Going Native

by little big pony

Chapter 1: Crotch-high, Marshmallow Horses, Terrorized by Local Man...

“Oh, good morning, Abel. Will you be having the same as usual?”

It was a busy morning in Sugarcube Corner, and for good reason. It was an important time for the store, where the Cakes would find themselves up to their necks in customers and coin. Summer was at its tail end, which meant that black berry season had started.

While this would mean nothing to ponies from cities like Manehattan or Canterlot, which could easily have the treat imported from other parts of the world, for smaller towns, Ponyville and Dodge City and the like, importing fruits from other parts of the world just wasn’t viable. That and the Apples iron grip on the market meant that even if the fruit could be exported it wouldn’t be a very good idea. Not if you wanted to keep your legs unbroken anyways.

Many ponies in small towns all around Equestria were rearing for a change. They were sick of apples, sick of cherries, sick of the occasional orange and pear that they were lucky enough to slip past the Apples. They wanted something new, something sweet and tart and tasty. They wanted the blackberries that came from the bushes in the Everfree that would only grow around this time of year, and not only did they want these special, rare berries they wanted them in their baked goods.

The Cakes, living in a small town right on the forest’s edge, had the luxury of living with and knowing the mares and stallions that ventured out into the forest every year to collect the berries. And, being two very skilled bakers, they had long ago perfected a variety of blackberry-based confections that were a hit. So much of a hit, in fact, that ponies from the small towns all over Equestria would come to their store this time of year to gorge themselves silly.

At that moment, there was a line going out the door and down the street in the little bakery. Ponies, some having come all the way from Appaloosa, were fidgeting in place, waiting for their turn to order.

The air was charged. Everyone could feel it. Everyone but the lone creature towering over a smiling Mr. Cake.

He was a sleepy-eyed creature, who, despite his size, garnered no fear from any pony in the bakery. Many of the ponies, even the ones that have traveled here, knew this being by name and reputation. His name was Abel E. Mous, apelien, back alley wise man, and a devout cynic.

“Morning Mr. Cake,” the young man said with a yawn, his jaw popping loudly during the act. “Yeah, same as usual please.”

Mr. Cake, ever the businessstallion, tried to press his luck. “Are you sure? The missus and I just made a fresh batch blackberry muffins that I’m sure you’ll love.”

He propped himself up on his counter so that he could better look his customer in the eye. Though he was standing up fully on his back legs, he still had to crane his neck to look into the human’s face.

“They’re usually seven bits a muffin but I’d be willing to knock the price down to four because you’re such a good customer,” the stallion said with a wink. “Don’t tell my honey though. She’ll get all fired up if she finds out.”

Abel, with the newest edition of Gabby Gums under an arm, did not look very excited by the prospect of discount muffins. In fact, it looked like he was ready to fall asleep.

“No thank you,” he said politely. “Just the coffee please.”

Mr. Cake’s smile turned slightly rueful. “You really need to learn to live a little my boy,” he said with an overly dramatic sigh.

“I’d prefer to live a lot,” Abel replied. “Living a little sounds perilously close to living not at all, and I’d like to live as much as I can for as long as I can, thank you.”

Mr. Cake, with a chuckle and a shake of the head, made his way over to a series of coffee pots. “One large black coffee it is then,” he said. “Would you like anything with that? Sugar, cream, milk?”

“No thank you.”

This only caused Mr. Cake to chuckle and shake his head. Never in his life had he met a stallion that would only drink plain, bitter coffee in the mornings until he met the human standing before him. A human that he rather liked, for his quirks if nothing else, but all the same he still found it odd.

Since Abel’s order was such a simple one, the stallion was able to whip it up and carry it over to him in a flash. Abel, blinking owlishly like he always did in the mornings, quietly set the required number of bits onto the counter and slid them toward the earth pony. Usually this would be the time where Mr. Cake tried to make some small talk with the human, see if he had learned of any gossip around town. But, because of how busy everything was he knew that would have to go by the wayside today.

