Swanwings watched as Bluepond led Lilyfoal out of the nursery. It had been a week since she had been born, and it was her first time out of the nursery. Lilyfoal blinked for a moment in the bright sunlight. She pressed against her mother's side as she watched the Herd going about their business.
"You're doing great," Blackshell proudly reassured her.
"Blackshell, can you watch her for a few minutes?" Bluepond asked. "I need to talk to Swanwings."
Blackshell nodded, and coaxed Lilyfoal from Bluepond's side. Bluepond walked toward Swanwings, looking worried.
"I need to talk to you somewhere where no horse can hear," Bluepond neighed.
"We can talk in my den," Swanwings suggested.
Bluepond followed Swanwings into her den.
"What is it you wanted to talk about?" Swanwings asked.
Bluepond hesitated, looking guilty. "Blackshell isn't Lilyfoal's father."
Swanwings tried to form a surprised expression. "Really?"
"Yes," Bluepond continued. "Her real father is…Gorsefur, from SwiftHerd."
This time Swanwings didn't need to fake her surprise. "What?"
"Please don't tell any horse!" Bluepond neighed in a panic.
"Of course I won't tell," Swanwings reassured her.
"Thank you," Bluepond neighed gratefully. "I was wondering if you could tell him that I had a filly. I would tell him myself, but I couldn't leave Lilyfoal for that long."
"I suppose I could," Swanwings replied.
"Could you also tell him that…it's over between us," Bluepond neighed sadly. "I was young and foolish. But I realized that I love Blackshell."
"I'll go right now," Swanwings neighed. "No horse will question a medicine horse. "
"Thank you so much, Swanwings!" Bluepond neighed, her eyes full of gratitude.
"Of course," Swanwings neighed.
She walked out of her den.
"Whitewater!" she called. "I'm going to collect herbs near the SwiftHerd border!"
"All right!" he replied.
She flapped her wings and soared toward SwiftHerd territory. She flew across the border and towards the camp. When she got there, Sunwings trotted out to greet her.
"Did you want to talk to me?" he asked.
"I actually need to talk to Gorsefur," Swanwings answered.
He looked at her curiously, but walked back into the camp. A few moments later, he was back with a brown stallion.
"I've got some herbs to sort," Sunwings neighed, walking away.
Swanwings silently thanked him for his tact. Looking at Gorsefur, she could see he was bewildered as to why she had come.
"Gorsefur, I have a message from Bluepond," Swanwings neighed.
Gorsefur tried to hide the recognition in his eyes. "Who?"
"She told me everything," Swanwings neighed.
Gorsefur relaxed. "What happened? Is she hurt?"
"No, but she had a healthy filly she named Lilyfoal," Swanwings explained. "She's a beautiful blue roan."
"That's amazing!" Gorsefur neighed ecstatically. "I have a filly!"
"Also, she said that you and her can no longer be together," Swanwings added, feeling guilty to ruin Gorsefur's happiness.
He froze in shock. "No! But I love her!"
"I'm sorry," Swanwings awkwardly neighed. "But I need to go now."
He didn't seem to hear her. He just kept shaking his head back and forth. Swanwings sighed and flew off. She landed back in the camp and headed for the nursery.
"Bluepond, I need to talk to you in my den," she neighed.
Bluepond left Lilyfoal with Mosstail and followed Swanwings into her den.
"Did you tell him?" Bluepond asked.
Swanwings nodded. "He looked heartbroken. But I think you made the right choice."
Bluepond nodded sadly. "It's better for both of us this way."
Swanwings hoped Bluepond had made the right choice. Gorsefur had been sad, but she was sure he would get over it, just as Bluepond had. She prayed to StarHerd that everything would be fine.