• Published 6th Apr 2012
  • 26,278 Views, 2,157 Comments

The Man With Two Names - Tarot Card



A human is off to a rough start when Fluttershy finds him eating one of her chickens, and breaks his arm. Can Derpy and the human convince Ponyville to give him a second chance?

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The Tenant (Derpy)

I put the last letter of the day into the mailbox. For the past three weeks, I had been working overnight shifts, as well as the afternoon shift. The payments on my house just kept on going up and up. I was scrambling just to keep the bill collectors at bay. And boy, it was taking a toll on me. My vision was worse than it usually was. My eyes were looking everywhere, and it was really hard to see where I was going. I already had crashed three times that day. My boss told me I'm only allowed to do that twice in one day before I get in trouble. I hope he didn’t find out about that.

Anyways, all I had to do was fly back to the post office, and punch the clock. I started to fly off, but I hit a street-sign I didn’t see, and I tumbled back to the ground.

“Derpy!” I heard a stallion call. Oh Celestia! Please don’t be the boss! Please don’t be the boss! I quickly got up, and brushed off the dust on my coat. I saw a dark brown stallion, in a white lab coat, with a stethoscope around his neck. His mane and tail were a tangled mass of bushy orange. “I need to call on you for a favor,” he said. Not my boss at all. I breathed a sigh of relief. It was only the vet.

“Oh, Dr. Horse. You scared me there. What can I do you for?”

He paused, biting his lip. “...How would you feel about letting a, um, potentially dangerous creature stay in your yard for a few nights?”

“Hrrrmm... What kind of potentially dangerous creature?”

“That kind.” Dr. horse pointed his hoof at some lanky, minotaur thing, sitting on the ground some distance away. He had blood all over his shirt which bore the words “Life is Good”, and his arm in a sling. His hair was ruffled and greasy, with a few bits of leaves in it, and there was this thin fuzz grew on his face. He looked like he really needed a bath.

“What is he?” I said.

“Some kind of carnivorous monkey, but he calls himself a ‘human’. Oh by the way, he talks.”

“He doesn’t look very healthy.” I held back a yawn.

“After what happened I wouldn’t expect him to be. He woke up in Everfree forest, and had no idea how to get back to his home. Then he broke into Fluttershy’s house and killed one of her chickens...”

“Why would I want to let it anywhere near my home?” I asked in horror.

“Look at the poor thing! I was going to release him in the forest, but he begged me to let him stay in town; the little guy must be afraid that his own pack might kill him in his injured state. Come on, what do you say? Just until he gets a teensy bit better? He can’t hurt anything until his arm heals anyways, so you’ll be fine!”

“Why doesn’t he stay at your house?”

“A wild animal? In my own living quarters?” Dr. Horse burst out laughing. “Hahaha,... my home is only open to ponies and domesticated animals.”

“What about mules?”

“Eh...if I had to...” He grumbled something under his breath I couldn’t hear. “Anyways, I send all other animals to Fluttershy, from the wild to the carnivorous. In light of certain circumstances, I don’t think that’s a feasible option. So will you do it? For the creature that has nopony else to turn to?”

“You can find somepony else to house your blood thirsty monster,” I turned away. He made it sound really dangerous.

“I’ll give you twenty bits for every day you keep him. Plus enough to cover any damage he causes.” I stopped in my tracks. That was more money than I got for doing overnight. I could actually take the night off! A whole night’s sleep. All I wanted to do was just plop down on a cloud and take a nap. “I know you’ve come on hard times Derpy, and I'm hoping this could help us both.”

“You said he talks?”

“Indeed he does, would you like to meet him?” Dr. Horse lead me to him. He seemed tired and ill at ease, but put on a weary smile when I approached.

“Um, hi?” I said.

“Hello, I'm Jeremiah, just call me Jerry though. What’s your name?”

“I'm Derpy Hooves.” He extended his good arm. I reluctantly met it with my hoof and we shook. He looked at my eyes curiously for a moment.

