Diary of a Pasta Pony

by Miyajima

First published

Excerpts from the term-time diary of Penne Pasta, the first unicorn in the pasta family for generations, as she learns the ropes in Canterlot.

Penne Pasta is the first unicorn in generations to be born to the prestigious Pasta clan, major exporters of wheat and, yes, the original inventors of pasta in all its myriad forms. Gifted a diary for her birthday as she embarks on her first term at the Canterlot School for Gifted Unicorns, Penne records her thoughts, secrets and feelings as she navigates a new life in the capital and the troubles of school.

19/09 - 29/09

View Online


“Dear Diary”.

That’s what I’m meant to write, isn’t it? I’ve never kept a diary before. It was my birthday last week, and my family sent me this as a present. Said since I was moving out and going to study in Canterlot, I might want someone to talk to.

I wanted to tell them that actually, I was looking forward to the peace and quiet. Do you know what it’s like growing up with seven brothers and sisters, living on the same farm as your aunts, uncles, cousins, grandparents, grand-aunts and grand-uncles? Noisy! That’s what it’s like!

Well, there we go. Barely two paragraphs in and I’m ranting at a book. I guess Mama knows me well. So… What else should I put here?

Introductions, I guess. I’m Penne. Penne Pasta. “This diary belongs to Penne Pasta DO NUT REED THAT MEENS U FUSILLI

Guess I should’ve put that first.

So yes, I’m Penne Pasta. Of the Pasta family of farmers. If you weren’t just a book I’m sure you’d have heard of us. We literally invented pasta. That thing ponies everywhere eat? That’s us. You’d think we’d be richer, but I guess patents didn’t exist when great-great-great-great-grandpappy Lagane was around.

I’m a unicorn. First one in the family for three generations! I spent the first few years of my life thinking I just had a weird-shaped head. Didn’t even realise I could do magic until I started going to school. I guess my folks tried, it’s just difficult when you’re an earth pony, and everyone else is an earth pony, and the last time anyone saw a unicorn in town was like three years ago during a fayre.

This year I finally wore Mama and Papa down through constant nagging until they agreed I could take the entrance exam for the Canterlot School for Gifted Unicorns. I still think they’re disappointed that I passed. I mean sure they smiled and clapped and packed my bags for me and came all the way here with me and are actually making a thing out of it and staying like two whole weeks like it’s a second honeymoon or something – BUT I KNOW DEEP DOWN THEY’RE DISAPPOINTED.

“No Pasta ever dealt with magic!” is what Grandmama Angeli would say to me through a mouthful of the stuff. Yeah, yeah. We’re good, hard-working earth ponies. We grow wheat. We grind the wheat. We mix it into dough. We shape the dough. We sell it. It’s this whole THING.

Well maybe I wanted more than to sit on the farm all day working with my hooves and horn in the kitchen, kneading up yet another batch of dough and cutting it into pretty little butterflies or shaping it into letters. So what if I’m going to end up just like Crazy Uncle Lasagna. He does well for himself! You can barely tell he spent several years in intensive psychiatric care.

Oh, note to self, visit Uncle Lasagna’s shop in Canterlot when I have time.

Wait, is this going to be a journal or a to-do list?

Too late now, I guess.

I’ve still got lots to unpack so I guess this’ll do for today. Classes tomorrow!


Yo diary wassup

Dear Diary,

I’ve finished unpacking and have settled into my room here at the Canterlot School for Gifted Unicorns. Mama and Papa took me out for dinner last night, but they spent most of the meal complaining about the starter (a pasta dish, obviously). I just tucked into a nutloaf. Honestly I’m SO looking forward to eating things that aren’t pasta. Like noodles!

That’s what students eat, isn’t it? Noodles. Boil a kettle, pour it over, add something that might have once been flavour, and eat. If I’d ever had noodles back home they’d tan my hide. I remember sneaking to the shop when I was old enough and the shopkeeper slipping me one of those pots with noodles and vegetables in it that you can just eat. I think it was the knowledge of disapproval that made it taste SO GOOD.

Still, I shouldn’t grumble, I guess. In the Pasta family there’s always plenty to go around. I was never hungry as a filly, although I think I put on a few pounds because of it! I’ve heard that Canterlot has gyms you can go to to exercise and lose weight. I’ll have to try it!

But mostly I get to learn about magic! It’s honestly so exciting.

Well… Actually it was really embarrassing. I walked into the classroom and everyone was younger than me. I guess normally unicorns start learning magic before they’re nearly legally adults. I must have been burning bright red when the teacher asked me to demonstrate a basic spell for the younger students and the best I managed was a squeak of magic that fizzled out immediately.

The kids were friendly though. I think they were looking up to me – and not just literally! One little girl, she must be barely old enough to go to school, she sat down beside me at lunch and took out the biggest sandwich I’ve ever seen. Like twice the size of her head. She looked over at my apple and carrot and immediately cut the thing in half and thrust it at me without saying a word. I’ll have to get her some sweets or something.

‘Or make her some butterfly pasta’, yes, thank you disembodied internalized voice of my Mama. Kids always love the butterflies. Maybe once I’m a bit better at magic I could make them actually fly! That’d be cute. I’ll note that down for later.

So what did I learn today? Basic magic theory, I guess. How unicorns exert their will on the world by channelling through their horns. The teacher gave me a bunch of supplementary materials to read through in my spare time. I’ve got a lot of catching up to do compared to some of the others. I heard that even the youngest unicorns at school start experimenting with modifying spells after a few weeks. I barely know how to cast them! The fact I can hold this quill and write in this diary is considered dangerously impressive by my family’s standards.

One of my pieces of ‘homework’ is to memorize Amber Night’s Six Laws of Stable Magic before tomorrow. They’re going to make us all stand in front of the class and recite it in turn. It’s some of the most fundamental stuff about magic and how it relates to everyday life. I’m going to copy them out here, that might help me remember it.

  1. What is magic?
    Magic is the force that connects us to the world around us, the tool we use to shape the world around us, and the lens we use to study the world around us.
  2. How does magic connect us?
    Magic connects us to each other through the bonds of friendship. In friendship we shape ourselves, refining our flaws and bettering our hearts.
  3. How does magic shape the world?
    Magic shapes the world through friendship with the world. The unicorn speaks her mind, and the world answers. The pegasus plants his feet in the sky, and the sky stops him falling. The earth pony gives back to the earth, and the earth feeds us all.
  4. How does magic help us understand the world?
    Magic helps us understand the world by better understanding ourselves. It is the foundation of knowledge, the cornerstone of truth, and the light that banishes the darkness of ignorance.
  5. Where does magic come from?
    Magic comes from the union of the Five Elements of Harmony; sometimes called truth, compassion, loyalty, happiness, and charity.
  6. How must we use magic?
    Magic must be used with an open heart. Magic cannot hide behind lies, selfishness, cruelty, malice or treachery.

