|The Birds and the Bees|
|Date published||October 28, 2011|
|Featuring||Cutie Mark Crusaders|
Following a morning of unsuccessfully trying to find their cutie marks, Apple Bloom, Scootaloo and Sweetie Belle overhear a conversation between Rarity and another pony. There is a rumor going around Ponyville that Lyra has become pregnant despite being together with Bon Bon. The Cutie Mark Crusaders get curious why the appearance of a foal would make Bon Bon sad, and press Rarity for an answer. Uncomfortable with explaining the mechanics of equine reproduction to her sister and her friends, she tells them a metaphor involving birds, bees, and a special kind of magic.
The story then cuts to the library, where Twilight answers a knock at the door. The Cutie Mark Crusaders come in, carrying two large, twisting sacks. They want Twilight and Spike - Spike because Rarity had said "it takes two ponies" - to cast a spell on the contents of the sacks in order to create a new foal. Spike, who had been feeling somewhat out of sorts, promptly sneezes, and one of the bags disappears. Frustrated that some of their hard work had gone to waste, Scootaloo crosses her forehooves and drops the sack she is holding, enabling its contents to squirm toward the opening. Realizing what has just happened, the fillies quickly leave the library. Twilight does not, and is caught unawares when a swarm of angry bees descends upon her.
In their hurry to get away from the library, the Cutie Mark Crusaders almost run over Fluttershy. Apple Bloom realizes that the pegasus is an expert in animal care, and asks her about the "birds and the bees". Fluttershy does not get very far, however, before becoming embarassed and locking up. Shortly thereafter, the usually honest Applejack cannot bring herself to be completely frank with the three, and invents an elaborate story about storks and baby requests to Princess Celestia carried to her by bees.
In another short scene, Rainbow Dash comes along, not knowing the answer at all. In order to mask her ignorance, she decides to be proactive and tells the fillies that she is actually just on her way to make a foal herself.
Circling back to the library where they want to apologize to Twilight and finally get a proper answers to their query, the Crusaders happen to mention what they heard Rainbow Dash say. Pinkie Pie, who has arrived to help Twilight with dealing with her bee stings, drops what she's doing and decides to throw a maternity party, which the story then cuts to.
In attendence: Pinkie Pie, Fluttershy, Rarity and Applejack, the latter of whom growls something about Big Macintosh to Rainbow Dash when she arrives. Rainbow is quick to tell them that the party is based on a misunderstanding, when Twilight enters the room with the Cutie Mark Crusaders in tow and proceeds to explain what had happened. Upon hearing the full story, Pinkie Pie decides to elaborate, "in somewhat unnecessary detail". Both Fluttershy and Rainbow Dash are blushing by the end of her explanation. The reaction of the fillies is not mentioned.
The final scene of the story is a short coda: in a callback to Spike's sneezing in the library, the sack full of birds appears in Canterlot just as Princess Celestia is preparing to apologize for a prank she played on Luna earlier that day, a prank that also involved a gaggle of wild animals.