• Published 16th Oct 2012
  • 16,860 Views, 1,592 Comments

Day One - Miniscule Literary

A man surviving in a cartoon world. Its not as easy as one might think.

  • ...

Insanity Halftime: Picnic in the Green

Calm does not only precede the storm, but also follows in its wake.

David stood at the threshold of equine civilization, staring silently at the town of Ponyville. His time of anonymity had come to an end. Perhaps, for the best. Despite this, he still held some reluctance about proceeding. He couldn't understand why. Tied up, chased, plummeting out of a window and man-handled with magic: what else could they do to him?

A short distance ahead of him stood Twilight Sparkle. Without a word, the unicorn started off in the direction of Ponyville. She was not keen on helping him explain to the townsfolk about what had just transpired, but perhaps she didn't need to. Perhaps if he followed her back into town, he would have a better reception with the natives.

Some small part of him kept him from moving, however. He wanted to remain in the calm tranquility of the wilderness just outside of town. The warm breeze, soft grass, and morning heat were a tempting offer. The simplicity of his surroundings was almost intoxicating. The past few days had been such a whirlwind of confusion, fear, uncertainty, and regret. He wished more than anything to relax and enjoy, his mind no longer pressured by questions and concerns.

David fell back into the grass, and stayed there.

Morning turned to day, and day turned to dusk. Wrapped in the warm embrace of the long grass beneath him, David, for once, did not think. He did not run through yet another scenario in his mind, or try to figure out some incredibly flimsy course of action for him to take. He merely enjoyed the simple comforts of the natural world, in a world that was far from natural. He listened to the chirping of the birds under the setting sun, the grass moving gracefully in the breeze. A few crickets leapt from from the blades of grass not far away. The man hadn't moved in hours, and even the wildlife seemed to forget he was there.

He was exactly where he had begun, and he felt as though he was no closer to his goal.

David's eyes opened. He was once again in the twilight of the day, but the opposite of what he had last witnessed. Dawn....he had spent the entire night out in the field. It was probably what he should have done from the beginning. Hindsight was something he had quickly grown to hate since he ended up in Equestria.

As the sun rose higher and higher into the sky, he finally sat up, craning his neck from side to side with a yawn. His body groaned in protest, as did his stomach. It had been days since he last ate, and he even then he had almost forgot about it. A distant noise to his left caught his attention, the man shifting slightly to look over the grass. A young filly was carrying a small wicker basket back from the lake. The familiarity of the situation was not lost on him.

"Mr. David?"

The sound brought him back to reality rather abruptly. Turning his head, he quickly spotted the approaching form of Pinkie Pie trotting through the grass.

"Good morning, Pinkie," he greeted the bubbly earth pony, laying back in the grass with his hands behind his head.

"Twilight said you might be here," she explained, looking at his spot in the grass quizzically. "What're you doing out here anyway?"

"Nothing in particular."

"I didn't see you since you left Sugarcube Corner, and I was just wondering where you ran off to! Why didn't you come back to Ponyville?"

"Dunno. Just felt like staying out here."

Pinkie threw herself down in the grass a few feet away, laying on her back as she, too, stared up at the sky, as if expecting to see something special. "I don't think I get it Mr. David."

"There are things in this world you can never understand, Pinkie."

"Oh!" Pinkie said suddenly, kicking her hooves in the air for a moment. "Twilight said that she wanted to ask you a few questions when you got back!"

"Really?" he responded with moderate surprise.

"Yup! A few other ponies asked about you too. They were really confused after you and Twilight ran out of Ponyville yesterday! That was a pretty crazy day!"

"Huh," David said thoughtfully, still staring up at the cloudless sky. A small flock of birds darted overhead.

"Guess I'm headed back to Ponyville now! Its my day off, so me and the girls are gonna head out for another picnic before the rain starts tomorrow!" the pink pony explained, rolling to her hooves in one fluid motion. "You're welcome to come along, Mr. David," she added with some hesitation, having grown accustomed to the answer already.

"You know what?" David responded, shifting to a sitting position once more. "I think I will."

"Really?!" Pinkie gasped, clearly taken off guard by his words.

"Yep. Lead the way," he replied as he stood, gesturing toward Ponyville. The pink pony was bouncing happily in place.

"Yes, sir!" she said with an enthusiastic salute, before bouncing away in the direction of Ponyville. David, smiling, followed.

The two circled around the edge of Ponyville, toward a series of brilliant green hills. The little speck of paradise seemed close to the Apple family orchards. Before he could see the farm itself, he could smell the delicious apples the family of farmers prided themselves on. His stomach growled angrily at this.

"Oooh, this looks like a good spot!" Pinkie said as they climbed one of the many hills. From the top, David had quite the view of their surroundings. Ponyville in the distance, Sweet Apple Acres to one side, and brilliant green grass as far as the eye could see. He almost lost himself in observing the vibrant world around him. As he turned back, he saw Pinkie carefully unloading a wicker picnic basket.

"...Where did you ge-No, no, nevermind. Here, let me help," David offered, helping the earth pony lay down a large sheet on the grass. Pinkie had (somehow) brought a few bits of food with her in the basket, though most of the contents of the basket were plates and other utensils. In no time at all, they had set up a pleasant little picnic area overlooking much of their surroundings, partially shaded by a nearby tree (but not too close as to risk contamination).

Several idle minutes of chit chat passed before the others were spotted in the distance. David was situated at one end of the sheet, his legs folded beneath him. Pinkie sat on her haunches a few feet away, at the corner of the sheet. Even with the basket and plates around, there was easily enough room to accommodate all five of the pink pony's friends.

