When Giants Become Small

by little big pony

Chapter 1: Wander to Wonder


Pop 512

The Man cocked his head at the sign which overlooked the little town while he adjusted the pack on his back.

It was a simple little town, Ponyville. He had seen thousands of towns just like it; not even a town really, more of a community. Or settlement; a settlement was what he thought of as he looked down at it.

Sure, it looked cleaner, and greener, than some of the towns he had walked through, but it was pretty much like a million other towns.

It’s a lot smaller than I thought it would be, he thought before sighing, a little more perplexed than he thought he was going to be, a little more disappointed.

He made to admit though, as he slowly walked down the cobble stone path which served as the town’s main street, that Equestria was a lot prettier, and calmer-looking, than most countries that he had been in.

The Gryphon Empire, though grander and more majestic, always seemed a little cold to The Man—which was a stark contrast to the Empire’s people, who were friendly almost to the extreme. Not that there was anything wrong with the ponies, they were a bunch of friendly little guys and gals, but they had nothing on the hens and hawks of the Empire

The Great Plains, where the great wolf and buffalo tribes fought each other and dozens of lesser factions for the best and largest tracks of land, seemed too big for him. Incredible, and a sight that everyone should see once in their lives, but it was far too big, too plain-looking.

Equestria though, at least in The Man’s opinion, seemed just about right. Not too big, not too small, a clean, simple little place where one could rest his weary bones.

And, for this reason, he was troubled.

I’ve been walking, traveling around for longer than I can remember, and this is Ponyville?

The Man took a deep breath, savoring the odd mixture of apples, flowers, and hay that seemed to float through the air. Smells like I thought it would though…

With a skip in his step and whistling a little tune, he walked toward a familiar, yet unfamiliar, little bakery, ignoring the slightly worried looks that the townsponies were giving him.

There’s Lyra with BonBon, he thought, his bright eyes scanning the crowds, his mind, sharp even with his age, remembering names and places and songs that he had seen and heard of as a child long, long ago.

There’s Big Mac, selling apples and talking to little Applebloom, Years ago, before he had seen everything that this world had to offer, he would have jumped at the chance to see all of these ponies, talk to them, hug them, laugh with them. Now though, all he felt was tired as he started at the giants of his childhood, thinking the same thing over and over.

That these ponies were small. Terribly small.

They’re almost as small as the sheep from the Highlands…

“SugarCube corner huh?” The Man muttered, looking at the gingerbread house of a building with a little smile. “It really looks like you could bite into the walls…”

Feeling around his pockets, he pulled out a leather bag of bits, mussing his longish hair with a hand before he opened the door, having to duck so he wouldn’t hit his head.

There were a pair of bells ringing as he quietly closed the door, the scent of baked goods and sweets hitting him like a truck as he turned back around to look at the room.

It was just like he had seen it from the show, wooden chairs, wooden tables, a wooden floor that creaked—like every well-worn floor should do—with each step he took, a little counter, well-polished, with a slightly concerned-looking Mr. Cake standing behind it.

Humming his little tune, The Man made his way over to an empty table, shrugging his pack off his shoulders and setting it next to the wall—which was covered in pictures; everything from the Cake’s wedding to them opening this place to the birth of their children—and sitting down and waiting to be served.

I wonder how they can make this place feel so cheery with all of this wood? The Man though while rubbing his half-gloved hands together. There's not much color in this place, so I wonder what it is?

The probable answer to that question practically pressed her nose against his as he looked up, a giant smile on the pink mare’s face.


She smells like bubblegum, The Man thought as he calmly let Pinkie talk herself out. Is that sugar in her hair?

He was brought out of his thoughts when the pink mare cleared her throat, producing a pen and pad of paper from… somewhere.

“Now, what can I getcha?”

“What would you recommend?” The Man asked simply, still ignoring the glances that ponies were sneaking when they thought he wasn’t looking.

“Well, Mister, If I were you; I’d get the triple-chocolate dive boomer with a chocolate milkshake.“

The Man chuckled, wondering what he would’ve actually ordered if was a younger man and he hadn’t seen the world. “I don’t think that would be for me.”

Pinkie Pie smiled knowingly. “What about a coffee and a cinnamon bun then?”

The Man raised an eyebrow. “Isn’t it a little late for that?”

The party pony bopped his nose with a giggle—something that would have made him lose his mind when he was younger.

“Of course not, Silly Filly. Everypony knows that you can eat a cinnamon bun at any time of the day!” Pinkie offered him a hoof and a smile. “And I’m Pinkie Pie, Party Pony extraordinaire, and it’s nice to meetcha, Mr…”

“I’m just a traveler, Ms. Pie,” The Man said while he shook her hoof, not phased as the mare produce a large mug of coffee and little white plate with a big cinnamon bun in the middle of it. “And thank you. How much is this?”

Pinkie just smiled and shook her head. “Nono, Mister, since you’re a new friend, you get the Pinkie Pie discount! And that means you eat for free today.”

