Along came Rainbow Dash.
“Afternoon Dinky Hooves, Berry Pinch,” Pipsqueak greeted as he came around the Police House front desk. “The usual?” He turned to the greyish-rose filly.
“Yeah,” Berry Pinch answered the young colt. “I’ve got to collect my mom so she can watch the store while we visit Noi’s.” She let her pink mane flop over her face as she sat on her haunches. “This happens every weekend,” she let out a long suffering sigh. “Can’t you ask your mom to not catch mine so often?”
“I tried.” He answered. “But when my mom Cherry Top catches wind of something out of place, she gets this little pony whispering into her ear and just has to investigate. Your mom passed out on a park bench attracts mine like a fly to stale cider. She really shouldn’t be drinking so much.”
“That’s like a kettle calling a pot black,” Berry Pinch replied hotly. “Your other mom, Blue Copper buys more Wild Pegasus whiskey than any pony in town.”
Dinky Hooves interrupted, knowing where this conversation was going. It was a sore and shared bond between the two. “The sooner we pick up Pinch’s mom, the sooner we can get going.”
“Right,” Pipsqueak answered the pale violet Unicorn filly. “Mom!” he called out as loudly as he could.
“In the pantry dear,” he heard his mom Cherry Top reply.
“I’m taking the key to let Ms Berry Punch out of the tank.”
“Okay, dear.” His answer came from further within the Police house. “There are some gingersnaps in the pantry if your friends want any.”
“Thank you, Inspector Cherry Top,” the two fillies sang as they replied to Pipsqueak’s other mom, a small, slim, blue-grey Unicorn mare.
“So where is Noi?” The colt then asked, referring to a pale olive Earth Pony, the absent member of their small group of friends.
“Oh, she’s waiting at her house.” Dinky Hooves, answered. “She’s helping her big sister, Carrot Top, bake carrot muffins. Noi’s trying to earn a baking cutie mark.” Dinky rolled her eyes at this.
“Another cutie mark?” Pipsqueak asked while he fished about in a drawer, looking for the cell keys.
“Didn’t we ask her to wait?” Berry Pinch cut in. The young filly wasn’t pleased.
“How many cutie marks does she have already?” Pipsqueak wondered as he led the way into the Police House. He knew that Noi having a cutie mark was remarkable in itself. Ponies their age wouldn’t reasonably expect a cutie mark for another two or three more years
“Three!” Dinky Hooves exclaimed as she followed behind Pipsqueak. “She’s a polymath. She has a pillow cutie mark from when Mr Davenport allowed us to try our hooves at building beds in his furniture shop.
“Dinky,” Berry Pinch joined the conversation. “I don’t think he allowed us in, so much as threw up his hooves while we walked in and started crying on a sofa with his wife, Mrs Button Stitch.”
“Well Scootaloo, Apple Bloom, and Sweetie Belle did make a mess before leaving.” Pipsqueak added a muffled reply, the key ring in his mouth dampening his voice.
“It wasn’t that bad once we put out the fire. We fixed Mr Davenport’s workshop real quick, didn’t we. I don’t think I’ve seen Mr Davenport happier than when he saw all the beds and pillows that Noi made.” Dinky said as she followed behind her other two friends. “Noi also has that magnifying glass cutie mark — ”
“I remember that one!” Pipsqueak yelled abruptly, dropping the key ring to the ground. “She helped both my moms solve the mystery of the Blue Carbuncle. Who would have thought that a goose would have swallowed Miss Rarity’s missing gemstone.”
“That’s two,” Dinky counted as she watched Pipsqueak pick up the fallen key ring. “And there is her chocolate ice cream cutie mark from when we were helping Twist’s mom at her ice cream parlour.”
“Three,” Berry Pinch shook her head. “She’s the only pony in our class to have a cutie mark, and she’s got three of them! Hard to imagine that she’s Apple Bloom’s cousin. That pony and her two other blank flank friends don’t have their cutie marks yet, and they’re three years ahead of us.”
