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Rated: 18+ · Other · Fantasy · #1398444
Althea is a unicorn without a horn about to go on a new adventure.
A Ominous Start

It is amazing that a quirk of birth means so much to so few. There are millions of creatures in this world and many do not notice differences in their species besides male or female. When a tiger is born and it is all black, all white or reverse striped, the tigers don't care. They care about strength and vitality, a good mate. It is when an animal evolves to sentient intelligence that differences become important, or unimportant. Such is my case.

Four million births. That is how often a unicorn is born with with my quirk. Unicorns are long lived choosing to dissipate when they feel their work in the world is complete. A unicorn can live for a very long time. Humans call it immortality.But we are hardly immortal. We may not get ill, but we can be killed, and we do eventually leave the world we are born into. Immortality? I don't think anyone can claim that except for the ever living Goddess, Althea.

I was named for her in vain hopes that a fortuitous name would balance out my quirk. But I digress, I am afraid to say what it is I was born with that disturbed my whole herd. Even after all this time, I don't like to mention it, not from shame, but from the remembered feelings of my youth of being shut out.

I was born with no horn.

Oh the bad luck! I had no horn, only a lovely silver star on my white forehead. the star is barely noticeable, but it is quite lovely. It is the seat of my power and magic. It is where my horn is supposed to be. Even as a filly, it was supposed to be a soft nub like that you would see on a young buck just coming into his antlers. All of my herd mates had them. I remember everything like I was still a frisky filly with innocent dreams. This is where I will begin my story.

Left Out

A small presence looks up at her parents as her eyes come into focus. She is eager to greet the two wonderful beings that brought her into existence. Her father, Tyr, is the stallion in charge of a herd of 15 mares and two young stallions. Her mother is his lead mare.

The filly's father is a strong stallion with a bright copper coat with a golden mane and tail. His horn is a glorious gold and copper spiral. She loved the way the wind would blow and send his mane and tail behind him whipping like a banner. But best of all she loves his eyes a clear bright silver that shine with happiness. He trumpets his daughter's birth loudly and receives the response from the herd, then lowers his muzzle and nuzzles her gently, then nuzzles his mate, Sunflower.

The little filly turns her eyes to the fuzzy figure giving her warmth. Her mother is summed up in one word: gentle. Her coat is a dark brown, her mane and tail were golden. Her eyes were as green as the grass that she rests on. Sunflower touches her nose to her daughter's and snorts softly, then looks to her mate.

"We shall call her Althea." Sunflower decided, looking to the little filly who struggles to her feet awkwardly. "You are Althea. Welcome into the world, little one."

Althea feels warm inside as she hears her mother pronounce her name. She looks at her father for his approval. He nods his head as he watches his daughter take her first steps in the world. He knows it was important for her to walk, even run as quickly as possible. He remembers that there other mares to check on. Althea is the first of the herd's offspring, and he had dallied long enough.

"Althea is a strong name. Make sure you honor the Goddess whom you were named for. Grow strong and run fast little one." Tyr says as he turns to trot over to the next mare with birthing pains. Althea watches him trot away, then turns to her mother.

"Mother, why do I have to run quickly?" Althea asks as she tries out her unsteady legs. They don't cooperate with her at first, making her tumble to the ground several times before she could get all four legs to walk like father did.

"Because, the herd will move soon to our spring meadow. There are many things that may try to prey upon us. It is the herd stallions and fighting mares who keep the herd safe while we travel." her mother explains, watching her daughter walk around with more confidence, Getting to her feet, Sunflower shakes off and nuzzles her daughter, then begins to walk slowly, allowing Althea to follow her. "Running is how we move quickly to stay safe. Follow me now."

Althea watches as her mother breaks into a trot, then a gallop. With excitement in her eyes, Althea follows slowly, tumbling once or twice while trying to change gaits before she is running behind her mother. When she stops, Althea realizes her hunger, and quickly finds her mother's teat and began to suckle.

"Why did father leave?" Althea asks as she settles on the ground.

"He didn't leave. There are other mares birthing babies. You are the first of the spring foals. You are strong and healthy, so it bodes well for all of the foals," Her mother explains gently as she watches Althea settle. "Had you been weakly, it would have meant a weak herd. More likely to be picked off by predators."

"Oh." Althea says as she tries to understand, but her brain is confused and her eyes are protesting being open. She lays her head down, and in moments she is asleep.

When Sunflower is sure her daughter is sleeping, she blows three notes out of her horn, a lovely tenor sounding tune, then she waits. Tyr comes trotting to her and stops.

"Tyr, she has no horn. How will she defend herself?" Sunflower whispers, her agitation clear in her trembling legs. "What will others say?

"She could be a late developer, Sunny." The stallion snorts, looking to the sleeping filly with a tenderness he hadn't known was there. "We should only be concerned when she is a yearling. If she has no horn then, we'll talk to the Sage at the next gathering. She is strong and healthy. A very lovely color as well, silver and white with blue eyes. Stallions will love her when she has her growth."

"What about the others?" Sunflower asks, revealing her real unease."What if they think I should be replaced?"

"Who cares what they think? I am herd leader, I make the decisions. You have nothing wrong with you. This is our seventh foal, not our first." Tyr stomps his foot and thrashes his tail. "Put this silliness behind you, Sunflower, and concentrate on raising our foal."

Sunflower lowers her head. She knows she should not be so worried, but there is fierce competition for her position. As lead mare, she gets bred more often and is always in the front place in the herd, leading them to their next destination. Sunflower iss proud of her hard won status, and felt her little filly could ruin things for her..

"What of the others?" Sunflower asks. Tyr knows who she means, and he nuzzles Sunflower gently. This sudden insecurity in his lead mare, makes him want to reassure her as much as possible that her position is secure.

"Liliath birthed a colt, Miara's first was a filly, Chasa birthed twins, a very good sign." Tyr says as he realizes the herd was growing and would make a goo show at the Gathering. "Acacia also birthed a filly. All of the mares had very little trouble. Tango and Breeze have not reported their births to me yet. They are first time fathers, so I expect them to report come morning."

Sunflower nuzzles her mate. " I am sure it is just birthing jitters. I am sure Althea will be fine." she says, but her heart doesn't feel the same about it. Something urges her to alienate the little filly, but her mate's strong feelings toward the small foal make it hard for her to put her feelings into action.

Tyr flicks his ears, then turns to leave. "Get some rest. The herd will gather in the morning, we'll probably move in the next two days." With a flick of his tail he turns and walks away, leaving Sunflower to think about how to deal with her daughter's obvious deformity.


Althea waits until she is sure her mother is sleeping, before she gets up and walks to the next unicorn-shaped shadow. Althea walks around the side and spots another small fuzzy shape.

"Psst!" Althea whispers. A pair of ears perk up, and a small head swivels in her direction. The dark form struggles to its feet and trots over.

"Who are you?" The little black filly asks, as they reach out so sniff each other.

"Althea, daughter of Sunflower. I want to see the herd, mother wants me to sleep, so I just waited until she fell asleep so i could look." Althea and the black filly ran in circle around each other, happy for a playmate.

"I'm Simea, daughter of Miara. I didn't even know there where others." Simea says, as she follows Althea. "Hey, why don't we go look for them!"

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