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Birds chirped happily in the trees that morning, as they did the morning before, and the morning before that, and every other morning since the day after Winter Wrap-up. They swooped from their nests upon the branches to collect their morning meals. The early bird, after all, does indeed get the worm. But, as Celestia's sun crept across the early reaches of the daytime sky, many ponies still slept.

However, in a modest house near the centre of the sleepy little town, one pony defied convention, as she did every weekday morning. The blonde mare made her way down the stairs cautiously, the early morning sunlight nearly blinding her through her descent from her bedroom. She had just enough time to grab a quick bite to eat before heading off to work for the morning, and if she was anything, she was punctual.

Digging into the refrigerator, only her bubbly flank would be visible to any pony standing in the hall. She lived alone, so she made no effort to stifle the clanking of bowls, or the pouring of cereal. Sitting on the table, however, sat a book she was reading the night before, pages still exposed to the ceiling above. The mare quickly retrieved her bookmark, nestled it into the spine, then shut her book, revealing its title to be "20,000 Leagues under the Sea". It was a literary classic written by none other than Burning Jewels, who lived over a hundred years ago, speaking of undreamt marvels.

A smile crept upon her face as she laughed inwardly at her own forgetfulness. How could she have left such a classic out in the open like that? After finishing her quick breakfast, she made sure to deposit it back on the bookshelf in her living room where it rightly belonged. The mare quickly made sure all the doors and windows were locked before she grabbed her hat off the stand by the door and left for work.

Sure, being a mailpony wasn't her first career choice... but she had to admit that the job had grown on her, and she simply couldn't imagine herself doing anything else. Derpy Hooves smiled as she took off into the early morning sky. There wasn't any better time to fly then in the morning to her. The morning dew of the early summer morning still shimmered in the light, giving off the illusion that the ground below was made of precious gemstones.

Inevitably, there came the time when she had to descend from her lofty perch, landing in front of the Ponyville Post Office. It was a rather small building, considering the number of ponies it served, but they somehow managed to get the job done every weekday morning and afternoon. In the morning, the mail ponies would go around door to door and check every single post box for an outgoing letter. Then, in the afternoon, after sorting, they would be distributed.

Oddly, the thought never occurred to them to cancel that service and have the ponies drop off their mail in fewer, but larger collection boxes. They'd be guarded by lock and key to assure nothing got tampered with, unlike the current system. Derpy had tried to voice her idea before, but... there were difficulties.

The grey mare quietly rounded to the back door of the Post Office and slipped inside. Already, her fellow mail ponies were gathering their bags, or having a cup of coffee to get going before the long day ahead. As usual, nopony spoke a word to her as she walked over to her locker and collected her bag. Work didn't begin for another five minutes, but she liked to make sure she had everything. She had a bad habit of misplacing things.

"Morning, Derp," came a bright cheery voice when she emerged in the Break Room. Derpy quickly identified the pony as Fairybelle, a rather new pony to the team, but she seemed nice enough. Fairybelle was a bright and cheerful Earth Pony who sported a lavender pink coat and a short cyan mane. Her flank bore a cutie mark in the shape of a speeding letter. Obviously, she had a talent in getting packages and mail to their destinations quickly. Derpy had no doubt she would become Postmistress of Ponyville one day.

"Pickles fly!" Derpy replied, waving a hoof at her in greeting. The younger pony giggled a little at the unusual response as everypony did.

"Sorry, Derp," she smiled, realizing her faux pas. "It's just that you say such random things!"

Sadly, by now the filly had been exposed to her exploits by her coworkers. Derpy could tell she was apologizing just to make nice, but she really still thought of her the same way everypony did.


Walking through town later that morning, the young mare slowly became apprehensive as the route passed her by. The exchange with her co-worker had left her doubting herself and her plans for the day. Derp's saddlebags began to dig into her back a little from the weight of all the mail she had picked up, plus a rather hefty package from Bon-bon to Lyra, which she suspected was jammed full of chocolates. She didn't care much for chocolate: Derpy would prefer a muffin any day of the week.

