by Chopper's Top Hat
transcribed by Artrageous
"Twilight! Hey, Twilight! did you hear abou-- wait. Are you crying?"
Twilight Sparkle looked up from the book she had been reading, and quickly turned away from Spike. She should have known better than to read it around this hour: it was about then that Spike usually woke up from his nap and ran into her reading room, all excited about nothing in particular. But she couldn't help herself, and now he'd gone and found her in the middle of an emotional moment.
"Twilight, what's wrong?" Spike said, worried about his friend. "Is that book really sad?"
"No," said the unicorn, turning back to Spike. "it's not sad at all! It's… it's just so beautiful! This writer, Summer Breeze, has got to be the most talented pony poet in all of Equestria! The things she does with words, it's just… magical!"
Twilight threw her hooves up in the air for emphasis, causing Spike to raise an eyebrow. Upon seeing this, she blushed, and instantly returned to the composed state expected of Princess Celestia's favourite student.
"Anyway," Twilight said, in as dignified a tone as she could muster, "Her new book of poems is coming out today! I was so excited I just had to read her old collection again! I pre-ordered it, so I'll get to be the first pony in town to read it!"
She hopped up and down giddily, giggling with anticipation. This time, Spike raised both eyebrows. Twilight laughed awkwardly and instantly calmed down.
"Actually, Spike, do you know when the mail gets here? I haven't been in Ponyville long, and you usually bring the mail in to me, so I don't think I've ever even seen the mail carrier!"
"Oh right, the mail carrier…" said Spike, rubbing the back of his neck. "Well…"
"GOOD FRANZIBALD!" came a voice from outside. "Did you see the beets? They shouted mail!"
This was followed by frantic pounding on the door. After a moment, the pounding stopped, then started up again, then somehow segued into a rhythm, not unlike a swing-style drum solo.
Twilight, confused, made her way to the door and opened it. "Yes? Is everything alrig-?"
Sitting on Twilight's welcome mat was a huge pile of letters, all addressed, stamped and sealed. The pile was almost twice as big as Twilight herself. Then, without warning, the pile spoke!
"It's transient! Deeds to be carried! Letters to be prided! Don't tell the hash!"
A pony slowly lifted her head out of the pile of letters. Her mane was the color of a newly-blooming daisy, and her coat served as a light blue counterpoint. She smiled broadly, but Twilight barely noticed this. The first thing she noticed were the pony's eyes. One seemed to be looking at the floor; the other seemed to be looking at the window on the upper-left corner of the room. After a second, they moved, and then continued moving about, almost at random. Neither eye ever looked straight ahead, and they always seemed pointed in opposite directions. Twilight was so taken aback that it was a moment before she noticed the awkward silence that had settled in.
"… um … hi?" She said.
"Hippos!" said the odd pony. "It's a mission! I will bring her the goose!"
The pony waved to her, seemingly unwilling to budge from the pile of letters. Twilight felt Spike nudge her.
"That's the mail carrier," Spike whispered to her. "She's… different."
"You're joking, right? Her?"
Spike clapped his hands, in a gesture that seemed almost official. Then, in a loud voice, he announced: "Twilight Sparkle, meet Derpy Hooves, Ponyville mail carrier."
The strange pony got up, casually strolled out of the letter pile, (tracking envelopes into the house with her) and held out a hoof. "A friend!" she said, "A friend is the best topping! More than voles!" She seemed very happy.
Twilight shook her hoof gingerly. "Yes… friend. Good to meet you, Derpy." She found it difficult to talk to someone who did not look her in the eye.
Derpy shook Twilight's hoof, then continued holding on to it for a good thirty seconds while staring at… well, it was hard to tell what she was staring at. She was still smiling, and Twilight couldn't tell if she was deep in thought or if her brain had just shut down.
"So… Derpy," Twilight said, while mentally fumbling for a conversation topic. "Ummmm… how long have you been delivering mail?"
"Long ago in Paraguay, the Ice Cream Baron gave me a riddle: if scarves, why not? The answer was twelve."
"Uh… huh." Twilight wondered for a moment what 'Paraguay' was, resulting in another long silence. Finally, she decided to cut to the chase. "Yeah, so I'm expecting a delivery. Do you have it?"
"Chives! Better water that saxophone!" Said Derpy, dropping Twilight's hoof at last. "I seek the colonel's handkerchief!"
Her expression turned serious, an then, with speed and determination to rival a soldier called into battle, she dove into the letter pile, rummaging around in it while scattering even more letters about. Twilight whispered to Spike, "Can't this town afford a REAL mail carrier?"
"Don't be fooled," said Spike, "she's really a good mailpony. I've never heard of anyone getting a package later or having it delivered to the wrong address. The mayor even gave Derpy an award for exceptional service once!"