“Derpy, eh? Sorry, I'm still getting used to the whole speaking with horses thing. Ponies are less talkative where I'm from.” Dr. Horse and I looked at each other, a little bit confused.

“I heard you don’t have a place to stay.”

“It’s shaping up to look that way, isn’t it?” He let out an exasperated sigh. He rubbed the arm in his sling gingerly. No sharp teeth, no claws or spines. It didn’t seem like he was dangerous. Especially since he only had one good arm. He didn’t smell that good though. So, I told him that if he wanted, he could stay in my backyard for a couple of days. For twenty bits, it was worth the risk.

"Thank you," he said. “compared to a night in the forest, that sounds divine.” He seemed really grateful. I guess he saw a few of the manticores there. Dr. Horse was happy too.

“Excellent! Derpy, I’ll be there with money tomorrow, and if he tries to eat you, use this.” He hoofed me a little black canister. I asked him what it was, and he replied, “Pepper spray! Just take of the cap, and bite the bit that pops out. Just be sure to aim for his eyes,”

“I'm right here, you know,” Jerry muttered.

“Pepper spray?” I asked. I’ve never heard of it before. “That sounds...malicious.”

“You’re horribly right, Derpy, you’re horribly right,” Dr. Horse nodded slowly. “Only use it in a dire emergency. An animal won’t trust you anymore once you spray it.” He trotted off. “Call me if you need anything!”

“Okay, I guess we should start going, But I need to stop by the post office first.” I said finally. With a grunt, Jerry hefted himself off the ground. I gasped, and backed up. He was a lot taller than I thought. The tip of my nose was only a few inches above his elbow.

“Something the matter, Miss?”

“You’re very tall. And scary,” I sputtered.

He sighed. “I’ve been getting that a lot recently.”

I started to wonder if letting him stay at my house was the best idea. But we started walking to the post office anyways.

Reluctantly, I tried to start a conversation. I asked him how he got lost in the woods, and he said he doesn’t really know he ended up here, but he’s been in the forest without food or anything for three days. He was grumpy about that.

“So, you haven’t eaten in all this time?”

“Aside from a couple of berries, no.”

“I thought there were a lot of things in the Everfree Forest you could eat.”

“You see, the problem with that is everything I tried to eat also tried to eat me.”

“What kind of plant tries to eat an animal? That place is full of weird stuff.”

“Er, yeah... plants.”

I kind of wanted to ask him about why he broke into Fluttershy’s house, but I think it was because he was really hungry, and didn’t know where else to get food.

We reached the post office, and I dropped off my bag. Gleefully I told my boss I wouldn’t be working overtime tonight. He asked me what Jerry was, so I told him the whole story. His eyes got really big, and said I should watch out for him.

We continued on our way. I noticed a lot of ponies were looking at him, but they didn’t get close. They were all whispering.

“So, when are you going to back to your home?” I asked.

“I don’t know, Dr. Horse said that someone named ‘Twilight’ was going to find a way to get me back.”

“Don’t worry! Twilight’s really smart! She’s really good at magic too.” He seemed pretty confused about magic, and asked me how it worked. But I couldn’t explain it very well, because I wasn’t a unicorn.

We got to my house, and he asked if I had a shower, and if I did, could he use it. I told him where it was, even though I was a little hesitant to let him be on the inside of the house.

Dinky got home, and I had to tell her all about Jerry, and how she needed to stay far away from him in case he went crazy again. He came out of the bathroom whistling, and looked better. He was cleaner, and a lot less grumpy. I think he even washed his clothes.

“So, what do you eat? You never told me when I asked.” I said. I was a little stunned at the transformation.

“I can have whatever you’re eating,” He said with a smile. The bath had seemed to cheer him up.

“Dinky and I were going to have hay sandwiches for dinner.”

He grimaced. “Okay, maybe not that.”

“Hrmm....” I rummaged around the cabinets.

Nothing.

I bit my lip. I checked the freezer. The only thing in there was my emergency stash of baked goods. “You like muffins?”

