|Ponyville Mysteries: The Tail of the Timberwolf|
|Published||July 3, 2017|
|Previous||Ponyville Mysteries: Schoolhouse of Secrets|
|Next||The Stormy Road to Canterlot|
|Allusions • Little, Brown and Company • Hachette Book Group|
My Little Pony: Ponyville Mysteries: The Tail of the Timberwolf by "Penumbra Quill" (collective pen name of Michael Vogel and Nicole Dubuc) is the twenty-sixth book in a series of chapter books published by Little, Brown and Company and the second entry in the "Ponyville Mysteries" series.
|Table of contents|
The story begins on "The Pony" from the previous book in a region of the Everfree Forest called the Livewood seeking out something called the "Artifact". In an attempt to get past the heavily protected Livewood's guardians, "The Pony" decides to perform an experiment.
In the Ponyville Schoolhouse playground, Scootaloo tells her classmates the story of how she and her friends got rid of the bogle that terrorized the school in the previous book. When Sweetie Belle expresses relief to have survived such an ordeal, Snips and Snails tease her for being a coward. As class begins, the Cutie Mark Crusaders meet their new friend and classmate Lilymoon, who is still having trouble fitting in. In an attempt to win over her schoolmates, Lilymoon offers them freshly-baked cactus bars. However, they appear unappetizing to everyone except the Crusaders, and Twist only accepts the candy cane in Lilymoon's lunch.
After school, on the way to Lilymoon's house, Sweetie Belle gripes to her friends about the teasing she's getting at school, but Apple Bloom and Scootaloo somewhat agree to the accusations of her lack of bravery. At Lilymoon's house, the fillies encounter her eccentric family members, and Lilymoon wonders how to get her classmates to like her. Sweetie Belle suggests going to Zipporwhill's birthday party later that evening and spending time with the other foals.
During their conversation, Lilymoon discovers her older sister Ambermoon spying on them, and Ambermoon chews Lilymoon out for constantly borrowing her things without asking or returning, such as the candy cane in Lilymoon's lunch. After dealing with the irritable Ambermoon, Lilymoon and her friends approach her father Blue Moon in the family greenhouse and ask for permission to attend Zipporwhill's party. Blue Moon allows it but only if they take Ambermoon with them, much to Lilymoon's chagrin.
Tangle with a timberwolf
Not long after arriving at Zipporwhill's party, Ambermoon already wants to leave. As she petulantly excuses herself to get some punch, Lilymoon meets Zipporwhill and Pinkie Pie, who quickly excuses herself as soon as she sees the full moon. Shortly after, Snips and Snails panickingly dash into the party screaming about a monster chasing after them. All of a sudden, a timberwolf appears on the scene.
Partygoers scramble away in terror as the timberwolf starts to devour the birthday cake and other sweet foods scattered throughout the party grounds. When the timberwolf advances on the cupcake-decorating station where Diamond Tiara and Silver Spoon are hiding, Sweetie Belle is too terrified to do anything. Lilymoon, on the other hand, distracts the timberwolf by throwing cupcakes at it so Diamond and Silver can run to safety. During Apple Bloom, Scootaloo, and Lilymoon's distraction, Applejack, Rarity, and Fluttershy arrive to incapacitate the timberwolf and scare it away.
Applejack and Rarity hug their sisters in relief, and Ambermoon returns to quickly take Lilymoon home. As Fluttershy wonders why a timberwolf would leave the Everfree Forest, Sweetie Belle takes notice of all the things it ate.
Sweetie the scaredy-pony
The following day at school, Lilymoon is now being hailed as a hero by her classmates, and Sweetie Belle feels ashamed for not stepping up to defend the other partiers from the timberwolf like her friends did. Later that night, Sweetie Belle hears the timberwolf's howls outside her bedroom window. Wishing to challenge the notion that she was a "scaredy-pony", she looks outside and sees Rarity, Applejack, and Twilight Sparkle investigating a break-in at Sugarcube Corner.
Sweetie goes outside and meets with her equally curious friends, and Apple Bloom explains that the timberwolf returned and broke into the bakery before leaving. When asked why they didn't come to get her, Scootaloo admits that they thought she'd be scared, but Sweetie dismisses the notion. At Sugarcube Corner, Mrs. Cake explains to Rarity, Applejack, and Twilight that she discovered the timberwolf eating her baked goods before chasing it away with a rolling pin. Rainbow Dash and Fluttershy arrive to inform the others that they were unable to find the timberwolf, and Pinkie Pie soon appears as well from the bakery's upper level, having apparently slept through the whole incident.
The Cutie Mark Crusaders ask to join in the search for the timberwolf, but Applejack firmly disallows it, wanting the fillies to stay safe. As Sweetie Belle looks over the remnants of sweets that the timberwolf left behind, she starts to notice a pattern in its attacks.
