• Published 14th Jul 2013
  • 1,846 Views, 92 Comments

Song of Silver - GrassAndClouds2



Silver Spoon, desperate to avoid losing to Sweetie Belle, resolves to become a musical prodigy. Hijinks ensue.

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The Best in Ponyville

It was good to know your position in the world.

Silver Spoon smiled as she rose out of bed and rubbed her eyes. The week had ended at last and two days of freedom stretched out before her, two days with no obligations and endless possibilities. Her homework had been completed the previous evening, her mane styling had been taken care of the day before that, and she had successfully wheedled her father into talking to the Scoutmaster of the local Filly Scouts and getting the boring 'how to identify plants' lesson rescheduled to half past never. She had no obligations or duties whatsoever, and, therefore, had the ability -- nay, the duty -- to indulge herself in her favorite pasttime.

That was, of course, enjoying herself to the fullest.

Silver Spoon trotted downstairs and looked around her house with approval. The Silver mansion was one of the biggest homes in Ponyville, extending three stories above ground and containing over twenty separate rooms. Silver Spoon loved each and every one of them, especially the living room, where many of the family's treasures were on display. She liked to relax on the plush carpet, reading a comic book or munching on a cupcake, and glance up at the silver figurines, jewelry, and utensils that lay on the shelves of the room. When it was hot out and the sun streaming through the window was uncomfortable, she would retreat under the large grand piano and play there, feeling like she had a fancier umbrella than any other pony in town. It was a good house, Silver Spoon thought. It was the kind of house she deserved.

The foal reached the dining room and rang her little silver bell to summon Betty Buttle, her servant. Betty was a brown-coated, tan-maned unicorn who had waited on Silver Spoon ever since she was a little foal; she was practically a member of the family. Silver Spoon approved of this, not in the least because she happened to know that Diamond Tiara could rarely keep a maid or servant for more than three months before they resigned and went to work somewhere less stressful. "A bowl of oats and honey," she ordered. "With a glass of orange juice, a dish of strawberries, and a chocolate candy bar."

"Yes, Miss Spoon," said Betty, scurrying away.

"And bring me the comics section of today's paper!" Silver Spoon said. "I want to see if Cobalt Cat finally caught Mauroon Mouse."

"Yes, Miss Spoon."

Silver fidgeted as the dishes were brought out. There were so many things she could do that day; she could play with Diamond Tiara in the park, or have a snack in Sugar Cube Corner, or beg her father to take her on the train to Canterlot so she could do some serious shopping. The latter option was looking quite attractive; she had noticed, in school the other day, that Apple Bloom had shown up with a fancy new saddlebag clasp, one made of silver and gold worked together and then painted into the shape of an apple. It wasn't superior to Silver Spoon's own saddlebag clasps, of course, but it did come a tiny bit closer than the gray filly would prefer. Besides, she'd been wanting to go back to Tiffaneigh's for quite some time now anyway. Most of her jewelry was made there -- especially her trademark pearl necklace -- and she was eager to have a new piece.

"Will there be anything else?" asked Betty.

"Get my saddlebags ready," instructed Silver Spoon. She decided that she'd split the difference. She would walk through Ponyville now, while most of her loser classmates were still asleep, and enjoy the solitude. Maybe she would even be able to relax at the park all by herself for a little bit, looking at the pretty birds and butterflies without that Scootaloo brat scattering them as she raced by, or Ditzy Doo flying down to greet her daughter and crashing into a bird's nest. Silver's father would wake up in an hour or so, so Silver Spoon would return then and put on her best 'You want to give your daughter what she deserves' face. In a short time, she'd be en route to Canterlot, where her new saddlebag clasp awaited.

Her plans decided, Silver Spoon polished off the rest of her breakfast and trotted to the closet where she kept her jewelry and other accessories. She was the daughter of Sterling Silver and the finest foal in Ponyville; she had to look the part. As such, she quickly sorted through the necklaces, earrings, hats, and other items until she had decided on the perfect outfit for the day. Pearl necklace, silver mane clasps, and... the blue glasses, the ones that go so well with my coat. She picked the items up gently in her mouth and carried them to the door, feeling happy. She'd look wonderful in these -- exactly as she should.

At last, she reached the door. Betty gently levitated the saddlebags onto her back and helped her get her accessories on. This done, Silver Spoon bid her goodbye, then headed out into the brighty, sunny day.

