• Published 6th May 2023
  • 154 Views, 15 Comments

The Song of Oak - Visharo

Burnt Oak, an old stallion, working as a log salesman. Torch Song, a young mare, working as a singer for the Pony Tones. Why, it's a match made in heaven!

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"Excuse me?" Burnt Oak turned around to see who was talking. It was a mare, a beautiful young one at that.

"Yes? Can I help ya?" He half expected to see a small flash of distaste before being covered up by a small smile, but there was no such thing with this mare. Instead there was more of a desperate, kind, and hopeful smile. Perhaps she knew of country folk such as he.

"Yes yes, I saw your pieces from afar and I must say, being much closer, it truly is spectacular!" He's been in the business for far too long, so he would know when somepony was praising for their own benefit. This mare, this strange peculiar mare, wasn't doing that either. The way that Burnt saw it, it was either he was getting too old for this type of nonsense or perhaps, she truly was a lady who had integrity and honor, unlike all those other city folk. In fact, so much so, he had a nagging suspicion she wasn't city born.

"Well, thank ya kindly."

"Truly! Now, as for why I am here confiding with you is because I require your talents, do you take commissions?" There was something in her eyes that made Burnt pause. He'd never done woodworking for others before, he'd only done them for himself to pass the time. He mulled the idea for a while in his head, all the while the mare stared at him with large and hopeful eyes. She truly was something, Burnt gave her that.

"Depends, what are ya thinking?" He decided to see what she would say first. His gut decided that and he trusted his gut more than most ponies. With his fading memory, he'd only ever recall his gut failing on him was that one time he walked to town on Tuesday, where five minutes after he got into town, it started raining. It was dreary that day.

"Anything! It can be anything, but I want it to be unique and somewhat larger than what you have going on here. I'm willing to pay a reasonable amount of bits and on top of that, you'll have my eternal gratitude."

"Yer gonna have to specify by what ya mean with anything. If yer willing, ya can take me out for some food and we can talk about what ya want." He ignored the excited and relieved squeal and attempted to get up. It didn't work. It took rocking back and forth before he finally got back on his hooves.

"Oh, thank you thank you! You do not know how much this means to me!" She pranced around like a happy filly and perhaps that was exactly what she was. Burnt smiled warmly that immediately faded once he bent down to try and pick up his remaining firewood. His vision faded and he may have heard an audible crack and by the time he recovered, he was gasping and his forehead was dripping in sweat. The mare was staring at him with concern as were some of his fellow vendors. Despite the competition between the shopkeepers, they still all looked out for each other. "Are you alright?"

"I'm good, thank ya." Deep breaths. He kept on reminding himself and before long his heartbeat slowed. Deep inside, Burnt felt annoyed and slightly angry. He was getting old, soon he wouldn't be able to do these trips and sell his beloved wood. Once recovered, he inspected the logs still on the ground and considered trying to pick them up again, but then decided against it. "If ya could be ever so kind and pick that up."

"Oh, sure."


"Oh, sure." Torch Song had picked up the logs and balanced half of them on her back and the other half was on the stallion's back. She tried to fight and said she could handle it, but he insisted. As the two walked, she couldn't help but worry for the old stallion. He was clearly skilling in his craft, unlike Torch, but he clearly was getting on in his years. As long as he keeps his promise, she supposed.

Thinking ahead, she decided to bring them to a small cafe next to the seaside. Torch picked this place especially because it was the only place she knew that had good pastries and she was a sucker for pastries, especially jam ones. A waiter came over once he saw the two of them approaching and directed them to a table. She carefully placed the logs on the floor and the stallion did the same. They took their seats and patiently waited for the waiter to come back with menus, and all the while, she was thinking of her commission, her wood piece.

It had to be unique, something inspirational. Something to build a song upon and something that expresses emotion. The moment she laid eyes on those small but lovingly created sculptures, she knew that this stallion, old as he may be, knew his way around wood and emotions.

"Well, miss...?" She blinked. Then gasped in realization.

"Oh my, I'm terribly sorry! I'm Torch Song and you are?"

"Burnt Oak at yer service." The stallion made a small bow. It made Torch blush slightly. "What kind of woodworking are ya looking for?"

"Oh, I don't know. I'm not entirely creative, you know, and I need some inspiration. Pardon me, you probably need the whole context, let me start again. I'm a singer, one of the singers in the Ponytones, but recently I got a message from my sponsor saying to meet him here. I'm supposed to have a debut song in order to get my name up there, and that therein, lies my problem. I cannot, for the life of me, come up with anything remotely interesting. And then I saw you and your wood pieces! I'm certain that you are the key to my success!" She panted hard, not realizing that she spoke so fast and attempted to regain her breath.