What is a werepony?
The next day, Apple Bloom, Sweetie Belle, Scootaloo, and Lilymoon meet in the Crusaders' clubhouse to figure out what the timberwolf wants. Sweetie Belle suggests that the creature is only targeting sweet foods like candy and cake. Apple Bloom and Scootaloo are skeptical of the thought of a timberwolf liking sweets, but Lilymoon proposes that the timberwolf is not a normal timberwolf but rather a werepony—a pony that turns into a timberwolf during a full moon.
To find out more about this, the fillies return to Lilymoon's house and run into Ambermoon, who is still bitter toward Lilymoon for stealing her candy. As Ambermoon leaves to buy more, the Crusaders consider the possibility of her being the werepony, mentioning that she disappeared from Zipporwhill's party just before the timberwolf attacked, but Lilymoon refuses to believe it. When Lilymoon's aunt Eclipse overhears them talking about wereponies, she mentions that the Everfree Forest has strange magic that brings timberwolves to life and that ponies turning into timberwolves is not possible.
With Auntie Eclipse's clue, the Crusaders consult Zecora at her forest home and explain the situation. Zecora tells them that it is indeed possible for a pony to turn into a timberwolf if the magic is strong enough, leading them to wonder who would turn a pony into a werepony in the first place. Zecora warns that if the werepony is not cured soon, they may turn into a timberwolf permanently. She makes the Crusaders a potion that they must mix with a strand of the werepony's hair and make the werepony drink. As the fillies leave, Zecora gives them one last warning: if they let the werepony scratch them, they'll turn into timberwolves as well.
Who is the werepony?
On their way back to Ponyville, the Crusaders wonder how to get the timberwolf to drink the potion when Sweetie Belle reminds them that their sisters told them not to get involved. While the others agree to abide by their promise, they still feel obligated to inform the others that the timberwolf is actually a werepony. However, they are still unsure about the werepony's true identity—Scootaloo still believes it is Ambermoon, while Lilymoon casts suspicion on Pinkie Pie since she was also absent during the timberwolf's first attack and slept through the second attack. Regardless, Lilymoon has a strand of Ambermoon's hair since she never returned her hairbrush after borrowing it, and the Crusaders go to inform their sisters.
Unfortunately, the Mane Six are already preparing to hunt down the timberwolf and take it far away from Ponyville. The Crusaders try to explain the timberwolf's true nature to them, but they refuse to listen and once again tell the fillies to stay out of it. Just before the ponies head into the forest, Lilymoon extracts a hair from Pinkie Pie's tail, and the Crusaders resolve to find the timberwolf first.
As they head into the forest, the Crusaders plan to figure out who the timberwolf is, mix their hair into the potion, and feed it to them with a large-sized peppermint candy. Despite her overwhelming fear, Sweetie Belle is determined to see the mission through. As they walk through the forest, they leave a trail of candy behind them to lure the timberwolf out. Before long, they discover Twist eating the candy in a small ravine. When the Crusaders confront her for eating their timberwolf bait, Twist tells them to run away before it's too late. Just then, the full moon comes out, and Twist undergoes a startling transformation. Much to the Crusaders' shock, Twist is the werepony!
Twist the timberwolf
Just before Twist's transformation is complete, Lilymoon snags a piece of her tail hair. As she distracts Twist with a knapsack full of candy, the Crusaders mix Twist's hair into the potion and pour it over the giant peppermint. They attempt to give Twist the cure, but the Mane Six suddenly arrive to trap and subdue her. Applejack snares Twist with a lasso, and Twilight encloses the whole ravine in a magical barrier. Once again, the Crusaders try to reason with Applejack and her friends, but like before, they refuse to listen and only care about capturing the timberwolf and getting the fillies to safety.
The Crusaders eventually convince the other ponies that the timberwolf is actually Twist, but the situation gets more and more out of control as ponies yell at each other and the timberwolf gets progressively more savage. In a last-ditch attempt to overcome her fear, Sweetie Belle charges at the timberwolf and shoves the potion-soaked peppermint candy into its mouth. With the werepony cure administered, the timberwolf falls unconscious.
With the crisis now passed, the Crusaders explain the whole situation to the Mane Six. When asked why they suspected Pinkie Pie of being the werepony, they mention her behavior at Zipporwhill's party, and Pinkie explains her behavior as fatigue from trying to set a unicycle-juggling record. Twist, now back to normal, regains consciousness and tells the ponies that she's felt sick for the past couple of days and stayed home from the party, and since then she has had an uncontrollable craving for candy. The Mane Six commend the Crusaders for their investigative work and apologize for not listening to them sooner. However, the mystery of how Twist became a werepony in the first place remains unanswered.
