His name is Mac.
For the denizens of PonyVille, any pony who has lived in town for more than a day would know of the one stallion who stands out above the rest. That is registered metaphorically and physically, as any pony who has ever bought Sweet Apple Acres brand apples would get the reference. He stands a head taller than any stallion, any pony for that matter, the reddest shade of a coat you will ever see, and quite possibly the owner of the world's largest cutie mark, contributed by his incredibly tall physique.
His most distinctive feature would be the horse collar worn at the base of his neck. There's always the assumption that he had so much work to do, he never really bothered taking it off as it'd take longer to remove and put back on as it would take resting between breaks. Rumor has it that he even sleeps with the collar on, though he has yet to clarify this. The collar has become such a staple image of himself, that if he were to suddenly walk into town with the collar left at home, it'd take every pony a second look to see that there was a new stallion in town, even though he was the tallest horse any pony had ever known.
Big Macintosh, that's what they call him. Or Mac, for short.
He is very well known as an employee of his family's business, Sweet Apple Acres, the most successful apple chain in all of Equestria. He's also renowned as the family's hardest worker, making up lost time on the account of Applejack's time spent for friends, amongst other incidents and events like a certain swarm that raided the poor village that took weeks to recover from.
A stallion like this can have many words to speak of, but perhaps the one thing every pony attributes him to even more than the collar would be his disposition to never utter more than three words a sentence, if he were to speak at all. Three words, a greeting, a thank you, and the characteristic 'Eeyup' were all that ever left the lips of the big red pony. You'd be lucky hearing him form a longer sentence than that, but any pony who has ever tried quickly learns that he is far too busy to make small talk and affiliate with random ponies. Of PonyVille, the only ponies who ever hear Big Macintosh speak a volume on a regular basis were his sisters Applejack and Applebloom and his granny, Granny Smith. Everyone else gets the usual vocabulary treatment, or what little there is of it. To get Mac to speak more than four words would require the patience of a slug and the persistence of a desperate carnivore.
Of course, only one pony ever succeeded, but she's been on poor grounds with the apple family since she attended the last family potluck of theirs. Things have patched up since then, even Applejack made friends with her, that ever active pony who hangs around at the SugarCube Corner. All family potlucks and news of it had been kept under wraps and out of the ears of the village, though, in fear of the pink one returning…
Anyhow, as a stallion who rarely speaks his mind, it comes to no surprise that, as a consequence, no one really knows the big guy personally; not much to go on with three words a day and a trademark 'Eeyup' from him. Most would assume Applejack knew a thing or two about the earth pony, but any pony who's ever asked discovers that even his sister herself knows little of her eldest brother, whom she's worked with for so many years of her life.
As a result, the final part of Big Macintosh's charm is his mystery. Any mare who takes a long enough interest in the stallion starts with the impression of an easy mystery on their hooves. But the longer they study him, the more difficult he is to fully understand. Eventually, they give up with a frustrating strain in their heads and declare the farmer not worth their time, but if you were to ask any mare, you'd learn of the lasting impression the pony leaves on those of the insatiable curiosity. It'd be a lie to say that these ponies were only interested in the sweet taste of their family's apples. That's only half the truth, the other half is the lingering hope of a glimpse of the red stallion to walk by or, even better, personally sell them the delicious fruit they spend their gold on. A quick glance, grip the apples, hear his captivating way of wishing them back for more apples, and leave the stand with a faint blush on their features. It was the only time Big Macintosh ever spoke first to another pony, but those words were savored almost as much as he was.
By now, it should be obvious that Big Macintosh isn't just any pony living in PonyVille. Any group of mares, or even fillies, get together and half of the time all they can talk about is the farmer stud who walked in and out of town a few minutes ago. Of all the groups of mare who ever got together on a regular basis, the one group to speak the least of him would be the one Applejack is a part of, a rather typical discovery as one would imagine the discontent in the cowgirl's hearing of her brother talked about like the next top male model.
