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May 4, 2012
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The Farmer in the Dell by Catspaw-DTP-Services The Farmer in the Dell by Catspaw-DTP-Services

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I succumbed. I have written a fan-fiction story.

The reader may encounter a number of unfamiliar words, phrases, idioms, and spellings. Some relate to farming or animal anatomy (real or mythical); “button” is a term for the bud of a horn or antler, and “alicorn” is the historical word for a unicorn’s horn, for example. Many are archaisms and regionalisms that seem to be disappearing from the American lexicon as the last generations to grow up with them—including mine—age and pass, leaching from the language a certain richness and character.

My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic is a trademark of Hasbro Inc.
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:icondraconis341:
Draconis341 Featured By Owner Nov 14, 2012
...
Um
...
I kind of feel as though I just watched an episode of Little House on the Prairie. But with less plot.
That's not to say it was _bad_ (on the contrary, you had me enthralled).
But, well - nothing seems to _happen_.
I dunno. Perhaps I'm just too used to Hollywood-esque, fast paced style stories to properly appreciate this.
Reply
:iconcatspaw-dtp-services:
Catspaw-DTP-Services Featured By Owner Nov 14, 2012  Professional
I think a profound change in the lives of a hapless changeling and a lonely widower is something significant—but yes, the story does hearken back to an older style of storytelling, much rarer today.
Reply
:iconduplexfields:
DuplexFields Featured By Owner May 12, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
A wonderful tale, and I wonder what surprises love has yet in store for this little family.

I also wonder if the foal will turn out to be a mule or a breeding stallion, in his own time.
Reply
:iconcatspaw-dtp-services:
Catspaw-DTP-Services Featured By Owner May 14, 2012  Professional
Thanks very much for the compliment!

I’m sure the foal will be able to continue Dale’s line when the time comes. :-)
Reply
:iconnezcalspindrake:
NezcalSpindrake Featured By Owner May 11, 2012
^-^ Lovely story. A new hope for the changelings, maybe...
Reply
:iconcatspaw-dtp-services:
Catspaw-DTP-Services Featured By Owner May 11, 2012  Professional
Thanks very much! Definitely a new hope for one of them, at least—and who knows what the future holds?
Reply
:iconlzsmith88:
lzsmith88 Featured By Owner May 11, 2012
ahah, I do like this. Dale is an awesome pony, and he does well in showing the real earth pony Way. Keep things simple, love who is yours, take care of each other.
And yea. this isn't the only 'Changeling join Pony Society and learn to love for real' but it is one of the best ones. There is lots of feeling and emotion in this story, and it doesn't feel forced that the Changeling does come to really love our Stallion.
This works so well. I like it a lot.
Great work!
Reply
:icondigital-skitty:
Digital-Skitty Featured By Owner May 11, 2012  Professional Writer
This was a wonderful story. Thank you for writing it and giving it such emotion and depth.
Reply
:iconcatspaw-dtp-services:
Catspaw-DTP-Services Featured By Owner May 11, 2012  Professional
You are very welcome. It came straight from the heart, and I’m so pleased that came across as well as it apparently has.
Reply
:iconrjpugh:
rjpugh Featured By Owner May 11, 2012
SPOILER WARNING

I never thought I would feel sympathy for one of the Changelings, but color me surprised. Apparently even a Changeling can learn how to give love as well as drain it. And if one can do that, then who is to say that in time the whole race may change? Because one Changeling found the courage to take that first step...
Reply
:iconcatspaw-dtp-services:
Catspaw-DTP-Services Featured By Owner May 11, 2012  Professional
Yes indeed. No one is a villain in his (or her) own mind, and—at least in Equestria—love conquers all. Gathering the courage to make such a leap of faith is not a trivial thing, but the reward of a happiness previously unglimpsed is a powerful incentive.
Reply
:iconxbox432:
xbox432 Featured By Owner May 11, 2012
I loved this story, it felt so down to earth that it reminded me of the stories my mom used to tell me :D. And, *cough*, the only error that I found was on page 6 "raising an arm" should probably be "raising a hoof".
Reply
:iconcatspaw-dtp-services:
Catspaw-DTP-Services Featured By Owner May 11, 2012  Professional
Thanks so much! I tried very hard to capture a folk-tale quality as well as the sheer joy of the series itself.

Believe it or not, according to diagrams of equine conformation that I used to build my pony chart, “arm” is indeed the proper name for an equine forelimb. (That term in particular is why I included the author’s note at the beginning of the story.)
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:iconxbox432:
xbox432 Featured By Owner May 11, 2012
Interesting fact, I wasn't aware of the scientific bit about it being called an arm so I do apologize for that. In my area we simply call it the foreleg. And once again, thanks for the amazing story.
Reply
:iconcatspaw-dtp-services:
Catspaw-DTP-Services Featured By Owner May 11, 2012  Professional
I’d venture to guess it may depend on time period, region, profession, tradition, and a host of other factors—not to mention the difference between British and US terminology. I dunno if the charts I used for reference were veterinary, equestrian, or just what, but they were reasonably consistent about it, so I went with them. :-) And you’re very welcome!
Reply
:iconveldara:
Veldara Featured By Owner May 11, 2012
Beautiful story and very wonderfully presented.
Reply
:iconcatspaw-dtp-services:
Catspaw-DTP-Services Featured By Owner May 11, 2012  Professional
Thanks so much! It very much came from the heart.
Reply
:iconokaminoyume:
OkamiNoYume Featured By Owner May 11, 2012
Here from Equestria Daily. :)

I quite enjoyed this. It put me in the mind of an old grandfather stallion sitting in a rocking chair around a fire and telling his grandchildren (grandfoals?) an old folk story that's been passed down throughout the years.

