• Published 26th Mar 2016
  • 21,800 Views, 383 Comments

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 6

You received a letter from the princess telling you she would be arriving today now that the rush that always happens during the first few days is over. Today you've decided to just go over a few things, to make sure he understands who Celestia is before they meet. Only thing is, you can't find him.


"Well, I just checked the west field. Nothing," AJ calls out.

"Nothing in the east. I guess he must have stopped into town or something."

"He does this once in a while. Wanders who knows where for a short while but he always comes back."

The two of you are heading down the track when your ears perk up at the sound of a strange sound. It's like singing but in some bizarre language. You're sure that it's Anon because you can recognise him from a few of those words. AJ's off faster than you are but you trail as close behind as fast as you can. The athletic difference is clearly showing, maybe you should jog while you read books or something.


"Anon. Applebloom. Where have you two been?"

"Thank Applejack! And thank Twilight," Anon cheers as he lets Applebloom down from his shoulder's.

"We were just up at Anon's camp for a little while."

"His camp?"

"Yeah, that's where I met Anon a long time ago up... It's up in the Everfree Forest."

"Applebloom, you know it's dangerous to go in there,"

"Anon knows a lot about the Everfree, enough to be safe. He even hunted for his own food."

Then Anon places a flower he got in the Everfree on Applejack's ear before petting her on the head.

"Example," he calmly says with a warm smile.

"Thank Anon," she replies.

Before anyone gets in another word, Anon begins to jog towards town.

"Hang on Anon, wait," you call out as you chase after him.

His long legs give him the advantage at first. You actually have to pick up your own pace to catch him as he gets to the end of the path.

"Twilight?"

"Yeah. I wanted to give you a quick lesson before Celestia gets here."

"Lesson? Anon is sell cider."

"It'll be a real quick one."

"Sell cider and lesson?"

"Do you mean do both? Uh, sure."

You follow Anon over to the stall where he sets up one of the cider kegs. Once the preparations are done so he's ready for when the sales start, you begin the lesson.


"Alright. So Princess Celestia is one of two rulers, the other being Princess Luna and they're also sisters. Understand so far?"

Already Anon is confused and it's as clear as day too. He rubs his chin then looks at you as he still tries to decipher your words.

"Celestia like metres?"

"No-no-no. Not a ruler, sorry. She's a... A princess, our monarch."

You figure it's best to keep each word to one meaning for now. Having to explain the different meanings and how they apply within context would probably take too long.

"Monm-arck?

"Close enough. A monarch can be a princess or prince, king or queen but they are in charge of Equestria. They make the rules and keep everyone in every town friends."

"Mayor Mare monarch?"

You let out a sigh as you're reminded how you're still having trouble explaining that Equestria is the country, not the town. You figured explaining politics to him would be difficult, but he needs to know this stuff but their arrival. However, just as you're about to go into things, the first customer of the day arrives. A large white mare with a flowing mane smiles warmly at you as she holds up a pouch with her magic.


"You must be Anonymous. A pleasure to meet you. How much for one cider?"

Her voice is soft and motherly as you recognise the smile. Anon stands there deadpan but snaps to before immediately bowing as low as he can. You were about to bow to the princess yourself but the sheer speed of Anon dropping to the floor, took you back.

"I think you stressed a little too much on manners when you taught him," the princess says with a soft laugh.

"Actually I didn't have... Haven't had a chance to. He couldn't quite understand what I meant but I guess he recognises your crown or something. He just understood the moment he saw you."

"We should probably explain he can get up now."

"You're right. Anon."

He looks up at you, still with his face in the dirt.

"Stand up. It's okay."

Anon seems a little cautious as he rises to his feet, unsure if he's doing the right thing. It almost seems like he's uneasy about being rude as he tries to watch everything he does right up to how he stands.

"Much better, now how much was it for a cider?"

When she speaks, Anon straightens up and stands as firmly as possible. Then he quickly pours a cup of cider to leave before the princess on the counter.

Celestia starts putting a few bits on the counter when Anon pushes them back. And now this kind of thing has given you a sudden but clear realisation about Anonymous. You were open to the idea that Anon was from something else. He understands enough of his own language to pick up bits of yours, but only now are you realising that Anon has a culture of sorts. He apparently has a camp, he wears specific kinds of clothes, he can recognise the princess as royalty, and even has a language.

"I think he's letting you have this one on the house," you whisper to the princess

"That's sweet but I wouldn't be a good princess if I didn't pay my own way."

"Please accept the offer. I'd like to see how Anon reacts."

"Hm... Very well. For science. Thank you, Anon."

She smiles at him and takes a drink. Which seems to put Anon at ease, though only a little. His stance is still tall and firm.

"Twilight, I was hoping to talk to you about a few things before the day starts if that's okay with you."

"Of course, I'm not really sure we should leave Anon by himself though."

