Little Sugar Shop of Horrors

by Pen Stroke

Chapter 1: Star Bucks and a Plant

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Little Sugar Shop of Horrors
Written by Pen Stroke
Assisted by Batty Gloom
Cover Art by KyroKing
Preread, Edited, and Reviewed By
Nightsong, DeagleDued, Wraithguard, Rainbowdash64

On a day of summer, in the year after Discord’s fall,
the equestrian race suddenly encountered a threat to its very existence.

Or the very least the existence of its sweets.

And this terrifying enemy surfaced,
as such enemies often do, in the seemingly
most innocent and unlikely of places...


“No Madam Flour, I couldn’t possibly have another carrot tart.”

Pinkie Pie turned over in her bed, snuggling into the warm blanket as the lingering images of her dream faded from her mind. It had been a wonderful dream, with all of her friends meeting the four inanimate objects she once pretended were her friends. They all had a huge party, and Rainbow Dash even lost a bet and had to kiss Rocky! It was something made even more hilarious because Rainbow didn’t know where to kiss him.

The dream, however, was over and a new day was calling to Pinkie Pie. She cracked open her blue eyes. The happiness in those eyes mirrored the glee filled smile on her face. Out her window, she could see birds chirping and a bright, wonderfully blue sky. It was such an inviting sight, she couldn’t keep herself from bounding out of bed and throwing open the window.

“Oh, this is going to be such an amazing day!” Pinkie Pie cheered to herself. She threw out her hooves, as if she was going to greet the day with a big hug. She then set her hooves on the windowsill and looked out across the town. She could see Rainbow Dash in the distance, bucking a few final clouds from the sky. Down below, the streets of Ponyville were bustling. In fact, they seemed busier then usual, and everypony was standing in a line.

Pinkie Pie leaned out of her window, her curiosity ignited by ponies below. “Ooooo, what’s going on? Why is everypony standing in a line? Are we trying to have the biggest game of leap frog? Are we trying to see how many ponies it takes to stretch across Equestria? Oh! Are we having a line dance!?”

At that thought Pinkie Pie disappeared back inside her room. She rummaged through her closet, and a few moments later leapt straight out of her window and onto the roof of Sugarcube Corner. Her curly mane was squished beneath the brim of a cowpony hat as blue as her eyes, and she also wore a quartet of matching cowpony boots.

Ready for the line dance, Pinkie Pie galloped down the roof of Sugarcube Corner and leapt to the street below. She went right up to the line of ponies, grabbing the nearest one and singing at the top of her lungs. “Oh, swing your partner ‘round and ‘round, right hoof up and left hoof down. Meet your honey and strut your stuff, and keep on dancin’ till you’ve had enough.”

“Pinkie Pie.”

Pinkie Pie just kept on dancing, eyes closed tight and wide grin on her face as she spun, turned, and dosey-doed with her partner. “Now circle eight and get on straight, we’ll all go east on a westbound freight. Turn your corner like a swingin’ gate, just don’t be trippin’ on that crate.”

“Pinkie Pie!”

“Go right, then left, and don’t you know, its okay to do-si-do. It may be the last time, but oh by Joe, just don’t you worry and go with the flow.”

“Pinkie Pie!”

“Now use that hoof to strike the ground while you spin ‘round and round’. Keep on spinnin’, don’t you fall, cause we’re all here to have a ball.”


The loud shout broke Pinkie out of her dance, and she turned to look at her partner. It was only at this moment she realized who she had been two-stepping with. “Oh, hey Rarity, are you here for the line dance?”

Rarity pulled herself out of Pinkie Pie’s grip and retook her place in line. “Hello, Pinkie Pie, and no, I’m not here for a line dance. I’m waiting in line for some breakfast.”

“Wow, is that what this line is for?” Pinkie Pie asked. She looked up and down the row of ponies which reached from one end of the block to another.

“Yes, that’s what this line is for,” Rarity assured her. “It is not a line for ‘line dancing.’”

“Well, that’s okay, we can all line dance some other time. Still, if all these ponies are in line for breakfast, Mr. and Mrs. Cake must be so excited. They’ve never had this many customers in the morning before. Oh, I’d better get into the kitchen. We’re going to need a lot more treats to feed all these hungry ponies.”