“You, don’t like them much?”
Berry Pinch huffed in Dinky Hooves’ direction. “Not after what they wrote in their Gabby Gums column about my mom. They called her the town drunk!”
Dinky Hooves didn’t know what to say. She hated ponies calling her mom stupid just as much as her friend Berry Pinch disliked ponies talking about her mom’s drinking. “They did apologise.”
“She’s Apple Bloom’s cousin?” Pipsqueak managed to mumble his question.
“Second cousins,” Dinky Hooves replied. “Carrot Noi is a part of the Carrot clan. The Carrots, Apples, and Lemons are related. Carrot Noi’s grandfather and Apple bloom’s grandfather are brothers.” As she spoke, the Unicorn filly passed an opened door.
“Oh, hi Miss Applejack.” As Dinky Hooves waved, the orange Earth Pony seemed to drain of all her colour. “What are you doing in here?” The filly asked.
“My mom and I caught her and Miss Rarity,” Pipsqueak whispered as he continued walking past the observation room.
“Why?” Berry Punch’s voice drifted along.
“Where?” Dinky Hooves’ voice added.
“The library!” Pipsqueak’s voice drifted down the corridor.
“Why would anypony want to break into a library?”
“Maybe Miss Twilight Sparkle has the new Daring Do book? And they were super desperate to read it” Pipsqueak’s voice drifted through the open door.
“Don’t be silly, silly. It’s too early!” An indistinct voice exclaimed.
** *** **
Applejack had never felt so humiliated in her life, and pulled her Stetson hat to cover her snout and face. Her life was ruined. She was going to become like her uncle Calva, the black sheep in the family, a hoof for hire that would do just about anything for a hoof full of bits. ’Ya start small and before ya know it, ya have wanted posters from Appleloosa to Canterlot.’ She thought to her self.
After several minutes of self-loathing, Inspector Cherry Top walked through the door with a tea set floating with her. The inspector sat down on a cushion opposite Applejack and pushed a cup of tea towards her. Applejack personally didn’t like drinking tea much, but it was impolite to refuse a cup. Tea drinking was a national pastime. The sun princess was never seen without her cup of Earl Grey.
“Are ya going to question me?” She took a slip. The tea was pleasant enough for boiled leaves.
“Do I need to?” Inspector Cherry Top asked as she took a slip of warm tea with a gentle smile on her snout.
Applejack didn’t say a word. She didn’t trust herself to not get Rarity and herself into more trouble with the law.
Inspector Cherry Top lowered her tea cup, then, with a small absent gesture, tugged a stray bit of brown mane behind her ear. “I wish to apologise on behalf of Blue Copper. She hasn’t quite settled into life in Ponyville yet. She still sees crime in every corner, evil in every action. I hope you can forgive her for her transgression. She has been a little excessive.”
Applejack found that she could breathe again. She hadn’t realised that she’d been holding her breath. “Ah guess, ah can understand that. Lived in a big city mahself once with mah uncle and aunt Orange in Manehattan. It’s a bit more dangerous compared to country living.”
“Would you care for some crumpets? We don’t get many visitors at the police house. I have some of that lovely apple marmalade that Sugarcube Corner makes. It is simply delightful.”
“It sure is ‘cause it uses apples from Sweet Apple Acres.”
** *** **
“Now let’s go over this again.” Blue Copper glared as she tapped her snow white hoof on the table.
“I don’t think there is anything more for me to add.” Rarity answered.
“I know you burgled the Book and Branches library.”
“Really now? Breaking and entering with the intent to commit a felony therein. Might you have any evidence to support such a fallacious and fictitious claim? Have you searched my saddle bag and found proof of my dastardly crime?”
“Your friend has already confessed to being inside the library. Confess now and I can be lenient with the charges.”
“Well officer,” Rarity held up her fore hooves. “If you have all the proof you need, go ahead, throw on the iron bracelets and put me in the big house.”
The door knocked. Blue Copper turned at the sound. “This isn’t over, Rarity.”