Speaking of muffins, the mailmare slowly approached her next stop. It was an old and interesting building in town, since it wasn't a building at all; but rather, a tree. She approached the Library a little apprehensively as today was Wednesday, and knowing the pony's habits, she probably had a letter to deliver. Ever since she came to Ponyville, Twilight Sparkle had attracted Derpy's attention. Not in the romantic sort of way, but in the kindred spirit sort of way.

Tales had spread wide and far about the purple mare's love of a good book, and her above-average intelligence. Derpy wasn't one to brag, since she could never seem to say what she wanted anyway, but the two had at least that much in common. Perhaps, her mind raced, they could even be friends one day. To this end, the gray mare took a deep breath and knocked on the door of the Library.

"Just a minute," echoed the voice of the unicorn from behind the door. The Library didn't have a mailbox, so Derpy had to receive the letters... right from the horse's mouth, one might say.  She waited in anticipation at the door, hoping to Celestia that her lazy eyes didn't start to act up... or that she could get at least one word she wanted past her lips.

"Oh, Hi... um... Derpy," Twilight spoke as she opened the door. "I'm sorry about the delay, but Spike was begin his usual unproductive self." She shot a look back into the building as she spoke the last few words, dripping with sarcasm.

"I haven't eaten yet, what do you expect, Twi?" A whiny voice echoed from inside the tree.

The purple mare shook her head and rolled her eyes to the ceiling. "Boys," she remarked before reaching over to a side table and gathering up a letter in her teeth. Derpy took the letter happily and stuffed it into her saddle bag. She shuffled her hoof awkwardly at the door, trying to bring herself to say something.

"Um..." Derpy spoke softly. It wasn't often that she'd try to start a conversation, and even more rarely during her route. Still, disorder be damned, she was going to talk to this mare. She burrowed her brow in deep concentration, the look seemed to surprise Twilight, as her pupils narrowed and she stepped back nervously.

"Uh... are you okay, Derpy?" She spoke, concerned that the mailpony was having some sort of attack.

"I...I...icicles... like fish!" A look of horror came upon the blonde pony as she covered her mouth with a hoof. "K...kelp eats breakfast in Virginia."

Twilight couldn't quite explain what was happening, but it was beginning to creep her out. "Okay," she chuckled awkwardly. "Well, I'm sure you've got a lot of work to do, and I just remembered this fascinating book I've just gotta read so... see you later." With that, the door of the library unceremoniously closed in Derpy's face. Her ears drooping in despair, she realized she'd blown her one chance at a good first impression. Twilight must have thought that she was... that she was...

A tear dropped down her eye as it drifted to a corner of her face, the young mare's head hung low as she reluctantly continued her morning route.


Derpy Hooves dropped her bag into the sorting room, having just wiped some tears off of her face. Her boss, a brown stallion with a grizzled, gray mane and a five o'clock shadow on his face frowned at her. "Derpy!" He exclaimed angrily. "You're five minutes late, you feather brain!"

"Kumquats," she muttered apologetically as she turned tail. Perhaps a walk through town during her break would take her mind off of things? She had about an hour to kill anyway... and there was only one thing that could cheer this sorrowful pony up. The winged equine decided to take flight to her destination, a haven in times both good and bad; a place that boasted itself as the haunt of a mare who could cheer up anypony: Sugarcube Corner.

It was around noon, so Mr. and Mrs. Cake were busy in the kitchen while their hired hoof, Pinkie Pie, minded the customers.

"Hi, Derpy," the pink pony cheered happily. "What kinda muffin can I get you today?" That radiant smile, Derpy swore, could lift even the most down pony. She paused for a minute, considering.

"Bumblefoot, turkey!" The Pegasus pony announced.

"You're in luck!" Pinky chirped. "The Blueberry ones just came out of the oven!"

Of all the ponies she had ever met, Pinkie Pie was the only one who could understand her insane murmurings. She'd try to get her to speak on her behalf before, but nopony would believe her. They seemed to think that Pinkie wasn't acting as an interpreter, but would rather insert what she thought Derpy was actually saying. Needless to say, the whole thing was quite frustrating.

Pinky's smile suddenly faded as she looked into Derpy's yellow eyes. They weren't 'derped' as everypony called it, so why did she stare? "Are you okay, Derpy? You look sorta sad."