“But-” Rarity tried to call out. Pinkie Pie, however, was already gone. With a single firm bounce, she got back up onto the roof of Sugarcube Corner. She then dashed inside, put her bright blue cowpony hat and boots away, ran downstairs to the kitchen and got straight to work. She got out everything she would need for one of the busiest mornings Sugarcube Corner had ever seen. Pots, pans, ingredients were all taken out of the cupboards at record speed and with a comparable level of noise. The commotion quickly drew Mrs. Cake into the bakery’s kitchen.

“Heavens, Pinkie Pie, what are you doing?” Mrs. Cake asked. She stepped back just in time to avoid getting tackled by Pinkie Pie, who darted by with a wire whisk she procured from a nearby drawer.

Pinkie Pie looked up from the bread dough she was mixing. “Morning, Mrs. Cake. I’m just making a bunch of stuff for all the ponies who are in line outside. We don’t have nearly enough cinnamon rolls or muffins or danishes. So, you just tell everypony to be patient. Some super delicious treats are coming right up.”

Mrs. Cake stepped over beside Pinkie Pie, using a hoof to stop the rushed pastry making. “Uh... Pinkie Pie, dear, that line outside isn’t for us.”

Pinkie Pie met this comment with a giggle. “Oh, Mrs. Cake, you really need to practice your jokes. Of course that line outside is for us. The ponies outside are lined up waiting for breakfast, Rarity said so, and we’re the only shop nearby that sells anything for breakfast. The only place nearby is the Horte’s Cafe, and that’s five blocks away. Ponies wouldn’t be lined up all the way over here if they were waiting to get into Horte’s Cafe.

“So,” Pinkie Pie continued as she used the wire whisk to mix up the ingredients she had just placed into a bowl, “they have to be lined up for us, since there isn’t any other bakery nearby. Besides, where else in Ponyville would ponies get muffins and danishes and scones and bagels? Oh, that reminds me, I found this new bagel recipe I wanted to try. Those things are so jam-packed and heavy, but this one recipe says it will make a really light and fluffy bagel. Doesn’t that sound good?”

“Well, yes it does, dear,” Mrs. Cake said, “but... well, I guess it will be easiest just to show you.”

“Show me what?” Pinkie Pie asked. Mrs. Cake just waved a hoof in reply, leading Pinkie Pie out of the kitchen and into the front room. There, they were joined by Mr. Cake and together the three ponies stepped out of the shop and began following the line in the street. They rounded the nearby corner, and saw the line was going into a shop about half a block away from Sugarcube Corner.

Pinkie Pie looked up and down the line in amazement. “Wow, now that’s just crazy. I mean, not only did Rarity lie to me, but all these ponies had their clocks break this morning.”

“Clocks?” Mr. Cake asked.

“Well, yeah, they’re all standing in line for Mr. Clockwork’s Clock Shop.”

“Pinkie, Mr. Clockwork moved his shop last month,” Mrs. Cake reminded her. “You threw him a ‘Congratulations on moving into the larger shop’ party.”

After momentary pause, Pinkie Pie energetically bounced. “Oh yeah, that was such a fun party. There was a delicious cake, and it was in the shape of a coo-coo clock and every section of the clock’s face read ‘Party Time’. I wish I had a real clock like that, then it could be party time all the time.”

Pinkie Pie’s energy diminished and a thought crossed her mind. “Wait, if Mr. Clockwork moved his shop, then what are all these ponies standing in line for?”

The trio reached the front door of the new shop at that moment and stepped inside. Their ears were assaulted by many sounds. There were ponies chatting, ponies shouting out customers’ orders, steam being vented into liquids, and a cash register ringing up sales at an almost constant pace. The room was decorated in a mixture of black and green, and the thick aroma of coffee beans and stale pastries hung in the air. Nearby, a customer finished at the cash register and a new one was stepping forward.

The clerk behind the counter happily greeted the new customer with, “Hello, welcome to Star Buck’s Coffee. What can I get you?”


Pinkie Pie sat with her head on the counter, eyes focused on the wood grains. About a week had gone by since the new Star Buck’s Coffee opened around the corner, and ever since business had dropped off at Sugarcube Corner. The normal morning rush dried up, which only depressed her more. The morning rush was her favorite part of the day. She’d say good morning to the ponies, give them their pastries and sweets, and bring a smile to their faces.

