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Hearts and Crafts

By MisterAnon
Created: 28th February 2021 05:41:42 AM
Modified: 28th February 2021 05:48:22 AM

  1. >It’s always a wonderful day in the neighborhood
  2. >Especially when it’s time for the bi-weekly community Arts and Crafts
  3. >And when you’re Mister Anon
  4. >The sign up sheet for this week filled up pretty fast, and this time there were six tables with additional chairs that ponies could choose from
  5. >Anyone could sign up for it, all you had to do was the crayon to sign your name and state what you planned to craft with others
  6. >From there the city would take a list of supplies you’d need, and by the city you mean just Mayor Mare, and provide them for the event
  7. >You came out as often as you could as either a station attendant or a participant to see what fun and creative ideas everypony wanted to show off and have others create
  8. >Last week you sat down at Davenport’s table
  9. >First he had everypony take a half sphere of styrofoam and color them brown with markers
  10. >Next two googly eyes were attached to each one along with a small fuzzy balls to act as noses
  11. >Then small holes were jabbed all around them
  12. >Ta-da! Nice little hedgehog colored pencil, crayon, or quill holders
  13. >He held up his example like a proud parent
  14. >Your own looked like a spitting image of his
  15. >Other ponies following along had their own takes on it, Derpy’s had charming mismatched eyes, Rainbow Dashe’s Hedgehog was colored similarly to her mane, and Roseluck decided she wanted to put the stems of her flowers into her’s so that it’d be a floral hog
  16. >You made sure to pat the head of each pony and gave an especially nice scratch to Davenport for leading the activity
  17. >Today you were going to manage a table but right now you’re standing outside of city hall as you wait for your art supplies
  18. >Waiting alongside you was an assortment of four other ponies who volunteered to lead tables with their own projects to share
  19. >”Hiya there Mister Anon! I hope I’m not late”
  20. >You turn your head to the voice and find a late addition to the line
  21. >As always your characteristic smile beams at the source as you kneel down to get to eye level
  22. ”And a fine day to you as well, Ms. Junebug”
  23. >The little olive coated pony does what many others typically do and trots a little bit in place in excitement
  24. >On her back is a bag that’s half her own size that you can see stuffed with pinecones, twigs, and bamboo
  25. >”You remembered my name!”
  26. “Of course I do, you’re a special pony afterall”
  27. >Just like every other pony
  28. >”Not a lot of ponies remember who I am though”
  29. “Now why would that be? You always greet me when we walk past each other and you’re certainly warm, I’ve seen you pass out flowers before”
  30. >”I’m just not in town a lot, I guess. My job is to take care of the insects by planting flowers near the woods so that they can eat or pollinate them”
  31. >She turns her flank to you and you see her cutie mark as a small orange cartoon drawing of an insect surrounded by blue flowers
  32. >”It’s why I signed up for today’s arts and crafts, I wanted to make some friends today”
  33. “It sounds like a very important job. I’m sure that the little insects appreciate you very much”
  34. >You pat her soft mane as she closes her eyes and giggles
  35. >”Thanks, Mister Anon! It’s nice knowing there’s another pon- er, human that cares”
  36. >Before you can question what she means, Mayor Mare opens up townhall and invites everyone to come in and grab their bin of supplies.
  37. >Junebug opens up her eyes again and starts to rush into the building
  38. >”Oh I’m so excited, I hope everypony will like my idea! I’ll talk to you later, Mister Anon”
  39. You can only chuckle as the tiny stampede of six ponies sprint past a narrowly escaped Mayor Mare and grab the boxes assigned to them
  40. >You walk peacefully into town hall and made sure to thank the mayor before grabbing your wooden crate of materials
  41. >You liked to keep your lists simple, things that could be found around a home so that nothing special would have to bought if a pony wanted to do some crafting on a rainy day
  42. >As you lift up your crate, you notice that Junebug is having some issues keeping her bag on her back and holding her box in her mouth
  43. >You approach her and as she looks up to examine you, you tuck your crate underneath one of your arms and use your other hand to grab her crate
  44. >She realizes what you’re doing and lets her mouth go off of the box
  45. >”Whew, thanks for the help. I didn’t think it’d be that heavy”
  46. >You take a quick peek at her supplies and notice that there’s nothing but small rectangular wooden boxes that are about the size of your forearm
  47. >Your eyes go back to Junebug and you look over her bulging bag again
  48. “Looks like you decided to bring your own supplies”
  49. >”Yep! Nearly everything I’ll need for my project are things you can find in the woods so I did some scavenging all by myself”
  50. “Sounds like a very nice project. I’ll have to go to your table later and see what it’s all about”
  51. >Stars fill her eyes as she once again trots in excitement, pinecones falling off of her bag
  52. >”I’ll be sure to save some material for you!”
