Foreword: This was written with the idea that the minds behind My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic may officially give the fan-named character "Derpy Hooves" the name "Ditzy Doo". This was intended to follow the basic framework of an episode of FiM. This is my Idea of how "Derpy" Ditzy Doo can be made to satisfy all parties. This project was started in between seasons one and two, and as a result the story takes place after "Best Night Ever" and before "Return of Harmony" and does not take into account anything from season two.
The morning sun crept across the land, climbing over the mountains in the west. Its light reaching the little town on the border of the Everfree forest. As the light spread across the town, the ponies who lived there rose to attend to their daily tasks.
Twilight Sparkle was lounging on one of the benches in Sugarcube Square, reading one of the multitude of books found within the library. She enjoyed a lot of spare time, even as the sole keeper of the Ponyville library. She would use this time to study. Whether it was whatever tome found within the library that piqued her curiosity, or the magic of friendship. Once she got used to it, Twilight learned to enjoy the concept that having fun with her friends could be considered studying.
Taking a break from her reading she looked up and saw Ditzy Doo, full wall-eyed expression on her face making her way to Sugarcube Corner. She had seen this gray pony with light yellow mane out and about many times. Twilight was always intrigued by this pony, who was a capable mailmare at work, yet seemed so aloof when off the clock.
As she made her way down the street Ditzy was greeted by the assortment of ponies that crowded the square on this beautiful, sunny day.
Cheerilee was the first, crossing the square to one of the shops to restock on school supplies, she called out, "Hello, Derpy!"
"Good morning, Miss Cheerilee."
Ditzy, continued on down the street and was greeted by Colgate, "Hey Derpy!"
"Hello!" She answered in a happy tone.
The self-named Cutie Mark Crusaders were next. Apple Bloom, Scootaloo, and Sweetie Belle in unison called out, "Derpy! Hi!"
The pegasus smiled at the three, and said, "Hey, girls!"
As they exchanged their greetings a shadow passed over the four. Ditzy looked up and was greeted by Rainbow Dash. "Hey, Derps!"
"Keep up the good work, Rainbow!" Dizty called back.
As she entered Sugarcube Corner, Twilight simply watched. A worried look had taken over her face, and she voiced her concern to herself.
"I'm worried about that Pony, what kind of nickname is 'Derpy'?"
HI! I'm Pinkie Pie! I'm here to let you know that this is where the prologue ends and, normally we'd go and do the title scene here, followed by some advertisement. But this is a written story, or at least I hope it is... I'd look rather silly saying all this if it wasn't a written story, but then would you even see me? Or would I be covered up by someone else's ad?
Anyway... I'm supposed to tell you about the title and ads... which I just did ... soooo... I guess I'll see you next time it's time to interrupt the story!
Soon enough Ditzy left Sugarcube Corner carrying a box. As the gray pegasus went about the rest of her shopping, Twilight entered the shop. She immediately looked around for her pink friend. As she looked Mrs. Cake stepped out of the kitchen.
"Oh, Twilight, dear... What brings you to Sugarcube Corner?"
"I had a question about your last customer," Twilight stated.
"Oh, Miss Derpy? What about her, dear?"
Twilight cringed, then spoke, "Why is it that everypony calls her that? Isn't her name 'Ditzy Doo'?"
"Well, yes it is," Mrs. Cake answered, "For some reason she doesn't mind 'Derpy', so that's what we call her. I don't really know any more than that."
"I see," said Twilight, "What about Pinkie Pie? She knows everypony in town, maybe she'd know about Ditzy's nickname"
"You never know, but I haven't seen her all day, and I couldn't begin to tell you where she runs off to."
"Isn't that odd?"
"Not for us. Remember when you first came to town? She ran around with you all night finding those 'Elements of Harmony' you girls use. It wasn't strange to us then, either."
"I see," Twilight sighed, "Well, thank you for your time Mrs. Cake."
With that she turned and left the store. Once outside she spotted Applejack selling her apples at her apple stand on the other side of the plaza. If anypony could point her in the right direction, Applejack could, thought Twilight.
"Applejack!" She called out.
"Oh, hey, Twi! What brings you to mah stand?"
"Well... What do you know about Ditzy Doo?"
"Not much, what'cha need?"
"Her nickname," Twilight said, "It bugs me. I want to know why everypony calls her... "
"Derpy?" Applejack offered.
Twilight simply nodded, unable to understand why such a derogatory nickname was considered acceptable to so many ponies.
"Sorry, Twi. I know there's a story behind it, by Ah ain't nevah heard it. Didja try talkin' t' Pinkie 'bout it?"
"Yeah, Mrs. Cake hasn't seen her all day. I don't suppose you have?"