This is a beautiful morning, she thought. It's like it was made for me. I certainly deserve it, anyway. I'm the greatest filly in Ponyville, after all. She smiled. Now. I've got some serious butterfly-watching to do before I head into Canterlot. Time to go!

And with those thoughts, she went off into the streets of Ponyville.

***

My little pony...
Ah ah ah...
(My Little Pony)
Friendship sounded so off-key to me.
(My Little Pony)
But now you're here, and now I see...
A loyal backing
Honest melodies!
Songs to share
With loving harmonies!
Joyous dance --
Such a lovely feat --
And magic makes the perfect beat!
You are my little ponies...
Friends make the best music of all!


***

The streets of Ponyville were fairly quiet. It was early in a weekend morning, after all, and most of the foals were still tucked into their beds. A few adults were around, but not many. As such, Silver Spoon could enjoy the sweet morning air without being bothered by anypony else.

"Help!" somepony cried.

For the most part.

Frowning, Silver Spoon cantered forwards and reached the park. Looking before her, she saw the lake in the center of the park, and a dripping wet foal climbing out of it. Several birds were sitting on nearby branches, tweeting and chirping their obvious amusement.

"You're mean, birds!" complained the foal, rising up from the muddy bank and trying to shake her coat out. "It's not my fault newspaper doesn't float!"

Silver Spoon stared. "What are you doing, Sweetie Belle?"

The white-coated foal turned to look at the newcomer. "Oh! I wanted to sail out across the lake, but my newspaper boat got flooded." She shook a few scraps of newspaper off of her tail, splashing Silver Spoon in the process. "Oh well. Maybe next time I'll use construction paper instead. That's thicker--"

Sllver Spoon was already rolling her eyes. "Paper doesn't float," she interrupted. "If you want to make a boat, have your sister buy a barrel of cider or something and cut it in half along its length." She trotted by Sweetie Belle and gracefully reclined on one of the park benches. "That's how I'd do it." Now go away!

Sweetie Belle's eyes darted about as she thought this over. "Hey, you're right!" she said. "The barrels must already be waterproof because they hold cider without leaking! That's amazing!" She grinned. "Thanks!"

Silver Spoon made a polite noise of acknowledgement and trotted over to a bench. Stretching out on it, she opened her saddlebag and came up with a small juice carton that Buttle had packed her. "You're up early."

"Oh, Rarity was having some clients over for breakfast. And... well, the last time she had clients over I kind of set the kitchen on fire." Sweetie Belle blushed. "So I decided I'd go out until they left." She sat down on the grass, letting a butterfly fly forwards and land in her mane. "You're up early too."

"I always get up at this time," said Silver Spoon, with a mixture of pride and smugness saturating her voice. "I have a lot to do."

"What do you have to do?" asked Sweetie Belle.

Silver Spoon wondered for a moment if she should tell the other foal to go away, but decided against it. As long as they were discussing her, and her greatness, Sweetie's presence was tolerable. "Many things," she said. "I go all over town and I do all the things I need to do. I couldn't possibly get it all done if I slept in like most other foals." She began to count activities off on her hooves. "Sometimes I go in early to the stylist to get my mane and coat ready for class, and sometimes I read, and sometimes I go through my daddy's business and make sure the early employees are doing their jobs..."

Sweetie Belle chuckled. "You do a lot! Do you ever study in the mornings?"

"When I need to."

Sweetie Belle giggled. "I bet that's how you scored second in Miss Cheerilee's class!"

"First," corrected Silver Spoon.

"Oh. I thought Twist was first."

"Twist--" Silver Spoon bit back an angry insult. It would be beneath her dignity to lose her temper for the sake of a lisping blank flank whose coat usually smelled of cheap peppermint and sugar. "Twist did better than me on one test," she said. "And that was the one right before Miss Cheerilee announced validictorian and salutatorian for last month. I've already bounced back."

"Uh huh." Sweetie Belle's tone seemed unconvinced, but Silver Spoon reminded herself not to get too angry. "Well... does it really matter?"

"Of course it matters," snapped Silver Spoon. She stretched out a hoof in order for a butterfly to land on it. "Being the best is what's expected of me. I'm the daughter of Sterling Silver, the greatest pony in Ponyville--"

"Except for Rarity!" Sweetie Belle interjected.

