• Published 14th Jul 2013
  • 1,847 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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Hiding in the Flowers

Silver Spoon awoke to the sounds of birdsong.

Blearily, the foal raised a hoof and rubbed at her eyes. She lifted herself up, felt her strength give out, and fell back among her comfy pillows and blankets. Maybe she could sleep through the day, she thought. It wasn't like there was anything important going on, or at least nothing that she could remember. It might be okay to just take a day off and sleep.

Yeah... sleep sounds good... Silver Spoon put her pillow over her head and tried to recapture her slumber, but it proved to be too elusive. There seemed to be something inside her telling her that she was making a mistake; that she did in fact have things to do that day. Silver Spoon tried to shut it out, rationalizing that she didn't even know what time it was, so she may well have hours to complete whatever task she had to finish. Unfortunately, this didn't work, and the feeling that she was going to be late for something was as strong as ever.

The mare reached a shaky hoof to her bedside and found her glasses. Putting them on, she found herself once again able to see the clock on the other side of the room. It read that the time was half past noon. That was okay, then; she hadn't missed dinner, and there wasn't anything else important happening that day except for Tootsie Flute's cutecenara. And--

Silver Spoon jolted as if she'd been struck by lightning. The cutecenara was in only a few hours, and she still hadn't learned any music! She was running out of time!

She sprang to her hooves, tangled herself in her sheets, and crashed to the ground. A few moments later, her door opened and her father stepped in. "Are you alright, dear? I heard something crash."

"I'm fine," grumbled Silver Spoon as she tried to work her way out from the pile of blankets. She managed to poke her muzzle out through the sheets. "Just fine."

"Betty said that she found you... inside the piano?" Sterling Silver frowned. "I hope you aren't working too hard. You're a very talented little filly, Silver Spoon, but you should make sure to spend enough time resting too. Even I didn't work twenty-four hours a day as a foal." He chuckled.

"Yes, father," managed Silver Spoon.

"By the way, I saw that lovely bit of machinery you set up in the living room, and I looked at the playing instructions. It's one of Medley's new waterwheel instruments, is it not?" Sterling grinned. "You did very well at putting it together. As it happens, I have some time today. What say we head on over to the river on the east side of town and set it up? I can have Betty pack us a picnic lunch, and--"

Silver Spoon shook her head. "It's okay. Maybe some other time." She had no interest in the instrument, as it could not be used at the cutecenara. I wasted all that time for no reason...

Sterling frowned slightly, but nodded. "Very well. Don't forget, Tootsie Flute's cutecenara begins at four. I'll have Betty prepare a nice dress for you, and a present for you to bring. Unless you had an idea of your own?"

"No, father. That will be fine."

"Very well. Have a good afternoon, my gem." Sterling Silver backed out of the room and was gone.

As soon as he left, Silver Spoon rolled under the bed. With the luck she had been having, she figured, there was little chance that she could surpass Sweetie Belle by the time of the cutecenara. Only one option remained: don't show up. She needed to hide, and stay hidden until it was all over. Then she could claim that of course she would have beat Sweetie Belle, had she not been delayed by some horrible and mysterious catastrophe. That would buy her a few more days in which she could figure out a better plan. In the meantime, it was the best idea she had, and it should work... provided nopony thought to look for her under her bed.

But -- she realized -- that wouldn't work. Her father would know she was there, and he might tell others later. She would need to hide somewhere far from home. That would entail fooling her father, which Silver Spoon was loathe to do -- her father had drilled into her the importance of honor, especially for ponies of such breeding and quality as the Silvers -- but there was no other choice. She couldn't possibly face her father and tell him the truth, that she, his daughter and most precious gem, was no longer the best foal in town. How could she admit that sort of failure? Better to run, and hide, and come up with a story to explain it away.

The foal listened carefully. Nopony was around; the top floor seemed silent. She darted to her door and took a breath, then inched it open. She just needed to get to the front door, then slip out and--

"Miss Spoon?"

Silver Spoon squeaked as Betty Buttle poked her head out from the servant's quarters. The mare continued. "Do you need anything?"

"No, I'm... just going out," said Silver Spoon. "I'll be back later."

"Your father asked me to remind you to be back by three, so that you may wash up and dress for the cutecenara."

Silver Spoon had no intention of returning by then, and was already concocting a story of being stranded somehow far from home. "Yes, yes, of course," she said absently. "See you later."

Betty hesitated. "Miss Spoon... are you sure you're alright? You've been acting very tense since yesterday afternoon."

"I'm fine," said Silver Spoon, snapping as little as she possibly could.

"If there is anything I could help with, please don't hesitate to ask."

"I won't." Go away! "You are dismissed, Betty."

Betty bowed and withdrew.

Silver Spoon let out a long breath. I could confide in her... but she'd have to tell father. She's my maidservant, but she works for my father. That won't do. No -- I need to get out of here. That's the only option. She nodded once, took a step forward... and then she was running out the door.

I need to find a place to hide!

