"What happened to you?" My dam asked me. She was staring at my chest, which had two circles of blood on them. I sighed. I couldn't tell the truth. I just couldn't. Deep down inside, Brackentail was just a stallion who was heartbroken. He wasn't evil. If my sire heard that he had kicked me, and I had kicked him, he would probably banish Brackentail for causing me to bleed and he would definately confiscate my rich grass eating privilages for getting into a fight. So I made up a lie and added it to the pile. "My friends were playing chase with me and I accidentally slammed into a tree and started bleeding." Well, there's another lie to add to the mountain. "Trees don't create circular patterns of blood, Starsong." My mother nickered. I signed. She knew me all too well. "Fine. Moonglow accidentally kicked me. There." My mother opened her mouth to protest, but before she could, she decided against it. "Go. Sweetroot's cleared it up anyway. Play with your friends." S I L E N C E. My mother had let me off easily! "Go." She nickered. I nodded and raced away. I was out of sight when I came muzzle-to-muzzle with and orange stallion with a black mane and tail and feathers the colour of fire. "Flamefeather." I snorted. "Starsong." He snorted back. "What do you want?" I asked. "To give you your present." He snorted, before whirling around and knocking me in the jaw with his two back hooves. "LEAVE. HER. ALONE." Pepeleaf tore behind Flamefeather and kicked him in the throat, causing him to double up and wheeze. Pepeleaf grabbed me and we darted out of there. "You're forgetting your spring gift!" Flamefeather shouted after us. A brown stallion with a black mane and tail and orange feathers landed in front of us. I groaned. "Leave us alone, Brackentail." Pepeleaf snorted. Brackentail kicked him in the belly and Pepeleaf wheezed. "HEY!!" I brayed and pounded Brackentail with blows to the head and wings. "YOU MAY HURT ME, BUT LEAVE. MY FRIENDS." I was cut short as I leaned in close and whispered my last word in his ear: "Alone."