• Member Since 14th Jul, 2012
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Nothing special here, move along, nothing to see, just ignore the lump under the sheet and the red stuff...


My name is The Merry Widow. And tomorrow I will die.

There comes a time in every ship’s life where they have expended their usefulness, and all that awaits them is destruction at the breakers. Beneath Luna’s stars in the long darkness before my death, I am given a gift, and new hope.

The Merry Widow will not die unmourned.

Appropriate Photo credit: The HMS Unicorn, a British frigate from 1894.

Title from Psalms 107:23

Chapters (1)
Comments ( 61 )

First comment to the author. Psalms 107:23 "They that go down to the sea in ships, that do business in great waters; These see the works of the Lord, and his wonders in the deep. For he commandeth, and raiseth the stormy wind, which lifteth up the waves thereof."

Placed forty-somethingth in the Ignore It and It Will Go Away writeoff, because it was not ‘pony’ enough for this round. (sniff) But that’s ok.

The story was inspired, heck it was driven by the Jolly Rogers and their song, ‘Eight Bells’ from the Pirates Evermore album. (Go buy it.) For those of you of non-nautical lingo (I'm from Kansas, so I had to look the terms up too), the breakers is the scrapyard of ships where all the valuable bits are separated from the rest for recycling. The ship’s bell is struck in pairs for easier counting, and eight bells is traditionally the 4:00, 8:00 or 12:00 watch, or is struck upon the death of a sailor on the vessel.

The Jolly Rogers album Pirates Evermore is available on CD Baby here. It’s my favorite album to listen to at work, but keep the volume down to avoid offending the easily offendable. Or turn it up, put on your eyepatch, and sing along.

The Jolly Rogers perform every year at the Kansas City Renaissance Festival, which starts a mere 111 days from now. See you there, and don’t forget to tip the pirates!

Interesting that this was inspired by a song. The one that immediately came to my mind upon reading the description, however, was this:

I can only conclude that this recurring motif is important in some way, that demands further investigation.

The Unicorn? Aye, the Unicorn!

Interesting. One of the most tear jerking episodes in One Piece is the death/destruction, of their first ship. "The Going Merry"

I defy anyone to not shed a tear watching it.

There are not nearly enough ponyfics with tall ships, which is a shame.

Fun facts; on the Great Lakes (and probably other places), sailing ships which had outlived their usefulness often had the masts and rigging removed, and were kept on as barges. Likewise, sailing ships which had sunk in shallow water were often salvaged and re-used as barges, and it was not uncommon for some of them to have sunk multiple times and been refloated.

Even in more modern times, the oldest ships on the Great Lakes sometimes had a second life as floating storage facilities; and in fact, until 2014 the oldest active ship on the Great Lakes was the SS St. Marys Challenger, built in 1906, and ultimately converted to a barge, which is still in service.

The General Slocum ended its career as a coal barge, in fact.

Wait, this was you? I totally got that wrong. Also, much better now that it's expanded.

For a dude from Kansas, you certainly have a love for the sea! :pinkiehappy:

When I finished reading this, I had the thought in my head that because The Merry Widow's figurehead is a pegasus mare, the ship was spreading its wings (sails) one last time to soar out to sea.

Awe, I was hoping to see the one with the flim-flam and the apples. Unless you retitled it and made it a one shot I don't think this is it.

That's all I could think when they started singing aboard her.

And then, when they were at last leaving her to her proper burial.

Honestly, as someone who has always loved ships and a writer myself, this brought tears to my eyes. Very well done, George, very well done.:fluttercry:

This was a tear jerker.
A fitting end and a wonderful story.

Yeah, there's really no reason whatsoever for this to be a pony fic. Only minor cosmetic details establish that it happens in a pony verse. It could be transplanted into any universe with any kind of ocean with zero effort.

Pony or Not. Well Done!!!! Very Well Done. a fitting ending to a Proud ship!

*Bows my furry head down*

Is this story supposed to be Equestria Girls, Human, Anthro, or just ponywashed? I'm not sure how 'buxom' would be applied to a pony.

As one who grew up on the beaches, well done:twilightsmile:

*Alondro smashes up many wooden boats for firewood and rips out their bronze fittings and lead keels to sell for profit, for he is an utterly heartless non-romantic capitalist monstrosity!* Mmmmm... so many pennies. :trixieshiftright:

8160923 That's not the point. The point is that it is a wonderfully well written story, with Georg's well familiar touch throughout it.

If you've been following Georg for any length of time you'd know what I'm talking about. Lotta Georg's stuff is so easy to forget that ponies are being written about.

8161117 'Buxom', in this case, could mean vigorously or healthily pump, or knowing Georg, he more than likely used the word in the archaic definition, meaning full of gaiety. It doesn't always refer to a full bosom.

Here's a ship song with a different end
Stan Rogers " Mary Ellen Carter"


The Merry Widow Flies East...

Damnit Georg! You can impale orphan cripple Scootaloo right in front of me and I wouldn't bat an eye, but a grand old ship... damnit! :fluttercry:

8160689 Dammit, that makes me want to watch one piece. But it's such a long series I don't think I could manage it without going nutso. :pinkiesad2:

That story was amazing. Good work.

I am suddenly feeling very mortal indeed.

Boats and shit! Yay! I like Boats and shit! Although I resent that 'Steam and Steel has no heart' line.

This baby has plenty or heart (because BeetleSheep)

Before I read, the description made me think of the USS Enterprise CV-6. Then I got pretty angry. Then I got pretty sad. :fluttershyouch:


dammit... you made me sad about a ship! very well done!

