• Published 21st Feb 2012
  • 60,544 Views, 434 Comments

Reading Rainbow - Corejo

When Twilight is admitted to the Ponyville hospital, Rainbow Dash is there for her.

  • ...

Reading Rainbow

Author's Note:

April 26, 2016 update: The poem within this story is looking to make the jump to hard copy form with fully updated meter and rhyme! Want one for yourself? Go here and comment!

May 23, 2016 update: The updated poem is in the next chapter! Enjoy!

Reading Rainbow

Rainbow Dash tore through the sky, flying as fast as her wings could carry her. Come on! Hurry up! Pain shot down her wing, but she ignored it. Her friend was more important.

The Ponyville hospital appeared on the horizon, quickly growing to meet her. Within seconds, she weaved through the streets and reached the outskirts of town where the enormous building awaited. Gliding just under the hospital’s awning, she burst through the double doors and tumbled into an ungraceful heap on the floor.

The receptionist behind the counter jumped from her seat, more from shock than anything else. She rushed over to help, but nearly leapt out of her skin when Rainbow Dash lunged at her and pinned her to the counter.

Where is she!?” Rainbow Dash yelled, panting heavily.

The mare pointed a shaky hoof to the door behind herself. “Fifth door on the left,” she managed to squeak. In an instant, Rainbow Dash was through the door in a whirlwind of rainbows and paperwork.

She skidded to a halt outside room number five and bucked the door in. “Alright, who did it!?” she yelled as she leapt across the threshold. “Who hurt Twilight!?” She shadowboxed the stuffy hospital air. “Lemme at ‘em!”

“Rain—” Applejack said.

“I mean it! I’ll kick their flank!”


“I’ll teach ‘em not to mess with my friends! I’ll-”


Rainbow Dash stopped and stared at Applejack.

“Twilight’s fine, Rainbow,” Applejack said. “Nopony hurt her. There’s no need to get all up about it.”

“Rainbow Dash isn’t getting up, silly; she’s already standing!” Pinkie Pie exclaimed, jumping up and down.

“Applejack’s quite right,” Rarity chimed in from the bedside. “There’s no need to get so worried over a little injury like this.”

“Wha-little?” Rainbow Dash repeated, looking between her and Twilight, who was propped up in bed. “What do you mean little?” She pointed a hoof at Twilight. “She can’t even see with those bandages over her eyes! What happened? Fluttershy made it sound like an emergency!”

The sound of wheezing echoed in from the hallway as Fluttershy stumbled in, sweating profusely. “I... found... her,” she said between gasps before collapsing to the floor.

“Oh, dear,” Rarity muttered, levitating a glass of water from the nightstand and trotting over to help.

Rainbow Dash ignored the scene and walked to the bedside to put a hoof on her friend’s. “Hey Twilight,” she said softly. “How you doin’? You alright?”

Twilight gave a friendly smile. “Hey, Rainbow, as you can probably see, I’ve been better. But I think I’ll be fine.” She cast a sightless gaze down at the doll resting between her forehoof and side and gave it a gentle shake. “Smarty Pants will take care of me. It was just... one too many books is all.”

“One too many books is right,” said a voice from behind. Rainbow Dash turned to see a unicorn stallion looking up from a levitating clipboard. “Fixing that Split-Sight spell you used was a little trickier than it should have been, but I believe we’ve avoided any lasting damage. Though, I still don’t understand why you would want to read more than one book at a time in the first place.”

“Heh, you don’t know Twilight,” Rainbow Dash replied, ruffling her friend’s mane.

“Hmm, I guess not,” the doctor said. “But I see you’re doing pretty well, Rainbow Dash. Not going too hard on your wing, are you?”

She looked away, laughing weakly. “Uh, of course not, Doc! Why would I?” she said quickly with a suspicious smile.

He raised an eyebrow. “Anyways. Miss Sparkle, even though we’ve reverted your eyesight to normal, you’re going to have to stay here and wear those bandages for a few weeks so your eyes readjust properly.”

Twilight’s smile faded. Her shoulders slouched, and her head fell with them.