  53. >You chuckle as the two of you walk to one of the empty tables, a trail of forest material following along with you
  54. >After placing her crate down and saying your goodbyes, you head off to your own table with your crafting materials
  55. >Ponies are already coming out of their homes and going about their daily business, a few of them going out of their way to ask how your day is going
  56. >As you make idle conversation, you set your things out on the table, enough to make at least ten projects and await anypony that would like to do arts and crafts with you
  57. >It doesn’t take long, normally your table is the first to get filled up
  58. >Thunderlane and his little brother, Rumble, are the first ones to take a seat as they tell you about how Rumble formed his first cloud
  59. >Cherliee was next, she enjoyed going to your tables and learning some new projects she could eventually use in her own classroom
  60. >You liked to volunteer your time at the schoolhouse occasionally and the teacher certainly appreciated the extra help supervising the students
  61. >Especially since she could then partake in nap time as well
  62. >After that it’s a quick stream of ponies coming up to you and putting their flanks in chairs as they talk about their days to you and each other
  63. >You look over at the other tables to check on them and see they’re getting a steady amount of participants as well, one table led by Matilda  has even started to create origami animals
  64. >Though there is one nearly empty table
  65. >Junebug’s
  66. >The little olive pony doesn’t seem to be bothered by it though as she looks around ecasticly, waiting for participants to come
  67. >You’re sure that other ponies will come over to her soon, her friends are probably just taking care of some business before they can play with her
  68. >Your attention turns to your table and as you speak, every pony immediately looks towards you
  69. “Hello neighbors”
  70. >In unison, all ten ponies reply back
  71. >“Hello Mister Anon!”
  72. “Today I brought us a little project that we can do together”
  73. >You reach into your crate and pull out a flat piece of cardboard
  74. “Can anyone guess what it’s going to be?”
  75. >Many guesses are thrown out by your guests
  76. >”Spaceships!”
  77. >”Castles!”
  78. >”A Box!”
  79. “All very good guesses. How about I pass everyone some cardboard and follow along with me?”
  80. >After handing out a piece of large rectangular cardboard to everypony present, you instruct them all to start drawing the walls of a maze with crayon, making sure that the pathways were at least the size of two crayons side by side
  81. >Some of the ponies were pretty creative with their mazes while others opted to copy your own design that you were using
  82. >Scootaloo got a little overzealous and accidentally made her maze unsolvable but you just had to give her another piece of cardboard to start over with
  83. >The next part was drawing circles in various pathways, making sure that there was still a way for the maze to be solved
  84. >Again Scootaloo got a little carried away and drew too many circles, rendering her labyrinth impossible
  85. >You reminded her that everyone made mistakes and gave her your example piece and started a brand new one so that the little filly wouldn’t get too frustrated and quiet
  86. >It didn’t take long for you to start from again from scratch nd seeing the smile of the filly as you handed her your previous work made it well worth it
  87. >Now was the time for adult supervision
  88. >You carefully took a pocket knife and cut the holes out of the cardboard
  89. >You did this for each pony while they gave you worried looks and warned you to be careful since Princess Celestia said to always be stay safe around knives
  90. >When that was finished, you took out smaller pieces of cardboard and glue, telling them to now glue a border around their mazes and paste pieces of cardboard on top of the crayon maze they created earlier
  91. >You also gently remind them not to eat the glue
  92. >Even though it’s non-toxic, as one pony pointed out in disappointment
  93. >After the final step was completed you took out some marbles and gave all the ponies a few to use in their homemade marble mazes
  94. >You demonstrate how moving the maze around in your hands moved the marble around the maze and the ponies gleefully start playing with their mazes
  95. >Anytime the marbles drop into a hole, you hear the distinct plop sound as the pony reaches for their marble to try again
