• Published 15th Sep 2012
  • 3,412 Views, 137 Comments

The Life and Times of Forelle The Pear Pony of Ponyville - Squeak-anon

It's not terribly easy being a pear selling pony in an apple loving town.

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Mornings On Market Day

Dear Mama and Papa

Things are going well here in Ponyville, I am living in the best place the town has to offer and the pear seeds you sent me have grown a great orchard. I am making lots of money. I have put some in this letter to help with the bills and feeding the little ones. Please let Bosc and Anjou know that their big sister is doing well, and she thinks about them every day, and give them a kiss on the cheek. They’ve probably gotten bigger since I left...I have enclosed a little extra, if you could, please send me a picture. I would love to see their smiling faces. Do not worry about me, I shall make enough to come home soon, I hope that when I do I find that you both are well.

Your Loving, if far away, Daughter,

Forelle Pear

Forelle placed the last of her savings into a rather old, brown envelope next to a letter written on equally old brown paper while sitting on an old brown stool in a small old brown room. The whole place in general had an old browness to it, like somepony had left it in the rain for a bit too long. She looked at the small collection of coins sitting heavily at the bottom of the envelope and quickly licked the glue at the top and shut it before she could change her mind. Her stomach growled at her angrily, but she silenced it with a look. Forelle briefly regretted placing the extra money alongside the letter, mostly because she didn’t have any extra to give. She knew she wouldn’t be getting a photograph back, as much as she might truly want one. It was just an excuse. If she hadn’t requested anything in return for the extra, her mother would have simply sent it back, no matter how much she needed it, roaman ponies were proud that way. She knew the old mare would go out, meaning in all honesty to get a picture of the little ones taken for her. She’d dress them up in the best clothes that hadn’t disintegrated yet and head out the door, but on the way to the photographers they had to pass the market. One of the small foal’s stomachs would growl. They never complained, the two little ones knew the family could not afford much in the way of food, but inside that sound would make the old mare’s heart ache. She would give in, buy a small loaf of bread with the money and split it amongst the two.

And that’s where Forrelle truly wanted the money to go.

Her mother would, in her reply, say that the photo hadn’t come out properly and she would have to wait until the next time they could make it to the photographers, then Forelle would act like she had forgotten she’d ever asked for one and the dance would continue.

The small mare looked up at the rather drab, cramped apartment she’d managed to acquire for the month and slumped down onto her haunches.

Or not.

She didn’t have anything else to give, and she knew it. The month’s rent would be due in a week’s time and she had no way to pay. Her landmare had been more than forgiving on many occasions, delaying and stalling until Forelle could scrape together enough to pay her. Still she knew the older mare was not in the best of situations herself. The only other tenants were a motley crew of immigrants and drifters from other parts of the world, and between the lot of them the poor mare could hardly cover the cost of the boarding house.

Forelle’s head made a thumping sound as it hit the small table in the corner of the room. She could not stomach putting such a kind mare’s own livelyhood at risk for her own sake. Her place could be taken by somepony who could actually pay the rent on time. She’d figure something out. Somewhere somehow...at some point...hopefully in the near future.

She beat her head against the table again.

There was a cracking sound as one of the legs gave and sent both it and her tumbling to the dust covered floor.

And she’d find a way to pay for that too, she thought ruefully.

With a heavy sigh, she managed to get herself standing again, she was terribly tired. Forelle was an honest pony, and lying to her family back home cost her something every time she did it. It kept her up at night sometimes, worse than the gnawing hunger in her belly, the drafty cold of the room, or what could only be described as the anti-comfort of what could generously be described as the bed in the opposite corner of the room.

She’d come to Ponyville in hopes of making her way in the world, and sending a bit of the resulting income that way would bring back home. She’d heard fanciful tales of the riches that awaited ponies here, how easy it was to make a dream come true, how much they happened to enjoy fruit. Still, she hadn’t taken one thing into account.

She grew the wrong kind of fruit.

She looked out the musty old window towards the rolling hills outside. She could see the apple trees from here, their green full leaves, strong thick brown trunks and most of all the shining red fruits they bore. The apples swung gently in the breeze, the light playing off their almost glowing, perfectly round and red surfaces, so crisp and smooth that a single bite might jus-

Forelle realized she was drooling. Her stomach gave another agonized groan as she forced herself to stop staring.

The Roaman mare let out another sigh as she walked dejectedly towards the small mirror she’d hung up on the wall. She’d been in ponyville for a few month now, and had barely managed to make any money at all. It seemed as though a lot of the native townsfolk didn’t even know what a pear was let alone wanted to eat one. But she couldn’t tell her parents that, they had to worry about her little brother and sister. They were growing foals who needed food and attention. She couldn’t add the fact she would be homeless in a week to that list. There was no money to bring her back home, all her parents would have been able to do was worry and fret that their daughter was sleeping on a bench somewhere.

And while she might soon actually be sleeping on a bench somewhere, they could at least believe she was happy and get on with their lives.

