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(Open Ask) Everfree Forest, Rhyme and Reason (Strong Copper)


TessQ85
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(Read thoroughly to insert yourself organically.)

 

In the deepest part of the Everfree Forest, centered in a glade with fresh flowers and ferns, the sun shines, cresting atop the encroaching canopy of the gathering limbs and leaves overhead, and there sat a lone silhouette. The draping and flowing cloak on the form shifted as the figure rose, a light breeze, peeling back the hood, revealing the starkly colored mane of a zebra mare, gilded rings drooping from her ears and falling around her long neck. A brightly colored flower in her teeth, she finds a place for her prize in her satchel, as an abrupt sound startles the nearby fauna, alerting her to activity nearby. A puzzled expression across her brow, she asks, to none in particular, but the breeze, itself, mayhap, "What kind of sounds might this be? I'd hope it won't be trouble for me." A determined look creeping over her features, she adds, bravely, "I'll investigate the disturbance, see it clear, I'll soon know if it is danger that looms near." She begins to trot with purpose toward the sound, hoping to find what might be in the shadowed wood.

 

(It's a short start, but I'm sure we can move this into quite the story.)

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Strong Copper

 

Having taken a small break from the campaign trail of Ponyville's Mayorship to do his actual day job, Strong Copper had answered a call about some dead chickens. The job itself had been simple enough. The evidence pointed to a timber wolf having managed to break into the hen house and the results, while grisly, were completely natural; While little could be done about the chickens, a quick redesign of the hen house and the defenses of the backyard would go a long way to preventing a repeat of the night before. However, there was something about the situation that had worried him.

 

The evidence all pointed to a single timber wolf. Timber wolves were pack animals by nature. While some ponies coined the term 'long wolf' to mean some kind of flank kicking hero who didn't need a team, in nature a long wolf was a creature that had been abandoned by its pack, either because it was sick or injured badly enough that they were left behind or they were so violent and ill tempered that their pack drove them off. While neither tended to survive on their own for long, Copper knew he had to enter the Everfree in pursuit to confirm which of the two it was. If an animal was sick or injured, he would feel terrible leaving out here to suffer if it could be helped, helping it by either bringing it to a vet to be treated or... bringing the suffering to an end if it was too far gone.

 

If it turned out this timber wolf was just inherently violent, the rampage needed to be stopped before someone or somepony got hurt. A few chickens would be getting off lightly under the circumstances.

 

So when he heard a noise coming from the nearby plant life, Strong Copper was on edge, his horn glowing as an old favorite of a spell came to mind.

 

Despite what some ponies might have believed, timber wolves were not inherently weak to fire. While it was true that they could burn, the wood that made up the body of the average timber wolf tended to be living/green wood and was thus actually pretty hard to set fire too. Their desire to avoid fire was merely a trait shared by most animals that didn't benefit from resistance or immunity to extreme heat: This thing is bright and uncomfortable to be near, therefore I don't want to be near it.  Therefore, having a spell that gave out a bright flash and gave a quick, uncomfortable but not painful wave of heat that would make most animals (and to be fair, most ponies) turn and run was generally pretty good to have on hoof.    

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Trotting at a moderate pace, so the origin of the noise might not be alerted to her, Zecora dove deeper into the wood, hoping to at least glance upon the source of the loud sound. Passing many large trees, she spied a stark contrast along her path, there were a few trees with three claw marks diagonal from the top left and the top right making a large "X" shape, tagging the area for territorial boundaries.

 

While not uncommon, it was not a site to be sauntered into lightly, for it could only spell terrible trouble. Asking of no one but the scarred trees, she says, "I wonder, friend, what caused this gash? I'll find in a moment, with just a splash. Some fertile algae in a sap steeped brew, we'll know in a moment of what might be true." Pulling out a jar of brown paste, setting it down, taking a stick to it to spread it into the mark, the wound is soon covered.

 

As she waits, she puts everything away and tosses the stick into the bushes. Soon the mark began to drip with the tree's sap and another material. Examining it, she could tell that what was left in the deep cut was wood from a dead tree. Long dead conifer sap was in the mark, but the mark looked fresh when she found it. What could this mean? Surely nothing good...or simply examined and solved. Onward, she trod, hoping to see something more, none would easily know what might be in store.

