- I sat in my seat on the uncomfortable wooden train bench across from two other foals, a foal sitting next to me as well on the train. Across the seat sat Miss Inter Linea, who had “chosen” this seat as her group to chaperone on the train. Chaperone being a word which here is used to mean “keep four foals from doing absolutely anything fun for the entire two hour duration of the trip”.
- We weren’t allowed to talk amongst ourselves. We weren’t allowed to leave our seats except for bathroom visits, and even then we had to have permission and be accompanied by her and the other three foals. “To keep us out of mischief”, Miss Linea said. And then she even insisted that, while we were all there, we should all just use the restroom anyways.
- Like, seriously, what is it with adults and thinking foals can just…choose when to go pee? I don’t have some little button on my…you know…that I can press that makes me urinate. My bladder has to be full before I can go.
- Needless to say, I was planning on seeing if I could get a different chaperone for the trip around the Desert Museum, and for the return home. Flames of the Fathers, I hated this mare…
- But soon after the forced restroom break, we pulled into the San Palomino Desert station, and all the foals were shuffled off the train by insistent teachers, all of whom insisted on counting us what seemed at least a dozen times. Honestly, how hard is it to count up some foals. If you have twenty-five groups of four, then you have a hundred. Bam, we’re done, can we GO now, please?
- Either way, after the counting was done, the foals were grouped back up together, sorted into small groups, and told to find their chaperones. Of course, I immediately made a break for Principal Aquaria’s side. I mean, after all, she was my Master, I felt more comfortable around her than anypony else.
- Principal Aquaria gave me a rare smile as she saw me approach, nodding her head as I came up by her side. I knew she alone could see the lizard draped around my neck and shoulders, riding on my back. My best friend, my teacher of Fire. A Salamander by the name of Thyrion.
- “Tired of being stuck under Miss “Sit in the Lines and not Between them”, my young apprentice?” Principal Aquaria whispered to me as I came up broadside to her, causing me to stifle a giggle. I had grumpily namedropped that on Miss Linea when she sent me to Aquaria’s room for reading ahead in a class reading assignment. “For not following along with the class”, she had said…
- Yeah, I really hate that mare. But enough about her. Short thing is, the joke is that, while she’s all rigid about everything in its place, her name means “Between the Lines”.
- Either way, after my little gigglefit, I nodded in the affirmative. “Will you please be my chaperone today, Principal Aquaria?” I asked her, my tone polite and respectful. I really wanted her to chaperone me, and not some other teacher.
- Her eyes hardened a little…she knew she wasn’t really supposed to, though she was allowed two students (I read the rules). Seeing she was about to refuse, I put on my best Bambi Eyes, my Puppy Pony Peepers, the small quivering lower lip. And then, to really seal the deal, I switched to speaking in the tongue of Water Elementals…which she loves and I hate. “Please, Master, may I accompany you today?” I asked, my diction and accent flawless.
- I could see her resolve quivering. Now that I had studied with her for almost a whole year, and had earned my privileges of field trips back, I knew a few of her weaknesses. She loved hearing me speak Aquan, for one. And she didn’t like seeing me sniffle. She actually had confided that in me when I told her I wanted the fifty daily spankings for a week that would earn me back my field trip privileges.
- Finally, she sighed, caving in. “Alright, my apprentice, but you stay with me until free time. No major roaming around. I know how your insatiable curiosity can get the hold of you, but we are going to a Museum, so you need to be in control. We’ll trade off exhibits we want to see, fair enough?” she said.
- I nodded in return immediately, shaking her hoof to seal the deal. A field trip to the San Palomino Desert Museum of Natural History…this was going to be a BLAST!
- Oh, sweet Celestia, the desert outside was so hot as our party traipsed towards the Museum. It was like…like being in the middle of an oven. A solar oven, heated entirely by the sun and with no hope of shade! It was like being bathed in the flames of the solar empress with not a single bit of respite! Like…Oh, forget the similes and metaphors.
- Wait…I didn’t use a metaphor there, did I? Both of them had “like”, right…?
- Oh, it doesn’t matter. Short answer is, it was stinking hot in that desert!
- And of course, I absolutely loved it!
- I mean, even I would get dehydrated, and have to go to the chaperones eventually for a drink of juice or tea. Nope, even out here, I absolutely refused to drink water. Especially not cold water. Why on earth would I want to ruin the glorious heat that was soaking into my body?!
- The walk to the Museum was only about a mile or so, but under the pounding desert sun, I could see the other foals growing harried. Even Miss Linea looked haggard. Serves her right.
- As I danced through the heat, other foals glared at me. While nopony in the school knew of my full connection and affinity to fire, it was common knowledge that I was nearly invulnerable to overheating. I never sweated or panted in PE, for one.
- Eventually, though, we reached the doors of the museum building, where everypony all but collapsed inside before being greeted by the attendants with warm chuckles and glasses of cool water and fizzy juices.
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