• Published 10th Jun 2014
  • 1,205 Views, 35 Comments

Hoe Down - Talon and Thorn

Octavia isn't finding it very easy to adjust to her new life in Ponyville. The place is full of crazy ponies! How will she cope when the inhabitants decide to throw a part in her and her fellow element bearers honour? A Cadenceverse story.

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Praise these Mares

Several hours later a very tired but happy Octavia staggered away from the dance floor. Mac, it turned out was not the most skilled dancer, as her somewhat bruised hooves could attest. But he was surprisingly passionate once he got started twirling the two of them across the floor in a manner which suggested that they were about to go flying away, but not quite right now. She had had a few more glasses of cider, the taste was starting to grow on her and her eyes were starting to feel rather heavy. How much longer was the dance going to continue? Surely it couldn’t be long until the sun would rise.

“Thank you Mac,” she said surprising herself by giving the larger stallion a peck on the cheek as they separated. Cursed cider! Cursed hormones! His sweat tasted faintly of apples, she licked her lips to collect every drop.

Mac grinned widely and a blush showed even through his red coat.

“I... I think I need to have a little rest now,” she stuttered looking away.

“Almost over now, Applejack’s got somethin’ planned.”

“Really? What?”

“Secret,” muttered the stallion.

Looking around Octavia saw her friends were also enjoying themselves, Vinyl was dancing with the school teacher while levitating a drink behind her. As Octavia glanced at them the DJ leant forwards and whispered something in the magenta pony’s ear which caused her to blush and giggle. Lyra was sitting in the doorway of the barn having produced her lyre from somewhere and was strumming it absently as she narrated some tale of glory to a small crowd that had gathered around her. Bluenote was sitting not far away chatting happily to an Apple family member while she chomped her way through the last of the apple fritters gesticulating wildly with both forehoves. Even Fluttershy seemed to be enjoying herself dancing with a hugely muscled white stallion with tiny wings, was he one of Vinyl’s relatives? Medley was the biggest surprise she was swaying drunkenly on the dance floor with a brown earth pony stallion under one wing and a light blue unicorn mare under the other, occasionally stopping to kiss one or the other.

Applejacks amplified voice echoed around the barn. “Ok folks it’s getting late so it’s about time for the last dance.” To Octavia’s surprise the entire room seemed to perk up and a wave of murmuring passed around the barn. She looked over at Bluenote who seemed equally surprised. “Now before we start I want to get all of our guests of honour here up front, everybody stomp for them.” To a thunderous round of applause Octavia made her way to the stage, the other element bearers joining her, Medley, bereft of her harem needed to be supported by Lyra.

Ivory Scrolls joined them on the stage and took Applejack’s place at the megaphone. “Now as you all know this whole party has been in your well-deserved honour. I and all of the town, all of Equestria, are in debt to you six. Your brave actions in going deep into the Everfree to reclaim the Elements of Harmony will be recounted for the ages. Your defeat of Burning Sun and Nightmare Moon saved every Mare, Stallion and Foal in our land. Some of you have been born in our fair town whereas others only arrived recently but you all showed the true Ponyville spirit when you all worked together as a team, as friends, to defeat the many dangers on your path.”

The major turned and bowed deeply to each other them an action duplicated by the population of the room.

“As an expression of our thanks I would like to present to you all the key to Ponyville,” the mayor presented a glistening silver key about the length of a foal’s leg.

“So what does that actually fit?” cried a wit from the crowd.

The mayor’s smile slipped slightly. “It is a symbolic freedom of the town and a symbol of our gratitude for your actions,” she explained.

“Well on behalf of me and my friends, I except this doohickey,” exclaimed Vinyl grasping the key in her aura and lifting it above her head.

Octavia was about to put to voice her thanks for the gift and the actions of all the population of Ponyville when she was interrupted by Applejack. “Now we got one more surprise for the heroes of Ponyville,” she cried. “Everypony get on your hooves like we practiced,” she yelled. “We got a little musical number we all put together to thank you.” Opening her mouth she began to sing quickly joined by the whole population of the barn.

Praise these mares, Praise these mares
Jazz, Wub, Nature
Together, we should Praise these mares
Ball, Bard, Classic

To Octavia’s astonishment the whole barn, even those that had stood out of the dancing so far partnered up and began to sway in front of them. It took a moment for her to work out what they were singing about, them! It was their styles of music! Next to her Fluttershy gasped as she also worked out the townsfolk were praising them. Octavia suddenly felt both very small and ten feet tall at the same time.

