• Published 16th Jul 2012
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Pony POV Series Season Three: Butterflies - Alex Warlorn

Discord beaten. Reality restored. But invisible wounds must heal too. Time for butterflies to fly.

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Pony POV Series Episode 29: "Butterflies Zecora"

Pony POV Series
Butterflies Section 1
Zecora "Black and White Butterfly"

By Alex Warlorn and Kendell2

Hello and forgive me if I do not give you much time, it must be hard for you to write this all down in rhyme.

Yes I can cease my verse if you wish, no need to gape at me like a fish.


Some silver and oranges just yesterday I did order from across the border.

Free now of chaos and angst I am, do not think I am a helpless lamb.

That the monster faced justice does not fill me glee, it was simply what had to be.

Angry I was yes, but what happened was only for the best.

Part of his personal circus I was made into, for his defeat I will not go boohoo.

No, little Diamond I have not seen, it is safe to say she had fled the scene.

That I came with little laundry or luggage my story it does not mar, the masks you see did not come from far. I made them myself, I did not buy them off the shelf.

A Timber Wolf I do not fear, it is me they have learned not to come near.

Er. No, that sounds fake, a promise to a purple reptile penguin about a pendant over pizza I did not make for goodness sake!

Can we move now on please? This bores me.

Heh. It was not bad, do not feel sad. You are simply not the first in your time to try to trip me up with words that do not rhyme.

Why do I live in Everfree? The herbs and plants I need here they be. While some in Ponyville can be found, in Everfree most of them abound.

While many creatures this place call home, I am simply careful how and when the forest I roam.

I listen and watch to know if they draw near, that way I have nothing at all to fear.

And I always carry some tricks up my legs if it is for a fight they beg.

An enchantress? I can assure you I do no evil dances.

The rituals that I perform are only from my homeland born.

I admit to you my customs must seem strange, but yours to me are much the same.

Am I truly a herbalist? Yes, I suppose the better word is alchemist.

Yes, Discord did make the switch, fiction to fact, and me a real witch. I was completely mad, it was rather sad.

I am aware my fame is on the rise, sadly my exploits have been dramatized.

Now that I am no longer a thing of fear, ponies seek me from far and near. But lift Discord's curse on me, on my own? That is a new rumor that has simply grown.

The Poison Joke that before was mild, grew wild, tore into my home, and I was as helpless as a child. The plants pulled me taut, no matter how I fought.

Long have I considered Poison Joke a harmless prank, that opinion I shall never again take to the bank.

The vines pulled my mouth open and down my throat Poison Joke was crammed, and so I was damned.

Inside they came and I thought my body would burst, but my mind did first. And no longer do I laugh at Poison Joke being called a curse.

I flew about the sky on my broom, magically giving many ponies gloom. I did cackle like a jackal. Then the wave of Harmony came, ending Discord's wicked game.

Yes I was aloft, thankfully I landed somewhere soft.

I was myself again, but I refrain, Discord's evil did leave a stain.

Nightmares I had, and my hooves shook. I feared again I would go mad, and that would be the end of my book.

Long I meditated on my staff, hoping to cleanse my mental chaff. I thought my mind would break in half. Then there was the nightmare with the mutant giraffe.

Inch by inch over too long a time, I regained the pieces of my mind. Never have I regretted more being so far from home, where my tribe did roam.

Many ponies came after my time as one of Discord's cronies, I found that I was still lonely.

In their fantasies I was a hero, though my resistance to Discord had in fact been zero.

I remember still when I was just a horrid stranger, now I was suddenly the Lone Ranger.

I do not know how the rumor started, I supposed it was invented for the fainthearted.

It was strange, this rumor did not make ponies treat me like dirt, but they still hurt.

Supposedly I had fought off the Poison Joke with a single hoof, when in fact it had nearly torn through my roof.

Some said I had fought Discord even after my mind was broken, but his will I eagerly obeyed when spoken.

They said I galloped to Ponyville help, but my insides were like tangled kelp. From the patch of flower-moss I crawled, at myself completely appalled.

