The processing floor at Fluffy McFluffy Nursery was utterly abuzz with activity.
Crates of specially selected biotoys of all sorts were crated to and fro. Thousands of tiny questions rose from the crates, but none of the humans paid them any mind. With a major new fluffy holiday coming up, the entire Nursery was in overdrive.
Even the generally worthless brown earthie males had a purpose in the Nursery, and a crate of them was unceremoniously dropped onto a processing table in front of a masked worker. Without a word the human went to work grabbing up fluffies, holding them over a can, then squeezing their belly to forcibly void their bowels. This sudden squeezing elicited a tiny scream from each of the biotoys.
A pneumatic elastration gun hung from it’s air hose over the worker’s station. She had gotten fast enough now at applying the elastration bands to all four legs of a fluffy that the shock of the first band wouldn’t wear off before all the fluffy’s legs were banded. It was only after she was finished that their screaming would begin.
She would toss each of these into a bin with one word on the side;
Inside the Filler Bin the little male biotoys writhed and complained. The way they crawled over and over each other seemed like waves in an ocean.
Especially to one caught in the middle of the churning.
A new fluffy flew screeching into the bin, bouncing off his brethren. He rolled across a dozen of the other fluffies, landing in a trembling, whimpering heap against the cold fabric wall of the bin.
“Huuuuuuuu, wy meanie wady am su meanies to fwuffy? Am gud fwuffy!”
The other banded fluffs around him seemed to be equally confused and dismayed. Some were trying desperately to bite at the bands on their shoulders. Some were weakly hugging one another in consolation, and an attempt to heal each others’ hurties.
This fluffy rolled over and tried to stand up, but the shouts of fluffies beneath him scared the last little bit of peepees out of him.
“Fwuffy sowwy! Fwuffy sowwy!”
He settled for rolling over onto his belly. He had only barely gotten re-oriented before the next fluffy came sailing into the bin, like a screaming meteorite, slamming fully into him, and knocking him unconscious.
This fluffy didn’t awaken until he felt the bin being roughly dumped into a pen where the floor was soft blue gelatin. Everything here was so very confusing. Fluffy wanted to go home. Fluffy wanted his mummah. She’d take him into her embrace and protect him from all the strangeness, and clean this meanie gel out of his see-places and smell-placies. At least it didn’t smell bad.
He stuck out his little tongue to clean himself off and suddenly realized that the gel actually tasted rather pretty!
The floor was…nummies?
He struggled to sit up. His leggies were being meanies, and didn’t want to listen to him. He nudged one with his smell-place. The leggy felt very cold, and tired.
With a monumental effort he struggled into a sitting position and wiped the gel off of his face, licking it away from his hoofies. Other fluffies saw him eagerly lapping up all of the gel from his hoofies, and they cautiously tried tasting the weird blue stuff, too.
Was this…could this be the Sketties that his mummah had told him about when he was nursing? The bestest sketties that would make her have the bestest milkies?
He looked around and tried to remember how she would describe the ambrosial nummies. He didn’t see anything long and twisty like noogles. And he sure didn’t see anything like nummie balls. Just a lot of blue gel and other brown fluffies as far as he could see.
Not far from him a small fluffy started yelling.
“WY YU NU WISSUN TU FWUFFY, DUMMEH WEGGIES!!!”
It broke down into tears after this outburst, and other fluffies shuffled to give it huggies…though it seemed their own leggies were being meanies too.
And after many forevers this fluffy found that he couldn’t get his dummy leggies to listen anymore, either. So when he got hungry again, he tried leaning over to take a bite of the floor nummies, only to fall into them with a wet splat.
Where was mummah? When was she coming to save him?
A loud whistle shrieked all around them, and he could hear the noise of activity outside his bin. He could see lots and lots of humans walk by. He tried shouting out to them for help, but without being able to lift himself up he mostly just choked on the floor nummies.