Great Legends of gallantry
Sung with endless empathy
Turn 'em round quick by the left elbow
Grab a new partner, here we go

Lyra humbly returned the dancers bows with a slight blush on her cheeks her eyes not leaving Bon Bon who was singing along with the rest of the town.

Praise these mares, Praise these mares
Jazz, Wub, Nature
Together, we should Praise these mares
Ball, Bard, Classic

Wubs she makes, no mere trick
Technology in her magic
Turn 'em round quick by the left elbow
Grab your partner, here we go

The verse thundered through the barn bellowed by the whole herd of white unicorns that made up Vinyl’s family, from the youngest to the oldest they all sang along. She reared up and waved at them all, her glasses glinting in the light. “That’s guys,” she cried, unheard over the music.

Praise these mares, Praise these mares
Jazz, Wub, Nature
Together, we should Praise these mares
Ball, Bard, Classic

She always has a helping wing
And her birds can really sing
Turn 'em round quick by the left elbow
Grab a new partner, here we go

The vet seemed to be overwhelmed by the sound and spectacle in front of her. She gazed out into the barn full of happy ponies with a gentle smile on her face one hoof gently waving back at her supporters.

Praise these mares, Praise these mares
Jazz, Wub, Nature
Together, we should Praise these mares
Ball, Bard, Classic

Behind then the band suddenly fell silent and for a moment Octavia looked around in surprise, could something have gone wrong? Then to her surprise the crowd opened up to reveal a second shorter band, made up of foals! Many of the group looked rather drowsy, which was to be expected given the lateness of the hour but all were glowing with excitement. They took up their instruments and began to play. Several were out of tune but even Octavia couldn’t bring herself to complain given the cuteness of the spectacle.

Look at us, we're just foals
'Learning’s fun’ she extols
Our teacher, we are proud to say
Taught us how to play this way

Bluenote stood overcome with emotion, happy tears rolling down her cheeks. “My kids!” she mumbled before rearing up and cheering on the tiny band just as the main group started up again.

Her craft gives us such glee
She serves us all so loyally
Turn 'em round quick by the right elbow
Grab a new partner, here we go

The shock seemed to have sobered up Medley for the moment and she stood proudly forwards to receive the praise she had worked so hard for. She smiled happily at the townsfolk below. Among the crowd Dash turned from the grey mare she was dancing with and gave Medley a salute.

Praise these mares, Praise these mares
Jazz, Wub, Nature
Together, we should Praise these mares
Ball, Bard, Classic

This honest cellist is renowned
We welcome you to this town
Turn 'em round quick by the left elbow
Grab a new partner, here we go

Octavia thought that she heard Mac’s beautiful voice rise above the others but it might have been her imagination. She struggled to keep her emotions under control as she had been taught. Part of her wanted to rush forwards and hug each and every one of the ponies before her. Ponies who only a week ago had never even heard of her and now were willing to accept her into their lives, and how could be ever have doubted they would? That a simple thing like not knowing how to dance would turn them against her. She had so much more to learn about friendship and the ponies around her, and she was so glad that she would learn here in this wonderful town. She felt a tear run down her face. The music slowed and all the ponies turned to face her and her fellow element bearers.

We praise these mares, we praise these mares
Yes, we do
Together we sure praise these mares
Yes, we do
Being together counts the most
We all came here to be good hosts
We welcome them all to be
Part of the Ponyville community

All of the ponies below them, seemingly the whole town gave a deep bow to the group on the stage. From the back a camera flash went off immortalising the scene. Octavia’s eyes darted from face to face; there a couple so close they finished each other’s sentences, there a pair of pegasus passionate about their flying but trying to hide the same passion for each other, there an earth pony dedicated to improving local farming, there foals eager to congratulate their instructor, there a family congratulating their famous daughter, there a pink pony dedicated to giving everypony a good time even if they didn’t want one. All of them and more, they were her community, her family.

It took several moments before any of the bearers could bring themselves to act. Octavia stepped forwards but found herself too overwhelmed to speak. Vinyl was instead the first to be able to reply. “That... that was awesome!” she cried voice thick with emotion. “Thank you! Thank you all!”

“Thank... thank you all for your welcome to your community,” managed Octavia at least. “I truly am honoured. I will do all I can to help you all.”

“Remember that the next time we need a hoof with winter wrap up,” cried somepony, causing a wave of laughter to run through the crowd and the mayor’s ears to prick up.

“Don’t worry I’m sure Octy can’t wait to be hooked up to a plough,” said Bluenote with a grin.

Octavia wondered for a moment what she had agreed to before the worry was washed away by the emotions running through the building.

“Thank you,” added Fluttershy, “But remember we’re not the only cause you could all be supporting, remember the plight of those left homeless by the twins, or the lesser spotted land warbler.”

