• Member Since 25th Feb, 2014
  • offline last seen 4 hours ago

kudzuhaiku


She's looking at you. Yes you. And she is judging you with her eyes. There is no escape.

T

This story is a sequel to The Garden of Ideology


Nut, an unflappably polite young professional, is joined by Potato Blossom, his ward and pupil. Together, they have returned to Vanhoover, the place where Nut calls home. The city is a strange place for Potato Blossom, a filly shunned by her isolated, insular community.

Though he is an evolutionary biologist, or desires to be, Nut is charged by his professors to document Potato Blossom's integration into complex society. She becomes his project for university, a project that will have far-reaching influences upon his academic and scholarly future.

Plucked off of the farm, Potato Blossom must adapt, overcome, thrive, and survive in a city utterly hostile to her needs, wants, and desires. Vanhoover is cold, in both the literal and figurative sense, indifferent, and it seems as though the rains never cease.

Potato Blossom's survival means Nut's evolution into something greater... but what, exactly?

A tale sprouted in the Weedverse.

Chapters (10)
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Comments ( 102 )

God, I love this. In only a single chapter, we can already see and infer the scope of the city - an urban ecosystem! You've both said so much and left so much unsaid, it's really astounding. Nut is such an interesting character, and Tater Blossom is a great lens into the fantastical humdrum of life in Vanhoover.

and soon we find out what nut does not know

Wow. I think I know how Blossom feels, just from one chapter.

I am really glad to see you carry Nut and Blossom forward. Honestly I think this has become my fave of all your weed stories so far.

Huzzah! More words about the thinking ponies :pinkiehappy:

Really enjoyed this, possibly more so because it was unexpected. A welcome surprise, as it were :twilightsheepish:

I love learning about vanhoover, the places you create in your head are fantastical.

Ok, I am pretty happy to see this continue. Something about this just works so well, it's such an excellent new entry in the series despite being rather disconnected from the rest of it. I'm greatly looking forward to more, and I'm loving the location to death so far.

Poor Tater Blossom is being so brave! To move to a new city, leagues advanced of her own home but lacking some basic necessities. I hope she is true to her name and able.to blossom under these circumstances

The mere existence of this story puts a smile on my face.

Yeah we here in Alberta have been having the same shit down pours of rain for about a damn month by now, guess we western Canadians can’t seem to catch a break nowadays with all this damn rain and bloody fire burning northern Alberta.

I'm glad to see you've continued these two's story. I love the setting and that your characters have motives that are shown through dialogue first, and second person later. Thanks for this

The story made it to the top of the featured list :twilightsmile:

“Giant talking rats?” she said as she was led along.

“Sensationalism, I’m certain. Until I see such things with my own two eyes, I remain dubious of their existence. A nightmare concocted to boost paper sales, which seem to be failing. Perhaps if they told the truth or at least more believable news, paper sales might not be in the gutter. Bah! Bah I say!”

Giant rats?
Rats Of Unusual Size you might say. :rainbowkiss:

I really like the idea of Nut, Mary Poppins'ing his way down the cliffside.

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Where do I begin?

She's impulsive, crass, and gives into all of her base instincts. If she had been there in Widowwood, a great many ponies would have been hurt. She goes with passion over reason. There are just so many reasons. Even worse, there is the tempting promise that she might be right, that violence might be justified, and that makes everything worse. That is how self-doubt finds fertile soil.

The many hints at and mentions of Black Maple were a great lead up to this encounter. I love their chemistry. they both have some issues as people, but they compliment each other so well. This was a fantastic chapter and I'm more invested than ever.

I, am not sure why you hate her. She comes off as the perfect Pegasus mare to me. Smart, far smarter than most think she is, brash, loud, unreserved...yet she is clearly deeply in love with Nut and passionate about keeping others safe, secure. She puts up a front of pure stone, but is soft as silk behind it.

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I like her as a character. Admittedly, I like all your characters. Or perhaps it is better to say I like how all your characters are well rendered, even if they are not morally upstanding or if I would hate to be around them personally. I would have a proverbial beer with Black Maple.

I assume Black Maple is a tailor made foil to Nut, his opposite without being an antagonist (except in the sense that she is antagonizing Nut).

I like the chemistry between Nut and Maple. An intellectual game of cat and mouse between two seemingly polar opposite ponies. I'd love to see more of their sparring matches.

I think I see the problem here
They get along, since they both have the same mission of protecting those who cannot protect themselves.
The problem arises since Black Maple is driven by the I'd while Nut is ruled by his super ego.

