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The Deserts of Mexicolt and Jungles of Tenochtitlan


Dunder

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Dunder was adding the final touches, slamming tent stakes into the ground with his hooves. He gave the rope a quick pull with his wing to test the tensity and the rope responded with hardly giving way. Satisfied with the results, the pony flew over the frame with a large colorful quilt. After draping it over the wooden frame to provide sufficient shade,  visitors could see the quilt was comprised of lines of designs, mostly patterns of sharp angles. Diamonds, triangles, but most importantly, each design was mostly unique and all were colorful.

After the tent was set up, Dunder unwrapped a second folded material. This one was a lot thicker and more durable, woven out wide fibrous strips to be strong, not beautiful. He set the brown, woven mat on the ground and unfolded it to reveal the food of the Tenochtitlan basin and Mexicolt. Beans, corn, potatoes, tomatoes, cactus, mangos, and squash, each had a variety and covered the mat. These weren't for eating though, they were for touching and learning.

The next mat Dunder unfolded was deeper in the tent and was unraveled to reveal a myriad of weapons. To the left were the weapons of Tenochtitlan. Of wooden construct and utilized the black glass obsidian. Spears, clubs, throwable projectiles, axes, knives. To the right of the mat was weapons that would be seen in Mexicolt, sabres, rapiers, machetes. Though for demonstrative purposes, the obsidian and steel was dull. Most tools on the mat shared a common theme of being colorful and etched carefully with designs. Some even had gold leafing to contrast the deep brown color or sharp metallic color.

On the sides of the mats, Dunder arranged some boxes. Several were packed tightly with books. Books on culture, politics, mythos, fables, inventions, pyramids, wildlife, plant life, traditions and customs, food, trades all could be found. Most were written in equestrian, but some were written in the languages of their respective lands. One box though contained something besides books: Stonecraft. Etched plates of stone with intricate arrays of inscriptions, some were sculptures of double headed serpents, some were of ponies in different costumes, but all were carefully made with a lot of care.

The last piece of the puzzle was Dunder's favorite. He pulled out a metal cart next to the tent he had set up. When he was satsified with the placement he kicked a pedal on it and the cart shot to life, opening compartments filled with toppings including diced onions, cilantro, hot sauce, and many others. The rest of the cart was covered in heating plates that started to heat up, and began to warm the various taco fillings that the stallion had prepared earlier.  The pony got behind them and started to warm up tortillas.

Fainally the finishing touch. A wooden sign set up in the dirt in front of it all that stated, "The Deserts of Mexicolt, and the Jungles of Tenochtitlan Welcome you!"

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Wind Walker slowly trotted through the busy expo-grounds when something struck her right in the snout! It was a familiar scent and oddly enough it was not coming from the outdoor festival food-stops and tents, but somewhere else. Somewhere near. As she tracked down the tantalizing aroma, somepony very familiar came into view! It was Dunder! The stallion had apparently been setting up a little area to celebrate his heritage and good gravy! This was a rather low-key way of doing it!

 

There were no giant fish bowls, nor where there impressive full sized Caribou statues or ships, it was just one of her very favorite ponies trying his very best to show off a little of his culture. And apparently there were also tacos. She liked tacos.

 

Knowing she would totally fail as a pony if she passed this off, the little blue filly bounced over to the stand. "Hey Dunderbunny!", she yelped while she gave the older stallion a stealth hug!
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Dunder realized that he was missing just one thing from the whole display. He slapped himself on the face with a wing. He always did this! For get something or another. Only if he wasn't the only one managing the whole display. Just the thought began to frustrate him a bit as he brought some more paint over to the sign.

The stallion dipped the brush into the small bowl of white paint and added "Free Tacos." To the end of the welcoming message. Just as soon as he was about to put the paint down, something small and cute slammed against him and squealed in delight. He recognized the voice and looked down at her.

"WIND!" He called out, equally as excited as her, if not more. He turned and pulled the little filly to a big hug, both forelegs wrapped around her head to pull her to his chest for a real hug. "How's my favorite princess doing? Are you hungry? Pobre. I have free tacos, everything prepared by me!"