"Yer gonna make a colt blush with all that praise. Ya sure that's for me?" He chuckled, a hoof rubbing the back of his head. He opened his mouth again, but before a word could come out, the waiter returned with the menus.

"My apologies for the delay, there was a slight disturbance in the kitchen. What can I get you?" The stallion whipped out a notepad and pencil with his magic and stared expectantly.

"May I perhaps, have a bottle of wine? As well as a jam pastry, it doesn't matter which." She closed her menu with a satisfied smile. Jam pastries are always satisfying, at least in her opinion.

"Very good, and you sir?"

"Do ya have an apple fritter?"

"Yes, we do."

"I'll have that."

"Very good." The two watched as the waiter strutted away before turning back to each other. She smiled softly, hoping to diffuse some of the tension between them, at least, the tension she thought was there. He smiled in response after a few moments and that made it all the better.

"Yes, from what I have seen, you are worthy of such praise." She allowed conviction and determination to seep into her voice and watched as the stallion before her process what she was trying to say.

"So, ya want me, to work on a wood piece for ya, am I getting that right?" Ah, so he was catching on. Torch was pleased, there has been a few on occasion where she had dealings with less than competent ponies. It made her appreciate Burnt even more.

"Yes." Was there anything else that needed to be said? She sure hoped not.

"Well miss, it seems we need to be a talking. What are ya looking for? I know ya said anything, but anything truly is a wide variety, anything to keep it at a minimum?" She as impressed at the way he held himself and his vocabulary. If he wasn't as old as he was, she might've fallen for him. Then gasped internally at the thought, he was like old enough to be her grandpa!

"Oh, I don't know. Like I said earlier, I barely have a creative process. I always relied on...Rarity and...and the others." Her ears wilted and so did her expression. She didn't care if Burnt saw her like this, she was disheartened and close to tears. This talk, with a stallion she barely knew even, had opened her eyes in a most unkind way. Perhaps she should quit and spare herself the bits and embarrassment. "I'm sorry, Mister Oak, it seems I have wasted your time. Please, let me pay to compensate."

"Ya said Rarity earlier, did ya not?"

"...yes?" Torch was confused. He didn't seem disappointed or angry, in fact it was the opposite, the old stallion was grinning! "Are you alright?"

"Missus, when is yer deadline?" He was grinning wide. Normally she would be concerned for her safety, but something in those eyes stopped her from backing away.

"Er, in two days. Why?"

"Come back to my stall before yer appointment. I'll have yer wood piece done by then."


Burnt Oak was excited, a feeling he hadn't experienced in a while. Perhaps it was because he was doing something new, or maybe because of the nice pretty mare who had ordered a second apple fritter in gratitude. Whatever the case, he couldn't wait to go home and start working.

After the meal, he said his goodbyes and hobbled to the train station as fast as his knees would let him and got on. He had to pay a bit more for his ticket than normal due to a late arrival but it was worth it. The idea was there, right there in his mind, of what he was going to carve. Actually, it was more of a beginning of an idea, he first needed to visit a certain fashionista to confirm what he was thinking. He chuckled much to the confusion of a mare sitting nearby. He made no effort to convince her that he wasn't crazy.

The entire train trip, he kept his thoughts in constant motion. Flowers, butterflies, hats, laurel wreaths, et cetera. He let the boring trip become a place for ideas to fester. The more and more elaborate and beautiful the ideas became, the more excited he was. When the train finally stopped, his excitement was reduced to bouncing in place with a crazed grin. The mare who was sitting nearby had moved when the smile started to form. Burnt didn't mind.

The doors opened and he galloped out. His joints ached and his back hurt like Tartarus, but he was too excited. Night was falling but Burnt had trotted these streets far too many times to have completely memorized them. The empty cobblestone and dirt streets were filled with rapid if not uneven hoofsteps. He ran up to a boutique, Carousel Boutique to be exact, and knocked rapidly. He had to wait several seconds but to him it felt like minutes from the adrenaline. The door opened.

"Oh, and you...?"

"Miss Rarity! I have a very important question." The white unicorn in front of him had the most surprised expression on her face. It would've been funny, but Burnt had no time for humor. He did have the right of mind to notice the fasionista's younger sister looking at him with an equally baffled expression.

"Question? Ah...first, may I have the pleasure of knowing your name?" Rarity tried to reorient herself. Burnt had seen it enough times, the tick in her eyes, the deep breaths, and the strained smile.

