tree. Luna walked beside her father while her uncles talked and planed on what they were going to do when they faced Teriney. They came to a meadow and continued walking along the edge of the forest. Luna could feel her stomach growling.
"Dad, I'm hungry," Luna told him.
"I'm sorry Luna but I'm saving what we have left for dinner. You will have to find a berry bush instead," Stardust told her.
Luna grumbled to herself at the thought of eating berries. Then she suddenly noticed a small pond, "Can I get a drink of water instead?"
Stardust stopped, "hurry up."
While Stardust and his brothers waited Luna put her bag down and ran across the meadow to the pond. She stood among the tall grass and began drinking out of the pond, cooling her throat and satisfying her hunger pain temporarily. When she was done she looked up and turned around. She ran across the meadow through the tall grass towards her father when her foot slipped on something. Half her lower body sank into the ground. Luna screamed as she tried to pull herself up. By the time Stardust reached her, she slipped into a hole. All Stardust could do was listen to her screaming.
"Luna!" Stardust shouted in the hole.
Skyview took his bag off, "I'll go after her."
"Hurry!" Stardust told him. He was worried for his daughter. He had no idea where the hole will lead to or what lived in the hole.
Skyview turned into a gray cloud and floated into the hole.

Luna continued to fall, screaming. She was scared and wondered when she would hit bottom. The tunnel was dark, she couldn't see a thing. She tried to grab the wall but her hoof slid on the dirt. As she frantically tried to grab the dirt walls she fell out of the hole and hit a hard rocky ground. It was very dark. She was afraid to move, not knowing where she had landed or how far down the hole had taken her. Suddenly she heard foot steps and crumbling rocks.
"H-h-hello?" Luna whispered.
The foot steps stopped and Luna remained still.
"Luna?" Skyview called to her.
Luna screamed, she had not expected a voice calling her name so close to her. Suddenly a blue glow appeared. Luna turned and saw Skyview holding his ears with his hoofs. Luna stood up and hugged him tightly, not daring to let go.
"S-something is in here," Luna told him.
Skyview hugged her even though his ears still rang from her screams.
"Are you ok?" Skyview asked her.
"Yes," Luna replied hugging his even tighter.
"I'm sure glad you don't have Stardust's strength," Skyview muttered.
Just then they heard tinny crumbling rocks.
"Who is there?!" Skyview yelled.
A brown leather creature appeared from a large rock, slowly inching closer, "We did no harm."
When they came closer to the light Skyview smiled, "Well, what a surprise."
"What?" Luna asked him.
"Luna, these are called the Grundles. They're friends of the ponies. They're quite harmless and very friendly," Skyview explained, "They're also a bit...jumpy like you at the moment."
"Grundles?" Luna asked looked around the darkness.
Grundles came into the light, they all looked the same. They were leathery, brown and wore simple clothing such as hats, vests and cloaks. They had skinny legs and long pointed ears.
Luna slowly let Skyview go, "What are they doing down here?"
One of the Grundles, a short and fat looking one came forward smiling, "We live here." Suddenly flames from torches began to appear all around them. There were houses and large buildings carved into the wall, some were built from several large rocks. A small steam flowed through what looked like a village and a town in the distance.
"All this is under the meadow?" Luna asked gasping at the largeness of the cave.
"Yes, this is Grundleland," the Grundle answered.
Just then they heard a rumbling noise.
The Grundles looked around frantically.
"What's that?" they asked.
"Did you hear that?" another asked.
Luna smiled, "That was my stomach. I'm hungry."
The Grundle smiled, "We got lots of food you can eat."
"That would be great," Luna replied.
"Umm. Could you bring it to the surface? My brothers are waiting and they too are hungry," Skyview told them.
"Of course," the Grundle replied, "by the way, I am Tavish. King of the Grundles."
Skyview smiled, "I am Skyview and this it my niece, Luna. We'll meet you by the pond on the surface," Skyview's horn touched Luna's horn and suddenly they turned into a large gray cloud. The Grundles stared curiously as the cloud flew into the hole.

Stardust passed the hole while Starfire watched the hole.
"I think I see something," Starfire told him.
Stardust stopped and stood watching the hole. A cloud flew out of the hole and landed in the tall grass. Skyview and Luna returned to their pony form. Stardust wasted no time running to his daughter and hugged her.
"Dad," Luna whispered. She felt like her breath was being squeezed out of her.
Stardust let go, "I'm sorry Luna. I'm just...I'm thrilled to see you're ok."
Luna smiled, "I meet the Grundles."
"The Grundles?" Stardust asked, "No one has seen them in many years."
"Well they live down that hole," Skyview explained.
Just then five grundles popped out of the hole carrying food, then five more popped out caring more food.
"That's a lot of food," Skyview told them.
"We thought we could eat together," Tavish replied.

Luna was thrilled to have meet some friends even though they looked scary to her at first, she had grown to like them. They all ate and laughed, Tavish learned who Stardust was and that he was invited to come to Ponyland anytime. When the feast was over, they stood up and left. Tavish had given them food for their journey which made Luna very happy.