Gummy Tries All Day Long

by Cloud Wander

Chapter 1: The Call of the Mild

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On the third floor of Sugar Cube Corner, in the gray moments before dawn, Gummy the tiny alligator pressed himself against his window. Below, the silent Ponyville Marketplace spread out beneath him, but this morning he looked outward and beyond the familiar sights he knew.

Silver light glittered faintly upon the water. The Ponyville River! This morning, the River called to him as never before. He felt it in his blood, a song of drums and pipes, pounding in his heart, thundering through his veins. A song sweet and intoxicating. Compelling.

He sat back and glanced to his left. THE PRETTY PINK THING’s bed was empty, of course. She was downstairs, with THE CAKES, doing the mysterious Sugar Cube Corner morning ritual.

Gummy blinked slowly and ducked his head at THE PRETTY PINK THING’s place.

Sorry, he thought. Must go.

He hopped down from the window, slipped through the open door, and was gone.


Gummy scrambled down two flights of stairs and paused at the ground floor landing.

Light, warmth and noise came from his left, from the kitchens. THE PRETTY PINK THING and her minions, THE CAKES, doing whatever it was that they did every day.

Gummy crouched in the shadows, lurking in the hallway between the base of the stairs and the front door.

Any moment now, he thought.

And then there they were, THE PRETTY PINK THING and MR. CAKE, lugging the bakery sign out from the shop lobby to the door.

“Still kind of in doubt about this ‘strudel’ thing, Pinkie,” said MR. CAKE, studying the chalked menu. “It sounds foreign. You know, like,” in hushed tones, “what griffons would eat.”

“What everypony would eat, Mr. Cake!” insisted THE PRETTY PINK THING. “Apple strudel and a mug of milk is the best way to start the day! Pinkie promise! Here! Let’s get this sign outside! But you better stand back! The customers will soon come pouring in!”

So then the front door of Sugar Cube Corner was open and Gummy saw his chance while THE PRETTY PINK THING and her servant were occupied. He scrambled out, into the near-light and ran around the corner of the shop.

He crept away from Sugar Cube Corner to the verge of the marketplace. Here and there, a few early risers were setting up stalls and wheeling carts into position. But their movements were quiet, their voices hushed. A calm expectancy hovered over the square.

Gummy gathered himself and scampered across the open market, aiming for the pavilions that decorated Gooseberry Hill on the far side of town. Through the pavilions, up and over the hill, then down to the cool banks of the Ponyville River. Got to get there!

So intent was Gummy on his mission that he didn’t notice the oncoming team of ponies until they nearly ran him over.

“Whoa! Whoa! Whoa! Hold up, guys!” cautioned the big lead pony, rearing.

Gummy startled. Enormous hooves stamped around him. He looked up and saw a giant purple muzzle rushing towards him. Reflexively, Gummy lunged and bit.

“‘Oi! Whazzis now?” exclaimed the big purple pony. Then the big pony focused down his nose and chuckled at the tiny alligator clamped to his muzzle. “Heh heh! Lookit th’ little bloke! Sorry if I scared you, buddy!”

“Doesn’t that hurt?” asked a scrappy blue pony.

“Naw,” said the purple pony. “I don’t think my little buddy here has any teeth!”

“No teeth?” asked the big brown lead teamster. “Here, let me see… huh! I think this little fellow is my niece’s pet. Come here… no, don’t be scared, it’s okay.”

Gummy struggled as the big brown pony gently pulled him away from the purple pony’s nose.

“Yep, that’s him,” the big brown pony said. “Poor little guy. Must have wandered off and gotten lost. Hey, guys! How about starting the day at Sugar Cube Corner? I can take this little fellow back home and we can split a muffin.”

Gummy thrashed helplessly in the teamster pony’s grasp. He sagged, sighing, as he was carried back to Sugar Cube Corner, and away from the siren song of the River.

“Oh, hey! Fresh apple strudel!” declared the lead pony, seeing the sign out in front of the bakery. “You guys are in for a treat!”


