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Red Cedar

[Ponyville] Applebucking To A Different Beat (Private)

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7 hours ago, Red Cedar said:

"So, how'd y'all get into the fancy poetry, anyway? It's sure like nothin' I ever heard before."

To that, Groovi gave the farm-mare a cool smile.

"Like, dig this - my folks were, like, super-encouraging, y'know?  Told me to be the best me that I could be, y'see, so I did my best to try to figure out what WAS the cotton filling of my own personal soul-pillow, right?  There was a LOT to try... but eventually, I found that I had a knack to back the track of that sweet song of sonnet that abides while the years slide aside for a work that brings me pride... mare-oh-mare, what a scene!  It's like there's a meal-kitchen in my brain-pan, dig, and they're makin' up a special order of word soup..."

She finished picking up the errant apples, and moved to the next tree, another satisfying strike on the trunk as she spoke.

"... and I just LOVE serving it to other pones, foaly - to watch as they listen to the rhythm of the words, savoring the ideas that spring from within as my mouth moves down the road of sharing, headed for that funky last stop, known as 'Satisfactionville' - population YOU, foaly!"

She began to gather the next batch of errant apples, then she stopped and looked at AJ directly, a slight blush on her muzzle.

"I mean, uh... I do it because it, like, makes me happy - and because other pones absolutely DIG it, y'know?  And hey, when what you love to do and what they love to hear both coincide... hey, that's just a cosmic well of happiness, can you dig it?"

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@Randimaxis

Applejack tried not to smile in the wake of Groovi's colourful description of how she came to speak like she did. "Word soup" was definitely an apt way of putting the whole thing, in her mind. In the end, though, she couldn't deny her much more succinct way of putting it, either - that it made her happy.

Applejack nodded, smiling. "Yeah," she said in agreement. "I can dig it like an outhouse."

A moment after she said it, her smile faded a little, and she started to look a little sheepish. "That... didn't come out as well as I thought it would. Sorry."

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[SMOOTH GROOVE]

On 7/2/2017 at 1:42 AM, Red Cedar said:

"That... didn't come out as well as I thought it would. Sorry."

The smile that crossed Groovi's muzzle at Applejack's words lit up her face like a neon sign.

"'Eyyyyyy... no need to apologize - if anything's keen, Stringbean, it shows you have a touch of the wild poet in yourself, foaly... even if the subject stinks."

She giggled, then strolled over to the next tree, gauged it, then tossed another kick and brought down a number of apples, one of which bounced right off her noggin, knocking her beret off and into the dirt.  However, all Groovi did was blink, then laugh heartily before turning to address the tree itself.

"Whoa... guess I should expect a smack back for that kick, eh Miss Tree?  I can dig it."

Carefully picking up the beret and hanging it on a corner of the apple cart, Groovi went back to work picking up the apples that had fallen.  As she did, she cast her sweet blue pools at the Queen of Apples once more.

"So, like... I'm pretty sure your own folks were the ones who spun your record-of-life on this particular turntable-" she gestured to the orchard surrounding them, "so tell me, foaly... swing that thing and give that bell a ring to sing the praises of how you got to be King!  Or," her smile took on a sheepish look, "mind if I ask about how it was that YOU got to be in charge of this whole she-bang?"

 

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@Randimaxis

Applejack's smile returned as it seemed that her terrible turn of phrase didn't raise as big a stink as its namesake. She paused as she watched Groovi take on another tree, just to make sure she kept her form correct in order to keep herself from getting injured, when the apple decided not to fall too far from itself and struck her on her hat. Applejack smiled a little, since it wasn't like she hadn't been hit with plenty of apples in her time. "That's a hazard of the job, I'm afraid," She said. "'Course, that's why I wear the hat. Y'all might want to take a look up before you decide which side to kick."

Applejack then trotted over to the next tree, spreading around baskets underneath, taking the time to check which spot would mean the least risk of getting struck by wayward falling fruit. "Well, yeah, it's in my blood, all right. Granny would joke our blood's half cider," she said with a chuckle. "But I can't honestly say I'm the one in charge. Granny still owns the farm and my siblings and I divide up the work pretty evenly." Turning her back to the tree, she then reared up and unleashed another strike against its trunk, loosening a rain of apples, including one that bounced off her flank and into a nearby basket.

