The Kobold of Ponyville
Chapter VIII - Papers Please
Tak grumbled as he tapped the table with his claws over and over, his head resting in his other hand. He was staring at the clock that was hanging in Fluttershy’s kitchen as it slowly ticked. Tak sighed as he rested his head on the side of his head as he listened to the dull ticking sounds of the clock. He didn’t notice the sound of hooves gently approaching the kitchen.
“Morning, Tak,” Fluttershy greeted.
Tak merely grunted in response as he gave a flick of his hand gently.
Fluttershy giggled softly and nuzzled him gently, “Aw, don’t be so sad, Tak. It’s not like it will last forever.”
“Tak still doesn't get this grounded thing, Tak is always grounded ‘cos Tak doesn’t have wings!” Tak grumbled, flapping his arms for emphasis.
Fluttershy smiled and shook her head, “That may be true, Tak. But I’ve told you before that some words have more than one meaning.”
“Tak thinks that is strange,” the kobold replied as he lifted his head up upon hearing the sound of plates being taken out the cupboard, “Tak still doesn’t get why he is grounded though...”
“Because, mister. Whilst your intentions were good, you still got into a fight twice recently. And it’s only for another day, sweetie.”
Tak merely grumbled as he rested his head on his arms. Tak was still unsure to the concept of grounding, but from what Fluttershy had told him, it basically meant he wasn’t allowed to go out and play with his friends for a couple of days due to his behaviour.
Fluttershy hummed softly to herself as she began to cook some breakfast for herself and Tak started to drum his fingers on the table, his eyes half open as he idly stared at the opposite wall. His eyes soon lit up, however, as the smell of fish being cooked wafted into his nostrils and he began to wag his tail happily.
After a little wait, the meal was ready, and Fluttershy brought over the first plate which contained a few well cooked fish for Tak, before she brought her own over containing toast and eggs. Tak happily picked up a fish, ready to tuck into the delicious morsel. He stopped when he noticed Fluttershy pick up two items from beside her plate, one of which reminding him of a sword and the other of a trident. He watched curiously as she used the utensils to cut up her meal and delicately eat it.
Even though he had had a couple of meals with her, the kobold had not paid much attention to how Fluttershy ate her food. More often than not, Tak would only pay attention to his own meal, greedily and happily eating out of his own claws. He looked down to see that he had the same two silver items beside his own plate. After glancing up at Fluttershy once more, he placed the fish back on the plate and lifted up the two items, gripping them both in a tight fist.
Sticking his tongue out in concentration, Tak started to mimic the way Fluttershy cut up her food, albeit it somewhat badly. Fluttershy looked up from her food and smiled, finding Tak’s concentration adorable. The kobold began to grumble as he started to make a mess of his cutting and glared at the knife and fork as if he was silently blaming them for failing him.
“Tak, sweetie. Do you want some help?” She asked, placing down her own utensils.
“No, no… Tak’s got this!” Tak replied as she started to experiment with holding the knife and fork in a manner of different ways.
Fluttershy watched with her own curiosity. She hadn’t really seen a creature with fingers use utensils before. She had seen her friend Harry the bear hold a cup of tea in his claws, but never anything like this. Fluttershy would have continued to watch but she was interrupted by the sound of someone knocking on her front door. The pegasus delicately wiped her mouth before trotting out of the kitchen.
“I’ll be back in a moment, Tak,” she said as she left.
Tak grunted in reply as he concentrated on cutting up the fish. His stomach protested loudly at not being fed still, and the smell of the cooked meat was starting to drive Tak wild.
“Why do ponies use these accursed things?!” Tak growled
After failing again to properly get a good enough grip, he started to stab his fish with the fork angrily.
After he was done venting, he lifted it up, having spear the fish and started to bite around the fork, letting out a light moan of delight from the taste of the fish. The kobold tapped the table with his claws and his tail wagged, a happy smile on his face.
With the fish eaten, he looked at the next lot, then back at the knife and fork before inhaling sharply.
“Okay… this time for sure, Tak can do this. What could possibly go wrong?”
Fluttershy hummed to herself softly as she made her way through the living room, minding all the various small animals that were living in her home. She opened the door to see Twilight.
“Oh, hello, Twilight. What brings you here this morning?”
“Morning, Fluttershy. I was up last night thinking about what we could do to help Tak get better used to Ponyville, and I thought of something that should work out in everypony’s favour.”
Fluttershy tilted her head a little, “Oh? And what’s that?”
“Well… it’s something me and Mayor Mare have talked about, and we’d to discuss with it in her office with you.”