Derpy shook her head. Was the whole incident with Twilight really that easy to read? Speaking of reading, the mare remembered a book she had at home on the subject... she'd long since abandoned her attempts to explain Pinky, much like Twilight previously. Unlike her, however, the gray mare didn't have to learn it the hard way, and she was grateful for that, considering.

"Lions nest in spring," Derpy started. "...bees sting on the dot. Light sink in a cupcake sky."

"Oh..." Pink voiced in realization. "Well, she can be all fuddy-duddy like that, but Twilight's okay when you get to know her. You just gotta try a different approach!" Again, the wickedly uplifting smile spread across her face, and the blonde mare couldn't help but return it. She passed the pink earth pony her bits and took the muffin in gratitude. "Then even if you made a complete, total disaster of the first go, you've got the second go to make up for it!"

Derpy Hooves spent the rest of her lunch hour in the break room back in the post office. The other ponies chatted idly among themselves while she sat at a small corner table and dwelt on Pinkies words. Perhaps she did need a new approach to communicate with Twilight... but that begged the question: how was she going to go about it?


A few days later, during her normal delivery route, she would find the answer. One of the ponies on her delivery route that afternoon was a special case. He was a typical stallion, nothing really remarkable about him. It was more his brother, who lived in Hoofinton, that was the remarkable one. The mailmare trotted up to the door and knocked on it lightly. The stallion of the home answered, his brown coat and black mane shimmering in the light.

"Ah, hey Derpy," he spoke softly. "I take it if you're here, then I have a letter from that dear brother of mine?

"Fish paste!" Derpy chirped, handing over the letter. His brother, you see, had the most appalling writing anypony had ever seen. It was more akin to scribbles then it was to actual letters. Still, his letter, plus her translated version, was always well received by his brother. He looked at his newest letter, and a smile spread across his face.

"You know, Derpy," he started. "You have a talent for making things clear on paper that otherwise nopony would understand."

In that beaming face, an epiphany had washed over the mare. She could not help but share his smile, though he had no idea why. It was all so obvious to her now. Why had she not thought of it earlier? Derpy scolded herself inwardly as she finished her route for that day. She must really have been stupid if it wasn't clear to her before! Suddenly, she was quite looking forward to her next encounter with Twilight Sparkle.


It was Wednesday again, a week to the day since her first ill-fated attempt at talking to the purple unicorn. This time, however, things would be different. It was her afternoon route: Twilight had not been around that morning, meaning she had no outgoing mail. Ah well, that didn't matter to the grey pony, for she could fit her in regardless. She knocked  politely on the door of the library, an annoyed and frazzled Twilight thrusting it open.

"WHAT!?" she exclaimed a little louder then she intended. "Oh, it's you. Sorry about that." Twilight smiled apologetically at her outburst.

"Jellyfish!" Derpy exclaimed happily, presenting the violet unicorn with a bunch of letters.

"Oh, thank you." The unicorn gingerly too the mail from her, and before she could say another word to the Pegasus, she had already trotted off on her route. "It must be nice to be such a simple pony," she added after she left.

Twilight's mail was of the usual sort. Letters from some ponies she didn't talk to very often, her subscription to 'Magic Monthly Magazine,' and the odd flier or two from some of the local shops in town. However, a curious letter lay among them that she just had to open first. On the envelope, you see, in elegant, cursive handwriting, which she briefly mistook for Princess Celestia's, read the word, "Twilight."

Interested, she placed all the others onto the side table and sat in the middle of the Library on a cushion to read aloud, to nopony in particular.

"Ms Twilight Sparkle,

I would like to take this moment to apologize for my abysmal behaviour this Wednesday past. You must think of me as a baseline idiotic pony, who can only speak in inane outbursts. While my speech impediment may ring true, I have no doubt that the extent of my mental capacity is making itself evident to you as these words pass your eyes by. Please, allow me to explain myself to you, succinctly from the beginning.

I experience a mental block in regard to my vocal abilities. The only word I can seem to utter on command is "muffin" as well as its plural form. In addition, I tend to misplace items of importance and have a curious pair of lazy eyes.

