• Published 12th Apr 2016
  • 14,952 Views, 12,558 Comments

Three More Things! - Tatsurou

Uncle Chan tries to balance running an antique shop, fighting demons, and being a Chi Wizard with being a loving Uncle to his nephew, his somewhat removed niece...and three little ponies who drive him straight up the wall.

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Food Foibles

Reading lessons proved quite easy for Uncle, though he privately suspected the fillies already knew how to read, given they'd been raiding his spell library for their unsupervised experiments. The fillies readily grasped both English and Chinese letters as he taught them their meanings. Writing, however, proved far more challenging, likely due to the absence of fingers.

Apple Bloom managed somewhat by holding the writing implement in her mouth and moving it with her tongue. While impressive, Uncle found it mildly disturbing for reasons he couldn't put his finger on. Beyond that, he didn't like being handed a writing implement with slobber on it.

Sweetie Belle was easily able to manipulate pencils or pens with her magical aura...but her fine control was somewhat lacking. More often than not, her letters would shape gigantic, or she'd end up driving her pencil or pen through the paper - and sometimes through the table - when she tried to mark a period. She found this nearly as frustrating as Uncle did.

Scootaloo had the most problems with writing. While she was, surprisingly, able to grip a pencil with her feathers, her wings were far too small to reach the paper from her side, and attempts to hold the paper at her side or see it as she wrote resulted in contortions of her body that were more amusing and painful than effective. She also lacked Apple Bloom's dexterity when holding an implement in her mouth, and had a tendency to chew while thinking. Uncle was surprised to discover that her teeth - like the others' - were quite well developed, leading to her chewing through three pencils. He was very glad he had not attempted to give her a pen.

Uncle had attempted teaching them to hold writing implements with their hooves, as he'd seen Apple Bloom and Scootaloo demonstrate gripping ability with hooves that should easily have translated to holding a pencil or pen. Apple Bloom often gripped a vial in magic lessons in one hoof, pouring the contents into another vial she held in the other. Scootaloo, in reading lessons, frequently carried a book in each of her four hooves to her spot to pleasure read...especially if Uncle relented and let her read comic books. On closer examination, he'd noticed that their hooves generated low level magical fields, similar to what Sweetie Belle generated from her horn, but far more limited and only visible when he brought his own magic to his senses. As best he could tell, this field only worked for gripping things, like doorknobs and similar objects.

He had raised his concerns to Jackie...who had presented a possible lesson solution that was of such simplicity Uncle was surprised he hadn't thought of it before. Then again, even with them reading, writing, and talking, Uncle still tended to think of the fillies as magical creatures. Fully sapient magical creatures, but still creatures. Because of the pendants, however, Jackie had come to think of them as children first, magical creatures second, and his suggested approach was obvious, in treating them like children. Since they had some manual dexterity and teeth, the solution was obvious: chopsticks.

As such, the five were now seated around the dining table, bowls of chow mein with tofu in front of each of them, as Uncle and Jackie prepared to teach the fillies how to eat with chopsticks. In order to improve the lesson so that the fillies could learn by watching, Jackie and Uncle were both wearing socks over their hands to make them more hoof-like.

"First step, learn to hold chopsticks together," Uncle instructed, picking up his chopsticks in one socked hand. Managing to get a grip on them, he held them up in proper alignment and clicked them together. "Should be able to click like this. Try."

Apple Bloom glanced down at the utensils before her worriedly, lowering her hoof atop them and trying to grip them. Picking them up proved easy enough. Manipulating them single-hoofed while gripping proved much more difficult, and frequently led to her dropping one or both. However, she continued to struggle with it doggedly.

Sweetie Belle quickly levitated her chopsticks into the air, holding them in proper alignment. However, when she tried to click them together, one snapped cleanly in two from the force of the impact. Squealing in frustration, she quickly grabbed a replacement from the large pile Uncle had provided her just in case it happened and tried again, only for the other one to break at the click. She continued this determinedly, struggling to learn the control where the chopsticks were held but did not break.

Scootaloo picked one chopstick up in each forehoof, clicking them together as demonstrated. She then smiled proudly up at Uncle, thinking she'd found the trick to the lesson.

Uncle and Jackie waited patiently, the dishes covered to protect them from splinters, until Apple Bloom and Sweetie Belle had each managed a successful click of their chopsticks. Uncle then uncovered each of the bowls. "Now, hold bowl close to mouth, and use chopsticks to bring food to mouth, like so." Picking up his own bowl, he brought a bit of noodle and tofu to his mouth with his chopsticks, giving it a soft blow before putting it in his mouth. Jackie mimicked the actions, having a bit more difficulty with his socked hands than Uncle was.

Apple Bloom attempted to mimic the actions, but had difficulty picking up her bowl. When she finally managed it, she had difficulty maintaining the focus on both bowl and chopsticks to move them. Eventually, her frustration reached its peak when she dropped one of the chopsticks. Growling, she held the other like a spear and stabbed it through some vegetables and tofu before swirling it around. With noodle caught on the tofu and vegetable, she stuffed the mouthful into her mouth. She hummed in pleasure as she chewed.

Sweetie Belle managed to get the first mouthful into her mouth via bowl and chopsticks without any trouble...but her pleasure at the taste caused her magic to spike, resulting in her chopsticks being embedded in two different walls and her bowl flipping through the air. She managed to catch the bowl before anything spilled, setting it gently back on the table. When she tried to pick up fresh chopsticks, however, they snapped in her grip. She slammed her hooves on the table with a squeal of frustration, which caused her bowl to flip off and onto her head, spinning on her horn. She looked up sadly at Uncle and Jackie, sniffling.

Sighing, Jackie set his bowl down and covered it before picking her up. "Come on," he said gently. "Let's get you cleaned up, and then I'll make you a fresh bowl..."

Uncle sighed as he watched them walk off, then turned to his last charge. Scootaloo had picked up the bowl with her two chopsticks and buried her face in it, snarfing the food up. "Aiyah!" Uncle snapped. "Scootaloo! A proper young lady does not eat like hog on farm!"

Scootaloo lifted her head from the bowl, her face covered with bits of sauce, noodle, and vegetable. She smirked, blew a raspberry at Uncle, then went back to eating.

At that moment, Jackie had returned, Sweetie Belle wrapped in towels and a fresh bowl in his hand. He glowered down at Scootaloo. "Not cool," he chided gently.

Scootaloo's eyes widened in surprise, and she promptly set the bowl down, looking up worriedly.

Uncle sighed, putting one socked hand to his face. He wasn't sure if he should be relieved he had a way to reign Scootaloo in now, or upset at how...idiotic it seemed.

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