"Heh, two points!" she said with a grin.

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[SMOOTH GROOVE]

 

Groovi smiled at the other mare's words, and even gave a chuckle at her two-pointer.  Then, however, a curious look crossed her features, and she carefully lined herself up for the next kick before she turned to face AJ.

"Whoa... the family that works together, stays together, huh?  I can dig it, foaly... but, say..."

Standing down from her stance, she gave the orange mare an inquisitive stare.

"But, like... if you and your sibs are doing the hard chuffing and stuffing, and the Grand Momma does the planning and scramming... but, like, is that the proverbial 'IT', girl?  I mean, I'm sure your folks have just as important a role here as all you prone pones do... don't they?"

It was obvious that Groovi only knew about the general knowledge of Sweet Apple Acres... and very little of its' history. 

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@Randimaxis

"But, like... if you and your sibs are doing the hard chuffing and stuffing, and the Grand Momma does the planning and scramming... but, like, is that the proverbial 'IT', girl?  I mean, I'm sure your folks have just as important a role here as all you prone pones do... don't they?"

Applejack's smile faltered as Groovi spoke, then fell altogether. She closed her eyes a moment and took a deep sigh. She'd done it again, of course. Talked herself into this corner once more. Applejack loved her family, so it was only natural for her to happily talk about them when the subject came up, but when she did it was plainly obvious to most any pony she'd be talking to that she always left out one entire generation. And then they'd ask, and... so on and so on, consarnit.

Applejack took another deep breath to compose herself before opening her eyes again, a far more sombre look in them than before. "My Mama and Daddy passed on a long time ago." she said quietly, then, as if to signal that that was as far as she wanted to go down that path of conversation, started lifting up the baskets of apples to place on the cart.

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[SMOOTH GROOVE]

 

On 8/1/2017 at 2:38 PM, Red Cedar said:

"My Mama and Daddy passed on a long time ago."

 

Groovi gave a slight start, covering her mouth with a hoof for a moment.  That was a HARSH rip in the fabric of the Apple family quilt - having lost her folks when she was apparently so young must've been like the gunk under the bottom of the trash bin; as low as low could be.  The pang of regret settled into place on the blue mare's muzzle for a moment, then she turned to get back to the task at hoof, eyes downcast.

However, after a moment, Groovi's icy orbs slid over to look towards AJ, and a little smile crossed her features.  Continuing her work, without a single hint if she intended to be heard or not, Groovi began to speak again...

The stained-glass mosaic of life

a beauty to behold, it's true -

all those little pieces within

that spell the skin from your past to you.

It's true - we feel blue when lost

for the smallest hint of a clue...

What, the shards ask, could be anything of

those who came first, who made the line

a fine time to bring about mine?

Those shards can't always see their own colors

and dig it, foaly, that they come from

a bigger glass - a bigger past

a sheet of the finest glass any glassier could hope to glass, lass...

Groovi gave a look over her shoulder at the erstwhile farmer, then continued on as if she'd done nothing of the sort.

... and all those shards?  Dig it -

they're pieces OF that massive glassive

smaller versions of the whole

broken down, but never broken up

in that slip, they ship on a trip

to flip into the frame of the new picture they create

with so many other shards

to make it large and in charge...

Now, finishing up with the current tree she'd been working on, she made her way over to Applejack, cautiously.  She approached, her eyes locked on the orange mare's own as she tried to relay that the words she spoke meant something...

... and those shards, they shine brightly

'cause they don't have a choice

they might not be the big picture like the original,

but they can't help but shine with the light of their origins.

So dig it, those shards ain't far from their pasts -

Her smile grew wider as she came to stop at the foot of the next apple tree, ready to kick again.

... they're living examples of the 

might of light that gives them

pause to fight, to be right

where and when they need to be.

>WHOCK!<

As the red and delicious spheres fell, she looked over again at her employer.

"I guess I'm trying to say that they're STILL here, foaly - in you and your family, dig it?  In everything here - the trees, the soil, the farm... like, especially good, honest folk like my present company, dig?  So, that would imply to I that everything you folks do is out of love for the whole shebang - which was installed within by what must've been amazing pones, yeah?  I'D say that makes 'em just as important as ever here... and you ain't nothing but stronger for it."

