… And Apple Accessories
A fanfic by BobCat
Authors Notes: Don't look at me like that. Friendship is Magic is a good show. Bronies for life!
Disclaimer: All characters aren't owned by me. The idea is somewhat original, despite being based on some Pony-images on Know Your Meme.
It was another ordinary day at the Apple family farm. Big Mac was out digging a new irrigation ditch, Granny Smith was sleeping, and Applejack was out bucking some apples for dinner.
Apple Bloom, just home from school, was surprised to see her older sister sitting between two trees, deep in thought. Applebloom, after a moment, interrupted. "Hey, Applejack? What're ya up to?"
Applejack rubbed her chin. "Well, sis, ah can't decide what sort of apples we oughta have for dinner tonight. Are you in the mood for Jazz or Granny Smith?"
Apple Bloom said, "Well, I guess Jazz." With a loud crack, a hail of red apples flew from above into the baskets. "Is that really all you were thinkin' about?"
Applejack shrugged as she loaded the apples into her backpack. "Ah guess it was. Ah mean, once Ah've gotten the chores done for the day, ain't much else to think about 'round here." There was a moment of silence as the two of them made their way back to the house at a quick trot. "So, what'd y'all learn in school today?"
Apple Bloom said, "Math'n stuff. Ah don't get this Algebra stuff they been teachin' us. Ah mean, sometimes X is 5, sometimes it's 3, sometimes it's 8! Why can't they just pick a number?"
Applejack smiled. "You'll have to get Big Mac to help y'all with that. He's better at fancy mathematics than me."
Apple Bloom was about to reply when she tripped over an exposed tree root. The tiny pony managed to do a somersault that would have impressed Scootaloo before coming to a stop.
Applejack was at her side in an instant. "You okay, sis?"
Apple Bloom managed an "uh huh" before getting back to her feet. As she did so, a sheet of paper fell out of her backpack and landed at Applejack's feet. Applejack bent down to pick it up with her mouth, but stopped as she read it. "Career Day on Friday?"
Apple Bloom's eyes widened in panic for a moment, before she cleared her throat and got control over her facial expression. She settled on "neutral." "Oh, y-yeah, Ms. Cherilee's havin' a bunch of grownups come in to talk about their jobs."
Applejack gave Apple Bloom a suspicious look. She was hiding something, but Applejack wasn't sure what. She decided to ignore it. "Well, you can tell Ms. Cherilee that ah'd be happy to come in and talk about apple farmin.'"
Apple Bloom's smile was faker than the hips they were going to get Granny Smith someday. "S-sure, that'd be great."
Applejack frowned. "What's wrong, Applebloom?"
Applejack's frown deepened. "If ah didn't know better, ah'd think you didn't want me to talk to your class."
Apple Bloom said, "That's crazy! Of course I want you to come in and talk about… farming apples."
Applejack said, "Apple Bloom, you can tell me anythin'. What's wrong with farming apples?"
Apple Bloom paused for a moment, as if weighing her words, and then dropped all pretense of diplomacy… or taking a pause between ideas. "Ah just don't wanna get embarrassed! Rarity's coming in to talk about makin' fancy gowns, and Scootaloo's dad's gonna do some extreme sports an' stuff and Fluttershy's bringing her baby bunnies and Derpy's gonna give everyone a free dead letter an' all we got is… apples."
Applejack took a moment to absorb the torrent of words. With a tone of cold fury, Applejack said, "Wait. You think ah'm more boring than undelivered mail?"
"The way Derpy delivers the mail, there's bound to be some good stuff that never got to the right place."
"Okay, ah'll grant that," Applejack said with a thoughtful look on her face. She switched from cold to hot fury. "That's still no excuse to think apples're boring! They done put food in your tummy as long as you've been alive!"
Apple Bloom said, "It ain't that ah think apples are boring. Ah love apples! But ah think everyone else isn't gonna like it, and then they'll tease me for more than not having mah cutie mark."
Applejack was incensed as they arrived at the house. As she took off her pack, she said, "How do you know that? You ain't never heard me give a speech about apples before!"
