Cutie Marks and Summer Heat Chapter 1: Applesauce and Oil

The day was hotter than an apple pie fresh out the oven!

"Heads up, AJ!" Applebloom called as she tossed a couple of ripe apples down from the branch she was hanging from.

Her older sister caught the falling fruit with ease, "Thanks, AB," she called as she tossed them into a wooden bucket and stomped them into apple sauce with some cider and cinnamon, "Sauce is ready y'all, come and get it!"

Applejack and the rest of the Apple family were hard at work preparing for their upcoming annual Applebuck Season and were just about done when they decided to take a break from the sun under the sweet shade of the biggest apple tree in Apple Acres.

Applebloom slid down the wide trunk of the curved tree, stopping right at the picnic bench, "My favorite!" she squealed and started in on her bowl.

"Mine too!" Granny Smith piped in, "I love just about anything I don't have to chew!"

"You can never go wrong with applesauce on a hot day," Applejack removed her cowboy hat from her blonde head and fanned herself with it, "Whoo, should've cooled down by now though."

"This heat happens every so often, probably dragons nearby." Granny Smith speculated with a mouth full of mush.

"We just about ready for tomorrow, Big Mac?" Applejacked asked.

The large steed lumbered in and sat his crimson hide by the biggest bowl, "A-yup," he said, wiping away his sweat with his massive hoof and taking a swig of apple cider, "Just need to oil the big wagon and we'll be all set."

Applejack gasped, "Shoot, I plum forgot the oil when I went into town yesterday!" she said, knocking her forehead.

"It's o.k. AJ, the wheels aren't that bad," Applebloom cooed.

Applejack shook her head, "Big Mac just about broke his back last year lugging that stubborn thing around, don't want him to get hurt again-especially this close to the applebuck season. I'll head into town after lunch real quick and grab a can from the Barrel brother's store."

"Town? I'll go with you!" Applebloom squeaked excitedly, she started towards the gate but flew back as Big Mac grabbed her cherry colored tail and pulled her back to Granny Smith's side, "You're not going anywhere, my little pony," Granny Smith said, "It's a weird time over in Ponyville right now and little fillies best stay home."

"What kind of time?" she asked, Applejack became curious too, "Yeah, whatcha mean, Granny?" The apple hided pony had just been over Ponyville yesterday, as far as she could tell all was normal.

Granny Smith sputtered as she thought of an explanation, she looked at Big Mac who stammered too, "Nuthin' you need worry about, the both of you. Applebloom, help Granny back to the house. Applejack, I'll go with you."

"It's o.k. Big Mac, I can manage, you rest up." Applejack offered, Mac just shook his sandy blonde mane, "Best you be accompanied, little sis."

Applejack looked at her brother inquisitively, the Apples never had secrets, what was so weird about Ponyville right now that Granny and Mac couldn't explain to her and Applebloom? She wanted to ask but decided her brother knew what was best and didn't question the subject any further.

Once the last of the applesauce was gone, the two oldest Apple ponies saddled up headed off.