Forelle looked at her reflection, the light tan of her coat looking a bit dingier than she might have liked, her dark brown mane in unruly tangles from a night of tossing and turning. She shook herself a bit, relieving her coat of a fine layer of dust, and attempted to smile cheerfully at herself. Her father had always told her she had a lovely smile.

At the moment she didn’t see it.

Forelle frowned and set about making her mane more manageable. Her comb had broken a few weeks into her stay, so she had to settle for running her hooves awkwardly through the tangled mess. She fiddled with it for several minutes before giving in to the insubordinate mane and reaching for the hat she always left hanging on a hook by the door.

It was a small hat, one she’d had since she was a filly. She’d never grown all that much so it still fit her head and hid the less desirable aspects of her mane when she needed it too. It was a dull pink, with little white and yellow flowers spaced at random around the cap. She felt it for a moment, the fabric comforting her for the time being. It smelled like roasted pears, with cinnamon and nutmeg, cooked fresh by her mother on cold winter evenings, of the fragrant smoke of her father’s pipe and of the grabby little hooves of her younger siblings in games of chase.

It took a moment for Forelle to realize she’d been holding the hat to her nose for a several minutes, and a few more seconds to register that she was about to cry.

She choked it down with a little sound at the back of her throat, sniffing gently. She wiped and eye on the hat before gently placing it on her head. She collected herself, and quietly gathered the few things she would need for the day. A small basket she kept in the closet, its rim painted red with a little pear at the top, hoofmade, her saddlebag, an old hoof-me-down from her mother and a little water canister.

With a final sigh she opened the door and walked out of her room.

The boarding house was place with history in that, like most things with history, it was about to fall apart. Forelle made sure to avoid certain floorboards that she was fairly sure would give way any minute. Dodging the occasional tenant as they milled about. The landmare, Ms.Button, was, as Forelle had heard the Griffon in 7B put it, “Ancient going on decrepit” and had no qualms about letting anyone stay in her boarding house. A few griffons nested on the roof while several diamond dogs slept in the basement. Forelle often felt like she was the only pony mad enough to stay there. But then, she reminded herself, she might not have that problem long.

She pardoned herself as she skirted around an older mule and headed towards the small dragon who took up the majority of the first floor. His tail replaced a large section of the stairs that had crumbled shortly after she moved in. He seemed fine with the arrangement as he hardly found a reason to move in anycase. Still Forelle always felt a bit odd walking over him as he slept, and often opted to jump onto the large couch he used as makeshift teddybear before leaping onto the floor, mostly to be polite, but she also had to admit that she found it a bit fun to do so. In her current situation she took fun where she could find it.

She nodded to a few more denizens of the house before heading to the front door. She shivered a bit as she opened it. The winter was coming and the air was cold. She’d had a scarf when she’d moved, but she’d lost it shortly thereafter when it had been eaten by a small flying creature she couldn’t identify. Still, she’d seen colder days with less than she had now, and it wasn’t going to slow her down. She walked out into the early morning, down the cobbled back alley behind the house, where, towards the fence, lay a little circle cut out of the brick where soft earth poked through and from that earth, a pear tree.

It wasn’t the biggest she had ever grown, nor the strongest, but while she was in Ponyville it was hers, and despite all the troubling thoughts that spiraled through her mind, she loved it dearly. Even though it was cold, it still bore a collection of bright green pears, swinging gently in the breeze. She managed a smile and nuzzled the bark of its trunk, though it was cold against her cheek.

“Hello little one,” she said fondly, in Equestrian, her accent still a heavy weight on her voice. “Did you miss me through the night?”

A gust of wind shook the branches as it passed and her smile grew a bit wider.

“I missed you too. But I see you bring presents for me.” She stood on her hind legs, tapping a pear experimentally with a hoof. “Thank you, I bet they are sweet.” Her fond smile took on a twinge of sadness. “Perhaps the ponies of ponyville will change their tune today eh?” Another breeze shook the branches. “I hope so too.” She placed her basket on the ground next to her legs. “I will accept your gift for the day. Thank you little one.”

Forelle picked several pears from the small tree’s branches. From her love, for its size, it yielded a rather impressive crop, and her basket was soon full. She looked at the plump green fruit, and her stomach gave another low growl.

The branches started to sway again.

Forelle smiled. “No, little one, these are not for me. I must at least try to make some money eh? Still, I thank you.” She picked up her water canister. “Though my stomach may growl, you must still eat to stay healthy and strong for me. Okay?” She tilted the little can sprinkles of water falling into the moist cold soil quickly vanishing. “There we go. It is yummy, see? Now, do not worry about me. I shall find away, I always do....somehow.” She looked down the alley towards the street where Ponyville was beginning to wake up. “I must go, you never know when luck may change. Be good little one, and I shall return when I can.”

She gave the tree a little nod, and walked out into the building traffic, her own hooves adding to the beat of Ponyville as it woke up, her basket of pears swinging as she carried it towards the market.