It was time to give Carousel the nickel tour in my Equestria dreamscape. Once we had Carol/ Carousel settled in at our cottage we gave her a guided tour around Ponyville. After all we didn't do it she would've just gone into town by herself. I mean we weren't going to keep her locked up in cottage.
For Carol that first trip to Ponyville was like a dream come true. I'm surprised she didn't get whiplash from the way her head was spinning around trying to take everything in. It didn't help that it was a market day in the town so there were plenty of ponies to see. With Petina on Carousel's port flank and myself on her starboard we steered the giddy, giggling pony into town.
Carousel didn't get to meet all of the Mane Six that morning but she did meet some of them, including her favorite pony. Reactions from them varied. Pinkie Pie didn't even blink, and immediately started to plan Carousel's Welcome to Ponyville Party!!! The high point of the morning for Carousel was meeting her most favorite pony Applejack. Carol/Carousel thinks the earth pony farmer is best pony! In fact because they have somewhat similar coloring and markings Carol has even cosplayed AJ back in the Angel and Knight Prime dreamscape [link]
. So unfortunately she went just a bit fan-girl on Applejack.
Poor AJ was uncertain what to make of the worshipful mare. Petina and I quickly explained that Carousel knew of AJ and Sweet Apple Acres from seeing fruit packing crates with Sweet Apple Acres logos on them and reading several newspaper articles about AJ and the other Mane Six. If Applejack didn't buy our story she made no mention of it, and after buying some apples from her, Carousel insisted, we pried the fawning mare away so AJ could continue her day. If only a bit confused now.
After that Carousel asked if we could stop by the library to see Twilight was in since she really wanted to meet her to. Both Petina and I had reservations about the meeting since Twilight would probably spot immediately that something was amiss with our new guest. Therefore we told Carousel to initially not say anything that would hint or imply that she was not from Equestria. That plan lasted until Twilight asked her first question. "Where are you from?" Unfortunately Carousel started to blurt out. "San Jose California!" Which resulted in Petina inserting both her hooves into the earth pony's mouth.
Realizing that Twilight was now suspicious and that we were standing out in a public area Petina decided to use the default excuse both that her and I had used when I first showed up in Equestria. "Manehattan! She is from Manehattan." Twilight immediately grasped what we really meant and jumped to all kinds of alarming conclusions. She then quickly dismissed herself to write a letter. Three guesses who it was going to.
In fact we got our suspicions confirmed the next day when a letter arrived at our cottage on official Royal Palace stationary with the official wax seal of Celestia stamped on it. Surprisingly it was addressed to only Petina. It was an invitation for Petina to join the Princess for tea that afternoon in the main garden. The Princess was even sending a sky-chariot down to pick up Petina. Carousel wanted to go but Petina grimaced and stated that invitation did not include guests so she went to make herself presentably for Royalty. At the appointed time a pretty little sky chariot came down and whisked Petina away to her appointment. I was a bit concerned for her but Carousel and I had chores to take care of around the cottage and I had further studying and exercises in preparation for my first flying lessons.
Several hours later the sky chariot returned with Petina in it. When I quizzed her about her meeting with the Princess she said it was very nice. They had enjoyed tea and sandwiches and talked about Equestrian fashion, culture, history, commerce, and newly enacted immigration laws. She had a funny grimace on her face when she said that last part. Also she muttered something about there being a new opening for a long term permanent position at the Royal Equestrian Lunar Weather Station. Then she said she was going to take a bath and wandered off. I think Celestia in her own polite but firm fashion had asked Petina to refrain from bringing other folks to Equestria without first asking. The amazing thing is that it worked! Of course I can't get Petina to verify my theory.
Also Celestia gave Petina three passes and a event calendar for the upcoming Canterlot Symphony and Fall Music Festival. Looking at the calendar I saw that Octavia would be performing a solo recital and the unicorn mare Scratch would be doing a concert in the experimental music part of the Festival. Of course this meant that both Petina and Carol wanted dresses for the Festival. I sensed our stipend rapidly shrinking and trip to Carousel Boutique in our near future.