The question them becomes; will Tater Blossom be the Ego that brings them down to earth?

Black Maple is the anti-Nut. She is everything that Nut isn’t and probably doesn’t want to be. They are like oil and water, and Tater will be the flame that starts the fire, more likely than not. Another supreme mix of characters, each supporting the other in one way or another.

In a way I can understand you not liking Black Maple. She is rather unlike any character from the Weedverse so far I think, where Nut is everything a hero should be, except he doesn’t have much in the way of social understanding, so someone like Black Maple is needed to teach him these things and give him insight into what he lacks.

Black Maple seems to be a lot like your Blueblood. Their core personalities are abrasive and rude but despite that they're good ponies who put the needs of others above their own. It might be interesting if they met. Of course Blueblood is far more experienced at being provoking and would make Maple look like a gifted amateur to his seasoned professional. I wonder if she would ask him for lessons?

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You may hate her, but yet you draw her with words as if she was standing on one side of a window, and you the other.

As for the whole passion and violence vs. reason and peaceable negotiation?

There isn't always one right. Sometimes, there's a couple of rights, and I don't mean "hook, jab, and haymaker". It's using the tools one has to get to as much right as you can find in the situation, and we're surely not all given the same ones in the box. Nut just wouldn't communicate with violence the way someone like Maple does, because he's just not fluent in that kind of tough love.

If he tried, it'd lack the sincerity that comes from doing something from one's heart. That sincerity is what moves other hearts, and a more passionate method would have only been effective coming from someone with powerful enough expressions of that passion themselves. Look at Blossom. She went in for more than a few rounds with her family, her aunt took an EAR off her mom. And you can tell she did it from a place that was true. It wasn't to be cruel or mean or a controlled bit of sadism.

Love the description of Vanhoover.

Pulling a library wagon sounds like a great way to be around a bunch of books all day.

“He did ask me to search around to find a capable assistant. She’ll be paid, if she proves herself worthy. Even if this doesn’t work out, she still has the room. Mister Nut, you do the work of at least a half-dozen ponies. Her room is covered.” With eyes narrowed into slits, the starchy older mare cast a sidelong glance at the filly that left smudges on the mirrored black finish of the hearse.

Nice.

“She and Mister Riddle are fond of each other. Everypony knows it. But Mrs. Oleander is still grieving. And Mister Riddle is far too proper to do anything else but be kind and patient. Occasionally, she invites him over for tea, and in return, he shows her new exhibits that arrive in the library. It is quite sweet, really.”

Old ponies don't live forever, they should possibly get a move on.

"And who are you?" the princess said, "that I must bow so low? Only a mare of a different coat, that's the truth we know. A coat of purple, a coat of white, a unicorn is horned. And mine is long and sharp, dear, long as sharp as yours."

And so she spoke. And so she spoke. Lady Vanhoover. And now the rains weep over her hall with nopony to hear.

Black Maple is interesting and fun.

Several of the patrons began to chortle into their drinks. Almost seething, Nut maintained his calm outward demeanour somehow. This meeting was inevitable. Unavoidable. He almost hoped that Maple and his ward wouldn’t get along, but life hated him far too much to allow for such good fortune. All of his pent up emotion, his frustration, all of his everything came out as a gentle, polite sigh of resigned stoicism.

He's doomed.

Wow, she does have some issues, though.

Black Maple. I can't stand her. Honestly, I detest her.

Well isn't that just the raisin in the chocolate chip cookie?

Read the "why you hate her" response already, you have good points. I'd probably hate her IRL too.

Buuuuut, she's awfully fun to read about so far. In so much as her dynamic with Nut and Tater as of this chapter was fun to watch at least.

I notice all of Nut's objections are about his integrity. Nothing about Blossom's dignity or consent.

From Nut's descriptions of his parents there's no way they aren't visiting to meet Potato Blossom. Given Nut's luck there's also no way they aren't meeting Black Maple. :trollestia:

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Ah, but by maintaining his integrity, he preserves hers as well.

paper comes with a price, Miss Blossom. Vanhoover leads the world in paper production. Ah, the delightful stench of civilisation as it is manufactured. Paper, Miss Blossom. Paper.”

My family used to take roadtrips to Virginia all the time when I was a kid. We had to pass by one of those. Can confirm. Smell is AWFUL, even with the windows rolled up.

Nut reminds me so much of this song: Common People.