As I vomited Poison Joke I nearly had a stroke. I drank countless cups of my medical tea, to keep from dying from the traces inside me.

I closed my world off from all, on my floor I laid sprawled, I am somewhat proud that I never did bawl. In the darkness I lay, cutting off my senses, dropping all pretenses. In my mind of the damage I did my best to clean, least I again become the queen of mean.

Twilight then came telling me of her mission to save the soul of a selfish magician. Personally I felt her question would have been easier if she had been seeking to invent nuclear fission. Even if my mind had been as it should be, answering her would've been difficult for me.

Even though my hut was as dark as night, Twilight was not blind to my plight.

Twilight told me I should no longer be distant, even if I was resistant.

So I sought one whose livelihood was to repair the mind, even if in a thousand miles I was the only one of my kind.

At least I arrived at a psychologist and not a zoologist, as I thought might happen before ponies learned the error in their terror.

Yes, I was as much a fool when I mistook Princess Luna for a ghoul. Can we move on please before the world does freeze?

I visited the doctor every week, he did not seem to think my future was bleak.

After I was given a short series of tests, he was rather impressed.

After being given such mental damage, he said I should have ended up with the mind of a cabbage.

All the same he said it was best I accepted his help, least I end up with the reason of kelp.

Weeks become over a month, after all, I was not the only victim among the bunch. This of course I had already known, which was why I chose to fight these demons alone.

Accept I am myself, what makes me me cannot be just put on a shelf. The witch that went on that crazy spree I must accept was not me. The mad should not be judged, on that my doctor never budged.

Alone in that room, speaking of fears, I would often hear grown stallions shedding tears. And I would spot ponies, long gone were their mental gears, who had been in treatment for years.

Also there I spotted a pony with friends named Berry Punch, she is fighting demons from before Discord I think on a hunch.

But I was no longer alone in this fight, and I worked towards the light. And yes, Twilight did also give her aid, and so the demons did fade.

Long my wisdom she sought, but in this battle she helped me more than I ever thought.

My spirit she did stitch, and I no longer curled into a ball at the word 'witch.'

And I no longer wished to be made into glue when I saw the color blue.

What help did she and my doctor both give that one of my own saviors I would christen? She simply listened.

Of my demons I spoke, and piece by piece draconequus ghosts we broke.

It was soon enough that it was shown, that I was indeed out of the danger zone. The nightmares had popped, and my shaking had stopped.

Then one afternoon I was a foal again, not even yet I think the age of ten.

The first of equine she converted I was, and my mind deep in fog I swore to her cause.

Inside my mind she went, to resist not one trace of effort was spent.

I eagerly let her in, so we might begin.

Many of my memories she saw, and one in particular left her in awe.

To the cursed village we did go, I did not even slow.

It made her heart ache when the curse she could not break, so indeed the life she gave them was fake.

What they remembered and what they were were now lies, but for the first time in one thousand years there was no suffering in their eyes.

All the world would know her love, and the role of willing servant fit me like a glove.

To banish the last of my monsters Princess Gaia's fog did help do the trick in the end, even if I would not wish it again.

Why do I still refer to her by the name? Because Fluttershy will never be the same.

She may have lost her path, but she did not do what she did out of wrath.

She wanted to take my pain away, and it did work out that way.

I know many who may not forgive, but my forgiveness is mine alone to give.

Then I questioned why, when at home alone I came eye to eye with Pinkie Pie.

Since we last met it was like she had a full personality shift, and she presented me with a kimono as a gift.

I did not know what to say, in particular since I told none it was my birthday.

She claimed it was simply a guess, of that lie I was not impressed.

I asked her of what she had done, and of all gifts, why this one. An answer I could not give in the least, I had never been to the east.

She only warmly and sadly said that it suited me, one look into her eyes, and I let her be.

Of this gift of purple cloth and bells she did deliver, there was something almost ghostly familiar.

Of what I could not pin, as if I was trying to remember what had never been.

