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Apples Out and About and Other Warnings (BlueRiver)


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Applejack woke at the crack of dawn, despite her fitful sleep. She didn't get a full night's sleep anymore and had adjusted to this haphazard schedule. her hair-trigger responses to any mewling from the mouths of two very specific babes had evolved into the normative behavior that she exhibited now. Late to bed and early to rise- the mark of any mother, happy as she was. There were small bags developing under her eyes and strands of her mane that even after combing fought their way loose. Her bedroom had once been clear and clean and perhaps even described as bare, except for pictures. She still fought to keep it that way but an old crib that she refused to move out and a pile of foal clothes that peeked out of the closet spoke to one of many changes. The other obvious sign was that much of the available space was taken up by pictures of her burgeoning family. They were arranged in sections devoted to each member of her family.  Granny Smith's section came with a small memorial alongside her ma and pa's, each departed member sadly not having the sheer volume of pictures she would have liked. Apple Bloom's pictures told the story of her growth from fussy foal raised by a confused and terrified older sister to a confident young mare ready and willing to make mistakes. Big Mac's told the story of a shy stallion finding himself and starting a family of his own. 

 

The other three though came in much greater volume. Rainbow Dash occupied a healthy portion of Applejack's wall and heart, and the pictures didn't lie. Many of them weren't for Applejack alone. A good number were group shots- don't doubt that Applejack's friends weren't well represented- or even somewhat stylized shoots for the Wonderbolts. But so many others...she remembered their stories. From rivals and friends to friendly rivals to loyal compatriots and then so much more, with pictures of a happily wedded life and wife telling the tale that Applejack could scarcely believe she was lucky enough to be in. The product of their love took more spaces than anycreature else though. Zap Apple was the first and you could never replace that feeling. She had taken so many pictures of his firsts and moments great and small. But looking at them all she could clearly remember those moments and could chart in time the progress of her firstborn colt. He was raised right. He was inquisitive and kind and strong and as good a colt as a mama could ask for. The love she had for him was as strong as the foundation of the earth beneath their hooves. He'd go far. That might not be on the Apple farm- try as she might, she didn't much reckon she could keep his pegasus behind stuck on the farm- but she was filled with overwhelming confidence in him.

 

His sister's section was smaller, but only because she was younger. She'd pass her older brother up without question. She loved it whenever her mama wanted to take a picture of her. Absolutely loved it. Probably because she seemed like an attention seeker but how could she not be when she was just about perfect? Applejack could not overstate how over the moon she was over Ambrosia. Maybe it was because the birth had been harder and she represented perhaps her final child, but she adored just about everything Ambrosia did, even if she could be a little brat at times. Apples could sometimes be stubborn and who was she to judge?

 

Applejack finished her bathroom duties and made her way swiftly into the kitchen. Today's breakfast? Pancakes with Applejam and praline. Cooking for three was a treat. Rainbow was with the Wonderbolts, Apple Bloom was off with her friends causing trouble, while her brother and sister-in-law were off getting business arrangements in her old town sorted out. All she had to worry about today was her and her children and that made the cooking easier than ever. She hummed and sang to herself as she worked until she was just about ready. With the clack of pots and pans and a mother on the go behind her, she trotted back upstairs. She knocked on Zap Apple's door- Apple Bloom's old room. "Rise an' Shine, sugarcube! Breakfast's ready!" she said before she trotted a few more steps and knocked on Ambrosia's room, which was once Granny Smith's but now belonged to her pre-school aged foal. "Ambrosia, time ta wake up!" She said joyfully before trotting downstairs and getting three full plates ready. After all, she had a busy day planned for them and best get started early!

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 "Ambrosia, time ta wake up!"

 

The young, curly-maned filly rose from her slumber like a diva making her debut onstage.  Her soft yawn was pitched for maximum cuteness, her stretches smoothly bringing her from prone to standing.  Such showmareship was really what the filly owed the world, she felt, for having been given the great blessing of being born into a house full of love and attention.  Of course, such attention to appearances did mean that, even though she was out of bed before her brother, she would be a little while in getting down to breakfast.  All those natural curls in her mane had to be properly cared for, else she'd be a nested mess of frizz and tangles; and add the potential of syrupy pancakes to the mix?  The hairy horrors didn't bear thinking about!

