• Published 2nd Mar 2017
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Land of Equines - Daddy Joe

Who would've thought that being at the wrong place at the wrong time would bring something so surreal.

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Life Lessons

Life Lessons
March 25th, 2013

It was a normal, calm evening at the Golden Oak Library. Dinner had just gotten over with, Twilight was washing some dishes, Spike was upstairs doing something, and I was checking out more books that lined the bookshelves. As I walked around the circular room, I looked over at the small wooden ladder that laid up against the wall and led up to a little open space by the window. Standing on my toes, I peered into the space and found Twilight's letters that were sent back through Spike, neatly organized by the dates they were sent. I then randomly chose one out of the thirty and read it.

"Reading one of my letters again?" Twilight asked, getting my attention.

"Mmm-hmm." I replied.

"Which one is it?" she asked.

"Uhh, it's the one where you learned that it's okay to use your talents in certain situations." I replied as I went to sit on the couch.

"Ah, that one." Twilight said, sitting next to me. "Wanna hear how I learned the lesson?" she asked.

"Sure, i'm all ears." I replied to the offer.

"Firstly, have you ever heard of a certain somepony named Trixie?" Twilight asked.

"Trixie? I don't believe I have." I replied.

"I figured, but just making sure." Twilight said.

"Why? Was Trixie a wise pony who gave you wisdom and taught you this lesson?" I asked.

"Oh, no, no, no, no." Twilight quickly replied.

"Oh. Complete opposite?" I asked.

"No, she didn't do any of that. I had to figure out the lesson myself." Twilight said.

"Gotcha. So, how about that story?" I brought back up.

"What story?" Spike asked, coming down the stairs.

"Remember when Trixie came to Ponyville last summer?" Twilight asked.

"Oh yeah. She was a big showoff." Spike said.

Spike then sat next to Twilight's side.

"It was last summer, and a unicorn mare named Trixie arrives to Ponyville. She claimed that she was greatest, and anything that anypony could do, she could do better." Twilight began.

"Did you confront her?" I asked.

"That's the thing. Since my friends seemed to dislike Trixie's boasting over her magic, I just assumed that I shouldn't get involved and not use my magic spells as well." Twilight explained.

"But then you had to use them in a certain situation." I said.

"A major situation." Spike added.

"But it was a minor. Remember, Spike?" Twilight reminded.

"Oh, right." he said, facepalming himself.

"By minor, do you mean the Ursa Minor? The baby?" I guessed.

"You aren't mistaken." Twilight confirmed.

"Well, I guess that's a good motive to use your magic powers." I said.

"Exactly. When Trixie couldn't back up what she boasted, having the capability to vanquish the Ursa Minor, I was basically a last hope. So I used my powers to manipulate the environment to lull the Minor to sleep." Twilight said.

I slightly moved my head towards her.

"Manipulated the environment?" I asked, slightly confused.

Twilight nodded her head in response.

"How exactly did youuu.... do that?" I asked.

"It's quite simple, for me at least. All I did was close my eyes and concentrated my magic on one specific plant. The Typha." Twilight said.

I slightly cocked my head to the right since I had no idea what a Typha was and looked like.

"The cattail plant." Twilight clarified.

"Ohhhh, okay." I understood.

"Using a music generating spell, I was able to generate a calm and relaxing tune that made the Minor drowsy." Twilight said.

"Didn't you also tear down the water tower, somehow filled it up with milk, and fed it to the Minor like a foal?" Spike asked.

"I sure did. All part of the plan." Twilight said.

"As illogical that last part sounds, that's pretty cool. After that, you must've had your lesson breakthrough." I said.

"I sure did. There are times when it okay to be proud of your talents, and there are times when it's appropriate to show them off." Twilight recited.

"Indeed." I agreed. "So why do you even send all of these letters to Princess Celestia anyways?" I asked.

"Wait, I never told you about the letters?" Twilight asked, surprised.

