Fluffy Ponies (Equus ferus caballus hasbioidae) are small creatures with fluffy bodies, childish speech, and low cognitive intelligence. Generally depicted as simple creatures literally designed to love and play, they are a subset of the My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic fandom.
Origin of the FluffcultureEdit
Though there is some debate concerning the origins of the Fluffy Pony subculture, it is generally attributed to the creation of Fluffle Puff by Mixermike622 on January 2nd, 2012. This simple taco-loving, extremely fluffy pony does not, in fact, have any relation to the modern fluffy pony: she instead exists as a separate entity more closely related to the mainstream My Little Pony fandom. The "modern", dark Fluffculture is sometimes associated with the story "Magical Ponies" by an author called gorodetsky, published on December 9th, 2011 (somehow predating the more well-known Fluffle Puff for only a month). The story is rather a dark take on the "Human Raising Pony" concept, which somehow paved the way for basic "modern" fluffy pony headcanon; lisping, babyish speech and shy behavior.
Within the fluffy culture, the generally agreed-upon origin of Fluffy Ponies goes something like this: Once upon a time, there was a marvelously successful television show called "My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic". The company that produced the show, Hasbro, was delighted with how its creation had touched the hearts of so many people, young and old. More to the point, they were delighted with how it touched their wallets. Merchandise sales for the show allowed Hasbro to become immensely wealthy, and soon the already sizable entertainment company become a corporate super-giant. In the interest of providing themselves with even greater profit, Hasbro began a secretive genetic engineering division called "Hasbio". Within their labs, strange, ethically dubious and almost certainly illegal experiments were conducted to create the perfect product to distribute to young fans of My Little Pony around the world, Hasbio intended on creating real versions of their television predecessors to sell to their customers. Cute, cuddly, programmed to act and sound like children and be obsessed with love and hugs, they would have been the perfect pets. Unfortunately, extremists of the so-called animal rights organization PETA managed to infiltrate the labs. Considering the experiments of Hasbio an abomination, they launched a terrorist attack, intentionally releasing the imperfect prototype ponies into the wild. These "fluffy ponies", as the public began to call them, bred exponentially, revealing these new beings to the rest of the world. Initially treated with bemusement and wonder, the heavy breeding and the unusual habits and defects of their flawed biology (which were never designed to breed outside of Hasbio labs) caused them to eventually be labeled as vermin and a dangerous invasive species that ate crops, littered the streets with corpses and feces, and spread disease and disgust wherever they roamed. As Hasbio no longer had a monopoly on the creatures, other companies began to create new types of fluffies to sell to the public. The original fluffy ponies would go on to have happy or tragic roles in the new world.
Physiology and anatomyEdit
Fluffy ponies generally come in four distinct types. The most common types are Earth, Pegasus, and Unicorn, while Alicorn are very rare. All fluffy ponies vaguely resemble small ponies. Although they are generally seen as equine creatures, they are in truth a species with a complex genetic code that is immensely tangled and nearly indecipherable. Their DNA appears to include bits of dog, cat, bird, horse, and possibly rabbit. As such, fluffy ponies are simply called fluffies by most.
The average fluffy pony is small, roughly the size of a domestic cat or Pomeranian. The torso and back are chubby, and lead to a short but flexible neck. Their stubby legs are short and hindered by their fluff, making fluffies slow and clumsy creatures. A fluffy's head and face includes a pair of ears that are either fully or partially upright, two large eyes, a short snout, small mouth and chin. Their eyes are exceptionally expressive, having sizable irises with colors that can vary greatly. Fluffy eyes have tear ducts, enabling them to shed tears just like a human would in response to sadness, or to clean the eyes. Female fluffies have a pair of teats located between their hind legs.
