"Stupid head!" cried Silver Spoon.

"Spotty!" added Diamond Tiara.

Pipsqueak backpedalled, his rump bumping into the side of the schoolhouse as the two fillies approached him menacingly. "Guys, please stop," he said, tears slowly welling up at the edges of his eyes.

"Guys?" said Diamond Tiara, turning to her companion and huffing vehemently. "He called us guys!"

Silver Spoon stomped her forehoof on the lush grass in a childish show of anger. "Yeah!"

"He can't even make out the difference between a filly and a colt!" Diamond Tiara leaned into Pipsqueak, her hot breath stinging his face as he reared onto his back hooves, desperate to get away.

Looking around, all he could see was the brick wall of the school and an empty playing field. Over the sound of his pounding heart he could just barely hear the laughter from the other foals as they played. They sounded so far away, too far to help him. Gulping, he looked back at his antagonists; both were smiling cruelly, drawing strength from each other as they pummeled him with insult after insult.

"No wonder your mom left you; I'd want to leave too if I had a kid like you!" remarked Diamond Tiara.

He cringed. This time, tears flowed freely from his face as he wept into his hooves, staining his white coat. The sting of the remark was only driven deeper by the small inkling of doubt he had that it might all be true. "Please, guys, just... just leave me be," he whimpered.

"Hey, leave him alone!" roared Apple Bloom as she ran around the corner, quickly followed by two other fillies. The trio of close friends butted their way in between Pipsqueak and his would-be bullies.

"Oh, well look who it is." Diamond Tiara strutted by the threesome. "The Blank Flank Crusaders. You guys leave us alone; we were just having fun with Pipsqueak. Right, Pip?"

Pipsqueak just shivered, unable to speak through his shaking lungs as his breath caught in his throat. Suddenly a comforting orange hoof touched his shoulder lightly. "Don't worry, Pip, we'll take care of those idiots!" said Scootaloo, a great big confident smile plastered on her face.

"Thanks," he finally managed, looking the young filly in the eye.

"No problem! Cutie Mark Crusaders Justice Defenders!" they cried as one, before running around Diamond Tiara and Silver Spoon, encircling them.

"That was mean!" said Sweetie Belle with a huff.

"It wasn't nice!" added Apple Bloom.

"You should say that you're sorry!" said Scootaloo.

Silver Spoon looked at the three, her eyes growing wide, until Diamond Tiara put her pink hoof on the gray filly's shoulder. "Watch," she said before stepping forward. Looking at the curious trio in turn, she slowly began to speak. "Apple Bloom, you're a stupid farm pony. Sweetie Belle, nopony likes you; they like your sister more. And Scootaloo, Rainbow Dash doesn't even care about you!"

The three fillies stood rooted to the spot in shock. Pipsqueak cringed; he could easily sympathize with their pain. Then, to his surprise, anger filled their little faces. "You're an idiot!" yelled one. "You're ugly!" "You stink!"

Pipsqueak looked at Diamond Tiara's face, feeling a pang of joy at seeing the mare recoil in pain. Getting up, he too joined in. "You-you stupid, idiotic, pea-brain!" he yelled at the top of his relatively small lungs.

"That's it, Pip, lay it on them!" encouraged Scootaloo.

A smile on his face, Pipsqueak wiped his tears away before facing Silver Spoon. "And you, you're a no-good follow-Tiara-everywhere-even-to-the-potty egghead!"

The gray filly backed up, tears welling at the edge of her eyes as she shook her head in denial. "It's not true!" she said, turning to Diamond Tiara for support. The pink filly just inched away slightly.

"I'm not done with you!" he screamed at her. "You stuck-up big-mouthed daddy's girl, wanna-be poopy head." Diamond Tiara backpedalled. "Nopony likes you; you're just a no-good bully who doesn't know how to do anything on her own!" She gulped as he continued his onslaught, tears freely flowing from her cyan eyes. "You think that just because your dad is some high-and-mighty business pony that you'll be fine. I'll tell you what: you're just a big mea-" He was cut off by a bright flash from both sides of his vision.