The Man smiled as he took a sip of his coffee—which was to his liking, like he knew it would be. “Thank you very much, Ma’am. Could you also get me something sweet to nibble on? And a glass of cold water?”

Before the mare could protest, The Man tossed his bag of bits toward the counter, and they were caught by a now-smiling Mr. Cake, who now seeing that the strange creature was just another customer, visibly relaxed, along with the rest of the ponies, the chatting and gossiping and joking in the room picking back up.

“Think I’m going to be here a while; going to rest my weary bones before starting down the trail again, as it were.”

Pinkie nodded with that big smile of her’s, hopping toward the kitchen while The Man saw, out of the corner of his eye, five other giants that now seemed so small.

Huh, it looks like she’s an alicorn now… The Man ripped a little piece of his cinnamon bun and popped it into his mouth, smiling at the cinnamon, the icing, the sweetness of the bun, all of which were balanced in such a way to make this one of best cinnamon buns that he had ever eaten. I guess I came in time after all...

Equestrians also make some great food. There's no doubt about that, he mused, not bothering to look at the purple alicorn that cautiously made her way toward him.

Clearing her throat, Twilight Sparkle said, “Um, hello… Sir...” she said, scrunching her face up in thought while she bit her lip. “I’m Twilight Sparkle.”

The Man bowed his head in greeting. Huh, her coat is a deeper purple than the show showed it, and she’s a bit bigger too…

“Hello, Ms. Sparkle, it is very nice to meet you,” He took another sip of his coffee while the mare smiled, ruffling her feathers slightly.

“Did you just come into town, Sir?” the mare politely asked, taking a seat next to him.

The Man nodded, thanking Pinkie as she brought out a cupcake—he knew the sweet was going to a cupcake—and a glass of ice water.

“Yes, Ma’am, I came in from Dodge Junction,” The Man said offering her some of his meal, which she refused, Twilight still biting her lip.

“Sir, I know this might seem rude, but can I ask you something?”

Years ago, I’d have picked you up and hugged the hell out of you if you would’ve asked me that…

“You can ask away, Ms. Sparkle.”

The alicorn looked down at the table before her big purple eyes looked into his. “The Princesses’ are coming to this town today...”

He smiled. “And I’m guessing that you’re talking about the Celestial Sisters and the Princess of Love, yes?”

Twilight’s eyes widened, afraid that she had somehow offended him. “Oh, I’m sorry! I just thought that everypony knew about the Princesses! I didn’t mean—“

The Man raised a hand, silencing her. “It’s fine, now what were you saying?”

Seeing that he wasn’t mad, the mare smiled apologetically. “I just wanted to know, and I’m sorry about how this is going to sound, but you’re not going to cause any mayhem or destruction or anything, right?”

She tensed again, closing her eyes as how that sounded. “I know that a pony shouldn’t judge anypony on how they look, and I you seem like a perfectly—“

The Man placed a hand to his chest, where his was heart. “Twilight Sparkle, I promise to you that I’m not going to cause any mischief, mayhem, or that other third thing with an M in it. I’m just a traveler that’s having a nice little lunch in this sweet—“ Pinkie giggled at the pun from behind the counter.”—little place.”

“I know how that sounds, but—“

He patted her on the cheek. “And you want to make sure that everything’s perfect, am I right?”

Twilight nodded, easing in her chair. “Yes,” she looked up at him. “Mister, not to pry, but you seem tired.”

The Man smiled as he took another sip of his coffee, pretending not to notice when Pinkie put a few sugar cookies on his plate. “I am,” he admitted. “And to tell you the truth, I’ve been looking for a place to rest.”

The door’s bells rang, and everypony in the building—except Twilight and him—bowed as three figures entered the room.

“Twilight, how have you been?” a voice asked while the purple alicorn smiled.

She doesn’t sound as majestic as I thought she would, The Man took a little bit of one of the sugar cookies as the three ponies stood behind him.

“And, if you don’t mind me asking, who is this?”

“We have never seen a manner of creature such as this in all of our years…”

The Man looked over his shoulder to see Princess Luna, Celestia, and Cadence, all who were looking at him intently.

“I’m nothing special, Ma’am,” he said quietly. “Just a guy that’s passing through.”

He didn’t bother looking at any of the alicorns’ longer than necessary, in fact he almost chuckled. There, right behind him, were three of his favorite ponies, mares that he had respected and admired to the point of infatuation, and they looked so small to him now that he had a good look.

Celestia’s stature or warm smile was nothing compared to the floating islands of the Far East. Luna’s starry man didn’t hold a candle to the deserts and plains and forests that he had traveled and seen. Cadence didn’t even compare to the icy artic that surrounded her kingdom!

Said three princesses took seats around him, Celestia smiling when he silently offered her a cookie.

“I almost can’t detect an accent,” she complimented. “Though you sound a little… Sheepish?”