Applejack shook her head, "Sorry Sugarcube. Sometimes Ah swear that pony jus' pain up and vanishes."
Before either of them could say another word, the sound of something whistling through the air caught their attention. This was followed by a panicked yell and a crash as a bright blue streak slid to a stop in front of them. A muffled "Ow" worked its way through the pile of dirt sitting on top of Rainbow Dash's buried face.
"Ooooh! Rainbow, are you okay?" Twilight asked.
The pegasus picked herself up and shook the excess dirt out of her coat.
"Yeah, fine..." dissapointment lined Rainbow's response.
"Wow, RD, Ah ain't seen a crash like that since the girls gotta hold o'that cannon. Ah had to rebuild Fluttershy's chicken coop afta yer favorite admirer plowed clean through it!"
"Scootaloo?" Asked a surprised Rainbow Dash, "I always wondered how that happened!"
"She nevah told ya?"
Rainbow shook her head, "I only knew she was laid up for a week, and when I visited her she wouldn't tell me why."
"Ah'm not surprised, could you imagine what the fillies at school would say? Them young'ns can think o'some awful cruel nicknames!"
"Oh! That reminds me!" Twilight interrupted, "I've been trying to figure out how Ditzy Doo got her nickname. Rainbow, would you know anything about that?"
"Oh, yeah! That had to do with that salamancer incident doesn't it?
"'Salamancer'?" Twilight echoed.
"Yeah! Walked right into town!"
"Then what happened?"
"I ... uh ... don't remember"
"WHAT?!" Screamed Twilight.
"Calm down, Sugarcube... no need t' blow a gasket! Ah'm sure there's a perfectly reasonable explanation. Ain't that right, Rainbow?"
"I'll say... I was about to warn Ponyville when this hay-bale came outta nowhere and flattened me! ... Almost like during the Iron Pony competition... "
"Woah, nelly! Don't go throwin' 'round blame where it don't belong!"
"How do I know it wasn't you?"
" 'Cause Ah know who it was!"
"Now before ya'll go an' do somethin' ya might regret... It weren't her fault!"
As the argument escalated, Twilight decided that it would be best to make a discreet exit.
With a vanished Pinkie Pie, and two of the girls arguing Twilight's list of ponies to ask was growing short. After some deliberation she decided that in addition to living closer than Fluttershy, Rarity would more likely know about Ditzy Doo. With this in mind the lavender unicorn made a detour to visit the Carousel Boutique.
"Closed?! But, Rarity never closes! SHE LIVES HERE! ... LITTERALLY!"
Twilight stared at the 'Closed' sign as if she expected it to accept her arguments and spontaneously change. Realizing how illogical this train of thought was she instead hung her head an sighed. She knew yelling at a sign was pointless, but it did make her feel a little better.
"Twilight, darling, is that you making that awful racket?" Rarity's voice came from behind.
Twilight instantly perked up and turned to see Rarity and Fluttershy approaching. She laid a hoof across her face, remembering their weekly spa visits.
"I'm sorry, Rarity... I just wanted to ask if you knew anything about Ditzy Doo"
"Why of course!"
"What wrong with Ditzy?" Fluttershy asked, "It's not her eyes again... is it?"
"Her... eyes?" Twilight asked, raising an eyebrow.
"Oh, I shouldn't have said anything... " Fluttershy squeaked, and backed away.
"Doesn't matter," said Twilight, "I just want to know why everypony calls her ..."
She looked at her friends, expecting one of them to chime in with Ditzy's nickname. The two just looked back at her blankly. Twilight disliked the nickname so much that she didn't want to say it aloud if she could help it. However, this time fate forced her action.
" ... calls her ... 'Derpy'," she finally spat out.
"I've never called her that," said Fluttershy.
"Neither have I, it's just too ... ooh, what is the word I'm looking for ... improper!"
Twilight smiled, happy that a couple of her friends seemed to understand. It still did not answer her questions about the origins of the nickname, however.
"Do either of you know how she got that nickname?"
Her two friends looked at each other. Realizing that neither had an answer, they turned back to Twilight and shrugged. Disappointment crept up on her.
"Supposedly the story has to do with a salamancer wandering into town?"
"Ooooooh, right! I remember that!" Rarity started telling her story, "I was having a lovely stroll when I saw it come in from the Everfree Forest. I immediately ran right back into my shop and started packing. I wasn't about to allow such a hideous creature ruin all my hard work! Before I was done however, somepony had alleviated the crisis."
"I hid under my bed," Fluttershy offered.
"Of course you did," said Twilight, her words dripping with sarcasm.