The morning rush was also when Pinkie Pie could ask ponies if anything big was happening in their lives. It was how she found out about birthdays, weddings, new ponies moving to town, and basically everything that was party worthy. Without ponies coming in the mornings, she wouldn’t know who she needed to throw a party for, a thought that only ruined Pinkie Pie’s mood further.

“What’s so great about Star Buck’s anyway?” Pinkie Pie asked herself. It was then a familiar ringing reached her ears, and Pinkie Pie snapped her head up with excited anticipation. Twilight Sparkle had just come in, and was walking towards the counter.

Pinkie Pie bounced out from behind the counter. “Oh, Twilight! I’m so happy to see you! You must be here for breakfast”

“I am,” Twilight confirmed, though she quickly came to regret it. In a blur of pink, she was scooped up by Pinkie Pie and placed at a table. The table then began to fill as Pinkie Pie zipped around the bakery, grabbing up different foods and placing them front of Twilight.

“Great! We’ve got everything you could want. We’ve got bagels, muffins, scones, danishes, donuts, cinnamon twists, cinnamon rolls, cookies, brownies, cakes, and pies. All of it is fresh, really good, and ready for you.”

“This... huh... all looks great, Pinkie Pie,” Twilight said. She craned her neck to look around the mountain of food that had been placed in front of her. “But I just came by to get a muffin for myself and a donut for Spike.”

Pinkie Pie’s energy didn’t diminish at all. “Oh, what kind of muffin would you like? What about Spike’s donut? I know he likes them with extra sprinkles. Oh, do you think he’d like a donut made out of sprinkles? If you just give me a minute I’m sure I’ll be able to whip it up.”

Turning, Pinkie Pie began galloping towards the kitchen. She, however, didn’t get far. Before she even got half way across the room, she felt her hooves lose contact with the ground. She was wrapped in a magical glow. After looking back, she could see that Twilight was the one to blame.

“Pinkie Pie, relax, Spike doesn’t need a donut made of sprinkles,” Twilight said. While keeping Pinkie Pie suspended in the air, she put all of the food that had been brought out back where it belonged. She kept only a banana-nut muffin and one sprinkle-laden donut, which she put down beside the cash register. “I just need these two things.”

“Okay, Twilight,” Pinkie Pie said, just as happy to have somepony buying something, even if it was just a muffin and a donut. Once she was released from Twilight’s levitation, she moved behind the cash register and began ringing up the sale. “And sorry about that. It’s just been so long since somepony came in for breakfast.”

Twilight placed a selection of bits on the counter, more than enough to cover the cost of the muffin and donut. “Oh, why’s that?”

“It’s that new coffee shop that opened around the corner, the Star Buck’s. Everypony’s been going there in the mornings, and I just don’t get it. At first, I just thought everypony was being nice and welcoming the new shop owner to town. But every morning they keep lining up outside that shop to wait, and the pastries there aren’t even that good. They’re all dry and taste like they’re a day old.”

“That’s probably because they are,” Twilight noted as Pinkie Pie put the bits in the cash register.

“But why would they sell day old pastries?”

“It’s because it’s a coffee shop,” Twilight explained. “I read about it in the Canterlot Newspaper. Star Buck’s is a franchise that’s been popping up all over Equestria. It was started by a unicorn stallion named Star Buck, and it’s a franchise that’s become really popular with a lot of famous ponies. Now, because famous ponies get coffee from Star Buck’s Coffee, it’s the popular thing to do. That and, from what I’ve heard, they do have good coffee.”

“But then why don’t ponies just buy coffee there and then come here to buy their bagels, muffins, scones, danishes-”

“Because,” Twilight interrupted as she took her freshly bagged muffin and donut, “it’s all about convenience. They are already there at the shop buying coffee, so if they want a pastry it makes sense to some ponies just to buy it at the same place.”

“Even if it’s dry and bland?”

Twilight shrugged before turning to leave. “I guess so, but I wouldn’t worry about it too much, Pinkie Pie. Star Buck’s is just the new place in town. Once ponies have gotten used to it being here, they’ll start coming back to Sugarcube Corner.”

Pinkie Pie smiled and giggled, “Yeah, you’re right. It’s just like when I get Gummy a new toy. He’ll play with it for a long time before he’ll even consider going back to his old toys, but he always goes back sooner or later.”