The Cutie Mark Crusaders gasped, wide-eyed, as they stared at Pipsqueak's flank, huge smiles adorning their faces. Hopping over to the spotted white colt, they began bouncing around him, chanting "You got your cutie mark, you got your cutie mark!"

"Huh, what did you say?" he asked, twisting around to look at his flank.

"Wait, what's it supposed to be?" Sweetie Belle stopped bouncing as she leaned in to poke at his flank.

On his other side, Apple Bloom scrunched up her face as she examined him. "Hmm, looks like a eye, with an tear."

"What's that supposed to mean?" asked Scootaloo, turning to Pipsqueak. "What's your special talent?"

Twisting around, he looked at his flank; bisecting one of his brown and white spots was an eye, bright red, with simple eyelashes. At the edge of the eye was a single, large, teardrop.

"So..." insisted Scootaloo.

"I- I don't know, you worthless half-wit." Pipsqueak slapped a hoof over his mouth. He hadn't mean to say that. Did he?

"What did ya say?" asked Apple Bloom.

"Nothing, you applesauce-brained, inbred bigot. Go buck a tree, or maybe your sister." He gasped; he really hadn't meant to say that. He looked in despair as tears filled the bow-wearing filly's eyes.

Sweetie Belle pushed her friend aside, placing herself in front of Pipsqueak and giving him a stern look. "That wasn't very nice! You should apologize!"

He quickly nodded in agreement, feeling tears sting the edges of his own eyes. Opening his mouth to apologize, he said. "Shut up, you fat white dictionary. How 'bout you and the chicken go in some corner and rasp your heads against some bricks; it'll be great for your intellect, not to mention a boon to ponykind."

The Cutie Mark Crusaders looked at each other, wide-eyed, before getting up and running away, their hoofstrikes light against the grassy ground. He felt horrible, yet refreshed, almost as if he wanted to do that. Shaking his head, he set himself, determined; he would never do anything like that again!

"Um, are you alright?" asked Diamond Tiara in a surprisingly gentle voice. Looking up, Pipsqueak saw that she was hugging Silver Spoon's crying form while rocking her quietly.

Feeling sorry, he took a step forward, only to be surprised as Diamond Tiara pulled Silver Spoon in closer. "I'm sorry... that you're alive, you ungrateful piece of dung. I am surprised that your dad didn't just chuck you out into the streets yet... not that he could afford to get rid of a silly-head like you!"

Grabbing Silver Spoon, Diamond Tiara dragged her friend away, choking on her sobs as she did so. Pipsqueak reached out as he saw the two sobbing fillies run around the school. He stood there, one hoof half-raised, as he slowly took in the loneliness around him. What had happened? he asked himself. Had he really said that? Had he meant to? His mind spun in disarray until the light brush of hooves on grass snapped him out of it.

Turning, he looked at the stern green eyes of Miss Cheerilee. Finally, an adult, somepony that could help him!

"Help m-" he began.

The teacher stepped forward, placing herself only a few hoof-paces from him. "I heard about what you did, young mister! I can't believe you would be so mean to those fillies. That is not how you're supposed to act, especially not to your classmates! Now follow me. You're going to detention for a long while, mister, and you just wait till I tell your paren-"

"My parents? You'll tell them? Then I might as well remind you of who you are!" Pipsqueak was horrified. What was he saying? But he couldn't stop as his body stepped towards the teacher.

"You think you're some high-and-mighty empress of the school, bossing around foals all day long and doing a half-assed job of teaching them. You're worthless, scum, just some low-pay would-be teacher that got a crappy job in this backwater little hole!" Cheerilee's lower lip began to quiver as she stared at him painfully.

"You think you're important in the grand scheme of things? Ha! You'll be lucky if any of your students ever make it to Canterlot the way you teach!" His last word was punctuated by his hoof striking the ground where he stood.

"I-I, no, it's, but..." Gulping, the teacher twisted around and ran, tears streaming from her eyes.

Pipsqueak sat on the ground hard. No, this wasn't right- this wasn't him! Standing, he turned and ran away, following the winding road towards the border of Ponyville.