 

No, it was only after a good brushing that she deigned to walk downstairs, scarlet curls parting evenly around her horn, and overall giving the impression of being cute as a button.  "Good Morning, Mama!"  She said, brightly, trotting over to give the farmer's forelegs a hug.  "Breakfast smells good!"  She smiled up at Applejack, fully expecting to get her regular dose of lovings-on.

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  • 3 weeks later...

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Applejack rolled her eyes. Her son used to be up and at 'em all right and quick. Now as he grew older he just wanted to get that extra shuteye. She had half a mind to run in there with pots and pans and chase him into the waking world but she'd give him a few extra moments to gather himself. She had something else grabbing her attention. Or pleading for it. Less because her little filly was doing anything to demand it, and more so because she was just so cute that she demanded your attention just by being close by.

And then she hugged Applejack's foreleg and everything else melted away. She reached down and pulled her youngest up to face her face to face. She peppered her with kisses to the right and to the left cheeks, alternating as she spoke. "Good, morning, to, you, too!" She said before giving her an eskimo kiss and letting her down. "Didja get yer beauty sleep?" She asked, knowing the answer. How could she not have?

 

Ambrosia's plate was full, three big pancakes with Applejam and praline and a cup of milk to the side. And go boot, an apple. She was more than happy to make sure her children were as well fed as possible because, being farm workers, they all needed that energy to burn off. And while Ambrosia has not once ever declared an interest in farm work Applejack knew that eventually either she or her brother would come around. They had to, right?

Applejack tied a loose bib over Ambrosia to prevent a mess and then sat down herself. "Eat up, sugarcube! We got ourselves a big day ahead of us."

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Little Amby was filled with so much happiness from her mama's kisses that her small face couldn't contain the full joy of her expression.  It scrunched, but in a cute way, as her smile pushed the rest of her facial features higher up to make room.  When she got a little older, she would begin feigning offense at the question, as if her good looks weren't obvious evidence on their own.  But now, the filly was too young to be anything but honest with the element of Honesty.  "Uh-huh!"  She nodded eagerly, only persuaded to climb down by the bounty upon her plate.

 

"Thanks momma!"  Spoiled as Ambrosia was by Applejack, she had been taught well, and was properly grateful for the lovings given to her.  Her manners even extended to her table manners, where she was by far the least messy of the eaters regularly gathered around the family table.  Oh, it wasn't as if she used utensils, Rarity hadn't yet given her those lessons in magic, but she knew how to hold a pancake with her horn's magic, and took syrupy bites with care, alternating with milk and apple.  Eating at this more measured pace gave her far fewer instances of hiccups than her more eager sibling showed, and also gave her a much richer sense of taste than most fillies her age.  She'd be quite the gourmet when she grew up, but would always retain a soft spot for Momma Applejack's Farm-Home cooking!

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Zap woke up to his mother's knock on his bedroom. A few blinks, and he would jump out of bed and hover above it. He darted around the room as he remembered what he expected to do today. Today was potentially going to be a special day. He zipped to his dresser and began pulling out different clothes and throwing them on the bedroom floor. "Where is it? Aha!" After a few seconds of scavenging, Zap pulled out his pair of goggles he wore almost every day. Normally, it would be waiting for him hanging at the foot of his bed. But sometimes mother Applejack would do a rotation of laundry and the goggles would find themselves put in their place, or as Zap calls it–Lost. He put the goggles on, started heading for the door and stopped to look at his mirror for a few seconds, flashed a few poses he had seen his airborne parental make, and then continued to the door. He fell out of the room, glided down the stairs, and flew into the kitchen, not flapping his wings until he founds himself over his usually place at the breakfast table and hovered to a drop.