Twilight turned when she reached the shop’s door and smiled. “Exactly. Just you wait, I bet in a few days ponies will be sick of that place.”


Twilight Sparkle wore a frown on her face and stood outside of Sugarcube Corner. Behind her, a line of ponies wrapped around the nearby corner and toward the Star Buck’s Coffee shop. It had been a few weeks since the shop opened, and still ponies were going there reliably. That left Sugarcube Corner all but abandoned in the mornings, and business was down the rest of the day as well.

Slipping inside, Twilight put on a smile for Mr. Cake, who was sweeping the floor, and Mrs. Cake, who was hanging up a sign advertising reduced prices. “Good morning.”

“Oh, good morning, Twilight,” Mrs. Cake said. She turned and tried to give Twilight a welcoming smile, though it was obviously forced. “What can we get you today?”

Twilight crossed the room so she could speak with Mrs. Cake. “Sorry, I’m just here looking for Pinkie Pie. I going to try and cheer her up. She didn’t seem her normal, cheerful self yesterday.”

Mrs. Cake deflated a little. “Well, that’s our fault, Twilight.”

“Why, what happened?”

Mrs. Cake adjusted the new sign advertising a discount on muffins before turning to face Twilight. “Mr. Cake and I were going over our books yesterday and, because of Star Buck’s, our sales are way down. If things don’t change, we won’t be able to afford to pay Pinkie Pie any more.”

“I thought Pinkie Pie worked for room and board,” Twilight noted.

“Yes, she does, and we’d never dream about putting Pinkie Pie out. It’s just, we also give her some bits every week so she can buy some things, like toys for Gummy and her party supplies. But now, because of the way business has been going, we may not be able to pay her those bits any more.”

“You aren’t going to have to close down, are you?” Twilight asked, concern ringing in her voice.

“Oh, now don’t you worry about that. Things are just... going to have to be tighter around her for a while. Still, Mr. Cake, Pinkie Pie, and I will figure this out, and I’m sure Star Buck’s is just a passing fad anyway. Once it’s blown over we’ll back to business as usual.” Mrs. Cake’s forced smile didn’t ease Twilight’s concerns. The thought of losing the bakery was something that had obviously crossed the two baker’s minds.

“I’m so sorry. I wish there was something I could do. Maybe I could write to Prin-” Twilight began, only for Pinkie Pie to burst through the door. She bounded across the room, knocked Twilight out of the way, and came to a stop just a few inches in front of Mrs. Cake.

“Do we have any old flower pots?” Pinkie Pie asked, not noticing she had just slammed Twilight out of the way.

“Uh... uh, well,” Mrs. Cake stuttered. Her brain needed a moment to process Pinkie Pie’s sudden appearance. “There should be one in the cupboard, but why-”

Mrs. Cake’s question trailed off as Pinkie Pie sprinted into the kitchen and sprinted out of the shop seconds later. Twilight, who recovered from being knocked to the side, walked over beside Mrs. Cake. “What was that about?”

“I haven’t the foggiest idea, dear. Oh, my... incoming!”

Twilight and Mrs. Cake stepped to the side just in time to avoid being bowled over by Pinkie Pie, who galloped back inside the shop, across the room, and to the front counter. There she put down the flower pot she took from the kitchen, which now contained a plant. The plant was a tough looking pod with flower petals around the edge and a thick green stem. Its leaves were a darker green, and it had claw-like thorns.

“There you go, Sweet Tooth, welcome to your new home.”

Mrs. Cake, Twilight, and Mr. Cake walked up behind Pinkie Pie and encircled the counter. Mrs. Cake was the first to speak. “Pinkie Pie, what is that?”

“It’s a plant,” Pinkie Pie chirped. “I think it may even be a flower, but I can’t be sure. I’ve never seen one like it before.”

“And what’s it for?” Mr. Cake asked. He leaned in closer to inspect the plant’s large, central pod.

“It’s going to help bring ponies back into the shop,” Pinkie Pie answered as she trotted into the kitchen.

Twilight cocked a confused eyebrow. “How is it supposed to do that?”