"My apologies, miss Rarity, I am Burnt Oak. But who I am doesn't matter. Do ya perhaps have the lyrics to your song with the other Ponytones? It is very important!" He was struggling. It was cold outside and his aches from the run was catching up with him. Not to mention his ragged breath from running his mouth. He must've looked crazy with that determined and haunted look, at least that's what he thought. He smiled tentatively.

"The Ponytones? What...I'm sorry, I am very confused. Why is this important? And do you know what time it is!? I was about to do my nightly routine and then you barge in and...!" Ah, there was the Rarity Burnt knew, but he didn't have time for this.

"It's for Torch Song. Without this, she won't have a debut song." He interrupted as loudly without being loud as he dared. The unicorn looked aghast and then the words started processing. Her mouth turned into an oh.

"Give me a sec, darling." It was ten minutes, he should know, he counted. For the first half he waited patiently. The second half he was pacing. There was a noise and then a (somewhat) polite cough. He whirled around and stared at the white mare. She smiled that tight smile and dropped parchments in front of him.

"Here you go, darling. Now if you would please, leave and don't ever return at this hour!" The door to the boutique slammed shut. Burnt was already gone before it fully closed. He had the papers in his mouth and he treated it with as much care as he could as he raced home.

He went to his workshop the moment he came home and hauled wood to his chopping block. He cast the music papers on a desk with a lamp and a box of snacks. He turned around and grabbed his tools, both of carving and chopping. Making sure his hat was on right he got to reading the lyrics and notes. He pored over every word and detail, the intensity was enough to melt butter.

After the idea was solidified, he got to work. First prepare the wood, then start designing the design with pencil, and then carve. He worked and ate, drank and then worked. A small break here, work there, a quick now, and then later, more work. It was a continuous cycle it was with Burnt, but he did it. The entire night, he worked, but it was worth it. It was perfect and he couldn't wait to show it to her.


Torch Song was anxious, a feeling she was getting accustomed to. She paced the hotel's halls much to the other residents' annoyances. Today was the day and Burnt hasn't come yet. Her thoughts were completely muddled, ideas were draining down into a ditch, the simple idea of doing something was so tiring. Then before she knew it, there was a knock at the door. A note slipped through the crack and she read it before it hit the ground. It took a single minute for her to gather her necessities and go out the door.

She met with him at the same cafe. There was a large log covered in a sheet with him. Her heart beat faster, her smile growing ever wider the closer she got. He saw her after a few minutes and he rose to greet her. Together they sat back down and ordered, their orders not deviating from last time. She studied him and saw heavy bags under his eyes but the happy smile. She could only assume she looked the same. Perhaps this meeting of these two was destined.

"Miss Song."

"Mister Oak."

"I have it." He heaved the log up onto the table much to the annoyance of the waitresses, but they did nothing to stop it so Burnt continued. He placed it down carefully and made a big show of removing the sheet. She stared with her mouth growing ever so wider. The sheet uncovering the art slowly but surely and then without warning, it was completely gone. She gasped, he smiled anxiously, they stared together.

"It's beautiful." The log depicted a beautiful landscape. The sun was shining down a forest with a river down below. A large meadow filled with flowers. The entire thing was covered in music notes of different sizes and shapes. It was exactly what she was picturing when she was singing, it filled her heart and lyrics started pouring into her head and soon it was overfilled. She smiled warmly and before she could hold herself back, she launched herself forwards and hugged him tightly.

"I'm taking that as ya like it?"

"I love it! It's helped me immensely, I am forever in your debt. Can you come to my performance, it would help me a lot."

"Sure." She squealed happily and he couldn't help but laugh. Torch smiled with joy as her thoughts finally formed into a single song that entirely encapsulated what she felt in that moment. It was perfect and she couldn't wait to show it to him.

Author's Note:

HAHA, it's done!
Sorry, I wanted this out much sooner but my life was sucked up into a track n field tournament. Phooey was it tense, but it's done now. Yay!
Anyway, hoped you enjoyed!

Comments ( 4 )

:raritystarry: Spike! Spike! Who's this Burnt Song and Torched Oak I need to know about, What are they doing?
:unsuresweetie: It's Burnt Oak and Torch Song, He's not doing anything you and Spike isn't doing...
:raritycry: Sweetie Bell!
:rainbowlaugh: Dragon boy's getting a special song from you too?
:eeyup: Spike my Uncle's getting hitched this week... I NEED IDEAS FOR A GIFT
:duck: So much for the Ponytones they're all getting married without me....
:moustache: Rares you Okay?
:raritycry: I DO!


Rego #3 · May 15th · · ·

A fun friendship experience. Bonding over creativity has always been a joy for me.

Glad you liked it

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