A flash of a smile again.  "So you shouldn't be so quick to sorrow, Madam Jack - though I dig you miss 'em.  If they're responsible for, like, all I've seen and heard outta you, mare?"

Her grin grew another inch.

"Then, like... I reckon it'd be somethin' to be plum proud of, y'all.  And nopony could ever hush my mouth about 'em - even myself."

With the softest of giggles, she began gathering her freshly grounded bounty into the baskets supplied.

"So... you ever, like, had to deal with any nasties or bad jujus out here in these acres of sweet, sweet apples?  Bugbears?  Fruit bats?  Draconequui?"

It was apparent that Groovi had made her own point, yet wasn't going to press; far be it for her to make small talk where the voice wasn't to be had, you dig?

 

 

 

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@Randimaxis

Applejack tried to work through it as Groovi apparently found her groove again. Part of her wished she wouldn't go on any more, but if words were as much a part of Groovi's makeup as apples were of hers, then there was likely no stopping her. As Groovi finally made her point very clear - painfully clear, Applejack thought - she sighed and nodded. "Yeah. Look, I get what y'all are tryin' to say. Somewhere in the back of my mind I know it. I just..." she paused a bit, as though searching for better words than the tired old cliche ones, but when she finally decided there weren't any better, she continued, "I haven't gotten over it. Not really. And I don't think I ever will."

In the end, she seemed relieved and grateful that Groovi had picked another topic. Granted, it was a bit of an odd one, but that seemed to come to her pretty natural. Applejack gave a little smirk. "Well, I've only ever had to deal with one bugbear, the fruit bats live in the west corner of the farm, and don't y'all get me started on draconequui!" she said.

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[SMOOTH GROOVE]

@Red Cedar

 

"I take it the Lizard Wizard and his obnoxious gizzard is a point of DIS-order, then?  I dig it, foaly - we can swing about another thing."

Groovi continued to make her way through the rows of trees.  Granted, she wasn't quite getting as many apples off the trees as AJ, but then again, for a newcomer to the party, she seemed to be holding her own at the very least.  She was doing better than, say, Rarity would have... but it was probably a good bet that she'd never be as talented at applebucking as one of the Apples themselves.

But that didn't stop her from trying - and Celestia help her, she kept going even though it was obvious the work was something she wasn't used to.

"So hay," she started, wiping a line of sweat off her brow, "like, you do that thing where you rally 'round the other elements and stuff, right?  I don't wanna blow too much of a gust your way by being a fanmare or anything, but... well..."

She gave a grin.  "How does your appley aura synch with the major magic mojo of the rest of the mares who dare to care?  Like, dig it - what's that scene about?  I figure it's like a hollow egg; not all it's cracked up to be, yeah?  But, even still, there's gotta be, like, SOMEthing there?  You six picks are fixed in the mix... so, like, spin the record and play me a tune of livin', lovin' and laughin', if you dig it, foaly."

She gave a slight chuckle once more, and her eyes were kind as she looked on AJ.

"... or, to put it differently, what're the others like?"

She's the honest one, so this should be pretty interesting, foaly...

 

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@Randimaxis

Applejack smiled as the two of them continued to make their way down the row of the orchard. Soon it would be time to take another trip to the cellar at the rate the cart was filling up. Even if Groovi was new to this, she was still make a light load of the work today and was definitely earning her zap apple jam. Still, Applejack found herself slowed every time Groovi started to talk, because she felt like she couldn't concentrate on bucking and on what exactly Groovi was trying to say at the same time. The way she took a lot of extra words to say something didn't help, either. So, Applejack was quite relieved when Groovi succinctly summed up her question with, "... or, to put it differently, what're the others like?"

Well, Groovi certainly wasn't one to ask the simple questions, was she? "Hoo, boy, that's a big one. Well, as for the magic part, I couldn't tell you. I've been trying to figure it out myself ever since that necklace first got strapped onto me. I don't know the first thing about magic and every time anypony's tried to explain it to me I always think I've missed somethin' big. I don't know why I was included, or even what I do. I think Twilight's doin' most of the magic work whenever we used them, and all I'm giving is 'good vibes' like y'all say." It was hardly a satisfying answer, but beyond being in the right place at the right time with the right ponies, she didn't have much of an explanation for her role in things herself.