Apple Bloom said, "Alright." Apple Bloom walked over to well worn couch and sat down attentively. "Ah'm the class. Tell me about apples."
Applejack took off her backpack. "Alright, miss smarty-britches. Apples! Apples're… apples're tasty! And they're good for ya! And you can make stuff from 'em!"
There was a long pause. Apple Bloom said, "And?"
Applejack blinked. "And what?"
Apple Bloom said, "See? Y'all said three sentences about apples. That ain't a proper apple speech! When Dr. Whooves came in to talk about savin' time and space for a living last month, he talked for ten whole minutes!"
Applejack snorted. "Dr. Whooves is still talkin' about that nonsense? He's been doin' that timey wimey stuff since he was a colt in mah class."
Apple Bloom said, "Ah don't know if it was true, but it was fun! And he gave us all jelly babies for bein' a good audience!"
Applejack pawed the floor. "Alright, Apple Bloom. You done challenged me and ah accept! You think ah can't give a good speech about apples? Well ah'll give your class the best speech they ever done heard!"
"This is gonna be the worst speech they ever done heard! Why did ah accept Apple Bloom's challenge?" Applejack was pacing back and forth at Twilight's library, a look of concern knitted across her equine brow.
Twilght Sparkle looked up from her book (Humans and Other Mythical Beasts). "I don't think it was really a challenge."
Applejack got in Twilight's face and started poking her with her hoof. "You think ah don't know a challenge when ah hear it? 'Cause ah won't have y'all challengin' my ability to notice a challenge when ah hear it! In fact, that sounds like a challenge right now!"
Twilight put up her hooves in a conciliatory gesture. "Okay, fine, it was a challenge. Regardless, it can't be that bad. You know more about apples than anyone in Ponyville."
Applejack was starting to leave a visible groove in the floor. "Ah used to think ah did! But then ah tried to write this gol-durn speech. Ah know how to grow an apple just fine and ah know how to buck an apple just fine, but what ah can't do is write about 'em!"
Twilight said, "How about your read me what you have so far?"
Applejack stopped pacing and got out her note card. She narrowed her eyes, having difficulty reading her own hoofwriting. "Apples. A speech by Applejack. Ahem. Apples are important. Ponies eat apples and yer ponies, so you eat apples. Apples are tasty. You can make things from apples, like pie and cider. And that's why growing apples is the best job ever. The end."
Twilight said, "Well, that was a nice use of a syllogism…"
Applejack stared at her with a look of complete incomprehension.
Twilight continued, ignoring her friends' confusion, "but it… does leave something to be desired in terms of organization and length."
"Horse apples!" Applejack tossed her note cards into the fireplace. It would have been a more impressive gesture if there had been a fire going at the time, but she used what she had to work with. "Ah have nothin' to say! Ah am more borin' than mail!"
Twilight walked over and put a comforting hoof on Applejack's shoulder. "Hey, that isn't like you. I've never known you to give up… even when you really should have."
Applejack glared and said, "Ah thought we agreed not to talk about that whole sleep deprivation thing again."
Twilight wilted slightly under the glare. "Okay, fine. But still, you have to admit that this isn't like you."
Applejack sighed and seemed to deflate. "Ah wish ah was smart. Ah really do. But after momma… after Apple Bloom was born, ah had to drop out of school and run the farm. Ah don't know how to write, or speechify or even what a dang apple is made out of."
Twilight said whipped out a book and read, "Well, apples are a fruit of trees of the species Malus domestica. They are a good source of vitamin C and fiber, as well as having trace elements of calcium and iron. They're mostly made out of carbohydrates and water."
Applejack's eyes lit up. She was on her knees in front of Twilight in an instant. "Of course! Twilight, you can write the speech for me!"
Twilight got a worried look on her face. "I don't' have a problem helping you write the speech, but don't you think it would be better to use your own words?"
Applejack, still prostrated, said, "Mah words, pardon mah Mule, suck. You can be lahk that guy with the big nose in the play who made the handsome pony sound smart for his filly! What was the name of that play again…"
Twilight said, "Cyrano de Bergerac?"