It took all of his effort not to smile, and he didn’t dare to turn around and look at Miss Maple. Such an act would be his undoing. Sometimes, she had a remarkable turn of phrase, and she could be so witty. But there were other moments where she was so vulgar, so crude, so crass. He rather liked her in her current mood, but her moods changed with all of the suddenness of a shifting storm.

Smile, laugh, emote a little, Nut.

“Oh, indeed.” Warmed by brandy, Sterling Note puffed away contentedly on his pipe, and never once did his keen gaze stray from Nut. “You brought back a specimen from that alicorn-forsaken backwater.”

Uh oh.

This study of Blossom's acclimatization into the big city is an interesting idea, but the 'publish it in real time in the newspaper' idea seems like it's going to pollute the data significantly.

Teeth clenched tight with self-loathing, he pushed open the door and put an end to his grand social experiment…

Good.

How... sad? How disappointed Nut must be, to have to rely on his lineage.

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Good?

I'm not sure I understand this reaction.

One questions the morality of capturing a half-feral griffon, holding it captive, and domesticating it as one would a stray. Discuss.

To quote yourself, through the lens of another character:

“Eloise, please… when you tell the story, you make it sound so dreadful.”

And that's all I'll say about that (for now)

On another note...

A tragedy gone unnoticed, undetected, unlamented.

Until now!

I mean we keep children captured until they are domesticated as a matter of course, yes? Not usually a celebrated course of action to let them run off and live on the streets.

I fail to see much moral ambiguity here.

Certainly the method employed here is better than distantly observing the stray, maybe offering token help, and then tut-tutting over the state of the world when the worst happens.

https://m.

The prosperity maps immediately brought to my mind the "labor sharks" mentioned in this story by Utah Phillips about the Spokane free speech fight of 1910

Ferals, whether beast or thinking creature do need the domestic touch to exist beyond savagery and the streets.

>Griffon children
Given how much of a crapheap canon Griffonstone is, it might even be the norm in a darker world. Pick your "heir" by grabbing the toughest vagrant child and forcing rules on them.

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Nut’s social experiment was a bit silly but acceptable enough for the period of time where he only had himself to take care of, but once he took Blossom into his care not getting help from his parents becomes inexcusable. At least, I am assuming that is what he is about to do.

I really don't know how I feel about the feral cat thing... I mean humans adopt strays all the time, but our strays don't talk. This would require a lot of thinking about to articulate fully and my thinker is broke today :applejackconfused:

One questions the morality of capturing a half-feral griffon, holding it captive, and domesticating it as one would a stray. Discuss.

In this case I would say the ends justify the means.

Somewhat shy, the young griffoness approached with a smooth feline grace. Nut watched her, impassive, unmoving, a statue devoted to fine manners. She seemed to study him, looking up and down, and her tail formed a curious question mark. Yes, there was no mistaking it, she was adorable; so much so that he felt his heart warm. The outside would feel so much chillier when he left.

Oh my lord, I'm dead.

“Sometimes, ponies take in stray cats that rummage around in their rubbish. I just so happened to be the stray my fathers found. They captured me with a net—”

Even more dead, too much cute.

Interesting backstory for Mister Riddle.

“I remember living this way, I do. Excuse me, Nut… but I do believe that I am going to go and take liberties with Widow Oleander’s hospitality, and call upon her uninvited.” Turning to the younger unicorn beside him, he asked, “Do I smell like boiled cabbage and cheese?”

Yes, go for it. Nobody involved is getting any younger.

“Well… that’s horrifying. I worry about the slasher running around outside. Maybe I should be worried about the one in my boudoir. ”

Maybe!

“No one suspects a spy who moves among them doing demeaning jobs as a domestic servant. An assassin who makes the beds and cleans the chamber pots goes unnoticed. We are taught to be invisible. To blend into the background. Some of us are quite adept at this. We are taught to be boring, dry, a chore to associate with. No one remembers us, because no one wants to remember us. These are the things we are taught.”

“But you became a biologist.”

Sure, he became a biologist, but he's also basically doing exactly what he just described.

“Very well”—he sighed out the words in surrender—“you shall have your truce.”

A truce can be the start of a longer peace if you work at it.

Marjoram...?
Where have I heard that name before?

after some time has past,

passed

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mar·jo·ram

An aromatic southern European plant of the mint family, the leaves of which are used as a culinary herb.

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I meant I've heard the name before. Can't remember what story I read it in, though.

Oh my, that was some weary business at the end there.

Loved the wagon processing portion, that was soothing to my eyeballs for some reason. Though the fried cheese curd sandwich pulled me from thoughtfulness to hunger immediately.

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The world must be made to feel real.

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