Lots and lots of humans passed by. Not even one of them looked down at the whimpering puddle of fluffies. Forevers later, most of the lights in the factory shut off.
And other than tiny shouts and cries in the dark, and more than a few scaredy poopie sounds
the night was quiet.
Our little fluffy looked around to find that many of the other banded fluffs were crawling together into an impromptu fluffpile. He tried to crawl his way to where they were congregating
but his leggies were just so tired.
He quietly cried into his floor nummies, until he fell asleep.
Before morning broke, there were sounds of activity all around. The lights high overhead snapped to life, surprising our fluffy and all his brethren. The sudden light and sound caused even more scaredy poopies to be sprayed all over the floor nummies, and all over many of the other fluffies too. For only a moment our fluffy thought to himself that maybe it was a good thing he hadn’t been able to join the fluffpile. One of the other fluffies desperately tried to wipe or shake the poopies off of his face, but because his leggies were so dummies now, they wouldn’t help him at all.
A masked face appeared over the bin, looking down at the pathetic piles of fluff.
“Good Morning Fellas! How is everyone doing today?!”
Immediately dozens of little voices sounded off;
“Wy weggies am be su meanies?!”
“Mummah! Wewe am mummah?!? WAN MUMMAH!”
“Hewp fwuffy peese!”
The human put it’s hands on the side of the bin and began pushing. The cart rumbled across the concrete floor to a workstation where more pneumatic tools hung from the ceiling. They pulled up a chair and then picked up our lonesome fluffy, poking at his leggies and shaking him around.
“It looks like you little ones are ready for the next step! You ready?”
“Huu huu huuu, wy meanie am be mean tu fwuffy? Am gud fwuffy! Am pwomise!”
“Oh I know, you’re going to be a good little Filler.”
Confusion crossed the little brown face
“Ny…nyu namie…am Fiwwuh?”
“Well…sure kid. Your name is Filler.”
In the excitement of getting a new name the fluffy didn’t even notice as the worker put a pair of curved claws around his foreleg, just beneath the tight band.
“Oh fank yu! Fiwwuh jus Wub hab nyu namie! Am pweddy naaaa…”
His thought was cut off as the worker actuated the shears. With a sound like shattering chalk, Filler’s little leg was severed and fell away, leaving only a stump with a band at the end.
Filler couldn’t feel the leggie. It was such a strange sensation looking at the place where the extremity should be. Even if the leggie had been meanie and dummy…he suddenly realized just how much he loved that leggie. In the blink of an eye his other foreleg was snipped off and fell away.
Filler began to scream
Filler couldn’t remember when he had stopped screaming.
It hurt to breathe.
It hurt to open his see-placies.
And his heart had the worst hurties of all.
He barely even noticed as other legless fluffs were tossed on top of him.
He didn’t even notice that they were screaming their little heads off.
Nothing mattered anymore.
Mummah hadn’t saved him.
She hadn’t saved his poor dummy leggies.
What did he do wrong?
He got a pretty new name
and all it cost… was his leggies.
A different human was picking up the pillowed fluffies two and three at a time.
It didn’t matter to Filler what the person was doing.
It didn’t matter anymore.
Until the human picked him up.
Filler didn’t bother even opening his see-placies until he was being stuffed in amongst other fluffies, and they began to speak to him.
“Ooh, huu am nyu fwiend!?”
“Wut happin tu fwiend weggies?”
“Fwuffy hab saddies? Gib gud huggies an maek aww beddah!”
the fluffy tried to wrap it’s leggies around Filler, but they were all stuffed too tightly together to move.
Filler opened his eyes to find lots of stunningly beautiful fluffies looking back at him.
One was a shining white with a rainbow mane, and a long, proud horn in the middle of it’s head. Another was a deep blue with a dark black mane, also with a horn.
Still another was a vibrant pink with a pale mane and a horn.
It seemed like all of these fluffies had horns.
