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Apple Adonis (Invite)

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@tacobob

 

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Sweet Apple Acres was a big place. Aside from the number of orchards they had, from reds, to greens and even Zap Apples having their own patch: theirs was a land built on the backs of their ancestors who had first settled Ponyville. It t’weren’t no small operation. It was up to them to provide food for all the ponies settling here and so as more and more came to settle more orchards were planted. Sweet Apple Acres came to be more than just the acres originally settled. That meant there was a whole lot of work to do. The work fell squarely on the shoulders of the Apples and their kin to tend the fields.

 

The spring was finally here. Thanks to Twilight being in charge of the planning for the committee Winter Wrap-up went by faster letting them sow seeds sooner. Though it meant starting work earlier, something Mac was at odds at. He liked keeping busy and maintaining the barn was a regular chore, upkeep with the fields seasonal, but it was a full time jo and Mac here liked taking naps on occasion. His sister was more the workaholic where as he was responsible so stealing away for naps in a pile of hay wasn't much a surprise for his kin to spot.

 

Today was such a day. With lunch abiding the red apple a well deserved break he decided to just take a moment to collect himself. It was in that moment he was leaving the barn. Shaking out his boss the substantially built Apple would loose hay from his fur, catching a straw between his lips before he let out a snort. Reaching up he'd give a good brush of his honeysuckle colored mane to ensure any and all evidence of his leisure was dusted away.

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This is what Zelda really needed! After being cooped up for so long while feeling sorry for herself, the black griffon had finally accepted a project! And since it was her first in a good month, she decided to go with something simple and rather boring. Barn guts! She spent days forging the best galvanized nails made with the finest of griffin steel. Along with the nails she made basically what she referred to as an 'barn pack'. Steel beams made to exact specification along with other forged, practical building materiel. He father would be so proud! After meeting a team of ponies at the train station, the blacksmith helped transport her handy-work to waiting wagon. From there, they would head off to Sweet Apple Acres and delivery her supplies to the Apple family.
 
Being the professional sort, she was clad in her usual work overalls which were topped with thick boots and gloves. She could never understand ponies that would do this sort of heavy work in the buff. The ride was short, but it gave her time to ponder things...Odd things. Her dreams. She had one that involved Princess Luna and Discord and considering how clean it was, she could only assume it was really them.  The Princess of the moon was trying to help her, but Discord got in the way! What a Farshtunkener!
 
As the the farm appeared into the distance, the griffon wondered who was going to be at the farm. Would the entire Apple clan be there? She hoped to see Applejack's new baby. It completely blew the bird's mind after she found out the farmer was several months pregnant while using the earth pony as a model for one of her statues. That gal was in top shape! Perfect for what she needed. And there was always her hunky big brother Big McIntosh! Hubba hubba!
 
At the entrance of the farm was an area specially marked for deliveries, where the wagon ponies stopped and began the process of unloading the proud griffin's metalwork. "Ring Ring.", Zelda rang a nearby bell and waited to see who would meet her.
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Mac didn't like spending on new things when old stuff worked just fine, but that meant going through a lot of nails repairing old walls and screws to rotate wobbly wheels. But the barn, despite how much he repaired it, saw the most peril with his strength. Much of the farm's equipment was stored in the main barn, safe from the weather. It was also a nifty place to nap between jobs. The nails he used to raise the barn just would no longer do the job so he had to spend a little extra to get some stronger tools for the job.

 

Mac was just getting out of the barn as Zelda was clearing the way. He raised a hoof to fleck off the last bits of straw from his secret, but well deserved break. It wouldn't do good if he didn't look like a hard working stallion! He looked around before spotting where he had left his cart. Around his neck was that hefty work collar he was often seen with. Shuffling towards it he moved to prepare to holster himself up to it until he heard the bell in the main house.

 

He blinked and shook his head. “Oh!” A delivery at this hour, how queer.  “Wait a minute…” Was it perhaps the nails he had ordered?!

 

Rearing up he took off trotting toward the delivery side. You'd often see carts lined up there getting stopped with apple barrels or casks of cider! The mail pony didn't have to walk to the main house as the post was close to the farm’s entrance. Zelda was pretty lucky that today's hoof traffic was light. With spring here most of the Apples were busy planting the new stock for summer and fall harvests. The big, red Apple made his way to the fence. He reached his head up to grab a hanging rope and gave it a tug with his muzzle.

 

The gate opened wide. “Uh, howdy. Can ah help you?” Mac called to the Griffon, hopeful she had his nails!