They’re pretty profound words. And that’s just the first six, there’s over two hundred Laws of Stable Magic in total – I hope they don’t expect me to memorize every single one of them. Tomorrow we’re going to try out some of the experiments I read about in the textbook. They’re meant to be really simple but it’s so much more advanced than anything I’m used to! I hope I don’t mess up and turn the teacher into a potted plant or something. I’ve heard that happens.


Dear Diary,

Well, that was a bucking disaster. You do not know true shame until a foal barely old enough to lisp his way through the incantation has to step in and save you when your spell begins to overcharge and you can’t figure out how to stop it. The teacher just looked so condescending. Alright! I’m nearly nearly twice his age! I’m old enough to have a job! I DON'T KNOW HOW TO DO BASIC MAGIC!

And yet I still passed the entrance exam, so buck you Ms Focus. I mean I failed the practical portion of the test, sure, but it’s not like I’ve had the practise growing up! Papa used to buy me books on magic, or stories about unicorns when I was younger. I imagine he didn’t really know how to deal with me being different, so he tried his best.

I’d read those books under my blanket, barely lit with the smallest spark of magic I could conjure from my horn (thank you, Basic Cantrips for Fillies and Foals, 5th Edition), lost in a world of magic as I devoured stories about Star Swirl the Bearded, the Two Princesses or the Lost Crystal Empire until Fusilli would throw something at me because I was ‘stopping him from going to sleep’.

Whatever Ms Focus thinks, I earned my place here at this school, and I’m going to be the BEST bucking mage the Pasta family has ever seen!

Right after I’ve, you know, mastered the basics…


Dear Diary,

Introduction to Potions and Alchemy today. I figured I’d be good at this, since, y’know, I spent most of my time growing up helping in kitchens. Our teacher, Prof Snakegrass, is pretty cool and/or terrifying. Walked into the lab, everything was dark, just slivers of light poking through blackout blinds on the window, then the door slams shut behind us and he appears at the front of class in an explosion of green light and smoke! And he’s got mad eyes, like a cat’s, with slit pupils. I overheard one of the other kids say he’s descended from bat ponies, like the ones that pulled Nightmare Moon’s chariot.

He kept the blinds down the whole lesson, so we had to work either by candlelight or with magic lights, which was spooky and very atmospheric (admittedly, I thought it was awesome). Just went through some of the basics of potions today, what they’re made of, how they distil magical essence, that sort of thing. Next week we’ll get to look at all the proper equipment! Going to feel like a proper wizard, standing there with a big, musty tome and stirring a cauldron full of bubbling purple stuff!

P.S. I just looked up Prof Snakegrass’ picture in the school prospectus and he’s got FANGS. So cool.


Dear Diary,

Been a busy couple of days. Mama and Papa took me out for dinner again last night, fresh from their tour of the royal palace. I think my parents are dorks, of course – what kid doesn’t? But there was something adorable about watching Papa gush over the ‘fluted columns’ and ‘gorgeous historical stained glass portraits’. Who knew he was such a fan of architecture? I think Mama was quietly hoping this newfound passion would translate itself into picking up a hammer and nails and doing some DIY around the farm!

They asked me how school was going. I lied. Said everything was going great and I’m doing well in all my classes. They just nodded sagely, because 'obviously' I’m doing great, I’m a Pasta. Not sure I really have the heart to tell them I’m already getting private tutoring from a filly half my age…

Cosma’s great. She’s the one who gave me her sandwich on my first day. She’s a bit older than I originally thought, just looks really young. She’s taken to sitting next to me at lunch, so I guess I’m her friend now? First couple of days she didn’t really say much, and then suddenly on day three she launched into this angry rant about how Ms Focus didn’t know one end of her horn from the other and that she should’ve been placed in the advanced class but got failed on her theory test. Watching her wave her baguette around, punctuating every point with a jab of bread and another lost slice of tomato, I just burst out laughing.

It’s been nice to have someone to talk to, even if we have mostly bonded over hating Ms Focus. I told Cosma I’d flunked my practical portion of the exam, which apparently she’d aced. Top of the class. So we struck a deal, she teaches me the practical bits, and I help her study the theory.

I also promised her I’d make her some pasta butterflies. Guess I’ll have to move visiting Uncle Lasagne a bit higher up the list. He runs Canterlot’s only specialist pasta shop; stocks the best flour from back home, and spends all his spare time making the most crazy shapes and colours – stuff like you’ve never seen!

At our last family reunion he boasted that Princess Celestia herself (well, her chamberlain anyway) had requested a dish of ‘rainbow angel hair’ pasta for some royal function or other. Uncle Lasagne refused! Said he couldn’t possibly make angel hair ‘better than her Royal Highness’ own mane!’

And you wouldn’t believe it. The Princess herself came down to the shop the following week and sat for a ‘fitting’ – letting Uncle Lasagne get exactly the right shades and colours of her mane to make the ‘perfect’ dish. You should’ve heard him go on about it – you’d think he’d fallen in love!

Of course after that pasta enjoyed a brief boom in popularity across the city. People were queueing up around the block for it until some bright spark figured out he could make some money off the trend and set up a street cart. Two weeks later, so Uncle Lasagne says, you couldn’t move through Canterlot for carts selling spaghetti.

‘Fashion’s a fickle thing’, he said, ‘and the next week it was like no one had ever heard of pasta’. Business went back to being slow, but honestly I think he likes it that way.


Dear Diary,

Just a quick entry today. It’s difficult to form a new habit and I’m trying to remember to do this. Mama says it’ll be nice to have something to look back on once I’ve come home, to remember my time in Canterlot. I must have cringed pretty hard because she looked a bit hurt by my reaction.

I’ll make it up to her. I’ll try keeping this diary for my first year here – during term time, anyway. If I remember right, that’s from Last Harvest through to the week before Hearth’s Warming, then starts again on First Thaw through to First Budding, have a break, and the last term up to Summer Sun Celebration.

Then I can edit this a bit and give it to her as a gift! I think she’d like that.