Speaking about her friends, however, came much easier to her. "Well, Princess Twilight, she's real bright," she began, remembering enough etiquette to include her title but still letting her familiarity cause her to forget to use her full name. "Studies a whole lot about everything. If she can't figure somethin' out you're probably not gonna. She tends to worry a lot about some things, though, even before her coronation."

"I used to go to school with Rarity. I've known her the longest. She's a hard worker, too, just with her mind and her hooves instead of her back. She runs her own fashion business and she's doin' pretty good at it, too, which is great, she deserves it. She gets a little dramatic when things don't go her way but soon enough she picks herself up and goes at it again."

"Pinkie Pie will move mountains to cheer a pony up. That's probably why she throws the best parties in town. She's just a little loud sometimes."

"Rainbow Dash, well, her middle name should be Ambition. She worked all her life to try and get into the Wonderbolts, and she finally made it! Couldn't be prouder of her, really. Just be careful askin' her about it or you'll get an earful of her ego."

"And Fluttershy, well, she's shy, it's true, but when she lets it out, she's got a strength inside of her that puts most to shame," she said, casting a glance to a distant corner of the farm where the trees appeared to bear fruit that were furry and leathery instead of red and apple-like. "Even me," she added.

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[SMOOTH GROOVE]

 

Groovi smiled at the 'good vibes' line.  "Whoa, there... you shouldn't worry so much about HOW you fit into that crazy quilt of equine karma, Jack of Apples - like, it's a harmony that the rest of the world can dig, see?  And when the sound of justice rings out, YOU are the one who makes it ring TRUE.  Even if you don't know HOW that glove fits on the proverbial hoof, it doesn't matter in the end, right?  No matter what, there's a power there that can be fished out when it's needed, and even if you, like, can't dig the bait used... there's no denying the size of the whole haul."

"I mean, it's hard for a single brushstroke to comprehend its' place in the masterpiece - but that doesn't make it any less of a work of art, foaly; it even adds to the fad of bringing good to the bad, simply through the virtue of you being you.  No need to try to understand your place - as long as you know you HAVE a place, you can just leave the deep details for the magic itself to figure out, right?  Not a tool, dig it - you're an instrument, and the symphony of harmony is a tune that plays all over Equestria... mare oh mare, THAT sends me!"

Groovi looked back at the apple cart.  "Those buckboard dams are about to overflow with the red river within; I take it we'll fake it 'til the cellar's where we make it again, right?"  She took a moment to wipe her sweaty brow, then gave AJ an inquisitive look.

"So, like... I can dig that you're more or less just satisfied with you being you - which is copacetic on a cosmic level, foaly - but I suppose the big sixty-four bit question is, is it everything YOU want out of this giant experience we refer to by the moniker of 'life'?  Not so much as I wonder if you have enough... but more to the tune of, is there anything you want that this smile-highly life of Riley could still offer such a couth mare of truth?"

Groovi, who was getting the idea that AJ did better with more direct words, smiled over her shoulder at the orange mare.

"Or, is this everything YOU wanted... or is there still something out there you wanted to accomplish in your life?"

 

 

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@Randimaxis

Applejack loaded the last basket of apples she had recently shaken from the trees onto the cart, then went to help Groovi with hers. "Yup. I think now would be a good time to take another load underground." she said. After loading the last full basket on, she hitched herself to the cart and began pulling it back towards the cellar near the barn. "Yeah, I'm pretty happy with things the way they are now. I sure don't have a lot to complain about, and a lot to be thankful for." she mused. "But, one day, when the time is right and so is everythin' else, I want a family and foals of my own."she said, a slight faraway look creeping into her eyes, staying there for a luxuriant second before she came back down to earth and said, "Not that I'm in a rush for that to happen, or nothin'. Like I said, it's gotta be right." Another few moments of walking down the path and she turned to Groovi again. "How 'bout y'all? Any big plans for your own future?"

