It was a hot summer's afternoon in the Ponyville schoolhouse. Miss Cheerilee was at the blackboard, a pointer in her mouth, indicating areas on the map she had drawn in chalk.
"... and as a result of Princess Celestia's decisive action, Equestria today enjoys peace with the Kingdom of the Griffons..."
Towards the back of the classroom Sweetie Belle and Applebloom were hard at work ignoring Miss Cherilee's lesson, deep in a heartfelt discussion far more important than the history of the Pony-Griffon Wars.
"And then Rarity said it was the best cross-stitch she'd ever, ever seen!" gushed Sweetie Belle. "But even after doin' it for a whole morning, when I looked at my flank it was still blank!" She slumped her head onto her desk, defeated.
Applebloom leaned across from her desk. "Well, Ah was buckin' apples with mah big sis the whole weekend and she said that it was th' best buckin' she'd seen from a youn 'un, ever!"
"And!?" asked Sweetie Belle, her hind legs kicking up and down under her desk in excitement.
"An'... nothin'!" Applebloom looked back at her flank in resignation. "Ah don't think Ah'm ever gonna get my cutie mark at this rate!"
Sweetie Belle nodded. "Me neither!" Then she looked across to Scootaloo's desk. The little Pegasus filly was staring out the window again, like she always did every lesson just before lunch. Sweetie Belle's face grew suddenly guilty. "Oh... Sorry, Scootaloo," she said.
"Yeah, sorry Scootaloo," said Applebloom, looking across at her friend apologetically. "Ah know ya don' have a big sis of yer own, an' here we are yappin' about ours."
Scootaloo sighed. "Don't worry about it," she replied, turning away. "I don't mind."
Sweetie Belle turned back to Applebloom and whispered "It must be awful not having a big sis to take care of you."
Applebloom nodded. She stared down intently at the unopened textbook entitled Equestrian History lying on her desk. "Poor Scootaloo," she said. "Poor, poor Scootaloo."
Scoootaloo was still looking out of the window, but a little smile had crept onto her face. That Pegasus pony mare was there again today, napping on a branch high in the old oak tree in the centre of the playground - Scootaloo only needed to turn her head and she could see her right from her desk. Her mane and tail were all the colours of the rainbow, and those deep rose eyes which Scootaloo sometimes caught looking at her through the window were so pretty. The little Pegasus filly sighed. She was totally cool.
"I wish I had a big sis like her," Scootaloo whispered to herself. And then the bell for lunch went and the schoolroom dissolved into a riot of excited fillies and colts running about, the Great War between ponies and griffons forgotten forever.
"Dash!" Cloudkicker cried in annoyance. The sky was already full of Pegasus ponies zipping across its blue expanse, busy rearranging and scattering clouds. "Everypony's been waiting for you for ages!"
"Yeah, yeah," Dash replied dismissively as she landed on the cloud next to her second-in-command. "Chillax, Cloudkicker! I'm not all that late!"
The blonde-maned Pegasus pony shook her head. "You've overslept for every afternoon patrol so far this week!" she muttered. "You're the boss, Dash! You have to be a model for the others Pegasus ponies..."
Dash lowered her gaze. "Yeah, I know..."
Cloudkicker sighed. "Dash, you're a great squad leader. But I simply don't understand how you can be so tired all the time!"
Dash looked back over the clouds at the little schoolhouse nestled among the other thatched rooves of Ponyville far below and smiled. "I guess I just have a lot on my mind."