Good thing he did like them so much, otherwise I don’t know what I would have done. After we ate, he insisted on washing the dishes for us, despite his broken arm. He said that it was the least he could do for the ponies that gave him a meal and a safe place to stay. And the whole time, he was just whistling, and saying how glad he is to just have a roof over his head. He’s really polite and friendly once you get to know him! Dinky was asking me for help on her homework, except it was all about physics. All about boxes, and pulleys and ramps, and I didn’t know anything about that. Jerry did, though. He explained what she had to do, and she finished her homework in a little less than an hour. Can you believe it? Apparently he knows all about that kind of stuff.

It was getting dark, and I brought out a sleeping bag onto the lawn for Jerry. He laid on top of it, and kept thanking me for all that I had done. I realized that he wasn’t a wild animal. Just a lost, hurt one. Maybe not even an animal at all.

“We have a guest room, and you’re more than welcome to it for the night,” I said finally.

He smiled. “That would be lovely.”

~ ~ ~

“And that’s how Jerry and I became roommates!” I said. I looked around my sparsely furnished kitchen. Twilight told me I must have had a “spartan aesthetic” in mind when designing the kitchen. The truth was that the less stuff there was, the less I bumped into and tripped over. Aside from the counter, sink, and fridge, there was only a round table with Twilight’s clipboard, and a set of tea things on top of it. And of course, the chairs we sat in.

”Okay, that’s very interesting, but what I asked was how long the human has been living in your home,” Twilight Sparkle said. She levitated the teacup to her lips.

“Oh, right. Um, let’s see. He’s been paying rent for the past three weeks, and before that, Dr. Horse was paying me, and that was for two weeks.”

“So five weeks?”

“Derpy, are you home?” I heard Jerry call out.

“Oh, that’s him!” I said to Twilight. I flew to the front door to greet him, nearly knocking a picture frame off the the wall as i passed by. He was putting his rucksack off to the corner. “So, how’d it go with Cheerilee’s class?”.

“Not bad, not great. I got a job offer though, working at an orchard,” he said, pleased with himself.

“Awesome! So, did you get a chance to eat the lunch?”

“I did. It was excellent. Though next time you don’t need to put flowers in the sandwich. I can’t really eat those,” he chuckled softly.

“You didn’t like them?” I said with a frown.

“No no no! Not that! It’s just that humans can’t eat flowers,”

“Hrmm...” I rubbed my chin thoughtfully. I was definitely forgetting something, but what?

“Derpy? you okay?” Twilight asked softly, popping her head around the corner. Oh yeah!

“Jerry, Twilight’s here to talk to you about... allo- allocation? Incantation? Fascination? No that can’t be right,” I couldn’t remember for the life of me. “Well, she wants to talk to you,”

“Hello Ms. Sparkle, I'm Jeremiah. I take it you’d like to speak to me?”

“Yes, please join us at the table,”We made our way back to the kitchen, and took our seats. “As you may have been aware of, I’ve been in correspondence with the mayor of Ponyville, as well as the princess.”

“Did the princess find a way to send me back?” Jerry’s eyes sparkled with hope.

“No, I’m sorry. Until we know exactly how you got to Equestria, we can’t find a way to send you back. I’ve been asked to find a suitable society for you to acclimate into.” Jerry let out a world-weary sigh.

“What’s wrong with Ponyville? He’s doing just fine!” I protested. “He hasn’t hurt anypony, and he’s adorable, just look at him!” On cue, Jerry tried to look as innocent and cute as possible, pouting and whimpering as best as he could. I patted the top of his head. “See?” Twilight looked thoroughly disturbed by our efforts.

“We believe that Mr. Jeremiah’s presence in Ponyville, er," She struggled to find the right word. "compromises the general safety.”

“And what leads you to this conclusion?” Jerry asked nervously. The faux smile dropped from his face. He drummed his fingers on the table.