Edited by Red Cedar
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2 minutes ago, Red Cedar said:

"How 'bout y'all? Any big plans for your own future?"

Groovi's smile grew by a mile.

"My own Grandmama clock is tick-tick-tickin' away, too... like, I feel the full affect of wanting foals of my own someday - it's part of the reason this mare shares her moments to spare down at the orphanage.  Those kittens really DIG my meowing, and they're cool in that awkward-yet-adorable way, y'know?  I tell stories, trip the lingo fantasitque, make sandwiches, and even sing; they eat it up like Candied Apples!"

The subject was apparently one that Groovi really did enjoy.

"Like, the little ones, foaly... they're our FUTURE, y'dig?  By that vivid virtue, the invest the very cosmos with their vibes - the energy is, like, SHEER joy!  It's super-sweet as sugar syrup, the way they have no predetermined reactions, no judgments, no bias - foaly, they're the perfect idea of what we ALL are... lots of love, not just for each other, but for every star in the sky.  Little they may be, but hearts that big tower over any tyranny this big ball of dirt, trees and rocks can throw at 'em.  That really SENDS me, can you dig it?"

Reaching the cellar, Groovi realized she'd been going on for a while, and gave a soft chuckle.

"There was a point in time I wanted to be a teacher, but... well, life decided I needed, like, a different part of the grand puzzle to fit into, I guess.  Still - I feel the need to spread my sassy synopses star-wide, and though teachers inspire, my fire burns on a different torch, dig?  Or," she grinned, "you could say I just feel like I was MEANT to make my art.  Maybe someday, I'll publish a book... but even THAT might have to come second to starting a family, if it works out that way."

She looked over at AJ and put on a naughty grin.

"So, bluntly speaking, is there anypony out there who's the apple of YOUR eye yet?  I mean, as much traveling time as you get in, what with being an Element Bearer and all... you at least gotta have a few prospects - or at least lil' apple presses-... I mean, crushes, right?  Can you even gimme a hint?  What stallion flair out there makes the orange mare care?"

It'd been a long time since Groovi had any sort of chance to just chat like this, and it was a nice change of pace.  Not to mention that she was definitely warming up to the apple farmer; hopefully, even if she didn't dig the Groovi-speak, she still seemed like a hip trip - and Groovi DUG it.

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@Randimaxis

Applejack smiled more broadly as she found out that she and Groovi certainly seemed to be on the same... how would she put it?... wavelength when it came to kids. "Boy, you said it!" she said as she opened the doors to the stairs leading down into the apple cellar and then to shifting a basket of apples onto her back to put them in place on the shelves tucked in below. "That's exactly how my little sister is, too! There ain't no one she wouldn't want to help if she could. Y'all definitely have to meet her before you go!" she explained, beaming with a near-motherly pride.

As she placed her first basket onto the shelf next to the others, her eyebrow raised up almost under the brim of her hat at Groovi's next question, but she smirked nonetheless. "Aw, I ain't got a crush on anypony," she started to explain. "I mean, all the stallions in town around my age are great folks, but none of 'em are the right fit, or we've known each other so long we can't picture ourselves bein' anything other'n friends." With a sharp intake of breath, she hoisted another basket onto her back and began carefully trotting back down into the cellar. "Besides, they weren't like..." she began, then cut herself off suddenly, lowering the brim of her hat to obscure her face.

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@Red Cedar

 

Groovi's ears sharpened and swiveled to point towards the orange mare, intent on making certain she could hear her clearly.

"Whoa, foaly... sounds like you already have a fine time in mind for a stallion on whom you wish you were tallyin', am I right?"  She gave Applejack a playful nudge before taking hold of a basket and putting her back into moving the filled ones onto the cellar shelves. 

This part, she seemed quite capable of - Groovi may not have been among the greatest of applebuckers, but she seemed to have a grip on the idea of organization and simple hauling.  Didn't seem afraid of hard work, either - doubtless, the tireless Apple family would appreciate another hard worker among them.  Groovi only stopped to wipe her brow once or twice... and only that when the sweat got in her eyes.  She even seemed a bit pleased to be doing good, hard physical labor.

Sidestepping the obvious question of who AJ had been speaking of, the blue mare smiled.

