Mary smiled politely at her father as she unwrapped another dress. It was lovely, but it wasn’t the birthday present she had wanted. Her father had explained that there was nowhere for a pony to graze in the arid wastes that surrounded his mechanized terror-lair, but she had held onto hope.
She opened her final present, a pink box containing a little black remote. “Take it outside,” her father said. She did. When she pressed the button, she heard a distant whir of gears and the metallic staccato of steel hooves on parched earth. It was a dream come true.