• Published 25th Aug 2013
  • 12,187 Views, 244 Comments

An Apple A Day - Esle Ynopemos

A collection of thirthy-minute short stories about the rootinest, tootinest farm-filly this side of the Everfree. There'll be a chapter a day for thirty days. I ain't no fancy arithmeticker, but that adds up to a whole month of good, health

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23: Lies [Dark]

((Prompt: Write a story based on, structured around, or inspired by one of the following: The sound of this, the sight of this, the smell of freshly cut grass, the taste of sour milk, or the touch of a feather against skin.))

Y'know, I've been doing a lot of thinking lately.

Aw, don't look so surprised. That's right hurtful, it is. I think about things all the time, sugarcube. I think about trees; what they must feel. No sight, no senses, just knowin' that they gotta grow, reach for that sunlight they can't see. Do they know how warm it is? Do they wanna shiver when fall comes around? I think about kin, wonder just how many layers of cousins an' uncles it takes before two ponies ain't really family no more. Can you call a cousin three times removed still related to ya? Do you invite 'em to Hearth's Warming dinner?

Ah, but these days, I've mostly been thinkin' about honesty. What's that mean, 'honesty?' When you're honest, you ain't lying, so is an honest pony somepony who never lies?

Ain't no such thing. Everypony tells lies. I reckon you've told a lie to somepony just this morning, and it was such a little, inconsequential thing you don't even remember it. Tell a little filly they look taller than they did the last time you saw them. Smile an' wave at somepony you didn't really wanna see today. Spot somepony who's a little overdue to return their book, an' don't say anything 'cause you don't wanna make a fuss over a couple cents fine.

It's part of the equine condition. You can't get through life without tellin' lies. The pony that claims she can is the biggest liar of 'em all.

Which is why I find it funny, I guess, that y'all think I can't lie. 'Shucks, if Applejack says it, it must be the truth! I seen her try to lie, an' her face gets all scrunched up like she swallowed a bug!' I wonder if you would be so trustin' of me if it weren't for that fancy jewel around my neck?

But hay, maybe honesty comes in degrees. Maybe there ain't such a thing as a pony who never lies, but there's one that don't do it real often. I bet there's somepony out there that's only ever told a hoofful of lies in their life. That ain't bad, right?

'Cept, if they only got a few lies to tell, then they gotta be real important ones. Don't you ever trust a pony that'll only lie once, 'cause that one lie's gonna be all the bigger for it. That's a lie that takes lives, it is. It's a lie that'll hit you where you ain't lookin' and leave you bleedin' and forgotten.

They call me honest, though, so it must mean somethin'. Maybe it ain't in the lies a pony tells, but what she makes of 'em. I can tell you I don't like lyin', so maybe that's got somethin' to do with it. Every time I say somethin' I know ain't true, I get a funny taste in my mouth, like I just got a mouthful of somethin' rotten. Maybe that's honesty.

But then, that don't necessarily make me no guardian of truth or whatnot. Just means I don't like funny tastes.

The truth is—and there's a bit of irony here—that honesty's one big lie. You can be honest from moment to moment, but to say somepony's inherently honest, that she'll always be worth trustin' no matter what... yer makin' her a liar by doin' that. Yer strappin' daggers to her hooves, then askin' her to catch ya. Then lookin' mighty surprised when ya get stabbed.

I dunno. I ain't got it all quite worked out for myself. I just thought I'd give ya somethin' to think about while you're down here. You'll have plenty of time for it. Don't you worry none, these cocoons are nice an' cozy. You'll be plenty comfortable.

Green light flashes, and her rural accent gives way to that of an eager young princess, fresh from her friendship studies.

And I'll take good care of things in Canterlot for you...

Author's Note:

The mod at TMP felt the changeling twist at the end of this was a bit disappointing. Anyone have suggestions for a different ending?