“A few weeks?” the others echoed.

“But if Twilight’s stuck in here, then who’s gonna run the library?” Applejack asked.

“Don’t worry about that, Applejack,” Twilight said. “I’m sure Spike can take care of things while I’m here. I just... wish I didn’t have to be...” She sank into the bedsheets and rolled over.

“Cheer up, Twilight,” Rarity said. “Staying in a hospital can’t be that bad.”

“Yeah!” Pinkie Pie yelled. “I bet there’s loads of super-duper, extra-spectacular fun stuff you could do! Like blow up balloons, and plan lots of parties, and eat lots of food, and sing to all the other ponies, and then eat some more, and the-and then have wheelchair races, a...” Her eyes widened as the idea washed over her. “Hey! Can I stay in the hospital, too?” she asked the doctor with a beaming smile. He glared at her in annoyance.

Twilight perked up. “You’re right! I can do this. I’ll just curl up with my favorite book and...” She slumped back down with a groan.

A nurse poked her head in the door. “Doctor, we need you in room twelve. He thinks somepony’s stealing his slippers again.”

The doctor sighed heavily and rubbed his temple. “I’ll be right there.” He turned to address everypony in the room. “Alright. Miss Sparkle needs her rest, and visiting hours ends in a few minutes, so I’ll have to ask you all to say goodbye. You can come see her in the morning.”

They all said their farewells and exited the room, but Rainbow Dash stopped in the doorway to look back at her friend. Empathy and guilt built in her stomach. Twilight looked terrible. She couldn’t leave her here alone, not like that. She had to do something. But what?

Suddenly, an idea came to her, and she turned to the doctor. “Hey, Doc, would it be alright if I stayed a little longer?”

“I’m sorry, Rainbow Dash,” he replied. “Rules are rules. You can see her in the morning with your other friends.”

“But-but, Doc! Just look at her! She can’t even read with those bandages over her eyes! She’ll go insane!”

“I said I’m sorry, but no.” He turned to leave, but she blocked his path.

“Hey, I’m not leaving her like that,” she said, glaring at him.

He seemed to consider her words before glancing over his shoulder at Twilight, who sat hunched over in bed. Her bandages were damp. Sighing, he looked back to Rainbow Dash. “Alright, you can stay. Just mind the other patients.”

“Alright!” she yelled, jumping into the air. “Thanks, Doc!”

Rainbow Dash was off in a blaze. She turned the corner and collided with a nurse pushing a book trolley. “Ouch.” She rubbed her head and gave the mare an apologetic smile. “Heh, sorry.” Grabbing one of the books strewn across the floor, she ran back to Twilight’s room. Quietly, she opened the door and walked in.

Twilight looked up. “Hello?” she called, rubbing her bandages.

Rainbow Dash set the book down on the bed. “Hey, Twilight.”

A smile formed on Twilight’s face. “Oh, hey, Rainbow. You came back? I thought the doctor said you had to leave.”

“Heh, nopony’s gonna stop me from being there for my friends when they need me,” Rainbow Dash said as she pulled up a stool and sat down. “You gave me a book to read when I was stuck here. I thought I’d return the favor,” she added with a smile.

“Um, Rainbow,” Twilight said, pointing to her bandages, “I can’t see, remember?”

Rainbow Dash looked at her as if that was the dumbest thing she could have possibly said. “Uh, duh.” She picked up the book and opened it.

Twilight heard the familiar sound of flipping paper and, with a tender smile, snuggled beneath the sheets. “What book is it?”

“Uh...” Rainbow Dash checked the front cover. “One Full Day, by Shel Silverhoof,” she read.

“Ooh, I haven’t read that book before,” Twilight said.

“You haven’t?” Rainbow Dash asked.

Twilight laughed. “You say that like it surprises you.”

“Yeah, because it does.”

“Well, then why do you think I’m in here in the first place?”

Rainbow Dash thought it over for a second. “Because you were reading books?”

“Aaand why was I reading books?”