“Well,” Pinkie Pie began. She came trotting back from the kitchen with a watering can strapped to her head. “I was walking around Ponyville this morning trying to figure out a way to make ponies realize they should come back to the Sugarcube Corner. Then I started looking at what other shops did to get customers in.

“Ponies go to Star Buck’s because famous ponies go there,” Pinkie Pie explained, “but ponies also go to shops for other reasons. They’ll go to a store if it’s the only place they can get what they want, like I go to the joke shop in town because its the only joke shop we have. Ponies will also go to a shop if it’s having a sale, but we’ve already tried putting things on sale and that didn’t work.”

Twilight gave the plant a gentle poke. “And how is this supposed to work when you couldn’t get ponies in with a sale?”

“Sweet Tooth is going to bring ponies into the shop because it’s something no-ponies ever seen before. Don’t you remember when those orange farmers came to town and brought with them that really huge oranges, the one as big as a pony’s head?”

Twilight winced at the memory. “I do remember. Applejack kept coming to the library that whole week to complain about the fact those orange farmers were stealing business from her family’s market stand. She even asked me if I had any books about growing gigantic fruit. That way, she could ‘show the ponies who the real farmers were’ and steal back the business the orange farmers had taken from her.”

“Exactly,” Pinkie Pie chirped. “Ponies went to the orange stand instead of Applejack’s stand because of that really strange, huge fruit. Now, ponies will want to come in and see little Sweet Tooth here, and that will help bring in customers.”

Twilight picked the plant up in her magic, turned it around, and examined it close. “I’ll admit, it is a strange plant. I know I haven’t seen anything like this in any of my books. Where did you even find this?”

“Well, do you remember when I left this morning because Mrs. Cake didn’t want me pacing around the kitchen any more?” Pinkie Pie asked.

“No, I wasn’t here,” Twilight answered, “but pretend I do.”

Da Doo

Twilight, Mrs. Cake, and Mr. Cake jumped. From behind the counter Lily, Roseluck, and Daisy appeared, singing the “Da Doo”. Pinkie Pie, however, was unfazed by the trio’s sudden appearance and continued to tell her story. “I was walking down the street today.”

Shoop Da Doo

“When I passed by this garden with lots of flowers in it,” Pinkie Pie continued, her eyes lighting up at the memory of the many colorful buds.

Bloom Da Doo

Pinkie Pie leaned into the plant she had just brought into the shop. “I decided to stop and smell those flowers-”

Sniff Da-Doo

“Cause, you know, flowers always smell really nice and make me smile.”

Da da da da da da-doo

A frown formed on Pinkie Pie’s face. “But they couldn’t make me feel any better today.”

Nope Da Doo

“So I was just about to turn and walk away,”

Poor ol’ you

“when suddenly, and without warning, my tail started to twitch!”

Twitch it did!

“I looked around, trying to see what was falling, but then I heard a thunk, and my tail stopped. That’s when I turned around, and saw this little plant just sitting there.”

Whoop See Doo

“Poor thing was just lying there, looking all sad and lonely.”

Little Sweet Tooth

“I was sure I hadn’t seen it there before, and it wasn’t planted in the ground or anything. I’d never seen a plant like it before, so I decided to bring it back here.”

Sha la la, la la la, la la la loo

At that Lily, Roseluck, and Daisy disappeared behind the counter, much to Twilight, Mrs. Cake, and Mr. Cake’s confusion. Impromptu songs weren’t an uncommon thing in Equestria, and it wasn’t the first time they’d seen Pinkie Pie break into a song with little provocation. It was, however, the first time they’d seen those three acting like back-up singers.

“So, wait, are you saying this plant just fell out of the sky?” Twilight asked. She craned her neck to look behind the counter and try to find Lily, Roseluck, and Daisy. The three flower-themed mares, however, were nowhere to be seen.

Pinkie Pie shrugged. “I don’t know, maybe. Oh, maybe a dragon was carrying it?”

Twilight turned her head to one side, trying to understand Pinkie Pie’s logic. “Why would a dragon worry about something so small as this?”

“What? Can’t dragon’s have potted house plants too?”

Twilight placed a fore hoof against the bridge of her nose and shook her head. “Pinkie Pie, dragons don’t have houses. They have treasure hordes and caves, not houses.”

“Well, a dragon still could have dropped Sweet Tooth.”

