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Dave Bryant

E-mail: dave@catspawdtp.com • Discord/Bluesky: catspawdtp • DeviantArt/Ko-fi: CatspawDTP • Telegram/FurAffinity/FurryMUCK/Tapestries: Tom_Clowder • Mastodon: @tom_clowder@meow.social


Originally posted 4 May 2012 on Deviantart.

Dale’s family has farmed their little valley since the founding of Equestria, but with his wife long passed and his foals grown and gone to the big city, he’s left to work the farm alone. Will he be the last of his long line to uphold that ancient tradition, or will an unexpected—and involuntary—visitor bring a renewed hope for the future?

Reviews, ratings, and spotlights:
28 December 2012 by RBDash47
“Recommended” 9 September 2016 by Present Perfect
7 November 2016 by Seattle’s Angels
Video 16 January 2018 by Super Trampoline

Chapters (1)
Comments ( 34 )
Author Interviewer

So glad this is finally on Fimfic. :D


Same. I read this a while ago and loved it, and I really hope it gets wider exposure.


I'm really glad I read this.

7658712 Thanks very much! I’m pleased you enjoyed it.

Omg, this was good. Short and sweet, just how I like 'em.

I’m very pleased! That’s exactly the effect I was writing for. :pinkiehappy:

Sweet and well written.

Thanks so much. That was my goal!

Brings a happy tear to my eye

I’m very pleased the story has such an impact!

I think I'll go check out some of your otger stories. Tomorrow, though. If I start something new tonight (11:22pm currently), I'll be up 'til I finish reading

I hear you; I’ve done things like that myself. No worries; the stories will wait for you! :twilightsmile:

I take my reading seriously

List of situations when you can interrupt my reading session:

In like fashion, a good deal of Dale’s speech hearkens back to a bygone era, the last vestiges of which I am just old enough to remember

Feel free to abstain from divulging, but may I ask your age?

I’m in my mid-fifties.

Thanks very much! That was my goal.

I wonder if the ling in private takes the shape of his dead wife?

A tintype photograph by modern standards is pretty low-res and of course is black-and-white, so it’s likely the changeling resembles Dale’s late wife but doesn’t look just like her.

More Fimfiction Story Reviews!

3:28 The Farmer in the Dell by Dave Bryant https://www.fimfiction.net/story/349388/the-farmer-in-the-dell

Thank you for watching and have a great day!

Thanks for the kind review!

What a wonderful, sweet story. Thank you for having it shared here.

It's warming and sweet for the heart.
Thanks for writing this and bringing it up to Fimfic!

You’re very welcome, and I’m pleased the story struck the right note!

Cute and well-written. I kinda wish I'd seen more of the time that got skipped over, but I suppose that was beyond the scope of the fic.

Yes indeed. I wanted this to be short and sweet, and I felt going into any more detail would both move the story past an “E” rating (or the equivalent, since this originally appeared on Deviantart) and bog down the pacing.

I'm sorry it just took longer to get online, and find your spot on Fimfic.

I must say that was a lovely story.

I first heard about this story sometime in 2013, likely digging through features on the Pony Fiction Vault. I'm ashamed to say that I didn't read much of anything not posted on this site.

Now that I've finally finished this, though, I am extremely glad I read this. Thank you very much for writing.

You are very welcome!

Oh wow. I remember this story from EqD! What a fortuitous find, I never realised you made the jump here to Fimfic. This was just as enjoyable as I remembered.

I like to think Dale lived to see Thorax's reforms and his friend's changedling metamorphosis

Thanks for the comment! Yes, I started a Fimfiction account specifically to cross-post this (and “Conference”) from Deviantart, but oddly it was Equestria Girls that hooked me into writing a great deal more. Dale and his family do make a cameo appearance in Mister Cook Goes to Canterlot. While Dale is no spring chicken, neither is he ancient; I’d put him in his mid-fifties at the time of the story. Of course, that means something rather different in an industrial-age society, magic or no, than it would today.

7705864 I agree; this is a very compact story, especially the opening section, in which every paragraph moves the story forward significantly.

I know this probably isn't a hook for most people, but this sentence convinced me to finish the story: "Family tradition had it that his ancestors were among the first to follow in Puddinghead’s and Smart Cookie’s hoofsteps to the bountiful new land of Equestria—but they also were among the first to stop." It's quite clever without being showy.

I can't endorse the sentiment--the story carries a message of unconditional toleration, but I don't think toleration should be unconditional. To say that ponies should be able to accept and love changelings, because that's What One Must Always Do, is even more extreme than saying that the Jews during WW2 should have accepted and loved the Nazis. Also, the story, like the show, cheats by having it turn out that changelings can in fact survive without preying on ponies--but implies toleration was the correct moral response even before that was known.

I'm a consequentialist. I don't think it's a good idea to teach people that some particular response is a moral absolute, correct in all possible situations. Kant taught that, but he was conscious of and straightforward about its implications, writing, for instance, that if a friend were in your house, hiding from an assassin, and the assassin came to your door and asked if your friend were there, you would have to say "yes".

We're stuck with changelings being canon, but I'm not happy about it. I must shut part of my mind off whenever it touches that part of Equestria, or be taken to places so dark they would make me flee from it rather than to it.

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