Gummy sat in his window and pondered.

Outside, the day was brightening. It was still early, but the marketplace was now a dense ramble of vendors, preparing for a busy day. Workers hurried here and there, munching toast and muffins as they went to their places of business. Children dashed by in gleeful mobs.

Outside, the morning light gleamed upon the surface of the River, beckoning like the Light of the First Creation.

Inside, the door to THE PRETTY PINK THING’s chamber was firmly closed. Gummy contemplated his next move.

A stranger, observing Gummy, might imagine the little reptile to be completely devoid of thought, since, as a rule, the alligator usually just sat and stared. And yet, Gummy’s stare was not empty, but rather full to overflowing. He lived in a state of perpetual astonishment, amazed by the splendor and richness of the world around him. Wow! Just wow! his expression said, to those with the eyes to look.

And yet, now, something darker, something primal, stirred within the breast of the little alligator, and his gaze turned inward.

Forgotten my true self, I have, he decided, swishing his tail. In THE PRETTY PINK THING’s service, I have lost the Eye of the Predator. I plunged across the Marketplace without thought, imagining myself safe among the big warm things. Fool!

Stealth, cunning, guile… these are my inheritance. I AM ALLIGATOR! GRAR! Respect me, Ponyville!

Gummy raised himself up to his full four-inch height.

I call upon the powers of my mighty ancestors! I shall go forth and stalk my prey, the River! By Sobek, I will do this!

Gummy hopped down from his window to the door. The door was closed, but there was a narrow gap between the bottom of the door and the floor. Wiggling and squirming, he squeezed through the gap and into the hallway.

Forward! To the River and Glory!


Stealth. Patience. Observation. Cunning. Loyalty. Magic. These were the elements of his folk.

He crept silently down the stairs, stopping at each step to scan the environment. No sight. No sound. One more step, pausing. No sight. No sound. No vibration under his claws, no scent in the air. One more step.

At the edge of Gummy’s hearing: the faintest susurration of wings. Gummy licked his lips. A crunchy bug would be good right now. But he refused to be distracted. One more step. Pause. Look. Listen. One more step.

The flutter of wings, closer now. A moth, perhaps, silky-smooth on the tongue, satisfying in the belly. Gummy glanced about, hungrily. Nothing. He shook himself. Something greater than food called to him now, and he would not be diverted.

One more step. He was nearly at the ground floor landing. He paused. And observed.

THE PRETTY PINK THING’s burbling voice was like sweet music. She is happy, he thought, gathering serenity and strength from the sound. Gummy also heard the voices of THE CAKES close by; they praised THE PRETTY PINK THING’s choice of pastry!

For an instant, Gummy’s resolve (Loyalty) faltered. But his reptilian determination pushed him on. She will still be happy without me. That is a comfort, he thought, a little sadly.

Gummy eased down another step and again heard the flutter of wings. Some instinct, some alligator-sense, now prompted him to look up.

From the ceiling, a round, grinning face peered down at him. “Wump!” exclaimed Pound Cake.

Wump! Pound Cake sprang from the ceiling, pounced upon Gummy and carried the little alligator away. Gummy thrashed his legs helplessly as the baby pegasus bore him off to the Twins' playroom and with great ceremony deposited him before Pumpkin Cake and her conference of animal toys.

Pumpkin gleefully embraced Gummy and presented him with a party hat. Gummy, now an honorary toy, was given a place of importance at the table between a rubber chicken and a plush monkey.

Pumpkin burbled at length. Gummy had no idea of what she was saying. He nodded when the other toys did, and that seemed to be enough.

Eventually, MRS. CAKE appeared with bowls of shredded wheat for THE TWINS and sliced bananas “for Pumpkin’s friends.” Gummy grimly chewed a bit of banana while MRS. CAKE praised him for “minding her precious gingersnaps.”

Shortly thereafter, Gummy was returned to his window on the third floor of the house on Sugar Cube Corner.

Next Chapter: Solid Alligator Estimated time remaining: 18 Minutes
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