 

Listening to his baby sister and mother talk, he started inhaling the breakfast that was placed in front of him. After he was done with half of his pancakes, he perked up and added to the conversation. "Yeah, I can't wait to bust clouds with them weather ponies." In Ponyville, young pegasus ponies looking for their first opportunities for work would join an internship program with the Cloudsdale Weather Alliance where they would be taught the basics of weather manipulation in order to serve their communities and, if they were good at it, find more opportunity at corporate in Cloudsdale. Zap couldn't wait to witness the lessons, even though he was far too young to be invited. What he did not consider, however, is that his day was already planned by his mother.

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Sweet Twilight but Applejack could spend all day giving her daughter kisses and hugs. She was irresistibly cute and Applejack was head over heels over every little thing she did. Even the way she said momma made her heart melt. Not that the way Zap Apple said momma didn't make her heart melt too, but it was wholly different. Maybe it was the fact she was still the baby in Applejack's eyes. Maybe Ambrosia had magic that allowed her to subtly influence her mother. Yep. That had to be it. She was just so special and skilled that she could do anything and Applejack was hopelessly in her thrall. "Yer welcome, hun. When we're out n'bout we'll see Rares. I heard she has something for ya!" She said excitedly before she started eating herself.

 

Pancakes- few things were finer in the morning! One of the only things better was sharing any breakfast whatsoever with her family, doubly so with her kids. It certainly made her day get off to a bright start. Made her the happiest pony this side of the mountains she'd reckon. And that was never fully complete until her rambunctiously good natured colt showed up. Zap Apple was primed for the day it seemed, all ready with his goggles and a hope for what the day offered. He was mostly wrong, but she sure did love his enthusiasm. If only he showed that same love for orchard work, then that'd be really something. "Well, eat up. Yer comin' with mamma today an' she's headin' inta town," she said as her mind ran over the list. Much of what it comprised of were matters she had been putting off so now that she had committed herself to it she'd like to get to it right-split fast.
After breakfast, of course. These pancakes weren't going to eat themselves!

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With her dimpled little cheeks puffed out like a chipmunk's with all of her mama's delicious breakfast, Ambrosia turned to her energetic older brother.  Colts were, to her, still a bizarre mystery of deliberate dirtiness and uncaring uncouthness.  Though familial love was the dominant force in her feelings towards Zap, she really couldn't be said to understand his ways.  "Yer late for breakfast."  She chided him, swallowing first one cheekful, then the other.  "Ain't you supposed to be hungry in the morning?"  She did remember the times when Zap *did* get up before her, and how both RD and AJ talked about a "growing colt's appetite."

 

Well, Lil'Amby was a growing filly, which gave her enough of an appetite to finish all her pancakes by the time Zap had finished half of his.  Upon hearing that the itinerary of the day would include a visit to Rarity's, the little bundle of adorableness lit up like a Hearthswarming tree.  "Really?  Is a hat, a dress?  Auntie Rarity makes things so pretty!"  The fashionista was not biologically her aunt, of course, but the little foal was still too young to think of anypony she felt so warmly towards as anything other than family.

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  • 3 weeks later...

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Zap slurped and gulped and licked and chugged. He did not mind making a mess, but would generally keep his place clean, at least when one of his mothers was looking. After hearing his sister make an open jab at him, he took it upon himself to give her question a proper answer. "Oh, I'm hungry, I just like to save my energy so I can be fast when I'm awake!" He began chewing with his mouth open at her, making quick exaggerated chew noises as he did so. He then drank a large swig of milk, sat back and belched. The amount of noise that a little colt like Zap could make was pretty incredible, even to him. And he would flaunt that talent whenever given the chance, to whomever would be entertained by it. When he heard his mother respond to his excitement, he paused, swallowed clear and asked, "Heading to town? Is that where the cloud busting exercise is? Don't they usually do it on the outskirts?"

