("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.

XVI. The Winner's Circle: The Retired Royal Librarian of Equestria

So that's it. As far as I can remember. My memory isn't as good as it used to be. I might have left out a few details. Sorry about that.

Anyway, I'm retired, like I said. And a grandmare. The grandkids keep Promise and Purpose busy. Promise became a paralegal and married a town attorney in western Equestria. And when the kids give her any free time, she helps out in his office.

Purpose joined the warponies, like his father, and then was picked for the royal guard. He's not the captain, like his father was – just a member of the corps for now. But he's still young. I think Rex would have been proud. I know he would have been.

When Purpose applied for the guard, Celestia knew he was my and Rex's son but insisted that the guard choose him on his merits alone. If he couldn't make it, he couldn't join. She told me her suggestion was that procedure be followed strictly. And it was. And I'm glad.

Purpose did make it on his own. It makes being a guard that much more meaningful to him.

And get this: He married the personal assistant to the noblemare who married Celestia's nephew, the prince. True story. And like his father, he had to ask Celestia's permission to step out with the pony.

I was with him in the throne room when he met Celestia. She was queen by then, and when Purpose asked her permission, she smiled a little and glanced at me. Then she looked back at him and said yes, he may step out with the assistant.

Then her eyes narrowed, and she leaned closer to him. And I thought, "Oh, here it comes."

She told Purpose she didn't grant such permission lightly. She didn't give it for a pony's whim of a new fling. She expected him to show the assistant love and respect and commitment, like his father had been expected to show me. And did, I might add.

Then she leaned back and smiled. And told him that if he and the mare were even half as happy as his parents were, they'd be blessed more than he could imagine.

And at that, she glanced at me again. And smiled. Again.

I smiled back, but I was blushing. I'm still capable of that. I was so embarrassed. I know it was a compliment, but in a way, it was so corny, I almost started giggling. But I didn't. Would have ruined the moment.

Of course, because of his position, he lives in Canterlot with his family, so I see them more than Promise and her family. But I love them all.

By the way, Rarity did my ensembles for both weddings, and the bridal tacks for Promise and for Purpose's wife. I was told their friends were very jealous. And I teased Rarity – I know it was naughty – about how my son now had a connection to the prince she once dreamed about.

She chuckled like she was bemused and said, "Oh, darling, we've been over this! I've already told you: I've enchanted a king." Then she looked at me – again – the way an old friend looks at you when they understand an unspoken joke between you two. An old, good friend.

Oh, and speaking of that king: Spike's older now, of course, and he's married. I've been told his queen is considered quite a looker. For a dragon. Hey, I really wouldn't know a beautiful lady dragon if she stepped on me.

Well, I mean … Well, there I go again. It's not for me to say what's a beautiful lady dragon. If Spike thinks she's beautiful, she's beautiful. And that goes beyond her physical appearance, even if I can't gauge it. The Steed knows I struggled to learn that for myself.

And they're nesting their first clutch of eggs. I've been told they're excited, and so is Pyra. I learned that the first dragon to hatch in the first clutch is heir to the throne. Boy or girl, it doesn't matter. But the next First Fire of Pyra is on the way.

But I don't think the current First Fire is going to go out anytime soon. He's still young. I don't think I'll even be alive when he dies. And honestly, I don't want to be. I've already cried for a young father who died before his time. I never want to do that again. Not for Spike.

And even more so, never for Purpose.

And never for a young mother like Promise, for that matter. I cried when I lost her sister, Wishful. I don't want to ever cry for Promise.

You know, when I got older, I learned why you don't want to get too close to the pale horse on War's team. By the way, the team is still around. Hasn't aged a day. It's like those four ponies will always be with us. Anyway, I found out that the pale pony will just show himself to you one day. He just does. You can't, like, schedule it. Nothing you can do about it. It just happens.

I just hope it happens to me before it happens to the young ones – more or less – in my life. I've cursed The Steed in my life, but now, that's what I ask him for the most.

So …

Like I said, I'm still in Canterlot, working on the old king's records. There are, um, quite a few. More than I expected, really. Seems he had quite a life of his own. But the project keeps me busy in retirement. And I made the promise to the king, so I want to do it.

But when that's over, I'm thinking about moving back to Ponyville. Lot of good memories there. Lot of interesting times, like Spike said. It's where my life opened up beyond books. Kind of ironic for a lifetime librarian, right?

Oh, about "interesting times": That reminds me of one last thing about Zecora the zebra.

Remember when I said I told her I wished I knew what my life was going to be like? And that she told me about a king's tears striking my face? That?

Well, before I left her that night, I said thank you to her at her door. She nuzzled me and said one more thing: "Child, I never wish evil in my rhymes, but you shall live in interesting times. Good night."

I've wondered about that all my life. And I think about Rex and Wishful and Promise and Purpose. And about being royal librarian. And about Celestia and the old king. And Spike.

And all my friends from Ponyville: Rarity and Fluttershy and A.J. and Pinkie Pie.

And Rainbow Dash. Especially her.

And I remember Zecora saying I'd live in "interesting times."

Well … I guess I did.

You know, it's been generations now since she went away, but every once in a while, I still wonder whatever happened to her.