After picking a bunch of flowers for Sally's birthday, Sonic rushes home, only to discover that his speed has ruined the flowers. Disappointed by his failure to find a present for her, he is surprised as a Mobian Needle Bird-whom he names Thorny-falls out of a tree and lands on him. After caring for it, Sonic decides to take it home to Knothole and give it to Sally as a present. However, she refused to let it remain in Knothole, fearing it to be the latest in a series of animals exploited or counterfeited by Robotnik in an effort to attack the Freedom Fighters. Thorny further aggravates the situation by eating Sally's cake, which was made out of berries it was fond of. With Sonic gone to return Thorny to its nest, Sally leaves to pick more berries for her cake, only to fall into the cluthces of a robot disguised as a tree. Rushing to save her, Sonic is saved by Thorny, who then helps him save Sally. Robotnik himself arrives with a freeze blaster to zap the Freedom Fighters, only for Thorny to drive him off and reveal itself to be female despite Sonic thinking she was a male previously. In gratitude, Sally names Thorny an honorary Freedom Fighter.