“Oh, I believe it is, Copper.” Rarity smirked.
** *** **
“I’m not a smart pony, but I know she’s hiding something. My mane is itchy. I can just feel it.” Blue Copper glanced at her spouse.
“Dear, this is Ponyville. We aren’t in Trottingham anymore.”
“She’s too collected, Cherry Top.” The white mare insisted. “It’s as if I’m interrogating a professional. What’s more, I know she’s mocking me with her fake Canterlot accent. I think she actually speaks with a Neigh Jersey accent.”
“Blue Copper, Rarity isn’t some hardened criminal, even if she is putting on airs. She is the village seamstress, and might I add, the only seamstress in Ponyville. So unless you want to learn to do your own stitching, I think it would be best to be polite and courteous to Rarity.”
“Why would I ever need to learn to sew? You know I don’t like wearing dresses.”
Cherry Top winked coquettishly at her spouse. “You seemed to like wearing that Flash Filly dress for Baton and I the other night.” The smaller Unicorn kissed the larger mare on the lips. “Remember why we moved to Ponyville.”
“We wanted a safer place to raise Pipsqueak.” Blue Copper answered. “Less work, more time with the family. Maybe give our son a new sibling or two.”
“Or three, and that is exactly what we got with this transfer, all three of us. Nothing happens in Ponyville. The most is me levitating your drinking buddy Berry Punch to the tank so she can sleep off the alcohol, and Baton making sure the village stallions aren’t making too much noise on Weekend Cards Night.”
“I’m just trying to keep our home safe.”
“I know. Both you and our husband, Baton are doing your best. However I’m asking you to put aside the bad cop routine and let Rarity and Applejack go.”
“It’s not right. I know they were in the library.”
“Unless you have evidence to hold two prominent members of the community, we are going to have to let them go.”
“Just like that?”
** *** **
“Well that was bracing,” Rarity commented as she stepped out of the Police House.
“We were arrested!” Applejack was nearly beside herself from the dismissive remark. “We could have had a criminal record. Ah could have had a criminal record.”
“Pish posh! Nothing of the sorts, darling. We weren’t arrested, just invited for a cup of tea by Ponyville’s finest. Blue Copper was just fishing for information she didn’t have. Grandmother taught me a how to properly handle these kind of situations.”
“Um… Rarity, did you grandmother have many run-ins with the law?”
“Why would you ever say that? My grandmother is lovely mare. She has a heart of gold. Even when she was busy, she always made time to baby-sit me. Why, when I was a young foal we used to play a game called Tealeaf and Pigs. I really did love that game, although it really was just a game of catch. Grandmother had the wildest imagination. She even had me believing that we were running across the rooftops of Maretropolis, taunting angry pigs that tried to catch us.” Rarity smiled fondly.
Applejack could only stare with her mouth agape.
“One can only hope to age as gracefully as she has. I believe she continues playing our games with Sweetie Belle. She was ever so disappointed that I wouldn’t go into the family business. You see, father didn’t have the talent. So she placed all her hope on me, even calling me her little apprentice and sidekick. But alas for Grandmother, I was steadfast in my decision to become a fashion designer, even though I did get the right kind of cutie mark. One simply cannot allow one’s cutie mark to dictate one’s future.”
“Rarity, do you know the meaning of ‘tealeaf and pig’?” The apple farmer referred to the slang for thieves and police.
“Darling, I do know what pigs are, filthy animals that wallow around all day, doing nothing useful.”
Words failed her, simply failed her. Applejack was quite shocked to hear Rarity taunting the police after just leaving the Police House. On top of that, there was whole eye opener of her picking open Twilight’s window. Applejack didn’t want to think it, but the Mare-Do-Well costume did come together almost too quickly. Could Rarity…could she have a secret double life?
“You mean in the animal sense of the word?” Applejack asked slowly.
Rarity gave her friend a scrutinizing sidelong look. “You do have eight pigs on your farm. As for tea leaves, you put them in your teapot.” The Unicorn paused. “Are you alright, Applejack?”