As for my conduct last Wednesday, I sense I may have startled you, but I sincerely meant no harm. You see, I have admired you from afar for some time now. Not in a romantic capacity, but in a more... platonic capacity, I daresay. You see, I am an avid lover of both classic and contemporary literature and would like to discuss such with a pony of your intellect.

Alas, most ponies see me as dim-witted, or simply would not understand me should I deign to write to them in this fashion. However, I believe that you do. I apologize for my logorrhea, and shall get to the point of this missive. Last Wednesday, I simply wanted to ask you to join me at Mr. Shake's that Saturday afternoon so we could get to know each other a little better. You could use your words, and I a pen and pad to express myself properly. It is not something I'd do for anypony though.

If you are interested, please intercept me on my route tomorrow morning. Failing that, a simple visible token left on your door will do. It can be anything you wish.

Hoping to converse soon,

Derpy Hooves.

Twilight read the letter over repeatedly, wondering how her eyes could deceive her so. How could such a... unique pony like Derpy Hooves possess such a command of the English language? There were some words in that letter that she didn't think anypony else knew, and she had been the bookworm of any group for as long as she could remember! Perhaps... perhaps she had been a little quick to judge her... but never in her life had she been so wrong.

The purple pony needed a minute to clear her head. She stepped out onto the balcony and took in a breath of fresh air. If this Derpy Hooves was really so smart, perhaps she'd have to see it in person... have her write like that right in front of her face. She probably just had a smart friend write that letter for her... that had to be it!


A couple of days later, Spike was napping in the Library when the sudden slam of a door echoed through the building. "Spike!" came the all-too familiar bellow of a very bossy pony. He rolled onto his side and reluctantly left the warmth of his blanket behind. Obviously, he had not moved fast enough, since he heard his name called a second time with greater volume and urgency.

"Just wait until I'm all grown up," he muttered darkly as he walk down the stairs. "Yeah, Twi?"

"Take a letter, Spike," the pony replied. Spike couldn't help but notice a distinct mixture of shame, embarrassment, and a touch of envy on the face of the unicorn as he reached for a scroll and quill.

"Alright, shoot," he spoke in an irritated manner.

"Dear Princess Celestia,

Further to an earlier letter, about never judging a book by it's cover, I learned today that the same thing can even go for ponies you know. You never really know a pony until you've sat down and really talked, laughed, and shared interests together. You might just be surprised with how many acquaintances turn out to be friends you never knew you had.

On a more personal note, I also learned that, no matter how smart one thinks they are, there is probably somepony out there who is even smarter.

Your faithful student,

Twilight Sparkle.
Derpy goes about her usual day, but with a slight change; she tries to talk to Twilight Sparkle. Will she be able to make friends with the introverted unicorn? Or, will she scare her off with her... unique ways?


It's my first fanfic, so I'd appreciate comments and critique. If anyone can tell me how to center stuff, that would be great. Thanks.
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fredsite Featured By Owner Aug 5, 2014
I love this story, but is there any more?
Ciroton Featured By Owner Aug 6, 2014
Technically, yes, with the story 'My Little Muffin'. Just be aware that I am not satisfied with the ending of it a single bit. ^^;; I really have to get to fixing it one day, since I had a realization about it recently. But thank you very much for reading and enjoying this one. =D
DevineEmperorMeiji Featured By Owner Jul 31, 2012
HatEnsemble Featured By Owner Mar 8, 2012
You should put this on FIMFiction so I can favourite it a second time!
DarkApostleMatt Featured By Owner Nov 4, 2011
loved it, I agree with vaderxtreme
vaderxtreme Featured By Owner Oct 15, 2011
well done, mr. hat and clogs. I had only read the brief comics of derpy and love the new sides to her. such an interesting and misunderstood pony...
LegendofCarbon Featured By Owner Jul 19, 2011
This was quite the tall, i daresay.
ScottWolf Featured By Owner Jul 2, 2011
Nice! I'm glad someone wrote Derpy as an intelligent pony, not just brain-addled.
DrNazus Featured By Owner Jul 2, 2011
This was a pretty good fanfic. Though I did have to google some of the words Derpy used. Man, you'd think she wouldn't write so much... being a mailpony, you'd think she'd be sick of looking at letters. :lol:
Anyway, yeah, good fanfic. I like reading a nice Derpy story.
ive-moved-bitches Featured By Owner Jul 2, 2011  Student Digital Artist
Wow, for your first fanfic, this is pretty fantastic! I loved the letter Derpy sent Twilight, and when Pinkie and Derpy were talking I couldn't help but smile :)