“Prefiren carneiro, pero é preto o suficiente,” The Man said. “I learned your language from the sheep. It’s easier than gryphon, and it helps that I’ve been in your kingdom for the last few months, so I sound better than most foreigners.”

He quietly finished his coffee as the alicorns ordered, Cadence cocking her head at him. “So what are you doing in Equestria, Mister?” she politely asked.

The Man chuckled dryly, grabbing his water. If this room was anymore silent you’d think there was a funeral going on...

It also occurred to him that none of the ponies had asked him his name yet, and none of the princesses had asked to sit with him, but that didn’t particularly bothered him.

“I was just looking for my city of gold,” he said, earning him quite a few confused looks—expect from Celestia, he couldn’t help but notice. “I think I found it. The problem is, is that I found out that it isn’t gold at all, just an average everyday metal.”

Celestia hummed while the man looked up at her. “Where are our manners,” she inclined her head. “I am Princess Celestia.”

“We are Princess Luna.”

“And I’m Princess Cadence.”

He looked at each of these alicorns, and, oddly, found them strangely lacking.

These weren’t beings that carried themselves like goddesses, nor did they give off an aura of godhood. To him, they were just bigger than average ponies. If anything, Twilight was carrying herself better, the purple alicorn watching their little talk almost without blinking.

Realizing that he hadn’t given his name yet, The Man said, “You can just call me Orion, if you’d like.”

Cadence smiled at his informality, while Twilight, realizing that she wasn’t contributing to the conversation in anyway, quickly excused herself, walking back over to her friends.

“Well, Mr. Orion, it is very nice to meet you,” Cadence said with a little giggle.

They’re all shorter than me, he thought suddenly while he took a sip of his water. Even Celestia…

These were the ruling class of Equestria, gods, and Celestia’s head only came to his upper-chest. If he was being honest with himself, that put him out a little bit.

“So, Mr. Orion,” Celestia began while eyeing his pack. “You have a weary look about you. Have you been traveling long?”

“Longer than I can remember,” he answered, while the princesses were given their food.

“And thou have traveled far?” Luna asked, before taking a big bite of a sweet bun.

The Man nodded, looking down at his water. “I’ve been all around this world,” he told them, stirring his water with a finger. “I’ve been to the plains, the deserts, the mountains, the forests, I’ve seen more than most.”

By now, The Man saw everypony in the room lead closer toward his table, straining to hear everything that he said.

“I’ve prayed with the Yacks on top of their mountain strongholds, I’ve fought wolves with the buffalo on the plains, I’ve seen zebra witchdoctors cleanse evil spirits and raise the dead. I’ve talked to monsters and heroes, saints and sinners, peasants and kings.”

The ponies leaned in even closer while he spun his little tale, or opened his soul to them, if you will. “I’ve made pacts with demons, I’ve fought, I’ve laughed, cried, hated, loved, and lived,” he said, rubbing an achy arm.

“I have seen terrible, horrible, wonderful, great things. I have felt small as I looked upon the oceans, the mountains, the forests, the cities, and the people of these various lands, these kingdoms.” He took another sip of his water. “I have seen giants,” he smiled knowingly at the last word. “And have seen just how small they can be.”

Celestia nodded, while he laughed to himself. She can’t get a read on me, he thought, pleased with himself. But it’s surprisingly how easily I can read her, or all of these ponies…

“And this little kingdom right here, at least I think, might be my last stop.”

Luna blinked at that, her yes a little starry from The Man’s little explanation. “And thou picked Equestria last because?...”

From the corner of his eye, he saw the mane six.

Rarity, with her ivory white coat and purple mane.

Applejack, with her hat and those adorable freckles on her face.

Twilight, a mare that had grown into herself and had helped others grow.

Fluttershy, trying to hide behind Applejack, but looking at him none-the-less.

Pinkie, with that big smile of hers.

And Rainbow, the cyan mare eyeing him, sizing him up.

All of them small, he thought, his heart soaring. Just like everyone else…

“The stars were right,” he told the Princess of the Night. “And I was getting tired; I wanted to find a nice little place to settle down. And see you three,” he nudged a thumb at his old idols. “And those six, to see if the stories were true.”

We’re all small, he finally realized. What is one to a mountain? Who’s beauty can contend with the stars or the oceans?...

His mind made up, he stood up suddenly and grabbed his pack with a small, content smile, while the princesses looked on.

Before he touched the doorknob, Celestia asked, “And who do we measure up to these ‘stories’?”

He looked back at them, these giants of his childhood, these huge, massive, tiny ponies. “You’re all shorter than I thought you lot would be.”

He laughed at the chorus of guffaws he received as he turned and left the establishment. I think I could stand for some more walking, he mused, humming a little tune. Now’s not the time to rest. I haven’t seen EVERYTHING in Equestria now, have I? Just a little more walking before I can rest...

Orion had weathered time, fought life and limb to see these ponies, had spent years waiting for their stories to begin, and was leaving them.

Truly, he was content.

~There is Never truly an End, just a different story beginning~

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