Silver Spoon restrained herself from rolling her eyes. "The greatest stallion in Ponyville, then. I'm going to inherit his business one day. I need to be the smartest, cleverest, best-est pony around." She rolled onto her back, letting the sun play over her face. "That way, I'll be able to do as well as he did. Besides, if I did any less I wouldn't be living up to my 'potential.'" She wasn't quite sure what a potential was, but she knew that she had to live up to it. It's probably a really big tree.

"Best-est at what?"

"Everything."

"You can't be the best at everything," Sweetie Belle objected. "I mean, what if I want to be the best at something?" The white-coated foal climbed up on the bench and poked Silver Spoon. "I could be the best at lots of things! Like -- like, my special talent!"

Silver Spoon raised an eyebrow. "Which is?"

The other foal blushed. "I don't really know yet..."

"Well, I'm the best even at things that aren't my special talent. I mean, I'm great at appraisal, but I'm really good at school and sports and going into the woods and looking pretty and all kinds of things." She grinned. "Maybe I have some competition from the foals that found their cutie marks, but not really. And the ones that haven't... well, no offense, but it goes without saying."

Sweetie Belle frowned and looked down.

Silver Spoon recalled her father saying that it was important to be gracious and kind to those you surpassed. "Well, don't worry. There's no shame in being beaten by the best."

Sweetie Belle said nothing.

Guessing that the discussion on the greatness of Silver Spoon had just about run its course, the gray-coated foal yawned. "Now, if you don't mind -- I have a lot of butterfly watching to get in before I go to Canterlot today. My daddy's going to be buying me a new saddlebag clasp." She grinned. "Only the best for his daughter."

"Yeah," said a dispirited Sweetie Belle. "I'm... I'm gonna go home."

Silver Spoon waved her off as she looked at the birds, which were tweeting to each other. I wonder if birds have special talents? I bet Miss Cheerilee would know.

When she next looked down, Sweetie Belle was gone.

***

Silver Spoon saw thirty-three butterflies in the hour she spent at the park. As far as she knew, that was a town record. Hah. And Snails bragged about catching over a hundred ants last month. Ants are easy. Butterflies are graceful, and ladylike, and very shy -- and I saw over thirty. If my special talent wasn't appraisal, I bet I'd be a great bird- and bug-watcher.

The foal got up and stretched, then languidly began to head back to her home. More ponies were out and about now, and the streets were beginning to bustle with the cries of ponies in the market and the snapping and rustling of clothes being taken out to dry. In fact, more ponies than usually were up, which Silver Spoon attributed to the beautiful weather of the day. Maybe after Daddy takes me to Tiffaneigh's in Canterlot, we can go through one of the big parks there. The flowers are really pretty on days like this.

"Why, I never!"

Silver Spoon recognized the voice as belonging to Rarity, the pony who seemed to think that she could enter the upper crust of Equestrian society. Funny, I thought Sweetie Belle said that she had clients over. Maybe she's mad at them? Chuckilng to herself, Silver Spoon began cantering over to Carousel Boutique. This could make for a great story to tell Diamond Tiara...

The back window was open, and Silver Spoon poked her head inside. Rarity was there, sitting on a cushion, stroking Sweetie Belle's mane with a telekinetically-held brush. "That was awful of her! Sweetie, you know that you're good at a great many things, don't you? You're the kindest, cutest, sweetest..."

"Those aren't real things!" said Sweetie Belle. "I'm not good at anything. I don't even have my cutie mark yet. Ponies like Diamond Tiara and Silver Spoon got theirs months ago! Years, for some of them!"

Silver Spoon nodded to herself. She was pretty sure that she was, in fact, the first pony of Cheerilee's class to get her mark. (Snails claimed to have gotten his two weeks earlier, but Silver Spoon wasn't sure Snails was smart enough to understand concepts like 'time.') However, she stopped nodding a moment later. Wait. Is she complaining about me to her sister? After I was so nice to her?!

"That doesn't matter. Even without a cutie mark, you're still a very talented pony." Rarity got up on all fours, then levitated Sweetie Belle onto her back. "Would a pony ride make you--"

"I'm too old for those."

"How about a darling new hat? Would that cheer you up?"

"Nope." Sweetie Belle hopped off of Rarity and buried her face in a pillow.

"Alright... then, why don't you sing to me?"

Sweetie Belle blinked. "Sing?"