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Ambrosia, despite what someponies might believe, was not a difficult pony to please. Indeed, she was rather easy to please. All you had to do was give her something. For Applejack, love and affection came easily enough. But other things could work! Just give her a new hat, cute lil' dress, a toy or ten, good food and drink, maybe even a little foal's necklace, a tiara, or whatever else she asked for. Easy, really. Rarity was often a big help in that regard and she was always plum happy to see Ambrosia amble into her boutique. "Ah don't know what she has for ya but knowin' Rares its bound to be awful pretty," she said in between bites. She was eating slower than her kids. Then again, she wasn't making as much of a mess! When Ambrosia was finished Applejack smiled. Look at her growing girl! She got up and found herself a nice wash cloth. "Good job, Ammy. Now go an' clean yer hooves off," she said as she washed her daughter's face off.

 

She sat back down and continued eating, this time as her son piped up. He was dead set on learning cloud busting and learning it now. Fact was that while he was a pegasus colt and he'd need to learn the basics of weather control someday, and someday soon, he wasn't gonna get his wish granted just yet. They only taught that after you had your flying certifications from a flight camp or instructor, or if you had your parent accompany you. A flying one. Like Rainbow Dash. Applejack could be there in theory, but she wasn't about to be useless if he ran into trouble. Plus he was too young. They'd already had this conversation. Still, she'd have to do something for him. Ambrosia was getting something and it was only fair that her son get something as well. "Yer too young ta be part of tha cloud bustin', Zap. We've been over that before," she said with a sigh. "But Ah need help today, an' Ah reckon yer responsible enough ta help me out," she said as she finished her meal. When he was done with his, she started gathering plates. "Go wash up. An' make sure yer sister is ready, too," she said as she gave him a peck on the forehead as she started washing the dishes.

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It wouldn't be fair to say that Applejack spoiled little Ambrosia, at least not in any way that made the little one less sweet.  Unlike a certain other mother in town, whose lavishing of material gifts went unpaired with warm understanding and affection, Amby always knew that gratitude and love were the proper pairings for abundance.  She didn't even complain when AJ rubbed all over her face with a washcloth, though she hastily smoothed her fur back down once her mama was finished.  "OK, and I'll make sure Zap uses soap this time, too!"  She shot her older brother a patented 'innocent little sister smile' that she knew he didn't like so much.  His fault for not being so lavish in affection as the rest of the family!  Granted, that was a pretty hard standard for a young colt with no independent income to live up to, but still...

 

The washing was finished up with a minimum amount of splashing, and soon Amby was bounding back downstairs, little curls bouncing along with her.  "Are we ready to go now, huh, mama?"

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  • 5 weeks later...

 

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Zap began to drag his hooves and drag his wings. Now that he saw that his mother had no intention of him learning how to cloud bust today, he wasn't so excited to go anymore. Regardless, he obeyed his orders to go to the washroom. He watched his sister clean herself, with slight distain for her attitude, but was really just deflated at the idea of not being able to cloudbust today. After Ambrosia dried her hooves and made her way back downstairs, Zap laziness rinsed his hooves in the sink and dried them off with small amounts of effort.

 

He made his way back down the stairs but stopped short of the front door where everyone was gathering to leave. He decided to make an unhappy stare at his mother, so that she could understand his mood when she next looked at him. Today's mood was now grumpy.

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As the two left, Applejack allowed herself some moments to reflect on her children. Mostly, their happiness. Ambrosia was always happy. Maybe that was because she tended to get everything she ever wanted. Zap? Zap was not so happy. He was old enough to have hopes and dreams and old enough to get let down when they didn't happen the way he wanted. She also believed he was old enough to understand that sometimes responsibility came first. He'd have to deal with it- she planned on today working out for all three of them, but she'd need him to buy in. She was sure he would. A surly Zap Apple was not the sort of Zap Apple that would last long. He was far too adorable and good natured.

 

While her kids got ready, so did she. She quickly washed the plates and her hooves. It was pretty quick for her as it had become second nature and she quickly dried off. The kids were done almost as quickly- darn plates. Zap Apple looked surly still but she no-sold it. If you always responded to a colt's momentary temper in an attempt to dial it down, you didn't do much more than verify that a bad attitude was a way to get attention. "Sure is, Ambrosia! Time ta head out," she said with a nod, ruffling her son's mane as she passed him and trotting outside. She soon had a cart attached to her barrel. "Hop on in! All 'board tha momma express!"