“The Mayor?” Fluttershy gasped, “Y-you’re not going to let Tak g-get into trouble are you?”
Twilight quickly shook her head, “Oh Celestia, no! Trust me, Fluttershy. I think you will like what me and the Mayor have been talking about.”
The pegasus looked back towards the kitchen and rubbed her leg softly, “Do we have to go right this second?”
“Well, I’d rather do this now before the authorities get wind of Tak being in town. You know how kobolds are not exactly seen as peaceful creatures. Well, with the exception of Tak that is obviously.”
Fluttershy lowered her ears at the thought of the authorities taking Tak away or worse. The pegasus bit her lower lip gently as she looked back towards the kitchen and then back at Twilight, “Okay… only problem is, Tak’s still grounded and I don’t want to leave him here by himself.”
Before Twilight could answer, they heard a familiar voice call from behind the unicorn. Turning around, Twilight smiled as she Rarity approach, a small box floating in her magic.
“Morning, darlings!” Rarity greeted, “isn’t it such a nice day today?”
“Rarity!” Twilight grinned, “Perfect timing! Can I ask you a favour?”
“Oh?” Rarity replied, “What sort of favor would that be?”
“Well, I need to discuss something private with the Mayor and Fluttershy regarding Tak. However, Tak’s grounded and Fluttershy is a little nervous about leaving him on his own.”
Fluttershy confirmed this with a nervous nod of her head.
“A meeting? Oooo do tell, Twilight!” Rarity asked, a glimmer in her eyes.
“No can do, I’m afraid,” Twilight replied,” Strictly between me, the Mayor and Fluttershy. You’ll know soon enough anyway.
Rarity pouted at being denied some juicy info but nodded her head anyway, “Fair enough, my dear. And let me guess, you would like it if I were to babysit Tak whilst you too have your discussion with the Mayor?”
“That’s right. Oh please, Rarity!” Fluttershy pleaded, “I know it’s last minute but—”
“It’s not a worry, darling,” Rarity interrupted with a smile, “besides, I brought Tak a present.”
“A present?” Fluttershy asked curiously.
“Mhm, thought I’d make him a little something to wear, seeing as all he has to wear is those ghastly rags of his!”
“That sounds lovely, Rarity. I’m sure Tak will love them,” the pegasus smiled.
“Now off you two go, don’t worry about us. Tak and I will have a splendid time.”
Fluttershy smiled as she headed back into the house, “Just let me say goodbye to Tak quickly.”
The unicorns nodded as Fluttershy entered the kitchen, “Tak, sweetie. I’m just going—”
Fluttershy blinked as she stared into the kitchen. Somehow, Tak had managed to not only cover himself in bits of fish, but he had also was coated in a lot of red. The pegasus noticed that a bottle of ketchup was lying down without its lid on the table, the top pointing at a very confused kobold.
“Tak… what happened?” Fluttershy asked, trying to stifle a giggle.
“Tak… doesn't know. One moment Tak is mastering the cutting of the fish, the next Tak is covered in this red stuff! Tak saw you use it before on food so Tak figured he would try. Turns out the red stuff’s container was tricker to use than Tak thought...”
“But how are you covered in fish as well, sweetie?” Fluttershy asked as she came over with a tea towel that was resting on the counter.
“Tak… may or may not of slammed his fists in frustration after being coated in the red stuff, and may or may not of hit the plate making Tak’s fish smack into him…” the kobold sheepishly replied.
Fluttershy giggled gently as she helped Tak clean himself off, “Well, never mind, sweetie. Listen, I need to go into town for a while with Twilight. Rarity’s popped round to keep an eye on you for a bit, okay?”
The kobold grumbled, “Tak doesn't need a watcher, Tak can look after himself!”
“I know you can, but you are grounded remember?” Fluttershy smirked back.
“Yeah yeah…” Tak grumbled.
The pegasus gave him a gentle nuzzle, “Now… you go and get yourself washed up okay? If you hurry up, you can open the present that Rarity—”
“White pony got me a present?!” Tak asked excitedly, his tail wagging rapidly as he looked up at Fluttershy with big eyes full of joy.
Fluttershy gently booped his snout and giggled, “Rarity got you a present, yes. But you need to wash yourself before—”
Before she could finish, the kobold had lept from his seat and rushed towards the stairs, running up them as the pegasus smiled and shook her head before returning to the front door.
“Tak’s just cleaning himself off, Rarity. He won’t be a moment if you want to come in.” Fluttershy said.