Medley, apparently her brief recovery at an end staggered to the front of the stage. “I love you all!” she announced. “All of you, but especially you,” she pointed near her blue companion, “because you’ve got awesome flanks and you,” she pointed at the brown stallion, “‘cause you can do that thing with your thing, you know the thing.” She giggled surprisingly girlishly as Bluenote carefully moved her back from the edge of the stage before she fell into the crowd.

“Can we have one last cheer for our heroes?” cried Applejack. The response was thunderous and raised Octavia’s spirits so high that she felt like her hooves had left the floor. This must be what it feels like to be a pegasus she thought.

“You would like us to play at your Winter Wrap Up?” asked Octavia suprisedly. She didn’t think that any towns still brought in spring manually.

“Yes, we traditionally have a musical number at the beginning to get everypony’s spirits up,” said the Mayor. “And I thought you would all be the perfect choice to arrange it next year. It might help to smooth over any disagreeable behaviour of yours earlier.”

Octavia winced slightly. “I would be honoured although I cannot speak for my friends but I will ask them when I next see them. It would certainly be a challenge to merge our different musical styles.” She looked around the rapidly clearing barn, ponies were leaving in small groups and Apple family members, including Big Mac were beginning to tidy up. The only bearers she could still see were Medley who was taking a winding route to the door still supported by her two companions and Vinyl who was apparently attached to the face of the school teacher.

“Thank you. I would ask Vinyl myself but I try not to think about what she is doing to my daughter right now,” said the mayor with a grimace. She turned to the red stallion she had been dancing with earlier. “Come on honey, we better head home,” she said as she linked forearms with him and walked away.

Sighing slightly, it looked like the mayor still held a grudge, Octavia turned to the barn door. She should be heading home, it would only be a few hours before the sun arose. She took a few steps staggering slightly on her still tired hooves.

“Do you want somepony to walk you home?” asked Bon Bon trotting over to her.

“Thank you! I think I may have had a few too many to drink, I am a little inedbre... inedbri... drunk,” managed Octavia. “I am not used to this cider stuff, although it is quite smooth after a while.”

“You might not agree tomorrow,” said her companion with a smile, edging up to Octavia to allow her to lean on her.

“Thank you, you really are too kind to me.”

“I would do the same to anypony who saved the world.”

“No really, giving me a roof above my head, tidying up after me, cleaning my things.”

“Well you pay me for most of that and we’ve sorted out the rest now. See you Medley,” she grinned waving at the blue mare as she and her companions staggered past. “I swear she’s going to end up on top of the town hall again.”

Octavia frowned. “What?”

“It’s a long story, I’ll tell you later. Now we’ve got a bit of a trot in front of us so why don’t you tell me what Chenneigh is like, I’ve never visited...”

The two mares continued to talk for the whole of the walk back to their shared home and once there Octavia couldn’t see a reason to stop so they continued. Talking about each other’s pasts, their families, their hopes, it all seemed to come rushing out. Before she realised it the sun was beginning to rise. Octavia leapt to her hooves and rushed up to the stairs and ran to her room.

“What’s wrong? Are you feeling ill? To much cider?” asked Bon Bon sounding concerned as she followed her boarder.

“No, well maybe, but I try to play for the Princess each sunrise and it is almost time,” she called picking up her cello from where it rested. Bon Bon followed her into her room and shivered.

“It’s a bit chilly up here.”

“There is a draft,” replied Octavia opening the door to the balcony and looking out over the town, it seemed deserted, which was to be expected as many of its inhabitants would have only just gotten to bed. She glanced over towards the town hall, was that a pony on top of it, three?

“You should have told me,” said Bon Bon, “I’d have gotten it fixed.”

“I did mean to,” said Octavia setting up her instrument.

“Well I’ll get right on it,” the confectioner yawned. “Well maybe after I get some sleep.”

The yawn was contagious and caused Octavia to gape as well, sleep did sound good, once she had finished honouring the Princess.

“Do... Do you mind if I listen?” asked Bon Bon.

“Of course not.”

Bon Bon sat herself down on the bed and watched as Octavia took up her position. As she slowly drew her bow across the strings Octavia considered her feelings. All of her morning performances were special to her, she tried to put her all into her music for the princess as thanks for the new day but there was something different today. As Bon Bon started to quietly hum along with the tune she realised what it was, for the first time she was not only playing for the princess also playing for a friend, and that felt even better.

Author's Note:

And that's that for the moment.

Thanks to G&C2 for his help with the song so it fit a little with the music.

It'll probably be a few months before I write for the C-verse again, but I will eventually.