So uh, school was alright, I guess. Warm today. Cosma’s coming over to my room tonight and we’re going to watch 'The Thing From The Fridge'.

Did I mention I like corny old horror movies? I feel like I probably should have.


Dear Diary,

Cosma LOVED the film. I think I’ve introduced her to a whole new world of shoddy special effects, natty costumes and dodgy scripts. She’s asked me to compile a ‘best of’ list that we can watch over the term, so I’m going to have to go shopping.

Schoolwork was light today, so me and Cosma wandered around the school a bit to get used to the campus. It’s not a huge space; being in the middle of the city means everything’s kind of cramped around a big square (which I am told by Papa is called a ‘quadrangle’ and is surrounded by ‘cloisters’), and the school buildings themselves stretch all over the place really chaotically. Most of the space is used for teaching ponies like us, but we saw there’s a couple of buildings dedicated to magical research. Walking past one of them there was a bright flash of light and then a mango came flying through an open window, grew wings, and flew away. We heard a pony (can’t have been much older than me, actually, but I couldn’t see her clearly) scream in frustration and run out after it in a flash of purple.

The main hall is off one side of the quad and is where we have assemblies and big events, then there’s another couple of smaller halls used for magical exercises during school hours, and student groups the rest of the time. The library’s an imposing building with a spiral tower (looked like it was deliberately made to resemble a unicorn horn) that, weirdly, can be seen from anywhere in the quad, even where you think it shouldn’t be possible. Like, directly outside it and facing away from it. I brought this up but Cosma said not to think about it too hard, it’s a magic school, and magic doesn’t obey the rules.

I wanted to ask why we were bothering to learn all the rules then, but decided not to.

Oh yeah, last thing, the school canteen is AMAZING, all the plates float and bring your food right to you – there’s also this loop they do around the tables so that if you see a dish you like, you can just pull it over and try it! I ate way too many hay fries and was also introduced to buttered asparagus in chilli sauce. I swear I was breathing fire, it was so spicy.


Dear Diary,

Second week at school’s going well. They had a showcase in the Grand Hall today for all the different clubs and societies you can join. There was a bit of a scuffle between the Gardening Society and the Farming Society over who had use of the school’s allotments. One of the older students told me it happens every year, and it’s been an ongoing feud for over a decade. Both societies were going around with clipboards, trying to drum up new recruits so aggressively you’d think they were arming for war.

They’d been exchanging insults for over an hour when ‘Flower Power Squad’ (as the more militant wing of the Gardening Society preferred to call itself) led by club secretary Dahlia grabbed the Farming Society’s mascot (a very large carrot confusingly named Dusty) and took a massive bite out of it. Soon both sides were flinging spells back and forth, and school security was forced to intervene, but not before the brawl had broken up several of the other stands.

I’m thinking I should stay out of it, although given my background in farming, joining the society might be interesting. Grow something other than wheat for a change. I guess I’ll see how much time I’ve got outside of classes and homework.

The Daring Do Appreciation Society also looked pretty intense; they’d set up a full obstacle course on the lawn, complete with sets and traps! I sat there for a while watching as ponies lined up to have a go, it was great. One of them nearly got to the jewelled statue at the end, then they stepped on the wrong tile and got hit right into the water by a big stick wrapped in cotton. Cosma and me both signed up for Film Society; they’ve apparently got a really good projector and rent out one of the bigger classrooms once a week for movie night. Maybe I can convince them to do a showing of the Scarecrow trilogy. Fusilli thinks they aren’t as good as the two 'Blood and Ketchup' films, but I think 'Scarecrow III: The Last Straw' is some of Fair Price’s best acting work. He totally deserved the award that year. 'Platinum in Love' was absolute trash and I’m not afraid to say it.


Dear Diary,

Today we learned more about the basics of magic. Channelling energy through your horn, reciting spells to aid focus, that sort of thing. Growing up I assumed it was as simple as ‘think what you want and do it’ – and while that’s sort of what magic’s like, it turns out there’s so much MORE.

Mama and Papa go back home tomorrow. I feel a bit weird about that. I guess once they’ve gone it’ll be like I’ve really left home and struck out on my own. It’s not like being one of the day students who live either here in Canterlot or down in Ponyville, they can just go home at the end of the day, but I have to live here now, independently. At least until the holidays. At first I was really excited by the idea of being a big, independent pony and finally having a room to myself, but now I’m here I just feel a little scared by it all.

But I’m sure I’ll be kept busy. Lots to learn, lots to study, and lots of homework. Two hours per hour of lectures, apparently. It’s mostly been questionnaires and things so far, and some simple maths problems about balancing magical forces. That’s one thing that I didn’t know about magic; you’ve got to draw energy from somewhere to use it. Ultimately all magic is powered by your heart and inner Harmony (or Discord, if you’re, you know, EVIL) but even then it needs a boost from your body, like how you get tired when you do a lot of chores and then get hungry.

Casting magic without properly preparing your body and mind can be really dangerous, Ms Focus said. In the past, before the Princesses raised the sun and moon, there used to be groups of unicorns who would do it – but the job would wear them out and they apparently used to pass away really young. I wonder how the Princesses managed? What about being an alicorn makes you better at this sort of thing?

Then again maybe I shouldn’t think like that. Princess Luna went mad, and now Princess Celestia is the only alicorn. Or I thought so, anyway: Cosma says there's also Princess Cadence, she's the last descendent of the Crystal Empire ponies. Weird how that didn't come up in my story books!

Papa said it was our love for Celestia that gave her the power to raise the sun and moon, and maybe that’s not just a story we tell the little colts and fillies. The Princess is the school’s patron and I hear that she visits regularly. Maybe one day I’ll be able to ask her – although I think I'll be far too embarrassed to ever speak to her directly!

Oh, almost forgot, tonight I’m making proper noodles for the first time! Not the instant stuff. I’m really excited to try it. I wonder how different it'll be from spaghetti?

P.S. Maybe I did something wrong but they tasted EXACTLY like spaghetti.


Dear Diary,

End of week two! Just got back from the station after seeing Mama and Papa off on the train home. They said they’d try and write to me once a week and come visit again with some of the family soon. I guess that’ll be nice? I dunno. I don’t really want Fusilli messing with my stuff – although he’s probably already wrecked our room since I’ve been gone.

We did some more practical exercises today, focusing on levitation and picking up heavier and heavier objects. I think it was intended to be some object lesson about how the weight correlates to the force needed, but I remember Star Swirl writing that a powerful unicorn can ‘lift a mountain as if it were merely a feather’. Maybe he was just being poetic or something. I could barely lift a stack of books...