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Aww, why did Big Brother Zappy have to be a grumpy-grump?  This was gonna be a good day, and now he was gonna do everything to bring the mood down!  Well, that just meant that sweet lil' Amby would have to work twice as hard to keep the mood bright and happy!  She sure hoped everypony would appreciate her efforts.  "O-Kay Momma!"  She bounced like her ringlets up and over the rim, not quite clearing the cart wall and having to wriggle and scramble over.  But, she made it in, popping right back up on her hooves to peek over the lip and around her mother's shoulder.  "Choo choot!"  She called out, in clear imitation of a train.

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  • 1 month later...

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Zap was always in competition with somepony. Though the optics were always in favor of foreseeing a conflict with his sister Ambrosia, today it seemed he was mostly battling his own confidence level and insecurities. As he grew older, he began to notice how other ponies postured differently, and it sometimes had an affect on that pony's ability to present themselves. Applejack was such a strong willed pony. There's not too much guessing as to where Zap might have been influenced to feel so vane about how others see him and measure his ability. He had created an inherited habit of always having to outdo others' expectations of him.

 

He took one look at the cart his mother was pulling and rejected the idea. His sister didn't help matters by assuming the cart as some kind of imaginary playland for the little unicorns magical fantasies. "Mom, do I hafta? I way to old to be riding in that cart now. Can't I just fly?"

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If Zap wanted to fly, he could fly. She wasn't about to fight him on every little thing. Besides, as long as he was with them, why not stretch out those wings some? Who knew when he would need to be stretched and ready to go.
"You don't have to if you don't want to, Zap. If you fly though, don't go faster than tha cart, okay?" She looked around and then smiled conspiratorially. "An' watch out for them rogue birds. Heard they're extra flighty today," She beamed at her joke. It was really good, right? Because birds flew around! She was the dang funniest mom this side of Pinkie Pie. 

"Allllllllllllllllllllllllllllllll aboard tha Ahpple Ahhhhexxppppreeeessss!" She responded immediately, already invested in this fantasy. Zap Apple was trying too hard to grow up. She'd have to stop him soon enough, but at this moment she was willing to play with Ambrosia. And maybe embarrass Zap Apple. Added benefit. She started trotting, moving the cart along at a good a pace. "Chugga chugga chugga-" she would allow Ambrosia to finish before starting again- "Chugga chugga chugga-"
"Chugga chugga chugga-"
"Chugga chugga chugga-"

 

Away from homestead hustling, into the small town bustling 
went the Apples three from down the country road lined with tree.
For mother had a plan and a list, and her little daughter she often kissed
while her son above flew remiss, though she had plan he could not dismiss.
Away from hometead hustling, into the small town bustling
Went the Apples three

 


Stop One: Veggie Tale

The cart pulled into the market. early enough that it wasn't completely crowded, late enough that there were already too many ponies for her liking. Still, she had a list and she studied it not once, not twice, but thrice. "Alright sugarcubes," she said as she tried to regain her chugga chugga, otherwise known as her voice. "Let's got the fun stuff outta the way first: vegetables," she said with a laugh as she walked up to one of the available stalls and went to work.

 

"Howdy there Turnsnip!"
"Well, good mornin' to you too, Applejack! See your kids are up bright and early?"
"Yep! They're gonna help momma take care of her errands."
"Ain't that mighty fine?"
"Sure is! Speakin' of mighty fine, whatcha got today? Tha harvest treatin' you nice?"


"Oh, for you Applejack I've got fine produce! How about..."

 

"...hmmm...ooh that looks right nice..."


"Think that's a bit much. Don't need quite that much."
"Think again, ta-da!"
"Hahaha! Alright, ya convinced me. But Ah don't need that one. Ain't fresh..."

 

"...twenty-three bits..."


"Yep! Flyin' real good!"
"Uggh yeah I heard about that. Poor fella. Well, you did all you could."


"Well, that ain't what Ah heard. Ah heard..."


"Ha, sugar, tha day that's true is tha day Rainbow Dash clips her wings."


