I turned my attention to my grandson as I was reading today's newspaper in my favorite armchair. "Yes, Silver Coin?"
"What is this bit framed on your wall?" Silver Coin asked.
I looked up and turned around at Silver Coin. He was looking up at a bit in a frame hanging up on the wall above the sofa. I put the paper down and got up from my chair to come to my grandson, Silver Coin's side. He turned his head to me. "Can I have a closer look at it, Grandpa? Please?"
I nodded. "Of course, Silver. But be careful with it."
"I will. I promise."
As my grandson, Silver Coin sat down on the sofa, I took down the framed bit on the wall, and happily placed it in my grandsons lap. Silver Coin loved coins and even has a coin collection of his very own. He looked at it closely for a few moments before he looked up at me, looking rather confused.
"This is just a common bit from seventy years ago that we still use today. How come you have this bit framed, Grandpa?"
I smiled. "It's not just a common bit, Silver. This bit is very special."
Silver Coin tilted his head. "What makes this bit very special? I don't understand."
Still smiling, I sat down on the sofa with my grandson. "It was given to me by a very special pony when I was just a little colt. Would you like to hear the story?"
"Oh yes. Tell me the story. Please, Grandpa."
I cleared my throat. "Alright. I'll tell you."
Seventy years ago...
Many years ago, when I was a young colt about your age, my grandfather died. I was living in a small town known as Buck Town. When my grandfather died, we had the old fashioned home revealings where we rested the coffin in the living room in front of the couch before burying him. Many came to our house to pay their respects, and to mourn and say their goodbyes to my grandfather, for he was well known around town. It was a sad week for the whole family.
It was the end of the day, nearly dark as the autumn sun was setting, and I was still playing with my peg top in the front yard. As I span my peg top once more, this old stallion came up to me. He was a very thin earth pony in his late seventies with a long face. He had a vanilla white coat with a mane and tail that was patterned with strawberry pink, and chocolate brown. His cutie mark was of a chocolate-strawberry-vanilla swirled ice cream cone. But the most distinctive of all about him was he was wearing a beautiful blue suit with a blue and gold striped tie.
"Young colt?" The old stallion in the suit said.
"Yes sir." I said.
"Young colt. My hat blew under your house. Would you mind getting it for me?"
I was very confused about it. I had never saw that pony before, and I did not recall seeing anypony's hat going under the house recently. I puzzled for a few moments until my pity on this poor old stallion loosing his hat got to me. "Sure, sir. I'll get your hat."
I soon went under the house to look for this pony's hat. I looked around with the little light that was left from the setting sun as I crawled around the beams holding and supporting the house up. It was not a few moments of searching that I caught the sight of a hat in front of me. It was as blue as the suit he was wearing. I grabbed it with my teeth and began to crawl out from under the house. I was still a bit confused to how I never noticed it going under there before. I brushed some of the cobwebs of his hat with my hoof as I came up to him.
"Here's your hat, mister." I said as I handed him his hat.
He smiled and reached out with his hoof, then took his hat and placed it on his head. "Thank you, young colt. You're very kind."
He then reached into one of the front pockets of his suit with his mouth, and took out a shinny gold bit. He then dropped the bit into my hoof with a kind smile. "There you go."
"Wow! A bit. Thanks, mister."
I walked back into the house with the bit in my hoof feeling very pleased with myself. My allowance was not due for a few days, and I felt good from being rewarded for doing a kind and good deed. My grandfather always told me when he was alive: Kindness is always rewarded.
I was flipping the bit in my hoof for a moment when my father saw me with it and came up to me. "Bilbo. Where did you get that money?"
"Somepony gave it to me," I said. "An old stallion lost his hat under the house, and asked me to get it for him. So he gave me a bit."
My father shook his head. "No. You're not taking somepony's money. Come on, let's go find him."
My father lead me back outside to the front yard to give the bit back to the stallion, but old stallion in the blue suit was gone. We looked up and down the street, but he was nowhere to be found. He vanished without a trace. My father and I went back inside as the sun finished setting to begin the night. We told the rest of my family of what was going on.
"Well, what did he look like, Bilbo?" My grandmother asked me, for she knew everypony in town.
I rubbed my chin as I recalled what he looked like. "Well, he was a very thin earth pony. He had a long face. He had a white coat with a pink and brown mane and tail. His cutie mark was an ice cream cone. And he was wearing a blue suit with a blue and gold striped tie."
