Once upon a time, there was an eminently sensible earth pony named Clyde. He lived in a small house with two elder brothers and rather insensitive parents. In preparation for winter one year, the parents asked one of the brothers to chop wood for the fire. Being the sensible pony he was, Clyde volunteered, as he recognised his brothers’ clumsiness. However, his parents refused him and instead sent the eldest brother, giving him wine and cheese for the journey.
Clyde, who realised that alcohol was not a sensible choice of drink when using sharp tools, offered to fill his brother’s flask. His parents begrudgingly allowed this, and so he went to do so. He filled it with water instead, but was careful to squeeze some ripe grapes into the flask so that the brother was adequately fooled. Then, he also took a few slices of fresh bread from the cupboard, as he knew his parents would not feed him that day.
As the brother went to chop the wood, Clyde followed him at a safe distance. He approached the forest where his brother worked, and as he did so, a small pony with a crippled leg strapped against a stick to support it, came close to him.
“Can you feed me, I’m weak, kind stranger?
Your brother refused, and for him is danger,
but please I beg from you, feed me now
and gold upon you I will endow.”
Clyde, after generously giving the pony two slices of his loaf, rather sensibly answered, “I have no need for gold, as I already have plans for starting a rock farm. Instead, I would ask you do not injure my brother, as he is clumsy enough as it is.”
The old stallion grumbled, but begrudgingly agreed. He stalked off after retrieving a golden goose from under some bushes. Clyde continued along his way, glad that he had saved his eldest brother.
However, when he returned home and explained his absence, his parents were furious. They were horrified that he had turned down an offer for gold and riches, as there was a terrible famine grasping Equestria at this time.
“Generosity from a stranger should be taken with a grain of salt,” Clyde explained, “and I have already planned for my future, with no need for random gifts to help me survive.”
His eldest brothers were also enraged that he had followed and tampered with the eldest’s food. Again, Clyde felt the need to explain himself.
“A well-implemented plan far exceeds a dubious miracle.”