So. I'm doing this. I promised myself I wouldn't do it. But nooo, I just had to give in to them.
So. Whoever is reading it now, please do it quickly and take it back to my tower library.
It's not nice to just steal peoples only copies of their memoirs.
I was born in a small village, Meara. My real name was Mareth. I lived with my father, an earth pony, at our house near the edge of town. He was a smith. I was a unicorn though, so my mother must have, too. I never knew her, she had died in foalbirth. See, we didn't have any doctors back then, and the few herb-learned were few and far between. Most the ponies this time were farmers, so dad traded his good tools for food.
Once, I was about 6 years old, he was out of town, searching for some more ores to smelt (I stayed with the neighbors). He travels often, and with the mountains nearby, there was plenty of easy rock to acquire. He was usually only gone for a few days at a time, but this time he was gone for nearly two weeks.
"Aye, I was off in ta mountain. I did go down, into this cave, I find it last time I go (language was just first being developed, so it was very archaic). Deep pit, many good things. I climb down, but rock break, I fall in. Break foot, see?" At this point father showed his his injured appendage. "Long time come back." He died a month later
I must seem very aloof and uncaring, but I did love him dearly. It's just the long time that disconnects my memories.
I was now an orphan. A few of my family's friends took care of me, but I didn't turn out the most reputationed pony out there. It may seem ironic, to what I'm known for now, but I took great relish in stealing. Locks hadn't been invented yet, so taking things was ridiculously easy. I took some bread here, a nice knife there, nothing to big to warrant attention. Nevertheless, everypony knew about it. When something went missing, they all knew where it probably went.
I said before, I didn't really take to much at one time, but it all adds up. On my ninth birthday, everypony fed up with me, they decided I was old enough to take care of myself. They turned me loose upon the world. In other words, I was exiled. They permitted me some time to pack, but I had leave most of my pickings behind.
At first, I followed the road west. Sometimes my father had taken my with him to the next village over to mend the ponies there's tools. I hoped the villagers there had not heard of my wondrous exploits, though it was not a very good chance. Imagine my luck when I met Miss Full Moon. She was a unicorn, with a solid purple coat and moon cutie mark. She was very tall, and had a curly light blue mane. She drove a small cart, filled with vegetables.
"Where are you headed?" She just had the nicest voice I had ever heard.
"Somewhere." I gestured down the road, vaguely towards to sinking sun.
"I'm going that direction myself. Care to join me?" I nodded my enthusiasm. It's nice to have company, and she might have had something worth stealing. "Hop in." She patted the cart behind her.
We didn't say much at first, but as the days wore on, we found more to talk about. I listened mostly, and she told me about the grandiose world around my small sphere of perception. It was pretty complicated, but I understood everything eventually. One of the strangest ideas was money. Back in the old days, everything was so simple. Nopony wanted to harm each other, and the idea of exchanging things for little bits of metal, which could then be exchanged for different items seemed totally alien. Trust the Tolnieghdrans to come up with things like that.
About a week later, she stopped near a crossroad. "Well, filly. This is where I'm turning." He pointed to the north, where the path split off. "Tol Haylin is still further down west, so just follow the road to get there."
I had been here a few times before, but I wasn't really interested as a foal. My father had taken care of all the business dealings, so I was somewhat woefully ignorant. The concept of money really came in handy. The tiny little things had so great a value, and it was quite easier to steal. Ponies can see if you're lugging a table or a basket behind you, but they can't see a few small coins in your saddlebags. However, Tolneighdrans are very sticky about their things, and I soon had to leave.
About a day after I left, I met the same tall mare from earlier. "So, filly. It seems we meet again. Still going west?" I hadn't really thought about it, but I didn't have a good reason to travel westward. I just felt a strange compulsion to keep going.
"Tol Haylin wasn't really for me. I had a disagreement with some locals and thought it best I move on." She laughed heartily, and it just seemed to make my whole day better.
"Well spoken, my friend. Hop back on, it looks like will be together again for a bit."
Tolneighdrans are an odd sort of ponies. Once, we passed by a seemingly deserted village. I couldn't see anypony, but everything looked inhabited and well-kept. It was odd, but we passed another few miles and saw lots of ponies milling around in their fields. "Wouldn't it be easier if they all just lived at the farms? Why walk all this distance to work every day?"
"Probably," she shrugged, "but then they'd just be farmers, instead of important townsfolk. This way they delude themselves into thinking they are rich landowners."
"That doesn't make sense." I implored, "It doesn't really matter, they're still the same. If money is so important to them, why don't they just live there, so they have more time to grow crops thus earning more money?"
"Tolneighdrans are an odd sort of ponies."
Tolneighdrans were a very odd sort of ponies. Everypony I saw seemed to be always trying to assert his or her rank in the community. They were always acting very snooty to their lowers, and sucking up to their perceived superiors. The spent so much time just walking around practicing haughty looks. I was just a poor orphaned farm filly, so to them I was the lowest of the low.
"Grrr..." I growled, "Whoever pony next that sneers at me is getting a buck to the face."
"Do you really mean that? Whatever would you want to do that for?" She asked, all wide-eyed and innocent.
"I'm tired of everypony treating my like dirt."