"...Ahh, how could she say no? You're one of Ponyville's most eligible bachelors!"


"Twenty? You got a deal!"

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Ambrosia really wasn't surprised that Zap wasn't joining her in the cart, what with him being a real spoily-sport today.  Still, she could hardly blame him for wanting use his wings.  Wings were cool!  Not as cool as a horn, of course, but she couldn't deny that blue-mom, er, Rainbow could do some amazing things with hers.  Zapper really looked up to her, as much Rainbow's colt as Amby was Applejack's little filly!

 

"Choo-choo!"  Ambrosia called out again, repeating after AJ's 'Chugga-chugga-chugga's.  The day was beautiful outside, and she and Momma and Zappy were gonna play and have a great time!

 

~~~

 

Ugh, they were gonna have the most *boring* day ever!

 

Amby was flopped over the side of the wagon, unable in the slightest to comprehend how momma could possibly take so long to buy turnips.  They were just turnips!  Stuff you scarfed down so fast you didn't have to taste how yucky they were, or else fed them to Winona when Momma couldn't see you.  Which was almost never.  She may have been Momma's little filly, but she also cared for her dog.

 

Bored out of her pointy skull, Ambrosia was left to amuse herself, which she usually did by either dressing up, having tea parties, or practicing magic, and no dresses or tea sets were available.  Setting her eyes on a turnip at the far end of the booth, she concentrated her magic on it, wanting to make it explode!
 

"Hnrgh... guhhhh...."  With a bright pink glow of effort, she lit up her horn, and the veggie, trying to summon all the might in her little horn to make the great fireworks she once saw that blue-coated unicorn pull off in the magic show!  In the end, though, the only sparks that came were from her horn fizzling, as she only sent the turnip rolling towards momma.

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  • 5 weeks later...

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His mother allowing him to fly was the first win of the day. He crouched briefly to get a good launch into the air, but made an abbreviated hop at the condition she made that he would have to stay with the apple cart. He rolled his eyes and continued to have an impatient grumpy expression on his face.

 

Once in town, when mom was busy buying the same turnips she always buys, Zap began looking around out of boredom. He spotted other marketplace ponies buying and selling, a few earth pony foals running around playing with a ball, and small group of creatures that looked like they were from the friendship school on a field trip, to an ambiguous location. Suddenly, Zap heard the rumble of air in the distance. He frantically looked around as it made his pegusense tingle. He hovered softly away from the cart but kept reasonably close to not be called out. He tried a few different angles of looking around buildings in order to see what it was that was making that familiar sound.

 

Behind one of the marketplace buildings, Zap caught a glimpse of a pegasus marking their signature colors in the sky, making a quick aerial move before jetting out of view. He could only see a small part of the flight, and wanted to get a better view of what he suspected was the cloud busting exercises that was scheduled for today. He looked back at his mother talking to the sales pony, and briefly at his sister who was also doing something slightly nefarious, but more of a useful distraction to Zap's current moment. Zap landed and then took a few steps towards the flight noises.

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The deal was done. Bits exchanged, and soon she had all the turnips she would need. Turnips were the most boring of all the vegetables but just enough recipes required them, so you had to get them. What a wonderful produce racket. One of them was on the ground and, judging by the small sparks that fizzed around her daughter's horn, it didn't take much for Applejack to put the pieces together. She looked around- yep, Zap was watching the pegasi. Well, as long as he stayed around she reckoned she could allow him some freedom. She dusted the turnip off and tossed it in the cart, leaning in and giving her daughter a peck for good measure. "Well, look at that!" She said as she examined her daughter's horn impulsively "Yer horn is gonna pull off some amazin' stuff. Ah bet yer gonna be headin' ta that magic school and doing all sorts of powerful things with it!" She said proudly before re-attaching the cart and getting a mosie on. The next few veggies and fruits would be easy. Carrots came cheap to her, as did stalks and celery and root and flower. It would remain, however, pretty boring work. Very boring. When ehs reached the potato stand however the mare who ran it wasn't there- a small sign told her to wait until he returned. She knew how she could pass the time. First she unattached the cart and stretched. The she picked up an onion and turned around, leaning on the cart. "Alright. Wanna try an' levitate it? Remember what auntie Twi said!"