This is really really sweet. I give it 5 stars :D
DreadPirateMe Featured By Owner Jul 2, 2011  Hobbyist Photographer
Oh yes, and the html tag for centering is, oddly enough <center> </center>
DreadPirateMe Featured By Owner Jul 2, 2011  Hobbyist Photographer
Pretty decent. I guess a more cynical reviewer might accuse you of playing around in the thesaurus, but I'll give you the benefit of the doubt. I had always imagined Derpy as being quietly intelligent and well-spoken (or well-written, as you imagined), notwithstanding other fanfics that focus on her eyes and have her talking like a two-year-old. The ending was sweet. Twilight and Spike were on-spot, character-wise, with one exception - Twilight using teeth rather than magic to get her mail. I loved Spike's line, "Just wait until I'm all grown up". Bossy pony, indeed. For a first effort, nice work!
Saint-Walker Featured By Owner Jul 2, 2011
Brilliant fic, loved the differant take on Derpy
MammoH Featured By Owner Jun 17, 2011
Great reading, i am really enjoy it. Thank you.
MammoH Featured By Owner Jun 17, 2011
Great reading, i am really enjoyed. Thank you.
RangerGxi Featured By Owner Jun 1, 2011
Oh Derpy, such intelligent Pony.
Maybe she should have apologised for dropping a Piano on Twlight too.
Davey-the-6th-moon Featured By Owner May 10, 2011  Student Writer
Copy and Pasting using Word may solve your centering issues.
Or it may not. Either which way, I got nothin' else.
Anywho, this was a great Derpy-fic! One doesn't see a lot of good Derpy/Twilight fics so this was quite a pleasure to read!
SCARYWIZARD Featured By Owner Apr 26, 2011  Hobbyist Artist
This was adorable!
NoImNotThatGuy Featured By Owner Apr 25, 2011   Photographer
and yet*
NoImNotThatGuy Featured By Owner Apr 25, 2011   Photographer
So, Derpy suffers from sensory aphasia? Sad when it happens in our world,a dn yet even sadder (to me) when it happens to Derpy.

Well written, well rounded, and Derpy is very likeable. Nice job.

The only gripe is that the ending is rather abrupt (though very friendly). Personally, I would've liked to see their encounter and Twilight's subsequent befriending of Derps.

I'll keep your name in mind when I look for more poni fics in the future.
superwaffle350 Featured By Owner Jun 17, 2011
So THAT's what that condition's called. Do you have any further info on that? I'd love to read up on it. I've got sort of a disconcerted thought process myself. I was once diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome. Later, they said I didn't have it. Not sure what's up with that but, meh... A lot of wires in me head get crossed. Apparently, we learn things by making connections between things. Like an object, what it's called, and how to spell it. A link is formed. A to B to C. My head jumps around quite a bit. A to Q to lorica squamata to parsnip souffle and then to B and C. And one very curious thing thing happens that I still don't understand. Certain thoughts cause me to see a flash of color, or if I'm really deep in thought, a full-on projection. To the point at which I literally can't see what's in front of me. What the heck is that??
qball1 Featured By Owner Nov 6, 2011
what are you on? and were can i get it?

superwaffle350 Featured By Owner Nov 6, 2011
Serotonin, Nor-epinephrine, Adrenaline, and about four Red Bulls.
Salohcin-Silverwing Featured By Owner Apr 8, 2011  Student Writer
This is your first fanfic? Well done. I would have totally believe you if you said it was your 5th or 6th.

A very enjoyable read, to say the least. Some deviants don't like long chapters, but if they're worded correctly, like yours, they're much more enjoyable.

Your characterization is perfect; just the right amount of internal dialogue mixed with description.

