• Published 16th Jul 2012
  • 6,869 Views, 731 Comments

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 31: "Butterflies Nurse Redheart"

Pony POV Series Side Story
Butterflies Section 3 Nurse RedHeart
Side Story

They call me a Nurse, but I'm the chief physician in Ponyville. It says Nurse on my file, but I have enough medical knowledge for my doctorate. Yes, we have a doctor here, a stallion who needed to give someone a full medical examination to come to the conclusion his patient was a dragon and shrug him off to a veterinarian. I might not have been able to diagnose the real problem, but I could at least see what the patient was and try. He may not have been a pony, but he was still a person...doc' didn't notice how much telling her to take the poor thing to the vet hurt the unicorn who brought him in.

How do I even remotely know any of this? No, not because we work in the same building, you think I'd have time to hear about every patient I -don't- see here?

Twilight mentioned it when I was handed off to do her yearly check up.

What do I know about a unicorn's anatomy? Likely more than most unicorns. How much of their own anatomy do you think the animals Princ-- Miss Fluttershy takes care of knows? I don't know unicorn magic, but I know blood vessels and a vital external organ.

You're right that while they may not look it, all three pony races are unique under the skin. You have no idea how delicate it can be to heal a pegasus' bones, or the long, cautious procedure of healing the cracks of a unicorn's horn. Unicorns and pegasi are not Earth Ponies with things added, and Earth Ponies are not wingless pegasi or hornless unicorns.

Myself and my sister (who is a nurse to me) run the emergency room, and I oversee the delivery of foals and any other number of medical problems in a town within trotting distance of many of Equestria's most dangerous creatures. Not to mention being an Earth pony, I have to remove those timber wolf fangs by hoof and mouth and stitch their gashes without telekinesis. Almost makes me wish Earth pony magic was as flashy as pegasi or unicorns.

Earth Pony magic isn't dirt, plants, or animals, it's understanding life. Or that's what I believe! You may not be able to see it, but it is there.

If I was a doctor, Mayor Mare wouldn't be able to afford to pay me. Leaving only my little sister Tenderheart to be buried under the workload, and another doctor whose patients would likely be dead from whatever they came in to see him about by the time he had properly identified their species.

You think healthcare comes out of thin air? I need to eat too, but Ponyville, and Equestria herself are community minded in the extreme. It's what makes us iron clad as a herd of families and a family of herds.

Heh. Oh, come on...don't look at me like that. Heh.

It's a system I'm proud to be a part of, but I'm pragmatic enough to recognize where some things fall short. It's not a perfect system, only Celestia is perfect. Do I want to move to some big city like Manehatten where I could actually make money with more capitalist minded ponies? I look forward to when Tenderheart gets that idea in her head and breaks out on her own. Me? With Everfree Forest on one side, Hydras on that side, and Quarray Eels on another, as well as the occasional attack by an insane deity, these ponies need me.

That is not a bits symbol on my flanks, only a mad pony would get into this leg of the business thinking they're be retiring on a tropical island somewhere. I look out for every foal in Ponyville like they were my own; I was there when most of them were born and I care for every pony in Ponyville as if they were my family.

I remember after Discord. My sheer apathy after he twisted me was terrifying. Afterwards I was booked solid for every pregnant mare in Ponyville, with Mrs. Cake at the front of the line. Putting my medical knowledge to practice to pathetically try and figure out if their babies had been tainted by Discord's magic. I remember one mare from Canterlot who had to be restrained, convinced her foal was going to be a little Discord or some unholy Draconequus pony crossbreed. I'll admit, that idea gave me nightmares myself.

And right behind them were the scared and fearful parents worried their children outside the womb had been permanently damaged from the mad god's games or black magic. If few ponies knew about Discord before the day of chaos, everypony knew now.

You have no idea how relieved I was when the Cake twins came out whole and normal. And you have no idea how much digging the Cakes had to do in their family tree to assure themselves their babies didn't have the wrong mane, eye, and fur color or were the wrong species. Then carefully and calmly explaining to them that magic surges in developing unicorns was normal, and Pound being able to fly at a month old didn't mean he was going to grow into a stallion at a year old and die of old age at two, that was quite normal too, simple instincts most babies have.

Yes I spent weeks in therapy the same as everypony else. Myself and my sister. Though we put it off. Well, I put it off, and Tenderheart told me I was being stubborn. Finally I got a letter from PRINCESS CELESTIA HERSELF, yes, that Princess Celestia, the goddess, that I needed to take some time off and the medical ponies she had ordered brought in from all over Equestria would be able to handle things, some were even considering permanent residence supposedly.

I can't say it wasn't fun in the sun on the islands. Tenderheart claims she saw a seapony, but they're the equivalent of sighting Big Hoof.

We got back home, okay the hospital, late at night. We found none of the senior staff at the hospital, and found one of the long term mental patients wandering back in. She barked she had joined in a chase with the senior staff for him when a ninja had come in to steal slippers. Or she wanted a bath.

I smiled, nodded, and locked her back in her room (Yes we were taking on 'normal' mentally ill ponies for a while too). When the doctor and nurses came back and explained things, I was as red as my cutie mark! They had all abandoned the hospital -and the patients- in the middle of the night to chase a thief across Ponyville for supposedly stealing slippers . . . Stealing slippers?! Of all the- how could they- was I the only pony in this entire hospital who CARED about these ponies were supposed to be healing-?!

Just before I could kick flanks Tenderheart gave me a drink of something that made the world rosy and we headed home to unpack.

Then there was the time when Princess Gaia's fog came. And broken ponies in beds waiting to die became foals jumping on the mattresses with me joining them without a second thought. It was like the weights were lifted, and Discord's nightmare was just a bad dream I had that I had finally woken up from with mama Princess Gaia there instead.

Call her a mad tyrant if you want, but I had never seen most of those ponies so happy since they had been brought in by their families trying to stave off the end. Some of them were finally lucid for the first time in years. Then the play day ended far too soon and the fog lifted.

After spending a day as a foal Mr. Black Hooves died in his sleep the next morning.

I was the only one who bid him farewell.

I didn't get a single pregnant mare in afterwords, none of them were scared. It was like we all just knew she'd have done nothing to ever harm anypony.

Call her a monster if you want, but you won't find many agreeing with you here except the ones whose husbands or wives are waiting for them on the other side. I'm not going to say she's a saint, but she's not evil.

It's strange really, she came here exactly once after the Gaia Festival. She looked around one time, her eyes misted up, and she left, some actually whispering her name.

That was when the ponies who were marked as terminal began being visited by that butterfly. It would only visit those who didn't have families or whose loved ones would never visit. I've never once tried to shoo it away. Their lives didn't seem to last a minute more or less than what I projected anyway but, I had never seen them look so peaceful, I don't know what worlds they see, all I know is that they're happy. And I couldn't ask for more than that.

And if that's what she's willing to do for them, then that's fine by me, she has my approval as their doctor. And I think she's reminded me just why I stay in this little town, instead of moving to where I'd be paid more, where I could be a success along with my sister.

If I wasn't here, who would be here for these ponies who had been shuffled aside? Ponyville isn't just a collection of houses, it's a family. And they're mine.