It may be using an old English variant:

Middle English: from the stem of Old English būgan ‘to bend’ (see bow) + -some. The original sense was ‘compliant, obliging’, later ‘lively and good-tempered’, influenced by the traditional association of plumpness and good health with an easy-going nature.


And I sailed into the rising sun,
Accross the Milky Sea,
The Ocean of Stars surrounding,
And only my heart to guide me.

Better a Viking funeral than a breakers yard.

8160522 beat me to it! Love Stan Rogers, one of the greatest musicians out there. Pity he isn't more well known.

8161876 Agreed. Steam can have a heart.

Tell me that doesn't have a soul

Or this. All machines mobile or not have a soul in my opinion but none are more sacred like the cow is to India than the steam locomotive. She breaths, smiles, she gives you brute power all in exchange for a gentle hand on her throttle. She moves with your hands she whispers sweet nothings in you ears and all she asks is a gentile oiling and a tender full of fuel. Not many receive such attentions anymore and some receive nothing at all but abandonment or use as parts sacrificed for another. I've stood next to a dead steamer on display in a local park, inside her fence for my senior pictures. I could feel the power she once had. I closed my eyes and I could sense that she wanted a fire in her belly again

8162780 I didn't post "Bluenose" :raritywink:

8162797 As a fan of Steam Punk, I agree steam and steel does have a heart, its when you take away the connection between man [or pony] and machine, that's when you loose the heart.

Your story passed through its trial by fire in the Writeoffs and made it to safe harbor here. Well done, Georg!

Wow... simply... wow. Well done.

8162833 Well, then, I'll fix that!

(reads description) (instantly has One Piece flashback)


Not a bad piece of writing in the slightest, though I can see why there are the comments about not being pony enough for a pony fanfiction based competition. Change them into human characters, and I could see this story doing exceptionally well elsewhere.

Ditto on the lack of heart issue. Hell, I've sailed on more modern ships (1970's built tankers) with buckets of character. Some that when scrapped brought a tear to many a man that had crewed her.

That was an interesting story.

The ending was poignant with the final Viking funeral in lieu of the indignity of the breaker yard. Part of me was hoping against all hope that the sailors would do something like take a large chink from a beam or a mast and use it to carve a new figurehead for a new ship (the "daughter" of the Merry Widow if you will...) and thus symbolically preserve the lineage of the once proud boat. Like a circle of passing away and renewal...

Since everyone is offering song suggestions, I will add mine to the mix:

HURT - Alone With The Sea

So very beautifully written. Those whom love their ships would want to give them such a dignified send off. Bravo!

This was very well done. Bravo.


To be fair this is practically invalid criticism. The same could be said of almost any story on this site. Change the names, references to limbs... got yourself a whole different 'verse, insert into any continuity.

8164217 I can't remember exactly who said it, might have been Bad Horse, but it goes, "Stories about ponies are stories about people." ColdInGardez has it on his homepage.
8163567 One must consider the unreliable narrator here. Sail4lyfe. :pinkiehappy:
8163164 You guys are giving me a wonderful collection to listen to.
8162926 Actually, my story crashed and burned to the waterline and sank into the depths of the "Didn't Make It To The Finals" sea. However, I am willing to abide by the words of George Herbert when he said 'Living well is the best revenge.' :pinkiehappy:
8162910 Every machine accumulates the blood of its mechanics through the years, contributing to its magic. I think Admiral Biscuit is working on animating a few Ford pickup trucks.
8162797 Someday, I need to write a trainfic. I've done steamships, rafts, coffee, party cannon ...
8161919 Well, the starship Enterprise got a sendoff much like this one.
8161648 I don't take pride in the tears of my readers. No, wait a minute. I'm fairly sure I'm lying about that.
8162118 8161311 8161117 Or she could just have big tits. (snerk)

8160809 The fimfiction version gave me a lot more words to use more definitive descriptions, including pegasus winds.
8160791 That's the purpose of the writeoffs being anonymous during the judging period. There's so many good writers in the bunch that I have the heck of a time figuring out which one is which. (i.e. I can't.)
8160576 Neat.

That's not to say I wasn't influenced by some much more futuristic crews who refused to see their ship go quietly into that dark night.


That's the purpose of the writeoffs being anonymous during the judging period. There's so many good writers in the bunch that I have the heck of a time figuring out which one is which. (i.e. I can't.)

Yeah... and then I simultaneously love and hate it when I find out who wrote what.

The better-built the world of the story, the less this is true. If you are searching and replacing "hand" to "hoof," then yes, you'll end up with a shallow veneer of pony. If you're really thinking it through, though, and considering how the differences affect societies and individuals, some truly magical things can emerge. Look at Chessie's Starlight over Detrot, or Carabas's Palaververse. And sometimes of course exploring those differences is the whole point, such as in Admiral Biscuit's Celestia Sleeps In/Onto the Pony Planet. And of course, when you're writing established characters, just changing the names doesn't work at all--unless you've been doing it wrong all along.

Mind you, this is a tangent and not a criticism of the current story anymore. And the original criticism never implied anything negative about the story itself--I was just agreeing with the writeoff judges about the level of pony. I have a great deal of respect for Georg's writing, which features in my favorites bookshelf repeatedly.

Star Trek III has a few of the most gut wrenching scenes in any of the films. :fluttercry:

As someone who has written a couple of song inspired stories, I say, Bravo Good Author. Thank you for listening to your muse and writing this.

A defender, protector, supporter, victor, a warrior,
the last of the breed from an era when ships were made of wood
and ponies were made of steel.

My name is The Merry Widow. And tomorrow I will die.

Okay then.

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