• Published 6th Mar 2014
  • 6,809 Views, 153 Comments

The Striped Pony - ts_cogwheel

When a zebra has grown accustomed to being shunned, trying to become a part of a community is not easy.

  • ...


My dear Princess Celestia, kind ruler of Equestria,
I write to you, my life upturned, of the lesson I have learned.
The few bad seeds, loud as they cry, cannot the many good deny.
Though some may meet me filled with hate, no longer shall they rule my fate.
I will, instead, gain strength from those who will allow me to come close.
I cannot let my life be tragic when it is true: friendship is magic.
From Everfree's embracing flora
I am sincerely yours,

Author's Note:

Edited by the superlative Feo Takahari.

Thank you for your patience and kind words, everybrony. I hope you like the ending.

Comments ( 47 )


Beautiful. This story....

This is a masterpiece that is not only canon worthy but something everyone should read at least once.

It's good to see a fic with Zecora where she isn't just used as a plot device.
(No pun intended.)

Beautiful :fluttercry:

That Sunny Skies at the end... :trollestia:

Zecora must have brewed up a strong dislike repellant potion. :rainbowlaugh:

But in all honesty this story is amazing.


I read this for fun but I didn't realize that this would be so.. Emotional? It's a beautiful story and makes me want to go hug someone, thankyou.

Loved the ending!

Amazing! So glad to see this story got finished, I was worried it would be another that would be abandoned. Fantastic work!

This can't end now. I just found it! :raritydespair:

Did it have to end :( well, yes, and this was the perfect way to do so.

Now, I want to see more Zecora living, being part of the community and other such slices of life, including the hate, I want to see how Zecora now deals with them.
Any chance of a sequal?

4810569 Yes, I would have probably been upset as well if someone had taught my children potion making without my consent. But being upset and being unfair are two different things.

And yes, that was a gift from Silver Spoon.

Thank you for pointing out the missing words. Seems like my importing the chapter from Google Drive caused it to spontaneously delete the two paragraphs prior to "splendid". It has been fixed.

4813408 Thank you. There probably won't be a sequel, unless I get a good idea. I like the "slice of life" stories partly because they can be taken out, observed and put back.

4814002 Well, it is used in the series, so I don't actually see it as a pun as much as an idiom - akin to "everypony."

4814267 I'm not that familiar with foreign accents in English. I assumed their accent was supposed to sound French. Well, you learn as long as you live.

I know that Derpy has never been seen to actually deliver letters. The "mailmare" job is purely based on fanon.

A Spikophobia fic sounds like a really good idea. :moustache:

SkinCoat fixed. Thank you.

"Nervosity.":pinkiegasp: I congratulate you on having expanded my vocabulary. Thank you.:pinkiehappy:


Absolutely. I think most of the time parental consent forms are a shield against unreasonable parents. I mean, of course nobody is trying to put kids in danger by going on a field trip, nobody expects to be attacked by a pack of wild, rabid badgers or anything. It's even worse when parents are unreasonable, and also jerks. :raritywink:

That was great. So many little references sprinkled throughout. Zecora truely is a character with so much potential andd you explore that wonderfully here. Thank you for writing this.

4814513 Quite. It's been done before, but not always by good writers who can concisely deliver a technically sound, character-driven narrative.

Condragonlations on finishing the story and hitting the feature box. :ajsmug:

Beautiful but feels cut short. The ending here doesn't state what if any comeuppance the townsfolk got for their behaviour. Still a lovely fic and speaking as one with social anxieties this was really well done.

Absolutely amazing. The best Zecora story I've ever read. (I also really like Dash's musings on awesomeness early on, may have to steal that!)

I don't know what else to say but, bravo!

This story was amazing!!! I really enjoyed it. Zecora is a really interesting character. First time i say her i prayed for a story on her thank you for this wonderful story.

4820438 I can see why you would find it cut short. I could expand upon the ending, but on the other hoof there is something I like in very open ended Slice of Life stories.

And I am glad to hear that I hit the correct note on the social anxieties part. I have suffered from them myself, and my main point with the story was to write about something that most bronies can relate to: Being shunned because one is different, and then finding acceptance in a community.

Finally got around to reading this.

Let me compliment you on a very well written story, nothing short of what I've come to expect from you. I particularly loved the part where Cheerilee feels ashamed about her memories of the hut. Also that TARDIS insertion was beautifully executed.

I'll look forward to your next fic.