“Alright, you have a great day, Abel,” Mr. Cake chirped, giving the human his brightest smile.

Abel’s lips twitched slightly upwards in what might have been considered a smile. “You too, Mr. Cake,” he said, grabbing his coffee and slapping his newspaper on the counter. “Don’t work too hard. I most certainly don’t intend to.”

The crowds of ponies made way for the big man as he strode toward the door and threw it open.

Outside it was the picture of perfection. There wasn’t a cloud in the sky. The sun was shining but it wasn’t so harsh as to be uncomfortable. A gentle breeze kept the heat from being too stifling. Ponies were chatting, laughing, making their way to work or enjoying their days off with their friends and family.

Abel looked at the picturesqueness of it all and yawned again before he made his way over to the outdoor patio where the bakery’s patrons could sit and enjoy the weather while they ate. Most of these tables were crammed full of ponies, all except one.

This was a special table, one far larger than the others around it. Unlike the other tables this one had a long, colorful umbrella jutting out the center that provided shade. Near this hole in the table sat a golden plaque that read “RESERVED” in bold, black letters.

With a tired amble, Abel made his way over to this table. Setting his newspaper and coffee down, he grabbed the one of the two chairs at the table and pulled it out. He then sat down with a grunt, digging his heels into the ground and pushing the chair back a little more with him in it. When he was at the desired distance from the table the young man sighed, picking up his coffee and taking a gentlemanly sip. He let out a sigh of contentment, grabbing his newspaper and opening it with a flick of his wrists. Leaning back in the chair, he began to read.

Just as he had about finished the first article—a rather enlightening piece about Filthy Rich’s illicit activities with a ground of shady gryphons—the entrance to Sugarcube Corner was thrown open, revealing the Princess of Friendship herself, Twilight Sparkle, with three boxes floating next to her head via magic.

“Thanks Mr. Cake, thanks Pinkie!” the alicorn yelled into the bakery with a friendly wave.

“Come back anytime!” a voice called. “We’re happy to have your business, your highness!”

Waving again, Twilight stepped out of the bakery and looked around. Her gaze drifted over the crowded seats wistfully, before her eyes settled on Abel. She perked up, the small smile on her face morphing into a grin. With a happy little bounce, she made her way over to the human, her confections in tow.

“Good morning, Abby!” she chirped, stopping right beside him.

Abel, not looking up from his paper, flipped his newspaper around and began reading the back. “That’s an oxymoron, Twilight,” he grumbled. “There is no such thing as a good morning.”

Twilight giggled. “Every morning is a good morning, you silly colt,” she said matter-of-factly.

“That is very much incorrect. There has never been a good morning and there never will be,” Abel responded, yawning hugely. “Mornings are the work of an angry god that wishes nothing but pain and hardship for his or her creations.”

Giggling again, Twilight made her way over to the other chair at the table. Setting her boxes down, she pulled it out with a spell and hopped right on into it. “Do you mind if I sit here? It’s a little crowded inside and I want to eat a few of these before I go back home.”

Abel looked up from his paper to eye the boxes in front of the alicorn. “Are those three boxes of muffins?” he asked.

“Uh-huh,” Twilight answered, popping open the first box and pulling it close. “I was only going to get one, but Mr. Cake gave me a deal.”

“Did he now?”

The princess nodded, sticking her snout into the box and pulling out a muffin. “Yep!” she said around her mouthful. “He let me have all of these for ten bits a muffin when they were twenty!”

Looking very pleased with herself, Twilight inhaled the muffin with a happy groan. She chewed contently, her ears perked up and a blissful expression on her face, before spitting out the muffin’s wrapping.

“Isn’t that a steal?” she asked, dropping the wrapping—which looked completely whole and untouched—back into the box and producing another muffin.

Abel stared at the princess for a long moment before opening his paper to the funnies section. “A saint amongst ponies that one.”

“Don’t go telling anypony that I said that though. I don’t want Mrs. Cake giving his grief over giving me a discount.”

“You’re secret’s safe with me, my purple epicure.”