Hi again! It's me, Pinkie! How're you enjoying the story so far? I know... It's annoying when someone breaks up a story like this... and it's especiallyl annoying when you know they're just doing it to distract you in the middle of a scene!
What? Why am I here instead of helping Twilight? Yeah, I'm playing the role of "Miss not appearing in this story" because I know too much, and I could spoil the story, and if I spoiled the story it wouldn't be very fun, and if it wasn't very fun then the author would be sad, and then I'd be sad because I don't like seeing anyone else sad...
So, I can't appear in this story until after the next break... See ya then!
Twilight groaned, "Now how am I supposed to hear the story behind Ditzy's nickname?"
"Why don't you just ask her?" Fluttershy asked.
"Ask her?" Twilight echoed, "I'm just supposed to walk right up and ask her why everypony calls her such an insluting nickname?"
As Twilight spoke the volume of her voice gradually increased. Both Rarity and Fluttershy tried to back away from their friend's rage. Twilight stepped towards Fluttershy as she spoke, isolating the poor pegasus, and causing her to cower in fear.
"Um... yes?" Fluttershy managed to squeak.
"Are you craz-"
Twilight stopped. In her mind all the memories came flooding back of the time she spent following Pinkie around trying to disprove her "Pinkie sense". All that pain and anguish, and Pinkie knew she was being followed the whole time.
"Y'know what? You're right: I will just go and ask her. Thank you Fluttershy!"
With that, she trotted off, leaving Rarity and Fluttershy wondering just what in Equestira happened. Fluttershy picked herself up and looked at Rarity, hoping for some answers. Rarity returned her worried look, before opening her mouth to speak.
"You know," she said, "I'm worried about that pony."
"This shouldn't be too hard," Twilight said to herself, "All I have to do is find Ditzy and ask her about her nickname."
She stopped and looked around at the ponies walking along the street. On one side of the street were the three flower ponies: Rose, Daisy and Lily, traveling in a group. Chatting amongst themselves, they passed by Lyra and Bon Bon enjoying themselves at an open-air cafe. On the other side of the street, Cheerilee was leading her class on a field trip. Presumably, they were going somewhere exciting, as the little ones were bouncing around barely able to contain themselves. Strangely enough that brown pony with an hourglass mark was also a part of this group, walking next to Cheerilee, and as giddy as the children. Above, there were various pegasi flying around, but none of them were Ditzy Doo.
Twilight hung her head, "I wish I knew how to find her."
"No! No, excuses! I'll just ask around. Somepony has to know where she is."
She approached the trio walking down the street, "Excuse me, girls. Have you seen Ditzy Doo around?"
Daisy was the first to speak up, saying "No."
"Sorry, Twilight," added Rose.
"Have you tried the post office?" Lily asked.
"No I haven't," said Twilight.
"She is a mailmare, after all," said Daisy.
Twilight gave the girls a hasty "Thank You" and was off to the Ponyville Post office.
"Sorry, I just sent her out on her route," said the rather large Pete, "You can wait for her, but I don't know when she'll be back."
"Thanks anyway," Twilight said, "She's delivering the mail, right? Ponyville's not that big of a town, I'm bound to run into her sooner or later."
Pete tried to stop her, but Twilight was too determined. She made it out the door before he could even utter a word. Under his breath he grumbled something about impatient ponies. He turned to the clipboard hanging on the wall, which listed every pony and their current route. On it Ditzy Doo was listed under ponies working the route between Ponyville and Cloudsdale.
Twilight trotted along the street, keeping her eyes open for Ditzy, or any signs of ponies who had recently received their mail. She was so intent on finding her quarry, she neglected to notice the two little shapes headed right for her. Even after they had collided it took her some time to recognize her assailants as Snips and Snails.
"Oh, hey!" Snips said, "It's the great and powerful Twilight Sparkle!"
"Hey, yea!" Snails spoke slowly, "The great and powerful-"
"No!" Twilight interrupted them, "Don't call me that! I don't like being called that!"
"Oh, sorry," said Snips.
"Yeah, sorry," Snails added, "But you defeated Trixie, and..."
"And so you earned the 'Great and Powerful' title! That's how it works between wizards, isn't it?"
"No, no, no!" Twilight shouted "That's not how it works, because Trixie was nothing more than a showmare! Even if it did work that way I would never take that name, because I don't like it! And I don't want to waste anymore time with you two, because I'm trying to find Ditzy Doo!"
"Hunh?" asked a confused Snips.
"I think she means 'Derpy'," said Snails.
"Yes, that's exactly what I mean, I have to ask her why-"
"Isn't that her over there?" Snips asked, interrupting her.