***

It was a quiet little field of flowers, but it seemed as good a hiding place as any.

Silver Spoon ducked behind a row of tall sunflowers, picking one to munch on while she waited. I walked out here, then got lost. I wandered around and around, and by the time I found my way back to Ponyville the cutecenara was already over. Sorry, daddy, I won't go out into the flower fields east of town alone again. She looked up at the clouds, several of which looked like ducks -- probably due to Blossomforth, who had a tendency to play with the clouds when there wasn't enough work for the weather patrol to do. Okay, I'm good. I just have to stay here, and--

"Hi!"

Silver Spoon screamed and jumped into the air.

Tootsie Flute giggled. "What are you doing all the way out here?" she asked. "I thought you were still in town!"

Silver Spoon stared. "How did you find me?!"

"Find you?" Tootsie shrugged. "Just lucky, I guess. It's my special talent, after all." She nodded at the horseshoe on her flank. "Isn't it great? Other ponies are talented at sewing or mining or farming or something, but I'm talented at being lucky! That means I can do anything!"

Silver Spoon wasn't sure that it worked like that, but she didn't want to argue. "Yes, but you've got a cutecenara in a few hours. Shouldn't you be getting ready?"

Tootsie Flute waved a hoof. "That'll take care of itself, right? It'll work out. That's how luck works!" She laughed. "My Mom was all worried that I hadn't told her what kind of food I wanted yet. And then, when I was going out this morning, I ran into Applejack -- who said that they were overstocked with green and yellow apples, and did we know any ponies who were maybe throwing a party soon and could use a bunch of apple pies and cakes?" She clapped her hooves. "Same with the candy! I didn't want to spend hours picking out how many of each treat, so I asked Bonbon to just put something together -- and when I saw her selection I knew it was just what I wanted!"

"...that doesn't explain why you're here."

"Oh, that? I was hoping to run into Lyra Heartstrings." Tootsie Flute grinned. "I love her ballads and stories. I know she likes to play in the flowers sometimes, so I thought -- aha! There!"

Indeed, a green unicorn with a lyre was skipping amongst the flowers and singing:

"...my Bonnie went over the ocean, my Bonnie went over the sea!
My Bonnie went over the ocean, so bring back my Bonnie to me!"

She leapt up and clacked her hooves together, then strummed another few notes together. "Bring back, bring back, bring back my Bonnie to me, to me!" She spun around. "Bring back, bring back, bring back my Bonnie to me!" She gave one final hop, then fell down and rolled over in the flowers. "Yeah," she said. "That's a good one."

Tootsie jumped up and down. "Yay!" she cheered. "That was really good! I like that song! Play it again!"

Lyra rose to her hooves and looked about in surprise, apparently startled that she had an audience. "Who's there?" she called.

Tootsie Flute led Silver Spoon out to a more open section of the field of flowers. "It's me!" she said. "Tootsie Flute! I wanted to hear your music!"

"Always good to have a fan!" said Lyra, grinning. "Although... I tried to play you that ballad last week-end, but you weren't there. Did something happen?"

"Oh, right." Tootsie Flute blushed. "I was going to be there, but then I couldn't find one of my horseshoes and I had to tear the house apart to find it." She shrugged. "Even I can't always be lucky, I guess."

"I suppose that makes sense," said Lyra. "Anyway! I'd be happy to play something for you now -- but didn't you have a cutecenara to go to? I wouldn't want to make you late by keeping you with my music."

Tootsie Flute shrugged. "I'll be there on time," she said. "Don't worry!"

Silver Spoon rolled her eyes. 'Tootsie Flute, you seem to be tied to railroad tracks. Shouldn't you be trying to escape?' 'No, don't worry! I'm sure a bunch of mice will come by and nibble the ropes them to bits before the train comes!'

"Hey!" Tootsie Flute was saying. "Lyra, could you please play at my cutecenara? My Mom said we can spend eighty bits on entertainment, and I'd like your music better than any other pony in town!"

Lyra blushed. "Aww, that's really nice of you!" She struck a heroic pose. "Well, I could hardly let down such a big fan -- that wouldn't be very honorable of me! Have no fear, Tootsie Flute! I will perform at your cutecenara, and it will be an event to BEHOLD!"

"YAY!" cheered Tootsie Flute.

Silver Spoon blanched. Maybe it's not such a bad thing I'm missing this. This looks like it's going to be really silly, and with Lyra's music -- hey, wiat a minute! "Um, Miss Heartstrings?"

Lyra stuck out her tongue. "Please, call me Lyra. Miss Heartstrings makes me sound like I'm really old."

"I'm looking for a music teacher. Would you be able--"

Lyra's eyes sparkled. "To teach music, and spread my love of note and song on to the next generation?" She swept out a hoof. "Why, Silver Spoon! I would be absolutely honored! Truly, there is no greater honor you could bestow upon me than to ask me to engage in such a sacred and profound task!"

Silver Spoon stared. "Um... okay. I need to--"

"What instrument do you want to play?"