When they couldn’t wave their leggies to him they chose to wave their little wingies instead.
“Wy nyu fwiend wook wike dat?”
“Nyu fwiend am scawedies?”
Something broke inside of Filler and he tried to scream
but all his screams had run away.
All that came from his mouth was a shuddering croak.
The box lid was closed, taking the pointy-wingie monsters from his sight.
Even in the dark they continued to speak.
They were far less scary in the dark, where he could almost forget that they…were pointy-wingy monsters…
“Fwuffy am SUU 'cited to hab nyu Mummeh an Daddeh!”
“Uh huh! Fwuffy am gunna be suuu gud fo Nyu Mummah and Nyu Daddeh an hab su minny heawt-happies!”
“Nyu Fwiend, yu am 'cited fo nyu mummah and nyu daddeh tuu? Huh?”
Filler knew they were speaking to him, but he didn’t know what to say. New Mummah? But Filler already had a Mummah and he loved her so very much! And what’s a Daddeh anyway?
His head was full of questions.
But he was only able to weakly croak a single one
“H…how…how yu kno am gu to gud pwacie?”
The other fluffies packed into the tight box were taken aback
“Hoomins sez fwuffy am speciawist and pweddiest fwuffy an am gun hab guudest nyu housie to pway in, an gud nyu mummah, an gud nyu daddah, and am gunna git gud sketties aww da tiem!”
Though he couldn’t see the other fluffies he could hear their agreement.
“Yuh! Hoomins sez aww speciawistest fwuffy am gonna hab bestest housie an toysies ebah!”
Filler began to quietly sob
“Buh…buh Fiwwuh nu am dat speshuwist fwuffy, doh!”
“Fwuffy am hab pweddy namie?!”
“Yuh…Fwuffy am… Fiwwuh”
“Weawwy?! Fwuffy nu hab namie! Am just fwuffy. Mebbe yu am speshuwist fwuffy tuu!!”
“Fiwwuh hab pweddy namie, su mebbe am weawwy speshuwist fwuffy tuu!”
At was all too much for the foal’s little mind to handle, but somehow it made a lot of sense what these…monsters…were saying.
Maybe…maybe he was wrong about them being monsters.
Maybe they were right, and he was going to a new home too…
Between the glimmer of hope,
and the gentle swaying of their box
Filler and his new friends quickly fell fast asleep.
In the dark it’s difficult to tell the difference between dreaming and waking. It seemed like so many forevers had gone by. All the fluffies would awaken whenever their box was jostled or bumped. There were quite a few scaredy poots from most of the fluffies, but fortunately that was all.
But after countless cycles of sleeping and waking, Filler and friends arrived at their new home.
The box was placed on a porch with high columns holding up the gables, and an ornate wooden door.
A man in suit and tails met the mail carrier at the door and signed for the package, before carrying it inside the house, across the pristine stone floor, and into the dining hall, where a man and woman were having their morning tea. They watched out the window at two boys and a girl ran in the yard, playing tag.
“Boys, don’t be too rough with your little sister!”
“Madam” the butler spoke as he placed the box by her side
“Oh? OH! Reginald, they’re here, they’re finally here! The alicorns we picked out for the kids are finally here! Thank you Walter. Did you happen to bring a knife?”
“I have, Madam” the butler offered the hilt of the letter opener to Madam Walker.
She took it in deft hands and slid it in the folds of the box, cutting the tape that bound it.
Inside the box the fluffies were blinded by the sudden burst of light and all of them screamed.
And when their vision returned they could see two enormous smiling faces above them. One of Filler’s new friends was the first to shout in glee
“NYU MUMMAH! NYU DADDEH!”
The man above them smiled and looked away from the box, shouting
“KIDS! Come and get your surprise!
“Oh they’re so beau…uh…Reggie, there’s…there’s something else in there”
“Oh don’t worry, Phyllis, that’s just filler”
Filler’s little eyes threatened to burst from his head
Filler! FILLER! Yeah! He was Filler and New Mummah and New Daddeh wanted Filler!