That's not to say she wasn't aware, however. But most of the time, she ignores it, paying no mind to what her ear catches during her daily routine walk around town and with her friends. In fact, she was rather proud of her brother, being a very impressive stallion that every mare in PonyVille simply couldn't stop talking about. Why, if Macintosh ever decided to get himself a partner or girlfriend to spend his days with, she'd imagine him having little trouble seeking a pony to receive his affection.
Of course, she'd never expect him to find another mate, not ever again…
Back to her friends. Applejack had an odd circle of friends she hung around with but, oddly enough, demonstrated little display of amorous sentiment over the stallion brother of hers. Twilight Sparkle, her most recent friend, had just moved in a few months ago, and although she had already met the horse on her first day in PonyVille, she still needed to grow more accustomed to village life before she grew an interest in PonyVille gossip. One would imagine Rarity, the town's famous fashion designer, would have taken an interest to such a noble stud. But alas, her passion lay in the field of fashion, and the fact that the steed's clothing size was a very rare one in Equestria, being one of the biggest breeds in the world, left little there for her to seek an interest in the farmer by herself. Pinkie Pie, the notorious party pony, rarely ate apples, as one would be shocked to hear, and she was even more rarely allowed on Sweet Apple Acres ever since that incident a few years back. Fluttershy, the timid sweetheart and friend to all animals, never had the heart to look all the way up at Big Macintosh. Handsome, tall, a fine gentlecolt, Big Macintosh was many things, but not many considered him intimidating, at least to Fluttershy.
That only left one last pony friend of the five. The one pony who is probably more well known than Rarity herself. The pegasus who made headline news at The Best Young Flyer's Competition. The only pegasus to have ever performed a Sonic Rainboom, and survived, while simultaneously saving the WonderBolts from certain death.
Her name is Rainbow Dash.
Her reasons for not taking an interest in her friend's brother are a little more complicated than the rest of her mare friends. For one, the pegasus pony spends most of her time in the air, to the point were seeing her on the ground without the company of friends was an extremely rare sight. She simply loved the sky so much, it was practically her life. Which lead to the other thing that contributed to the mare's lack of acknowledgement of the stallion. Training. Lots of training, to prepare herself for trying out for the WonderBolts, the most talented air flight team in all of Equestria. She trained every day honing her flying skills and practicing her flight tricks to make herself a formidable, if not equal, talent to the WonderBolts. This training took up a large portion of her schedule, in between weather jobs and time spent for friends. That, and the fact that she rarely visited the ground for some casual alone time, all contributed to make her probably the only pony in the village to not understand what there is to the stallion that is Big Macintosh.
But, as recent events have played out, that barrier of invisibility has finally faded, and fate is finally free to enact its whim on the two most notorious ponies in all of PonyVille.
"One Grass Berry drink, please."
With a nod, the waiter turned around and retreated to the building to register her order. The rainbow maned pegasus stared at the pony until he disappeared into the building, unconsciously staring at the steed's acknowledgeable flank. As soon as he did, the pegasus shook her head and propped an elbow on the table, scorning herself for rudely checking out the waiter, even if he didn't notice.
The pegasus sighed, not out of depression but one of relief she had been holding in all week. A few minutes ago, she had just flown back from CloudsDale, hanging out with her idol team, the WonderBolts. After she saved them during the Best Young Flyer's Competition, she finally managed to earn a day to spend with them, and she was determined to make the best impression of herself to the members if she were to ever be nominated as the fourth member. The day had sped by quickly without them noticing, and the group was having much fun with each other; Dash never wanted it to end. When nightfall came and the WonderBolts had to leave, Dash nearly had a heart attack when the leader turned back around, smiled, and said 'We should hang out some more'. Dash was finally free to spend more time with her idols than most of the fans were allowed to. This alone made Dash excited at the thought of it; she had spent nearly the whole night thinking of more activities they were to do together the next time they met up.