The next day at school, Scootaloo tells her classmates about what happened the previous evening, and the foals are greatly impressed by Sweetie Belle and Lilymoon's bravery. As the school foals shower Lilymoon with attention, the Crusaders are happy that she's finally making friends, and Twist thanks them for saving her. She mentions that she's sick of candy now and that the last normal piece of candy she had was Lilymoon's candy cane. The Crusaders remember that the candy cane originally belonged to Ambermoon and realize that Twist got sick and turned into a werepony soon after eating it. They start to wonder why Ambermoon would have candy that turns ponies into timberwolves—and what's more, if Lilymoon is involved.
The story ends with "The Pony" using data from their experiment to figure out another way to get past the Livewood's guardians and acquire the Artifact. They also start hatching a plan to get rid of the Cutie Mark Crusaders.
- Scootaloo: No monster is a match for my wheels! I zoomed circles around that bogle! It would have eaten most of Ponyville if I hadn't chased it back into the Forest and told it to never come back—or else!
- Apple Bloom: Uh, Scootaloo? Aren't ya forgettin' somethin'?
- Scootaloo: Apple Bloom, Sweetie Belle, and Lilymoon helped, too.
- Twist: If I ever thee another monthster, I'll know which ponieth to call!
- Sweetie Belle: Can you believe Snips said I'm a scaredy-pony?
- Scootaloo: Well, you don't really like dangerous adventures.
- Apple Bloom: And yer not a big fan of Nightmare Night.
- Ambermoon: You were stealing from me again!
- Lilymoon: I was not!
- Ambermoon: So somepony else keeps taking things from my room?
- Lilymoon: Don't be so dramatic. It was one candy cane for my lunch!
- Ambermoon: And my hoof polish and my book on dragon scales and my manebrush?
- Pinkie Pie: Oh my gosh! Do you see how big the moon is?! Can you take care of the cake for me? I just have to do one liiiiittle thing. Okaythanksbye!
- Fluttershy: Excuse me, but you were not invited to this party. I think you had better go back to the Everfree Forest where you belong!
- Applejack: Or we're gonna make ya go back.
- Diamond Tiara: She's the real hero! She chased that horrible thing away from Silver Spoon and me.
- Snips: Probably scared it away 'cause she's so weird.
- Diamond Tiara: You think defending me from creepy tree-creatures is weird? We should all thank Lilymoon. We're lucky she's in our class.
- Sweetie Belle: I'm a Cutie Mark Crusader! Where you go, I go!
- Pinkie Pie: What's everypony doing here? Is it a surprise party? Who are we surprising? Is it me? Did I just ruin the surprise part? I promise I won't tell myself!
- Lilymoon: Have you ever heard of wereponies? Ponies who change into different creatures?
- Apple Bloom: There was that one time Fluttershy turned into a vampire fruit bat-pony...
- Lilymoon: Like that. Only it happens on a full moon.
- Apple Bloom: Has your sister always liked candy?
- Lilymoon: Yeah... she's had a sweet tooth for as long as I can... But... it couldn't be her! She was at the party with us!
- Zecora: A spell this strong is very impressive. But the pony who cast it is clearly aggressive.
- Apple Bloom: I didn't even think about that. Who would turn a pony into a Timberwolf?
- Scootaloo: Why would someone turn a pony into a Timberwolf?
- Zecora: I have an idea, but I don't want to say. I believe that's a tale to tell some other day. For now, let's just focus on getting a cure. We will know more when it's time, I am sure.
- Scootaloo: You just don't want Ambermoon to be the werepony, so you're trying to make us think it's Pinkie!
- Lilymoon: You just don't like my sister, so you want her to be a werepony.
- Scootaloo: Okay, that's actually kind of true.
- Scootaloo: We thought the Timberwolf was either Lilymoon's sister or Pinkie Pie.
- Pinkie Pie: Why me?
- Apple Bloom: You were acting really weird at Zipporwhill's party, and you said you slept through the Timberwolf attack on Sugarcube Corner.
- Pinkie Pie: Ohhhhhh. Well, that's because I was trying to break the Equestria record for Earth pony unicycle juggling on the first night of a full moon. See? It made me kinda tired the next day.
- Lilymoon: You're okay now. Thanks to the Cutie Mark Crusaders.
- Apple Bloom: All the Cutie Mark Crusaders.
- Twilight Sparkle: There's some dangerous magic being cast here in Ponyville. And I don't like it.
- Apple Bloom: Let's keep it to ourselves for now.
- Scootaloo: Because you don't wanna tell her that her sister is evil?
- Apple Bloom: No. I wanna wait until we know if she's in on it or not.