Once in Ponyville I was considered a freak, now I am called unique.

It is quite a twist, considering at home I would have never been missed.

But here I am now welcomed to roam, can I really say this isn't too my home?

My family I love, that will never change, but here I am not considered strange, and here I also freely range.

Seeking knowledge beyond our shores my family thought me crazy, but here I am now dancing among the daisies.

I am not alone, this is also my home.


You want me to talk about Zecora? Sure, I guess I can. I'll admit, I ended up falling for the 'Zecora's a witch' thing just like everypony else, welcome to circumstantial evidence. I'm here in Ponyville to learn, in case you forgot. Anyway, once I got to know her, Zecora and I became great friends. Good enough I'll risk going into Everfree Forest to see her. I've learned the path to her house pretty well and I make it a point to get out before nightfall after that Cockatrice turned me into stone.

Zecora is almost a second mentor to me now in some ways. She's a very wise equine, and I can't tell you how grateful I was when she was able to tell me what was wrong with Spike during his last birthday after nopony else could. I'm not certain I'd call what she does 'magic', but she knows herbs and potions well enough to make it seem like it sometimes. But the magic involved is mainly in the plants she uses, Zecora just knows how to mix them together to get a certain effect. As Applebloom proved during the 'Cutie Pox Incident', mixing up those potions is not easy, it takes years of practice and understanding of how the plants work. Zecora probably only knew how to cure Applebloom's case of Cutie Pox because she knew the plant that likely caused it in the first place. We're lucky Applebloom mixed up something Zecora could fix instead of a lethal poison or something, making a potion with absolutely no idea what she was doing.

So I guess in that way, it's not so different from magic, just the magic is provided by the ingredients rather than generated by the user's body. Yes I know another blow to my 'magic can only be used by those born with it' thesis.

It's quite interesting really, if anypony can use that with the right knowl...Wait, don't leave! What do you mean you don't have time for a lecture? Fine, next question.

Did I help Zecora overcome what Discord did to her? Well, I guess you could say that, but really, all I did is what any good friend would do. I saw she couldn't do what she needed to on her own, so I suggested she go to someone whose job it was to help those in need...Yes, I know, I decided to handle Trixie all alone, but to be honest, I don't think many psychiatrists have any experience with monsters living in people's minds, whatever the hay that thing really was crawling around Trixie's brain. But I can say from personal experience with helping out at the insane asylum, I've never seen anything remotely like that before or since...And I pray I never do again.

Zecora tried to heal herself on her own, something I personally can say isn't possible when it comes to Discord. I didn't go to a psychiatrist until after the Smartypants incident, and I'm ninety five percent certain that would never have happened if I'd gone sooner. You know, seeing Zecora trying to heal herself like she did made me think of how my friends must've felt when I went crazy like I did. How hard it must have been for them... After she began seeing a psychiatrist for it, I stayed right by her the whole time. I've done the same, to the best of my abilities, with all of my friends and vice versa; just because Zecora isn't an Element Of Harmony (and with Fluttercruel and Trixie turning out to be Elements, who knows?) doesn't mean she's any different.

What did I do? I listened, I talked with her, I was there for her...Did I shrug off Rainbow Dash when she was trying to tell me about what happened with Discord and her? Yeah, I guess...Look, I missed warning signs with her and Fluttershy, it was a hectic time for all of us, so forgive me if I didn't see every little detail I should've.

But anyway, all I did was being there for Zecora when she needed me, that was what she needed me for. A true friend doesn't leave a friend when they know they need them.

I waited at the entrance to Everfree, a bit hesitant to enter alone after the Cockatrice incident. I know, I could've taken one of my friends, but this seemed too private. I didn't think Zecora would appreciate having an entourage accompanying her for a mental check up. Soon, I saw the familiar white and black shape emerge from the deep, dark forest. "Hello, Zecora, how are you doing?"

Zecora smiled back at me. "I am doing quite fine, my friend, but a very hard journey it has been," the Zebra replied, trotting along towards town with me.