Rainbow Dash shrugged. It made sense. “One Full Day,” she repeated, looking back at the book in her hooves. She flipped to the first page of the story where an oddly stylized house peered up at her. She stared at in confusion.

“Rainbow? Is something wrong?” Twilight asked.

“Yeah,” she replied, tilting the book from side to side and squinting at it, as if that would somehow improve her understanding. “What’s wrong with this house? This picture doesn’t make any sense!”

Twilight laughed again. “Well, maybe if you start reading, it will.”

Rainbow Dash gave her a sour glance, but then positioned the book comfortably on her lap and cleared her throat.

“In the town of New Filly, there once stood a house,

Though its stature was more of a hou or an ouse.

For the little old home wasn’t very complete;

Not a half of its self could it boast was replete.”

“See? I told you,” Twilight interrupted, grinning triumphantly. Rainbow Dash glanced up from the book and grumbled before resuming.

On the Street of Halfway, all alone did it sit,

And the stallion that owned it could only admit:

It had only three walls that wrapped halfway around,

And on only one part was a broken roof found.

His living room sat in the plainest of sight

Of those who so chose to pass it at night.

His bedroom was lofted a single floor high;

It gave him a view of the wonderful sky.

On the wall t’ward the middle, there rested a clock.

With a count of six numbers, it’d tick, but not tock.

A bed halfway built, in the corner so snug,

Sat halfway unmade on a threadbare shag rug.

Quite chilly’s the kitchen, as cold as dry ice;

Having half of a fridge really paid its own price?”

Rainbow Dash raised an eyebrow. “Who in the hay only owns half of a fridge?”

Twilight smiled. “Rainbow, it’s a part of the story. It ma-”

“Yeah yeah, fine. It makes sense, whatever,” she replied with a wave of her hoof.

“Finding the bathroom was no simple task.

And trying to use it... just don’t even ask.

“Wha-what? This is stupid! I’m gonna go get another book.”

“Rainbow wait,” Twilight said. “Just keep reading.”

“No, that book is totally uncool,” she said, heading for the door. “I’m gonna find a Daring Do book.”


Rainbow Dash looked over her shoulder.

“Please? I really like it.”

Rainbow Dash wavered. She thought that the book sucked big time, but she was there for Twilight and nopony else. Sighing, she walked back to the stool. “Alright.”


“No problem, Twilight.” She sat down on the stool again and picked up where she left off.

“But regardless of these did the stallion now tread

Up the street named Halfway, t’ward his little homestead.

To the sun overhead had the stallion been gazing

But then with a start did he wake from his fazing.

"'It is nearly that time,' did he say ‘fore, 'methinks.

I should jump into bed, so to get twenty winks.'”

She looked up at Twilight. “Twenty winks?”

Twilight laughed. “Think about it.” Rainbow Dash stared at her blankly, gears churning. When it clicked, she let out a laugh and dove back into the book.

“Off the halfway-built road did the stallion then hop

T’ward his halfway-built door, where he came to a stop.

He lifted the mat, that which only said ‘-come,’

And he fitted the key, and he entered his home.

Of the stairs in his ouse, every other he climbed.

As he entered his room, half past noon the clock chimed.

He looked in the mirror, cut straight down the middle,

At his mane—black and white—as it sat all a-twiddle.

He glanced at his coat and its colors so true:

The strongest of hues of steel grey and dark blue.

And closer he looked, beneath eyes blue and green,

At the bags that could surely from Heaven be seen.

'Oh, what work I have had in the morn’ of this day!

The rest of this light I shall sleep half away!'

So onto his bedding the stallion then rolled.

He looked at the sun—which looked back at him, bold.

A face did he make, such a terrible pout,

He yelled at the sun, 'Would you turn your light out!?'

But the sun—as it was—gave him not a reply;

It just sat as it did in its spot in the sky.

With a very loud grumble and audible huff,

The stallion rolled over, had had quite enough.

Half of a bed, at his side was it not.

And a hole in his heart quickly grew at the thought.

A mare full of love was all he did want,

And for all of his own to so act as a font.

But with half of a sigh, to half slumber he fell.