"Do you really care so much about what they think of you?"
"Then why would you even bother with it? They're just silly."
"Well, of course!"
"Then why act like them? You don't want to be silly, too, do you?"
"Well, I-umm, the thing is that- I have- umm...I got nothing."
"So there. I knew you'd see eventually." Cue everypony laughs ending.
I learned something very important that day. It's important to laugh. Whether it's at silly ponies, some mistake you made, or just nothing in general, it's important to laugh. It's almost like a crucial element of harmony.
The tall mare didn't seem to be headed anywhere. Sure, she had a barrel of water, some hay, an old blanket. But she didn't go in a very straight path, always swerving around to see what was there. Like me. The more time we spent together, the closer we became. I realized she was the first real friend I'd ever had.
It was weeks, maybe months later when we finally stopped. "This is as far as I'm going. Come on down."
"Where are you going?"
"Does it matter? You're going west, I'm not. We might see each other again sometime. We can discuss some more then if you want." I was a little hurt by her manner, but I did look back once. Somehow, in the short time I was walking, she had managed to get all the way out of sight.
She had given me a map, so I kind of knew what to expect. There was an ancient forest, with a long river running through. Not many ponies had settled here yet, so I would probably have to find supplies for myself. Water wouldn't be a problem, with the river. I had some competence with foraging, and with the lush plant life around me, food was not a large concern.
Ultimately, I didn't even need to. I soon came upon a large encampment. It was filled with old ponies, none of them seemed to be younger than 30 or 35, all living in peculiar little canvas flaps called tents. They didn't seem to have seen foals before, and the fed and pampered me to death. Sometimes they would just sit and gaze at my wondrous youth. I lived in one the many empty tents, which they seemed to have an immense surplus of. I soon found out why. So old, they were dying all the time. In just the first month there at least four of them were dead. I had now come upon an excess of clothing as well. My old ones had become quite worn in my travels.
The snows came, the nights grew, and winter came. I was fed, I was warm, everything was fine, but there wasn't much to steal. My nagging sensation that pulled me west had subsided, and I made up my mind to journey south instead. My impatience to leave grew, and I decided to sneak away as soon as the thaw came. I knew I would take my leave soon, and made not much of an effort to learn their language. I did pick up a few words, they seemed to mention "Horsim" and "Laurul" a great deal. They were spoken of with great respect, like if they were some terrific leader or their god or something.
The cold left, the snows melted and sank away, and soon spring and sprung. During the long winter months, I had slowly stolen food, supplies, in preparation for my leaving. I had scouted out the surrounding area, and just west had been a ford in the river. On the full moon, I gathered my newfound wealth and stealthily escaped in the night. The light of the Moon shown through the leafy canopy, and I galloped all the way through the woods, bound across the river in single leap. I cantered the rest of the night south, following the river, eager to be away from the camp, in case any unfortunate pony had woken up and observed me.
The forest was ancient (there is a reason it is called the "Ever"-free). So much was obvious. The mighty trees towered above, branches intertwined and blocking out rain and sun. The ground was carpeted in lush moss, bushes and flowers all along the forest. It seemed magical. I still felt the need to go, and soon came upon the edge of the forest to the south.
Instead of woods, the land opened up into a plain, overlooking a great river valley. A huge grass vale, pockets of trees and bushes and colonies of small animals walking around. A pair of rabbits hopped up to me, looked at me like they had never seen ponies before.
I knew my meager store of food would not last forever, but I feasted on strange berries and leaves I found, and my supplies began to diminish quite slowly. I stayed here for much time, but eventually I made my way slowly to the center of the vale.
You know I'm not a botanist, but when I saw the great Tree I knew it was special. I've traveled far and wide and still have never seen anything like it. It was huge, at least twice as big as the giants in the forest. The bark was thick and smooth. I probed in with my magic, and sensed a huge consciousness.
I could have just stood there forever. And I almost did. It might have been almost a year, I just stood there. Somehow I received nourishment, and my mind just drifted away. Then, seemingly overnight, the snows came.
I decided I could go back into the forest encampment and get another winter's worth of pampering, but it was to late. The snows fell thick. Over one and a half feet, and I had to wade through the drifts like swimming. My food had run out, the wild plants dead in winter, at some point I must have lost my tools in the snow. My clothes worn out and soaked, I was freezing to death. I huddled behind a outcrop of rock, trying to conserve heat. I prepared myself for death. I thought of the kindly old ponies, the funny mare with the cart, my hometown of Maera. I remembered my dead mother and father, and started to cry.
"What reason hath thou to weepeth, dear filly?" The voice was very nice, and with the blizzard blowing all around, the high snows piled up, I could not see who spoke.
"Because I'm wet and cold and hungry. It's certainly not a nice way to die." I shivered. "I don't want to die anyway."
"Why hath thou be dying? Art thou injured?"
"I'm lost," I retorted. "It's cold and the middle of winter and I don't have any food."
"Art that enough to maketh of thee kind to perish?"
"Doth thou knoweth of how long thine death to take?"
"I don't know. I haven't died before. And ponies that have can't really tell anypony."
There was a silence for some time. She spoke finally. "Cometh to me."