Applejack said, "See, ah don't even know the name of the play ah saw last week! Ah'm hopelessly stupid! Help me Twilight!"
Twilight said, "But you saw the play. It didn't go well."
Applejack jumped back to her feet and met Twilight's gaze with another glare. "Are you challengin' mah ability to understand the meanin' of plays?"
Twilight rolled her eyes and got a pen and paper with her telekinesis. "Okay, so, the first thing you should say about apples is…"
That Friday, everypony at Ponyville Elementary couldn't sit through the first half of the day. Lessons in algebra and history went in one ear and out the other, notes were passed and there was a general breakdown in order. Even during lunch time, the little ponies were running wild. Cherilee, for the fifth time that morning, had to give a pony a black mark on the class chart. Cherilee sighed as a paper airplane lodged itself in her mane. At least Apple Bloom was behaving.
Apple Bloom, of course, was too nervous to act out. She knew that doom would come at one o'clock that afternoon. She was too nervous to finish her lunch, since the apples just reminded her of her impending embarrassment. Fortunately, Scootaloo was more than willing to take the apples off her hooves.
As Scootaloo finished scarfing down the remnants of Apple Bloom's lunch, Sweetie Belle said, "I can't wait for career day! Rarity's bringing her newest dress, and I even helped!"
Scootaloo, covered in apple, said, "She let you help?"
Sweetie Belle gave an innocent "who me?" look. "Well, she didn't really know about it. But I did help. I used some of that gold fabric to line the inside of her cape!"
Scootaloo cleaned off her face. "Yeah, well my dad's gonna do his newest scooter trick! He hasn't let me see it yet, but it's gonna be awesome! What's your sister gonna do, Apple Bloom?"
Apple Bloom sighed. "Ah don't know. Ah haven't seen her much since she came back from Twilight Sparkle's place last night. Ah just hope she doesn't embarrass me too much."
Before they could continue, the lunch bell rang and all of the students rushed back to class. It was the fastest that anypony had ever come back from break. Waiting for them were the grownups, all twenty of them. Apple Bloom was almost downhearted to see her sister there, but she shot her an encouraging smile.
Applejack couldn't remember the last time she had been so nervous. Dragons and stampedes were one thing, but giving a speech in public? Much less Twilight's speech. She didn't understand half of it. But, she had to put on a brave face for her sister, so she shot Apple Bloom her own encouraging smile.
Cherilee spent a couple of minutes trying to get the class back in order so that the speeches could begin. Finally, Derpy Hooves brought in a cloud and used a loud thunderclap to silence the little ponies.
Cherilee said, "Thank you, Derpy."
Derpy, looking at everything but Cherilee, said, "No problem, Admiral!" She saluted smartly.
Cherilee (and everyone present) gave Derpy a strange look. After a moment, Cherilee cleared her throat. "Alright everypony, it's time for career day! Before we begin, let's give everypony a round of applause for taking time out to talk to you about careers!" The room was filled with a sound reminiscent of coconut halves being banged together. "First, we have Apple Bloom's sister, Applejack!"
Applejack walked over to the front of the classroom. Apple Bloom noticed that Applejack was carrying a stack of papers almost as tall as she was. Applejack put them down on a podium with an audible thud, and Apple Bloom was worried that the podium would snap in half under the weight.
And with that, Applejack began to read. "S-salutations everypony. My name is Applejack, and ah sell apples and apple accessories. Apples are an important part of everypony's life. Why, I bet some of you had apples from my farm for lunch."
Apple Bloom was surprised, as she looked over the class. That personal connection seemed to get the class interested, with many of them nodding. Maybe it wouldn't be so bad after all.
Applejack continued, moving on to another page. "However, apples are more than food. In fact, there are over fifty industrial and commercial uses for apples that don't involve eating them. For br-br… beaverity, ah will discuss only 43 of them. Firstly, the seeds of apples c-contain the chemical c-c-kyanide, which can be used for…"
An hour of stuttering and mispronounced words from the depths of Twilight Sparkle's sizable vocabulary passed. Some ponies were sleeping. Others, like Fluttershy, were trying their best to be attentive, and failing utterly. However, more than a few of Apple Bloom's classmates were casting death glares, and with every butchered word, Apple Bloom could feel her reputation dying.