"You might've, but I don't remember." I said.

"Oh, if I didn't, i'm sorry about that." Twilight said. "Shortly after me and the girls vanquished Nightmare Moon, Princess Celestia gave me a task. The task to study the magic of friendship and report back my findings through letters." Twilight explained.

"And you still stick to all of lessons you've learned to this day?" I asked, pointing at the huge pile of letters.

"Of Course. Why else would I learn these lessons for?" Twilight asked.

"Got me there." I admitted.

All three of us looked over the letter for a moment before Twilight brought a suggestion up.

"Have you ever learned any friendship or life lessons back in your world?" Twilight asked.

"I'm not sure." I said.

"Aw, come on. You had to of learned at least one lesson if you lived there for nineteen years." Spike said, raising one of his eyebrows.

"Nah, i'm just playing with you, Spike." I kidded.

"Oh, okay." Twilight sighed. "I actually thought you never learned a life lesson too." Twilight said.

"That would be pretty sad." I agreed.

"So what did you learn?" Twilight asked.

"Well, firstly, i'd like to say that I wasn't always the kind person you have right here." I said.

"Really?" Twilight and Spike both said with surprise.

"Really, really." I said. "In my middle school years, I was a bit of a bully myself. Part of this little bully clique to be exact." I elaborated.

"A bully gang?" Spike asked.

"Yes." I replied.

Twilight scooted a little bit closer to me.

"Tell me, did you happen to have a motive to become a bully?" Twilight asked.

"No. I was a victim of circumstance. I joined this clique voluntarily, and I did it to escape the torment. Why?" I said.

"Most bullies usually have motive to be who they are, but I can see what you're saying. Continue." Twilight said.

"I remember that I was actually bullied by this certain clique. Mostly because of how small I was for a sixth grader. I was only four-eleven while the others were like five-two or five-four." I said.

"Quite ironic for you today." Twilight said.

"Hey, you're right about that." I chuckled before continuing. "So anyways, this bullying went on for a while before I actually made a radical decision. The decision to compromise with the clique. So, I actually managed to join it, but they still never got over the fact of how short I was at the time. Thankfully, I decided to join the clique near the end of the school year." I said.

"That means you and the clique didn't interact much." Twilight said.

"Yep. Over the summer, I had a growth spurt and I grew to five-seven, so I guess I was a late bloomer for my age at the time. However, when the next school year came around, that's when I did some things that i'm still not proud of to this day." I said.

"What did you do? If you don't mind me asking." Spike asked.

"One of the big things I remember doing was this game that me and the clique came up with. It was called Overwatch. Basically, me and the others would refer each other as overwatch soldiers, soldiers based on a popular game at the time while our target would be referred to as the peasant rebel. We would take the rebel to a corner by the side of the school and box them in. We would throw dry, dusty dirt, and verbally insult them as a disgusting peasant." I explained.

"Sounds like a lot of mental torment to me." Twilight said.

"Yeah.... and the worst part is that I sort of enjoyed doing it because it made me feel so powerful and dominant." I said, hanging my head down in shame. "Thankfully, the game didn't last for long because someone stood up for the kid we targeted and alerted a guidance counselor about this game." I said.

"And I imagine that the counselor had quite a talk with you and the clique." Twilight said.

"Oh, no kidding. But like any professional counselor, she was calm and collective about the situation. She sat down with me and I basically told my story, the same one I told you minutes ago. And so, she had me and the clique apologize to the kid and vowed to stop this mean spirited game. I also still remember what she said before we exited the room." I said.

"What?" Spike asked.

"Now understand when I say this, boys. Treat others the way you would want to be treated. Think of how your parents treat you. Care, respect, and loving." I recited. "That's my story." I concluded.

"Wow. Such a powerful and important lesson to be taught at such a young age. I can definitely see that you still live by this moral to this day, Caleb." Twilight said.

"Exactly." I said.