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"Alright!", once freed from the stallion's hug, Wind Walker quickly made her way towards the assorted tools and weapons Dunder had laid out for display. "Well, I'm both alright and also 'alright' for tacos cause I really missed your cooking.", she snatched up the rapier and started to swing it around. "I don't think I've seen you since we've moved to Ponyville.", she set the weapon down and continued to rummage through the items. "Got a puppy and a few new friends. I'll be starting school soon once the break is over. It's weird. I'm going from Canterlot Elementary which had hundreds of students to the tiniest schoolhouse I've ever seen. Don't think it can hold more than a dozen. But I've heard Miss Cheerilee is super nice. Geez, where did you get all of this stuff?"
 
She glanced at the cute brown Pegasus and hoped others would show up soon. It wasn't the best or the flashiest exhibit, but her friend put a lot of his heart into it. And also free tacos. Those are good.
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Dunder listened to Wind as he pulled the tortillas off after they were sufficiently cooked, making a pile of ready tortillas on a smaller, cooler hotplate. He pulled up a paper plate on a wing and laid two tortillas on it. As he listened, the stallion half-mindedly reached the tongs into the ground up hay and filled the tortillas with it. As she finished talking, Dunder put the plate on the edge of the cart with a big smile. "You missed my cooking? That's a sweet thing to say." He chuckled, "Well, you get as much as you want today. I got more than tacos too, I made some enchiladas and tamales too. I also got fresh fruit and candy and some Mexicolt soda that comes in the glass bottles. All free!"

"Also help yourself to the toppings."
He said while motioning to the array of topping at the front of the cart. "Crema fresca, diced tomato, queso fresca, chile verde, hotter chile, diced onions, cilantro..." He stopped himself before getting too into it. "Anyway, I haven't seen you guys since you've moved to ponyville. I've heard of the move, just that since I broke.... er... Since Fire and I ... Since Fire started hanging out with that new stallion." Dunder tried not to look bothered by the idea, "I just have had no reason to go to visit you guys."

"I hear Cheerilee is nice. I've also heard she has gotten nicer since she's learned to relax." The stallion added the newly cooking tortillas to the pile and set more to cook. "You'll get along just fine. The ponyville ponies are nice." He thought for a moment before talking again, "I wish my sister was here. She's about your age. You guys would get along really well. She would have wanted to see your new puppy though." He say down in the shade of the tent. "Oh? And this stuff I just got over time. Sometimes I have a lot of money, and have nothing to do but bust it on something cool."

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“I sure do.”, the little filly tried her best not to drool all over the stallion’s assortment of tools and weapons as the inviting and overpowering aromas teased her senses. “I’m sure I've told you how my family is pretty good at all sorts of things, but cooking. Not so much.”, she watched the Pegasus pony as he prepared the meals, and while she swore she would not pig out on just one of the food booths, she was probably going to have to enjoy crystal berries and Saddle Arabian 'Shanklish' some other time. "My dad was so desperate for a really good home cooked meal, he practically begged me to ask the lady at the pet-fair if she was seeing anypony.", the filly gasped before she quickly corrected herself, "Er, so she could date one of my brothers. I'm guessing in his mind, she, urm, Miss Fluttershy would fall head over heals for somepony like Punk or Sky, marry one of them, and since she lived in Ponyville, he would at least have a real home cooked meal that did not involve simply boiling water...oooh.", she grunted.. "Food done yet? I'm starving!"

 

Once everything was prepared, the little filly quickly filled up a plate, "Oh yeah.", while she had grown to like Swift Squall, she always wished things had not gone so weird with her sister and the stallion. Fire Walker had tried to explain what had happened, but even the older mare did not appear to have understood what had happened either. Wind decided she would not dwell on anything negative for today. "Well, if you're ever looking to do anything, my dad always needs experienced swords-ponies to help him train his raw recruits. And also sometimes cook for us. Or just cook for us.", she really did appear to be enjoying her meal, "Forget about the sword stuff. Food is better.", she added between munches. "This is really good. "

 

"And you did mention your sister before, and of course I'd like to meet her. ", if the sister was at least half as cool as the brother, the two probably would not have any problems becoming friends. "So, I'm really digging the food. What can you tell me about your country?"

