• Published 1st Dec 2014
  • 1,784 Views, 23 Comments

Celestia's Smartypants - Beware The Carpenter

Celestia makes a Smartypants.

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The Dolls

Celestia sat alone in a candlelit room, humming idly to herself as she stitched the head onto the Smartypants doll in front of her. There was no natural light in the room, there couldn’t be for what she was doing, and there was no clock in the room to tell her what time it was, but the candles looked like it was around four in the morning.

She’d come here straight after lowering the sun and that was three Smartypants ago. Usually, Celestia could finish five in one night but tonight had been slow, so she put a sheet over the pile of fabrics, to remind herself to check the time once she finished this one.

Celestia would feel very silly if she was late in raising the sun because she was making dolls; and if she didn’t remember the time herself there was no one to come and remind her. No pony else knew Celestia was here. No pony else knew this room existed.

Usually, Celestia didn’t like being in tight spaces. Usually, Celestia didn’t like being in the dark and told everyone that she slept under a sun-shaped night-light to remind herself that her duties as ruler never ended. Yet here she was, in a room, she’d made herself, with the walls only a few lengths apart and only a few candles for illumination. There was even a stair on the way in.

This was Celestia’s special place where she came to be alone. Here she could just be herself; no masks, no pretenses, no royal regalia clinging to her - sucking the life out of her every waking hour of the day. Here there was nothing except Celestia and her friends.

Not many ponies knew it, but Celestia had made every Smartypants doll in Equestria for almost a thousand years. No other pony was allowed to make them, and Celestia wasn’t allowed to use any magic when she worked. Nothing but fabric, cotton stuffing, buttons, and tender loving care could go into making a Smartypants Doll.

NO magic.

Celestia used to only make five dolls a year. There were five important cities in Equestria: Manehatten, Fillydelphia, Trottingham, Los Pegasus and Canterlot, and each of them needed a Smartypants. Cloudsdale didn’t count because it didn’t have a magic kindergarten.

Celestia made these dolls for her personal protégés, she used to try giving the dolls to her students once they began lessons with her, but most of them were too old by then and didn’t want to play with dolls anymore. She needed to get them when they were younger, and that’s why she invented magic kindergarten. Each year, every magic kinder garden held a magic fair and the winner of each fair got a Smartypants.

Young children loved them, and being presented by Princess Celestia herself made them even more special. Many of those students ended up in her school for gifted unicorns and sometimes they still had their dolls with them, kept for all those years as a symbol of the rewards they would get for their hard work. Sometimes they would show the dolls to Celestia and ask her if she remembered giving it to them and then Celestia would smile, say yes, and then she would make them her personal protégés.

If someone came to the school without their doll, however, or if the doll hadn’t been loved, then they would never be Celestia’s protégé. They were just a normal student. Not all of the foals she gave her dolls to made it to her school for gifted unicorns of course; some of them decided to do other things, or got lazy, or got sick or died, but they were all allowed to keep their dolls anyway. It was better for someone to have a Smartypants and not need it, then to need one and not have it.

Celestia told everyone that the dolls were made by a very old and happy toymaker who lived in an enchanted forest named Happy Heart, who’d taken over the position from Smiling Jest, who’d succeeded Bliss Jingle who’d replaced Quaint Frivolous. None of them had ever existed of course, just like a lot of other ponies Celestia had made up, that everyone else thought were real.

Celestia didn’t need to keep making the dolls anymore; she’d stopped taking personal students. Twilight had been the last, but for a thousand years, Celestia had made the dolls for her students; one for every student. One for Star Swirl, one for Solar Song, one for Mana Meister, one for Wind Rune, one for Autumn Jinx, one for Crescent, one for Glister Star, one for Wave Nexus, one for Lister, one for Echo Song, one for Nebula, one for Sunset Shimmer, and one for Twilight Sparkle.

Shining Armor had never gotten one; even though he’d deserved it. One look at his little smiling white face all those years ago and Celestia knew that she couldn’t give him one of her precious dolls; he might hurt it, the resemblance was too great, and so she gave the prize to Sunset Shimmer instead, even though Shining Armor’s project was better. She knew it wasn’t fair, but told herself she’d make up for it by training his little sister.

She’d kept this promise; but really, Celestia had never needed any extra reason to make Twilight her protégé; she’d earned her place as Celestia’s most faithful student. Of all the children who’d won a Smartypants as a foal, Twilight had taken better care of hers than anyone.

It was such a shame that Twilight lost her Smartypants after all that terrible business in the Zaharren. Celestia wasn’t angry because she knew that it wasn’t really Twilight’s fault… but what did bother her was that since waking up… Twilight hadn’t even noticed her Smartypants was missing.

Of course, she was busy, working on the Manehatten Project to save Equestria, but Celestia had still hoped that one day she’d realize the doll was gone and feel at least a little bit sad about it. Celestia had made Twilight a replacement doll in case she ever asked for it, but for now, that doll sat unappreciated and unloved on the shelf inside Celestia’s special room.

It didn’t really matter though, Twilight had failed. All of them had. All the dolls, all the students, had failed in the only real purpose that any of them had ever really been there to accomplish. But Celestia kept making the dolls, because no matter how sad she felt, making the little dolls with tender love and care never failed to cheer her up.

Ever since Luna had become Nightmare Moon again, Celestia had been spending a lot of time here, and now her room was filled with Smartypants’. Most of them were sitting in neat rows on shelves that encompassed the entire room except the door, only now there were too many for the shelves so Celestia had moved in some chests for the rest of her friends to live in. When they got full she could get more chests, but Celestia knew that sooner or later she would either need to expand the room… or get a second one. No, expanding it was better; Celestia had made Smartypants dolls in this room for hundreds of years, and she wasn’t about to move now.

Maybe Luna would want one.

She must be lonely in prison all by herself and Celestia couldn’t visit her all the time. Maybe she could make Luna a Smartypants to keep her company when she was alone; and then Luna would always know that, even if Celestia wasn’t there, she would always love her, no matter what. Maybe Celestia could make Luna a special Smartypants, a pony, or even an alicorn sized one that could hold her when… she… cried. Maybe-

Celestia looked down at the Smartypants doll she’d made: the eyes were wrong! Instead of twinkling up merrily at her like a newborn foal looking up at its mommy, they looked sad, they looked angry, they looked like Nightmare Moon!

Celestia caught her breath and reached for her scissors; she could still fix this - everything would be OK. She tried cutting out the eyes so she could start over, but it was too late. She’d made a terrible mistake and couldn’t undo it. She couldn’t fix this, she couldn’t fix anything and she knew from the bottom of her heart that nothing would ever be OK again.

Celestia hurled the tarnished doll across the room where it shattered against the far wall; collapsing a shelf of healthy dolls who fell with the traitor into a jumbled heap on the floor as Celestia broke down, and wept.

Author's Note:

Satalite story to: Limits of the Horizon

They lied to me. They told me I’d been sick, and that’s why I couldn't remember two years of my life. Celestia, my friends, Shining Armor, Cadance, Spike… they all looked me straight in the eye, and told me the same thing, the same lie, for eighteen years.

I will never forgive them.

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