Edited by TessQ85
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Remaining still as his head slowly turned from side to side in order to scan the environment for the source of the noise that had alerted him, Strong Copper didn't relax his guard so much as he relaxed his body enough to start slowly moving again after a few moments of nothing. Whatever had made that noise had either not noticed him, was now stalking him and waiting for a better moment to strike, or wasn't a threat to him at all... and considering he was currently prowling within the Everfree Forest, odds were slanted towards the former two. Assuming something wasn't dangerous when the terrain wasn't that well known was a fast way to becoming a warning to others about the dangers of a location.

 

As he was slowly easing his way towards a nearby tree in order to have a direction covered in the event that there was now something paying very close attention to him, Copper's ear twitched as he heard another, somewhat light sound of... someone rhyming?

 

Now, the ability to speak didn't automatically mean that the speaker wasn't inclined towards viewing a pony as an enjoyable meal, but it was a good start. Deciding to test his luck, he called out in a relatively steady voice just short of a true yell "Is someone there?" and being prepared to deal with the situation if the answer was a yes he didn't want.

 

 

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Pausing as she heard a question asked of somepony not far away, she looks that direction, hoping to see whom it might be. Varied trees between her and where they might be, she simply calls out a little more loudly, hoping she is clear enough for them to understand her, "I can not see you, I hear you, though. I heard noise, came out to know. I found something here, if you'd like to see, I puzzle, though, what that noise could be." Hoping her loud words made it to the one that called out, she went back to examining the mark and taking a sample of the secretion. The algae was bolstered by the sap, very lively, so after it soaked into the wood, it would push out any contaminants that were put there by whomever made the mark. She wanted to show the new friend this so that they could try to figure it out together. "If you come to me, I can share my find, I can not tell, in fact, I feel quite blind. Together, I hope we solve this soon, an ally, now, would be a welcome boon." Waiting patiently for them to get there, as she looked at the marks, seeing if they were truly of the sort often left by Timber Wolves...or maybe something else, she had no real idea.

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When the voice answered, Copper was able to deduce two things about it. The first was that the speaker was quiet clearly female. The second was that she seemed to always be speaking in rhyme which... was kind of weird. There were a small subset of talking creatures that could only speak in rhyme, but they tended to favor environments much different then the Everfree. 

 

His curiosity peaked, he started to look for a way through the wall of plant life in order to reach the rhyming mare and see her for himself. He didn't just try and force a way through the underbrush; Flora could be just as dangerous as fauna, especally when you considered that the Everfree was home to things that sort of played jump rope with the two categories. Finding a relatively thin section of the forest to make a break through, Copper's horn lit up as he carefully started to push the plants to the side in order to step through while making as little contact with the actual plants as possible. 

 

Stepping onto the other side of the wall, Strong Copper blinked at what he saw. Of all the things he expected to encounter today, the cultural beauty of a zebra mare was not one of them. Feeling himself blush just a little, he cleared his throat as he almost shyly greeted "H-Hello. Sorry, I really wasn't expecting to run into anyone else out here. I'm Sor--- Strong Copper. I'm Strong Copper. Nice to meet you." He caught himself, embarrassed that he had almost fumbled his own damn name when he first encountered this mare. 

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Glad to see a fairly intellectual pony arrive at her beaconing call, she turns her muzzle, so she might see him more clearly. She noticed the horn and his appearance, knowing this could be either a very inquisitive and wise stallion or somepony that people admire, he's sure to draw attention one was or the other, so she hoped it was something else that set this aire about him.

 

His intentions good, she felt it was best to catch him up quickly and waste no idle time. She spoke to him in a clear tone that expressed a knowledge pony and a confidence to support it. Hoping to be taken seriously, by this newcomer, she said, "If you don't know of what we see here, you can read my notes, I have them near. Look at the mark, see it's every flaw, Here's my own book, to know what you saw." Turning to select a hoof written tome from her satchel, she opens to the page she wrote years ago on the Timber Wolves.

 

The book described about their hunting styles and the methods they use in organizing territory with other groups. There was a section on the marking styles often used and the age ranges of the plant material that made up their strangely magical bodies. She held the book out in her maw, then flicked it in the direction of a freshly marked tree near the one she was examining earlier, hoping the entirety of her intended message got across. She seems to have focus issues, but she's sure it's simply the stress and trotting.

