In Ponyville, there is an urban legend about a pony that butchered other ponies. According to the legend, the reason she did it was because she was crazy. Her madness is what drove her to kidnap and brainwash fillies that wandered too close to her home into helping her carry out her murderous deeds. No matter who tells the story and no matter how different the details in between the beginning and the end are, it always ends with; “Nopony ever saw her again”. Naturally, this frightened children, and was often told to them at bedtime to keep them from misbehaving. Sometimes it would be added that she still kidnaps the rotten kids unless they behave. It was also told traditionally at sleepovers and on Nightmare Night around a fire. The story was uncreatively called ‘The Butcher of Ponyville’. But despite how uncreative the name was, it was one of the most popular and well known ponytales in the town for quite an age.
But from where I stand there is one part of this story that I find far more horrific than anything else anyone has ever added to it.
But of course, like all urban legends, the folks that tell them tend to stretch it a little more every time they tell it. There are things about The Butcher of Ponyville that are nothing more than make-believe. The butcher’s name was not frightening. The butcher’s face was not grotesque. The Butcher’s cutie mark was not a knife or a scar or a blood stain. The butcher wasn’t old. And most importantly, the butcher did not kidnap children.
The pony everyone had labeled a butcher was once called Pinkie Pie. Only her baby sister Ariel called her that. Her mother and father would always call Pinkamena to dinner. They would always call Pinkamena to do the laundry. They would always call Pinkamena to harvest the heaviest of rocks. Pinkamena Diane Pie was a miserable little filly, who grew up to be a miserable mare with two crossed pickaxes as a cutie mark. Nobody ever cared about her. Nobody ever listened to her heart crying desperately for love. Nobody was ever there for Pinkamena. The only thing that kept watch over her throughout her entire life was The Monster.
It never happened. The Sonic Rainboom was never performed by the daring little Rainbow Dash because she had been stolen away very early in her lifetime by a pack of Gem Hounds. The Gem Hounds raised her in their world and taught her their ways of life. Her name was changed to Dashclad so that she could be properly integrated into the Gem Hound culture.
Any which way, she never made her way to Flight Camp, and she never got in a race with the camp bullies or stopped them from picking on little Fluttershy, who would later develop a social disorder that led to her suicide in a Manehattan Hotel. Rainbow Dash never won the race and finished with the Sonic Rainboom, accidentally giving five other little fillies their cutie marks simultaneously.
Little Twilight Sparkle never passed her exam. She lost faith in all aspects of magic and went on to be a bookbinder.
Rarity never saw the gems inside of the rock her horn had taken her to. She eventually gave up her high class attitude and became a construction worker.
Applejack never left her aunt and uncle’s apartment. She was sent to law school and quickly became a very greedy lawyer.
And Pinkie Pie, poor, innocent, helpless, tired, neglected, little Pinkie Pie never saw the wondrous cascading beauty of the rainbow. She never smiled that day. She never threw her poverty family a party that spread smiles across their faces from ear to ear. Instead, she was smacked for not meeting the harvest quota, and her baby sister Ariel contracted an immunodeficiency virus from a sharp rock she cut her hoof on.
The Elements of Harmony never came together and stopped Nightmare Moon. Instead, she ended up being destroyed by The Children of Discord. They were praised as heroes and knighted by Princess Celestia. A statue forged from black steel was erected in the Ponyville Town square in their honor.
Princess Celestia also gave them a statue in the royal garden right next to a memorial shrine for her lost sister.
It never happened. Not one thing.
Pinkamena quietly snuck into Ariel’s bedroom. The only light in the room was that of a candle, which made every illuminated object in the room (as little as that may have been) a deep sunset orange.
Ariel hacked a small amount of phlegm into a handkerchief that was already filthy enough. This was followed by a hushed but still very audible whimper.
Pinkamena was just out of the candlelight’s reach for her joke to work. She popped out at her little sister’s face and said ‘Boo’! Ariel gasped loudly, frightened. After a moment or two, she realized who it was. She sighed in relief that it wasn’t a monster to gobble her up.
“Don’t scare me, Pinkie. I thought you were Nightmare Moon for a second.”
Pinkamena smiled a bit.
“Sorry. I only wanted to make you happy.” She whispered toward her sister’s illuminated face. “Are you feeling any better?” Pinkamena asked, caringly.
“I’m feeling pretty hot right now. I woke up from sweating so much.” Ariel paused. After a few seconds she started to cry. “It hurts, Pinkie. I want it to stop.”
Pinkamena could more easily rearrange the cosmos with a spoon, but she wanted to help more than anything in the world.
“I promise I’m going to find a cure for you, Ariel.”
Ariel beamed just enough to signify the hope that had been sparked in her.
“You mean it?” She pleaded.
“I cross my heart and hope to fly, stick a cupcake in my eye.” Pinkamena sealed. “That’s what sisters are for.”
Ariel giggled under her blanket. It was then that the two sisters embraced each other in the dark. They held on for the better of five minutes. Afterward, the two whispered for an hour or so before they were caught by their mother and sent back to bed.
Pinkamena looked in her mother’s medical manual to find a cure for her sister. Nothing turned up, but she aimed to keep her promise. About halfway through the day, her father walked in.
He was visibly furious at the mess she had made.
“Pinkamena Diane Pie! You’re supposed to be in the fields! There’s a harvest that needs to be harvested, now get going!” He bellowed at the filly.
Pinkamena loved her sister, but feared her father more. So she did as she was told and went out into the fields with her other sister, Lilly. Lilly and Pinkamena were working to put the same rock into the wheel barrow when Pinkamena mentioned her promise.
Lilly only stared blankly. “You honestly think you can help Ariel?”
“I know I can! Mommy says that you can do anything if you set your mind to it!” Pinkamena reasoned.
Lilly laughed in a way that Pinkamena never forgot. It was cruel. It was rotten and vicious. Its intention was to cripple her hope. In a way, it did. Pinkamena skimmed through her mother’s old books less enthusiastically, and she stopped being so sure all together.
It wouldn’t have mattered anyway. Ariel died two weeks after Pinkamena’s promise.
The last thing she had heard from her baby sister was said the night before she succumbed to the virus.
Pinkamena was just about to head off to bed when Ariel breathed; “Thank you, Pinkie. Thank you for finding that cure just for me. I promise I’ll do the same whenever you get sick…I love you.”
Pinkamena almost smiled as she said goodnight to her sister.
She awoke to the sobbing of her mother the next morning. She knew exactly what had happened when she looked out her window and saw an idle ambulance parked just outside of the farm. Pinkamena had broken her promise. Nothing had ever hurt so badly in her entire life. Something changed her forever that day. Something more than a promise broke. And it may very well have been a devastated little filly’s soul.