Fortunately, Applejack almost seemed ready to finish the farce. "And that is why apples are so important. Ah hope that this sp-speech has been as information-itive as it was fun to read. Th-thank you."
Cherilee snapped back to consciousness as Applejack trotted by her. Cherilee blinked the sleep out of her eyes and said, "Well, wasn't that… thorough! Everyone, give Applejack a round of applause!"
The silence was overwhelming.
Cherilee, not missing a beat, said, "Alright, we'll need to move faster since the first talk was so… thorough! Next, we have Cutesy Buttons' big sister, Derpy Hooves!"
Derpy clopped over to the front of the class and began her speech. "I bring word from my home planet! That word is… mail! Being a mail pony is…"
Applejack, noting the glares she was getting from the other visitors, decided to stand by Fluttershy. It seemed like the safest choice. "Uh, Fluttershy, that speech Twilight wrote me… how was it?"
Fluttershy looked up from her basket of bouncing baby bunnies. "It was… nice."
"Ah've heard that 'nice' before, sugar cube. What did you really think?"
Fluttershy began to sweat nervously. After a moment, she kicked over the basket, scattering baby bunnies everywhere. "Oh no, I have to get my buninies back! I'll tell you later!"
Applejack sighed. "Oh great, Twilight Sparkle wrote me that awesome educated speech, and ah ruined it."
"… and remember children, beware the voles, for they shall steal your gumdrops! Peace out, everypony! Enjoy your old mail!" The end of the speech was greeted with applause.
As Derpy passed Cutesy Buttons, the little wall-eyed pony said, "Mission accomplished, big sis!"
Derpy said, "You know it, little sis!" They gave each other a bro-hoof, and then Derpy went back to her place.
Every speech and activity went the same way. Rarity's dress was a big hit, as were the baby bunnies. Finally, it came down to Scootaloo's father, Ollie Jump.
Ollie, a blue Pegasus wearing a helmet, slammed his skateboard on the podium. "Hey ponies! Are you ready to kick it up a notch?" The whole class gave a cheer. "That's what I thought! Everyone follow me to the playground for an exhibition of extreme skateboarding action!"
Everyone dashed to the playground, ignoring Cherilee's shouts of "Don't run in the hallway!" Applejack was tempted to slip out the back while everyone else was distracted… but she'd promised Apple Bloom she'd be there for career day, and keeping that promise meant not running away, as much as she wanted to.
Ollie Jump played the crowd like an old pro. "So, who's ready for the most spectacular, the most amazing, the most stupefying stunt ever performed on skateboard?" Everyone whose name wasn't Apple hooted and hollered. Somehow, a little pony had gotten a lighter and held it lit above their head. The little pony quickly earned an immediate trip to the principal's office. Most of the crowd didn't notice or care.
Ollie, with dramatic flair, finished tying the blindfold over his eyes. "Fillies and gentecolts! You are about to see, for the first time anywhere, the blind pony's reverse deadman's jump!" Without missing a beat, Ollie's wings began to buzz. Where Scootaloo sounded like a scooter motor, her father sounded more like a formula 1 racecar.
He sprang into action to the cheers of the crowd. Going backwards, he made three loops around the playground. After building up speed, he lept into the air and proceeded to grind, backwards, over the monkey bars. Even Applejack forgot her troubles as she was swept up in the show. That Ollie knew his tricks!
However, even if Ollie had not been blindfolded, he still would not have seen what was coming. A vole, who had been busily dragging a gumdrop across the school yard, abandoned its prize to avoid Ollie's wheels. The gumdrop got stuck in his wheels, stopping them instantly. Ollie was catapulted through the air, propelled by his still roaring wings. He finally came to a stop... a high speed stop in a hole, high in the side of a nearby tree.
"Ow… not cool, brah," said Ollie Jump. He struggled for a moment and called out, "Uh, guys? I'm stuck."
Derpy and Fluttershy, the only other Pegasi present, flew up to the trapped athlete. They grabbed him and pulled, to no avail.