“And why are you calling it Sweet Tooth?” Mr. Cake asked, if only to keep Twilight from continuing her efforts to explain to Pinkie Pie why a dragon wouldn’t have a house plant.

“Because I’m hoping this little guy will help bring back everypony’s sweet tooth for Sugarcube Corner’s baked goods,” Pinkie Pie answered.

“That’s very nice, dear,” Mrs. Cake said. She placed a hoof on Pinkie Pie shoulder. “And it is a very nice plant, but I don’t think its going to bring in customers. I mean, it’s just-”

“Wow, where did you get that plant?”

Everypony turned to the front door of Sugarcube Corner. There, one of the stallions who had been standing in line for Star Buck’s came trotting over to the plant, looking it over with an astonished grin. “I’ve never seen anything like this before. What’s it called?”

“It’s called Sweet Tooth,” Pinkie Pie happily answered. “I think it’s a totally undiscovered species of plant.”

The stallion gave an impressed nod. “It sure doesn’t look like anything I’ve seen before and-” The stallion paused to lift his nose and sniff at the air. “And are those cinnamon rolls I smell?”

“Oh... oh, yes, of course, they’re fresh out of the oven,” Mrs. Cake said, quickly jumping into the conversation. “Perhaps you’d like to have one?”

“I think I would,” the stallion said with a smile. He followed Mrs. Cake over to the cash register while Twilight and Mr. Cake stared in disbelief. The stunned pair then turned to Pinkie Pie, who was grinning proudly and patting the plant, Sweet Tooth.

“Thatta boy, Sweet Tooth. We’ll show those mean ponies over at Star Buck’s that they can’t take our customers away with cheap, dry muffins.”


Mr. Cake wore a huge smile on his face as he looked over the packed storefront of Sugarcube Corner. Somehow, someway, Pinkie Pie’s random thought to put a single strange plant in the shop to draw in customers was working. Ponies were slipping inside specifically just to see the plant, and then were often enticed by the sight and smell of freshly-baked pastries to make a purchase. Even if a pony didn’t buy anything, simply having such traffic in the shop was helping Sugarcube Corner combat against the popularity of Star Buck’s.

“Can I get a dozen cinnamon rolls?” one customer asked as he approached the register.

Mr. Cake flashed a big smile. “Of course, I’ll get that boxed right up for you.”

“Can you also add a half dozen double chocolate chip cookies as well?”

“Gladly, we’ll just need a few minutes,” Mr. Cake said before turning his head to shout into the kitchen. “Honey Bun,” Mr. Cake called out, “we need more cookies, double chocolate chip.”

“They’ll be right out. Pinkie Pie and I are working as fast as we can,” Mrs. Cake called back from the kitchen. Every oven was in use, the sink was piled high with dirty dishes, and the counters were covered in flour, but neither Pinkie Pie nor Mrs. Cake had time to stop and clean. They were working as fast as their hooves would allow, and that let them just barely keep up with the demand for sweet pastries.

“Oh, Pinkie Pie, you’d better take those brownies out of the oven.”

Pinkie Pie put a hoof to her forehead in a salute. “You got it, Mrs. Cake.” She dashed over to the over and, after taking the oven mitt in her mouth, she quickly drew out the brownies and set them on a cooling rack. She then took the next batch of sweets, the double chocolate chip cookies Mr. Cake needed, and put them into the awaiting oven.

“There, just a few minutes and we’ll have another fresh batch of cookies,” Pinkie Pie said with a bounce. “Oh, this is so amazing! We’ve never been this busy before.”

Mrs. Cake nodded. “Yes, and to think it’s all because of your little plant. Oh, at this rate, we may just be able to make that addition we’ve been planning.”

Pinkie Pie’s eyes lit up. “The ice cream freezer addition!?”

“Yes,” said Mrs. Cake, just as excited.

“Oh boy!” Pinkie Pie cheered as she began to bounce around. “If we can add that big ice cream freezer then we can sell ice cream and ice cream cake and ice cream sandwiches and hot fudge sundaes and-”

“Yes, Pinkie Pie,” Mrs. Cake interrupted, “we’ll be able to sell all those things, but we’ve got to make these cookies first. Now come on, there’s a lot hungry ponies out there looking at your plant and-”

“The plant’s dying!”

