("My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic," its characters and situations are copyright of their respective owners. Story copyright 2011 by George Pollock, Jr. All rights reserved.)



George Pollock, Jr.

I. In the Starting Gate: Zecora

Did I ever tell you I knew a zebra? It's true.

Her name was Zecora, and she lived near Ponyville when I knew her. Actually, she lived in the Everfree Forest nearby, and if you know how creepy that is – and you knew her – you'd understand why she lived there.

She wasn't from Equestria, but I never knew exactly where she was from. Somewhere far away. And she knew a lot of natural cures and remedies. Could whip up medicine from a bunch of weeds and berries like it was nothing. Pretty impressive if you were a young filly like I was when I knew her. Well, I was young when I knew her. Hard to believe now I was ever that young.

And I think she had what they call "second sight." You know – where somepony can tell what's going on at that moment far away, or they can see tell the future. I think she had the second one. I got that impression when I saw her once.

We were talking at her house, and I said I wished I knew what my life was going to be like. The general flow, I guess.

She looked at me, and her eyes were really sad. Then she told me something in a rhyme. She always spoke in rhymes, which was another strange thing about her. What she told me was kind of sad, too, even though I didn't understand it at the time.

She said, "One far day when you're far from this place, a king will kiss you as his tears strike your face."

I had no clue what she meant. No clue. And it didn't seem to answer my general question, I guess. But that was Zecora. You wouldn't understand some things she said at first. But eventually, you'd learn what she meant. Not with some flash of insight. You'd put it together bit by bit, like a puzzle. And you'd realize – slowly – that she was right about whatever it was you'd been talking about.

I've been back to Ponyville a lot of times since then, even before I met Rex. Before we married. Before the kids. I went back to Zecora's house the first time I visited Ponyville after moving back to Canterlot. It was empty. No trace of her, and nopony knows where she went.

I've always wondered.