The Earth Pony let out a small laugh. She was just glad that it was only her overactive imagination getting the better of her. This entire morning was a strange one. She was about to speak when Rainbow Dash appeared from out of nowhere, or so it seemed to her.
“Good gracious!” Rarity exclaimed, articulating surprise for both mares. “You shouldn’t fall out of the sky like that.”
“Yeah, yeah.” Rainbow Dash waved a dismissive hoof at the alabaster Unicorn, then turned her attention towards Applejack. “Well?” Ponyville’s Weather Manager asked rather pointedly as she excitedly snapped shut her wings
“Well, what?” Applejack replied.
“Did you get it?” Rainbow Dash whispered conspiringly. A wide grin was plastered on her bright blue snout as she came close.
“Come again, Dash?” Applejack was puzzled.
“Your trip to the library,” She began to wonder if Applejack was purposefully being thick today. She wasn’t a patient pony. “I heard you might have tried to sneak into the library without telling Twilight, and Blue Copper caught you.”
“Where did ya hear that?” Applejack was horrified. How did the news get around so quickly?
“I overheard some foals talking while I was working over Main Street. There was mention about you being caught breaking into Twilight’s library and something about the latest Daring Doo book, Daring Doo and the Goblet of Fire?”
“You mean, while you were napping on a cloud over Main Street.”
Rainbow Dash ignored Rarity’s comment. “So do you have it?” Her violet eyes sparkled with wild energy. “I heard rumours that Daring Doo’s author gave a special pre-release copy to Princess Celestia. Since the Princess is obviously a super busy pony, I’m guessing, hoping, that she gave the book to Twilight. Twilight’s a big fan. So did you get it? You can tell me.”
“No,” Applejack said.
“No?” Rainbow Dash paused. “No in that you didn’t get it. Or...” She leaned close into Applejack’s orange ear. “No, you can't tell me.”
“No, ah didn’t take it, and why in the hay are you only asking me? Rarity was there too. Ah’ve never stolen anything in mah life.” Applejack retorted defensively.
Rainbow Dash paused as she scrutinized the Earth Pony’s confession. If Applejack were any other pony, the Weather Manager would have treated such an admission with suspicion, more so when dealing with the latest Daring Doo novel. However, she knew Applejack, and that orange Earth Pony mare wasn’t called Honest Applejack without reason. That meant no new pre-release Daring Doo novel. It was disappointing, a bitter rain. Buck. “Then what did you go to the library for.” She cried out in frustration.
“Erm…” The Earth Pony trailed off, her eyes flicked to the side, looking anywhere except straight ahead. “We were returning a book?”
Rainbow Dash reaction was instantaneous and she began rubbing the bridge of her snout with the frog of her hoof “Seriously? AJ, I hope you didn’t tell Blue Copper that.” The pitiful performance was embarrassing to watch. “Even I can tell you aren’t telling the truth. So really, why did you break into Twilight’s library?” She pressed.
Applejack opened her mouth to answer. To be honest, she wasn’t quite sure what she hoped to say. She respected her friend’s privacy, and if Twilight Sparkle chose not to tell everypony in Ponyville that she had a foal, it was her right. Yet, having now been forced to think, Applejack had to admit, it did hurt just a little that Twilight didn’t trust her, and by extension the rest of girls, with the news of the new foal. Hay, she hadn’t even seen the foal yet. Weren’t they BPFF, Best Pony Friends Forever?
However if she were in Twilight’s horseshoes, she couldn’t be sure if she would have done any different. Marry your cousin, sure. Applejack didn’t like the stereotype that city folks cooked up, but it did happen on occasion. It couldn’t be helped really, as every pony was bound to be related to every pony else in a small village. With your own brother on the other hoof... your own ‘married’ brother, her thoughts stressed. Applejack wanted to rub the back of her head. How the hay did these things happen?
