Spike only wants things to stay the same. Time, however, has other ideas. He's going to need a lot of help... It's a story about growing up, learning and being accepted.

You can read it [[http://www.fanfiction.net/s/7490980/1/It_Takes_a_Village here]].
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!!This WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic FanFic provides examples of these tropes:

* AnimalWrongsGroup: Though the RSPCD are stated to do good work, they get the wrong idea about Spike and demand he be 'freed'. To their credit, their leader Just Cause realizes Spike is happy in Ponyville after speaking to him.
* AntiMagic: Dragons are naturally magic resistant, although they are not ''completely'' immune to it.
* AscendedExtra: The green dragon Spike crossed in "Owl's Well That Ends Well", here called "Razorfang".
* BabiesEverAfter: [[spoiler:Big Macintosh and Fluttershy]]
* BerserkButton: Thanks to dragon territoriality, any insult or threat to the ponies Spike holds dear, especially Twilight, is a BerserkButton for him.
* BlessedWithSuck: Having great strength, claws that can cut rock, the ability to incinerate a field with a gout of flame, and being the size of a few ponies put together would ordinarily be considered a plus; however, these aren't very conducive to living peacefully in Ponyville.
* BullyingADragon: A literal example. See FantasticRacism below.
* CerebusRetcon: Some things that happened in the TV series, such as the events of "Owl's Well that Ends Well," take on a more serious bent when cast in the light of them stemming from a dragon's innate territoriality.
** There's also the question of where the School got Spike's egg…
* ChekhovsGun: The same rock that started the whole mess in chapter 3 returns in chapter 15 [[spoiler:when Spike throws it into Razorfang's throat to win the duel.]]
* ComingOfAgeStory: The story is primarily about Spike dealing with the difficulties of growing into an adult dragon; with all of the internal, social, and natural conflicts that that entails. Not that growing up is completely without cool perks for Spike…
** Also has shades of GrowingUpSucks
* ContinuityNod: Huffy shares her name with Fluttershy's nickname for Spike in "Over a Barrel" ("[[PuffTheMagicDragon Huffy the Magic Dragon]]").
* DeadpanSnarker: Spike, primarily.
** Seems to 'run in the family' so to speak given that he seems to have gotten a lot of it from Twilight.
* DieOrFly: Spike finally manages to fly near the end of chapter 8 to [[spoiler:save an unconscious Fluttershy from plummeting to her death.]]
* [[spoiler:DistantFinale: The epilogue is set a few years into the future.]]
* DoesNotKnowHisOwnStrength: One of Spike's biggest issues with growing up; he is far stronger than he's used to being. This complicates such matters as picking up items without slicing/crushing them. This also goes for his fire-breathing.
** Big Macintosh apparently suffered from similar issues when he was young which leads him to offering to teach Spike.
* EasilyForgiven: [[spoiler: Razorfang, who cared about Spike before their duel to the death but tried to go through with it anyway.]]
* FantasticRacism: A group of ponies fear Spike and think he is nothing but a bloodthirsty monster. The dragon from Everfree Forest has a very low opinion of ponies, and thinks that Spike is less of a dragon because he was raised by them. [[spoiler:Mainly because in the past, ponies would ''hunt'' dragons. And vice versa.]]
* FreudianExcuse: The leader of the protester ponies Grape Vine grew up hearing horror stories [[spoiler:of her great-grandparents being killed in a greed-grown dragon's rampage.]]
* GeneHunting: Spike does a little of this to discover if he has any living relatives. [[spoiler:It's not a happy story]].
* GenericGraffiti: [[spoiler:Somepony vandalizes the library with this towards Spike between chapters 10 and 11]]
* AGlassInTheHand: If somepony startles Spike while he's holding something, said something usually falls to the floor cleanly sliced.
* GoForTheEye: [[spoiler:In Chapter 16, when Blarney Stone is the only Anti-Dragon rioter that still wants Spike dead, he decides to '''throw a torch at his eye!''' Thankfully, Twilight went MamaBear and stopped it.]]
* HowDoIShotWeb[=/=]CentipedesDilemma: One of Spike's biggest challenges is learning how to fly. When he finally takes his first flight, he makes it clear that no one is to make him think about ''how he's doing it''.