Unlike a true equine, the hooves of a fluffy do not possess keratin and instead a hardened cartilage. Foal hooves consist solely of soft, leathery "hoofpads"; possibly to prevent fluffies from accidentally harming children. This makes pampered domestic fluffy hooves poorly suited for tasks such as digging or walking on sharp surfaces. Despite their weakness, fluffies are surprisingly more adept at manipulating objects than horses, as they can use their hooves to lift blocks, balls, and foals with relative ease. Although the hooves of a standard fluffy are never made of any sort of keratin, feral fluffies develop thick calluses on the bottoms of their feet, effectively working as a solid hoof. These thick calluses make them more adept at walking on rough surfaces and small shards of broken glass, as well as digging without scratching their hooves off as easily as domestic fluffies. Due to the development of these hardened calluses on their hooves, feral fluffies tend to cause more damage to each other in fights from the harder surface.
Depending on the type, fluffies may also possess a pair of small wings and/or a short, stubby horn. The wings and the horn are often cosmetic and do not serve any useful function. In some head canons, fluffies with horns possess minor magical powers, such as shooting sparks like a sparkler or a flame from a lighter, and some pegasi can grow wings big enough to glide.
The most defining characteristic of fluffies is their thick and soft fluff. This fluff covers nearly the entire body, except the hooves. The color of the fluff varies greatly and range from all colors from black to white and in between. These colors may come in bright, average or dark shades. White is a recessive color when breeding, so it is considered one of the rarest. Breeding a red fluffy with a white fluffy will often spawn red, pink and off-white pink foals, while pure white offspring are less likely to be born. A fluffy's head has a short to medium length mane, and the tail is covered in bushy hair that almost reaches the ground. The mane and tail can also have various colors and shades, and may contrast wildly with the color of the fluff, though the mane and tail always have the same colors. Breeders often prefer hard-to-breed colors, stripes or patterns, along with colors matching those of My Little Pony characters. Some headcanons make fluffy births completely random and may have their foals be different colors and breeds from their parents, but these are rare.
Due to their original intent as cosmetic "biotoys", most fluffies have weak muscle strength and skeletal density, making them physically more fragile than most animals of a similar size and weight. The internal organs of a fluffy are not particularly well-suited to a rugged life. A fluffy pony possesses a weak cardiovascular system, which can occasionally prove useful for the ponies, as they bleed more slowly, though they are also more prone to heart attacks. Their digestive system is unusual and ineffective in that it quickly processes food and water into waste while only absorbing half the nutrients, and their metabolism is also fairly high, requiring them to eat more often than regular animals. As a result, fluffies find themselves defecating frequently. Many fluffies defecate upon targets that have attracted their ire as a form of punishment, humiliation, and intimidation. They have poor control of their bowel movements and are prone to unintentionally defecate, especially in response to fear or excitement.
The fluffy reproductive system is also a marvel. Often the first, last, and indeed only real defense the species has against going extinct in the wild, fluffy ponies are able to reproduce at a remarkable rate. When two fluffies mate, it is almost fully guaranteed that the mare will become pregnant. Gestation takes three to four weeks, and a litter generally consists of one between one and five foals. The last few days may render the dam immobile, depending on the number of foals within her. She will also begin to produce milk. Fluffy foals can grow to adulthood in only several weeks, and the mare will be ready to mate again within a day of giving birth. Their fast reproduction rate leads to fluffy populations growing rapidly, despite natural predators, sickness, malnourishment, rejection, abuse, and the many horrible fates that often await fluffy foals.
Fluffies are omnivores and can gain nutrition from a variety of sources, but a fluffy's favorite food is and will always be spaghetti, preferably with some kind of sauce. This is because of Hasbio's programming. Fluffies who have never seen or tasted it before will still know of it's existence and believe spaghetti is the best and most delicious food in the world. It doesn't necessarily need to be spaghetti. Any type of pasta works as a substitute. Most owners feed their fluffy pets with specially-designed kibbles, and instead serve spaghetti as a rare delicacy if the fluffy can behave accordingly. Owners with lawns or other areas with foliage can let their fluffies feed on grass and leaves. Non-poisonous berries also work, but owners are urged to never feed them boysenberries without adequate ventilation (look under Risks and problems further down the page). Nuts are not recommended, for a fluffy's teeth are usually too dull and soft to break the shell open, and they will most likely damage their teeth trying. Even shelled nuts pose a hazard, because some fluffies will swallow them whole instead of chewing. Young foals are incapable of eating solid food, and must drink their mother's milk or formula from a bottle until their teeth come in.
