Names are important.
They are one of the first means by which we make contact with the outside world, being a proper introduction. Any filly or colt, when making a new friend, will first ask what his or her name is. They are a system in which we can identify each individual. Just by calling their name, a specific pony out of a crowd of thousands can be drawn out. That is the power of a name.
Names, by themselves, have no meaning, of course. It is the ponies who give them meaning; by tying in a name with somepony in particular’s muzzle, it becomes their identity. Not necessarily who they are as a pony, but their identity all the same.
I’ve had a few names over the years, a couple of them the result of a practice known as ‘name calling’. Now, name calling is another, completely different fashion of identification; it’s what happens when another sees that a pony’s name just doesn’t fit, so they bestow upon them a new, usually derogatory yet not entirely inaccurate, name. I’ve dealt with it all me life, such names including things like ‘Featherbrain’ or ‘Bubblehead’.
There are a couple, however, that I’ve come to terms with being who I am. The first is my birth name: Ditzy Doo. My parents thought that it was rather cute, and I’d have to agree with them. It has some nice alliteration to it that makes it fun to say.
The second that I’ve accepted is Derpy Hooves. In my fillyhood, some of my classmates oh-so generously imparted the title upon me due to my clumsy nature and, either fortunately or unfortunately, it stuck. At first, I completely disliked the tag, but as more ponies began to know me as such, it began to grow on me.
Another name that I was called for a short time was Grey Pegasus Number Two. Back to my younger days at my first school, the instructors cared far too little to learn anypony’s name, so they just labelled us by race and color. Naturally, I didn’t stay there long.
Of all of my names, though, the one I cherish the most is simply ‘mommy’.
There came a time when it was my job to give somepony a name. She was a tiny little unicorn foal, just a few shades away from myself. I decided to call her Dinky. Dinky Doo. I still am quite fond of alliteration. I will always remember the day I gave her that name as the happiest of my life.
Her father’s name, however... that’s something I’d prefer to forget. It wasn’t alliterated, cute, or even an accurate description of him. Personally, I have a few choice names for him, all of which fall into the realm of name calling. For now, though, we just don’t call him anything.
That’s behind me now. I’m a single mother, but I have to live with it and make the best of it. And I have done so to the best of my ability; I have a paying, not well paying, but still paying, job and I have the smartest, cutest filly that anypony can ask for, and no unnamed stallions can ever take those away from me.
Sure, it hasn’t been easy. Finding a job to feed myself and, more importantly, my growing foal, was the hardest part. I’m not a dumb mare by any stretch of the imagination; I just... make mistakes sometimes. Mistakes, though, are things that aren’t acceptable at every job. My friends tell me that I should forecast weather, but weather just isn’t something that my heart is in.
No, I love ponies. I love getting to know ponies and getting to know their names. Naturally, when, by chance, I found my way to Ponyville Mail Service, the horseshoe just fit. I may not be the fastest or most accurate at delivering mail, but I make sure to get the job done and I do it with a smile.
A smile isn’t always enough, of course; sometimes ponies will get mad at me anyway. I try my honest best, I really do, but sometimes my best isn’t good enough.
I make mistakes; I can admit that. Besides my eyes, which I have accommodated quite well for since birth, I’m told I am a perfectly healthy grown mare. I function just as well as anypony else, but I just can’t stop screwing up, it seems.
I wonder about that; sometimes I even dream about it. I’ll see images of what I wish I had; I’ll see a happy family; in it will be a handsome husband and a pretty wife with a little filly darting in between their legs. Maybe they’ll have a puppy as well. They’ll live in a nice house and have steady jobs. Then it will all go up in flames. And it’s because of me.
I want to be a good pony. I want to be a good mother. I want to provide my little Dinky with everything the she could dream of.
I can’t, though; that life is for a mare that isn’t me.
I am Ditzy Doo; Derpy Hooves the screw-up. I want to be somepony more.
I know my name; I know what I am called. Despite that, I still wonder: just who am I?