Twilight sat at her desk, looking outside longingly. Even from high up in the castle, she could see the unbroken layer of snow, building up as the snowflakes continued to fall. Winter was a fun season. You could romp around, build a fort and throw snowballs at unsuspecting passers-by. Winter was a time for a young filly to be out and about enjoying childhood while it lasted.
So of course, Twilight was stuck inside. As antisocial as she often was, she wanted nothing more to play with the other foals at the present moment. But alas, her studies as Celestia's personal protege kept her in. Though Celestia's lessons usually had some sort of point to them, try as she might, she couldn't figure out why she was doing what she was at present. She remembered the instructions Celestia has left her with an hour ago.
Celestia placed the peach on the desk. It rolled around a bit before at last coming to a stop, lying on it's side. Twilight looked back up to her teacher skeptically.
"What do you want me to do, cut it in half?"
"No Twilight, I just want you to write."
"Yes, to write."
"About what, the peach?" Twilight asked jokingly.
"Yes, the peach. I want you to write an essay about what this peach means to you. It doesn't need to be a long essay, maybe 10 pages or so, but make it mean something. Make it you."
The filly stared blankly at the piece of fruit in front of her. It was just that: a piece of fruit. It had no special meaning, no real purpose in a cosmic sense. What in tartaros' name was she supposed to write about a damn peach?
"Well, I'll leave you with your work," said the princess, leaving the room. Her hoofbeats echoed through the cavernous space, but didn't pound nearly as harshly as the vein in Twilight's's forehead. She stared at the blank paper, the inkwell, and the quill. She stared at the peach. She groaned.
"Well, there goes my day."
An hour later, she was still groaning. She couldn't stop, and why should she? The other foals at the school were outside playing, only ten minutes from being dismissed for the last time before Hearth's Warming Break. And here she was, with an assignment she was probably going to fail, sending the quality of her holiday down the same drain as her grade. And there was nothing she could do about it.
Just for curiosity's sake, she took another look at the peach, just to see if anything would pop into her head. Nothing. Angrily, she flung the inkwell across the room with her magic, hearing the satisfying sound of it shattering against the hard stone wall. She was going to have to clean that up later, but at the moment, she didn't really care. She stood up, pacing back and forth like some Daring Do supervillain planning his next dastardly deed.
"Why are teachers allowed to assign things like this right before break? There should be a law against it, especially when the snow's perfect for snowballs!" Twilight grimaced, her attention turning once against to the object of her torture.
"And YOU! This is all your fault! I don't know where you came from or why you hate me so much but I am not going to be bested by some stupid piece of produce!!" The enraged mare stomped over to the desk angrily, with a vexed expression on her face. And did I mention she was angry?
Grabbing another inkwell, she sat down once again to study the peach in loathing. "I have to write 10 pages about you. But you're just a little piece of fruit. You don't mean anything. You're not even good as a fruit. I Hate Peaches!"
And that was when it happened. A little spark in the back of her head, an idea, so cunning and devious that Twilight was surprised that she'd thought of it herself. It surely wasn't her best idea - perhaps her worst, even - but it was the only way she could see to get through this assignment of hers. She leaned in close to the peach, so close she'd be eyes to eye with it, if peaches actually had eyes, of course.
"But there is one thing I can write about you, don't you know? It's all about what you mean to me, of course, all about that. I don't know a lot about you, but there is one thing i know: I don't like you. In fact, I hate you. And I can sure write about that!"
Triumphantly, Twilight dipped her quill in the inkwell, and put pen to paper. Gleefully, she imagined all the things she could write about how the peach looked, how it tasted, insulting it's mother, anything she could imagine. Just as she decided on her first line, however, the door opened up again.
It was Celestia. "How are you doing, my dear student?"
Twilight stared in disbelief. "How am I doing? How Am I Doing?!"
"It's a rather simple question, isn't it?"
"Oh, yes, it's very simple. Just as simple as this peach you left here too, right?"
Celestia didn't answer, so Twilight continued her rant with complete lack of any foresight. "Look, I'm fine with a challenge, I really am, but there's just some lines I can't cross and there's some things I can't do. This is one of them. How in the name of Starswirl the Bearded did you expect me to pull this off?"
The princess grinned. "Actually, it's rather appropriate that you mention old Starswirl in this case, my young student."
Taken aback, Twilight fell off of her angry perch in glorious fashion. "Wait, what does this have to do with Starswirl?"
"Well, he invented this test." Celestia lifted the peach with her magic. Cutting in in half with an invisible blade, she let both halves float in front of her. "One day in conversation he asked me if there was anything I couldn't do. A bit egotistically, I said that I could do almost anything if I put the time into it. The next day, he came back and gave me this same question."
"Did you do it?" Twilight asked, all sense of anger now forgotten.
"No. But I didn't just spend an hour on it, I spent the good part of a year trying to solve this. And after all of that time, I couldn't do it. Neither could Starswirl, but that wasn't the point of what he was saying." Celestia examined the slice of pear in front of her, then lowering it to her mouth, took a bite. "For the longest time, I hated peaches just because of that. But over time, it seemed to make them more interesting. Here was something that I, princess of Equestria, could not fully understand."
Twilight thought about it for a minute. "But is it really worth keeping me inside like this when I want to go out and play?"
Celestia nodded. "I suppose you're right. At a time like this, a young filly like yourself should be outside enjoying yourself. After all, Hearth's Warming season only comes around once a year."
"So I can leave now?"
"Yes you can," said the princess, munching on the last of her slice of peach. "But before you go, would you mind trying some of this peach. You never know, you might find it rather good."
"I think I'll pass," Twilight replied, throwing on her scarf. "I'll see you the week after next!"
"I'll be waiting," she called after the filly, who had allready made her way down the first flight of stairs, shouting merrily as she went. It was enough to make anypony smile ear to ear, even an ages-old princess. Turning, she looked back at the peach, wondering if she could think of anything to describe it, any real meaning beyond it's taste or color or smell. As it always had been, she could think of nothing. It was the nature of the test that it was humbling, even to her.
Maybe one day, Twilight would try that peach. After all, peaches were damn good.