In the afternoon we had a lecture from a guest speaker which was pretty cool, all about magic in non-pony cultures like Griffons and Yaks. I didn’t know Griffons could even do magic! It’s not like pony magic, though, it’s dark and powered by greed. All about manipulating people. It sounded REALLY COOL but also, you know, REALLY BAD. The sort of thing you’d expect to see a villain use in a comic.

I feel like that might be a bit racist

After the lecture I got to meet some of the other students: the lecture was a cross-year thing so everyone got to attend. There’s a group of fillies in the final year of their studies who are around my age. They were really nice! Minuette, Lemon Hearts, Twinkleshine and Moon Dancer. They said I should come hang out with them after school one day; there’s this great place in town that serves the BEST hay hash.

I felt a bit better knowing I’m not the oldest pony at the school (just in my year, yaaay) but, yeah, did make me feel a bit awkward when they learned I was in first year and didn’t really know how to do any good magic. I could tell they felt a bit awkward too. Maybe I should ask what societies they’re in, I could hang out with them that way and then we don’t have to talk about magic so much.

I’m still on the fence about joining Farm Soc. I was kinda keen on Garden Soc but the way those Flower Power fillies went around picking fights really put me off, and I’m not sure I want to deal with that.

Oh. I hope they don’t learn I’m from a farming family. That might suck. Pretty obvious though, isn’t it? Not many ‘Pastas’ in Equestria. It’s not like I’m a ‘Sparkle’ or a ‘Feathers’.

Oh mare. Not many unicorn farmers at all. Thinking about this is making me queasy. I don’t want to get picked on just because my family grows wheat. Why couldn’t I come from a cool family that does magic or sells books or something?

Maybe I should start going by another name… Penne Glitter Shine Blossom Rose

Nope, nope, none of those. Arrrrrrgh. Right. Not going to think about it. Just keep my head down, avoid Dahlia. It’ll be fine. Don’t join Farm Soc. Don’t poke the Ursa Major.

02/10 - 13/10

View Online


Dear Diary,

It’s Spook Month! Guess who just bought her first bag of Nightmare Night candy way too early? This gal!

Guess who scarfed down the whole thing and now feels really sick? THIS GAL!

Mare. I am NOT going to last another twenty-nine days. They should totally ban all sales of candy until the 30th. Some ponies can’t be trusted not to throw all their bits away on candycorn.

School’s already putting up decorations, and it’s been another opportunity for Farm Soc and Garden Soc to have a go at each other. Garden Soc was preparing some lilies and magnolias – you can preserve the blooms with a spell, apparently! There’s just so much I don’t know about magic, it’s really embarrassing – when some of the ponies from Farm Soc came by and well, they don’t have any lilies or magnolias anymore. It’s kinda hard to make a decent (and spooky) flower arrangement out of bright pink peonies.

Turns out while Garden Soc has the Flower Power Squad, Farm Soc has their own ‘special unit’ they call the Reapers. Bit sinister sounding, if you ask me (but oh mare they had really cool badges totally spooky). It was those guys who ruined the flower display. One of them, Sweet Yam, came to talk to me over lunch. He’d heard there was a Pasta at the school and yeah, my worst fears of yesterday turned out to not be so paranoid after all.

They want me to join Farm Soc. Having an actual farmer unicorn on the society will really help, he said. I told him I didn’t want to get involved in the feud, but he assured me that I didn’t have to if I didn’t want to. I said I’d think about it.

I gotta admit he’s pretty cute. Is this what a crush is? Arrrrgh. Why am I even considering this.


Dear Diary,

I don’t know how to feel.

Dahlia saw me talking to Sweet Yam yesterday and asked around. Found out who I was. It was just after morning lectures and I got ambushed in the fillies’ room by five of them. They took my bag, threw my workbook in the sink and trashed my lunch. Dahlia threatened to really HURT me next time I ‘mess up’.

I want to call Mama and talk to her, but our village doesn’t have phone lines. I guess you’ll have to do, diary.

I never really got bullied growing up. Some of the other ponies made fun of my horn, but it was more light-hearted teasing than anything else. It was scary being cornered like that. I couldn’t even use magic to defend myself, they’re all better at it than I am.

Cosma’s coming over later for our movie night. I know she’s younger than I am but she always seems to know what to do. I’ll ask her.


Dear Diary,

Cosma was surprisingly calm about Dahlia’s bullying. She suggested I should join Farm Soc, her reasoning being that if they picked on me when I’m not a member, I might as well join up and have other people around to defend me.

Plus it would mean more time with Sweet Yam

So maybe I will join after all. I guess SOMEONE has to avenge Dusty the Carrot.

Schoolwork’s going alright. You know, that thing I’m actually here doing. I’ve got another essay due tomorrow on ‘Principles of Levitation’ so I suppose I should actually start it. I do some of my best work at silly-o’-clock in the morning. Plus they have coffee here! Mama and Papa wouldn’t let us drink it except on special occasions. Said it was too much for ‘little foals and fillies’.

Hah, I say! Bring on the espresso!

PS wow this stuff is really good Ive written like a dozen pages on levitation and transfiguration and coffee im sure theres magic in coffee its really good at keeping you awake and I feel really energetic like theres so many things I could do like make a doll of Dahlia and then stab it a lot yeah I could do that or or maybe I could go get Cosma and we can go for a walk at sunrise its really pretty here in Canterlot yeah yeah thats a good idea lets do that after another cup theyre so small that like having five is just like having a normal mug right thats how that works Im sure


Dear Diary,

It looks like I started an entry yesterday but I think I fell asleep at my desk and spilt my inkwell. There’s just this really big splodge. Apparently five espressos isn’t the same as one normal mug of coffee. Now I know. 'And knowing is half the battle'!

So, I’m in Farm Soc now. I didn’t tell them about what happened with Dahlia, but they were really impressed when they learned I was a Pasta. A few years back they had an Apple at the school and that was apparently like having the Princess herself sign up, given how much they went on about it. I was bombarded with questions about how our family farm works, and some ponies were even taking notes. I have to admit, it felt nice to be appreciated like that. Cheered me up.

I’ve just come back from the weekly meeting, and I’m absolutely stuffed. I guess ponies into farming and ponies into cooking are sections of the population that overlap, because there was so much food. I guess I’m going to have to make a pasta dish for them one of these weeks.