“Well, to be truthful, there isn’t much information regarding humans as a species.” Twilight levitated a heavy tome from out of her saddlebags, and placed it on the table. The words “Obscure Animals in Equestria” adorned the spine. With a flick of her magic, the book opened up to a picture of some creature, very similar to Jerry. The adjacent page was titled “Humans”. the rest of the page seemed to be blank. I struggled to make my eyes focus in the same direction. I spotted some fine print, which I read aloud. “‘Mostly harmless’?” That’s the whole entry? that couldn’t be right. I turned the page, only to to find a drawing of a Hydra. “This is the only book that mentions humans?” Twilight nodded.

“Beside this entry, we only have our experiences to act on. And seeing that, we feel you’d best belong among a more carnivorous, more brut...er... less pacifistic... species once you return to full health.” Jeremiah cocked an eyebrow at Twilight, eliciting a nervous chuckle from her. I swallowed a lump in my throat. If the doctor was right, his arm would be completely fixed, and ready for action by next week. “Now, Mr. Jeremiah, if you don’t mind, I’d like to ask you a few questions to determine who you’d best fit in among,”

“Okay...”

Twilight levitated her clipboard and quill. “Question one: do you fly, and or have sharp talons?” Jerry looked at me, then Twilight, then back again, as if he was expecting me to provide some reason for such a silly question. I just shrugged.

“Um, I don’t have wings, so... No.” Jerry said sarcastically.

“Okay, that rules out griffins...” She crossed something out. “Question two: are your appendages suited for digging efficiently?”

“I mean, I can dig pretty fast with a shovel, if that’s what you’re asking.” Twilight frowned.

“Diamond dogs are a no. Question three; are you resistant to magma and or do you breath fire?”

“Last time I checked, no.”

This went on for a few minutes. I started nibbling my hoof. I know it’s a bad habit, but I can’t help it when I’m stressed. I wasn’t ready to lose Jerry. He’s been such a help. Eventually, Twilight ran out of names to cross off. She flipped through her papers one more time, then sighed. “So you don’t have anything?” Jeremiah just shook his head. “Well this is a conundrum. You’re too dangerous to live alongside ponies, but you’re too pathetic to live with anything else.”

“He gets to stay?” I shouted with joy. Jerry looked grumpy again.

“I'm gonna have to talk it over with the mayor. I'm not sure if its a great idea though.”

“But he hasn’t hurt anything for a really long time! Plus, he has a job! Doesn’t that count for anything?” Before we had taken in Jerry, we were darn near drowning in debt. It was those extra bits that was keeping our heads above water. And darn it if I was going to lose my friend and my roommate.

“Actually, I recently secured a temporary employment with the apple family, in addition to helping Lucky out.“ Jerry interjected.

“So you’re employed? That certainly complicates matters.”

An idea zapped through my head like a bolt of lightning. “It’d be best if Jerry stayed in Ponyville. Fixing the job vacuum, and the turnover rate and all... you wouldn’t want to hurt the...economy thing,” I tried to throw in all the words I saw in that newspaper article about how Filthy Rich was helping Ponyville. I didn’t really understand much of it, but it said Ponyville had more jobs than ponies, which was bad. Or was it too many ponies and not enough jobs?

“...What? Well, I'm going to talk to the pony who hired you, and see if they can’t find a replacement. Lucky, I think you said? Until they find a replacement, you’re allowed to stay. Seeing that you’ve only had one incident so far in a month and a half, I don’t think it’s fair to leave both of your employers short-hooved, and needing a new employee on such short notice.” With that, she trotted out, but not before stopping to straighten a picture frame I had not realized was eschew. We watched as the door shut behind her.

“Well, shit,” he said after a moment. He slumped over in his chair.

“Language, mister!”

“Don’t you see Derpy? There is no way how the Mayor is going to let me stay here. If they can’t find any place for me to belong to, they’re just going to send me back into the wild!” He got up and started pacing. “It’s only a matter of time before Lucky finds a replacement, and then I'm kicked out of Ponyville!”

I wracked my brain for an idea. “Maybe...maybe, we could get everypony to sign a petition saying they want you to stay right here! And then, we give it to the Mayor, and then she won’t be able to kick you out!” I beamed. It wasn’t often I could make such a great plan.

“The only problem with that is it’s entirely contingent on ponies actually wanting me in their town. And they all hate my guts.”