"The lyre," said Silver Spoon. Lyra's supposed to be really into music... not theory, not genre, but just the sound. Maybe she can actually teach me something practical. I--

"Wonderful!" Lyra grinned. "Truly, in my opinion, there is no better instrument. It produces the sweetest sounds, capable of expressing joy! Fury! Sorrow! And every other emotion! It's light and portable, so you can play it wherever you please, but it's big and sturdy enough to stand up to the most demanding of music!" She held up her lyre high. "Truly, it is the queen of all instruments!"

"But don't the other Elements play different instruments?" wondered Tootsie Flute.

Lyra shrugged. "They like theirs best -- but in my opinion, nothing but the lyre will do." She hugged it tight. "Now -- you've come to me, Silver Spoon. Surely then you must be moved by my musical ballads and bard songs. Music that tells great tales from long ago of love! And revenge! And danger and excitement!"

"Yes," said Silver Spoon, who had a somewhat hazy idea of what she was agreeing to. "I like... that. Can you teach me?"

"Of course! Now -- the first thing we'll need is to get you your own lyre. Medley should be able to get a perfect one for you."

"Okay--"

"And second, we need to find some good stories for you to perform!" Lyra grinned. "What moves you, Silver Spoon? Tales of love and romance? Stories of heroes besting evil villains? Brave adventurers overcoming great dangers?"

"I--"

Lyra nodded. "So your first task is -- to the library, with you! Get some history books, some novels, anything involving great, epic tales! Find out which ones you like the best, and I'll help you write some brilliant music for them!"

Silver Spoon blanched. Seriously? Her too? "Can't you just teach me some of your music?"

Lyra shook her head. "Real music comes from within. When I play, say, 'Sonata for True Love,' it isn't my hooves playing the music... it's my heart. My hooves just help." She waggled them a little ."When I think of old ballads, I can play them because I'm rooting for the heroes as they fight evil. When I play love songs, it works because I'm feeling the love in the music. If you don't feel exactly like I do, you won't be able to play my music like I can."

Silver Spoon sighed. "So, you want me to do some research first."

"Yep!"

The foal wished she could sink into the ground. Every single one of them. Why won't any adult in town teach me what I want to know right away? Why do they all insist on boring old research first?

"Anyway," said Tootsie Flute. "Silver Spoon, you're coming to my cutecenara, right?" The foal smiled brightly. "I'd love to have you there!"

"Er..."

"Of course she is!" said Lyra. "She's your friend, isn't she?"

Well, no, not really, thought Silver Spoon. But she wasn't able to see any way out of it. "Um..."

"Hey, I know! Your special talent's appraisal, right?" asked the other foal. "We'll be doing a party game at the cutecenara in which each foal has to pick which of two objects is worth more -- you know, a dozen medium apples or four big apples, that kind of thing. There's a prize for whichever pony gets the most right, and I bet you'd do well." She beamed. "You're coming, I hope?"

"Uh..."

Tootsie Flute waited expectantly.

Silver Spoon couldn't see a good way to say 'no.' It would undoubtably find its way back to her father, who would be disappointed -- and she'd likely have to explain everything to him, which she desperately wanted to avoid. How could she tell her father that she wasn't the best foal in Ponyville anymore? "Sure," she said at last.

"Great!" Tootsie Flute turned to Lyra. "I'll show you back to Sugar Cube Corner -- that's where it's being hosted. There's a stage set up, and..." She trotted off with the green unicorn.

"Okay. Silver Spoon -- let me know once you've done some reading! I'd recommend starting with a few Shakespony love sonnets, some adventure tales from Feudal Neighpon, and a good book of fairy tales and legends from the Brothers Grime! Those are great places to start!"

"Sure, whatever," said Silver Spoon.

When the others were gone, Silver Spoon put a hoof over her face. Now what was she going to do? She'd struck out again with a teacher, but that wasn't the biggest problem. Now she'd given her word to Tootsie Flute, and she couldn't back out -- it would reflect badly on the family name, for a Silver to be seen as a liar. Now she had to go. She had to go, and it was increasingly clear that nopony in town could teach her what she needed in the time required. So she'd have to be there when Sweetie Belle sang, and she'd have to be there when ponies realized that she, Silver Spoon, was no longer the filly on top. This sucks... she thought.

Head low, she turned and began to walk home. She had to get washed up and dressed appropriately before her world ended. Maybe it won't be so bad, she thought. Maybe nopony will notice. Or maybe Sweetie Belle will flake. Yeah. She's just a stupid little blank flank anyway. Maybe she'll get on stage and be so frightened of the audience that she'll run away crying, and I won't need to worry about her for a while. Maybe her sister will be so wrapped up in sewing her a dress that she won't make it to the cutecenara. Maybe she'll be struck by a rock from outer space. Maybe...

She sighed. Those scenarios weren't likely, she had to admit. Sweetie Belle was going to show up Silver Spoon, and that was all there was to it.

There was nothing Silver Spoon could do about it.