Oh, idea! I can get some orange and black coloured tagliatelle from Uncle Lasagne. Keep it all spooky! Serve it with matzo balls, and add a sliver of cabbage and a bean to make them look like eyeballs! To be honest, diary, I’m beginning to miss proper home cooking. I guess you can have too much of a good thing; I’m getting pretty tired of noodles, instant or otherwise. Guess I’ll do some grocery shopping tomorrow.

Since it’s almost harvest, most of the Farm Soc activities right now are about preserving your crops. Sprinkle in a little magic and things get WEIRD, apparently. Bored of making jams and jellies? Why not spruce up that pantry by animating all your preserves into shambling, gelatinous cubes! They stack themselves, and are easily spread on bread!

At least that was the idea. Moon Dancer got the spell a little bit wrong and turned Little Root’s marmalade into a floating orb of pure, concentrated citrus that we had to chase around the hall for nearly half an hour before we could trap it back in the jar. No one was hurt, but everything tasted lemon-y after that.

Schoolwork’s going fine. That essay I wrote on levitation got a B+! Given the fact that I wrote it in a caffeine-induced stupor I think I can count that as a win!


Dear Diary,

Today they started launching us into the deeper stuff. Spell Augmentation 101! It’s a six-week practical that’ll have us doing research in the library and trying to modify an existing spell. Doesn’t need to be anything fancy, but it needs to be repeatable – like, we need to actually write down all the steps so that someone else could learn to do it.

So, today we got to go into the library. I’d been there before to get my course books and stuff, but this was the first time I was there on business. It’s huge! Looks way bigger on the inside than you’d think. There’s lots of different wings, all dedicated to powerful unicorns of the past. I noticed that the Star Swirl Wing was roped off with a big ‘no entry’ sign – Ms Focus pretended not to listen when I asked her about it, but Cosma told me she’d heard a student died in there last year when they got lost and were eaten by some really wild spellbooks.

I mean yeah right how old does she think I am.

It’s probably more like all the advanced stuff’s in there. Stuff like time magic, or raising the sun and moon, or advanced weather manipulation. Things they probably don’t want students messing with.

No, no, instead we went into the Presto Wing and were each crowded around one of four copies of 'Presto’s Prestidigitations for Precocious Ponies' (despite the name, it’s apparently pretty much the go-to for simple spell modification). Ms Focus made us take notes on the opening chapters and then let us loose to go ‘gain inspiration from the masters’.

The library has so much in it! There’s books on every conceivable – and possibly inconceivable – type of magic. Cosma found a really old book on spells that use starlight as their main component, and decided there and then what she was going to do her project on. Took me a while longer. Eventually I found a new-ish book on crop transmogrification, like taking the bits of wheat that make it grow well and trying to get apples to do the same. Maybe it’s a bit stereotypical that a farm pony would pick farming magic to study but I figure it’s best to go with what I know, right?

Cosma came over to my room later with forms to fill in for Film Soc. Stuff like volunteering for rotas, which films we’d like to showcase, and this month’s study theme. Horror, obviously! Tomorrow I’m going to go into town and look around all the second-hand places to find some really, REALLY corny B-movie goodness. 'Yakzilla vs Bison King', that sort of thing.


Dear Diary,

Success! I went into Canterlot after the morning lectures and found what I think is possibly my favourite shop ever. 'Five Spice’s Bazaar of the Bizarre', just off Platinum Avenue! It was huge! Tiny door on the outside, sprawling chaos of junk on the inside. Just my sort of thing. Five Spice is a big, friendly earth pony from outside Equestria, had a weird accent that I couldn’t place. He doesn’t put prices on anything in the shop, and fully expects you to haggle. Encourages it, even! I found a copy of 'Day of the Windigo', asked him how much, and then was ready to hand over the ten bits he asked for – but then he refused the money and insisted I haggle him down! Eventually I got him to agree to eight bits, although he did give me a free cup of spicy chai.

Great place. I’ve got to go back there more often! There’s loads I didn’t have a chance to look at, and I’m sure he’s got some real gems squirreled away in the back. Anyway, that’s me sorted for tomorrow’s film night. Just going to watch through the reel now to make sure it’s all good. That little portable projector Papa got me a few years ago is really earning its keep lately.


Dear Diary,

Spell Architecture lectures today. It’s rapidly becoming my least favourite subject. It’s all tied up with the Spell Augmentation course on Mondays but it’s so complicated! I just can’t get my head around it. Cosma’s completely lost, but I guess I’m not much help as a tutor when I don’t get it either. Not sure about the others. I’ve found it hard to talk to them – the age gap, like I mentioned, is quite extreme. Cosma’s friend Onyx Flash is probably the only other one I’ve spent any time with. He’s a bit younger than her. Rock farming type. Gruff, serious. Not sure I’ve actually seen him smile, not even when Prof Scarlet Star bucked up the practical last week and accidentally turned her entire desk into a layer cake.

To be honest I’m writing this because I’m procrastinating from completing my assignment. I’m stuck on this question about which runic link you should use to tune a teleportation cantrip into a handling cantrip. I think it’s ᘱ but honestly it could be ᘠ or ᗍ. Why is this so haaaaard.

I mean it’s probably because all my notes are half-remembered song lyrics and lists of how many first generation Pocket Monsters I can remember. (112 out of 150, by the way. I was quite proud of that). Of course Cosma thinks that the fourth gen is better than the first but she’s young. She’ll learn.

Film Soc was great! First we watched 'The Grey Mare', which is vintage horror of the finest calibre. We all sat around eating popcorn and yelling at the characters to turn on the lights, or grab a bat, or don’t say ‘what could possibly go wrong’ right before walking into the ghost. Then we put on 'Day of the Windigo'; it’s a bit more artsy, there’s definitely some political undertones. The society president, Phantasia, made sure to pause it on the scene where the Windigo freezes the old pony to death and told us how it’s all about the ‘ossification of the upper echelons of society’ or something. I just thought it was a good movie. Afterwards we just sat around discussing our favourite films and swapping theories.

I’ll have to find something else in time for next week, but I guess first I need to do this assignment. I’m just going to go with ᘱ.


Dear Diary,

Should I name you, or something? ‘Diary’ just feels very generic. I’ll have a think about it.

Anyway! I finally went into town and visited Uncle Lasagne’s shop. He was exactly as I remembered him; bright and crazy clothes covered in splotches of flour and dyes from making all that artisan pasta. The shop was actually pretty busy when I was there – I only got to chat to my uncle briefly. I bought a couple of batches of his ‘Celestial Hair’ pasta (still a hit with the upper crust, apparently) and some orange and black bat shapes for Nightmare Night.

