LESSON OF THE MIND

"All right, Kark, are you ready to try?" Princess Celestia asked the ten foot tall bipedal red dragon facing her.

Ambassador Kark, whose real name is Karkovice Drake, had been stationed at Canterlot Palace for a few years now as official Dragon Ambassador. He hailed from the Dragon Dominion of Draconia, and he stood roughly ten feet tall with a wingspan of around twenty feet. He was deep red with a lighter red coloured plated underbelly with jet black horns on the top of his head, similar coloured claws on his hands and feet, as well as wing spines; with brown ponylike eyes, indicating distant pony ancestry.

Celestia had been teaching him telepathy. Dragons were inherently telepathic; and Celestia-being quite adept at it, though she didn't use that skill very often- took it upon herself to teach Kark to fine tune that inherent ability he had.

"Yes, but…" Kark began "I want to do it! Just once!" Kark had a look of anticipation on his facial features.

It took a few moments for Celestia to realize what he was referring to, then she sighed. "Must you!?"

Kark nodded eagerly. "Yes! Please, for me? I'll never ask anything of you again!"

Celestia sighed again. "Oh, very well!" she relinquished.

"Yesssssss!" Kark exclaimed softly with a fist pump. "Oh! AHEM!" he regained his composure. "Thank you, your Royal Highness." He said with a bow. "You won't regret this."

"Just do it, before I change my mind!" she said with some irritation.

"Okay." Kark said. Then he brought his hands together momentarily, focusing his thoughts. Then he extended his left hand to the side of Princess Celestia's face, and gingerly placed his well trimmed clawed fingers in the "strategic" places on her cheek and jaw. Celestia rolled her eyes. I'm only doing this for him, she thought to herself.

Kark then recited the mantra he knew so well. "Your mind to my mind, your thoughts to my thoughts. Our minds are merging, our minds are merging, our minds are one."

"Our minds are one." Celestia said simultaneously.

Focus, Kark. Celestia said with her mind.

Kark could hear this in his head as clear as day! He instantly knew he had made that telepathic connection with the Princess. He closed his eyes and concentrated. What am I thinking of? He could hear the Princess ask in his mind.

Suddenly, he saw an image before his eyes! He saw two young fillies laughing, playing and running about in what looked to be a lavish back yard garden. He recognized them instantly as being a young Celestia, and her younger sister, Luna.

Then he saw two majestic looking ponies, one stallion and one mare, lying down together on a cushioned sofa, observing the young Celestia and Luna play, and looking real proud.

Kark was simply amazed at how real the image seemed to him! It's almost as if he was right there with this happy looking family, observing the proceedings. He could almost feel the warm rays of the sun shining down on him, and the breeze blowing on his face.

Then, almost as instantly as it appeared, the image was gone; and he only saw the inside of his eyelids. His eyes popped open to see Celestia standing right in front of him. He wasn't sure how long he had maintained the telepathic link with the Princess, but it was an interesting experience for him.

Celestia slowly opened her own eyes, and smiled. "Congratulations, Kark! You've taken the first step in becoming a fully adept telepath."

Kark smiled and nodded. "Thank you!"

"Can you tell me what you saw?" she asked.

"I saw… two young ponies playing. Was that you and Luna?"

Celestia smiled and nodded. "Yes. It was a memory from my childhood in ages past."

"There were… two other ponies there with you, watching over you. The King and Queen? Your mother and father?"

Celestia got a sad look and turned away. "Yes."

Kark shared her sadness. "You still miss them, don't you?"

"Sometimes." Celestia said sadly.

She was surprised by a light touch at the base of her neck. She looked back to see that Kark had just placed his hand there, and looked at her sympathetically. He had a surprisingly light touch, for a dragon weighing a little over two tons. "I can understand." He said.

Celestia smiled lightly. "Thank you." She said.

Kark returned the smile.

After a few moments, Celestia gestured with her eyes to Kark's hand at the base of her neck, then looked at Kark. Kark quickly withdrew his hand. Both stood there in awkward silence.

The sounds of shouting from outside brought a welcome distraction. Both looked at each other, then walked over to the window overlooking the Royal Gardens. They were equally curious to see what was causing the ruckus.

"Oh! The class field trip from Ponyville. I almost forgot about that." Celestia said. "But who are those squabbling fillies?"

"They call themselves the Cutie Mark Crusaders." Kark said in answer. "They've made it their own personal mission to find out what their individual talents are, and earn their cutie marks." He then pointed out each one to Celestia. "The earth pony with the bow is called Apple Bloom, who's actually Applejack's younger sister. The unicorn filly is called Sweetie Belle, Rarity's younger sister. The Pegasus filly is Scootaloo. Looks like they're having an argument about something."

"How do you know them?" Celestia asked.

"I met them once, through Twilight Sparkle."

"What I think is most ironic is that they're fighting at the foot of Discord's statue."

"Discord? Ah, yes! You told me about him. The Master of all Chaos, or something like that?"

Celestia nodded. "It literally took everything me and Luna had to defeat him. To make sure he wouldn't bring about any more chaos in the world, we encased him in that stone statue you see out there. Yet he still seems to be able to cause disharmony, even from his stony prison."

Kark chuckled at that last phrase.

It was only until after Cherilee broke up the fighting between the fillies that both companions walked away from the window overlooking the Royal Gardens and went about their business.

"As long as he doesn't break out of that statue, all of us are safe." Celestia commented.

"I'll drink to that!" Kark said.