• Published 25th Dec 2018
  • 882 Views, 73 Comments

The Iron Ho-Ho-Horse: Hearth's Warming By The Numbers - The Hat Man

Hearth's Warming with the family is traditional! A family made up of robots... that's less traditional. Turing Test decides to unite her robotic siblings and their creator for a holiday gathering in Mustangia in this collection of vignettes.

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Cobbler rolled over in bed, enjoying the warmth and softness he’d missed from his time in prison. Then he felt something cold and hard poke him in the muzzle.

“Mngh,” he grunted, still mostly asleep.

He felt another poke followed by a series of several more.

“Ngah,” he grumbled before opening an eye. “What… what the…”

He looked up and saw a pair of green eyes glowing dimly in the dark.

“Hi, Dada!” 001 shouted as she stood over him on the bed.

Cobbler rubbed his eyes. “What the… 001? What in the world are you doing?”

“Iss Hartz Warming!” she cried, bouncing heavily on the bed. “Happy Hartz Warming! We go open presenz now!”

He looked out the window. It was still completely dark outside. He reached for the lamp and turned it on, seeing that the clock on the nightstand only read 12:01.

“001, it’s midnight!”

“Iss Hartz Warming! Dingle dells, dingle dells, my ding-a-ling!”

“Young lady, we…” he trailed off as he caught sight of something in his peripheral vision. Just as he turned his head, he saw a pair of heads duck back into the hallway.

“Turing Test? 004? Is that you?!” he shouted.

“Ah, yes, well,” Turing Test said, stepping into view. “Technically, Father, it is Hearth’s Warming morning.”

“Correct,” 004 agreed. “By definition, the day officially starts at 12 AM. Therefore, it is acceptable that we—”

“We are not opening presents now!” he shouted, sitting up. “Now all of you go to your generators, go to sleep mode, and we will open presents tomorrow!”

“Awwww,” 001 groaned.

“May we not open at least one?” Turing Test asked.

There was a thumping sound on the wall of the old house coming from Auntie Bellum’s room.

“What in blazes is all that racket?!” the old mare shouted.

“Nothing!” they all shouted.

“Darn right nothing! Everypony go to bed or I’ll start reciting logical paradoxes!”

The three robots’ eyes went wide and they instantly ran out of the room.

“Yeah, that’s right, I thought not,” Auntie muttered. “Darn robot kids today…”

Cobbler rolled his eyes and shook his head, but he found that he couldn’t keep the grin from his face as he lay down and went back to sleep.


“Hurry, Dada, hurry!” 001 exclaimed.

“I’m coming, I’m coming,” Cobbler said as 001 continuously jumped up and down on the way to the parlor.

Once they arrived, they found that Auntie Bellum had already taken a seat and poured herself a hot cup of cocoa. Turing Test and 004 were sitting patiently by the tree.

“Now, traditionally in this family,” Cobbler said, “we chose one of us to play ‘Santa Hooves’ and pass out the gifts.”

Turing raised a hoof. “I met him once.”


“I met Santa Hooves once. He gave me a ride back to Ponyville when I was caught in a snowstorm.”

Cobbler blinked. “Well, I suppose that makes you the expert, then: Turing Test is Santa Hooves today!”

Cobbler retrieved a red Santa hat and placed it on Turing’s head.

“I will attempt to fulfill the role admirably,” Turing said, placing a hoof on her chest. “Now, what would be the optimal distribution of gifts so that nopony needs to wait for their next gift? If I may have a few moments to examine the gifts, their size, estimated unwrapping time—”

“Just pass them out, sweetie,” Cobbler said, rolling his eyes.

“Ah. Very well, then.”

The gift exchange went swiftly after that, even if it wasn’t as optimally efficient as Turing Test would have chosen.

Turing Test received some picture frames and some new records.

“Those are from musicians right here in Mustangia,” Auntie Bellum told her. “I heard you enjoy music, so I thought it might be something special.”

“It will be wonderful to listen to new music from the place of my birth,” she said. “I will enjoy them greatly.”

001 received an accordion.

“Ooooh, me get squeezy box!” she cried.

Auntie Bellum made a face. “All right, now who got that for her?!”

Turing raised her hoof. “I reasoned that, as a fellow robot, she might enjoy learning a new skill.”

“Well, yes, but you know she’s just going to make a racket—”

“Me play now!”

At first, the accordion made an awful wheeze, but after a few moments, 001 had managed to learn how to play a perfect scale. A minute later, she was playing “Sleigh Ride” on the thing and doing it perfectly.

“Incredible,” Cobbler breathed. “Who would have thought she’d be so good at it!”

“I have often found that, as a robot, I have a strong aptitude for memorizing songs and learning how to play instruments. Though we have many differences, it stood to reason that 001 would share that aptitude.”

001 was up on her hind legs dancing around the room as she played a merry tune. “Me love present, Turry Tess! Me play song for evvypony!”

004 received a snow globe.

“I know it’s not much, son,” Cobbler said. “But I had only limited time to buy you something, and I’m afraid I already gave you your voice, so—”

“There is a microcosm inside this orb,” 004 muttered as he stared intently at it. “The interplay of snowflakes within the liquid… a scene of utter tranquility contained in my hoof… it is fascinating.”

“...Well, glad you like it,” Cobbler said, giving a shrug.

“Open you present, Dada!” 001 shouted, shoving a crudely wrapped package into his hooves.

Auntie Bellum swallowed. “Now, um, please understand that she tried her best,” she said.

“Me do best,” 001 said, holding her head up solemnly.

Cobbler looked down at the package and unwrapped it. Inside was a purple sweater.

“Oh, I see! Well, I could certainly use a new sweater…”

When he unfolded it, he saw that it was far too bulky for him to wear snugly, one sleeve was too long, the other too short, and it had something strange stitched onto the front.

“Um, what does it say here?”

“She wanted to say ‘Dada’ on it, but I thought ‘Daddy’ might make you happier,” Auntie Bellum said. “I didn’t want to hang over her shoulder, but she, uh… I don’t think she spelled it right.”

“What Auntie mean? She say ‘Write da-dee,’ so me write dat!”

Cobbler looked at the sweater, holding it up. It did indeed say that: “DA-DEE.”

001 noticed the look on Cobbler’s face. Her ears drooped. “...Dada no like?”

Cobbler took one look at 001’s face and his heart melted. He put the sweater on and stretched out his forelegs to display it.

“Honey, I absolutely love it. Thank you.”

At that, 001 leaped up, kicking her legs into the air. “Me do it, Auntie! Me do it! Dada like, Dada like! Happy Hartz Warming evvypony! Blod gess us, evvy bun!”

“Indeed so,” Turing said, pulling 001 in for a hug. “Blod gess us, evvy bun.”

Auntie Bellum and Cobbler laughed so hard that Turing knew, come what may, they’d be saying that for many Hearth’s Warmings to come.

It would be just one of many new traditions.

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