Mr. Cake sprinted through the door, carrying the pot with Sweet Tooth on his back. He turned and skidded to a stop, causing Sweet Tooth to slide off his back and land on the counter. Pinkie Pie and Mrs. Cake quickly circled in, looking over the sickly-looking Sweet Tooth. It had lost a couple of its leaves, and its stem had wilted to the point the pod in the center of its blossom was resting against the side of the flower pot.

“Customers are already leaving to get back in line for Star Buck’s,” Mr. Cake said. “What do we do?”

“I’ll tell you what we’re going to do,” Mrs. Cake said. “You’re going to take this plant back out there, but keep it next to the register. That should at least keep the customers we have from leaving. I’ll stay back here and keep baking whatever we need.”

“What about me?” Pinkie Pie asked.

“You go to your friend Twilight and ask her for every book on plants and gardening you can find. We cannot let this plant die. It’s the only thing letting us compete with Star Buck’s. We can’t lose it now.”

“Don’t you worry, Mrs. Cake. Twilight is the smartest pony I know. With her help, I’m sure we’ll be able to find out just what Sweet Tooth needs to feel better.”


Twilight stared intently at the sickly plant sitting in front of her. Next to it, a book on home plant care was set open, and next to that was another book on herbology and plant identification. The table was also littered with a number of gardening tools, some bags of soil with different textures, and even a sun lamp.

Pinkie Pie watched anxiously from the side. The pair were in the empty front of Sugarcube Corner. The shop had been closed for a few hours and, ever since she had arrived, Twilight was trying to apply her impressive skills in reading and magic to try and make Sweet Tooth healthy again. The plant, however, was either sicker than anypony realized or was being stubborn, for it refused to improve.

Twilight tossed her head in frustration and flipped through the pages in her books. “This doesn’t make any sense. From the analysis I did on one of the leaves that fell off, these should be ideal conditions. Modestly wet soil with a moderate plant food content. I trimmed the leaves back to appropriate lengths, and even supported the stem with a small dowel and yarn. What else do you want?”

Twilight slammed her fore hooves on the table and glared the plant down. “Why won’t you grow!?” Her shout became punctuated by a small snap as another leaf broke off the sickly plant.

Gritting her teeth in rage. Twilight stormed away from the table and towards the door. “Twilight, where are you going?” Pinkie Pie asked.

“I’m going to get another book from the library, ‘Overgrown’s Guide to Stubborn Plants’,” Twilight explained. She stopped at the front door to look back at Pinkie Pie. “It’s mostly about getting rid of weeds, but maybe it can tell us what we’re doing wrong.”

“But what should I do with Sweet Tooth until you get back?”

Twilight took a step and struck out of the shop and into the early evening air. “Just try and keep it from losing any more leaves.” With that Twilight was gone, striding down the street towards the Ponyville Library. Pinkie Pie watched her friend through the shop’s windows until she fell out of sight before turning to look at Sweet Tooth. She walked over to her sickly little plant, a small frown on her face.

“Oh, poor Sweet Tooth. I wish I could make you feel better,” Pinkie Pie said as she looked over the books, tools, and different soils Twilight left out. “But I really don’t know that much about taking care of plants. I only know how to make ponies feel better.”

Pinkie Pie’s frown turned into a small smile and she bounced happily. “Hey, there’s an idea! Maybe I could try to cheer you up like I cheer up ponies. Oh, and I know just the place to start.” Pinkie Pie galloped upstairs to her bedroom, and returned moments later with a box. She set that box right next to Sweet Tooth.

“Are you ready?” Pinkie Pie asked. Even though she knew Sweet Tooth couldn’t respond, she gave the plant the chance anyway before she threw open the box. Streamers, confetti, and balloons erupted out from the box along with the sound of several noise makers. It was something that always made Pinkie Pie smile, since it was like an explosion of party. Sweet Tooth, however, didn’t show any sign of improvement.

Frowning a bit at her failed attempt, Pinkie Pie ran back to her bedroom and soon returned with a record player. After turning the crank a few times, the player began belting out cheerful music and Pinkie Pie began to dance along to it. “How about dancing? Does dancing make you feel better, Sweet Tooth?”

Pinkie Pie picked up her potted friend, and began twirling around with it. She laughed, giggled, and sang along with the song, despite the fact it didn’t have any words.