This was exactly what she had done. All her time spent in CloudsDale was with the WonderBolts again, and it was even better than last time. Granted, it only lasted half as long as the team needed to attend their next meeting, but it was enough for Rainbow Dash to hold her over for the next encounter with the team, motivated in thought by the team's anticipation of seeing the pegasus again.
Now, the sigh earlier was half done out of relief. The other half was in exhaustion. She had done marathons with the WonderBolts, watched their tricks performed and attempted to try them under their authorization, and she even got to practice with them in the new moves they were planning. Needless to say, she was exhausted, but she couldn't be happier.
Exhausted, indeed, enough to be sitting here at ground level to order herself a drink, which was taking a while. She'd prefer the taste of fresh rain water from the clouds, but today she felt like having something a little more refreshing. She never recalled 'refreshing' and 'irritatingly long to make' sharing the same meaning. An impatient groan echoed in her throat; she should've just went with the rain water.
Her ear perked, catching wind of the sounds of giggling belonging to a group of young mares at the table behind her. Now, Rainbow Dash wasn't one to eavesdrop, not that she would admit it at least, but she would only listen in on anything that caught her interest. Anything else was disregarded.
"Did you see him walk into town the other day?" a high pitched voice spoke.
"Yah, like, who didn't?" said one pony, who had the most irritating stuck up voice you could ever imagine, "No mare could miss that stud. That pony is as big as a house."
"Mmm, I wouldn't mind living under that roof," spoke a bubbly voice, followed by an uneasy stream of giggling.
The rainbow pony merely rolled her eyes at such girl talk. 'Give me a break,' she thought. Sometimes, she found it hard to believe that she was the same gender as those ponies. She could never imagine herself guffawing at another male horse. Not that she wouldn't, mind you.
"Is it just me, or did he brush his tail this afternoon?" the irritating voice brought up.
"That speaks volumes about what you find more fascinating about him," the high pitched voice joked.
A round of giggling, and then the bubbly voice rung up, "But seriously, you guys. Do you know what I would give to comb my hoof through that magnificent orange mane of his?"
A simultaneous sigh and an eye roll from the one pony misfortunate enough to be a table across from these snooty mares.
"Or over his muscles…?"
"Or to ride that steed back home?"
The other two snapped out of their fantasy and looked at the mare oddly. Confused at first, the pony explained herself.
"What? Haven't you ever wanted to be carried back to your house after an exhausting day by a handsome steed like Mac?"
All of a sudden, her attention was caught.
'Mac? Who's he?' she thought, 'I don't remember a 'Mac' in PonyVille.'
"Well, when you put it like that…" the pony said, driving away the naughty thought in her head, "that would be such a romantic way to end the day."
Rainbow was busy piecing the puzzle together in her head to pay any further attention to their conversation.
'Red coat, orange mane, tall, Mac…' the pegasus knew the pony sounded familiar, but she couldn't get the steed to appear in her head. It made her realize how out of the loop she was in PonyVille talk; not that she cared. She'd rather die than compare to those haughty mares behind her.
But this trivia was killing her…
"Hey, do you know what he was in town for?"
"Oh yeah! I hear he was checking in on his little filly sister at school. He does it every day, you know."
"Look who's stalking. It figures you'd know that."
"Have you figured out what kind of food he likes?"
"Now girls, what kind of question is that to ask of me? …although, if I had to guess, it'd be green apples."
"Apples, huh? Not surprising."
"A more accurate guess, I would say. Seeing how his cutie mark is a green apple and all."
Rainbow Dash was now struggling to bring up the exact memory of the steed they were talking about. The combination of color schemes in PonyVile were as varied as the colors of her mane, but contrary in effect, this only made remembering the pony harder than it needed to be. Mares made up most of the population of PonyVille, but of the stallions that lived here, she never saw one with a red coat or orange mane; at least she swore she didn't. Red coat and orange mane, she never met any stallion with that combination, but every time she puts the two colors on an imaginary horse mannequin in her head, she gets the image of a farm or an apple with a funny hair.