Branches whipped out and scraped against his unprotected sides, and his lungs filled and emptied with the musky woodland air. He had to get away, he had to find a solution. But why? asked a small part of his mind. Wasn't it fun to see the power of his words, to see full-grown mares quiver and shake at his hooves? "No, no, just leave me alone!" he yelled into the unresponsive woods as he redoubled his efforts to run.

Suddenly the woods ended, dumping him bodily into a small rock-filled clearing. Tripping over a stray branch, he had just enough time to place his hooves over his face before smashing into a rock and blacking out.

"Um... Hello?" asked a meek, quiet voice. "Are you okay?"

Groaning, Pipsqueak popped one eye open, then the next. Above him the gentle form of a yellow-and-pink pegasus looked down at him, eyes filled with concern. "Oh my, don't move. You bumped your head pretty hard, but, um, I think you'll be fine."

He felt tender hooves massaging the side of his now-bandaged head. "Thanks, you ugly, flightless idiot." The hooves stopped their massage.

"Um, pardon me?" asked Fluttershy, a note of confusion in her soft voice. "I don't think I understood."

No, no, no! he screamed in his mind. Not her! Of all ponies, she is the least able to take it. She's too nice. He jerked his head away from her, inching away along his back as his hooves found purchase amongst the rocky soil.

Fluttershy hovered towards him as he made wild gestures to her, vainly hoping she would run away and leave him alone.

"What's wrong? You shouldn't move like that. You might hurt yourself." The mare put a hoof against his cheek while looking at him in the eyes. She gave him the same look she would give to an injured animal, which was all his mind needed.

"Get your filthy hooves off me! How about you go waste your time trying to save one of your stupid animals instead of messing around here? Go on, I am sure there are plenty of birds and little critters that'll be overjoyed to see your fat rump coming along to feed them!"

Fluttershy gasped in shock, putting her forehooves over her chest as she sobbed lightly.

"Aw, why are you crying?" Pipsqueak's body got up. He felt... better? "Your pet fishy drown, you stupid worthless twit?! How about you and that pea-brained bunny get married? Goddess knows you'd make the perfect couple, you could be his little meek wife! Jump off a bridge."

With a final wail the mare took to the air, flying as quickly as she could towards the nearby town. "That's it, fly away. Goddess, I know turtles that fly faster!"

Pipsqueak looked around. Once more he was alone in the clearing- peaceful, quiet. And yet something nagged at him. He needed more. He wanted to insult people. He felt as though it was his purpose in life. Turning back, he faced the town and began trotting.

Finding a trail wasn't that hard; plenty of ponies liked to stroll around the edge of these tame woods. It was also one of the only ways to access Sweet Apple Acres. And so, it came as only a small surprise when he ran into a cowboy-hat-toting mare carrying a cart full of apples.

"Hiya, Pipsqueak," said Applejack, an honest, yet slightly concerned, expression on her face. "Did you see Fluttershy? She looked mighty sad."

"Ha!" He barked out a laugh, at which point she looked at him, a frown creasing her forehead. "You would be worried. Bet under that gruff exterior you're actually a little fond of that stupid coward, aren't you?"

"Now that was uncalled for!" she said, stomping the ground lightly. "Insulting Fluttershy like that is just plain mean. And yeah, Ah am fond of Fluttershy; she's one of mah best friends!"

"Huh, should have figured as much. So, you never got it on with her? Oh well, least you have something going on with your brother," he said in a nonchalant fashion.

"What'd you say about mah brother?"

"Oh please, everypony knows your family is one big incest-fest." His mind protested. He didn't even know what half of this meant! "Bet you like big burly farmponies..."

"Why, Ah ought to buck you upside the head!"

"You deny it?"

"Oh of course Ah do! Now who's going 'round spreadin' rumours like that?!"

Pipsqueak gasped in mock surprise. "The Element of Honesty, lying. Well I'll be!"

Applejack fumed, tears stinging her eyes as she looked at him in anger. "Ah didn't lie!"

"Uh huh, and Apple Bloom never made out with Sweetie."

The cowmare began to retort, then just looked at him dumbfounded. "Say what?"