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"Zap Apple! Zap Apple!"
The voice was carried on melodic wind towards Zap Apple as he was looking up at the sky. It came from a taller filly, a zebra, clad in loose fitting green fabric, a blue bardic hat, carrying a lyre with some bells attached to the ends of her fabric. She came in nearly skipping through the crowd, still humming the end of a song that was on her mind as she approached. She was Muziki, a new zebra to town, and a student-friend of Zap Apple. Or at least she imagined it so! She imagined she was a student-friend of many though. She was as curious as a cat and at least five times as bright eyed and bush tailed.

"It is good to be seeing you! How the, how has the farm life been, rafiki yangu?" She asked warmly as she she looked up at the sky. The pegasi hads been doing some of their cloud magics and athleticisms today and it had been a good backdrop for the show she and her parents were putting on. She was mostly just playing some music and singing in their chorus. A light day. No real performance performance but she was okay with that because it was a good, bright day with a happy sun in a happy town. And she saw one of her student-friends!
 

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If you were to ask Ambrosia Apple, there was no recipes that could not be improved by the removal of turnips from them.  She'd eat momma's cooking, because it was mamas, but Celestia help any aunt, uncle or- *shudder*, stranger that tried to force tubers down her delicate throat!  If the world were suddenly without turnips, that would be just fine by Amby... except that momma would probably wait at the stall until they came back.  

Still, even though she was unable to get the turnip to explode and start the good work, momma was proud of her magic!  "Yay!  Fancy school!"  She didn't quite understand what went on at a magic school, but she could go there because she was momma's special little unicorn, so it must be full of other special little unicorns, right?  A whole school full of special little ponies like her.  Bet that would make Zap jealous!  Except he'd not care, because he was in flight school.  Blue-mamma said that's where the special ponies were, but Blue-momma wasn't the pony of honestly, Orange-momma was!

 

Potatoes and onions were both better than turnips, in Amby's little mind, so she didn't mind waiting for one and playing with the other.  "OK mama!"  She placed her little hooves on the side of the wagon, lighting up her horn as she tried to focus on the lessons.  Focus... focus energy... hold the onion.... think of the onion... mmm, fried onions...  The flavorful bulb was glowing, not lifting off at all, but it was beginning to smell wonderful...

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Zap Apple's espionage of the downtown Ponyville area for pegasus activity led him closer and closer to what he suspected was the pegasus cloud-busting practice. He couldn't get a full view of it, though. From the ground he would peek around buildings, but then he would jump to light poles and wall climb to roofs in order to better his perspective. He could just fly all the way up and see what was going on, but he knew his mother would be able to see him, too if he had gotten that high. A voice from below said his name twice, which for about sixteen milliseconds made him fear that his mother was on his case, but instead he heard it as Muziki, a zebra filly that met Zap a short while ago. Without looking at her, Zap Apple gave her a sufficient enough answer to satisfy her curiosity. "Farm life is fine. Same old same old." He continued to look around and above trees for pegasus activity. But for the most part, he could only hear the occasional poofs and small thunderclaps that are normally associated with the elimination of small stray clouds.

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Applejack was very proud of her daughter's determination. She was young and had a long way to go but how many unicorns were ever really capable of trying to explode an onion? She didn't know many. Maybe only a few tried, but that didn't change the facts of the situation. Applejack stared at her daughter, then at the onion, then back at her. What a proud heart beat in this mother's chest. She had the best son and the best daughter anypony could ask for- something was smelling good- and she was plum tickled- hmm that was onion, wasn't it? She looked at the vegetable as it glowed. "Huh, well lookie-" she started off in puzzled amazement before the onion detonated like a bomb right next to her eyes, sending chunky bits of onion everywhere.

 

