• Published 26th Mar 2016
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A Word of Caution - Eighth



A strange creature arrives in Ponyville and the Apples have taken it upon themselves to keep it as a pet, despite Twilight's cautious words.

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Chapter 2

As you wander around your room aimlessly, Spike steps in.

"Nervous?" he asks.

"Hm?"

"Just asking if you're nervous. You've been walking in circles for who knows how long now."

"Heh, I guess. I'm just wondering how I can show solid proof that Anon is dangerous to every pony."

"Uh, you know Twilight," Spike nervously speaks up before pausing. He hesitates but when you make eye contact, he continues, "I'm not so sure he's dangerous. Anon has been in town for a while now and hasn't hurt a fly, not to mention that time your magic spooked him, he took Applebloom to safety."

"I'm not so sure either Spike but there's still so much we don't understand about him. So until we do, someone has to be the cautious one."

Spike darts off when there's a knock at the door to greet Fluttershy and Anon.

"Fluttershy? I had no idea you'd be coming."

"Yes, Applejack asked me to escort Anon. Apple cider season is starting soon so she's very busy."

"Hey Fluttershy, Anon."

"Hello Twilight," she replies with a bump to Anon's leg.

He curiously looks at her while she gestures to you. Anon, still confused looks at you to speak.

"Hello," he stammers before looking back to Fluttershy.

"Very good."

She flutters up to him to pat him then smiles at you expectantly.

"Yes, well done."

"I knew you two could get along."

Fluttershy looks very pleased with herself while Anon looks very confused. You can't help but feel a bit of sympathy for him on that. Everyone treats him like some pet but you've always held onto the feeling he's more than that, he seems to aware of things in a way. It's what has made you concerned in the first place and the fact that he can talk, even if it's partly mimicry, means he's smarter than any pet.

"Alright Anon, we'll obviously have to start with the basics. Familiarise you with key words and build from there so I've gone ahead and made some flashcards because who doesn't love flashcards?"

You take a seat at the table while Anon stands there, gawking at you as he tries to comprehend the task in front of him. There's a sigh as you get up.

"He doesn't understand anything you're saying Twilight," you tell yourself from under your breath.

Pointing to Anon then the chair before you tell him, "Sit."

Great, now even you are treating him like an animal.

"Sit," he copies.

"Yes, sit."

"Sit?" he repeats in a clearer manner.

In a groan of frustration, you grip his hand with your magic and try to gently lead him to the chair. It's no surprise that Anon doesn't like this. He tries to pull back against your grip, he's trying to somehow escape your hold. Before he goes into a panic, you release your magic and try to put some distance between you two. It's hard to show you don't mean any harm, and while he's still uneasy he isn't fleeing. His gaze is fixated on you, his breath has quickened and any movement seems to cause him to be startled slightly.

"Okay," Fluttershy softly utters as she moves to Anon's side, "Twilight isn't going to hurt you."

She tries to hush and soothe Anon over and over but he's still on edge and watching you. So slowly you move over to him. Every creature should understands basic body language but what with his body being so different to yours, it's difficult to convey peace. Lowering your head, bowing lightly, you speak in a soft tone.

"Sorry."

His tense stance eases slightly. You do find yourself wondering how much he understands.

"Sit," you repeat as you take your seat.

Now he seems to get it as he nods and takes a seat opposite to you while saying, "sit."

"Yes. Now..."

You try to push your luck once more with your magic. You want Anon to understand it's just a tool, not an instrument of harm he should fear so you careful magic over your pile of flashcards. Anon becomes wide-eyed, one eye seemingly watches the cards as the other stares at you. Then, you clear your throat and begin the lesson.


Fluttershy left a little while ago. She was only really there to make sure Anon got here, and probably also so that you weren't going to spook him again. But things are going well. Anon seems to be a quick learner. He's picking up on pronouncing words quite well after a few tries but until he learns more you can't gauge accurately how well he understands any of this. There was some counting and he understood that perfectly but that's as far as you can tell. It's about mid-afternoon so you decide to call it quits for the lessons, you don't want to overload Anon with information. Then you'd get nowhere, though you think you might have as his eyes have bags under them. His head has nodded a few times in what appears to be a struggle for consciousness.

You step back into the room with something to eat and drink for everyone to find Spike riding atop Anon's shoulders while he chants "Twilight egghead."

Rainbow Dash, who must have invited herself in is on the floor, he sides in orbit. You clear your throat and it grabs the pony and dragon's attention. Anon is still chanting while he bops up and down to amuse spike.

"Uh, hey Twilight," the nervous dragon stammers, "We were just trying to teach Anon some tricks."

"Anon, stop that."

He doesn't stop and now you realise that's a word you should have gone over today.

"Alright big guy, that's enough," Dash says as she flies shoulder height to Anon.

He still doesn't quite get what's being asked of him and it's not until Spike places a claw over Anon's mouth and repeats several times in a pleading fashion, "please stop," that he finally gets it.

"Please stop," he mimics.

"Yes. Stop. Thank you. Now, Dash, what can I do for you," you ask, begrudgingly.

"Just stopped by to say hi. I was also wondering if I could take Anon to check how his physical ability is."

"I've heard AJ has him working on the farm some days. So I'd say that's probably covered."

"Boring. I'm talking about a race," she excitedly flutters higher into the air.

"Well, I've finished with my lessons. If he wants, he can go where he pleases, just make sure he gets back to Sweet Apple Acres."

"Oh, can I go?" Spike chirps.

"Yeah, you should come too Twi. You could probably use some air. Besides, I like when there's a crowd to see when I'm the first pony to beat... whatever this guy is. Did you work that out yet?"

"No, we've only just started taught him some basic words and counting, it'll be a while yet before he can handle a conversation."

"So we'll just have to stick with Anon."

"Pretty much... Come on, let's go see if Anon is up for a race."

The four of you are outside in the park, a few fillies can be heard playing and there are some curious onlookers. For the most part though, the park is quiet and empty. Dash is currently trying to explain a race to Anon. She keeps repeating run and race while jogging on the spot, even doing a quick mock race with Spike. Anon seems to understand by lining beside Dash in what looks like a running pose.

"Okay... One, two three, go" she bellows before darting off as fast as she can go.

Anon however hasn't left the starting line and in the short time it takes Dash to circle around to cross the finich line, Anon just waits.

"Oh, come on," she disappointedly shouts, "Don't tell me he doesn't understand go."

"I'm pretty sure he does. I know I taught him how to count."

"Sit."

Dash curiously does as Anon says. Before she can say anything, Anon notices Applebloom in the distance with Sweetie Belle and Scootaloo. He speeds off to go meet them while Dash sits there, bored.

"He's hardly fast," Rainbow sulks.

"Well, I think I'm going to head back inside. What are you doing Spike?"

"I'll go with you. Congrats on the race," Spike giggles with a wave goodbye.

The two of you walk side by side as Spike nervously twiddles his claws.

"I like him."

"What?"

"Anon. He's really friendly... And honest. I don't think he's dangerous at all."

"I realise that, but he kind of has to be."

"You really don't trust him, do you?"

"No. It's nothing like that. I'm trying to take a scientific approach to this, Anon is smarter than everyone realises. He thinks, has things to say and ask, only he can't. Especially with everyone treating him like a pet."

"I'm not treating him like a pet."

"Oh, and what tricks were you trying to teach him earlier?"

"To--"

Spike cuts himself off as he understands your point.

"I'm not against you being his friend if that what you want Spike. Just be careful... And stop treating him like some dumb but friendly manticore that stepped out the Everfree."