He asked me how my studies were going; I mentioned the spell augmentation and he said that he had something at home he needed to show me that would probably help, so I’m going around there for dinner next week. He seemed oddly reluctant to talk about it in the shop and kept glancing at the other customers as if they might be listening in. At the time I didn’t think anything of it – he’s ‘Crazy’ Uncle Lasagne for a reason – but in hindsight, writing this all out, I wonder what that was about. For that matter, why does Uncle Lasagne have books on magic?

Guess that’s one more mystery to bug me all week. Oh yes, and speaking of mysteries, today I found a pressed lily and a note in my schoolbag after classes. The note simply had a big red ‘X’ on it. I suspect Garden Soc.

I’ll bring it up at the Farm Soc meeting tomorrow and see what Sweet Yam they think.



Yeah, calling you ‘diary’ does just seem weird but now I can’t think of anything else.

Dear Diary,

I’ve been marked for death. And no, I’m not being overly dramatic, that’s apparently what the message in my bag meant. Sweet Yam immediately identified is as a DEATH THREAT from Garden Soc. He and the other Reapers shared a quick look and told me they’d ‘take care of it’.

So that’s something, hey. Got to watch my back for crazed gardeners now, as if schoolwork wasn’t enough. I gotta say I didn’t like the tone of ‘take care of it’, hope he doesn’t do anything stupid. I mean obviously they're not ACTUALLY going to kill me, that would be ridiculous. Though I'd still rather not get beaten up, and Dahlia scares me.

The ‘Sun Princess Bake’ went down well, took me a few hours to get it just the right amount of crunchy. Need to thank Uncle Lasagne for the recipe. Because it’s the winter term, Farm Soc’s focus is on all the things Equestria’s farmers do after the harvest is done. This evening we were making our own veggie preserves and pickles, but using unusual things like carrots or parsnips. I’ve got three jars of slightly burnt carrot-and-radish jam waiting to be posted home to a no doubt lukewarm reception.

16/10 - 27/10

View Online


Dear Diary,

Today’s spell augmentation course focused on the aims and intent of the spell. It’s the underlying framework that drives the magic and makes it happen. We all had to come prepared with an idea in mind; Cosma’s decided to go with an ambitious spell that reads a pony’s star sign and projects the appropriate constellation. According to her book on star magic, astrology actually does have a smidge of truth to it, the stars you’re born under have a small effect on your arcane matrix, or something? But it’s not like it dictates your whole personality, and horoscopes are still bunk. She seemed very into it.

Onyx Flash has gone with a rock farming staple, guiding geode growth with magic. When Ms Focus asked me what I was going to do, I froze up. I’d had it all prepared, but when put on the spot I just blanked it and blurted out 'spaghetti tree'. Everyone found it so bucking hilarious, and I went red as a beetroot.

So yeah, that’s my thing now, I’m growing spaghetti. Ms Focus just rolled her eyes, like she KNEW this would be the sort of thing I’d come up with. No fair! The book on farm magic I got from the library isn’t massively helpful; it has basic spells about scrying to find out what plants are good for (side note: carrots are apparently very good mathematicians?) but the bits about actually transferring those properties are really advanced. Way too deep for me yet. Besides, I tried to scry some of the leftover rainbow pasta I had and it was just a confusing, headache-y mess, like lots of shards of broken plants all molded together. Which I kinda guess is what pasta is? Wheat and then all those vegetable dyes for the colours.

But I’ll keep going, I guess. Maybe whatever Uncle Lasagna has will help, I’ll see on Wednesday.


Dear Diary,

Lunch was eventful. You know how Sweet Yam said he’d ‘take care of’ Dahlia? Yeah, apparently SOMEONE filled her locker with gooseberry and celery jam, which just so happened to be what Sweet Yam was making at Farm Soc last week. She was furious, because when she opened the locker it all sludged out onto her, and she was wearing a new coat. Somehow I didn’t get the blame!

She actually pinned it on one of the other ‘Reapers’ and threw his lunch across the hall. Obviously, that started a fight. Ever seen a milk carton golem? That was interesting. Prof Scarlet Star broke up the fight with a huuuge nullifying spell, which made things a little worse because it revealed that Dahlia’s friend Orchid has been magically altering her mane colour from grey to purple, so that started another round of screaming and tears.

I just sat under a table and tried to eat quietly.


Dear Diary,

Just back from dinner with Uncle Lasagne, and he did NOT fail to deliver! That was perhaps some of the best food I’ve had in months, and then he brought out a commission he’s been working on; some hoity-toity rich folk in town asked for a centrepiece for a party. Most ponies go to a sculptor and get an ice swan or maybe a baker for a tiered, novelty cake – but not this guy, and Uncle’s working on a replica of the castle made from ricotta-and-spinach stuffed pasta. Sounds weird, looks amazing. I’m sure it’ll be in all the gossip rags.

After food he took me into his study and showed me a hidden compartment under his desk with a safe in it. Inside was a book, not in the best condition – it looked like it had been scorched, clawed and possibly chewed. He handled it with reverence, and smoothed out the pages after opening it on the desk. He told me it was a genuine spell book, one they definitely didn’t have in the school library. I asked him why he was so sure, and he smiled when he said 'because your great-grandfather wrote it'.

I was shocked. I knew I wasn’t the first unicorn in the Pasta family but I didn’t know that any of my family had studied magic, let alone written a book on it. He showed me a few of the spells, many were no longer legible thanks to the extensive damage the book seemed to have suffered, but what was there was REALLY weird.

There were partial spells for farming. Spells for animating crops. Spells for talking to plants. Spells for CONTROLLING plants. Spells to change the weather and season. Even fragments of spells for messing with time on a small scale, to speed up or reverse growth. It was also filled with crazy diagrams and drawings, and sometimes a spell’s text would just stop and be replaced by a half-page artwork of a griffon fighting a giant snail or something.

Uncle Lasagne told me that he’d only met great-grandpa Farfalle once, when he was already very old and barely spoke to anyone. The rest of the family shunned him, called him crazy, but would never talk about why. Well, ‘crazy’ Uncle Lasagne was never one to back down from a mystery, so he snuck away from the farm one evening and walked all night to great-grandpa’s hut in the woods. When he got there he found the door already open and the old pony inviting him in, like he’d known he was coming, despite having never met his own grandson.