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Zelda could not help but give off a beaky grin. This almost felt like the start of a few movies she had seen recently. Oh no! Her customer forgot about the order and doesn’t have enough bits! If there was another way to pay! The griffon’s mind had shifted so far into the gutter she was pulling out mutant zombie ponies! Mind on the job!
 
“Hello Mister Mac!”, she pulled out a small scroll from her pocket that was marked WORK ORDER. “I'm Zelda and I’ve brought along the nails you have ordered.”, she lifted up an wooden box. “These are griffin steel galvanized barn nails. Best in the business." she handed over the form for the stallion to sign. "And as per the order, I'm also offering up my services to help you with your project as part of my 'Total Package Guarantee'. so if you need a hand.", she wiggled her free claw, "Just say so and I'll be more than happy to do you..", she quickly added, "A favor." Ho-Boy! Almost had an old 'slip of the beak' there.  And this was a slight fib. She did not need to do anything extra. She just needed to drop off the nails, take the bits and move on, but her schedule was clear today. She had friends in Ponyville, but they were working! At least Fire Walker was....Poor gal left her comfortable job in Fillydelphia training young grunts to work with Princess Twilight! She even gained new armor that the griffon did not craft herself! That was -slightly- annoying. But it looked good.
 
"And I've also brought along a 'Barn Pack', which is mostly forged metal items one would use while working on farm buildings. I always bring it along for my rural jobs. You'd be surprised what ponies forget they need." But the Apples were real pros.  She patiently waited for the farmer to take her invoice.
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The affluent Apple, who only spoke what was necessary, often found himself at a loss of words for his own actions. The nails in question wouldn’t really be necessary could he control his own strength. Of course what made that difficult was because strength was all part of his job. Pulling, plowing, bucking, building why he was surprised his parents hadn’t named him Buff Apple! That aside the big, red farmer sighed as he nearly tore the fence off its hinges as he pulled it open to politely welcome the dark Griffon in. He wasn’t sure why she was there until  she popped out a roll of papers. His red ears perked, jostling his honeysuckle bangs. He parted his jaw to speak, but only was able to grunt out an: “Oh.”

 

“O-oh!” He came further into his realization.

 

He stepped to the side, allowing the Griffon to pass him. Just in time, he was growing pretty sour at how nothing around here ever seemed to stay fixed! Sure small repairs were a thing to expect when you ran a farm. Equipment needed care just as much as the ponies working the fields. He was tickled pink, well redder? … didn’t matter. He moved to st as she seemed to continue on with her explanation, the dutiful Apple listening closely. It seemed she put a lot of work into her goods, which did put a bit of Mac’s mind at ease. Barn pack? That sounded dandy. He stood once more and moved to take up the invoice with his muzzle, before turning his head toward the dilapidated barn.

 

“Well uh, if’n you can see…” The paper flapped about in the stallion’s muzzle as he spoke.

 

It was quite a mess in deed. The wood was worn, some was splintered as if it had suffered a stampede, which almost never happened at the Apple’s farm!  Her help with this extra care package could certainly do the farm some good. The barn could really use some help and Mac gladly lead her towards the disastrous attempt at repair.  

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As the impressive pony started to ponder the griffon's offer, Zelda took a moment to get a good look at her surroundings. Boy, there were sure a lot of farmland here, but only two real full-time employees? She could not figure out how they managed to cover so much ground with such a low amount of workers. Add that to taking care of a foal and an school-aged filly. Applejack also had her class to teach in the new private school they made, and there was also random days where they had to save the world. The black bird was usually impressed with herself when she managed to wake up earlier than 11 AM.
 
The Apples were a little behind when it came to their barns as from what she could tell were still mostly wood and not even white oak, which was decay resistant and very solid. Most modern farmers built their barns using steel along with layered Stubbornite or even Obstinatanium  as a frame. Still, she needed to be polite as the Apples were a family that stuck to traditions. And maybe residents of Ponyville preferred the more attractive wood buildings that bookended part of their village as opposed to more industrial looking steel buildings that were better situated in cities like in Rockwington.
 
"I have a feeling you want to keep building your barns the old fashioned way.", Zelda ran a clawed hand over the wood, "There's no problem in that, but what you need to enforce he wooden beams with some of my steel side plates.", she made her way over to the gear that had been left behind. "We can place these inside the barn so you keep the pretty aesthetic of an country barn and the steel will take up the slack the poor wood was handling by itself....And thus getting damaged easily. We could replace whatever wood that needs to be taken care of, but you won't have to replace everything."
 
With that, the big bird started to work....

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