1. Member Since 11th Jul, 2011
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Saddlesoap Opera is a Canadian Brony who loves to write and read fiction of nearly all kinds.

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After a fire in the Everfree Forest severely damages Zecora's home, the Cutie Mark Crusaders vow to bring the Pony responsible to justice.

An entry for the February Write Off competition.

UPDATE: Edited with fixes and some slight scene changes Mar. 12.

First Published
6th Mar 2012
Last Modified
19th Feb 2012
#1 · 153w, 4d ago · · ·

This is the first one I've read.

If they're all this good, this is going to be a competition indeed.

#2 · 153w, 3d ago · 1 · ·

I really really liked this, thumbs up!

#3 · 153w, 3d ago · 1 · ·

Muy bueno! Me gusta tu fanfic!

#4 · 152w, 4d ago · · ·

I about collapsed laughing at the Mountain Lion explanation. And poor Hickory.

The tone really bounces a couple of times, but despite the inconsistency I very much liked the fic.

Author Interviewer
#5 · 152w, 4d ago · · ·

This was excellent! Very tidy. I'm glad I took the time to read a few more before the deadline.

A couple things. Twilight's dialogue in the middle, when she's... Tired? I forget. It's very hard to read, and her entire presence there serves no purpose. Also, I really felt like this was more a comedy than anything. You could definitely do something to flesh out the ending a bit more, too, but it's still very satisfying. Also...

Five paper routes!



I am using mountain lions forever and ever because of this story.

#6 · 149w, 2d ago · · ·

Small wonder this one made it to Equestria Daily--nice job!

#7 · 149w, 2d ago · · ·

Huh, interesting. I just got here from EQD.

#8 · 149w, 2d ago · · ·

Great story, Zecora's singing made me B'awwww:applecry:

Do the words she used in the fic actually mean anything or did you just make them up?

#9 · 149w, 2d ago · · ·

Hmm... I don't I like this; there are several sad/dramatic scenes but the emotion doesn't come across, there are several comedic scenes but they seem out of place and not really funny, a slice of life story isn't supposed to have any major events like a fire that burns down someone's home... so, to me, it seemed like you were going for a "dramedy" but it just didn't work out.

#10 · 149w, 2d ago · · ·


Not made up at all.

Early on she is crying for help, and when she wakes up it's "where...?".

As for the song, it's a reasonably well-known Swahili song about romance at odds with lack of wealth. I imagined the scene as Zecora remembering a Zebra stallion singing it to her when giving her the mask way back in Zebrica or Pundamilia or wherever.

When I write Zecora, I try to use Swahili instead of nonsense for her "native language", as the show's creators wanted to do, but didn't have the time in the production schedule.

#11 · 149w, 2d ago · · ·

Favorited, thumbed, and subbed.  Excellent, efficient, modest writing.  Very easy on the eyes.  I like how you focused on the plot instead of long-winded descriptions.  Cute story, good characterizations, especially Zecora.  The first few paragraphs (although short) could be condensed into a single sentence, really.  Spike and Twilight are lounging around the library.  However, it picks up the moment Spike starts to cough and goes into full-gear.  You might want to start the story there instead.  Otherwise, this is a funny and entertaining little morality tale with a well-tuned bittersweet element.  :raritywink:

#12 · 149w, 2d ago · · ·

This could be an episode of the series, it's that good.

#13 · 149w, 1d ago · · ·

The scene with Zecora singing was touching enough before I googled the words; after that, it was heartbreaking. :applecry:

#14 · 149w, 1d ago · · ·

I've read a quite few fics, but nothing that was this simple and yet perfectly elegant. I always like episode-like fics, especially when they even carry a good message that's Smokey the Bear approved. Good on you!:pinkiehappy:

#15 · 149w, 1d ago · · ·


It's nice to see a writer put that kind of dedication into Zecora. It's rare that I see her get more than two lines and even rarer that they're actually good. Hope to see more of your work in the future.:pinkiehappy:

#16 · 149w, 21h ago · · ·


oh, you crazy crusaders....

#17 · 148w, 6d ago · · ·

*a deranged looking pony with a stark white mane smiles from the brush at the Crusaders as they toil*  Isn't that just precious!  They believe they were totally responsible for the fire, as planned!  Of course, how could they know... *He snaps fingers he shouldn't have, and in fact didn't have until moments ago, to reveal a hazy image of the recent past, with this very pony walking by the burning candle, whistling a merry tune.  His right rear hoof darts out suddenly and knocks it over, where it ignites dry leaves. "Oh clumsy me!" he chuckles, continuing on as the fire spreads.*

A stain on their character, a weakness in their minds, the first pangs of regret for you to exploit when needed, my master.  I've planted the seed of disharmony within them, as you commanded, Lord Discord!  *The agent of the Army of Chaos slips back into the shadows!*

#19 · 136w, 4d ago · · ·

Aaaahh! Hahaha! Ohhhhh... Awwww!

It's just like an episode! Great pacing, dialogue, characterizations, and references, as usual. I really loved this. Your style is simultaneously refreshingly simple and deeply detailed. No idea how you do it.

It's 4:15 am here. Celestia's starting the sunrise already. Dang it... I'm addicted to saddlesoap. (Who knew I'd ever type those words...?)

#20 · 124w, 6d ago · · 3 ·

Spike better be sorry to zecora. he's shitty cmpany and no one likes him.

#21 · 105w, 3d ago · · ·

Mountain Lions. Okay, that is just the coolest thing.

#22 · 99w, 4d ago · · ·

You can be sure that, if there is a disaster in Ponyville, either Twilight Sparkle or the Cutie Mark Crusaders would be somewhere in the middle of it.

#23 · 83w, 6d ago · · ·



A bit late to the party, but I enjoyed this little fic.

#24 · 82w, 1d ago · · ·

Typical CMC shenanigans and good lesson learned. Was an excellent story.

Author Interviewer
#25 · 32w, 2d ago · · ·

Oh, hah! True to my word, I did use mountain lions in my own story. :) I'd totally forgotten where they came from!

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