His mind reeled once more. What was this? All he did was spew out lies and insults until he made his poor victims cry. He felt dirty, yet... happy. "You didn't know! My goodness, you really should pay more attention to your family. No wonder she seeks the attention of other mares; you're not good enough for her."

"Why, Ah ought... Ah oughtta. Ah mean." The cowmare looked around uncertainly, dozens of emotions playing across her face as she twisted aimlessly.

"Yeah, deal with your own problems." Pipsqueak began to walk down the path towards Ponyville. Suddenly he turned his head around. "By the way, your apples taste bad."

Skipping along the path to the small country town, Pipsqueak smirked evilly. He didn't know why, but making them cry was so... fulfilling. Maybe that was his talent, to make ponies feel bad? Either way, the surges of happiness that he felt were real, and he couldn't stop himself from smiling.

As he approached the town, he could make out the small pastel shapes of ponies as they went about their business. They looked so happy, so carefree. Somehow, the thought that he was going to ruin it made a tingly feeling of happiness course through his body.

"Come on, Spike, we're almost there!" sounded an encouraging voice. Looking around, Pipsqueak spotted a familiar lavender unicorn accompanied by a scaly purple-and-green dragon. Both were carrying piles of books labeled 'Inky' as they slowly made their way towards the great library tree.

"Hey, Miss Twilight!" he called out.

The mare stopped and looked at him quizzically before turning back to Spike. "Here, Spike, could you carry the rest of these home please?" she asked, dumping the pile of books onto the dragon's already overloaded arms.

"Um, sure, Twi," he said before scurrying along, his short legs thumping the ground solidly as the weight bore him down.

Twilight met Pipsqueak halfway, right in front of the overly-decorated Sugarcube Corner.

"Is something wrong, Pipsqueak?" she asked with a smile. Her eyes suddenly widened as she took him in. "You got your cutie mark?!" she said, elated.

"Yep!" he exclaimed, smiling broadly at the lavender mare. "Actually, ever since I got it I started thinking about things..." The mare looked at him, curiosity brimming in her eyes.

"Well," he began, "I was wondering if you always mistreat Spike like that. I thought he was your friend, not your slave. Goddess." He raised a hoof to his chin in thought. "It's no wonder you have no friends!"

"What? I don't mistreat Spike, he's my number one assistant! And I have plenty of friends." She looked at him, evidently cross but uncertain as to how to react.

Pipsqueak changed his expression to a meek, sad one. "Really? You have plenty of friends? How many did you have in Canterlot?"

Twilight seemed to squirm a little. "Well, none really, but-"

"Well then, how do you know that your friends here are real? Couldn't the Princess just order them to be your friends?"

Twilight was befuddled. "Why would she do that? And how?"

"The how is easy; pay them. Fluttershy needs bits to keep her pets. Rarity wants to be famous. Of course, Granny Smith still needs that hip replacement... and as to why, well, maybe she just wanted you out of her hooves. She's a brilliant princess, why not rid herself of you in such a kind and loving fashion? You should be happy!"

Twilight Sparkle's eyes began to wander wildly from side to side as she thought about it. Emotions ranging from uncertainty to betrayal played across her features. Pipsqueak knew he had her.

"Wa-wait right here, I... I..." Turning, she ran towards her home, shouting as she did so. "Spike! Take a letter!"

Pipsqueak started giggling, not paying any heed to the odd looks shot his way by the dozens of ponies on their daily commutes.

His eyes scanned around him, looking for his next target. But instead of finding it himself, the target found him.

"Hey, you big Meanie McMeanerson!" screamed a bubbly voice from behind him. Turning, he faced a pink, poofy-maned mare.

"Pinkie is right, darling," said Rarity as she stepped up from behind her pink friend. "What you did to Fluttershy... why, it's absolutely terrible!"

A slow, evil grin spread over Pipsqueak's face. "Hello, Pinkie. Didn't expect to see your fat, sugar-filled frame around. Still baking baked bads are we? And you, Miss Rarity, still trying hard to be a fashion icon. Too bad cloth can't do anything but hide your stupidity."

Pinkie frowned at him while Rarity huffed.