  96. >It’s delight seeing their eyes light up whenever they navigate the marble through particularly difficult passageways and many of them are already trading boards to try out different mazes
  97. >The ponies that made original designs beg you to trade with them so that you can try out the fruits of their labor
  98. >You happily oblige as they take turns looking over your shoulder to see how well you, impressed that your hands give you such control over the board
  99. >The ponies all around you are happy as they fumble around with their toys
  100. >And that’s enough to make you happy
  101. >Your attention once again turns away towards the tables around you
  102. >Matilda just finished up the origami with her table and you see ponies moving their animals around like elephants, cranes, and tigers and making accompanying noises
  103. >Vinyl is putting the finishing touches with her participants and sealing the lids of mason jar aquariums filled with pebbles, plastic tropical  fish, plants, and blue dye
  104. >Derpy’s table is also nearly finished as well, making tree drawings out of brown crayons and glusing old puzzle pieces onto the paper to act as leaves
  105. >Every pony is having a great time
  106. >Expect one
  107. >Junebug is alone at her table
  108. >Her enthusiasm seems to be gone as she glumly has her head on the table and looks out at the other tables filled with laughter and socialising
  109. >Her gaze meets your own as her eyes quickly go wide and turn away from you, hoping you didn’t think she was staring at you
  110. >This is the first time you’ve seen an empty table during arts and crafts  
  111. >Was no pony even curious to see what her project was?
  112. >One of your ponies speaks up as she notices your gaze is turned away
  113. >”Whatcha lookin’ at Mister Anon?”
  114. “Oh I’m just wondering why Ms. Junebug is alone over there”
  115. >The other ponies at your table turn their attention towards her
  116. >Some of them suddenly have shifty eyes
  117. >One in the group finally replies back to you
  118. >”Yeah...I don’t know”
  119. >They’re awful liars since they’re just not used to lying at all
  120. “Well I certainly wouldn’t want to be alone when all my friends are having fun”
  121. >”That’s kinda the thing, Mister Anon, she doesn’t have a lot of friends”
  122. >You raise a brow
  123. >A pony without companionship?
  124. >This is unheard of to you
  125. “That’s a shame, she seems like a really nice mare”
  126. >This time another pony speaks up
  127. >”Yeah but she’s always around bugs and bugs are icky!”
  128. >To this some of the ponies scrunch up their faces in disgust or stick their tongues out
  129. >”Yeah, I hated it when ants crawl all around our picnic”
  130. >”Bees are scary!”
  131. >”I saw a spider yesterday and had to call the townguards to get it out of my house!”
  132. >It’s going to take more than a five minute lecture on the importance of insects to change the minds of these ponies
  133. >And right  now Junebug needs a warm face
  134. “Well neighbors I have to say I disagree with your opinion. Right now I think I’ll play with Ms. Junebug. Does anyone want to join me?”
  135. >Once again you get shifting eyes
  136. >But three ponies do step up to your invitation
  137. >Cherilee is the first to speak
  138. >”Of course Mister Anon, I’m sure that we’ll have a fun time”
  139. >You expected her as a teacher to know what it’s like to support a student who is ostracized
  140. >”We’ll come too”
  141. >You smile at Thunderlane and his brother as they grin back at you
  142. >You’ve always known Thunderlane as a good big brother and this further reinforces that
  143. >The other pones look somewhat guilty but make no move to support Junebug
  144. >You, Cherilee, Thunderlane, and Rumble get up and walk over to the lonely pony
  145. >She doesn’t notice your approach until your shadows fall over her
  146. >Her head jerks up and once again she is shocked as her eyes sweep your little group nervously
  147. “M-mister Anon! Nice to see you again”
  148. >You politely wave as Cherilee and Rumble cheerfully greet her
  149. >After the introductions are finished you sit down at her table
  150. >The stoops meant for the ponies are a bit small for you but you don’t mind at all
  151. >Especially if it’s for a friend
  152. >Junebug’s glumness doesn’t go away
  153. >”It’s alright...I know what you’re all doing and you don’t need to. I saw you all having fun over there, you all can go back. I’ll be fine, I promise!”