Edited by TessQ85
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And there was the rhyming again. Strong Copper would have admitted it if he was asked, but it took him a couple of times going over what the zebra mare had said to actually understand what she was saying. The presence of her book and the notes within it helped the process a lot in that regard as well. Honestly, he briefly felt like asking about why she was rhyming but decided against it, if only because it seemed like the kind of question that could come across as rude if you asked it off the bat.

 

Relaxing a little as he now had caught up with what she was talking about, he decided to offer her the pieces of the puzzle that he had managed to collect to bring them both to the same page. "That's actually why I'm out here. A timber wolf has started prowling around the outskirts of Ponyville, attacking chicken coops and the like. Normally this would just be timber wolves being timber wolves but... all the evidence I found suggested it was an solitary individual rather then a pack. So I came out here to see if I could track it down and find out if it's sick, injured, elderly or rapid."  Considering that she had clearly done her own research on the wildlife of the Everfree, Copper didn't feel he needed to explain his reasoning that drew him to those conclusions.

 

Turning to look at the marking on the tree, he tilted his head slightly as he examined it. It seemed fresh and fairly standard for territory markings. Tilting his head slightly as he glanced back at the zebra mare, he couldn't help but ask "These look pretty standard. But something about them is concerning you as being abnormal. Why?"

Edited by StrongCopper
Slightly misread the former post and needed to correct something.
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Pointing to the other tree, Zecora holds up the vial containing the sap soaked algae as she simply says, "This mixture is made to purify wood, seeped into the mark, doing what it could." Pointing a hoof toward the treated tree, hoping this was a sufficient explanation. Knowing that when this knowledgeable pony sees the containment that is still in the wood that shows older wood was used to make this mark, maybe they might have the same question that she does.

Edited by TessQ85
Sorry it's so short, been feeling unwell today
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Strong Copper was not a carpenter by any stretch of the imagination. He would research certain examples of trees and plant life relevant to the local area he was operating in for the purposes of understanding how they factor into the lives of the various creatures he was interacting with, but that was generally about as far as his knowledge went. He also knew that some woods were hard words and others soft some of the uses you might use for one instead of the other on a given project that lingered in the back of his mind like a shadowy figure in a dark room.

 

So when he looked at what Zecora was showing him, he honestly did try his best but it was clear from the get go that he wasn't quite getting what she was trying to say. Leaning in to have a closer look, he could see that the sap seemed to have reveled a different type of wood that wasn't native to the tree within the claw marks, but at first that didn't ring any bells as he started saying "Considering that timber wolves are made of wood, that seems..." before he slowly came to a stop as he noticed himself. It was kind of hard to tell for certain because of the sap but... "Wait... is that dry, dead wood?"

 

Turning his head towards her to give her his attention, he waited for a second opinion to make sure he wasn't just seeing things.

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Relieved that this Strong Copper stallion could tell this logical fact she felt was fairly vital, she excitedly nodded, then immediately took on a dour almost deathly somber expression as she worked up a response. Realising what this could possibly mean, she said, in a very serious tone, as if this were a grizzly crime scene, "While timber wolves aren't anypony's friend, I do not think that's what caused this trees end. That found claw wood, dead, the tree marks quite fresh, something here does not, with good logic, mesh. Who could do this and blame the timber wolves? Whomever it be, needs but show themselves." Hanging her head and shaking it in disbelief.

 

Looking to the logical creature before her with a puzzled look on her face, she waits for his assessment of the thoughts she had and the things he just viewed. Maybe there's another answer to this? Maybe it's much simpler than she immediately thinks it is? Only one way to know any better... Listen for his response. If a timber wolf is only made it living wood and the deep claw gouging was done recently, leaving dead wood in the gaping wound left behind, what else can be the answer? I'm sure he might have another thought, this can't be the only answer to this riddle, she thought to herself. Looking to him for confirmation of either major idea she just had... Both contradiction each other.

Edited by TessQ85
Grammar, spelling and flow. Thank you for your patience.
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While the mare's statement did hold some weight, Strong Copper couldn't help but slowly shake his head. While he wasn't exactly ruling out the possibility that these markings were unrelated to his own affair, their presence so close to where he had been tracking his quarry could not be discounted. Unless what he had been following was some masterful mimic of some kind that pretended to be a timber wolf in its methods, attacks and evidence left behind, one had to observe the current situation as if the marks had been made by a timber wolf. With that in mind, a healthy timber wolf was made of living, oftentimes green wood and thus the presence of dead, dried wood made no sense... the key word in that sentence being 'healthy'. 