“That’s not true! I like you, and want you to stay! And so does Dinky, and, and Lucky likes working with you! And the Doctor is ‘indifferent’ to you. He said so himself! That's four right there.”

“Four signatures isn’t enough to fight city hall.” I was about to say something, but my eye had drifted over, giving me a glimpse of the clock.

“Oh Jerry, I gotta go deliver the rest of the mail today.” I put my mailbag over my shoulder, and left. “When Dinky gets back from school, make sure she starts her homework!” I called over my shoulder.

“Will do.”


“You’ll never guess who i ran into today!” I shouted as I threw open the door.

“Figuratively or literally?”

“No collisions today, Jerry!” I beamed. Four days without an incident. My boss was pleased, and I couldn’t be more proud of myself. “Did I ever tell you about Iron Will, the really big and scary minotaur who teaches ponies to be assertive?”

“Yeah? What about him?”

“Well, I was in the market, delivering a package to the Cakes, when I saw him! We started talking, and I told him about you...” I grinned.

“And...”

“He said he might be able to help” I couldn’t suppress my grin. Jerry ran up, and hugged me.

“Derpy, thank you! I can get a replacement job with him, and I can help him with his presentations, and—”

“Um... I mentioned that to him, and he said he wasn’t interested in hiring. But then he was all like ‘It sounds like your little human could use this though,’” I did my best Iron Will impression, standing on my hind legs, and flexing my forelegs. I mocked handing Jerry a flyer with my hoof.

“What did he give you?”

I withdrew the pamphlet from my saddlebag and held it out for him. He took it and examined it carefully, dwelling for a moment on the picture of the minotaur timidly greeting a rabbit. He read aloud, “Are you intimidating, and tired of it? Does being big and menacing got you down? Need ponies to stop running for the hills when they see you? Try one of Iron Will’s renowned Meekness Training Seminars! You’ll go from loathsome to lily-livered in ten sessions flat! Or your money back!”

“Well, on your first day in Ponyville, you were telling me how you needed ponies to stop being afraid of you. Remember? So I signed you up for this!”

His confused look changed to horror. “Derpy! this isn’t going to help me any! and I don’t know if I feel comfortable with you paying for something this expensive that won’t even be useful.”

“Oh, don’t worry about that! I'm not paying for it. I just factored it into your rent!” Jerry gave an exasperated sigh, and pinched his brow. “Is something wrong?”


“Derpy, good news!” Jerry practically jumped through the doorway, with the biggest smile I’ve seen plastered on his face.“ He unstrung his empty tool belt, and placed it in the closet.

“Someone’s having a good day,” Dinky said. She poured cereal into her bowl, and started munching away.

“You better believe it Dinky! When Twilight went to go talk to Lucky about finding a new employee, he stood up for me! He stood up for me!”

“Thaff’s great!” I said, my mouth full of cranberry muffin.

“He said that I'm irreplaceable, and the best thing he’s ever hired.” He sat down at the table. “All because of this baby!” he held up his good hand. “I’ve got the Midas touch!” He wiggled his fingers for emphasis.

“Because you have hands?”

“That’s right! They lend themselves to repair work far more than hooves, so he tells me.” His grin grew even wider. “So guess who's got two thumbs, and isn’t getting kicked out of Ponyville?” Dinky and I looked at each other. “This guyyyy,” He jabbed a thumb at his chest, and leaned back, looking victorious. A little too far back; he lost his balance, and flailed about for a moment, until all four legs of the chair were firmly back on the ground.

“What did Twilight say when she heard all of this?” Dinky asked.

“She didn’t hear it. Lucky said he just told her it was gonna take a very, very, long time to find a suitable replacement. The only thing is, Lucky said I have to be registered as a worker, if he’s gonna keep paying me.”

“Oh, that’s easy! all we have to do is go to town hall, and fill out some forms,” I said.

“Bye mom, bye Mr. Walker” Dinky said. She turned right, off towards the middle school in the center of town.

“Bye sweetie, have a good day!” I called. I turned back to Jerry. “I have a few hours before I have to go to work, we can do that right now.”