Fluffies enjoy sweets. Fruits, candy and other treats can be given to a fluffy as a reward. Treats should be given in small amounts and not too frequently, or else the fluffy may grow too fond of the taste and potentially reject the food they are normally given. Furthermore, too much sugar puts the fluffy at risk at developing diabetes and gaining weight. Fatty or greasy food can cause diarrhea, and fluffies that eat beans will flatulate for hours, which often scares them. Due to the fluffy's chimeric biology, chocolate can be potentially dangerous and can cause potentially fatal liver damage. While some fluffies can eat chocolate without problems, it is not recommended to feed it to them until a vet confirms whether or nut the fluffy is allergic to it.
Desperate fluffies that starve will resort to cannibalism if there is nothing else to eat. This is much more common among feral fluffies. The first to be killed and eaten are runts, and if there are none left, other foals. Sick, elderly and outcast fluffies are usually next to be eaten. A mare may end up eating one of her own foals in order to produce enough milk for the rest. Fluffies do not always kill their own if they want or need to cannibalize. Sometimes a human performs the killing instead, and the fluffies simply decide to make use of the meat before it spoils. As a rule, fluffies do not enjoy cannibalism and tend to cry deeply while they reluctantly feed on the corpse of a friends or family member. There are exceptions to that of course. Psychotic and mentally unstable fluffies may develop a taste for fluffy meat, and will continue to kill and feed on other fluffies even if there are other food sources nearby. These cannibals refer to delicious fluffy entrails as 'tummeh sketties'.
Intelligence and behaviorEdit
Fluffies are notable as being the only species besides humans capable of speaking a human language. Despite this, fluffies are not actually all that intelligent, with most adult fluffies having the mental capacity of a human four-year old. They are pre-programmed with certain mental traits:
- Love humans and seek them out for care
- Immense love for spaghetti
- Desire to hug and play with other fluffies
- Need to find a mate and have offspring, care for them, and be a good parent
- Speak in an infantile manner with a lisp, such as pronouncing "R" and "L" as "W" and adding "-ies" when referring to plurals
Any or all of these traits may be overwritten through trauma or experience, some easier than others. The confluence of these traits tends to make most fluffies very similar to one another, and difficult to distinguish. Nevertheless, life experiences can give fluffies more distinct personalities.
A fluffy's love may be lost through a variety of things, including Smarty syndrome, abuse, or misfortune. Fluffies, though generally kind, may eventually become cruel and/or hurtful if exposed to a particularly negative environment.
The fluffy desire for babies is not universal, but extremely common. Fluffies generally treat babies with love, singing to them (though a fluffy's singing often has no real rhyme or rhythm) and caring for them. However, sheer stupidity may lead to fluffies accidentally harming or neglecting foals. Various factors can also lead to foal abuse; if the foal is born deformed, a runt, an alicorn, or simply "doesn't smell pretty", the mother or other fluffies may reject the foal, possibly verbally abusing it, physically harming it, banishing it, or even killing it. Particularly cruel, greedy, or lustful fluffies may also sexually abuse foals for a wide variety of reasons.
Hugs are an enormous part of fluffy life. Fluffies give hugs to show love, to keep warm, to (futilely) attempt to heal wounds, and to cope with a stress. Sexual intercourse among fluffies is referred to as "special huggies" (during which stallions may often make an "enf" sound.)
Generally, fluffies pair up into monogamous relationships, calling their mate their "special friend". These relationships are typically loving, though it is possible for a stallion to also have intercourse with mares other than their special friend, especially in a herd with a smarty friend. Mares may also mate with stallions other than their special friend, but this is not as common. True homosexuality among fluffies is uncommon, with homosexual behavior occurring just because it feels good instead of any desire to seek out a special friend of the same sex. There are, of course, fluffies across the entire sexual spectrum, however rare they may be.