Wait a minute. Apples…
A faint memory of a pony blurred into her mind's eye along with a field of apple trees in the background. She remembers all the times she's flown over or through the apple farm and remembers the familiar image of another pony as she sped by the trees. Previously, she always passed it off as a basket of apples or an apple basket stranded by Applejack who was probably in the barn at the time. Only now did the image begin to familiarize itself with the shape of a stallion pony who was, she'd slap herself for using a simile by the haughty mares behind her, the size of a house. The comparison in image to a large pile of apples was the reason she could never remember his face when she tried to just now.
The figure was slowly piecing together. Red coat, orange mane, tall well-sculpted stallion…
…what was his name again?
Rainbow Dash groaned again. She was so close to solving the mystery in her head and the last piece of the puzzle was out of her reach due to her negligence. It almost hurt being so close to the answer and not knowing where the final equation lay. All she needed was the name, and she couldn't for the life of her remember it now. It was killing her…
"Hey, you think he might like dandelions?" the bubbly voice spoke, "I make a mean salad. He might like it."
Rainbow Dash lifted her neck up, then shook her head furiously. No. She wouldn't resort to making conversation with some irritable mares. She would rather die than acknowledge or affiliate herself with those mares.
Though it was tempting…
"Nah, I think it won't work on him. He probably has apples overtaking his system, to the point where anything else is poison," followed by a round of giggling from the table.
She tapped her hoof on the table impatiently. Her mind was unable to connect the image of the pony in her head with every stallion name she ever heard of, to no success. It wouldn't be bothering her so if that drink she had ordered minutes ago had arrived by now.
"You know what I would like, though? To buy an apple from him, and have him give me the apple, from his mouth to my mouth," this resulted in an irritable simultaneous eek that would make one rip off one's own ears.
She had just had about enough.
It was one thing to have much difficulty putting her brain to work into concentrating on the memory of the stallion the girls were talking about, but it was another thing entirely listening to the frustrating talk of snooty mares like themselves to make that task all the more difficult. She could handle the high pitched voices, the haughty accents, the giggling, but the breaking point was having all three mares squeak all at once over a surrealistic overestimated fantasy of theirs.
Rainbow Dash's ear perked up at the silence of the mare's behind her, twitching her wings when she felt their confused and mildly frightened stares on her person. She had just realized she killed the silence with her noise, the sudden loud bang of her hooves on the wooden table as a substituted reaction to something less violent in response to the noise of the mares behind her. Her rage mellowed out and rapidly replaced with embarrassing uneasiness as she slowly turned her head to eye the ponies behind her.
"Uh, eheheh. Fly," she laughed an excuse for the sound.
The ponies were still staring at her oddly with an inquisitive stare. While unnerving, the pegasus decided that now was an opportunity to ask these mares the question to find out the name of the pony in her head. Originally, she wasn't going to, but seeing as how she failed that objective covering up her fury vented slam on the table, she might as well bring up the question anyway.
"So, um," she started, moving her arm over the back of the chair, "What pony are you girls talking about?"
The mares widened their eyes and quickly glanced at each other, facing disbelief that there was a mare in town who did not know of the steed every girl was talking about. Dash raised a brow at this, wondering what the big deal was, and began to regret asking her question at the sound of laughter from the mares in front of her.
"You mean, you don't know?" a unicorn with blue curly hair and green coat spoke.
"How could you, like, not know who he is?" asked a pony with green short hair and blue coat, and a lipstick cutie mark visible, "He's only the most handsome stallion in all of PonyVille."
"And he would be…?" Dash asked again.
The ponies blinked in utter disbelief.
"You really don't know?" spoke up a blue and turquoise pony with a cream colored coat, "He's that farmer who works at the apple farm."
"And his name is?" Dash asked again, getting to the point of her question.
"His name is Mac, sugar cube," a familiar voice to the right of her spoke up.