Muziki didn't like shouting. It hurt her voice. Her voice was best used for song and performance, so she decided to get closer. She followed much the same path as Zap Apple had, jumping over him at the end to make room over to his side, laying out on the roof. "They have been doing their cloud-magics all morning," she said lazily as she tried to make sure her space-making didn't send one of them vaulting down below. "I asked the nahodha if this is all they do today. She said, nini, no, it is not. They do the bigger of the work later," she said absently. Oh! What she wanted to show him. She remembered because it moved. "Oh! I wanted to  show you something, yes!" She said excitedly as she pulled off her hat "It is for Missus Cheerilee's Show and Tell tomorrow. What do you think?" She asked as the bullfrog that had been riding on her mane under the hat gave a big ol' ribbit. "I name her kijani kibichi!"

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As soon as the onion blew up, Ambrosia rolled on her back and giggled helplessly.  "Hehehehe, Fried Onion!"  She called out, in a kind of cheer.  She loved showing off what her horn could do, and had this been a few years into the future, she may well have got a cutie mark in culinary magic!  But for now, she was still a cute little bouncy ball of potential, rolling around in the wagon to pick up all the tasty little bits of bulb she cooked.  "Yum, yum!"  She popped back to the edge, sitting up just in time for her mama to see her slurp up a carmelized bit of onion.

 

Once that little bit of cuteness was over with, she began to look around.  "Where's Zappers, momma?"

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Zap didn't hear or see pegasus ponies cloud busting for a long minute, so he inadvertently began fluttering down back to the ground. When Muziki asked him about something she wanted to show him, Zap looked at her and looked down at the frog in her hat. He smirked. "Ka-johnny Kah bitchy? Is that Unyasian for 'bullfrog'?" He chuckled at his own suggested question, but he was mostly serious as it was his best guess. He looked around to see if his mother had at all been alerted by his disappearance yet. "Show and tell? That's tomorrow? I don't have anything. I guess I need to find something." Zap looked around for something and found a stick lying next to a fence poll. He smiled and picked it up with his teeth. He grinned for a moment, before spitting it out back to the ground. "No."

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Applejack wished she could join in the giggles and frivolity of the moment, but truth be told it was all she could do to not curse out very loudly the existence of onions at that moment. They stung her eyes and left a very bitter smell. It was a testament to her infinite patience created by the sight of her foals, nurtured, tested, and strengthened by their aging, that she didn't scream out. She blinked a few times and tied to get as much out with her hooves as she could. It worked to some degree. She was already having a reaction, her tear ducts starting to swell up and the irritation turning her eyes red and veiny. "G-good job thar, Ambrosia. Momma didn't expect it ta..." she sighed. "Explode. In her face," she said as she tried to wipe it off some more, only making it worse. "If Ah know yer brother, he's-" she sneezed as her tears started to fall, "-off'n where they were cloud bustin'. Let's go-" sneeze "-get'm before we move on ta tha Boutique."

 

Muziki made sure to follow her rafiki as he bounded down, jumping from post to pillar to cart to ground with the sort of abandon most envied and few had. She followed him for a little while, making sure to put the bullfrog and the hat he lived in back on her head. "It means big green, because he is big, he is green, and one day he will be bigger than the Lukwata!" She said as she cast happy eyes at the large bulge in her hat. "I am sure you find something equally as good as big bullfrog to show. Not stick though! Does not look like it taste good. And makes you look like puppy!" She said with a giggle. "Boj boj!" She said in imitation of a dog baking. "You should see what the pegasus do late. I think, I think, you will like it. Yes, you will like it. One day you do it?" She asked hopefully. She still wasn't sure how all that worked, tell you the truth. 

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Though it would be entirely fair to call Ambrosia Apple spoiled, it would not be fair to call her entirely selfish.  She loved her momma, and paid attention to her expressions in detail.  And she could see tears coming from Applejack's eyes.  "Are you o-kay, mommy?"  She asked, tilting her head.  Seeing AJ rub her eyes, and them getting worse, caused the little filly to blink with empathetic pain.  "Are you hurt?  Did- did I hurt you mommy?"  Her voice was practically a squeak now, and she wasn't very far from crying now.  This wasn't supposed to happen!  This was supposed to be a day of fun and gifts, not one of pain any crying!

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