Twilight wiggled happily in the too-big chair, giving Abel a grateful smile as she stuffed another muffin into her mouth.

“Doth yoush want someth?” she asked, spraying crumbs everywhere.

“No thank you,” the human answered. “I’m not dumb enough to come between a predator and her prey.”

That would have been the end to it. Twilight would have say there and chatted with Abel while she worked her way through each in every muffin with the grace one would have seen at the most barbaric of Yakish courts. After that the two of them might have parted ways or the alicorn would have asked if he wanted to go on an adventure or learn friendship or something silly like that. Ponyville would have continued to be the sleepy, beautiful little town that was and would be.

But there was a new wind flowing through the little town. Something, or someone, was coming; someone that was going to change the citizens of Ponyville forever. And not in a good way.

“Mornin’ Abby! Mornin’ Twi!”

As always, Abel did not look up from his paper to look at the greeter. However Twilight, being a mare that always went out of her way to say good morning when the greeting was given, looked toward the speaker. This would be one of the great mistakes of her young life.

“Good mor—oh sweet Celestia…”

In the blink of an eye, a change overcame the princess. Her cheery and playful disposition drained away. Her face paled and her smile disappeared. The muffin that she was holding fell to the table as her eyes widened hugely.


Cain. E Mous, brother of Abel I. Mous, professional freeloader and lazy man, smiled down at the alicorn, his hands on his hips and his chest puffed out in what might have been pride.

“In the flesh,” the young man said, striking a pose as Twilight looked him over with an expression born from the deepest pits of horror.

It was at this moment Abel casually looked up to see that his brother was completely and totally naked. He calmly looked him up and down, taking a moment to drink in the horror that he was witnessing. After a solid thirty seconds of this he looked back down at his newspaper, with the look of a man who has completely lost all optimism and hope in his fellow man.

“Cain? Why in the name of the Golly Green Giant are you standing out here in your birthday suit?”

“L-Look at all of that hair,” Twilight murmured, a mixture of fascination mixing in with her horror. “It’s everywhere…”

Her eyes settled on his groin, and her features took on a green hue.

“Oh sweet harmony above…”

Cain, still smiling like a man that had it all figured out, took a step toward the two. Twilight, being the one closest to him, lost her nerve and, with a yelp, teleported to Abel’s side and cowered beside him. As euphoric as Cain was, he didn’t even notice.

“I bet you’re wondering why I’m naked huh?” he asked, sounding oddly smug.

Abel, still calmly looking down at his newspaper, changed the page. “I recall asking you why not ten seconds ago,” he said.

“Look at that belly,” Twilight commented, resting her chin on Abel’s leg, ready to teleport away at a moment’s notice. “Look at... oh my goodness is there a lot to look at…”

“It feels like I’m looking at ten pounds of shit stuffed in a six pound sack,” Abel said, looking at his brother once again from the top of his newspaper. “Cain, go and get some clothes on. You’re going to scare everything with a set of eyes and a brain in their skulls.”

Cain’s smug superiority lessened somewhat. He spun around to look at his older brother, with was followed immediately by a wet, almost sickly smack. Twilight, turning a sickly shade of green, gagged.

“No can do bro!” Cain chirped, reaching into the open box that Twilight had left on the counter and helping himself to a muffin. “I’ve finally gone native now!”

One of Abel’s eyebrows raised ever so slightly. “Native?” he asked.

Cain nodded. “Yep! I’m tired of spending all that money buying clothes—”

“You haven’t spent a cent for clothes in your entire life.”

“—I want to be free! I want to live like the ponies live!” Cain took a step toward the street, much to the horror of every single mare, stallion, and foal in attendance. “I mean, we already live in their houses, eat their food, and work alongside them, why not just go all the way?”

He finished his sentence with a thrust of his hips. The stallion that was walking his son to school was forced to cover his child’s face in an attempt to protect what was left of his innocence. Though he himself would be forever scarred.

“There’s a reason why we wear clothes, Cain,” Abel pointed out, speaking like he was talking to a child.