“Great! Let’s get me some working papers!”

“Well first we would have to get you registered as a citizen here.”

“What? Then what were those papers you filled out when I first got here?”

“Well, they were kinda… papers that allowed me to keep a carnivorous animal within the confines of the town. ” I grinned sheepishly.

“So legally, I'm your pet?”

“Well, yes. We should go. If we can make you nice then everypony will love you! Clean up and we’lI go.” Just thinking of all the work I had to do to make everypony like Jerry made my brain hurt. This was going to be a nightmare. I had to keep him away from some of the more… excitable ponies. Rose and Daisy were so dramatic. I’d have to steer clear of the marketplace. Even though he’d been out by the vendors helping Lucky with repair work, that was very early, before the flower ponies even arrived.

And Pinkie would definitely make a scene. No doubt in my mind. Either she’d run away, screaming bloody murder, or bring out the party cannon in celebration of somepony new. Or both. I decided to avoid Sugarcube Corner altogether.

I made a mental map of the possible routes we could take.

“Hey Derpy, I don’t think I can wear these clothes if I'm trying to look civilized,” he said.

“What’s wrong with them?”

“They’re falling apart,” I examined him closely. Sure enough, the sleeves of his hoodie were starting to fray, and there were holes worn into his jeans. The shirt he wore underneath, despite half a bottle of stain remover, still bore the brown splotch where blood had fallen on it.

“Jerry, don’t you think that you should stop washing your clothes everyday? Maybe they’d last longer.”

“Derpy, I only have one pair of clothes to wear. Even if I'm away from other people, I still have standards of hygiene to maintain. Anyways, I'm going to need some clothes,”

“Why not just go naked? You’re not going to any fancy parties or anything.”

“Yeah, not on an option.”

“Hrmm…” This poses a problem. All I have is a few dresses for formal occasions, a parka, and my blue wrap up vest. If he wore any of those mare’s clothing, he would just look silly. The only Stallion’s clothing In the house is what was in Breeze’s drawer. Maybe Jerry would be willing to wear some of his clothing. I went into the bedroom, and pulled out his button-up shirt. I went back into the kitchen and brought it over to him. “Maybe some of my husband’s clothing will work.”

“Are you sure he won’t mind?”

“Well, he died before Dinky was born.” There was an awkward silence.

“Ummmm... I guess he won’t mind then.” He said awkwardly, before ducking into the guestroom. I heard the sound of clothing rustling. “Derpy? I think we have a problem,” Jerry called.

“What is it?” I called back. He walked out of the guest room. He had managed to get the shirt on his arms, and over his head. But only half on his body, and greatly restricting his movement. he turned to me, and peered between his two arms stuck straight out.

“I'm not a horse,” He said dryly. Oh yeah... He’s not a pony, no wonder it didn’t fit.

“Where can we get non-pony clothes? Hrmm... RARITY!”

“Who’s she?”

“She’s the town dressmaker. If there’s a pony that can make you clothes, it’s her!”

“We better see what she can whip up in such a limited amount of time.” Jerry cast off the button-up shirt.

The trip to boutique was going to take us through downtown, but at least we could stay away from the marketplace.

It was a beautiful day, and everypony was outside, enjoying themselves. As we walked by, a few ponies would take a step back, or whisper to each other. One even ducked behind a cart at the mere sight of him. Jerry wasn’t too happy about this treatment, but he didn’t say anything about it anymore.

“Derpy, did you ever change your name?”

“Before I came to Ponyville, I was called Ditzy Doo. I didn’t like it that much, because ponies made fun of my name whenever I crashed into something. I wanted a fresh start when I came here. Here we are!” I stopped in front of the boutique, and went through the door, followed by Jerry.

“Seems awfully messy in here,” he said. I spotted Rarity, tape measure strung across her shoulders, and pins and scissors levitating in the air.

“Just a minute!” she called. She turned back to the pony that was acting as her mannequin. There, on a raised pedestal surrounded by mirrors, wearing a half-assembled dress, was Fluttershy.