He spoke up, his voice trembling
“Y-Yuh! Am Fiwwuh! Am Fiwwuh!”
The big man reached into the box and lifted Filler up by his scruff, laying him on the table.
Oh what a big and beautiful world this was!
Filler gasped in delight as he tried to take in everything. The ceiling was sooooo high above, atop gleaming white walls covered in pictures. Pictures of New Mummah, and New Daddeh, and three smiling babies, and more pictures of kids. There was a huge and soft looking thing over there, and a bright shiny thing that gave off flashes of light, and and and and and
So much beauty in the world.
Filler had never even imagined.
The three kids stampeded in through the wide glass doors
“What is it what is it what is it!?”
“Moooom, tell them to let me see too!”
“Oh WOW! Check out this badass Blue alicorn! Is that one mine!?”
“It certainly is Chet, I hope you love it”
“Thanks Mom, you’re the greatest!”
“But what kind did I get??”
The three alicorns were divvied up between the smiling kids that fawned over them
“Alright kids, run along and play with your new toys while your mother and I finish our tea.”
A chorus of thank yous and excited whoops
The couple smiled and watched their kids flying their new alicorns around the yard atop their hands.
A tiny voice broke the silence
“B-buh, Fiwwuh wan gu pway tuu, pees…”
“Huh? Oh. Walter, could you do away with this, please?”
“Right away, Madam”
The butler scooped Filler into his hand and picked up the shipping box.
“Phyllis, look! The children!”
Outside in the yard, the children had gathered beneath their basketball goal, and set their alicorns down on the concrete. Chet put one hand on each of his siblings and scooted them back.
The three humans and Filler watched intently through the windows.
Chet raised one knee high into the air, and after a second he brought his foot down on the dark blue alicorn with a mighty stomp that echoed across the yard. The younger boy and girl squealed with glee at the fountain of blood, bile, and eyes that squirted from beneath Chet’s boot.
“Wooooow! I think you stomped his teeth into the concrete Chet!” said the younger boy “Okay my turn now!”
The onlooking alicorns had been sprayed by the blood and were trembling as the boy ran over to them. The white alicorn wheeled and ran.
“Get her! Stomp on her Brent!”
Filler’s little eyes couldn’t believe what he was seeing. All his new not-monster friends!.. New Mummah and New Daddeh were just sitting there, smiling!
Walter the butler quietly laid Filler inside the box and closed it up again, carrying it away to keep from disturbing the family in their Fluffy Stomping Day revelry.
Was this Forever Sleepies?
Filler couldn’t tell anymore.
He had cried so much that he had no more tears to cry.
His heartbroken howls reverberated inside the box for so many forevers.
He barely even noticed when his box was picked up again.
Again the box was opened. The light wasn’t nearly so harsh this time. And again two faces stared in to see the lonesome little legless fluffy.
The man spoke first
“Now, he’s had a rough start at life, but that doesn’t mean…”
and a young girl’s voice took over
“Ohhhh oh Daddy! Is he okay?!” Filler felt fingers slip gently beneath him, and the girl lifted him up into the air
“He’s okay for now, but he’s going to need lot of care. He won’t be able to do most things for himself so he’s going to have to rely on you all his life.”
“Oh daddy he’s absolutely Wonderful Thank you So much! What’s his name?”
She laid the tiny fluffy in her lap to free her hands so she could manipulate the wheels of her chair, rolling herself and her new friend into the ray of sunlight coming through the window.
This is based on an actual real-world practice that I discovered when buying specialty chickens and having them shipped in the mail. The dozen hens I had ordered arrived with an additional three juvenile roosters. When I asked about their inclusion, I was informed that the roosters had been added as something akin to living packing material to keep the valuable hens from shifting around in transit and being harmed.
To the hatchery, these roosters were completely worthless,
except as filler.