"Yeah. I can't imagine seeing you the way you were back in middle school to this day." Spike agreed.

"And it goes to show that if you have morals, you can grow to be the best person you can be." I said.

"I completely agree with you." Twilight said.

Twilight then had an expression on her face. Almost as if she was thinking of something.

"Y'know... I think Princess Celestia would love to hear about what you learned from the past." Twilight suggested.

"You think so?" I asked.

"Of course. Princess Celestia just loves hearing what i've learned in my studies on the magic of friendship, so why wouldn't she think the same for you?" Twilight asked.

I thought for a moment whether I should or not, but I ultimately came to my decision.

"Okay, I will. Uhhh, Spike, fetch me a piece of paper and a quill with ink from upstairs." I requested.

"On it!" Spike exclaimed, dashing up the stairs.

"I knew you would make the right decision." Twilight said, nudging my leg.

"Hey, might as well." I said.

Spike then came running down the stairs with what I wanted.

"Here you go." Spike said, handing me the paper and quill.

"Thank you." I said

I went to the round, wooden table in the middle of the library room and got on my knees to write. With that, I began my letter.

Dear Princess Celestia,

About twenty minutes ago, I expressed a story from my homeworld that shares a very valuable lesson in both friendship and the rest of everypony's lives. And so, i'm writing this letter to share it with you, even though you most likely know it. You see, back in my world, I was part of a bully gang. We would mostly pick on others that we referred to as inferior or not like us, and our last time as bullies is when we created a game that was so mean that another had to stand up for our victim. We were sent to a guidance counselor, who helped us to redeem ourselves. Not only did she help us with redeeming ourselves, but she taught us a lesson that I still remember and stand by to this day: treat others the way you would want to be treated. I couldn't understand this before because I was blinded by the feeling of power and dominance over others, but as soon as I heard those words, I understood it clearly and coherently. Now that I informed you with what I learned, I want to also inform you that I may be writing more letters like this to you. I feel with all that Twilight has learned within the span of one year, I should do the same because I feel that I have a whole lifetime here to learn. That's all I have to tell for now.

Your human friend,
Caleb Barlow

After I finished my letter, I took a red ribbon and rolled the paper up like a scroll.

"Alright, Spike. Send it." I said.

I tossed the paper up and Spike blew a green flame at it, causing it to disintegrate, sending it to Princess Celestia.

9:07 PM

Me, Twilight, and Spike were just getting ready to head off to bed until I noticed Spike covering his mouth.

"Mmph! Letter response!" Spike gagged

Spike then let out a short, deep belch, causing the letter to drop out of a cloud of smoke. I picked it up and quickly unraveled the red ribbon.

"What does it say?" Twilight asked.

"Here, read it with me." I said, sitting next to her while Spike climbed onto my shoulder.

Dearest Caleb Barlow,

I am very proud of you for taking the initiative to share your story and lesson with me. I was honestly quite surprised to learn that you were once a bully, but I can see why you went down that path. Being picked on numerous times is never a good feeling. But overall, I loved hearing how you discovered an indeedly important life lesson. It is just as enjoyable when I read Twilight's letters. Therefore, if you'd ever want to, send me another letter if you felt like you learned something, or if you perhaps have any questions that I could answer.

Princess Celestia

"See? Told you Princess Celestia would like the letter." Twilight said.

"Now you and Twilight can do the same thing. Send letters on friendship, or life lessons." Spike said.

"Hey, that's right, we can. Except i'm not assigned to." I said.

"Either way, Princess Celestia is always open hooves for letters like yours and mine." Twilight said.

"Sure seems like it. I'm gonna put this letter in my duffle bag. Y'know, to collect them like all of those letters that were sent back." I said.

"Sounds good." Twilight said with grin. "Be sure to shut off the lights when you come upstairs." Twilight said.

"Yep." I said, going for the duffle bag I left under a wooden table.

After placing Celestia's letter in a side pouch, I headed upstairs for bed.

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