Cain spun around once again, causing Twilight to cover her eyes with her hooves and even making his brother reel back slightly. “No there’s not! Clothes are just something the man used to hold us down! They make us hide our bodies, be ashamed of them!”

He slowly spun around, much to the revulsion of the patrons of Sugarcube Corner. He then made an already bad situation worse by turning around and bending over.

“But now I don’t need to be ashamed of my body! I’m free! Free to live as nature intended! Free to show the world what I look like under all of those horrible clothes.

He bent forward a little more, giving everyone an eyeful.

“Sweet Celestia!”

“My eyes!”

“Kill it! Kill it with fire!”

Abel, not looking away from the eye of unspoken horrors, sighed. “I would give a great many things that are dear to me for this to be the first time I’ve had to tell you to get your asshole out of my face.”

Cain sprung back up to his full height, much to the dismay of all of creation. “Well too bad, you’re going to be seeing this asshole and everything else from now on!” he said, poking his belly with a thump. “I’ve gone completely native and there’s no one that can stop me!”

Abel looked away from his brother and down at the mare cowering in his lap. “Twilight, you’re a princess, right? Go and stop him,” he said, waving a hand in Cain’s general direction.

Twilight lifted her head from his lap to look at Cain. She was able to stare at him for no more than five seconds before burying her muzzle back into his groin. “No thank you.”

“Come on. Go and do your duty to protect your people,” Abel urged, giving her horn a flick.

“Protect them from what?” Cain asked. “I’m not doing anything wrong. There’s no laws about making people wear clothes here.”

The purple alicorn looked up at Abel. “He’s not… wrong,” she admitted. “There aren’t any laws that require anypony to wear clothing.

The human frowned. “I’d like to remind your muzzle-height to his Johnson, Twi,” he pointed out.

Twilight cringed, her eyes shutting tightly. “E-Even so, we’re a modern society, Abby. We just can’t go around telling colts to wear whatever we want them to wear,” she said, though it looked like it took some considerable effort. “If Cain wants to walk around looking like… that then it’s perfectly legal for him to do so…”

“Hah! Told ya,” Cain said, smugly crossing his arms.

This news, rather expectedly, did not go over very well with the local populace. Though no mare or stallion was openly repulsed, many could be seen eyeing the naked man with thinly veiled disgust and revulsion.

Abel, with a ‘harrumph’, looked back down at his newspaper. “Then I suppose that there’s nothing we can do,” he announced. “Father Nurgle has unleashed a Great Unclean One in our midst. Chaos will sweep over all and we shall be tasked with joining the great dance.”

“That’s not true, Abby. I might not be able to do anything but you can,” Twilight said, giving him a smile and an encouraging nudge. “Since you’re his brother you might be able to talk some sense into him.”

Sighing, Abel looked up from his paper at his brother. “Cain, get some clothes on. You’re making everyone uncomfortable, you fat, hairy blob of a thing that resembles a man.”

“Don’t listen to him, Cain!”

Fifty sets of eyes turned toward the street, where Lyra Heartstrings was standing next to her “friend” Bonbon. The unicorn had a cheer smile on her face, and was looking at Cain with an expression of glee. Bonbon, however, was staring at the spectacle with a pair of dead, hopeless eyes. Her eyes met Abel’s, and for a brief but heartfelt moment the two acknowledged each other’s pain.

“Your body is beautiful!” the unicorn continued. “Don’t let anypony tell you any differently!”

Cain’s grin widened. “See? She thinks I look fine,” he said.

After a brief moment’s consideration, Abel nodded. “You know what? Lyra’s right, brother mine,” he said, folding up his newspaper and tossing it onto the table. “Don’t listen to what anypony has to say. Listen to me and go put some clothes on, you great demon of darkness.”

Twilight took this moment to crack open an eye. “Abby, is it working? Are you getting through to him?”