* {{Hypocrite}}/EntitledBastard: The leader of the protester ponies who believes that Spike is a menace begs Spike to protect everyone when Razorfang appears near Ponyville's outskirts in chapter 11. [[LampshadeHanging Rarity even called her a Hypocrite]]
* ItIsDehumanizing: Spike is briefly a target of this.
-->'''Grape:''' They ''named'' it.
-->'''Scootaloo:''' He. He's a he!
* IDoNotOwn: Parodied; the author puts rather hilarious disclaimers at the start of the chapters. One example, from chapter 7:
--> ''My ponies! Muaahahah! Mine, all mine! M-my p-ponies! Mine? Please? Maybe one? Just one? Just a little one then? How about a background one? Aw dammit. Selfish Hasbro.''
** Chapter 14's disclaimer is a parody of the first Bad Horse song from ''WebVideo/DoctorHorriblesSingAlongBlog''
* LastMinuteHookup: [[spoiler:Applejack's new relationship with Rainbow Dash is briefly mentioned in the epilogue, as well as Twilight's new-found love for Trixie. Ironically, Spike and Huffy's relationship, the only one which is constantly hinted at, is the only one that isn't fulfilled by the story's end.]]
* MamaBear: [[spoiler:Blarney Stone]] learned the hard way that trying to hurt Spike in front of Twilight is…''unwise.''
* MonsterSobStory: Razorfang [[spoiler:lost his mate and two sons to pony attacks.]]
* MoodWhiplash: A mild example, but it still counts: [[spoiler:After learning about the untimely death of his biological mother and siblings, Twilight tries to cheer Spike up by telling him that his mother thought him important enough to try and defend from the hunters that killed her.]] He feels better almost immediately. At least until Spike is bombarded with rather scathing hate-mail [[spoiler:and a death threat]]
** Most of chapter 10 is pretty light-hearted, in keeping with the spirit of the show. [[spoiler:Then a harpoon nearly takes Spike's head off.]]
*** In chapter 11 [[spoiler: Spike and the Mane 6 are still recovering from the aforementioned harpoon launching, and just as Spike is starting to feel a little better, a stampede of ponies tell him that Razorfang has been spotted in Ponyville's outskirts.]]
**** After the duel with Razorfang, [[spoiler:everyone is having a great time at the party for Spike, until the leader of the anti-dragon protesters comes running up screaming for Spike to tell him that there's an anti-dragon riot going on in Ponyville.]]
* MundaneUtility: About the only thing Spike plans to use his strength, flight, sharp claws, and fire-breathing for that actually falls into what a dragon would normally do is "protect Ponyville" otherwise he seems to prefer helping lift heavy rocks, unblock streams, help make charcoal, cook, and generally lend a claw where a hoof or horn won't cut it.
* NeverMessWithGranny: In Chapter 6, Granny Smith makes her feelings about Spike staying in Ponyville very clear, basically saying that anyone who has a beef with Spike staying where he wants will answer to ''her''.
-->"Now you jest hush-it, you young whippersnapper! If somepony's goin' to go tryin' to take our dragon away, they're goin' to have words with me, y' hear? An' if I want t' go protestin', well there ain't nopony old enough to tell me otherwise! You brought back our ol' stream where mah Toffee proposed hitchin' to me. Yer good to mah kin, mah farm an' mah village. Yer our dragon, an' I'll whip the tarnation outta anypony who says otherwise!"
* NoTrueScotsman: Razorfang frequently berates Spike for not acting like a "true" dragon. The Wyrmstadt ambassador's representative, ''who isn't even a dragon'', also gets in on the act. Spike is quick to point out the FridgeLogic in their stances. The dragon magician sent to oversee the duel in chapter 15 also gets this from Razorfang [[spoiler:since he also befriended Unicorn Ponies nearly two thousand years ago]].
** In the case of said dragon magician, he has an excellent ShutUpHannibal moment when he reminds all present that he is a ''freaking dragon wizard''.
* OhCrap: Grape Vine, the leader of the protesters that wants Spike gone, was (unpleasantly) surprised to learn that there was a Pony/Dragon peace treaty, which rendered her movements moot.