 

Copper had done his research on Timber Wolves since coming to Ponyville since the creatures were native to the Everfree, but he could admit that he was no expert. Since he hadn't been around the creatures enough to develop his own intel on them, he had been forced to fall back to the old standards of what little ponykind actually knew about them from what few animal experts had braved the Everfree and come back to write about it, local folklore and to a degree myths and legends. "An alternative line of thought because the sad truth is that despite my efforts there really that much known about timber wolves and some of the other animals local to the Everfree, but... could this be evidence of some kind of timber wolf sickness? Something that dries out and and leaves the wood that makes up their body dead? Maybe even a sign of old age as the wolf draws near the end of its natural lifespan.

 

Focusing on Zecora, he politely offered "It seems like you've been able to gather a trove of field information on the various plants and animals of the forest. Does my idea have any weight to it?" Because honestly he wasn't sure if timber wolves had a natural lifespan. For all he knew, when a piece of their body got damaged, old and rotten they just tore it off and replaced it with a new piece of wood. If that was true, they could likely keep going until something inflicted enough harm all at once that they couldn't recover at all.

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Pondering for a moment the many things this pony said, another thought had come to mind. To form it into a good, short descriptive expression, she tried to figure out a method of delivery they might fill it better. Realizing, in a flash of insight, what she could say, she offers, methodically says, "There's not much can leave a mark such as this. Details we found, one could easily miss. Not live and well as you say it should be, there's only one answer that I can see. If I tied a rattle and shook my tail, hid in a bush, I'd make you're face go pale. I've spoken much of things I do not know, we need much more knowledge before we go." Looking at the friend that is helping figure out this mysteries secrets, she seems, once again, deep in thought.

 

Thinking of lore she heard from home and from her own travels, as well as other travellers, about a mysterious Werewolf that had attacked ponies, but was found to just be a bad pony wearing a wolf's coat as it ran away. Maybe this is similar...maybe it's quite different. Maybe the creature is just sick and the wood, therefore, looks dead. We'll need more information, that for certain. All we have right now are ideas. She'll have to wait to see what the other pony thinks.

Edited by TessQ85
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"Hmm..." Strong Copper started, raising one of his front hooves to rub his chin in thought at the idea she was offering. While plenty of animals processed cunning that many ponies underestimated, few were forward thinking enough to commit to this grand a deception; Even more so if the creature in question was a pack animal that had been left behind and abandoned by the rest of the pack after afflicted with some illness. Canines were known to, when cornered and out of sorts due to injury or illness, bark aggressively in order to try and frighten away potential threats by maintaining the illusion that their bite was something to be feared. Actively making pack markings to try and give off the illusion of strength was effectively a more advanced form of barking... 

 

"If it is a timber wolf trying to give off the illusion of strength and numbers, despite being alone and in a compromised position... then we are dealing with a highly intelligent and cunning creature. But you're right... we don't have enough evidence to go off of here. To uncover this mystery, we'll need to follow it further."  While he was fully committed to doing so, Copper had to pause as he looked at the zebra mare... and felt that one question needed to be asked while another point needed to be stressed "I don't mean to be rude, but what is your name? Because I can't ask you to come along with this. I'm sure you were busy doing your own thing before you decided to investigate a noise you heard and this could get dangerous." The look on his face was that of concern rather then judgement as he stressed "I would be remiss if I didn't say you could go back to your business. I would feel terrible if you got injured... even more so if you didn't think you had an active choice to be there."

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While she was so invested in figuring this issue out, she seems up have forgot to address her own name. A social blunder not often experienced by her, as she knew well most that came through the forest she's grown to know so well. She blinked a few times at the astonishment she felt at this newfound issue and formulated a swift remedy. She said, "I am called Zecora, an herbalist mare. With no introduction, t'was not very fair. Where do you suggest we find out next clue? I've said a bit much, I leave this to you."

 

Looking to Strong Copper as she dug her hoof at the ground, scraping away at one of many claw marks on the ground. In her efforts, she found more wood chips, similar to the ones found in the tree's scars, by the looks of it. Pointing her about in the direction of her find, she offered a snort of a short sort to draw attention to her report.

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So her name was Zecora. Somewhat different from the norm but then again she was a zebra. Holding her up to pony norms would have been completely unfair. Of course, her question about where to find more clues was a good one... and unfortunately there was really only one way to get that kind of information. "At this point, the only way to find out more is to follow its trial and see what we uncover." There were inherit risks in following the trial of any wild animal... one of which was that you found it (or worse... it found you!) . Still, there was nothing for it.