Fluttershy said, "Oh my, Derpy. He's stuck fast. What should we do?"
Derpy said, "This shall require fifth dimensional thinking. And butter."
Fluttershy blinked. "Um… I suppose if we put butter on him, it might loosen him…"
Derpy said, "Good idea, Butterguy!" She pointed dramatically into the center of town. "To the butter repository!"
Fluttershy sighed and the two flew off to the butter repository… also known as the bakery.
Rarity, overhearing the conversation, said, "I cannot tell if that pony is really smart or really stupid." She decided to see what she could do while they enacted Derpy's plan. Focusing her telekinesis, she pulled Ollie as hard as she could.
Ollie cried out, "Hey Brah, cut it out! You're gonna rip my leg off!"
Rarity stopped immediately. "Heh heh… sorry, I suppose I don't know my own strength."
Applejack had been sizing up the situation the whole time, but had been too embarrassed to leave the crowd. Then, she felt a push on her side. She looked down to see Apple Bloom. "Can't you help Scootaloo's dad, Applejack?"
Applejack tried to avoid Apple Bloom's gaze. "Ah… ah can't do anything. Ah'm just an ignorant farm pony. Leave this to the professionals."
Scootaloo said, "But Applejack, you are a professional! You work with trees for a living. Please help my dad!"
Applejack sighed, overwhelmed by Scootaloo's pleading eyes. "All right, I'll try. But don't be surprised when I make it worse." Applejack trotted over to the tree. She might have normally thought that the sight of a grown pony's backside sticking out of a tree would be funny, but the sounds of panic from the extreme sports pony removed all of the humor.
She looked over the tree for a long moment, as Rarity tried more strategic telekinesis. Rarity finally gave up, panting from the exertion. "Well Applejack, what do you think? We may need to get the fire department for this one."
Applejack didn't reply immediately. She didn't have the words to describe what she was doing. Twilight would have told her that she was doing physics and geometry. Applejack, however, wasn't thinking in terms of numbers or fancy mathematical models. Applejack just knew how to buck apples, and that practical knowledge told her to kick… right… there!
Applejack said, "Get ready to catch him, Rarity."
Rarity barely had time to realize what Applejack said before the farm pony had bucked the tree with all of her might. Suddenly, Ollie began to slip, and then he popped out of the tree with surprising force. Rarity barely caught him before he hit the ground.
Ollie, confused by what had just happened, said, "Thanks, brahs?"
Later, at the library, Twilight Sparkle said, "So that's what all of that noise was about! I'm sorry I missed it." Twilight took a bite of her muffin. Where had the muffins come from? Derpy wasn't about to go get ten pounds of butter from the bakery without buying enough muffins to share. "So, what do you think I should report to Princess Celestia?"
Applejack blinked. "We have something to report to Princess Celestia?"
Twilight Sparkle said, "Well, you must have learned something from all of that."
Applejack rubbed her chin. "I got nothin.'"
Fluttershy looked up from the baby bunny basket and offered, "We learned that Derpy is surprisingly knowledgeable about the habits of voles."
Rarity added, "We learned that Scootaloo can be persuasive when she wants to be."
Scootaloo batted her eyes and said, "Nopony can resist the eyes." The massive amount of muffin coating her face ruined the effect somewhat.
Ollie Jump shifted the ice pack on his head and said, "We learned to clear the ground before any stunt."
Sweetie Bell said, "We learned that if you're subtle, you can borrow gold fabric from Rarity."
Rarity spat out a mouthful of muffin. "You what?"
Apple Bloom shook her head. "No no no! We learned that just 'cause you aren't book smart doesn't mean that you aren't good at what you do!" Apple Bloom leaned in and gave Applejack a big hug. "We also learned that you don't have to be able to make a big speech to be the best big sister ever."
Applejack ruffled Apple Bloom's mane. "See, that's why ah send ya to school. So you can figure stuff out for me." Everyone laughed at that, and all was well in the world.
Well, except that Pinkie Pie and Rainbow Dash were desperately fighting off the Cyberponies with the help of Doctor Whooves. But that's another story.