As they drew closer, David watched carefully to observe their reactions. Applejack and Rainbow Dash led the group. The former raised a brow when she spotted David, and the latter looked somewhat surprised for a moment, before the expression was lost completely. Next were Rarity, Fluttershy, and Twilight all walking side by side. Rarity seemed quite surprised, maybe a little taken aback by his presence there. Fluttershy seemed to hesitate for a moment, as was expected. Twilight smiled slyly, amused with the change of events.

All in all, no immediate signs of trouble.

"Good morning everypony!" Pinkie greeted cheerily as they all approached. Rarity, Fluttershy, and Applejack were carrying various containers, evidently with food inside them, which they placed at the center of the sheet with the rest of the supplies. Places were already set for them in a small circle around the blanket.

"Hello ladies. It's nice to finally meet you all. I'm David," the man introduced himself with a short nod. The five assembled ponies said their hellos, some more easily than others. Pinkie quickly went over the introductions.

"This is Rainbow Dash, Fluttershy, Rarity, and, oh, you know Applejack and Twilight!" she explained swiftly, bobbing up and down behind each of them as she went along before returning to her seat.

"David huh?" Rainbow Dash said, already cracking open one of the containers to get to the food inside. It was some sort of apple pastry. "You're that monkey monster, right? Thunderlane said you were ten feet tall with a mane like fire." She sounded disappointed.

"I'm afraid he's mistaken," he said with a slight smile, reaching for one of the cupcakes Pinkie had brought. His stomach was practically moving his body all on its own, now that he was surrounded by incredible food.

"You're not really a monkey though, right?" Rarity asked as she dabbed her mouth with a napkin. "I can't say I'm quite fond of the little beasts."

"Apes would be a closer relation, I think. Monkeys have tails and are usually much smaller than apes," Twilight explained as she cut herself a piece of cake, the knife she used glowing brightly with her magic.

"I'm a human. A far cry from an ape, but close enough," David replied, making sure to swallow before speaking. Just because he was in an alien cartoon world did not mean he should forget his manners. "'Homo sapien'."

"'Wise man'," Twilight replied, seemingly captivated by the discussion.

"Ah wouldn't go so far as to call ya wise," Applejack chimed in with a smirk.

"Oh believe me, we're on the same page on that front." The two laughed.

"Yeah yeah, enough of this book worm stuff. Pinkie, pass me the mashed potatoes!" Rainbow interjected, reaching half way across the sheet to receive a container from Pinkie.

"So, 'David', if you don't mind me asking: where are you from, exactly? I've never seen a 'human' before," Rarity asked, quite intrigued.

"Far, far away. Us humans have never come to Equestria before." He wasn't lying, at least.

"How did you get so far from your homeland?" Twilight questioned, once again looking quite invested in the conversation.

"I'm not really sure. One minute I'm home getting ready for bed, and the next, I'm in a field a few miles outside Ponyville."

The ponies voiced their sympathy.

"What kind've sports do they have in human-land?" Rainbow asked as she scooped out another helping of mashed potatoes. "You gotta have those arms for a reason."

"Oh, oh, what kind've games do they have?! Do humans play board games? Oh, but you were playing checkers just the other day! You were a natural!" Pinkie chimed in excitedly, before hungrily consuming a slice of pie.

"All kinds of sports. Football, soccer, hockey. Lots of running around and tackling in most of the big name stuff," David explained calmly, taking a bit of green beans for himself. "As for games, I couldn't even begin to count them all. Board games, physical games, video games..."

"What's a video game?" Pinkie inquired with a tilt of her head.

"A virtual game were you try to accomplish some goal or another. Like a movie, but with artificial visuals and the ability to interact with whats going on." He found it rather difficult to find the words to describe a video game accurately. It was the kind of thing he never really thought about.

"That sounds amazing!" Twilight replied, almost completely forgetting about her food at this point. "Human technology must be very advanced."

"What kind of animals do...they..." Fluttershy began, her voice slowly fading as she realized all eyes were upon her.

"A lot of the same. Rabbits, squirrels, raccoons," David explained, scratching his chin thoughtfully. "Do you have elephants here in Equestria?"

The ponies' confused expressions answered for him.

"Ah. Well, perhaps not all the same then."

"I also couldn't help but notice you are wearing clothes, darling. Is it tradition for humans to wear formal attire to such small events?" Rarity questioned.

"Its...custom for humans to wear clothes at most times." Rarity found this quite shocking indeed.

"My my, perhaps I should relocate! I design and sell clothes. I'd imagine such a calling is very desirable where you're from."

The conversation continued like this for quite a while. David was asked many questions about the culture of humanity, but eventually the ponies shifted to their own business. He kept up with the conversation readily enough, and by the time they were all set to leave, the experience had been a pleasant one.

"It was nice meeting you all," David said with a nod as the ponies departed after assisting in the cleanup. They each said their goodbyes. Even Fluttershy had began talking above a whisper by the end. He considered that quite the achievement.

"Oh and, don't worry about those apples ya took," Applejack mentioned as she trotted by.

"How did you..." David began, the orange earth pony smirking as she caught up with the others.

Twilight and Pinkie, meanwhile, had remained behind. "I was wondering," Twilight began as David was helping Pinkie fold the sheet. "Would you be willing to come down to the library and answer a few more questions? I'd love to learn more about your species."

"I think I'll have to take a rain check on that. I'm pretty whooped. Maybe another time?" he responded politely, smiling. The unicorn nodded, returning the smile.

"Feel free to stop by when you get the chance," she offered before trotting off toward Ponyville.

"See!" Pinkie chimed in as Twilight disappeared over the hills. "You'll make all sorts of friends in Ponyville!"

Ponyville. That was one hurdle he had yet to truly face.