 

Personally, he had been inclined towards inspecting the various claw markings on the trees in order to serve as a starting point to locate a trial; After all, if it had made those markings, it would have needed to physically be at the tree in question. Hearing Zecora's snort as she scrapped one of the claw marks on the ground, he briefly stopped his search for the freshest tree markings in order to have a look at what she found... and easily noticed the wood chips that matched the ones that had been found in the markings. The look on Copper's face at the sight was concern. "Okay... having some pieces come off while its digging its claws into a tree is one thing but... to lose stuff like this while its just walking? That cannot be a good sign..."

 

With several possibly trails to follow due to their quarry having come through here a number of times, Strong Copper quickly finished checking on the tree markings... and found what appeared to be the freshest of the bunch. Finding claw marks in the ground underneath the tree marks was simple enough. Following them was somewhat more of a challenge, if only because with several older trails crisscrossing the area it would have been easy to lose track of the one that they were intending to follow. Having a starting point went a long way, but Copper had direct experience in this. If you knew what to look for, it wasn't hard. However, it could be time consuming and he wasn't in a rush to follow a false trail within the Everfree if he could help it.

 

Having a trail he was confident in following, he gestured for Zecora to join him. While he kept his focus on keeping an eye on where they were going, he did politely ask "So if you don't mind me asking, what are you doing out here? To my understanding, the Everfree is largely a no go zone for those living nearby."

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As she sees him rush from tree to tree, examining so closely those marks, she can tell he is likely wise, in the ways that count here. He deduced quite quickly a path to follow, what they might find, she has her ideas and expectations, but is sure she will only be puzzled by the result, as this is irregular, even for older timber wolves. Something is off about this entire situation. She can't put her hoof on it. She followed him nonetheless.

 

Looking to Mr. Copper, she responds, "As it grows later, sun so high as yet, we'll find our answers, on that you can bet. I've been gathering herbs only found here, I have been here often, nothing I'd fear." Quite proud of how short she kept her response this time, her trot picked up a bit and her attention wavered. She pondered on what she might do to keep herself in such good check as things drew on? Following this trail will take time. How much, none could say.

Edited by TessQ85
Grammar, flow and such.
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So she had come here to locate some herbs that he suspected were native to the Everfree. Makes perfect sense in a way... even more so because it sounded like she came out here fairly often. "I'm not going to offer caution to someone who's passions require them to go places where others view as dangerous... if only because that would make me rather a hypocrite. But I'm assuming that the herbs your after struggle to grow outside of the Everfree's native soil?" He asked, his attention being on the trail they were following but at least trying to show that he was paying attention to what she had to say.

 

While he kept a close eye on the freshest trail of the timber wolf they were following, an older track caused him to pause briefly if only because of how strange it was to see it due to how out of place it was. Exactly how old the markings were, he couldn't tell.. if he had to guess they were at least a few days old, if not a week or two. Remarkably rare in a wild zone for such small markings to survive this long, but it seemed that the weather had been relatively forgiving in this section of the Everfree and the small path that the timber wolf had made in the forest in recent times had managed to prevent plant life from covering it up yet.

 

It still begged the question through. "What was a chicken doing this deep in the Everfree?" He offered a small gesture towards the chicken scratches in general for the benefit of Zecora. At least, they could have been chicken scratches. Copper had been around a hen house recently and while it was true that other birds might have left such markings he couldn't help but recognize the resemblance. Granted these markings were somewhat deeper in the ground then the standard hen, suggesting that this strange specimen was noticeably heaver then the norm.

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Examining the area he motioned to, she looked for signs of any more information the soil had to offer. She could see the marking well, but she agreed that there was something about it that was off. She couldn't quite put her hoof on it, though. It kinda looked like something was dragged over the claw marks and footprints in the soil. Were they covering up the markings, attempting to bring something with them somewhere, followed by something? She had no clue. Offering what little insight she had to share, she said, "These drag marks here, bring questions, and many. Plenty of ideas, no fruit from any." Nothing wise enough to make these marks, it couldn't be most animals she knew, what was the answer to this puzzle.