Silver Spoon was similarly confused. Since when can she sing? Cheerilee had music tryouts a few weeks ago, and Sweetie Belle didn't even go!

"Yes." Rarity smiled. "I just spent all breakfast convincing a trio of ponies to use my outfits for their next social ball in Canterlot. I feel exhausted. I could really use a nice piece of music to get back on my hooves, but my record-player's all the way upstairs." She poked Sweetie Belle. "And I know that's one thing you're very good at, Sweetie Belle."

"Well..." Sweetie Belle smiled a little. "Alright..."

This'll be a disaster, thought Silver Spoon. I wish I was recording this...

Sweetie Belle cleared her throat, took a deep breath, and began to sing:

"Hush little filly, don't say a word.
Sister's gonna buy you a mockingbird.
And if that mockingbird won't sing--
Sister's gonna buy you a diamond ring."

Her voice was sweet, soft, and perfectly pitched. Silver Spoon's mouth dropped. Her father routinely took her to classical recitals, and while Sweetie obviously wasn't as good as professional musicians, it was undeniable that she had a lot of talent. Training, no, she wasn't doing anything technically complicated and her stage presence was atrocious (she even seemed to be cringing away from Rarity at first, as if a critic was going to rush in and bonk her on the head with a bad review), but talent...

Immense talent.

"And if that diamond ring turns brass.
Sister's gonna buy you a looking glass.
And if that looking glass gets broke.
Sister's gonna buy you a prettty cloak."

Silver Spoon sank down on her haunches. This was impossible. Sweetie Belle was a good musician (For a foal! she insisted to herself), and she... well. Silver Spoon had never been much for music. That hadn't mattered when the most musical foals in school were Bebop, who pounded on everything she could and called the noise 'drum tracks', and Scootaloo, whose bongo solo had been shut down by Miss Cheerilee for reasons of general sanity, but this was different. Sweetie's music wasn't just noise. It was real. And that meant...

"And if that pretty cloak gets torn,
Sister's gonna buy you a rose with no thorns.
And if that rose with no thorns wilts brown
Sister's gonna buy you the best cake around."

It's not possible! I'm supposed to be the best! I study more and I do more and I'm BETTER than all the other idiots in my class! Silver Spoon almost punched the house before remembering that she was secretly spying on the two unicorns. It's not fair! It's not right! It's--

"And if the best cake around gets ate
Sister's gonna get you a piece of eight.
And if that piece of eight falls down..." Sweetie Belle smiled, took a big breath, and grinned.
"You'll still be the sweetest big sister in town."

Rarity hugged Sweetie Belle tightly. "Sweetie, that was lovely!"

"Aw..."

"No, it was. And I'll bet you every hat in this shop that Silver Spoon can't do anything even a tenth as good as that."

The two were hugging, but Silver Spoon ignored them. She was beginning to sweat. I have to stop this! I have to do something! I--

"I just wish other ponies knew," Sweetie Belle was saying. "But I'm too shy--"

"Well, how about this? Tootsie Flute just got her cutie mark, and she's having a cutecenara tomorrow. You're friends with her, so why don't you ask her to let you sing a song?" Rarity grinned. "I'll be there, right by your side, and all your friends will support you! It will be a wonderful opportunity!"

"But... but the crowd..."

"Dear, I personally promise you that I will ensure nopony says a word against you. And besides, a voice as pretty as yours deserves to be heard in public!"

"Well..."

"And how about this? I'll arrange for you to sing for Octavia -- Princess Cadance's music student -- right before. If she likes it, she can be there too, to support you. With me and her on your side, who would possibly say anything mean?"

Sweetie Belle was silent for a long moment. Silver Spoon shut her eyes. Say no, you blank flank. Say no, you're shy, and for good reason, so say no...

"Alright! I'll do it!" said Sweetie Belle. "I'll sing!"

"Wonderful! Now, I've got this lovely cutecenara dress for you..."

"Hey! Was this just an excuse to put me in a frilly dress?"

"No, of course not! But why waste the opportunity?" And then the sisters were laughing.

Silver Spoon ignored this. She stepped away from Carousel Boutique, eyes flashing. No. I cannot let this happen. I can't let her -- her! A blank flank! -- beat me!

She nodded fiercely to herself.

Alright. There's only one thing to do. Before that cutecenara tomorrow... I need to get better at music than Sweetie Belle!