"I can watch him," chirps Pinkie Pie.

"Thank Pinkie," he calmly nods to her.

Pinkie on the other hand squeals and leaps as she replies, "Thank Nonny."

Pinkie leaps over the counter and into Anon's arms, who swings her around as she laughs before placing her on solid ground.

"Woah, dizzy."

The two are immediately wrapped up in each other. And with that, you follow closely beside the princess so you can have a talk.


"How are the lessons going?"

"It's like doing a puzzle without the picture," you reply with an irate chuckle, "It's been slow and he only understands pieces of what I mean, never the full thing. Like he uses thank as a greeting and it's been very difficult to teach him otherwise."

"Well, I'll be honest Twilight, I was thinking it might be best to take him back with me to Canterlot. That way some professionals can work with him."

"That would probably be the quicker and safer option."

"But?"

"Hm?"

"I can tell there's something more you have to say."

You sigh.

"Well... I don't think Anon will respond well to that. He gets along with most ponies and he's very attached to Applebloom, Pinkie too it seems. Not to mention he likes to wander around, even into the Everfree. I'm not sure Canterlot is the right environment."

"Very well. What about safety?"

This time her face becomes straighter and her tone is almost harsher.

"What do you mean?"

"I need to know every pony will be safe... Is he dangerous?"

You ponder that question for a moment. Probably for a little more than you should have too. But you've thrown at everyone else, yet you don't have a proper answer yourself. It's true that you don't trust Anon. There's still too much you don't know about him, yet the Apples welcomed the strange creature into their home. Nopony questioned it but you and so you were a little harsh at first. But the concern is still there. Just because he hasn't hurt anyone yet doesn't mean he's safe. But if you tell the princess that, will she take him away? More than anything, you dread that for the Apples.

"Twilight?"

"Sorry... But I can't say for sure. I do know the Apples trust him though. They've welcome him in without a second thought and treat him like a part of the family."

Celestia weighs your reply carefully, then she sighs as her smile returns.

"Then that'll have to do for now. Come, let's return to Sweet Apple Acres. I'd like another cup of cider."


As always when the princess is here, every pony crowds around her for a chance to speak to her. Then add to the even bigger crowd here for cider. You're not even going to try and stick around. In the corner of your eye you notice Anon is heading towards the Everfree. Curiosity gets the better of you and so you follow him. Quietly. From a distance.


It's only a few minutes of a walk but eventually Anon comes to a clearing where you notice what must be Anon's camp. There's shelter made from wood, vines, and large leaves. Some rope going from tree to tree and a little pit for what you'd assume to be a bonfire. You take a step forward for a closer look when you nearly trip over on some rope. As you take your foot off it, hear a jingle coming from the camp. It must be a trap of some kind to alert Anon of someone nearby which brings a beaming smile to your face. Honestly, you had no idea Anon was smart enough to work something like this and you find yourself getting so lost in the workings of the contraption that you don't notice the beast towering over you.

"Thank Twilight," he says in a chillingly calm voice.

"S-Sorry Anon."

He shakes his head then gestures you to follow. Now you're standing at the centre of his camp. Anon points to a few things then says some words you don't understand. It takes you a moment to realise, but he's actually trying to teach you what they are.

"Wait, I missed those. Repeat them please."

He gives you a confused look, tilting his head slightly.

"Uh, again. Repeat. Didn't understand, like... what is this?" You say as you stand in front of his shelter and point.

Anon tells you the word but again it goes over your head as you notice Anon has a book in here. It stands out too. With it's worn green leather cover and rope stitching, you admire it as you lift it up in your magic to ask Anon what it is. As you go to open it to peek, Anon snatches it like a frog after a fly so he can clutch it closely to him.

"No!"

"I-I didn't mean to... I w-was just curious. Sorry."

"Not example."

You suppress any and all urges to correct that and continue to apologise.

"Right. Right. Won't happen again... You know, if that's important you probably shouldn't leave it out here."

Again he looks at you confused. You gesture all around the camp.

"If it's important then you should keep it at the farm," you say as you then point to the book.

Anon holds for a moment, thinking then starts walking towards Sweet Apple Acres without a word.


The two of you head into the barn and you lead Anon over to the corner where you lift up a few planks of wood. Without missing a beat, you shovel out a bit of dirt to make room for the book. Anon looks at you cautiously before he puts it under the floorboards.

"Relax Anon, I won't tell anyone."

He's still giving you the same look. You find yourself getting irritated now but that fades as you laugh at yourself for that. Not at Anon, just at how difficult it is to communicate.

"Secret," you finally utter as you mime zipping your lips shut.

Anon seems to understand your meaning as he repeats the action and the word himself. Once that's done you head back out to try and find someone to talk too. Anon disappears, likely to find Pinkie or Applebloom to play with. Even as you try to focus elsewhere, your mind keeps drifting to that curious little book.