|Having a Ball|
cover image on Equestria Daily, art by Dreatos
|Date published||August 3, 2011|
The main portion of the story consists of a flashback, with Rarity remembering how she struggled to find out what her cutie mark meant. It is framed by two scenes set in the "present". Both sections are told in the third person, in the past tense and from Rarity's perspective.
After a particularly exhausting conversation with a difficult client, Rarity steps into a storage closet, hoping to find some leftover rolls of fabric she will need to make the dress. She does not find them, but she does find something else: a filly-sized rubber ball with a single diamond in the shape and color of Rarity's cutie mark painted on one side. As Rarity remembers the ball's significance, the story shifts into a flashback:
- Rarity has finally gotten her cutie mark, but it is not what she had expected. She assumes that it means her talent is gem-finding, but that is not something she has a particular passion for, unlike her fashion design. A week after the Cutie Mark Chronicles flashback, her parents present Rarity with a gift: a ball decorated with shapes similar to her cutie mark. She takes to it instantly and plays with it practically all the time. She even uses it to roll down hills, getting dirty in the process, something quite untypical even for filly Rarity.
- The ball's pattern also reminds her to keep trying to discover what her cutie mark means for her future. She takes lessons in jewelry-making and gem-polishing, trading and business practices. But nothing excites her. When she one day discovers a gash on the ball's surface - likely a remnant from her days of playing with it outside -, she looks for something to fix it with. In a closet, she comes upon the old mannequins and sewing materials she had stuffed in there after receiving her cutie mark. Instead of merely covering up the gash, she stays up all night, creating an outfit for the ball which emphasizes the diamond and hides the damage.
Rarity's thoughts return to the present. The closet holds more than just the ball. It contains many of those same implements that led to Rarity discovering who she was, stored there back when Rarity first opened up her business. Her reminiscing is interrupted by Sweetie Belle, who has wandered in and is loudly wondering what her sister is doing in the dark. Rarity leaves the ball on the floor and tells Sweetie Belle to come with her to the toy shop, where perhaps this young filly, too, will find something that can help her find her true talent.