Still, even after a few minutes of dancing, Sweet Tooth didn’t look any better. Seeing this, Pinkie Pie ended her dancing and went straight onto her next idea. She ran back upstairs, and came down a few moments later with her Pin the Tail on the Pony game. She hung the poster on the wall, hung the blindfold off of Sweet Tooth’s pot, and set a paper tail in its leaves. She then carried Sweet Tooth over to the poster, and helped the plant pin the paper pony tail right on the target.

“Yay! Way to go, Sweet Tooth! You pinned the tail on the pony! You must be feeling better now.”

Sweet Tooth didn’t look any better, and Pinkie Pie was having trouble deciding if her little plant didn’t, in fact, look worse. Since her playing games idea lost, she put Sweet Tooth back down by Twilight’s books and took the blindfold off the pot.

“Okay... um, what else makes ponies happy? I could throw you a party, but then I’d need invitations and guests and balloons and streamers, and I just can’t get all that setup before Twilight gets back with her other book.” Pinkie Pie furrowed her eyebrows and tapped the sides of her head. “Oh, what can I do?”

Huffing, Pinkie Pie walked away from Sweet Tooth and in the direction of the kitchen. “Maybe a snack will give me an idea.” After rummaging in the kitchen for a few minutes, Pinkie Pie came back out balancing a cookie jar on her back. It was the leftover jar, where Mr. and Mrs. Cake slipped some of the left over cookies that were too old to sell for customers. They were always a bit stale, but nopony could beat free cookies.

Setting the jar down beside Sweet Tooth, Pinkie Pie stuck her nose inside and withdrew a cookie. She then gave her head a toss, sending the cookie high into the air. She watched the cookie flip and turn, positioning herself right beneath it before opening her mouth wide and letting the whole cookie fall onto her waiting tongue.

“Now,” Pinkie Pie said through her full mouth, a few cookie crumbs spilling out, “what can I do to make you happy, Sweet Tooth?”

It was then Pinkie Pie took notice that Sweet Tooth was moving. Her little plant was raising its little petal lined pod and, for a moment, she dared to believe it was coming back to life. She then saw it was tilting its pod in the direction of the cookie jar. Its pod even opened up, revealing a somewhat moist interior that almost looked like a mouth.

Pinkie Pie glanced back and forth between Sweet Tooth and the cookie jar for a moment, watching as it continued to try and reach it. Then, on a curious whim, Pinkie Pie retrieved another cookie from the jar. She balanced that cookie on her hoof, and waved it around in front of Sweet Tooth. The plant bent its stem to follow the cookie, its little pod mouth wide open.

Pinkie Pie smiled, and inched her hoof closer to Sweet Tooth. When she was just close enough, Sweet Tooth bit down on the cookie and took it out of her hoof. The little plant then worked to scarf down the sugary treat, which was just as large as it was. As it ate, its leaves began to stand up straight again and its movements became more fluid and full of life.

Pinkie Pie couldn't contain her excitement. She quickly fished another cookie out of the jar and fed it to Sweet Tooth. It chomped the cookie down just as greedily as the first, making Pinkie Pie’s grin only widen. “Oh, this is so fun! You eat cookies, just like me! Oh, I got to go and tell Twilight!”

Bouncing happily, Pinkie Pie left the shop to chase down Twilight and tell her the good news. In her wake, she left Sweet Tooth resting beside the open jar of cookies, the plant munching down the last crumbs of its second treat. It then began to lick up the crumbs that spilled onto the side of its pot and leaves. It wasn’t going to leave a single morsel of the cookie uneaten.

Still, even then Sweet Tooth was not satisfied. When it was unable to find any more crumbs, it turned its pod in the direction of the unattended cookie jar. It looked around and craned its stem so it could look out the window. Once it was sure Pinkie Pie wasn’t going to return too quickly, the seam of its pod mouth turned up a tiny smile.

With a grunt of effort, Sweet Tooth began to strain itself, using the sweets it just ate to fuel its growth. Its stem and body gained bulk, and fresh leaves sprouted from where the old ones had broken off. In the span of a few short minutes, Sweet Tooth grew substantially. It now stood at an equal height to the neighboring cookie jar.

Next Chapter: Business Dealings Estimated time remaining: 1 Hour, 31 Minutes
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