Uncle said that Farfalle had told him that even if he wasn’t a unicorn, he had the right spirit for one, and gave him the spellbook for safe-keeping until another unicorn came into the family. He swore Uncle Lasagne to secrecy, gave him food and money, and then sent him back home with the only neighbour he hadn’t scared off yet.

Uncle looked sad as he told me all this. Great-grandpa Farfalle had died only a few months later, and while the family did come to the funeral they wouldn’t really talk about his life, like he’d done something terrible. I asked Uncle if he’d ever found out more about great-grandpa, but he said he hadn’t for years, until he moved to Canterlot.

He looked at me with that slightly manic grin he always had when he was about to blow your mind. Great-grandpa had been one of Princess Celestia’s OWN COURT WIZARDS. The Princess herself had told him so, after the ‘angel hair’ fad, but she wouldn’t say more than that he’d retired and gone back home after an ‘accident’ in the castle gardens.

It was a lot to take in. So now I’m sitting here now, writing this, with Great-grandpa Farfalle Pasta’s spellbook. I’ll need some time to go through it, but it might completely change my project – and a new mystery to explore: what did he do that no one wants to talk about?


Dear Diary,

Since I wasn’t at Film Soc yesterday, Cosma came over and we watched a film together. This week we went with a new horror film, 'Summer Sun'. It’s about some really out-of-the-way village of ponies and these city folk that visit them, then they accidentally break a load of local traditions. It turns out the locals are all crazy and in some weird cult, and finally they kidnap the last pony, then she decides to join them and become their queen.

It was weird. I mean I guess it’s a horror? I like the old-style films, with the terrible plots and worse costumes, but Cosma seemed to really like this more ‘intellectual’ style. That’s not to say I didn’t like it, just not my favourite, I guess. Cosma said there’s another film by the same director we should watch, 'Inherited'. I’ll put it on the list. I should drop back to Five Spice’s place and see if he’s got anything else in.

Oh yeah, and today Sweet Yam opened his locker to find a decapitated carrot with a face drawn on it, ‘x’s for eyes and everything. It’s obviously the Flower Power lot, rubbing it in about Dusty.

(RIP Dusty)

He slipped me a note at lunch, and I’m very proud of myself for remaining composed. Said that after the society meeting tomorrow we'd talk about Dahlia. A little disappointing, I guess, but I’m also interested to know what he’s planning. Nightmare Night is rapidly approaching, and the school party’s going to be all out war if we’re not careful.


Dear Diary,

We had a guest lecturer at Farm Soc this evening, telling us about the exciting, cutting-edge world of corn. Yes. It wasn’t as dull as I expected, the lecturer brought in some really pretty ‘jewelled’ corn cobs that their farm had been experimenting with, though I think some folk were disappointed that they weren’t, you know, actual jewels.

I didn’t know this, but apparently graduates from the school are in high demand from some of Equestria’s more forward-thinking farmers and growers – while my family scoffed at the idea of using magic on the farm, it seems that here in Canterlot and Ponyville, it’s a ‘growing’ trend (ha ha). Might explain why both Farm Soc and Garden Soc are both so popular.

After the meeting, I met up with Sweet Yam once they’d cleared the hall. The other Reapers were there, too, and turns out THEY wanted to talk to ME about Dahlia. Their ‘mare on the inside’ at Garden Soc (I can’t believe there’s actual spies here, it’s wild) said that Dahlia was beginning to think I was behind the jam incident after all, but the other Flower Power guys convinced her it was actually Sweet Yam (weirdly, he denied it). But now they want to use that grudge in their favour.

At the Nightmare Night ball, Garden Soc normally provides most of the decorations, while Farm Soc does the food. It’s usually enough to keep them out of each other’s manes and stop a fight, but this year blood is running high. So they want me to be a decoy and draw Dahlia out into a trap the Reapers will set up.

I told them I was slightly more concerned with getting hurt by a crazy mare who’d already threatened me twice, and not very comfortable with being used as bait. They said they get it, but it’ll be REALLY COOL.

This was NOT a convincing argument, but I hate to disappoint, so I said I’d think about it. Yaaay. I can hear Papa now: 'You need to stand up for yourself, Penne! Don’t let the other foals push you around because you’ve got a pointy head. Poke them in the eye with it first.'

It also turns out that’s not a great way to win you friends growing up. Ugh. I guess I’ve got a week to mull it over.


Dear Diary,

Half way through Spell Augmentation 101, and I think I know what I’m going to do now. I’ve been browsing through Great-grandpa’s book, as well as the ones I’ve borrowed from the library, and I think I can actually do that flying butterfly pasta I was thinking about! It’s something small, but should be pretty.

As far as I can see there’s two ways I could do it. The school library books suggest animation by using a “path matrix”, kind of like a clockwork toy. You build the spell to include predefined movements and paths to follow, then apply it to the object. It’ll use the magical energy to move along the path. You can either set it to just rely on your own power (which would be more like letting a slinky fall down the stairs, it would move once but then stop) or to draw power from the world, which would keep it going until the matrix naturally decayed.

The other way, which is harder but WAY more impressive, is to make the object 'alive'. Not really alive, but mimicking it; like with the scrying spells I was working on last week, you could take the aspects 'fluttering' and 'flying' from a butterfly and imbue it into a butterfly-shaped pasta. Then it’ll move randomly, like a real butterfly! That seems to be how Great-grandpa did it in his book, but his notes are really hard to work out. I could ask for help from some of the teachers, but...

I kinda don’t want to show them this book. Uncle Lasagne was being Uncle Lasagne about it, but he’s not THAT crazy. If he kept it hidden he probably had good reason to. Also I find it a little weird that my Great-grandpa was a court wizard but no one’s told me that. Okay, there’s a lot of Pastas in the world, but there’s definitely not many unicorn Pastas. If my ancestor was a bit of a minor celebrity, don’t you think someone would have brought it up by now?

I smell a mystery. I’m going to have to do some sleuthing.


Dear Diary,

Busy day! I did a little digging in the school library but it wasn’t as simple as I’d hoped. Not as easy as just finding a list of former court wizards or anything (I mean, I guess those sort of records would be at the palace, not the school). One thing I did find was a note in a book on botanical magic that said: 'following an unspecified incident at the turn of the 10th century, experimentation into the grafting of vital properties to novel foodstocks was banned by Royal Order; this ban remained in place until 955'.