4833482 I was by no means trying to ask you to expand on the story(Sorry if I gave that impression:twilightsheepish:) And hurrah! social anxious people unite..eventually, but only if we can only meet online. :rainbowlaugh:

That was just great. soooo good.I tore throught this fic in one go. It pulled me in and didnt wanted to let go. GG

Oh and your Celestia is awesome :trollestia:

All I can say is; I cannot stop smiling.

Exquisite good sir. I applaud your work.

4974364 thank you for your errata. I am currently going over the story with Feo Takahari, who has a much better grasp on the English language than I, and I will implement your comments. It definitely needed an overhaul.

That was an amazing ending. I love everything about it.

This was so touching, and a great read overall! I'd love to see more of Zecora (and Applebloom) from you. ^^

Overall a lovely tale! The characterisation of Zecora and the attempt to write her a back-story went well. I think you caught the triumphs and trials of her life well and I suspect that you may have inadvertently picked up on Silver Spoon's problem.

5122155 yes, "my" zebra culture is indeed a homage to the best fic I have ever read. FO:E was what inspired me to read pony fics in the first place, and I consider Kkat to be the reason I became involved with the fanbase in general.

5203146 Thank you. Seems like an import error from Google Docs again. Fixed.

An excellent tale. Your portrayal of Zecora really felt like it held true to the show, while giving her a very believable backstory to boot. Well done. :twilightsmile:

My friend I have reviewed this story and deemed it worthy of the Goodfic Bin. You can read your review here.

5959371 Thank you very much for the kind review.

How did I know that DT and SS's mothers were going to be politically correct, knows whats best, soccer moms?

5966803 In Denmark we have a term, "Curling Parents," describing parents who swipe away all obstacles ahead of their children. They are the kind of parents who write angry letters to trading cards producers when their offspring cannot get all the cards (yes: that is a thing).

This Story was wonderful! I quite like Zecora as a character already, but the way you did this, I could understand where she was coming from, and empathized with her. I was also happy with this ending, even if i most definitely wanted more!

7206528 I had no intent of invoking any of the reactions you describe, but if you experienced them, that means that I failed at that.

This story is one part inspired by my time living in a ghetto among refugees and one part inspired by my own experience with extreme bullying and how hard it was for me to realise on an emotional level that the people I met later in life were actually not interested in wounding me. These things are feelings, happening inside me and Zecora, which is why I jump between narrators so much: to show how much she is overreacting.

Everything is told from a point of view. It does not take many people throwing rocks or setting fire before you feel that everyone is out to get you, and when you see how much fear of the foreign otherwise perfectly pleasant people can contain against homosexuals, transgendered, muslims, and other minorities, having enough people turn against Zecora that she felt universally hated does not seem like a stretch at all to me, especially since a large part of "my" zebra culture is build on fearing exactly what she represents.

Zecora does in no way refuse her zebraness. She is in a turmoil because she fears that being a part of pony society will un-zebra her. At the end, she finds that she can easily be both, which Celestia hints with her gift. It is a piece of the zebra art that I have tried to establish as as traditional and zebran as possible, but celebrating the sun, showing that you can easily celebrate being zebra without having to feel shame about celebrating the sun.

At one point in the writing of this story, I actually had established that Zecora is in postal correspondence with her parents, but I decided to cut that part because the scenes halted the flow of the story. I do not imagine her as being cut off from her parents just because she hasn't seen them since she was small.

I am not completely coherent right now, having my mind slowed to a halt due to pollen, but I hope this explanation will put another perspective to your analysis of the story.

This is the Zecora story I've been looking for since forever! The exploration of the character behind the calm, dignified demeanor. Wonderful job! I think I'm gonna re-read it right now! Oh, and thanks to Trinary for recommending it.

I love your characterization of Zecora - the way she overcame loneliness and found her place in Ponyville. The only thing I thought was odd was that any character would be afraid of "witchcraft" in a country where magic is commonplace.

7439405 In Briddle Gossip, Twilight insists that there are no such thing as curses, so magic is not just magic in Equestria.

Sorry for the late reply. I must have missed your comment.

7661776 Yeah, I guess there are certain types of magic that some ponies are superstitious about.

This is one of, if not THE best story I`ve read about Zecora.
I love the teaching role she's put in and how that is also a way for her to feel more accepted and belonging.
Also, I loved how in-character, this Zecora seems. There is filling-the-blanks enough to give her more dept than she has in the series, but she manages to retain the same "flavour" we've seen her on the show.

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