twilightpony: Big tree with windows and door, fall foliage (Default)
I caught the early train to Canterlot this morning and sped off to connect with Moondancer, get a small versatile telescope and go buy some books.

After meeting up at the train station, we went to that shop selling scientific glassware and optical equipment I'd seen last time I was looking at telescopes. We pondered the Celestian line of telescopes. The reflector-type Startracker model was tempting, but calling your brand "Celestian"? How gauche. I wanted a refractive telescope anyway. Double Bridle Glassware had a Lightbridle reflective with a trusstube Bobroanian "light bucket". Oh mare! That has to be my back-up choice. But in the end I got a big Double Bridle night and day refractor telescope. It's quite similar to the one I had at the Golden Oak library, only a bit bigger. It comes complete with tripod and an eyepiece and filter set.

We stopped for lunch and then it was off to Moondancer's favorite bookseller. I got that copy of T.S. Celerybit's Collection of Poems I've been meaning to buy, as well as some more reference books and some light reading.

From there we went to my old place where we talked for hours. I told Moondancer about the foal's storybooks from the Crystal Empire I'd read, especially the one with Epona and the windigo named Winter. Moondancer sat bolt upright at that. She told me about a scroll fragment the Canterlot Mane library has in its archives, a fragment that is all that's left of a larger text several thousands of years old. It appears to recount a legend of a time before ponies. You need special permission to see the treasures they keep in that archive and this fragment is very delicate. It's printed on gold leaf and she wasn't allowed to touch it or even breathe on it! It spoke of a giant windigo named Winter. Moondancer thinks she can figure out where this windigo lived. It's very exciting.

Moondancer has been practicing Haycartes' book-study method and she's making good progress. I read therefore I am the book!

I caught the afternoon train back and lugged my boxed telescope and my new books back to the Treecastle. I was a long day and I'm tired.
twilightpony: Big tree with windows and door, fall foliage (Default)
That foal's storybook is probably a glimpse into pony culture thousands of years ago, before there was an Equestria and maybe before alicorn ponies. The story elements of relevance that I'd place emphasis on are: winter, snow, Epona, strange alicorn, crystal hare, land before ponies, north, a time without seasons, weather as an instrument of harmony and a benign/tamed windigo. Also: the story predates Crystal Empire princesses and was probably adapted to include Equestria to make it relevant when this book was printed about a thousand years ago. Epona is a very old legend. I wonder who she retrieved from the south to combat the windigo in earlier versions and what did the crystal ponies call Equestria back then?
twilightpony: Big tree with windows and door, fall foliage (Default)
Epona wallowed through the deep snow and made her way south. The days passed, the snow and ice grew thinner, then patchy, and here and there green things grew. She crossed rivers and plains. She trotted through wild mossy forests, skirted a vast swamp and walked through a jungle into a wide clearing. It was as hot and humid as a sauna. Birds chased insects over gigantic leaves, grass grew belly deep and the scent of flowers filled the air.

In the distance Epona could hear the sound of hooves and singing. She approached cautiously. On a low hill rested a grey mare and around her galloped and pranced four foals. The grey mare was unlike any Epona had seen before. She had wings. And she had a horn. When Epona had recovered from her surprise she noticed that she was no longer alone. An old pony had joined her. The old pony spoke. "The foals are celebrating Life, Growth, Renewal and Light. They do so to honor their Princess. Her name is Summer." At last Epona had found her Princess.

Epona emerged from the tall grass, stood at the bottom of the hill and called. Summer rose, and with hoofsteps as light as a feather, walked down to meet her. The All Mother is leader of all ponies everywhere.

Together they raced back north. In every hoofprint Summer made, grass sprang up and spread in all directions. Above her the skies cleared and the frost retreated. Over the hills and to the north they ran, leaving a trail of green life behind them. Finally they reached Epona's country where everypony slept and the land was silent and white.

Winter was waiting for Epona to return and he was delighted to see she had brought a tall grey mare with her. But before Winter could speak, Princess Summer took to the air. With great wing-beats she cleared the air of mist and clouds. She folded her wings, dived to the ground and landed so hard that she shook the snow off the trees, shattered the ice on the lakes and rivers and woke everypony in the north. She then opened her wings and with her horn shining like a second sun, sang a note so pure that every plant burst into leaf and flower; and the heat that they made melted all the snow and ice, carrying away Winter in a torrent of water.

But Epona is the All Mother and she caught the giant Windigo by the tail and she dragged him to the shore. She made Winter promise to return to his mountains. But she also granted Winter permission to come back every year for three months to balance out Summer's growth and bounty and to give ponies and their land a rest.

In this way, Epona gave us a new Harmony. Summer and Winter give us a time for work and a time for play. And like night and day, a balance between the time to run and the time for little ponies to sleep.
twilightpony: Big tree with windows and door, fall foliage (Default)
One of the books Princess Cadence passed along to me is pretty interesting. It's a foal's storybook about how winter came to Equestria. It's a great insight into Crystal Pony culture. It goes something like this:

When Winter came to Equestria

Long, long ago when ponies first came to Equestria, the land was forever green and the grass grew long and lush. But the giant Windigo that lived in the mountains of the north came down to live in the plains and forests, and his name was Winter. Where he went, is hoofprints left sheets of ice. Where he swished his tail, frost covered the grass and the trees. Great clouds billowed from his breath, covering the sky and burying the land in snow. Soon all of Equestria became frozen and white. Nothing grew anywhere and the ponies became weak with hunger and despair.

Epona, the All Mother, decided to send the Windigo away. She traveled long through the wilderness, following the frost to where the snow was the deepest, to where Winter had settled. She found him one night, resting by a frozen waterfall as tall as a castle, on a carpet of pure white snow that glittered like a field of diamonds, under a breathless sky where every star stood still and shone with all their might.

The giant Windigo bid Epona welcome, but before Epona could speak, Winter began to mezmerize her with tales of the land before ponies, when all was cold and rock and sparkling crystals. Epona became drowsy and fell into a deep sleep. She had a dream. In her dream, the giant Winter filled the sky, his eyes like ice and his mane weaving across the sky like smoke. Then suddenly, in her dream he began to shrink and melt. Great rivers flowed all around and meadows of sweet grass sprang up. Epona slept for three whole months.

When she woke, the Windigo was gone and her friend the crystal hare was nestled in her mane. "Far to the south there lives a Princess," said the hare "her power is greater than the Windigo. Find her and bring her here."

More tomorrow.


twilightpony: Big tree with windows and door, fall foliage (Default)
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