From what Uncle Lasagna told me, Great-grandpa would have been serving at the court at around the time of this ‘incident’. I’m not sure what it means about the experimental stuff, that’s a bit beyond me – sounds like trying to create a new type of food, or something? The school library doesn’t really have history books that aren’t about magical theory, so I couldn’t find anything else about it. Maybe I should drop by the palace on an open day.

Anyway, after school I went into town to do some shopping. Five Spice’s bazaar was open and busy, so I had a quick root around for any hidden gems and lucked out with a copy of 'One Moon Later', one of my favourite zombie flicks! I’ll show Cosma next time she’s over. While there I found this really cool spooky mask, so I bought it for my Nightmare Night costume. I’m going to be a plague doctor! Five Spice said it was genuine, from the 750 ‘flu outbreak, but since he let it go for twelve bits I’m pretty sure he just made that up.

I also saw something a little weird as I was on my way back to halls. At a café near the school I saw what looked like Sweet Yam, but when I waved they saw me and immediately looked away. They were at a table with another pony – I couldn’t see them clearly but they looked like Dahlia. Might’ve just been coincidence, though. I mean, there’s a lot of orange ponies around, and I couldn’t see the cutie mark clearly.

FInally, I got a letter from home today! Mama and Papa are missing me, they say, and a PS from Fusilli adds that he’s not. He also attached a photo of him sprawling all over our room, with his clothes on my bed. Smug so-and-so.


Dear Diary,

Film Soc tonight was another double feature: 'Lunatic' and 'Nightmare on Mane Street'. Both classics, but I prefer Lunatic overall, it broke so much ground and was really influential on the genre as a whole, plus who can forget the shower scene? Such great stuff. It’s the last meeting before Nightmare Night, but we’ve got the hall booked once more next Monday evening for an extra treat – a premiere of a new film! We got to see the flyers and posters today, the director used to be a member of the club in her school days, so she organised it all. Looks like it should be fun, it’s all about the Canterlot Catacombs. I wonder if you can actually visit them?

Cosma said she’d come over on the weekend to see 'One Moon Later', and I said I’d have a go with the butterflies – but like, in bat shapes, for added spookiness.

Schoolwork wise, my essays are racking up, they’re really hard! I don’t think I’ve ever written so much in my life, although I did find a spell in the library that might help with that. It’s meant to be a sort of auto-writer, so you can just think and the words get written down. I’m a bit cautious about trying it, but man, my horn aches. You wouldn’t think it would, but it’s just like writing by mouth, except there’s no muscles.

I guess I can give it a go.

Oh wow this is weird its like im thinking about writing and then the quill just moves by itself how do i do punctuation do i just think it question mark

Question mark

Uhm hang on lets think a moment how would you mentally do a question mark arrrgh


Ha yeah thats it okay i need to practise on some blank paper


Diary dear

Deer dairy


Hang on deep breath focus the mind

Dear Diary,

Today is my first fully thought-written entry exclamation mark wait no I mean !

As you can see this is going very well. It’s really hard to keep your thoughts clear when writing this. For example, there’s a bowl of noodles next to me, and they smell really good, but I’m trying to focus but they really do smell good and I’m actually quite hungry no concentrate

Right, what happened today? Oh yeah, we did some alchemy practicals today. Simple potion making, and I got to use an

an uh oh mare I don’t know how to spell it All-emm-bick? Potion thing with a tube for boiling. Prof Snakegrass showed us how to set them up and then boil down the components in a solvent and distill out the ‘active ingredient’, which is how you make a potion. We made a flavour enhancer, which he said was one of the few potions you can’t accidentally kill yourself with. I added it to the noodle sauce and oh mare they really do smell good I should come back to this later

Om nom nom nom noodles oh wait is this thing still going argh hang on

Okay, I’ve eaten now, let’s try and continue.

So yes, alchemy class and then after that I met with the Reapers. I decided to help them out after finding a poison joke in my locker this morning. Fortunately I saw it before picking it up, THAT would have been 'FUN'. Where did they even get one? They grow near the farm back home but I thought they didn’t grow near Canterlot, wrong sort of soil and climate. I guess Garden Soc are resourceful. Oh, then to top it off, Dahlia 'accidentally' knocked into me while carrying my lunch tray, which went everywhere. She’s got bony shoulders. It hurt.

So the plan is: at the Nightmare Night party, I need to 'accidentally' spill some punch on Teal Moonbeam, one of Dahlia’s friends, make a big fuss about her bumping into ME, and then loudly walk off out of the hall. Should entice Dahlia to follow me, then the Reapers spring the trap outside the hall and she gets a pail of picking vinegar in her mane. I’ve seen the stuff we work with, that’s gonna smell for DAYS. Though on the plus side, it’ll take years off her!

Tomorrow’s the last Farm Soc night before the party so we’re mostly going to be making the food. Once I’m done here, I need to head to the kitchen and make some pasta sheets to bring along. I was planning on some creepy filled pasta that explodes in purple or green 'gore' when you eat them. Might shape them like bugs!


Dear Diary,

Getting the hang of the whole thought-writing thing now, and it only cost me half a pad of paper currently in the bin. Making the bug pasta was great fun, I gave some of them spinach fillings and some of them aubergine, with enough creamy ricotta that when you bite into them they really squelched. Sweet Yam had been working on a 'starry night' blackberry jam, which glittered when you spread it on toast. Wouldn’t say how he’d done it but he looked pleased with himself.

Overall the spread looks amazing. The apple bobbing is possibly the crowning achievement, though – instead of plain, boring, normal apples we each took one, hollowed it out and got the freedom to fill them however we pleased. I put some of my bugs in mine, and I saw someone stuff theirs full of zap apple jam (which will give someone a nasty shock, I’m sure!), while another arranged a shaped block of cheese to look like a severed hoof. For added spookitude, instead of water we’ve gone with a weak jelly to make it all slimy.

After getting back I finished off my costume: managed to find a cloak on sale, did some touching up to the mask, and got a satchel with sweets in it disguised as old-timey medicines in jars. Oh, and of course, my patient-beating stick! Wouldn’t be much of a plague doctor without a stick to beat the infected masses away!

Cosma’s coming over tomorrow, so I need to prepare the butterflies for her. I think for this first attempt I’m going to go with the matrix, just to get the principles ironed out. It’s less impressive, but I also don’t really have the time to go catching actual butterflies right now so I can study their flight patterns. Also it’s, like, late Autumn. Admittedly I didn’t really think about that earlier. Maybe I could find a moth?

Tomorrow Penne problems!