I see that you're something of an older fan. I didn't know Cronies existed, but it goes to show that this fandom attracts all sorts of folk.

I'm glad you sat down and decided to spin such a good yarn, and while you said that this will likely be your first and last foray into fanfiction, I do sincerely hope that you'll make a return to the fandom and contribute again, should inspiration strike again. You're a solid talent, if you don't mind my saying so. ^^
Reply
:iconcatspaw-dtp-services:
Catspaw-DTP-Services Featured By Owner May 11, 2012  Professional
Thank you so much! I tried hard to capture that flavor of storytelling as well as the joy of the series. And I’m sure my age and worldview inform that flavor.

I’ve generated a fair amount of pony-related content. If you check my scrapbook and my sub-galleries labeled “Ponies” and “Pony Tales”, you’ll find a smorgasbord of stuff. :-)
Reply
:iconhecmanstar:
hecmanstar Featured By Owner May 9, 2012
I am very surprised that this story turned out to be quite pleasing to read. Without spoiling anything but is that ending even possible? It just makes me think if it possible or not. I know the so and so couple manage it somehow. You know what I mean right?
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:iconcatspaw-dtp-services:
Catspaw-DTP-Services Featured By Owner May 10, 2012  Professional
I suppose it depends on how the transformation process works! For the sake of the story I assumed it was possible, but there certainly is room for different interpretations.
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:icontridgeon:
Tridgeon Featured By Owner May 9, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
well I feel obligated to read this... but it looks awesome some good reading for tonight
Reply
:iconcatspaw-dtp-services:
Catspaw-DTP-Services Featured By Owner May 10, 2012  Professional
Thanks for the compliment, and I hope you enjoy it!
Reply
:icontridgeon:
Tridgeon Featured By Owner May 9, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
That was a beautiful story, well done!
Reply
:iconsaintvaliance:
SaintValiance Featured By Owner May 9, 2012
Hey, I'm one of the readers who commented on your story in the EquestriaDaily comments. The one that thought the Changeling was Chrysalis. I responded to your reply on there, but I wasn't sure you'd see it so I thought I'd come here directly. Sorry for saying the ending was bad based off ignorance. I never really constituted any of the Changelings having a right & proper mane or tail except Chrysalis so when I read that this one had a mane & tail at all, I immediately assumed. But then back & reading it again you do mention it not having any pupils or iris, & that should've clarified things for me.

I just assumed Chrysalis was lying about not being the queen. I wouldn't make sense for her to openly state herself being the leader of the invasion that meant to bring harm to its inhabitants. It would make less sense for the farmer to shrug that off or something. That would been like showing hospitality to Adolf Hitler after he introduced himself to you.

I got caught in the idea that Chrysalis was lying to because it was safer & was getting her sympathy she didn't deserve. That sounds like the kind of wicked little thing Chrysalis would do for a bit of the upper-hand. It intrigued me as soon as I thought that's what was going on & I stuck with it. Again, sorry for discrediting your story for my lack of comprehension
Reply
:iconcatspaw-dtp-services:
Catspaw-DTP-Services Featured By Owner May 9, 2012  Professional
I appreciate the clarification, and that you made doubly sure by commenting here as well as on Equestria Daily.

Keep in mind that the description included the sentence “Mane, tails, and ears were short and uneven.” Chrysalis had a long mane and tail, even in the scene of her being flung away from Canterlot, while the “generic” changelings had rather raggedy little manes and tails. That said, I did make one error—their eyes are more blue-green than green! Whoops.
Reply
:iconhazzdawg:
Hazzdawg Featured By Owner May 9, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Heh.. "succumbed." I remember thinking that reading fiction was the lowest point I could reach on the nerd scale. Ironic, really, when I'd already realised that opening my mind led to such enjoyment as ponies. I'm glad I found this little piece, its more mature than most of the short stories I've seen, and a nice concept to boot. I was vaguely surprised at the drone's initial passivity, but you developed the relationship nicely. Thank you for sharing!
Reply
:iconcatspaw-dtp-services:
Catspaw-DTP-Services Featured By Owner May 9, 2012  Professional
I did my best, and truth to tell one of my secondary motivations was to provide an example for other writers, particularly younger ones.

The changeling initially was pretty confused and disoriented, and really wasn’t sure just what to do in the absence of accustomed authority. It’s a common phenomenon among people from authoritarian societies when they find themselves in free countries; often they literally don’t know what to do with themselves! Recidivism among hardened criminals can work the same way—some may commit crimes just so they can go back to prison, which at least is a simple, regimented environment they’ve grown to understand.