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"Uhhhhh....." Memories came back of Fire's dad. How intimidatingly muscular the stallion's dad was. How scary he must get when he sees a stallion who made his daughter cry. How quick the fight or lack thereof would be. Dunder's eye twitched, "Maybe it'd be best if your dad didn't see me."

Though, to be honest, the stallion missed Fire's family. They were like a second one to his own. And the work could be fun. The idea of her dad getting antsy at the idea of eating whoever-was-making-their-food's food made Dunder chuckle a little bit. How bad could it be that he wanted his sons to get married off so quickly?"Maybe I could help train ponies. And I could probably cook something while I'm at it. Maybe just cook 20 pounds of beans and 20 pounds of rice. That should feed you guys for a few hours. All I ask for is an apron with a pink heart on it."

Either way, she seemed to be enjoying the food that she had right there. Dunder clapped his hooves together in delight, "I'm so glad you still like my cooking!" He pulled the last of the cooking tortillas off the stove and turned down the heat. He began to leave behind the counter, but he paused to grab something with a wing, "I'm glad you asked, actually." He said and grinned, "Do you like chocolate?" He asked and put down a small candy next to the filly. It was a tiny plastic tray half chocolate and half strawberry frosting sealed with a plastic film covered in a different language. "You know, the cocoa beans that make chocolate come from the Tenochtitlan basin? Also tomatoes, potatoes, corn, and much more come from the Tenochtitlan basin. Though chocolate wasn't really made until Mexicolt was made by blending Tenochtitlan basin culture and Equestrian culture and gained some more autonomy."

He trotted through his exhibit, "The ponies of Tenochtitlan worship the sun, and have done so since before Celestia arose. That is why they are sometimes called 'The ponies of the Sun.' They've also created a bunch of gods." Dunder scratched his chin. "What else do you want to know?"

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“Oh. If you don’t want to, then I guess that’s alright.”, the little filly was confused, but decided not to dwell on it. Why couldn’t friends that became a couple go back to being friends again? Was it just a one way road? Did they have to be enemies  if things did not work out? Was Dunder not able to associate with her dad? Could he hang around with Punk or Sky? If not, he’d have to be careful, as she had family all over the place! And not just ponies, her Uncle Cloud Crusher once said they had an hippogriff cousin in the south. Which was a surprise to her sister who had run into one of the half pony/half griffons during a shopping trip. She did not even know they existed! Or maybe she did. Fire Walker was not a very good storyteller.

 

And while beans and rice, were nice, anypony could cook that, even her parents! And if you ate too many beans, things tended to get awfully stinky! Again, she kept this to herself. She couldn’t help but smile as she pictured the older stallion wearing a cute little apron with a heart. Her smile grew even deeper as chocolate was mentioned.

 

“Do I like chocolate? Lemme see.”, Wind Walker pretended to open up a book with her hooves, “I’m opening my great big book on ‘Things I Like’. Oh look!”, she pointed to a ‘page’, “Says right here on the first page, ‘CHOCOLATE’. It’s also underlined, has a circle around it and is surrounded by little hearts and smiley faces. So yes, I do like chocolate!”, she bounced a little as she said the word. “My parents threw my Cute-ceañera party a the big park in the west. Er, Choco-Town. It's a theme park and chocolate factory. Ooh! That reminds me."

 

She then proceeded to mime putting away the one big 'book', only to pull out another. This one she 'opened' and 'wrote', which she also spoke, "Thing to beg mom and dad for next. A visit to Choco-Town.", after 'closing' and 'putting away' the last 'book', she opened up the package Dunder had given her and tried out a treat. "This pretty good! They have this kind of creepy tour in the park, where it's supposed to be the factory, but it's just pretend. And they have these singing cows. But they're also pretend. Kind of gave me nightmares."

 

She was nearly finished with her candy as the stallion mentioned Tenochtitlan.. "Oh yeah, isn't that the same area Ahuizotl comes from? Ooh! Did I mention Fire and I met A.K. Yearling? We did, and I got a book signed!"

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