"I know, believe me, I know..." I said, thinking back at the time that had passed since Discord's release and defeat. It was unbelievable just how much could happen in such a short time. "I'm just hoping we don't have to save the world again any time soon."

Zecora nodded understandingly. "That wish is understandable, Twilight. This time for you has been filled with fright."

I nodded back, that was an understatement. "Just with Discord, all the damage he left behind, then saving Trixie, and the whole thing with Fluttershy becoming ... not to mention all the little things that have happened, I just hope things settle down a bit now..."

Zecora gave me an understanding look, one I was glad to see. "If now anypony has earned her reprieve, it is you I most certainly believe," she replied, then looked thoughtful for a moment. "Twilight, if I may so kindly ask, what made you accept the task? The task of helping guide me to stability, to the best of your ability?"

I gave a confused look. I hadn't really thought all that much about it, to me it seemed like just second nature now to help my friends when they needed me. "You're my friend, Zecora, that's the only reason I need."

Zecora looked back at me in confusion. "While your friendship I hold true, it is not something I am used to. Since I left my homeland, I have not been well treated by strangers' hand. Ponyville's acceptance is something new to me, being an outcast is not easy. But even in my homeland far away, I never quite fit their way. Seeking knowledge outside the homeland's borders, did not sit well with many family orders. So acceptance in another land seemed but a dream, or at least to me it seemed."

I gave a small frown to the sage as we continued on towards town. Growing up with my snout in the books all the time, I could sympathize with that. "I can see why having somepony who cares so much about you would be strange. But a real friend is one who sticks with you no matter what, and after what Discord put me and my friends through, I'm not going to give up on anybody who I care about, even if they're not a pony at all. And I'm sure my friends are much the same way."

Zecora was silent for a few moments as we continued on, then looked to me with a smile. "This fact is one I hold very dear, thanks to you no longer for my sanity I fear. Your friendship means a great deal to me, it's something which I never thought I'd see..." Zecora looked deeply thoughtful, as if thinking something over in her mind. "...Twilight, if I may ask, please explain your royal task. I have heard some of this ideal, and it interests me a great deal."

I gave a smile and nodded at the opportunity, though the change in subject surprised me. "It's not just my task, not anymore. I was sent here to study friendship, and send letters detailing the lessons I've learned to Princess Celestia," I explained. "Then Celestia expanded it to all of my friends as well, so now anytime one of them learns a lesson, they can send them to Celestia as well. It's that simple."

Zecora nodded in understanding, then was silent, looking like she was trying to make a decision of some sort, before finally smiling. "I think I see what you're saying, my friend, but may I a letter send?"

I blinked in surprise. I admit, I probably should've seen that coming. "You want to send a friendship letter to Celestia, Zecora?"

Zecora gave a nod. "Yes, that is what I want to do, for I have learned a great lesson from you. And what good is a lesson if not shared with another? If it is not too much of a bother."

"No, not at all, Zecora," I replied, looking to the library as we passed by on the way to the asylum for Zecora's mental check up. "I'm sure the doctor will wait a few minutes..."


"Dear Princess Celestia, ruler of day in Equestria;

I am a friend of Twilight, your student dear, but never have I sent a letter before I fear. A lesson I have recently learned, after Discord had me turned. I tried to cure his blight all alone, but could not overcome it on my own. Advice from my friends dispelled this illusion, so I sought help to deal with the pain left by my delusion. I used to be an outcast far and wide, but through this your student never left my side. She was with me through it all, she refused to leave until she knew I wouldn't fall. So here is the lesson I wish to share, a lesson I learned from this mare. To find out who is your true friend within, find the one who stays with you through thick and thin.

Zecora, scholar of all fantastic flora,

P.S. Please this message pass Princess Luna's way, I was foolish to fall under slander's sway. After being so long an outcast myself, I should not have put her feelings on the shelf. For this I apologize, her I should not have demonized. Her forgiveness I do seek, for painting a picture of her so bleak. For rumors I know, how unwanted they grow.