* OutOfCharacterMoment: Somewhat for Zecora, who normally speaks in rhyme like in the show:
--> '''Zecora''': [[RhymesOnADime I will be seeing you again, at Pinkie's party in the glen.]]
--> '''Spike''': Uh, it's at Sunnybank Park.
--> '''Zecora''': That doesn't rhyme.
* OutsideInsideSlur: After finding out that Spike was raised by ponies, Razorfang says "You are no dragon, hatchling. You are nothing but a mammal in a scaled skin."
* ParentalSubstitute: Twilight and to a lesser extent the rest of the Mane Six, who help Spike deal with the social, physical and emotional challenges of his situation. [[spoiler: In the epilogue, Razorfang has become this to Huffy and Spike, even after the revelation that Spike's biological father is still alive.]]
* PowderKegCrowd[=/=] TorchesAndPitchforks: Spike is warned that if left unchecked, the ponies that want him to leave will become this. [[spoiler:That worry was not unfounded]]
* {{Protectorate}}: To reconcile his dragon-born greed and territoriality with his upbringing, Spike has decided to make Ponyville and everyone in it his Protectorate. The ponies are his 'hoard'.
* ReasonableAuthorityFigure: The Princesses and the Mayor are naturally this, but a fairly unexpected one is the Magician of Coal Crater.
* SeriousBusiness: Names are a big deal to dragons. Razorfang disapproves of Spike giving out his name to everyone, and is shocked that Twilight, a mere pony, was the one who named Spike.
** It turns out that the reason why names are such a big deal is [[spoiler: because only a dragon's family is supposed to know the name]].
* ShamingTheMob: [[spoiler:Trixie does this to the anti-dragon rioters. Halfway through, it turns into a rant directed more at herself for her treatment of Huffy.]] This being Ponyville, the speech works almost perfectly.
* ShipperOnDeck: Spike actively works on getting Fluttershy and Big Macintosh together.
** As made clear by the epilogue, [[spoiler:Fluttershy and Big Macintosh did ultimately get together, marrying and even having a daughter. Spike is also attempting to set up Rarity with Just Cause. Twilight even lampshades it.]]
--->'''Twilight:''' Celestia give me patience. Spike the matchmaker.
* StealthMentor: The Dragon from the Everfree Forest is this to Spike, if only to groom him to be a WorthyOpponent in their coming showdown.
* StealthPun: The title may be one as a key plot point of the story is Spike claiming (or taking) Ponyville as his territory.
* SympathyForTheDevil: After hearing Razorfang's MonsterSobStory, Spike feels sorry for him and is unwilling to fight dirty against him despite Razorfang's overwhelming advantage.
* TitleDrop: In Chapter 8, Zecora quotes the proverb that the story is named for:
-->'''Zecora: '''No matter how different, strange or wild,
-->it takes a village to raise a child.
* TrainingFromHell: Spike goes through an obstacle course designed to test everything he's learned so far - in one go, with an audience.
* VanHelsingHateCrimes: [[spoiler:Blarney Stone fits this description.]]
* {{WAFF}}: Suffused with heartwarming moments. E.g. Twilight is Spike's sister, for ever and always, and nopony is allowed to say otherwise - not even Twilight.
* WhamEpisode: At the end of chapter 10 [[spoiler:Someone tries to '''murder''' Spike.]] I suppose YMMV, but the event was important enough to be referenced at least once in the remaining chapters.
* WhatTheHellHero: Princess Celestia gives one to Spike in Chapter 5, for not telling her about the duel, which was being held in close proximity to Ponyville.
--> "You asked about responsibility. Here is some truth: You have a responsibility to me, your Princess, you have a responsibility as a citizen of Equestria, and you have a responsibility towards those that care for you. You have disappointed me greatly, my dragon."
* WhoWantsToLiveForever: Spike is not happy about his projected lifespan, although Princess Luna did provide some perspective along an offer of friendship. On the whole mostly averted once Spike decides that by living as long as he will he can keep the memories of his friends alive for their descendants.
-->"And then you will die, and I will not. And I will endure."

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