As a friend, she should keep the matter under her hat until Twilight was ready. However, anything other than the honest truth often led to more problems in the long run. Thankfully, Rarity chose that moment to speak
“Not here.” Rarity primly cut into Applejack’s long pause. “Somewhere more private.”
That got Dash’s attention, and Applejack got the feeling that she shouldn’t have been so thankful after all.
** *** **
Rainbow Dash eyed Rarity wearily as the Unicorn mare closed the door of Carousel Boutique behind them.
“So what is the big secret?” She asked. From the way Applejack was acting, she suspected it might be something more serious than Pinkie Pie’s confession about her reoccurring Cupcake Nightmare. That one still gave her the willies, better not think about that. “Never going to eat a cupcake again,” the rainbow-maned mare shivered
Rarity cleared her throat, signalling she was ready to begin. “Before I continue, I must extract a solemn oath that you will not repeat what you are about to hear. It is of the utmost importance to our friend, Twilight Sparkle’s reputation, and the future of more than one life.”
Rainbow Dash rolled her eyes. Rarity was such a drama queen.
“What you will hear will shake the very foundation of morality and,” Rarity stressed, “I will not tolerate any judgemental behaviour or attempt to reprimand our friend. Twilight has already gone though the most stressful experience in anymare’s life, alone, without the comfort of family or friend.”
Applejack glanced at Rarity. “Wait a second there. Are you sure we should be telling Dash this? Didn’t ya promise Spike not to tell anypony?”
“Applejack dear, she already suspects something is amiss. Keeping her in the dark would merely escalate this incident out of our control.”
“Ah don’t know…” She trailed off uncertainly.
Rainbow Dash didn’t like being ignored. “’She’s’ standing right here you know.”
“How about this? Rainbow Dash darling, what if we decided to not tell you anything?” Rarity asked.
“I’d pester you a bit” Rainbow Dash answered.
“Should our lips remain immovably silent?”
The Pegasus mare paused. “Aw… I’d fly over to Twilight’s and maybe bring along Pinkie Pie. It is her lunch break, and she has a way of getting stuff out of Twilight.”
Rarity turned to the orange Earth Pony with Rainbow Dash’s statement as her final deposition. “And thus you see why we must share this secret with her.”
Silently, Applejack nodded her head in acceptance.
“Do you promise not to repeat what you are about to hear?”
“I swear. Cross my heart and hope to fly, stick a –”
“Don’t finish that!” Rarity yelled.
“Pinkie Swear?” Rainbow Dash questioned.
“Yes, I don’t know how she does it, but whenever a pony even considers reneging such a promise, Pinkie Pie simply pops out of nowhere. How she does that I do not know, but she is absolutely one of the ponies we must not tell.”
“I don’t know.” Rainbow Dash replied. “The last time we kept something from Pinkie, she kind of took a trip to Crazyville. It’s like we aren’t trusting her and breaking a friend's trust is the fastest way to lose a friend –”
** *** **
Elsewhere, in the kitchen of the Sugarcube Corner bakery, Pinkie Pie had the sudden, almost irresistible urge to run to Carousel Boutique and shout ‘FOREVER’.
“Pinkie dear,” Mrs Cake paused midway between frosting a cake. Pinkie Pie was still, a far off stare in her eye while her tail cotton candy pink tail twitched. “We have to finish cakes for the afternoon lunch crowd.” That was enough to snap Pinkie Pie from what she saw.
** *** **
“Be that as it may be,” Rarity replied. “What Twilight cannot afford right now is an unplanned Pinkie Pie welcoming party.”
“Okay. Okay. I got it.” Rainbow Dash replied. “So what do you want to tell me?”
Rarity took a breath and steadied herself. “Twilight Sparkle has recently given birth to a filly.”
“Twilight’s a dam? No way. You’ve got to be joking.” Rainbow Dash expression was one of disbelief. Canterlot mares were always thought to be so proper. “And if you are joking, I’ll have to tell you the joke is lame. Like super lame, broke my leg lame. That isn’t funny.”