Watching as his brother, his cheeks puffed out in indignation, Cain drew himself up to his full height, and Abel found himself sighing. “I’m afraid the only thing that’d get through to my dear old brother would be a railroad spike.” Milling it over, he also added, “And maybe a bat, and someone stubborn enough to use it until it breaks.”

“You’re just jealous that I’m confident enough to walk around like this,” Cain said with a scoff.

“I can very much assure you that that’s not the case.”

“Yes, it is! I can see it on your face!”

“If you can see anything besides my unending loathing of the deity that was cruel enough to drop me here with you then you are Argus Panoptes reborn,” Abel dryly remarked.

Cain chuckled with a shake of his head. “Admit it bro, you’re just a big scaredy cat that’s too afraid to let these ponies see what you look like underneath all of that oppressive clothing!”

Abel said nothing for a few moments, staring into his brother’s smug holier-than-thou expression with tired eyes. He leaned back into his chair, staring off into the distance. Seconds turned into minutes as the citizens of Ponyville and beyond waited for their savior to save them from a fate worse than death.

Giving Twilight’s head a pat, Abel quietly stood up. Pushing his chair in, he stepped away from the table and began unbuttoning his shirt. As soon as the last button was undone he pulled off his shirt, neatly folded it, and sat it onto the table. He then reached down and began untying his shoes. After they were off his socks followed, then his pants, then finally his underwear, so that he stood before his brother and the ponies that he knew and worked with, naked as the day he was born.

The silence was deafening as both Cain and every mare and stallion in attendance stared the man up and down, each of them in complete and absolute shock.

Cain’s smugness had long left his face. A look of surprise and envy replaced it. The younger of the brothers looked Abel up and down, a blush slowly creeping up his neck.

In the midst of the tables full of ponies, someone let out a wolf whistle.

“Go and put some clothes on,” Abel said, staring his brother down.

Cain, looking at the ground, nodded. “…Alright,” he mumbled, before quietly turning around and making his way toward the house that the two shared.

Abel, along with the ponies, watched as he left. The second that he disappeared around a corner, Abel turned toward Twilight, giving her an eyeful.

“The day is saved. I have conquered,” he said, reaching for his boxers.

“T-Thanks for the help, C-Abby,” Twilight said, her face reddening as the young man slipped on his boxers, much to the crowd’s visible dismay.

“I would like a triumph in Canterlot to celebrate my heroics,” Abel said, pulling on his socks and grabbing his pants. “I’ll need someone to pull my chariot though.”

A hoof went up in the crowd. “I’ll d-do it!” a mare called.

Abel, pulling on his pants, pulled out his chair and sat back down at the table. “Good mare. I’ll have the princess here speak to you about the whole business,” he said, grabbing his newspaper and unfolding it.

Twilight eyed the human’s bare chest, her wings twitching at her sides. She forced herself to look away from him and back toward where Cain had slithered off too. “…Was there a friendship lesson in all of this?” she pondered aloud.

Abel snorted. “I’m sure you’ll find one somewhere,” he said.

The purple princess hummed, her brow furrowing in concentration. She thought long and hard for several seconds. Then, as with most great flashes of inspiration, a thought came to her head suddenly and without warning.

“Maybe there’s such a thing as becoming too swept up in somepony else’s culture?” she said. “Maybe, instead of trying our best to try to fit in with a group like Cain was trying to do we should understand that no matter how hard we try there’s always going to be differences between us.”

A small smile came to her face as she turned her attention toward the crowd.

“And I don’t mean the differences between us and Abby and Cain, I mean everypony. We all are different; human, gryphon, minotaur and pony, and we should take pride in that. Our differences are what makes each and every one of us special and—”

“Take your pants back off!” someone amongst the tables yelled.

“Yeah!” said another. “And do a little dance while you do it!”

The barest of smiles came to Abel’s face as Twilight deflated. “The real lesson here is if you want to walk around without any clothes on, have a body that’s worth showing,” he said, flipping to the next page of his newspaper.

“…That’s not a very good lesson, Abby.”

“Many lessons aren’t, my young acolyte.”

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