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My Little Pony: Spirit of the Forest #1
Spirit of the Forest issue 1 cover A
Issue №: 1
Published: May 29, 2019
Writer: Ted Anderson
Artist: Brenda Hickey
Colorist: Heather Breckel
Letterer: Neil Uyetake
Editor: Megan Brown
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Spirit of the Forest #2

My Little Pony: Spirit of the Forest #1 is the first issue of IDW Publishing's My Little Pony: Spirit of the Forest comic miniseries. In the issue, the Cutie Mark Crusaders discover White Tail Woods to be covered in trash during a camping trip.

Summary

The issue begins with the Cutie Mark Crusaders going on a weekend camping trip in White Tail Woods. After setting up their campsite, they go exploring deeper in the forest and discover a very foul smell, eventually tracing it to various discarded trash like burger wrappers, soda bottles, and rotting apple cores. The next day, the Crusaders gather some of their Ponyville Schoolhouse classmates to the woods for a cleanup effort. Silver Spoon resents having to clean up someone else's mess, but Diamond Tiara says they all have a moral responsibility to keep the woods clean and beautiful.

Diamond Tiara explains to Sweetie Belle that her family has a special connection with White Tail Woods. When she was little, she often visited the cabin of her great-grandmother, who would tell her and her parents stories about the "Spirit of the Forest"—a magical beast that guards the woods and keeps them healthy. Tiara and her father Filthy Rich would sometimes search for the Spirit of the Forest, even though she knew it was not real. As the Crusaders and their friends clean the woods of trash, something observes them from atop a hill.

One week later, the Crusaders try again to go on a camping trip, proud of their cleaning efforts from the previous weekend, but they find the woods covered in trash again. Recalling their past experiences as mystery solvers, the Crusaders decide to go on a stakeout to find out where all the trash is coming from. The next morning, they see a group of construction workers moving through the woods, leaving trash in their wake, and they follow them to a lumber mill owned by Filthy Rich. Before Sweetie Belle loses her temper at the littering workers, Apple Bloom suggests informing Filthy Rich, remembering from Diamond Tiara's story how much he loves the woods.

The Crusaders approach the receptionist's desk and demand to see Filthy Rich, and the receptionist calls him down from his office. When Filthy appears, the fillies inform him that his workers litter White Tail Woods with trash on their way to work every morning. Filthy thanks the girls for bringing this to his attention, saying he wants to show how much he loves White Tail Woods by making furniture from its trees. Sweetie Belle questions the hypocrisy of this by cutting down all the trees, but Filthy assures that plenty of trees will be left alone.

Scootaloo also worries about all the tree-cutting that Filthy Rich is doing, but Filthy refuses to deviate from his business plan, believing his use of the woods' resources is best for everyone. Filthy Rich addresses his employees and instructs them to only use company-posted trails to go to work and to properly dispose of their trash in company trash bins. Apple Bloom is satisfied with Filthy Rich's anti-littering measures, and she and her friends leave. But Scootaloo and Sweetie Belle are still worried about all the tree-cutting his lumber company is doing, especially upon seeing how many trees they have already cut down.

Quotes

Sweetie Belle: White Tail Woods is so pretty this time of year...
Scootaloo: I wish we could spend a whole month out camping instead of just a weekend!
Sweetie Belle: Are you kidding? A whole month in the woods without a bath? You'd get all stinky!
Scootaloo: That's the price you pay for freedom!
Sweetie Belle: It's hayburger wrappers and old gum!
Scootaloo: There's some soda bottles over here!
Apple Bloom: An' I got apple cores! How dare they abuse our family's product!
Silver Spoon: I didn't dump all this garbage! It's not my fault, so it's not my responsibility!
Diamond Tiara: Maybe not... But just because we didn't cause it doesn't mean we don't need to fix it. These woods belong to everypony! And that means we all need to do what we can to keep them beautiful!
Diamond Tiara: This probably sounds kind of silly...
Sweetie Belle: No, it doesn't! It sounds wonderful! I'm glad you got such happy memories with your family!
Sweetie Belle: I'm proud of us! We've done our part to make Equestria a more beautiful place for generations to come!
Scootaloo: The campsite's trashed.
Sweetie Belle: Oh, come on!
Scootaloo: Okay, gang! Time for Cutie Mark Trash Trackers!
Apple Bloom and Sweetie Belle: Yeah!
Sweetie Belle: "Trash Trackers"? What about, like, "Environmental Investigators"?
Scootaloo: We'll work on it.
Receptionist Pony: Er—Mr. Rich, sir? There's three very... high-spirited fillies here to see you? Yes, that's right. ...No, sir, I don't have any distractions handy.
Filthy Rich: I want to see Ponyville thrive, and White Tail lumber will make it happen! My lumber mill will bring these woods to customers all over Equestria! Yessir, I'm making better use of these woods than anypony before!
Sweetie Belle: Who said the woods are supposed to be "used"?
Apple Bloom: We can keep White Tail Woods protected!
Sweetie Belle: Well... we might have our work cut out for us.
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