Fluffies seek human owners, calling caretaker humans "mummies" or "daddies". This is a term they apply to even abusive humans, though even extended abuse can tarnish their love for humans. Over time, feral fluffies lost their trust for humans through experience. Feral fluffies are still born with the dream of finding the perfect human caretaker, but that behavior is repressed by their elders, either by punishment or experience. There have been many a herd forced to remain in hiding or flee their territory after one or more of the more naive or stubborn foals leads an abuser to the rest of the herd.
All fluffies, save for the most battle-hardened ferals, have a desire to play. It is in this way that fluffies most resemble the small children they were originally marketed to. Games such as tag, hide and seek, rolling balls and stacking objects like blocks are a universal pastime for all fluffies.
The fluffy fear of "sorry sticks" could be a callback to Hasbio disciplinary actions or how they were disciplined in shelters or mills before they were sold. Sorry sticks consist of any stick-like object used to inflict punishment, from baseball bats to newspapers.
The similar fear of "sorry boxes" comes from several main behavioral factors, including poor perception of time, a near universal affliction of claustrophobia, a fear of the dark and, a wild imagination. Sorry boxes can be any container small enough to restrict fluffy movement and isolate them from the outside world. The combined factors make the sorry box the most effective nonviolent punishment to healthy fluffies. With no light source, the fluffy's imagination runs wild, and it begins to see any shadows or other imagined forms in the dark to be monsters trying to get them, or develop a feeling of being abandoned, alone and unloved. The closed spaces restrict their movement and cause the fluffy to panic and in some cases hyperventilate, as they know they cannot get away from this imagined monster or try to find their beloved owner. With the fluffy's poor perception of time, ten minutes can feel like an hour and an entire day like an eternity. While this form of punishment does not leave physical wounds, prolonged seclusion in a sorry box can traumatize fluffies and cause old or unhealthy fluffies to die from heart attacks.
The sheer stupidity of fluffies is usually the cause of fluffy tragedy. Shouting at inanimate objects, being unaware of the danger of a situation, blindness to environmental hazards, or using demands to stop monster attacks can result in fluffy injury and death, among other things.
Due to some feline DNA in their biological make up, fluffies are also extremely averse to water. While some fluffies learn to enjoy water and can even swim, the vast majority dislike large amounts of water. Fluffies often drown in even extremely shallow pools, and in some cases are so mind-bogglingly stupid that they can even drown on dry land simply by thinking about water too much and forgetting to breathe, a trait usually exclusive to the less intelligent fluffies.
Fluffy speech and vocalizationsEdit
Because of the shape of their lips, tongue and teeth, all fluffies speak with a childish lisp, causing them to pronounce letters such as R and L as W instead. The fluffy speech pattern is the one trait that is hardest to break. Fluffies seem to be pre-programmed with a certain []
General use of fluffy ponies Edit
Fluffy ponies are decently popular as cheap pets thanks to their cute appearance and unique ability to talk. Just like the children they were designed for, their love for hugs and playtime, making them suitable for children, adults and elders alike. On the other hand, some people also acquire fluffy ponies for the explicit purpose of mental and/or physical harm to their well-being, with their relative cheapness and proliferation making it easy to replace them. However, aside from their well-known problems regarding their bladder and bowel control, fluffies can be difficult to take care of. Because of their naivety, curiosity, low intelligence, and physical weakness, it is recommended that they are kept in a specially prepared room to minimize the risk of harmful accidents when not directly cared for by their owners.
Fluffy ponies must be cautiously introduced to other pets, particularly dogs and cats, for fluffies are easily frightened and may think the other pets are monsters. If not paralyzed by fear, the more accident-prone fluffies might risk hurting themselves when attempting to flee or hide. There is a good reason why fluffies fear larger animals. Most pets bigger than fluffies can play too rough and cause permanent injury or kill them by mistake in domestic settings. Stray dogs have been known to wipe out entire fluffy families for food or mistake them for chew toys, while stray cats can and will target and steal feral fluffy foals from their mothers. Fluffies adopted off the street or from shelters may have traumatic memories associated with these animals, so it isn't recommended to let them interact with other animals unless they are properly trained.
