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Hold your ground but do not be unkind. (Ponyphonic, "Shy Heart") He/him. Ponyfic Roundup reviews every Wednesday.


Fluttershy is renowned for her kindness, but that doesn't mean she's always done the right thing. Over tea with Rarity, she finally lets her friend know how cruel she once could be.

Honourable Mention in Bicyclette's "A Thousand Words Contest".

"I just found it really effective in how economical it was"; rated Really Good -- Mike Cartoon Pony

"...Logan's excellent story..." -- iisaw

Chapters (1)
Comments ( 18 )

That wasn't nearly as cruel as I thought it might have turned out. Fluttershy's canary choir has shown up multiple times in the show so seeing it be given a compelling backstory is pretty nice.

That was a good story.

Wow, this hit me right in the feels. :fluttershysad:

I'm rather fond of the choir. I actually wrote a story years ago from the POV of one of the songbirds: it's called We Who with Songs Beguile. And as for the cruelty, Fluttershy has a pretty low theshold for what she considers cruel, I imagine. Thank you for reading and commenting!

Thank you very much!

Then it did its job. Thank you for reading it!

Short but insightful, and very in-character for Fluttershy to have considered a moment of thoughtlessness to be cruel. It's not surprising maybe that there are real life stories of this happening.

Thank you. Yes, there being some kinds of real-world parallels had occurred to me as well.

A quintessentially Fluttershy moment. Who else could blame herself for nature taking its course, red in beak and talon? Ponies may oversee the process, but they don't polish every link on the food chain. (Well, not usually.) She can blame herself for carelessness and caving in, but the thought of condemning Carillon or the eagle never even occurs to her. And that moment left an impact that has lasted a lifetime, because how could it not for one such as she?

Excellent character moment. Rarity's quite nice as well, but this is Fluttershy's story first and foremost, and an outstanding portrayal of her to boot. Thank you for it and best of luck in the judging.

Thank you very much! As you may perhaps just conceivably possibly have been able to tell, I'm a big fan of Rarity/Fluttershy friendshipping, and I feel Flutters can sometimes let her emotional guard down with Rarity more than with anyone else, despite her longer friendship with Rainbow. I'm so happy you felt I did 'Shy justice here. :yay:

Besides, wherever she travelled, whoever she met, whatever she did, for Rarity “home” would always mean Ponyville.

as evidenced by her still having the Carousel Boutique years into the future!

They made tea together, “accidentally” slipping cookies onto eacn other’s plate with wildly unconvincing furtive giggles.

augh, that is an adorable detail.

She fought and won against the urge to fill the quiet with an “indeed” or a “yes”. She felt oddly proud, then embarrassed at that pride. She hoped it hadn’t shown.

and i adore this character moment, wow! just love it

“Some call Nature cruel,” said Fluttershy at last. “But this is Equestria, isn’t it? We wake the hibernating animals at the Wrap Up, we help the leaf-fall in the woods at the Running. We are Nature. So if Nature is cruel… are we cruel, Rarity?”

yes, that is so true! ponykind's relationships to the processes of nature really is just rich with philosophical meaning, just so many directions to take the questions! and this is a great one

“Oh, the Breezies? Darling, I don’t think anypony would say—”

aww, yeah, of course that is what Rarity would think that is what she meant!

Now Fluttershy did regard Rarity squarely. The unicorn felt the frisson one might experience when stepping off a rocky, bumpy but nevertheless well-known and strangely reassuring path into dark, unexplored woods beyond.

love the metaphor, and yes, i imagine that is exactly what it would feel like

“It was springtime,” said Fluttershy. “My favourite season.” Rarity knew that; she giggled minutely to acknowledge the fact and Fluttershy returned the favour, the two old friends easily complicit in each other’s games.

ah, these little things again! augh, wow, i just love the way you write Rarity and Fluttershy's interactions. i can't imagine them any other way now

“But yes,” said Fluttershy. “The Carillon Choir is named in his memory—so that I never again forget that giving someone exactly what they want can sometimes be the cruellest thing of all.”

augh, absolutely love it! and that makes the mention of the Breezies earlier fit the theme so well, because this is a version of the same lesson in that episode except with more tragic consequences. so very understandable for Fluttershy to think of this act as cruel and to blame herself in this way. that she is not the eagle that killed Carillon, and that it was understandable to trust him to take care of himself when being so insistent on flying free, all must be cold comfort when a sapient creature is still dead in her care at the end of the day. i can imagine few failures so haunting!

this whole piece is just so excellently done from start to finish. it feels like i'm not just getting a portrayal of these characters, but also all the fine little brushstrokes that make up the details of how they move through the world. this anecdote fits in with the rest of the bricks that make up Fluttershy so frighteningly snugly, and augh, i am just astounded by how immersive this experience was! this was definitely one of those stories that i feel is teaching me another element of becoming a better writer myself. thank you so much for it!

Oh my goodness, thank you so much for that post! What fantastic feedback, and I'm extremely flattered and grateful. As you may guess, I adore Fluttershy/Rarity friendshipping,* so I'm delighted you felt I'd done them justice there. I was moderately confident about Fluttershy, but I had to work harder at getting Rarity right. And of course you're very welcome if I've helped you in any way!

* When the first synopsis appeared for "Fake It 'Til You Make It", I was thrilled as I thought it meant more of that, but when it turned out Rarity would be absent for most of the episode I was very disappointed.

Howdy, hi~!

Okay, the setup and payoff of this are absolutely amazing. It was a wonderfully tight 1000 words telling a story with a really relatable and important lesson. I adored the pacing and prose you went with for this that all really tied in well to the exact lesson you were trying to impart. Fantastic read, thank you~!

Hello! Aw, I'm very flattered and I'm delighted you enjoyed the fic. Thank you very much for taking the trouble to comment! :twilightsmile:

Hey, so you did -- thanks! I'm really glad you liked it, too. :yay:

I quite like this.

Glad you enjoyed!

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