|My Little Pony: Friends Forever #31|
|Published:||August 17, 2016|
Sara Richard (pp. 5-9)
|Colorist:||Heather Breckel (pp. 1-4, 10-20)|
|Credits • Gallery • Allusions|
Friends Forever #30
Friends Forever #32
My Little Pony: Friends Forever #31 is the thirty-first issue of IDW Publishing's My Little Pony: Friends Forever comic series. In the issue, Little Strongheart seeks Rainbow Dash's help in finding a legendary creature called the Rainbow Crow.
The comic begins with Rainbow Dash, Fluttershy, and Tank flying through some fluffy clouds high in the sky. During their fun, they notice smoke coming from Appleloosa and believe the town to be on fire. However, Rainbow Dash goes to investigate alone when the smoke takes the shape of her cutie mark.
At the source of the smoke, Rainbow Dash meets her old buffalo friend Little Strongheart, who alerts her to a problem that the buffalo have with their withering crops. She takes Rainbow to Chief Thunderhooves, who explains that an ongoing cold season has frozen the buffalo's soil and prevented them from growing food. Rainbow Dash offers to clear the sky of snow clouds, but Thunderhooves says they have already tried that and the only solution is find the Rainbow Crow.
Long ago, when the buffalo first settled, the cold season was even harsher. But the buffalo settled anyway, believing the winter would soon give way to spring. Even when it did not, the buffalo stubbornly stayed, no matter how hungry they became. During one of their stampedes, the early buffalo met the Rainbow Crow, whose song lifted the buffalo's spirits and whose rainbow wings could reach high into the sky. The buffalo beseeched the Rainbow Crow to bring them warmth from the sun. On a six-day journey to the sun and back, the Rainbow Crow brought the sun's fire on a torch to give to the buffalo. But the smoke and soot of the fire caused her feathers to turn black and her damaged her singing voice. Regardless, thanks to the Rainbow Crow, the sun's fire melted the snow, and the buffalo were able to grow crops.
As tribute to the Rainbow Crow's efforts, every year the buffalo set fire to one of her shed feathers as part of a ceremony to welcome spring. Unfortunately, the buffalo have run out of feathers for their ceremony, and they ask Rainbow Dash to travel to the Rainbow Crow's nest to get more—with Little Strongheart as her guide. Chief Thunderhooves also gives Rainbow Dash a small pouch as an offering to the Rainbow Crow.
On their journey together, Rainbow Dash cannot resist challenging Little Strongheart to a race, and Strongheart accepts. However, their journey takes them through the Badlands. Strongheart insists they stick to the buffalo's trail, but Rainbow flies straight through, causing her to encounter coyotes. From the marshy jungle onwards, Rainbow follows Strongheart's lead, and they dodge various jungle animals on their way through.
As Rainbow flies Strongheart over the swamps, she accidentally offends the young buffalo by questioning her tribe's traditions. Strongheart suggests they cross the snowy mountain range individually. Little Strongheart reaches the other side of the mountains first, much to Rainbow's surprise, but Rainbow drops the buffalo's offering to the Rainbow Crow.
The final stretch to the Rainbow Crow's nest is a steep rock spire, and Rainbow flies up alone. At the top of the spire, Rainbow finds the Rainbow Crow in her nest, but she doesn't have an offering to exchange for her feathers. When Rainbow informs the Crow of the buffalo's plight, she agrees to give up some of her feathers in exchange for one of the hairs in Rainbow's mane.
On the way back to the buffalo's settlement, Rainbow Dash offers to talk to Princess Celestia on their behalf so they don't have to carry out their elaborate spring-welcoming ceremony, but Little Strongheart says the buffalo's traditions keep them connected and ensures them a prosperous future. After bringing the Rainbow Crow's feathers to Chief Thunderhooves, Rainbow Dash watches the buffalo's ceremony in awe.
- Rainbow Dash: I got here as fast as I could. What's happening? Are you challenging me to a race?
- Little Strongheart: Not this time, sadly.
- Rainbow Dash: So you're forfeiting the race?
- Rainbow Dash: So what, you guys want me to fly up to the sun and bring back more fire?
- Chief Thunderhooves: We have fire, Rainbow Dash.
- Little Strongheart: Obviously.
- Little Strongheart: Look out for hanging vines in the trees and quicksand on the ground. And watch out for lions, tigers, and—
- Rainbow Dash: Bears?
- Little Strongheart: No. Capuchin monkeys. Adorable but very grabby.
- Little Strongheart: You think you know everything, don't you? Alright, cool. You cross this mountain range your super-fast-straight-line Pegasus way. I'll go my crusty-old-traditional buffalo way.
- Rainbow Dash: How... How did you beat me? I flew over that thing at top speed!
- Little Strongheart: Oh, there's a cavern under the mountains. Traditional buffalo water slide.
- Little Strongheart: We're not primitive. We just like to offer tribute the old-fashioned way. Our traditions are what keep us connected. Our link to the past ensures us a prosperous future. Plus—the ceremony is super cool looking.