My grandmother's eyes widen, as she covered he mouth with her hoof in horror. My mother and father were confused and concerned of my grandmother's shocked expression.
"Mother, what's wrong?" My mother asked.
Grandmother briefly stammered and suddenly went about her business. She did not say a word.
Later that night, I was in bed with the bed lamp on. I was looking at the bit the stallion in the suit gave me, thinking about him and my grandmother's reaction. Suddenly, my bedroom door opened, and my mother, father, and grandmother came in.
"Bilbo. Can I asked you something?" My grandmother came up to me carrying a big photo album.
"Sure, Grandmama." I said.
My grandmother sat down on my bed, placed the photo album on the covers in my lap, and opened it to a certain page. "That pony who gave you money. Do you see that stallion in this picture?"
I looked at the page she turned on in my lap. There were five photos on that page, and looked at all the pictures, until I came to the last two on the page. There in both black and white photos was a thin, old earth pony stallion with an ice cream cone cutie mark. In one photo, he was dressed as an ice cream pony at an ice cream stand; in the other, he was dressed in a suit. Though the photo was black and white, I could tell it was the same stallion in suit that I saw, and the suit he was wearing in the photo was the same one.
"That's him, Grandmama. That's the stallion that gave me the bit."
My mother and father sat down on the bed with my grandmother, and they hugged me.
"Bilbo Catcher...that's old Neapolitan," My grandmother said. "The local ice cream pony in town, and a dear old friend of your dear grandfather."
My mother and father look down to me at my level. "He's been dead for ten years."
"And he was buried in that blue suit...and that tie." My father said.
My eyes widened with shock as I felt a flicker of fear beginning to spread around my whole body.
"Don't be scared, sweetie," My grandmother said. "He wasn't here to scare you. It was his promise he made to your grandfather. You see, he never got married and had children of his own. So he made a promise to give a bit to our grandchildren, and to leave this world with your grandfather together. I remember them telling each other that all the time. You helped him crossover."
I looked up at my grandmother. "I did?"
"Yes, dear. You helped him fulfill his promise before going into the afterlife." Grandmother then looked down at the bit that was laying on the bed sheets. She then picked it up the bit, took my hoof in hers, and placed the bit in my hoof. "Save that bit. Never spend it, for it's too precious."
Back to the present...
"Wow!" Silver Coin said. "So a ghost of my great, great grandpa's friend gave it to you, Grandpa?"
"That's right, Silver. He came to fulfill his promise he made to my grandfather, and his spirit disappeared into the afterlife. And I never saw the old stallion again."
I got up from the sofa, and place the framed bit back up on to the wall. Silver Coin looked at it once more with me with amazement, and almost disbelief of the story I told to him. Suddenly in the reflection of the glass of the frame, we both saw a glimpse of somepony standing behind us. We both turn our heads, but we saw nopony there. We looked back at the refection in the glass. There in the refection was old Neapolitan in his blue suit. He smile and winked at us both. We looked behind us to once again see no one. Then when we looked back at the glass, he was gone.
Silver Coin turned to me looking surprised and shocked at the same time. "Did you see that, Grandpa Bilbo?"
"I did, Silver Coin." I said.
Silver Coin sat back down on the sofa, still looking very surprised at what he just saw. I sat down next to him, and put a comforting hoof around him.
"It's alright, Silver," I said. "There's no need to be scared."
Silver Coin looked up at me. "Is that story true, Grandpa?"
I smiled. "It's true...if you believe it. What did your eyes see, and what does heart tell you? Is it true?"
Silver Coin hesitated and seemed to mull it over for a few moments. "I...I believe. It's true. It's all true."
"You know, Silver Coin," I said. "Someday when my time is up, I'm going to give you that framed bit to carry on my legacy. And you have the story to carry on too. Can you promise me to save that bit and pass it on?"
Silver Coin gave me a heartfelt hug. "I promise, Grandpa."
It was strange to see old Neapolitan in the refection, even I do not know if it was real or my imagination. But seeing as my own grandson saw him too, I doubt it was my imagination. I guess he came back to say thank you for keeping his memory and legacy alive. I feel deep in my heart, my parents, grandparents, and especially old Neapolitan would be proud. I am passing something on, and I feel that it will be passed on continually for many generations to come.