And maybe, just maybe, this one had harbored secret doubts about the whole enterprise. . . .
Reply
:iconstevenfox6:
StevenFox6 Featured By Owner May 9, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
Not bad. Not bad at all.
Makes me think there's some hope for the changelings.
Reply
:iconcatspaw-dtp-services:
Catspaw-DTP-Services Featured By Owner May 9, 2012  Professional
Hope springs eternal, and love conquers all—at least in Equestria. That’s the way it should be!
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:iconstevenfox6:
StevenFox6 Featured By Owner May 9, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
True dat, true dat.
Reply
:iconderpiedoo:
derpiedoo Featured By Owner May 9, 2012
Theres something about the way you wrote that story, I think it is often referred to as 'a little je ne sais quoi' that so many writers struggle for and never quite achieve. I don't know what you do for a living, but if it isn't writing, well, I think a change for you is in order - you got your lifes true work waiting to go!
Reply
:iconcatspaw-dtp-services:
Catspaw-DTP-Services Featured By Owner May 9, 2012  Professional
I’m a professional graphic designer and typesetter by trade. I am (rather slowly) working on an unrelated, completely original novel-length story arc, but I have no plans to make a career of writing; it simply is too tough a row to hoe in this day and age. Breaking in as a new writer, as I would be, is next to impossible, for one thing. Moreover, there’s no guarantee that a large enough audience would be willing to buy what I’m offering.
Reply
:iconderpiedoo:
derpiedoo Featured By Owner May 9, 2012
Ah well, not to worry - you did damn well for something that isn't your main talent, keep up the good work :)
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:iconwildphoenix:
Wildphoenix Featured By Owner May 8, 2012
.... it blank.
Reply
:iconcatspaw-dtp-services:
Catspaw-DTP-Services Featured By Owner May 8, 2012  Professional
Deviantart uses a Google service to display a PDF file in the browser window. If your browser doesn’t show the PDF file, it probably is too old to handle the scripting behind that feature, or it has extensions or plug-ins that disable the feature, or the browser’s preferences are set in such a way that the feature is effectively disabled.

You can download the PDF file using the download link at the right side of the Web page, or you can update or reconfigure your Web browser to allow the PDF-display feature to work.
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:iconpokeboi:
pokeboi Featured By Owner May 8, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Really excellent.
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:iconcatspaw-dtp-services:
Catspaw-DTP-Services Featured By Owner May 8, 2012  Professional
Thanks very much—and thanks for the favorite!
Reply
:iconshorttail:
Shorttail Featured By Owner May 8, 2012  Hobbyist Photographer
<3
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:iconcatspaw-dtp-services:
Catspaw-DTP-Services Featured By Owner May 8, 2012  Professional
Thankee!
Reply
:iconmqpixie:
mqpixie Featured By Owner May 8, 2012
Nice to see something about the changelings.
Reply
:iconcatspaw-dtp-services:
Catspaw-DTP-Services Featured By Owner May 8, 2012  Professional
Thanks very much! The climax of “A Canterlot Wedding” simply demanded a follow-up, and I was compelled to obey. :-)
Reply
:iconlibripoignant:
LibriPoignant Featured By Owner May 8, 2012
Short but sweet. I enjoyed reading it.
Reply
:iconcatspaw-dtp-services:
Catspaw-DTP-Services Featured By Owner May 8, 2012  Professional
Thanks very much for the compliment and the favorite!
Reply
:iconrailroadinbrony:
RailroadinBrony Featured By Owner May 8, 2012
This story was extremely well written. And I actually understood every word in it somehow. Great job on this one.
Reply
:iconcatspaw-dtp-services:
Catspaw-DTP-Services Featured By Owner May 8, 2012  Professional
Thanks very much! I did my best to make the unusual words and turns of phrase obvious in context—but I felt it behooved me to warn the reader in advance, so I wouldn’t get messages like “that’s not how you spell ‘ruined’!” (Well, I hope to reduce the number of such messages, really; I expect I’ll get some from people who just don’t read descriptions or comments.)
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:iconrailroadinbrony:
RailroadinBrony Featured By Owner May 8, 2012
Well, there is always gonna be those few poeple that dont read the comments. I always do myself. Kinda adds to the story somehow.
Reply
:iconcatspaw-dtp-services:
Catspaw-DTP-Services Featured By Owner May 8, 2012  Professional
Good for you! I generally read descriptions, and I may read comments depending on how many there are and how intelligent they are.
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:icondeathjudgenoms:
DeathJudgeNoms Featured By Owner May 8, 2012
A charming tale, my fine sir.

However, I am very interested in the cross-breed mentioned. I honestly never considered such a prospect could happen, and it makes me think about the futures of the expelled changelings.

Very interesting indeed.
Reply
:iconcatspaw-dtp-services:
Catspaw-DTP-Services Featured By Owner May 8, 2012  Professional
Oh, it’s purely a leap on my part; there certainly is no evidence one way or the other. However, the secondary theme of the farm, along with Dale and the changeling, getting one last chance effectively demanded it as a plot device.
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