Risks and problems with fluffy poniesEdit
While many agree fluffy ponies are adorable creatures, they do also bring certain risks and problems to themselves and their surrounding areas. For several reasons, fluffies, especially feral, are regarded as vermin. Fluffies multiply exponentially fast, driven by instincts and faulty programming to breed as often as possible. Domestic fluffies sold by pet shops are normally neutered, but a great number of fluffies are obtained directly from fluffy mills, where the procedure of sterilizing the fluffies after sale is often neglected. When fluffies from such sources then escape or are abandoned, they are free to multiply. In just a few months, a small herd of fluffies can greatly increase their numbers, even after some of them die to predators and other natural causes. If left unchecked, their breeding will escalate and cause overpopulation and damage to the surrounding area. Because of their constant activities and hunger, fluffies out in the wilderness gluttonously consume grass, leaves, berries and the occasional insects. Once the food begins to run low, the herd's smarty friend will take the fluffies to new lands, while continuing the breeding. They may come across human farmlands, where they devour crops in a manner reminiscent of locusts. Feral fluffies are also a nuisance in urban areas. Since there is less foliage to eat, fluffies are drawn to lawns and parks. They rummage through human trash in order to find food, or beg the humans for scraps to eat.
Another issue is the fact that fluffies are unsanitary creatures. They frequently excrete copious amounts of urine and feces, provided they have access to ample amounts of food. In a surprisingly short amount of time, a small herd can cover an area with their waste and their dead, causing damage to furniture, foliage, and water supply. Because of their absorbent fur, leftover excrement tends to stick to a fluffy's legs, tail and hind legs, with the fluffies being unable to clean themselves effectively. This causes fluffies to unwillingly and unknowingly spread diseases, flies and odors.
Feeding fluffies boysenberries is a rather strange and humorous phenomenon, but it's also a lethal threat to humans. Something in the fluffy makeup causes their bellies to swell up after eating boysenberries and expel cyanide gas. If left in an unventilated room, these gases waft up and collect in the upper reaches of the room. Once the owner opens the door the gas may rush towards the new opening and kill the owner. While reports of human deaths caused by cyanide gas have been rare, it is a real threat to anyone willingly feeding fluffies boysenberries.
Abuse sub-culture revolves around the harming, physically or psychologically, of fluffy ponies. Abuse stories and pictures involve inordinate amounts of physical and mental abuse heaped on fluffy ponies. Quite often it includes "dungeon" type scenarios, and may include sexual abuse, amputation, foal-killing, lobotomy, slaughter, butchering, eating of fluffies, starvation, and defenestration. By far the largest category, abusers tend to treat fluffies as biotoys, or otherwise justify their actions.
The disparagingly named Hugbox sub-culture is focused on the cuteness of fluffies. Often, hugbox stories and art will focus on the adorable nature of fluffies and human interaction with them. Here, fluffies are treated with kindness and are often viewed more as domestic (though speaking) animals. Despite the claims of members of the abuse culture, pure "hugbox" is actually fairly rare in the fluffy fandom.
There is often some crossover in these sub-cultures, with hugboxers showing mild to severe abuse, or abusers taking a genuine liking to specific fluffies. Neutral stories attempt to balance the amount of abuse and hugbox-elements happening to fluffies, trying to depict a situation that is considered more realistic.
An off-shot of neutral stories exists with the name sadbox. It usually involves fluffy ponies in rather sorrowful situations for the fluffy ponies themselves. Examples include the death of fluffy pony foals, rejection from humans, and loss of the "special friend" mate. Notable artists adding sadbox elements include Mwike, Ginger_Fig, Artist_Santanon, Spoosh and Wolfram_Sparks.
There is, in additon, the Weirdbox subculture, but it is difficult to describe as it is so very weird. Examples of weirdbox include silly puns related to (or relating with) fluffy ponies, weird-looking fluffy ponies (e.g. a fluffy pony with human legs), fluffy ponies doing silly, often impossible to do (for fluffy pony standards, of course) things, and even fetishes. Perhaps the most well-known weirdboxers would be Fillialcacophony, Aichi, Hugbox_Hank and ShadySmarty.