• Published 16th Nov 2022
  • 1,177 Views, 51 Comments

'How to Pony: The gathered first hoof accounts of a non-pony learning how to be a pony.' By Idol Hooves - KarmaSentinal

A look into the popular foal's series called 'How to Pony.' By Idol Hooves

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Chapter 2: ‘How to Pony: Social interactions for the recluse.’ By Idol Hooves.

The second day of Cheerilee’s lesson was about to start, and as she greeted each student as they entered her class, they found their desktop occupied with a book. The paperback books were of a recent edition as the picture on the cover was embellished with a traditional painted picture of a pony timidly approaching a group composed of a pony, a griffon, and a changeling as they laughed. In bright blue and gold letters on the bottom of the cover was the title of the book- ‘Social interactions for the recluse.’

Cheerilee didn’t mention anything about the book, and soon the students began hoofing through its contents with familiarity or a genuine curiosity, with each finding something of interest. Night Shift, having grown up with the series her grandpa authored, was already well aware of its contents, and decided to lay her head on the desk to rest some more. Silver Standard flipped through the book looking at the new pictures as her parents hadn’t felt the need to buy this particular book in favor of her letters workbook, and the other pony book with the bunnies on it.

Dusty, and his griffon friend Grog flipped through a few pages before losing interest in favor of talking about the hoofball game they played last night with some of the other children.

Most of the children at least flipped through the book before turning in their seats to talk with the neighboring seat, or seeking out their friends as they waited for Cheerilee to finish greeting incoming students.

She of course was in no rush, and was already informed early in the morning that at least one of her students wouldn’t be participating with today’s lesson, but that didn’t stop her from dragging out her student’s free time. They did this every morning until the door was closed signaling class was ready to start. Cheerilee closed the door and watched how they reluctantly separated back into their seats, and after noting what groups were composed of which individuals did she make her way toward her desk.

“Good Morning Class.”

“GOOD MORNING MRS. CHEERILEE.” They responded with their practiced greeting whether or not they were feeling up to it at all. She nodded and motioned to the book on her desk, which the students in turn started paying attention to their own copies.

“Thanks to the school board and the Equestrian National Library for providing us with these copies of ‘How to Pony: Social interactions for the recluse.’ By Idol Hooves. For those of you astute students, you might have noticed the book is written by Mr. Hooves- this is the newest addition with an increased forward, additional illustrations, and some revisions. The same things they do every 5 years, so this version will be the *1024 ANM or 11TA as it is known today. “ (*After NightMare, Twilight Ascends)

“Now, I’ll start us off by reading the Forward, and you may follow along if you wish. This will be our introduction to the book, and after a quick explanation, we’ll proceed with our lesson. Any questions? Alright we’re moving on.”

Cheerilee then grabbed her copy off the desk and paged through to the extended forward of the book, and began skimming through the 5 ½ page introduction for the paragraph that she loved so much. She quickly read it to herself before instructing her students to turn to the page.

“It will be the final paragraph of the third page, does everyone see it? Alright, please follow along as I read the paragraph because once I finish you’ll be asked some questions, ready?”

After many head nods, and only a few actual responses Cheerilee began reading the excerpt.

“Reflecting on my numerous experiences over these many years, I have come to understand a great many things that will be lost to some, but hopefully understood by at least a few.

No pony, and that includes any creature under Celestia’s sun should find themselves in the situation of absolute loneliness. I myself was spared this fate by the ponies that found me wandering the deserts of the Badlands, to my landlord turned wife, and all of the friends we’ve made in Canterlot and the Crystal Empire- I thank you. For without their genuine belief in being a good pony, I wouldn’t have become the changeling I am today, and can not fathom where I would be.

Originally, this book was written as a means to help my fellow exiles who, for one reason or another, might not have been as fortunate, or willing to open their minds to cohabitation with the very creatures we thought of as food. I stated in the original adaptation that these ponies are more than food, and deserve more interactions of the positive kind… I stood by that statement then, and I will continue to do so for the remainder of my days.

It is why I strive with each updated edition, and subsequent release to further the belief that all creatures should have that group of theirs willing to ask ‘Are you feeling well.’ or ‘Would you like to join us?’ without question.

In short, this book is neither a confession nor is it meant to be a defining guide, but to be that needed friend to push you toward discovering the rest of them.”

Cherilee lowered the book, and for that exact moment felt alone in the world as rereading this paragraph stirred buried memories that, even happening so very long ago, were still ever present. The rest of the Forward read much the same, only further explaining his life and tribulations that eventually lead to the changeling writing in the first place.

She turned to the expecting faces of her students sitting quietly since they were unsure what they were supposed to do, and with practiced motions shook herself out of the past, and stood up.

“That paragraph is my favorite for a reason, and if you are to remember one thing from this book, this would be my pick. Idol’s original intent was to help his fellow changelings adopt and thrive in pony society, but his idea had evolved into something much greater and impactful. It helped me so many years ago, and while each of you appears fine, it doesn't mean you can’t learn something else. For today’s exercise we’ll be stepping out of our comfort zones.”

With that declaration, Cheerilee stood up and told her students to do the same. Those that were capable were asked to help move some of the desks out of the way to make room for the rest of the students gathering in the center of the room, and after enough room was made, she began breaking up the students into groups. Purposely making sure to separate the children who were friends into different groups.

Her idea for this separation was to hopefully encourage the students to open up with others that they might not normally socialize with, and maybe leave today’s class with another friend. She waited until the children had been divided into five groups composed of five students warily standing next to each other as they tried to find which group their friends ended up in- Cheerilee continued on.

“The assignment will be a simple group project. You will be given the rest of the class to work on it before turning it as you leave. For this assignment, I want you, as a group, to learn at least one thing each child in your group likes, and in turn I want you to share one thing you like back. You’ll have five sentences written on a sheet of parchment with your sentence being the first one, any questions?”

She answered the few questions that were asked, and then passed out parchment and the new ink infused quills before leaving the students to their project. Cheerilee returned to her desk and began skimming through the newer edition of ‘Social Interactions’, not only in preparation for tomorrow's lesson involving the temporary groups, but to revisit her favorite book.

Author's Note:

Hello people! Another quick chapter, and one that you can participate in if you so choose!

The next chapter will have Cheerilee reading off some of the sentences, so the class can guess who it is as a way to 'introduce' them. If you have any OC foals, cubs, pups, grubs, ect that you would like mention then please leave a comment with their name, a brief bio about them, and the sentence of their like.


"Hello, I'm Night Shift. I'm a changeling that loves bug collecting."