When your special talent is not having a special talent, and why it’s awesome
Storybook Slate could do a little of everything. She was the most helpful pony in Ponyville.
And yet, every morning, she would be touring the town seeking odd jobs to help with. Towing her tool cart behind her. Every day she was doing something different. Helping ponies everywhere.
Naturally, the Cute Mark Crusaders found her fascinating.
They caught her on a rare day off, when she was doodling in a notebook about whatever caught her fancy at the time. She got her latest thought down and put her tools away. “Hello, girls. Do you need help, today?”
“We were wondering if we could ask you something,” said Scootaloo.
“About Cutie Marks,” clarified Sweetie Belle
“And how you can know what your talent is,” said Applebloom.
Storybook poured them each a drink and said, “You girls had better sit down…”
“Ugh, a long story,” Scootaloo rolled her eyes.
“No dear. A sad and disturbing story.”
All three fillies’ eyes went wide as she pulled up her skirt to reveal a…
Applebloom fainted. Sweetie Belle screamed. Scootaloo began to hyperventilate.
“You… never… got your Cutie Mark?”
Storybook helped Scootaloo breathe into a paper bag. “Yes, I was teased in school by those who thought a Cutie Mark was the be-all and end-all. And yes, it was horrid. And for a while I tried what you girls are trying. Anything and everything to find my special talent. That’s when a funny thing happened.”
They were rapt, now. Almost breathless. Their drinks, unregarded, attracted butterflies and bees.
“I was a little good at everything. Not talented. Not specially. Just better than any pony who didn’t have the talent for it. I could be useful everywhere. I could turn my hoof to anything. And I loved it.” She covered her blank flank once more. “There’s a few of us. One’s a janitor at the Canterlot palace. He’s a lot more bold about it than I am. But since I never found a calling… I go where I’m needed and I like it that way. Today, I’m a writer. Tomorrow? Who knows? I could be catering with Pinkie Pie or an animal care assistant to Fluttershy. Or I could be helping Bubble Dream deliver parcels.”
“You like to call her ‘Derpy’. There’s lots you don’t know about our silly blonde mailmare. Like - how her special talent is blowing bubbles in the most fascinating shapes. And they stay that way until they pop.”
“But she’s a mailmare…” protested Applebloom.
“Not every talent pays the rent, dear. Not every talent is useful. But I can assure you girls of one thing.”
They leaned forward.
“You have one. As unique as your good selves.”
That mutual sigh of relief should pay for some small sins.
“So we will find it one day,” said Sweetie Belle. “But the way you put it? I wouldn’t mind bein’ a blank flank for ever.”
“You should try the karaoke contest across town,” said Storybook. “You may surprise yourself.”
“Aw, but we were going waterskiing over a shark tank,” protested Scootaloo.
“Now that I think about it, Karaoke doesn’t involve so many doctor’s bills,” said Applebloom.
They galloped off to the cheer of, “Cutie Mark Karaoke Crusaders! YAAAYYY!”
Storybook Slate poured their unfinished drinks into saucers for the butterflies and bees. “I don’t suppose you want to hear this one?” she said to the dancing insects, “it’s about a pony who travels in time…”