How exactly he did so, one couldn’t quite tell.

The dreams that he had were no more than half dreamt;

For just half a day did he have to preempt.

Quite quickly did pass the day into night,

And into the dawn of the next daily light.

He woke in the morn’ to a wonderful day.

He woke once again to just work it halfway.”

“Wait,” Twilight interrupted again, “if he only slept half of a day at noon, then how is it morning?”

Rainbow Dash glanced up at her. “And you were yelling at me for questioning the book?”

Twilight’s face blanked. She sank further under the covers with a blush and a smile.

Rainbow Dash looked back to the book, a grin on her face. Rainbow Dash one, Twilight... too many.

“He brushed half his teeth, and he gave half a grin.

Out the door, down the road, did his day then begin.

The sky was bright blue, and the birds were a-chatter.

'This day is so fine! There is nothing the matter!'

In the field to his left, many foals were at play.

But a sight caught his eye, and he stopped... all the way.

Among all the foals who were running around

Stood a mare beyond fair with such beauty abound.

All the shades of pure gold, her coat truly seemed;

Her most violet eyes, in the sun, fully gleamed.

His breath did he hold, knowing not what to do.

For where had she come from? He had not a clue.

He thought of his bed, then the hole in his heart.

And then with a stroll, t’ward the mare did he start.

As he crossed the green field did he feel very meek,

But courage returned, and it bid him to speak.

'Good morn’ there, fair maiden, may I have a word?

Please allow me to speak, and don’t think me absurd.'

To this did the mare shyly glance up his way.

By the beauty she held did he lose what to say.

While lost in a trance did he give her a smile—

So toothy and silly. He stood there awhile.

Shaking his head brought him out of her spell.

He spoke from the heart, and he spoke very well.

‘A form ne-neer? Nerr?’”

“I think you mean ‘ne’er,’” Twilight happily supplied. “It’s a Shakesponian contraction used to remove excess syllables and keep a poem’s meter in check. This one specifically is following anapestic tetrameter.”

Rainbow Dash stared at her levelly. Like she cared about whatever any of that meant.

“Uh, you there?” Twilight asked.

“Heh, yeah,” Rainbow Dash replied upon remembering her friend couldn’t see her. She smiled. It was just Twilight being Twilight.

“‘A form ne’er so graceful, nor such beauty so rare.

That straight from my chest, my half-heart did they snare.

And there on from yours, do I wholly desire,

To entwine you with love, your sweet heart to acquire.

How now, my fair maid, I must hear what you’ll say

May I ask of your heart only once for today?'

His little heart pittered right out of his chest,

But hers was not so—barely pattered at best.

She glanced at his coat and from there to his mane.

And then at his eyes with a look of disdain.

'What happened to you?' the mare then inquired.

'Many years has it been since that look had expired.’

‘I know not what you mean,’ discon... disconcerted! -hah!- he said.

At his curls she then pointed, on top of his head.

'You’ve a mane of some black, and there’s also some white.

I must ask as to how you can sleep so at night.

Your coat is so wacky: dark blue and steel grey!

Don’t you see how it drives everypony away?

I don’t want to sound rude, not the slightest bit mean.

But it is pretty funny, just one eye of green.

I am sorry, sir stallion, you’ve spoken your word.

I’ve allowed you to speak, and I think you absurd.'

With not but a smile did she turn on a whim,

Dashed his high hopes, made his chances more slim.

He returned to his ouse with hot fumes from his ears.

It drove him quite mad, nearly drove him to tears!

‘Absurd and so silly is what she called me!’”


“‘I’ll change how I look! That’ll show her! She’ll see!’”

“Rainbow!” Twilight yelled. Rainbow Dash looked up. “You’re shouting.”

“Oh, heh. Sorry.

“He ran to the store, and he bought himself paint;

At such brilliant, deep crimson the mare would sure faint.

All his mane did he dye to the sleekest of black;

A masterful plan, quite immune to all flak.

The optome? optometrist! sold him but one, single lens

That was colored bright green, so to match the last trends.

Into his mirror, the stallion did glance.