  154. >She gives you a painted smile
  155. >No one wants pity
  156. >But this isn’t pity
  157. ”I said that I’d come to take a look at what you have cooking over here. You didn’t forget to keep supplies for me, did you?”
  158. >You wink at her and she giggles
  159. >”Of course not!”
  160. >And with that her excitement is ignited again
  161. >She takes out five pine boxes and sets them in front of all of you, along with entire piles of forest material from her bag
  162. >You see that your three accompanying ponies are eyeing the items warily
  163. >”So today I was thinking we could make some small bug hotels”
  164. >You hear Rumble’s voice quiver slightly
  165. >”Bug hotels?”
  166. >”They're for keeping bugs safe and cozy during the winter”
  167. >”Why would we want that?”
  168. >”Rumble!”
  169. >Thunderlane is about to scold his brother further before Junebug interrupts
  170. >”Oh it’s fine. You see, there are plenty of bugs that help us out too”
  171. >Rumble tilts his head
  172. >”Really?”
  173. >”Yeah! Ladybugs eat a lot of pests that make plants wilted. Spiders are also good too since they trap annoying things like flies and mosquitoes”
  174. >”Wait is that true?”
  175. >Rumble looks towards his burgundy mentor for guidance who gives him a grinning nod
  176. >”It’s all true, we’re going to cover it in biology about hmm...three units from now I believe. But it looks like I’ll have to invite a guest speak over for it”
  177. >”I’d love to speak to your students!”
  178. >Before too long the yellow pony takes clumps of pinecones, reeds, and twigs to arrange little patterns in the box with glue
  179. >The instructions are bare, but what she does offer is reasons as to why each part is used
  180. >It’s all educational about how each one is used by insects to burrow into for the winter and told by anyone else would be considered rather dry
  181. >But her words carry excitement in them and genuine care about the insects that inhabit the area around Ponyville
  182. >And enthusiasm is infectious
  183. >You would call her an entomology version of Fluttershy, but that would be understating just how special she is
  184. >You all get to work creating your own hives and everyone approaches it in their own unique way
  185. >The young Rumble decided to create a random selection of material, finding fun from working with his hooves to glue as many things together and trying to work it all inside his box
  186. >Cheerilee made a pattern of a tree out of the twigs and bamboo shoots, small amounts of dry grass acting as the landscape and clouds
  187. >For your own you decided to play with the colors of the forest materials, modeling it after the keyboard of your piano
  188. >The bright hollow bamboo shoots act as the ivory keys while the dark twigs play the part of black keys
  189. >Thunderlane seems to be the only one having trouble
  190. >The Stallion is used to living his life fast and that doesn’t integrate well with precisie mechanics
  191. >Especially when one lacks fingers
  192.  >Pineconces keep getting stuck to his hooves but Junebug is always eager to help pull them away and check to make sure his hoof is undamaged by running her own around it
  193. >This happens a couple of times
  194. >You soon notice that her check over his hooves gets longer each subsequent time
  195. >And they both are starting to blush with rather bashful smiles at each other when they separate hooves
  196. >Your knowing smile at her only makes her fur around her cheeks glow an even brighter red as she turns away
  197. >Looks like there’s a lovebug looking for a hotel
  198. >Through it all every pony again chit chats about their days and plans, Cheerilee arranging to a date for Junebug to maybe bring in some of her insect friends to show and Thunderlane inviting her to an upcoming Wonderbolts show
  199. >You've never seen her so ecstatic before
  200. >You yourself offer some of your time to help her around the forest so that the poor pone wouldn’t be burdened with the responsibility alone
  201. >She gladly accepts it and arranges next tuesday for checking the beehives and planting milkweed for caterpillars
  202. >Various trots can be heard behind you as you turn your head
  203. >It looks like the ponies that were over at your table are starting to walk over to the new table
  204. >Rumble notes this too and grunts
  205. >”Looks like they’re coming over here. Wasn’t very nice of them not to come earlier”
  206. >A familiar tune comes out of you
  207. >Sometimes ponies get wet, and their parents get upset. But the very same ponies that get wet sometimes are the very same ponies that get dry sometimes”
  208. >The four ponies around you start to sway their head to the invisible beat
  209. “It’s funny, but it’s true. Isn’t it the same for me and...Sometimes ponies are good. And they do what they should”
  210. >Despite never hearing it before, the magic of the land allows them to sing along with you in the next verse
  211. “But the very same ponies that are good sometimes, are the very same ponies that are bad sometimes”
  212. “It’s funny but it’s true”
  213. “It’s the same, isn’t it for me and…”
  214. >The unfinished verse hangs in the air as the group finally reaches Junebug’s table
  215. >They look ashamed of themselves and nearly all of them are looking at the ground in defeat
  216. >One gathers the courage to ask
  217. >”C-can we play with you guys?”