“Cleaning himself off?” Rarity asked as she walked inside.
Fluttershy tittered, “He got a little messy when he ate his food, he won’t be long. Are you sure you two will be okay?”
Rarity smiled reassuringly at her friend, “Of course we will, everything will be fine. Now, run along you two. Do let me know how your meeting goes!”
“We will, see you later, Rarity.” Twilight replied.
“Bye, Tak. I won’t be too long!” Fluttershy called up the stairs.
She received a grunt in response, hearing the sounds of water coming from the upstairs bathroom.
Fluttershy and Twilight started to walk down the path, Rarity waving them goodbye before she entered the house and closed the door. She settled the small box down on the coffee table as she sat on the sofa and patiently waited for Tak.
“So, any clue as to what this meeting is about, Twilight?” Fluttershy asked.
Twilight smiled mischievously at her friend and shook her head, “Nope, not saying anything. Just trust me on this.”
Fluttershy frowned a little as the two continued their walk through the town, each passing second making her feel more and more anxious about the meeting. She knew that Twilight wouldn't lie to her about the meeting being bad, but she couldn’t help play the worst case scenarios through her mind as her anxiety started to build. The two soon came to the town hall and entered, Mayor Mare’s secretary, Scribble Books, who was sitting at her desk looked up and smiled.
“Hello! The Mayor’s in her office waiting for you,” she said cheerfully.
“Thank you,” Twilight replied, “Come on, Fluttershy.”
Fluttershy nervously followed her friend as she entered the Mayor’s office. Mayor Mare was currently writing something as she looked up at the two.
“Ah, good. Please, have a seat you two,” she smiled.
The two took a seat as Mayor Mare shuffled some papers and put them to one side before she addressed them.
“Okay, firstly. I know this is short notice, Fluttershy. But me and Twilight have been talking about this whole Tak business…”
“H-he’s not in any trouble is he?” Fluttershy asked, “You a-aren’t going to call the guard or—”
“Easy, Fluttershy,” Twilight giggled softly, “Let the Mayor finish.”
Fluttershy smiled sheepishly, “S-sorry…”
“It’s okay,” Mayor Mare chuckled, “As I was saying, we’ve been discussing the whole thing and I have something I want to ask you.”
“What’s that?” Fluttershy asked.
“Well, as you know. Kobolds are viewed by pony society as, well, threats. Much like how Diamond dogs are seen. At least to those who do know of Kobolds. Not that I’m saying Tak is, of course, he’s a little dear.” The Mayor said with a smile.
The pegasus nodded back. From her own reading of their species, she knew that kobolds and ponies very rarely got on with one another, and the state didn’t see them as fully fledged citizens due to how they acted towards ponies. Save for Tak, naturally.
“Anyway, after Tak was introduced to our town and for the most part the majority of the town saw how he was, well, different. Twilight here had an idea that she spoke to me about the morning after.”
“Oh?” Fluttershy asked, looking to her friend.
Twilight nodded, “Tak hit it off with all of us, and with the majority of the town to. So I had a word with Princess Celestia—”
“Oh dear! she’s not going to banish my little Tak is she?” Fluttershy interrupted, her voice full of panic.
Twilight stifled a giggle, “No, she’s not, Fluttershy. Don’t worry! I explained the situation to her and proposed something to her.”
“What’s that?” Fluttershy asked.
“Well, like the Mayor said. Pony and kobold relations have always been tense, with ponies thinking that kobolds were just feral animals like the diamond dogs. But that’s been proved to be wrong with Tak’s arrival, hasn’t it?” Twilight started
Fluttershy nodded as Twilight continued.
“So I suggested that we use it to help build a possible relation with the kobolds if we can get Tak accustomed to our way and in turn learn more about their ways. She agreed and is going to be coming tomorrow along with Princess Luna to speak with Tak. And, as long as you are okay with it, she sent me a couple of forms to give to the Mayor, to give to you
Fluttershy bit her lip as she processed the information. It did honestly sound like a good idea to her, it would certainly benefit both races. However, she felt she needed to talk to Tak about this as she felt the request may be a little bit too much for the little kobold. She looked over to Twilight with as much of a stern look as possible.
“Okay… I g-guess I could see that working for both of our kinds. I’ll still need to ask Tak if he is okay with it, though. And if he refuses it I don’t want a-anypony pestering him, okay?”
Both the Mayor and Twilight nodded. The pegasus smiled as she looked over to the Mayor.
“Okay, and what’re the forms?”