"I see what you're trying to do; you're trying to make us sad. You really are a meanie! You know what this calls for? A re-education party!"

Pipsqueak sighed and clutched the side of his head. "You stupid mare. All you ever think about is parties. Party this, party that. The only reason that ponies go to your parties is for fear of your retaliation... or maybe it's because they don't want you to be sad?" Pipsqueak grabbed his chin and hummed. "Unlikely. Ponies don't mind if ponies they don't care about are sad."

"What?!"

Pipsqueak rounded on Rarity. "And you. Hah, you don't deserve your name, you two-bit fashion disaster in the making! I'd rather call you Vanity. At least that way it's clear that you're an egotistical, self-centered fool!"

"Humph, well, obviously you're just a no good snot-nosed brat of low birth. I wish I could just ignore you, but what you did to Fluttershy is inexcusable!"

"Low birth? Have you looked around recently?" Pipsqueak gestured to the town around him and at the growing crowd of bystanders. "You live here, in Ponyville, the most backwater dung-hole on this side of the sun. And you think of yourself as some high class pony. Hah! More like a high class bit-thief! You'll never be worthy of Canterlot. Heck, you don't even fit in here!" Rarity stepped back, gasping with a hoof over her mouth before she flopped onto her back and promptly fainted.

Pinkie Pie bodily placed herself in between Pipsqueak and Rarity, glaring at the small white pony as she did so. "You- you, meanie! You're so-"

"Meanie?" interrupted Pipsqueak. "That's all you can come up with? Meanie? Please, that's about as bland as the stuff you make and call pastries! Heck, it's even worse than your social life!"

"B-but, it's not nice," stammered the pink mare, her eyes wandering uncertainly.

Pipsqueak saw his opportunity and took it. "Not nice? What, do you really think that the world is all gumdrops and roses? Do jump off a cliff."

The pink mare's mane suddenly drooped, straightening itself as it did so. "You little incoherent twerp! Who the hay do you think you are?! I ought to turn you into a cupcake, you half-witted freak!" she yelled, fuming as she took an offensive stance low to the ground with her ears pinched back.

Pipsqueak backed away a hoofstep, his eyes wide in surprise before they twisted back into a determined glare. "Calling me a twerp are you? Look at yourself! You can't even handle your own emotions properly. What were you going to do? Hit me? Well, that's a real nice party trick there, Pinkie. How nice of you. I was kidding when I said that you should jump off a cliff, but now that I see your true colours, I wholeheartedly believe that you should die." He made his final point with one, loud hoof stomp.

A panoply of emotions ran across Pinkie Pie's face, from rage to desperation to sadness to pure unadulterated anger. "You-you meanie!" she yelled feebly before turning around and hightailing it away, her straightened mane bobbing in the wind.

Pipsqueak smiled victoriously, his mind filling with glee as he defeated not one but two mares at once. The nearby ponies shrank away, fearful of his madness and his cruel tongue. "What the hay is going on?!" interrupted somepony from behind him.

Turning, Pipsqueak faced the pony that had dared to cut his joy short. A cyan mare floated behind him, the sun shining across her rainbow mane as she looked at him with crossed arms.

"Well, well, well, if it isn't Rainbow Crash!"

"Shut it, pipsqueak!" she countered, using his name as an insult.

"Oh, the flying ace wants to insult me? Pfft, might as well clip those wings for all the good they do you. You dumb, self-centered flying chicken; you have about as much chance at getting into the Wonderbolts as you do passing an IQ test! How about you drag your multi-coloured flank outta town?! But first, tell me, were you really born that way? You should dye your mane. Hasn't anypony told you what rainbows represent?"

The mare looked at her mane and tail doubtfully for a few seconds before turning back to him. "I-I ought to pummel you!"

"Resorting to violence now huh? Typic-" Pipsqueak stopped suddenly as he noticed everypony within his sight beginning to bow down towards him. Quizzically he turned around, only to come face-to-face with the white goddess of the sun. Behind her, a chariot pulled by two pegasi was resting in the centre of the town's square.

Pipsqueak gulped.

