Kij Johnson
Ponies Cover



Allegory about the cost of conformity and how the things we give up to fit in may seem easy when we do it, but in the long run the cost is often higher than we estimated.

"Then all Ponies go to a cutting-out party, and they give up two of the three, because that's what has to happen if a girl is going to fit in with TheOtherGirls." The cost seems well defined and easily understood.

Everbody does it, so the cost must be acceptable. "Barbara's never seen a Pony that still had her horn or wings after her cutting-out party."

At first the cost doesn't seem very high. "The wing comes off easily, smooth as plastic, and the blood smells like cotton candy at the fair."

In the end, though, the group decides the real cost and enforces the price, with or without the individual's consent.

The story beautifully lays out the lessons and eloquently expresses the author's horror at the high cost of conformity.