“I’m only speaking the truth.” Rarity replied. “Barely a week ago, Twilight secretly gave birth to her daughter.”
Rainbow Dash turned to Applejack. She was the only pony that would tell her straight. “AJ?” Rainbow Dash asked.
Reluctantly, the Element of Honesty told the honest truth, as she saw it. “It’s true. Twi has a foal.”
“So who’s the father?” Rainbow Dash asked wide eyed. “Is it Caramel?”
“No!” Applejack interjected, a bit shocked that her cousin was being mentioned. “Why in tarnation did you think it’s mah cousin?”
“Well,” Rainbow Dash began. “He kind of attracts eggheads. I mean Wind Whistler is dating him. So if she is seeing Caramel, I thought Twilight might be as well. Birds of a feather flock together. Egghead mares, forming an egghead herd, having egghead foals. Although, I don’t know what a smart mare from Maresachusetts Institute sees in him.”
“What’s wrong with a smart mare seeing something in mah cousin.” Applejack demanded. Family pride was at stake. “Sure, he ain’t as Earth Pony strong as Big Macintosh, but ah'm sure he has his charms when he isn’t behind the apple stand.”
“Have you heard Wind Whistler speak? She is way more brainy than him. Her words are so big, that I need a dictionary whenever she speaks to me about getting permission to do her research on wild weather over the Everfree Forest. She is like a Pegasus version of Twilight. I just give the approval stamp on all her stuff so I can get away from her long presentations.”
“There nothing wrong with mah cousin.”
“So, if it isn’t Caramel, who is it? Big Macintosh?”
Applejack was about to speak her mind, when Rarity waved her off. “I did say it would shake the vary foundations of morality. If our Twilight Sparkle had a relationship with either Caramel or Macintosh, there would merely be some head shaking. But no, the sire of Twilight’s foal,” Rarity paused for the dramatic effect, “is Shining Armour.
Rainbow Dash dropped onto her haunches, shocked. “No bucking way.”
Rarity slowly nodded. “Our Twilight Sparkle has entangled herself in a forbidden, incestuous love triangle.”
Rainbow Dash glanced at Applejack again, who hesitantly nodded her head. “Ooo…Eew. Eew.” The Pegasus mare squeaked and her body gave an involuntary shiver.
“That’d explain why Twilight was so upset after finding out about her brother’s marriage. She was jealous!” Rainbow Dash paused. “Wait, it has been only like a year since Shining Armour and Princess Cadance’s wedding! They must have done it just before the wedding.”
Applejack was silent as she listened to Dash. Fancy mathematics was never her strong point, but she could count. Dash was right. The timing fit. One year, an eleven month pregnancy. She always assumed that Twi was naïve, with foal like innocence, when it came to the opposite sex. She never showed interest in dating or the few single stallions in Ponyville. But now…Did Twi give her brother one last farewell the night before the wedding?”
“Oh, Twilight, it’s not like you didn’t have options.” Rainbow Dash cried. “You have a sweet flank. If only you had put out some, worn a bit of clothes or a saddle, instead of spending all your time in the library naked…” Rainbow Dash paused when she found Applejack giving her an odd look.
“What? There’s nothing wrong with one mare complimenting another.”
“Ah didn’t say nothing,” Applejack looked away.
“It’s the mane, isn’t it?” Rainbow Dash replied defensively. “I was born with it, okay. It’s naturally coloured rainbow. You can look at the roots. I’m not dying my mane just because.”
“Is there a colour called rainbow?” The blond, country Earth Pony mare had to ask.
Rarity cleared her throat, catching everypony’s attention. “From my sources, Twilight’s daughter is named Wisp and she is, as of today, one week old. Twilight has been so dreadfully ashamed that she hasn’t been seen in public since her daughter’s clandestine birth.”
“Well, it is time for action.” Rainbow Dash jump back onto her four hooves, seemingly recovered. “I’m going to buck her behind out of the library.”