The Mayor smiled as she passed over two forms to Fluttershy. The pegasus took the forms and scanned over them both, one in each hoof, seeing the Royal coat of arms at the top of the forms got her curious and she began to read the words carefully. As she read, her eyes started to slowly open wide and her pupils shrank a little. Twilight tried to fight back a fit of giggles as her friend stared shocked at the papers, the pegasus’ mouth dropping as she shakily and slowly looked up to the Mayor who was smiling.
Rarity hummed softly to herself as she perused through a magazine Fluttershy had left on her coffee table. It wasn’t long before she heard the sounds of footsteps coming down the stairs and she placed the magazine back on the table before turning her head as the Kobold entered the room.
“Hello, Tak dear. I hope you’re doing okay?” She said with a small smile
Tak entered the room with his body wrapped up in a towel, clearly a bit too big for him, with his head poking out. Rarity giggled softly at the spectacle as the kobold looked at her with slight confusion.
“What? Tak was told you ponies use towels to dry yourselves!”
“Don’t worry, Tak.” Rarity said, “I’m guessing Fluttershy told you why I popped round?”
Tak grinned whilst nodding his head as his tail wagged under the towel , “Uhuh! She said you got Tak a present!”
“That’s right,” Rarity replied, “I just could not stand by, knowing you only had those, ghastly clothes you have.”
Tak pouted a little, “What’s wrong with Tak’s clothes?”
Rarity quickly shook one of her front legs, “I meant no offence, dear. I just thought you might like to have more than one pair of clothes, in case you get your other ones dirty.”
As she said this, her horn lit up and the lid of the box she brought came off and she levitated a series of clothing out. Tak stared in awe at the clothes, his eyes sparkling a little. Rarity had made a few shirts and shorts that took a kobold’s feet into consideration as well as what appeared to be wooly garments which Tak assumed were meant for when the weather got cold.
“So, Tak. What do you think?” Rarity asked.
“They are amazing!” Tak grinned.
“I’m glad,“ Rarity tittered, “wait till you see what else I made…”
“You mean there’s more?” Tak asked with a childlike gasp of excitement.
Rarity nodded and grinned mischievously as she levitated three outfits out of the box. Tak’s eyes went wider than he thought possible as he saw what she was levitating. His jaw opened and his arms went limp at the side of his body.
Floating in her aura, were three individual, kobold sized, replica daring do outfits. Complete with matching shorts and a pith helmet.
Rarity couldn’t help giggling as Tak stared at the clothes in shock, “I Take it you like—”
Tak interrupted her by tackling her and hugging her tightly around the neck, “Thank you so much, white pony!”
Rarity smiled and returned the hug, before using her magic to place the kobold down. “Why don’t you go try one of them on then, darling?”
Tak grinned as he took one of the Daring Do outfits and dashed into the next room. Rarity tittered again as the front door opened and Fluttershy entered with Twilight in toe.
“Welcome back, how was the meeting?” Rarity asked.
Fluttershy merely giggled with excitement as she held onto the papers she was carrying. Twilight chuckled softly and smiled.
“Perfectly, we just need to ask Tak something now.”
Rarity grinned, “He should be back in a moment, he’s just trying something on.”
Twilight and Fluttershy looked at the unicorn curiously before they noticed the clothing on the sofa and understood what Rarity meant. Tak soon returned, wearing his new outfit which made Twilight smile at the sight.
“Tak’s now ready for adventure!” The kobold declared.
“It suits you, Tak.” Rarity smiled.
“You look very cute, Tak,” Fluttershy said, nuzzling Tak’s cheek.
“Tak,” Twilight said, catching the attention of the kobold, “Fluttershy has something to ask you.”
“What’s that?” Tak asked, tilting his head curiously at the pegasus.
“Well, sweetie... I’ve been talking with Mayor Mare, o-our town’s Mayor. And we, along with Twilight have come to a decision regarding your residency in Ponyville”
The kobold simply nodded, not entirely sure what she meant by the word.
“Tomorrow, you’re going to be meeting Princess Celestia and Princess Luna. Our rulers,” Fluttershy continued.
“Roo-lers?” Tak asked, tilting his head, “Ponies name those measuring stick thingys?”
The three mare’s giggled at the kobold’s confusion, “No, no… they rule us. Like a chieftain or a King.”
Tak paused for a moment before he nodded, understanding what they meant.
“A-anyway... they along, with our Mayor, have given it the okay, as well as m-myself and… well.” Fluttershy paused for a moment and smiled warmly to the kobold.
“Would you like me to be your guardian… ?”