We became the pink one’s friends, one after the other, to frighten and confuse her, to make her ripe for the taking. We became the white one, with her easily-exploited greed and desire for the beautiful. The blue one, with her burning need for self-aggrandizement. The yellow one, with her core of strength, so easy to turn back onto itself. But the pink one ignored us. No, worse. She enjoyed it. We were confused by this. None of us had ever encountered such a thing before, and knew not how to respond.
Then the pink one spoke, in a voice glowing with an emotion tantalizingly close to love. She giggled, and said, “Do me! Do me!”
Our confusion only grew. Creatures were meant to be frightened by us, so that their fear would break down the walls protecting their innermost selves, allowing us to become whatever they most desired, to drain them dry of love to feed us.
Ponies were especially vulnerable to our attack. They relied intensely on their individuality. It filled their selves to the brim, the sure and fallacious knowledge that they were utterly unique in all the world. Foolishness. Feeding on ponies was all too easy, once their worldview had been cracked by our techniques.
Why was this pony, this pink one, not responding as expected? We grew angry. We would make a show of duplicating the pink one down to the last iota, the last fiber of her self, so that she would look upon us and despair at being so known.
We reached into her, coursing down the channels of her mind with the speed of intuition. Knowledge of the pink one’s self flowed into us. The knowledge of the physical came first, as always: what it feels like to be trapped in one form, in one unchanging body, all alone. The pink one was . . . fluid. Bouncy, light as air and solid as stone, malleable yet always herself. We had never felt anything like it.
The knowledge of reflection came next: what the pink one thought of herself, the inner landscape which forms the lens of perception. The pink one was . . . content. No creature was ever content! The pink one defied us. She was aware of her limitations, and did not fear to rely on others when needed.
The knowledge of perception came last: the world, filtered through the physical and colored by reflection, what lesser creatures than us thought of as the “personality” in their weakness and stupidity. The pink one’s perception flowed into us, and we were staggered. The pink one saw everything, including us, with love. Our mind swam with the pink one’s perception, her ability to love everything for what it is, even when it needed to be fought.
We became the pink one—Pinkie Pie—and looked at her through her own eyes, and found that we loved her. I realized that I could not help but love her, because she was beautiful and wonderful and perfect, exactly as she was. And when she changed, as ponies do, I would still love her, because she would still be beautiful and wonderful and perfect, exactly as she would be.
I smiled at her, wanting her to see that I loved her, that I knew her for who she was, down to the last iota, the last fiber of her self, and I loved all of it, because she was herself.
My heart sank as she regarded me critically. “Eh . . . I’ve seen better,” she said, with finality.
In the next moment, I was struck by a blast of powerful magic and felt Pinkie’s self rip out of us in the torrent of power, leaving us as we had been before.
It was all right.
She loved us.
Commentary from Donny’s Boy
Oh gosh, I love how deep this is. How the changeling is able to know so much about a pony just by taking her form, how she slips from “we” to “I” and back to “we” again. How Pinkie’s love still affects him even after he’s stopped taking Pinkie’s form. I also like the possible hint, indicated in Pinkie’s seeming rejection of the changeling’s love for who she is, that there is one pony, one being, that Pinkie perhaps doesn’t fully love—herself. This is beautifully sad and beautifully happy, both at once.