"Princess!" yelled Twilight Sparkle from behind the crowd before she ran past it to approach her mentor.

The Princess nuzzled the lavender mare kindly before speaking. "I came as soon as I received your letter." The Princess then lifted her head and looked at Pipsqueak. "I was even witness to the source of your woes."

Pipsqueak's eyes widened as he backpedalled slightly.

The Princess looked at the gathered ponies then called out in a loud, authoritative voice. "Has anypony else suffered at the hooves of this pony?"

At first nopony said anything but then, suddenly, three fillies stepped up, wiping the dampness away from their cheeks. "We were," they said accusingly.

Fluttershy hovered timidly forward, clutching Angel in her hooves. "He, um, he did it to me too," she said, her face half hidden behind her mane.

"And me too!" said Applejack, the farm pony trotting to the scene and pointing to her sister and Sweetie Belle. "He even said that mah sister made out with Sweetie Belle! Lyin' scoundrel!"

"Oh, I too was gravely insulted by his antics!" said Rarity, a hoof upon her forehead.

"Yeah, me too." This time Pinkie Pie spoke up, her mane slowly regaining its poofiness.

Twilight smiled confidently at her friends. "He- he told me that none of you were really my friends. He lied and hurt me so much..." The six mares gathered together in one large group hug. Many began to cry, but this time, they were tears of joy.

"Do you have anything to say for yourself, colt?" said the Princess, rounding on Pipsqueak.

"No, but I have something to say to you, you big fat gluttonous monarch. You spend all day sitting on your fat rump, while the common ponies grovel and drool at the sight of you." Everypony in the crowd gasped.

"You should be ashamed to even be alive! Then again, it's no surprise that you are. Immortal! Hah, you can live forever, move the sun and moon on a whim, and yet you can't even manage take care of your own sister! You banished her to the moon. For a thousand years! You're a no-good heartless demon that rules over poor, unprotected ponies, with your iron hooves and omnipotent powers!" Pipsqueak brazenly trotted to the Princess and jabbed at her chest with a forehoof. One of her eyebrows perked up.

"You don't deserve to live," he growled.

The Princess smiled kindly to him, her eyes calm and placid.

"Oh, stunned into silence, are we? Hah, I would have thought that the princess of Equestria, after having lived so bloody long, would at least be able to counter a simple gibe." Pipsqueak turned around, strutting away a few hoof-steps. "Look at you. You're the lowest life form in Equestria; you're not even a pony! The only thing that's worse than you are your subjects!"

The princess looked down at him. "What did you say about my subjects?"

A thin smile creased Pipsqueak's face. He had her. "Your subjects. Those whiny, two-bit, you-loving, four-hoofed turds that are looking at us. Those uneducated little pastel equines. They're so stupid, they couldn't even take care of themselves; they need a dumb mule like you to do it! Look at them!" He pointed at the shocked ponies. "Look at their ugly faces, all full of fear and stupidity; they can't even comprehend what the hay is going on. You should be so proud to own them. Those worthless piec-"

"That's enough." The princess stomped the ground, billowing up a small puff of dust.

...Angering the princess might not have been the best of ideas, he thought as she rounded on him. "Who do you think you are?" she said as she stepped towards him, her muzzle huffing vehemently.

She spoke, her snout inches away from his face as hot saliva-filled air battered him. "We're the Princess of the light. We control the sun. We are the ruling monarch of all of Equestria, and We have been for millennia! Who are you to insult us?!" She breathed heavily at his scrunched up face. "But worse, oh so much worse, you insulted Our ponies."

Pipsqueak began backing up, fearful of the unbridled wrath displayed by Celestia. "You dare to threaten, to insult, and to sadden our subjects!"

She leaned over him, her eyes aflame with passion as the air began to shimmer with unnatural heat. "Nopony speaks ill of my ponies. Nopony, especially not you, you groveling little fool. You come here, head held high, your mind filled with delusions of grandeur. We're so sorry to say this, but you're bucked, you little snot-nosed monster." Pipsqueak stood there, fear rooting him in place as his mind raced vainly searching for escape.