'Now will I be rejected? Ha! Not a chance!'

He went to the field, then, to find her again;

Boldly he ‘proached, and he gave her a grin.

'Good morn’ there, fair maiden, may I have a word?

Please allow me to speak, and don’t think me absurd.

My hair is all black. It is no more half white.

It is no more a threat in the middle of night.

My coat is not wacky, not blue and not grey.

It will no longer drive anypony away.

I don’t think you rude, nor the slightest bit mean.

For not a bit funny are two eyes of green.

How now, my fair maid, I must hear what you’ll say

May I ask of your heart only once more today?'

The beautiful mare then, after a glance,

Said, 'Alright, good sir, I will give you a chance.'

His face, in a whirl, by a grin was it swept,

But calm did he stay; his composure he kept.

'My house is just there; it is not a great hike.

It is quite a fine place that I think you will like.'

Up the street named Halfway soon the pair of them strode,

T’ward the halfway-built ouse—t’ward his humble abode.

After crossing the yard did he open his door,

But she gave him a look, as if hoping for more.

'Oh my, mister stallion, you call this a house?

For its stature is more of a hou or an ouse.

Only three walls around is your little homestead,

And to only one part is a roof overhead.

Your living room here—it is right in plain view

Of the street that you’re on... quite a problem to few.

Your bedroom does hang just one floor above.

It’s too close to death with just one simple shove.

If I lived in this place would my work come a-knocking.

For I would not wake to a clock that’s not tocking.

Your bed, as it seems, is a scare, I confess.

Halfway built, halfway made, it is quite a fine mess.

Your kitchen is cold. It chills right to the bone!

Not half of a fridge could I possibly own.’”

Rainbow Dash looked up at Twilight with a grin. “I told you having half of a fridge was stupid.”

Smiling, Twilight sighed. “Just keep reading.”

“‘The bathroom is hidden. It is, try to find!

The thought of its use... nevermind.’

“I still don’t get it,” Rainbow Dash said. Twilight facehoofed and started to explain, but was cut off by Rainbow Dash’s fervent reading.

“‘I am sorry, sir stallion, you’ve spoken your word.

I’ve allowed you to speak, and I think you absurd.'

She turned then to leave as she bid him good day.

But try as he might, he had nothing to say.

He sat there in thought. He began then to stew.

A lightbulb went off, and he knew what to do.

He set straight to work. He worked in a flurry.

He worked with much speed. He was in quite a hurry.

In all of his haste did he make lots of noise,

But when he was finished, he stood with great poi-poise?”

Rainbow Dash looked up, and Twilight nodded.


Unto his home did the stallion then glance.

Now will I be rejected? Ha! Not a chance!'

He went to the field, then, to find her again;

Boldly he ‘proached, and he gave her a grin.

'Good morn’ there, fair maiden, may I have a word?

Please allow me to speak, and don’t think me absurd.

Not an hour ago did I show you my house

Whose stature you said was a hou or an ouse.

Come here, then, with me and just turn your fair head.

With a look you shall see there’s a roof overhead.

My living room, there, that was once in plain view,

Who can see from the street? Could you please name a few?

My bedroom that sits still just one floor above

Is now safe for a mare from your one simple shove.

No longer would work anymore come a-knocking.

For my clock it did tick, and is now also tocking.

A scare, did you say was my bed? Please confess!

Fully built, fully made, it’s no longer a mess.

My kitchen that chilled all the way to the bone,

No more and no less of one fridge does it own.

My bathroom that hid—that was so hard to find—

All your queries on usage, do pay them no mind!’”

Rainbow Dash’s eyes widened. “Whoa!” She flipped back a page and scanned through the lines. “He did all that in an hour?”

“It’s just a story, Rainbow,” Twilight said, smiling.

“Oh yeah. Right.

“‘How now, my fair maid, I must hear what you’ll say.

May I ask of your heart only once more today?'

The beautiful mare then, after a glance,

Said, 'Alright, good sir, I will give you a chance.'

A wonderful day did they spend in the town,

But all of the while did the mare wear a frown.