This is a perfect example of how shipping can also be used for casual relationships. It's a very touching image to see Derpy and Twilight having an intelligent discussion over hayshakes. Truly a good job.
FlamingLight Featured By Owner Apr 4, 2011
I have to admit..I ADORE your interuptatio0n of her. I mean, in ways i am fond of how shes usually written, but I felt like there could be a lot more to her, especially since the derpy eyes weren't originally intended.

A couple tiems through, iwas thinking that IM chatting would be so well-suited for her.
DoctorWhooves Featured By Owner Apr 4, 2011  Hobbyist Digital Artist
EbonMane Featured By Owner Apr 3, 2011
An interesting take on the Derpy Hooves character. I usually don't like her in fanfiction, but this presentation worked very well.

Also, I liked the letter to Princess Celestia; good lessons.
RoyGBiv-MLP Featured By Owner Apr 3, 2011
Swifttail27 Featured By Owner Apr 3, 2011
I saw this on Equestria Daily. c:
Great job, Ciro!
pyrotec911 Featured By Owner Apr 3, 2011
I must say that your representation of Derpy is most enjoyable as I prefer not to believe that she is of below-average intelligence and it is only the result of an actual disability. I have trouble effectively conveying my thoughts through speech, and only in written or typed communications am I able to explain them effectively, so I can empathize with her somewhat.
Your story is well written, well spaced, and you have conveyed the emotion of the main character very effectively as it caused me to feel as Derpy felt. Derpy's letter was beautifully written and brought a smile to my face.

I do like your adaptation of the author of 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, Jules Verne -> Burning Jules, quite clever of you.
Ciroton Featured By Owner Apr 3, 2011
Thank you. Actually, that honour belongs to BrotherPrickle. He helped me proof-read the story and he suggested the Burning Jewels pun. x3
pyrotec911 Featured By Owner Apr 3, 2011
^Burning Jewels
Adiwan Featured By Owner Apr 3, 2011  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I actually like this fanfic, although it could be a bit longer.
The concept that Pinkie Pie acts as a translator is hilarious.
I would like to see the actual conversation between Twilight and Derpy.
Solaris90 Featured By Owner Apr 3, 2011  Hobbyist Writer
What Murgurgle said.
Nova225 Featured By Owner Apr 3, 2011
That was very interesting.

The perfect way to characterize Derpy, yes.
Smart, but with ''Speech Impairment'' to explain her special way to talk. Yeah, definitely the best Derpy/Bright-Eye possible (except if you had her Daughter (possibly adopted) unicorn, Dinky... Then it become perfect.)

Will there be more ? It certainly feels like it. :)
smx-underground Featured By Owner Apr 3, 2011
I Never really liked the whole "Derpy is Insane/Retarded/What have you" thing, but here it works.

I also really like Derpy (Which BTW , should be relegated to nickname as 'derpy hooves' Really does not have that much of a ring to it.) as an intellectual.

The story is good and Our poor lil' Derpy needs a bit more love.
DuplexFields Featured By Owner Jul 18, 2011  Hobbyist Writer
Since she was noticed in the pilot, there have always been a bunch of interpretations: the pony who does "that eye trick" at parties; the bubble-headed blonde with wonky eyes; the earnest but severely handicapped mailmare; the word-salad talker with an elegant quill; the wall-eyed single mother who juggles work and home.
Lurks-no-More Featured By Owner Apr 3, 2011
Flowery writing makes perfect sense, if Derpy's fond of classic literature. Nice and, well, friendly little piece!
Bailoroc Featured By Owner Apr 3, 2011  Student
You ought to submit this to Equestria Daily: [link]

They would love to read this.
Lawn-Pygmy Featured By Owner Apr 2, 2011
This was a fun read! I liked your take on Derpy, especially her being a sometimes transcriptionist. There were little bits that stuck out as especially fun, too. Like Burning Jewels, and the beginning where you led us to believe it could have been Applejack. Had to go back a moment after reading 'bubbly flank'.
The letter was a bit flowery, but then I imagine so is your Derpy. Other than that, good job!

Nice hat. :D
FlamingLight Featured By Owner Apr 4, 2011
OMG, I did the same thing!
Lawn-Pygmy Featured By Owner Apr 4, 2011
Great minds think alike? :D
FlamingLight Featured By Owner Apr 4, 2011
hehe, sure. ^_^
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