“You can’t do that.” Rarity threw her body across the front door, all but barricading it.
“Rarity, she can’t raise a foal isolated in the library.” Rainbow Dash reasoned. ”That’s just a bad fairy tale. The mare in the tower... well ivory tower. Wisp has to come out sometime and ponies do go to the library on occasion.”
“Rainbow Dash, I don’t think you quite realise the gravity of the situation.”
“Twilight did the nasty with Shining Armour -there is the ick factor- and had a foal. But seriously I’m cool.” She leaned over and whispered into Rarity’s ear. “Ponies out here do it with their cousins all the time,” Rainbow Dash said quickly as she glanced over to Applejack. “Twilight just did it with one less degree of descent.”
“Might I add that her brother is married to an Alicorn princess,” Rarity continued dryly. “We have on our hooves not only a forbidden, incestuous love triangle, but also a royal scandal. As of this moment, our Twilight Sparkle is the Other Mare in her brother and sister in-law’s marriage. A mare he cannot possibly add to Princess Cadance’s matrimonial herd without triggering an uproar amongst the Canterlot nobility and pony society in general. Furthermore I am told Princess Cadance is unaware of this affair.”
“Okay,” Rainbow Dash admitted. “More complicated than I've expected. But I am so going to see Twilight’s little tyke.” Rainbow Dash answered back excitedly. “Just to make sure she’s healthy. It can’t be good to have spent your entire life in a library, even if it’s all of one week’s worth.”
Rarity was suddenly hesitant. “Rainbow Dash, dear, I must caution you. When you do have a chance to look at Wisp, please…” The alabaster Unicorn paused trying to find the right words. “Please, be kind.”
“Eh?” The cerulean Pegasus had puzzled look on her face. “So she got hit by the ugly stick or something?”
This was news to Applejack, “Something the matter?”
Rarity sighed, thinking back to what she heard from Spike. “I fear that Wisp has a congenital birth defect. There was mention of Wonderglue and a prosthetic to make Wisp look more presentable.”
“Ya mean Twilight’s girl is- ,”
“The same as Noteworthy?” Dash finished for Applejack. Everypony in Ponyville who used prescription glasses knew of Dr Noteworthy. He was Ponyville’s sole optician. Both mares stared at Rarity with varying degrees of horror.
Rarity bowed her head in reply.
Dr Noteworthy was a charming stallion with a cultured taste for operatic music, as his cutie mark of two pairs of backwards-facing quavers suggested. The slate blue Earth Pony stallion wore a fanciful blue mask that hid half his face and snout. It lent quite an air of mystery around him whenever he attended the monthly meetings of Ponyville’s chamber of commerce. So lifelike was his mask, that a pony at times could imagine the mask followed the contours of his face precisely
Rarity had seen behind his mask once by accident and knew that was not true. On the eve of that dreadful Grand Galloping Gala two years ago, she had been looking for a pair of stallions to pull the carriage Twilight had conjured from an apple. Her cat, Opalescence, in her excitement had mistakenly dispersed the mice turned horse, which Twilight Sparkle had meant to pull their magic apple carriage.
She was at his practice, using her feminine wiles to charm him into the task. It was then, by fate or misfortune, that the strap of his mask snapped off. There was no handsome noble behind the mask, or as the florist trio, Lilly, Rose, and Daisy constantly speculated, the handsome visage of Prince Blueblood’s twin. That poor stallion had the most grievous disfiguring injury she had ever seen. She had screamed and fainted in dead fright upon his polished floor. Where half a pony face should have been, there was a hole, a wide gaping hole. Dr Noteworthy had only one eye!
“Take my camera.” Rarity said to Rainbow Dash. She had apologised profusely to Noteworthy, but it was weeks before she could speak to him again without staring.
“I would like a photo of Wisp.” She levitated the expensive device from its place on a high shelf, out of Sweetie Belle’s magical reach. “Maybe… maybe I can make her a hat or give her a mane style that’ll highlight her better side.”
** *** **