'Wha-What is the matter?' he stammered, aghast,

With a look on his face of pure flab-flabber...”

“Flabbergast!” Twilight finished for her, clapping her hooves.


Twilight’s face twisted in what was probably confusion, but Rainbow Dash resumed the story, uninterested.

“‘I am sorry, sir stallion, but all I can say

Is something’s still wrong. For an answer I pray.

You have changed how you look, and your house is now true,

But what you’ve become is just not at all you.'

A quiet apology ‘scaped the fair mare,

And the stallion sat stunned, so full of despair.

He stumbled on home to his fully-built house

And then changed it all back to a hou, or an ouse.

He washed all the black right out of his mane.

Then all of the crimson from out of his frame.

He removed the green lens and bid symmetry well,

And then with a sigh, in depression he fell.

He went for a walk in the mid of the day,

And during his walk, by the field did he stray.

'Oh my, mister stallion, are you not alright?

That look on your face, it does give such a fright!'

He raised up his head, and he saw the fair mare

With a sorrowful guilt that he simply must share.

'I am sorry, fair maiden, for wasting your time.

I see I’m no good... and to try was a crime.'

He lowered his head and walked gloomily by.

At such sadness so great, she nearly did cry.

'All that you did did you do to express

All the feelings you felt—you but tried to impress.

With you nothing’s wrong. There is not a thing silly.

But the age that I’ve acted was that of a filly.

After all of this time can it plainly be seen,

Not you, it was I! The absurd one was me.'

With sorrow and sadness, she looked to the ground,

Then slowly her eyes, up to his, came around.

Shyly, a smile then formed on her face,

And after the smile did a laugh give it chase.

'Now do I know that this isn’t your fault,

And strongly do I all persistence exalt.

How now, mister stallion, I ask what you’ll say.

May I myself try, then, just once now today?'

The rest of that day, until the sun set,

They laughed and they played, like a couple long met.

He acted himself, no fay-faykaid?

“Hey, Twilight, how do you pronounce this squiggly-C thing?” She looked at her friend who lay quietly in bed. Twilight held Smarty Pants close, sleeping soundly. Rainbow Dash smiled, and she continued the story in a hushed whisper.

“He acted himself, no faykaid did he play,

And with naught but a smile, at his side did she stay.

So then on from hers, as he wholly desired,

He entwined her with love; her sweet heart he acquired.

His halfway-built home is still there on that street.

It’s a hou meant for two, and his house is complete.”

Rainbow Dash closed the book and, sighing, looked to her friend. The moon bathed her in its silvery glow. Smiling, Rainbow Dash laid the book on the nightstand and quietly stood to close the curtains.

The room now dark, she tiphooved to the door. She opened it and crossed the threshold before looking back. The light from the hallway fell upon her friend, and Rainbow Dash couldn’t help but smile. As nerdy as she was, Twilight was adorable when she slept. She peeked her head in to whisper one last word as she closed the door.


The door shut with a tiny click, and after another sigh, Rainbow Dash walked toward the exit. With the receptionist out for the night, the hum of the fluorescent lights alone bid her farewell.

The cool night air welcomed her outside as she spread her wings to take flight for home. While she flew, her back complained, sore from sitting upright on the stool for so long, but she couldn’t help her sense of contentment. She did it for Twilight, and that’s all that mattered.

Below, Ponyville drifted quietly into collective slumber. Little windows flickered out as the residents of town retired to bed. A yawn escaped her, and she rubbed the glaze from her eyes. She couldn’t agree more; it had been a long day.

The town continued to fall into darkness as its lights went out one by one. It was kind of fun to watch Ponyville shut down for the night. All those ponies going to bed while she flew solitary above was something Rainbow Dash had never experienced. While odd, it was a good feeling, one she had only Twilight to thank for.

As she smiled at that thought, her eyes wandered toward the center of town, where something caught her attention. A large tree remained aglow, like a beacon in the night. Rainbow Dash grinned. She shrugged off her drowsiness and banked downward toward the tree.

Sleep could wait; she had a month’s worth of books to check-out.