"Hard to believe…" said Twilight.
"Anthony! Bulb wrench is complete! Free the Gardener!" said Derpy, emerging from the pile with a box sitting on her back like a saddle. It was tied shut with a big red ribbon.
She trotted over to Twilight and kneeled, letting the box slide off her back, down her neck, and onto the ground in front of her. Then, with a motion that could almost be described as elegant, Derpy cut the ribbon with a single snap of her teeth, and the box popped open, revealing a beautifully bound, hardcover book. Above the title was a small picture of a pony's silhouette, presumably that of the author. The cover read:
Poems by Summer Breeze
"It's HERE! Oh thank you thank you thank you!" Twilight squealed, jumping at least three feet into the air. She was so happy she didn't even check for Spike's reaction this time. Instead, what stopped her giddiness was something completely different: both of Derpy's eyes were focused directly on her. She wore an expression of calm joy. Twilight landed, and Derpy looked right into her eyes.
"Pure sun," she said, in a quiet, sweet tone. "Microwave fresh even in the fridge. Perfect bagels every time! Warm… like a friend's smile."
Twilight stared at Derpy for a moment, feeling like she'd just learned something. Then Derpy blinked, and her eyes returned to their normal chaotic state.
It was only then, when Derpy had spoken to her in such as calm manner, that Twilight had truly noticed her voice. It was high-pitched, almost squeaky, like Pinkie's, but with an oddly harmonic, musical quality to it. Twilight wasn't quite sure what to make of it.
"Derpy, listen… um… thanks again. I'm so glad you brought me this book! It's going to make me really happy."
Derpy closed her eyes, and smiled broadly. The comment seemed to mean a lot to her.
Then the clock rang to signal the hour, and Derpy's strange little eyes popped open again.
"Blast processing!" she said. "Lots more rectangles to deploy!"
She spread her wings, and it was only then that Twilight realized Derpy was a Pegasus Pony.
"Keep your taters clear!" said Derpy. She then let up into the air, and, in a blur of speed which would almost but not quite give Rainbow Dash a run for her money, Derpy gathered up every last letter from the floor, then landed gracefully on the welcome mat. The letters now sat neat and secure in her mailbag. She turned to Twilight, gave her a sweet smile, and flew out the door.
Wow. I guess a mailpony's work is never done, huh?" said Spike.
"What an odd, funny little pony," said Twilight. "But you know? I'm glad she's our mail carrier."
Spike nodded. "So what's so special about some book of poems, anyway?"
"Oh, Spike," said Twilight, knowingly shaking her head. "You just have no idea how pretty Summer Breeze's poems are! Plus, some of her stuff is really famous. Here, I bet you've heard this one: 'like a forgotten leaf dancing on a fleeting zephyr…'
"'… so too do I dance through the lives of those I love, hoping to catch heir brief but brilliant gaze.'" The voice which completed the line belong to Rarity, who poked her head in from the still-open front door. "Terribly sorry ti interrupt, dear, but I heard you reciting a Summer Breeze poem and I simply adore her work. I hope I'm not imposi-"
her polite overtures were rendered meaningless by the sudden appearance of Pinkie Pie, who let into the room from outside, carried along by sheer enthusiasm. "Twilight! Spike! Yay, everyone's here! Let's play charades! Can you guess who I am? I'm Pinkie, silly! You win!"
Rarity looked like she was about to apologize, but Twilight gestured for her to come in, thrilled at the prospect of discussing her favourite poet with a friend. "Good to see both of yoU! And Rarity, I just got Summer Breeze's latest book in the mail! Maybe we can read it together. Pinkie, do you like poetry?"
PInkie turned to face Twilight. Only she turned the wrong way. She couldn't see, since she had placed the box the book came in on her head. "This is a good box for playing cave explorers," she said, "Did Derpy bring this?"
"She did," said Twilight. "I'd never met her before, but, well, she's really something, isn't she?"
"Awww, we missed her!" said Pinkie. "No fair. I love Derpy! She's so silly! And she's got such a pretty voice!"
"Indeed," said Rarity, "I will admit, I did not care for her much at first, but I must say the way that Pony speaks really grows on you. Her speech has a strange sort of… rhythm to it. Hearing her talk is like… hmmm… like listening to free-form jazz… or…"
"Or… poetry." Twilight said. Her eyes widened.
High above Ponyville, a lone mailpony was taking a break from her rounds. Sitting on a cloud, she took in the landscape with an expression of utter contentment on her face. Meeting new friends, and making them happy with her work, was the greatest joy possible to her.
It warmed her hear, like a summer breeze.
Hope you enjoyed.