• Published 24th Sep 2015
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What's Your Story, Morning Glory? - Bucking Nonsense



Morning Glory has succeeded in becoming Princess Luna's personal student. But how did she get there, and where will she go afterwards?

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Dark They Were, And Golden Eyed

Five and a half days later, Midsummer's Day...

"Oh dear..."

Morning Glory looked upon the landmark with a sense of impending doom. It was a simple stone, set at a crossroads. From what the map indicated, it was named, 'Tom's Rest', and it marked a milestone on Glory's journey, as well as the last major crossroads between Cloudsdale and Canterlot. In particular, it indicated that Glory was two thirds of the way to her destination. It was noon now, and she was on the sixth day of her journey. The young filly was a couple of years ahead of the rest of her class in terms of mathematics, having graduated all the way to the 'fancy' level, so she could do fractions in her head, plus division and multiplication. Five and a half divided by two was two and three-quarters. Two and three quarters times three was eight and one quarter. At the rate that Glory was going, she'd be more than a day late for Luna's tryouts for a new student!

She'd thought that she was making good time, but it seemed that the way to Canterlot was a lot longer than she thought, or maybe she was just slower than she'd expected. All her life, she'd been walking on fluffy clouds, not hard-packed dirt roads, and walking too long in a stretch made her hooves sore. She really wasn't used to walking for long periods of time like this, either, so she had to take breaks, maybe a little more often than most earth ponies would. Still, to think that she was this far behind...

It was enough to make even a tough little filly like her want to break down and cry.

She was so caught up in her problems that she didn't notice the young colt standing nearby, next to a blackberry bush, until she heard a sudden clicking noise, like somepony biting down on something, followed by the sound of joyous chewing, the kind filled with 'mmmm's'. She turned to look, and saw him.

He looked to be about her age, and his coat was as black as the bottom of a deep well, and his mane, impossibly, seemed even darker. What was most striking about him, though, was his eyes, which were golden, and seemed almost to glow...

But the strangest thing about him was that he seemed to be engaged in a staring contest with a blackberry bush, and his mouth was visibly watering.

Well, her legs were tired from walking, and she needed a break. Sitting down, she studied the colt for a moment, then asked, "Whatcha doin'?"

The colt was so startled that he jumped as if something had stung him. Surprisingly, he was agile enough to spin in midair, and as he landed, he was facing Glory with a shocked expression on his face. "You can see me?" he asked, in a tone of disbelief.

Surprised, Glory asked, "Why wouldn't I be able to see you? You're standing right there."

The colt looked at the filly oddly for a second, then shrugged and said, "I guess it isn't important." He turned back to the bush, and said, over his shoulder, "I'm waiting for one of the berries on this bush to drop. The sweetest, tastiest blackberries in all of Equestria hang from this bush, and if I wait long enough, one is sure to drop off again."

Morning Glory giggled, and walked up to sit next to the colt. After a moment, she asked, "Well, if you want one so badly, why not just pick one?"

The colt scrunched his face up in an almost comic expression of concentration. After a moment, he recited, "Rubi sunt in ceteros insinuatus affectus post messem usque hodie. Nemo pooka eatenus ut aliquem deligeret, nec potest aliquis facere iusserint ad nutum aut possunt dolo decipere, aut violenter cogere aliquem facturum." He paused, and then began to say, "Translated, it means..."

Morning Glory, who had spent two weeks studying a book about Old Equestrian, recited, "The blackberries belong to all other races until after Harvest Day. No pooka may pick one until that time, nor can anyone they command do so at their behest, nor can they trick, deceive, or forcibly coerce anyone into doing so." She paused, then asked, "Is that right?" It seemed a silly rule, but it must have been important, for it to be written in a dead language. And just what was a pooka, anyway?

"Right," the colt said with a nod. If he was surprised that a filly could translate the old words so easily, he didn't show it.

A lot of the older books on magic in the Cloudsdale Library had large sections that had been written in the ancient language that was no longer used, one that was believed to have existed before Equestria had been founded. It had taken her two weeks to become well-versed enough to be able to read, write, speak, and translate it, but she'd considered it time well spent.

No one told her it should be impossible for a filly her age to learn and master an entire language in two weeks, both in written and verbal form. That may, in part, be the reason why she was able to do so.

Morning Glory paused, then pondered for a moment. After a few seconds, she reached forward, and plucked a blackberry from the bush, and handed it to the colt. "Here," she said, with a small smile. At his surprised expression, Glory giggled and said, "It's a gift, so you're not tricking me, or deceiving me, or forcing me to pick it for you. It's just a present, from me to you."

The young colt gently took the berry with the sort of reverence one might give to a holy icon. After a moment of hesitation, he put it in his mouth, and began to consume it with obvious relish. After a few seconds, he swallowed, and gave a satisfied sigh.

"That good?" Morning Glory asked, an eyebrow raised. The colt could only nod.

Glory pulled open her pack, and pulled out an empty bag that had been used to hold one of the meals that she had eaten on her way here. "If you've got the time, I could pick some more for you. That way you won't have to wait anymore."
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Flash Sentry was positively stunned. When the young filly had stopped in front of the berry bush and started talking, he'd been a bit concerned: The youngster had shown no evidence of having an imaginary friend before now, nor had his aunt indicated anything of the sort. Could Glory have eaten something bad and started hallucinating?

But then, she'd picked a berry, and a moment later, something had taken it from her hoof. Flash could almost swear he'd heard something chew and swallow it after it vanished a second later.

So... not an imaginary friend, but an invisible one? Strange. Of course, there were a few creatures known to either be able to turn invisible, or make it so that they were difficult to others to see. Most of them stayed well away from Equestrian communities, and off the main roads, though...
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After Glory finished filling a bag of blackberries, and making sure it was sealed tight, she handed it over to the colt, and said, "Here you go, my gift to you."

The colt gently accepted it, and then said, "Thank you." After a moment, he cleared his throat, then said, "I... I'll need to pay you back somehow."

"You don't need to..." Glory began, but the colt held up a hoof to stop her.

"My dad always says," the colt explained, "that if somepony does you a kindness without asking for payment or reward, it should be repaid threefold. It's a rule." The youngster blushed, then admitted, "I can't remember the exact wording of it in the old tongue, but it is definitely a rule." He paused, then said, "So, if there is anything that you need, and it is within my power to grant, I'll be happy to make it happen for you."

The young filly was about to say that there wasn't really anything that she needed, then paused and thought better of it: She had just determined that, on her own, she couldn't reach Canterlot in time. She couldn't cover the distance fast enough on her own hooves. It couldn't hurt to ask.

"Well," she began, "I need to be in Canterlot by this time tomorrow, but I can't make it on my own..."

The colt pondered this for a second, then said, "I think I can make that happen for you. Follow me."

Author's Note:

Pooka: Basically, it's an awesome hornless unicorn with magic powers. They can be good or evil, pretty much like people.

As for the Latin line, in Tales Of The Questor, the author has it set as a rule that, if you want to make a bargain with the fair folk, you do it in a dead language, or as soon as the language changes, the bargain can be twisted. The fair folk live long lives, so yes, they can certainly wait the centuries it can take for that to happen. It's a good rule, so I'm gonna use it here, myself.