  218. >Junebug doesn’t take a position of anger or smugness, but rather is overjoyed to get the opportunity to make even more new friends
  219. >”Sure! Just grab a seat and I’ll give everypony a box to work with. Don’t be shy about using anything, trust me there’s plenty of decomposition to use!”
  220. >The newcomers cheer and take stools to sit on, some even grabbing stools from the other table as it becomes overcrowded
  221. >Normally Arts and Crafts is over by the afternoon but today is a special day
  222. >Junebug fills the day well into the evening with interesting facts about insects and the ecosystem around ponyville
  223. >Ponies get a new appreciation for the little things that crawl around and even say thank you as they wave their hoof at a passing bumble bee
  224. >The Bug Hotels that are produced are as varied as the ponies that make them
  225. >Some create towers and forts out of twigs, others create landscapes and still some create orderly environments that are organized by shape, color, or species it’s intended for
  226. >Eventually you decide it’s time to turn in for the night
  227. >You stand up from your chair and Junebug instantly excuses herself from a conversation to speak to you
  228. >”Thanks for coming to my table, Mister Anon. And thanks for bringing over everypony too”
  229. “You don’t have to thank me for anything, Ms. Junebug. I promised I’d swing by to play with you because I thought it’d be fun and it was”
  230. >”But without you I wouldn’t have made so many friends today without you”
  231. “I didn’t force anypony to come with me or be your friend, Ms. Junebug. You did that yourself”
  232. >”How?”
  233. “By just being you”
  234. >”I...I guess I really did!”
  235. >She picks up her Bug Hotel and holds it up to you
  236. >Pinecones provide a dark background and you see that reeds have been shaped together to form a heart
  237. >”I still want you to have this though. You really did help me out today after all”
  238. “It’s always fun to give gifts to friends. How about we trade with each other?”
  239. >You push forward your piano box and her eyes light up in joy
  240. >You scratch behind her ear as she nuzzles your leg before you take off with your new heart Bug Hotel to place in your garden
  241.  
  242. Next Tuesday...
  243.  
  244. >It’s early morning as you walk out of your home with a nice straw sunhat and the garden shovel you normally use
  245. >The walk to the edge of town is a pleasant one as the morning dew glistens in the morning sun
  246. >You agreed to meet Junebug to help her out, but you notice something as you reach the meeting point
  247. >You weren’t the only one to come help today
  248. >Thunderlane and his brother are here along with six ponies that you were creating marble mazes with last week
  249. >They’re all listening in rapt attention to Junebug who has a beekeeping hat on about how the day will go and when nap breaks will take place
  250. >She stops though when you walk up and she trots in place in excitement
  251. “Hello there, Ms. Junebug. I hope I’m not late”
  252. >”And a hello to you too, Mister Anon!”
  253. “You remembered my name”
  254. >”Of course I do, you’re a special friend after all”
  255. The End
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