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It took a little while to notice, but once Zecora mentioned it, it really did look like something had swept over the chicken marks shortly after they had been made, but hadn't done so to the point of actually covering anything up. The whole situation was an oddity; A mystery to be uncovered and explored further to be sure but it wasn't the mystery that they were already following. Was there a chance the two mysteries were somehow related? Possibly, but until they knew more about the situation any theory they came up with was just that... a theory. Untested and unproven.

 

The oddity noted for the time being, Strong Copper raised his head to have a glance around to make sure they weren't in any kind of danger before he started to lead the way again. "Anyway..." He started off slowly, talking a little softer then before but still with a mildly casual air. "What kind of herbs are you looking for and way do you need them?" Getting someone to talk about their own interests and passions was a good social move, right?

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Thinking for a moment in this odd pony's question, she takes a dig at the scratches and drag markings before heading on to catch up with both the question and the one that asked it. "I have many herbal needs to fulfill, I use plants and flowers...for me, no pill. I was out to gather special flowers, this time of month needs peony's powers." Hoping this was enough of an explanation for him. It's not that she was not wanting to talk, she just didn't want to talk too much. She found it best to listen and think, talking was the last thing she thought to do to express, so she always tried to make everything she said count. Taking long enough to think on how to express what she needed to in the form of a rhyme helped to ensure she also thought about what she was planning to say.

Edited by TessQ85
I may have come down with something serious. Sorry for the absence.
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So the mare was a herbalist. That answered a few questions about why she was within the forest, but there was one question that continued to poke and prod at him as they continued their travel together and as time passed the urge to ask it continued to grow  "Fair enough. I'm sure there are plenty of plants out here that few actually know about." He answered politely, but despite the fact that he was trying to keep his mind focused on the task at hoof, it was clear that something was provoking his curiosity even as he remained silent for a few moments. 

 

At last, he couldn't resist any further. Risking a glance from the tracks he was following, he took a moment to consider his words before finally settling on "Look, I'm sorry if this comes off as rude or being culturally insensitive but I do have to ask. Why do you always talk in rhyme?"  For what it was worth, the expression on his face was a mixture of curiosity at the answer and a degree shame that he was asking in the first place.

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The stallion was certainly brash, but he was also sincere and wore a bit of his heart on his sleeve. Admirable as those traits were, Zecora knew it was often the icebreaker others chose when facing her for the first time. Responding as if a practiced filly's fairytale Rhyme, she said, "When one speaks, they must think long and much. If one speaks without much of a thought, they will find succuss hard to be bought. Rhyming may help, take one's time and such." She knew the childhood rhyme was not well thought out, but it was written by someone well out of practice, from age. Taking a moment to think how best to follow that up, she takes a look forward to see if their tracking may have born any fruit. 

 

Not seeing anything to focus on instead, she simply offered further explanation. She said, "To speak is to express your innermost, don't lie, be honest, uplift, do not boast. These are the things taught while I was quite young. To honor them all, my words can be sung." Hoping that these two rhymes were enough to get across the answer to his question. Fearing they might be distracted if what they track is caught up to, or catches up to them instead.

Edited by TessQ85
Grammar, flow and such.
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For what little it was worth, it was easy to see that Strong Copper understood that everypony must ask her that question shortly after meeting her. Everyone had a question that was always brought up and it tended to get rather old in a hurry... even if the question still needed to be asked. "Well, there's nothing wrong with taking the time to think before we speak. Most sadly don't..." He answered softly, offering her a small smile... before a strange noise caused his ears to go on high alert and his head to snap towards the sound.

 

It was a rather strange noise to encounter within a forest of all things. The way the sound traveled suggested slow but consistant movements but they were clearly hobbled... but it was the nature of the noise itself that truly raised concerns as easily as it sent shivers down ones spine. Exactly what the noise was proved difficult to put into words but... it kind of sounded like stone grinding against wood in a terrible way for both. Slowly turning his head to look at Zecora, he lowered his voice as he softly asked "Do you know what that is?"

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The grinding sound was unnerving to say the least, but it was also methodical. Either the one causing the sound was causing it on purpose, trying to lure those that heard it... Or they were very focused on their actions, just going through muscle memory to complete their task. If it was the later, it could be some kind of new creature or an injured creature, much like what Mr. Copper suggested. The only sure way to know is to see it for ourselves.

 

Having come to this conclusion as quickly as she could, she tried to relay as much to her fellow researcher as quietly as possible. She said, "Too many ideas, to much unknown now, we should gather courage, find out, somehow." She then moved to a better position to possibly see the source of the noise.

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