She grabbed him with her magic, lifting him into the air until he faced her. Her burning eyes looked into his shattering soul. "What's your talent? To make ponies cry?"

Feebly, he nodded, too afraid to speak.

"I see," she said, her voice calming down. Suddenly she grabbed him, clutching him to her chest. Pipsqueak's head landed on her shoulder, wetting it instantly as he emptied himself of his tears. "Silly, silly, little pony, don't you see that the one that was hurting the most was you?"

"... I-I'm so sorry," he said through his sobs.

"Shhh, it's okay, little one." Celestia gently patted his back. "I swear on everything I hold dear that everything is going to be alright." Pushing him away, Celestia looked at him eye to eye. His were brimming with tears, hers with hope and certainty.

Pipsqueak felt a weight lift from his chest. Everything was going to be all right. Celestia began to smile at him, her lips pulling up as wrinkles appeared at the edges of her eyes. Her beaming grin reassured him.

"You did it!" she exclaimed suddenly.

His brow furrowed slightly. "Did what?"

She leaned her head in beside his, whispering conspiratorially into his perked ear. "You cried."

"Huh?"

"Your talent, it's to make ponies cry, is it not?" He nodded. "What are you doing?"

Pipsqueak touched a hoof to his cheek, feeling the damp tears that stained his face. "I-I'm crying?" he answered uncertainly.

"Yes," replied the princess, a beaming smile still on her face. "Are you crying because you're sad?"

"...No? I'm crying because you saved me."

"Really now?" She looked at him. "What's your talent?"

"To make ponies cry..."

"And why are you crying?"

"... Because I am happy..." Suddenly his eyes lit up with understanding. "I-I can make ponies happy?!" Pipsqueak smiled. This felt... right. Much better than injuring others did.

"Exactly, my little pony. You don't need to hurt others; you can make them feel better too." Celestia patted his head, making it bounce as he sobbed happily. "Now, I think you owe some ponies an apology." Gently pushing his shoulder, she made him face the crowd of ponies.

Dozens of faces stared back, most curious. But a few -those he had hurt- stood out. He looked up to Celestia for support. The princesses put her slender white hoof on his shoulder, encouraging him.

Gulping, he hung his head low in shame. "I-I'm sorry," he squeaked. Taking a deep breath, he summoned up all of his courage. Then he bowed down, facing the crowd of ponies. "I am so sorry. I... I got carried away. I didn't want to hurt your feelings like that; it was rude and obnoxious and so, so cruel... Will you ever forgive me?"

The ponies looked at each other. Until finally, one by one, they spoke out. "Um, I don't mind... I mean, you looked really sad..."

"Of course Ah'll forgive you, sugarcube."

The Crusaders ran forward, planting themselves nearby with great big smiles on their faces. "We forgive you too," they said as one.

Pinkie Pie perked up, her mane and tail as fluffy as ever. "Oh, oh, oh, I'll forgive you if I can throw you an 'I forgive you' party!"

"Please darling, you're more than forgiven."

Twilight Sparkle coughed lightly. "I also forgive you... Maybe later you could help me with my friendship report?" She smiled.

"Ah, it's cool, lil' guy," said Rainbow Dash.

The gathered ponies parted suddenly, two fillies walking out of the crowd. Diamond Tiara and Silver Spoon stood out in the open, shuffling their hooves awkwardly. Finally they spoke. "We forgive you... if you'll forgive us too..."

Pipsqueak's shoulders shook as he was overcome by the generosity of the ponies whom he had, minutes ago, hurt. Tears freely flowed down his face as he grinned at them.

"Of course I forgive you."

Remember, not every good talent is good, nor is every bad one bad; what you do with it is your choice, and your choice alone.


This was an exercise in showing emotions; I just added a bit of a plot to it.

A big thank you to Millennial Dan and Arcainum for the excellent proofreading! Especially Burraku_Pansa for the time he spent talking over the story with me.

Alt Ending:

That's when Celestia fired him through the stratosphere and onto the moon. His tiny body bloated before crashing onto the hard lunar surface, smearing it red. From that time on ponies looked up to that point on the moon with fear and dread.