Twilight looked up and saw the gray pegasus fly by with her unmistakable bubble cutie mark. Without even offering a proper farewell to the two troublemakers, she galloped after Ditzy.
The series of events that followed led Twilight all around Ponyville as she pursued her target. Up and down the streets, back and fourth between the buildings of their fair town the unicorn chased the pegasus. Every time it appeared Ditzy would stop, Twilight would be just a little too far behind. By the time she made it around the corner, or across the busy street, or, in an act of desperation, over a wall, Ditzy would already be on her way to her next stop.
Eventually, not even Twilight's obsessive determination could keep her going. She was growing tired and no matter how much she wanted to, she hadn't the strength to continue. her weariness forced her to give up the chase.
Defeated, Twilight returned to her library. She swung the door open and was greeted by Spike, who she just walked past. Barely grumbling a response to her dragon, Twilight flopped herself down on the floor.
Just as she was getting comfortable wallowing in her defeat, Twilight heard a knock on the door. She waited until the knock came again before willing herself to her feet. Upon answering the door she was surprised to see Ditzy Doo standing there, eyes perfectly straight and focused on the violet unicorn.
"Package for you!" Ditzy said in her friendly and cheerful voice.
She pulled a clipboard out of her satchels, and offered it to the stunned Twilight. She took the quill in her mouth and absentmindedly signed for the package. Ditzy put the clipboard back in its pocket, and opened the other, revealing a parcel, which she pulled out and gave to Twilight.
"I've been looking all over for you," Ditzy said as the unicorn levitated the package away.
"Yeah, everypony I asked said that I had just missed you."
"Ironic, I've been trying to cath up with you for the better part of the afternoon."
"You?" asked Ditzy in surprise, "You were looking for me? ...Why?"
"Are you aware that everypony in town calls you-"
"Derpy?" the mailmare said, cutting Twilight off, "Yeah?"
"And that doesn't bother you at all?"
"Not at all."
"I don't understand, why?"
Ditzy blinked twice. With the first blink her eyes pointed in opposite directions, but after the second they were straight again. Twilight couldn't help but notice this, but decided not to pursue it right away.
"Oh! That's my cutie mark story! Wanna hear it?"
Before long Ditzy and Twilight were sitting comfortably in the library sharing a cup of tea. The mailmare, having just completed her last delivery for the day, had remove her mailbags and set them aside. She took a sip of her tea and started her story.
"It all started when I was looking for a job. Y'See I hadn't discovered my special talent yet, so I had no idea how to earn a living..."
"Wait," Twilight interrupted, "You were..."
Ditzy nodded, "...A very late bloomer, old enough to work and still had a blank flank. Life was hard, but it didn't change that I still had to find a job. Lucky for me Ponyville was full of kind ponies willing to give me a chance. I am not a clever pony, and I didn't know what else to do, so I accepted their kind offers.
"I was pretty bad at most of the jobs they gave me. I remember how mad Mr. Rebar got when I was supposed to reinforce the water tower for him. Apparently taping wooden planks to it's legs doesn't work."
"Wow," said Twilight, "Wooden planks and tape? I know you said you're not a clever pony, but that sounds...
"Derpy?" she said, smiling at her own nickname, "Yeah, I get that way sometimes... I've gotten better at controlling it, but sometimes I just gotta DERP!"
Emphasizing her last word, the gray pegasus returned to her familiar wall-eyed expression. Twilight realized she did this on purpose, to show that she did, indeed, have some control over her mental state. She blinked her eyes straight again and waited for Twilight to respond.
"I see, continue with your story."
"Well, as I was saying, I didn't know what to do, so I tried it all.."
Twilight couldn't help but smile as she recalled the three little fillies who were currently doing the same. She heard about the Cutie Mark Crusaders preperations for the talent show from Applejack. Like Apple Bloom, Ditzy couldn't dance her way out of a paper bag, and her attempts at singing fared far worse. Scootaloo's "rock ballad" may have been painful, but Ditzy managed to set a theater on fire when a bad note shattered an oil lamp.
The theater was saved by the quick actions of the Ponyville firehouse, who’s chief happened to be attending the auditions. Twilight could not help but notice a sparkle int those golden eyes as Ditzy described the gleaming white stallions who swooped in to contain the blaze. Luckily, even though the chief had witnessed her atrocious performance, he was willing to give Ditzy a chance, and made her a probational firefighter.
Ditzy could barely contain herself as she reiterated his words of encouragement "Let us hope, Miss, that you are better at stopping fires than starting them!"
As Ditzy laughed herself silly, Twilight just stopped. The same look of shock she wore when the Crusaders announced they were going to pursue comedy was frozen on her face. Ditzy, having regained her composure, tried to snap the violet unicorn out of her daze.