Currently I've for ideas for: -
The Cat and the Angel - Cat Scratch and Angel have to work together when Fluttershy gets sick
My Little Golem - In a magical accident with the elements Princess Cadence gets split into a Golem and a filly side, does she ever want to return to normal?
Hitting the Big Time - Vinyl gets offered a big record deal but it means a move away from Ponyville, is everything what is seems?
Letting go - There are some times when Fluttershy can only help her patients in one way, and only if their owner will let her. A sadder fic than I'm used to and since reading Estee's Five hundred little murders I don't see how I can top that, or even come close.

As always comments are appreciated

Comments ( 11 )

It's good, but there are quite a few continuity, grammatical and spelling errors. I would really advise getting a proofreader. I can do that for you, but I would not be able to start until Saturday.

Otherwise, Great story!!



Thank you I may well PM you about your kind offer.


Well come on who wouldn't want a shrew? and screws are fairly useful as well.

This is a nice story.

Good job with the romance in this story. I would recommend you do hitting it big time for Vynnl. Good luck with future stories.

If I didn't know better, I might think that there are a few hints at the end of this story that could lead to kind of a "Simple Ways" triangle: Lyra (of course) wants Bon Bon, Bon Bon has a growing appreciation for Octavia, and Octavia just wants to be friends with both of them.


I think Doctor is normally considered to cover both sexes.


Oh I'm not opening that can of worms, although I did feel a little Bon Bon / Octavia fission in Octavia sings the blues. No, they are just good friends, I'm happy to keep my confused love matches with Red Tape / Lyra / Bon Bon


Fair enough and thanks for the constructive criticism.

1) I think I have aimed to make Octy a little less likable than normal, she's been pulled out of her comfort zone and now has to get used to a new environment. It's easy to say you'd like to move to stay with your friends but then you wake up a few days later and you realise that everything is different now. Plus it is early in her time in Ponyville she hasn't gotten used to being accommodating yet, remember how she was in Musicians when everything had to be done her way.

She is being hypocritical about Bon Bon's system, but aren't we all? We all have our own quirks but we don't often accept them in others, at least not so well.

2) I have to agree with you about this one. Now you've mentioned it I probably should have moved it 'back' a day or two. Although after what happened to the 6 in Musicans Octavia might have been in a coma for a few days. I probably should have made some of the 'system' stuff a flash back or something like that to spread it out over a bit.

I hope you care to read the rest of the story and point out any other problems so I can try to do better next time.

Okay, overall I rather liked this a lot. Good to se Octavia getting used to Ponyville a bit more. Great music, and I 'ship Octish.


Which one?

We have

Mactavia (Big Mac / Octavia)
Vinyllee (Vinyl / Cheerilee)
Medley Time Gate (Time Turner / Medley / Colgate)
Bonra (Bon Bon / Lyra)
Ditdash (Rainbow Dash / Ditzy)
and some unrequited Redra (Red Tape / Lyra)


“Well on behalf of me and my friends, I except this doohickey,” exclaimed Vinyl grasping the key in her aura and lifting it above her head.

Vinyl Scratch is officially my favorite Element of Magic ever (so far).


No, they are just good friends

Perhaps Octavia and Bon Bon can stay Friend Zoned. But I like the idea of Lyra interpreting that connection as Octavia falling for Bon Bon, and Lyra takes it the wrong way.

I'm reading the Cadanceverse stories in chronological order rather than order of release (at least to the best of my abilities since the "Story Order" forum thread still lists Hoe Down as not yet published). So perhaps I'd be right in guessing that later in the series, you see more of some of these ships. But here's my take on them as far as what I've seen so far.

Mactavia, yes.
Vinyllee, haven't seen enough of it to have an opinion.
Medley Time Gate, is this fleshed out later in the series? Because I didn't even think that was a thing. I just thought that's how Medley gets when she's drunk.
Bonra, I suppose you can't go wrong with what the show has confirmed as canon.
Ditdash, I want to see more of this. I especially like this version of Ditzy, since it plays into an episode that wasn't made yet when this story was. Parental Glidance shows that Derpy used to compete and win in best flier competitions. Then her eyes started getting worse and worse, as did her skill level. This version of Ditzy implies that that's what happened more or less, but she never gave up and still holds that childhood dream.
Redra, haven't seen it.


I don't think any of the ships ever really come to fruition in the stories written to date but Mactavia is probably the most prominent one.

The Medley Time Gate one is mostly a casual thing just to show that Medley can get a bit wild when she lets her hair down, although it's not a common thing.

Ditdash and Redra where things I meant to do more with later but never really came up.

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