Failing, she decided that Twilight would come back on her own... eventually, and now would be as good time as any to take a break. Being "normal" for so long was wearing her out.
Ooooooh! I didn't know she could control it... I mean it makes sense now that I think about it. Occasionally she'd show up with straight eyes, and act normally, but then she started showing up with her derpy eyes all the time... I just thought some producer-type somebody decided that if the fans liked Derpy, why not give the fans what they want?
YIPE! How long have you been there? Well, I mean you've -always- been there since the beginning of this story... but... you weren't supposed to see that!
I'm Pinkie Pie and I approve this message!
Ditzy sat back down across from Twilight and sipped her tea. She blinked her eyes straight, and asks "Are you better now?"
"You nearly burned down a theater, and the firechief makes a joke about it while giving you a job?"
"He's known for his weird sense of humor... And besides, it's not like I could cause too much trouble anyway. I was a 'probie' and couldn't even touch some of the equipment. They only had me doing simple chores... Like refilling the water tower, because it was used to put out the theater fire.
"Even the chief's sense of humor couldn't save me when he found I filled the tower with mud."
"Wow, mud? Really?" Twilight asked in disbelief.
"Yep!" exclaimed Ditzy, "And get this: It was the -same- water tower I tried to fix with wood and tape."
Ditzy continued listing jobs she tried out. A formal faux pas forced her failure as a fashionista. A clumsy crack of lightning caused a catastrophe for a Canterlot caravan. Even planning a party produced a predicament Pandora would've been proud of.
She even tried working at Sweet Apple acres. Applejack tasked her with moving bales of hay into the hay-loft in the barn. Ditzy recalled that AJ had shown her how to use the catapult by launching a hay-bale straight through the second story door. When it was Ditzy’s turn she ended launching her projectile clear over the barn, and deep into the Everfree Forest.
Twilight had to stifle a giggle when she put two and two together.
"Earlier today, Rainbow told me her side of that story," Twilight said, "Apparently she was flying over the Everfree forest when the bale of hay landed on her."
"Don't worry, I'm sure she'll get over it."
"Yeah," said Ditzy, "Wait! Does that mean she hasn't?"
"Well, that did keep her from warning Ponyville about the salamancer"
"Oh, yeah! I was flying home after leaving Applejack's farm when the salamancer came out of the forest! Have you seen one, all fiery and red and scaly? It's big enough, it could've eaten an apple cart in one gulp! Well... If the cart hadn't burst into flames as it got close."
"I can't say that I've ever seen one, salamancers are very rare. So, what happened?"
"I let myself go. I've shown you that I can control my 'derp'. Well this was when I first learned how to. I took all my good sense, and set it aside. Crossed my eyes, and let myself fly. Right into the water tower! It tipped over, dousing the salamancer in mud."
"That would have put out its flames for sure," said Twilight.
Ditzy nodded and said, "Yes, it did. The salamancer turned and ran back into the Everfree forest, never to bee seen again."
"Since then," Ditzy continued, "I knew I could control it, as long as I spent enough time each day being 'Derpy' I could focus when I needed to. I accepted this and that's when my bubbles appeared! So when the ponies call me 'Derpy' it reminds me of the hero who saved the town from a salamancer."
Dear Princess Celestia
After talking with one Ditzy 'Derpy' Doo, I have learned an important lession about frienship, and about life. Everypony is different, and that's what makes us unique. But, sometimes those differences can be troublesome. Accepting your flaws are the only way to overcome them, and if you're comfortable with who you are your friends will be too.
I also learned that it's okay to ask friends about things you don't understand. As long as your kind and accepting of the answer you get, you may find yourself developing a deeper appreciation of that pony.
Your faithful student,
"Ya all done?"
"Pinkie? Where have you been!?" Twilight was almost screaming.
"Oh, y'know... around."
Twilight opened her mouth to protest, and immediately thought better of it. Took a deep breath and let it out slowly, as she thought about what she would say. Pinkie just stood there and watched her friend, bright eyed and seemingly oblivious.
"I just got done listening to Ditzy Doo tell the story about her nickname. Do you know that story?" Twilight asked.
"Would you have told me if I had asked you earlier?"
"Well," Pinkie looked away, too ashamed to make eye contact, "I would've tried not to, but you probably would've kept asking, until I did. It was important for you to hear the story from Ditzy herself."
Twilight smiled, "And I did. Thank you Pinkie Pie, I don't know how you know, but you're right, it was important that I hear the story from Ditzy."
"So, are you going to call her 'Derpy' now?"
"On occasion. Old habits die hard."