"But this Blooming Apple you speak of?  She sounds far out - like, sweet cinnamon applesauce after it's been filled with cashews and walnuts, dig?  Total explosion of awesome, y'know?  I'd be a goner if it wasn't an honor to meet your little sister - if she's even half as groovy as you are, hep cat, then we are copacetic to the highest plain, Jane!"

She gave a giggle, then continued to help hike baskets down into the cellar.

 

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@Randimaxis

Applejack just smirked and shook her head as her cheeks turned a deeper red than before. One of these days she'd learn the line between being honest and giving out too much information, but not yet apparently.

"Well, it's not really much of a crush." she finally admitted. "All that happened was this stallion from out of town came to my cart in the market one time. I mean, sure, he was easy to look at, and all, and he had trees for a cutie mark, so that got me interested, too. But it was just the one time I saw him and besides, it looked like he already had a filly friend." With a heave and a heavy breath of air, she hefted another basket onto the shelf. "But, I'd be lyin' if I said I didn't think back on it."

Applejack wasn't quite sure what a "hep cat" was, but the way Groovi said it with a smile on her face led her to believe it couldn't be a bad thing. "I'll definitely make sure you and Apple Bloom get the chance to have a chat. I'm sure she'd be happier than a pig in a blanket!" Even Applejack had to admit her younger sister had a way with other ponies like few others. If she could have formed a bond over one holiday with a pony like Pinkie Pie's sister, she could do it with anypony, so Applejack felt sure she and Groovi would get along great.

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@Red Cedar

 

"Ah, the wistwul wisp of wemembwance..."  Groovi giggled as she intentionally w'd her r's, then at least had enough sensitivity to add, "... and mind you, I'm not laying a poke or a jibe at you; but sometimes you remember the days by the ways the haze of memory lays, and THAT kind of cool, crisp cider of the mind refreshes, foaly.  Craaaaaa-ZY, right?  Makes you feel goofy sometimes?"

She flashed a broad smile, then gave a soft chuckle.  "Y'know... I've actually been hearing the tides of that groovy conversational ocean roll to my shores about your family, hoof-over-wing in some cases, and the harmonious ring of that 'zing' thing that you bring to Ponyville?  These cats wail on it, you dig?  That sends me, foaly... the peal of that affection bell in the ethereal town square of the hearts of your friends and neighbors, all living and breathing proof of their universal awareness of your mere presence as life-changing, kitty-cat!  Can you dig it?"

Though starry-eyed, she continued to haul baskets down until the cart was empty.  Once that point came, Groovi sort of blinked a bit, then turned to the orange mare and lifted an eyebrow.

"Hard work, I can dig that... but exactly how many more loads we gotta cart here?  I mean, you seem acclimated to the syncopated ebb and flow of the work waltz, but... like, are we talking one or two more choruses, or an entire aria or four?  Or,"  she gave a smirk, "do you plan to have me coming back all week?"

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@Randimaxis

Applejack found her cheeks staying remarkably warm over a longer time than she had in a while, first at Groovi's description of the feelings brought back by her memories, which she had to admit were spot on, then by her assessment of Applejack's place in the hearts and minds of others in Ponyville. She truthfully never knew what to think of that. She was well aware of it, of course. The reminders were constant. But Applejack had a hard time thinking of herself as anything but Applejack the farmer, when others saw her as Applejack the hero.

Placing her last basket, she sighed and shook her head. "Yeah, I know what ponies think about me. I mean, I'm happy if just havin' me around boosts morale, an' all, but really, I don't know what to make of it all." Returning to the surface, she wiped her brow with her fetlock and sat down. "Honestly, I never think of myself as bein' anything special. It's just so weird to me. I'm glad I could help Twilight help Equestria, but I don't think I did anything any other pony wouldn't have done if they were in my place."

Finally getting the hang of Groovi's way of speaking, she added, "Well, I'd like to get another cartload underground before sundown, but I get yer meanin'. We can take a break for a bit." She got up from where she had sat just long enough to take her into the shade of the nearest tree, waving to Groovi to join her, then sat down again. "And, I sure wouldn't mind if you decide to come back again another day. You've been a great help, and I think I can rustle up enough Zap Apple Jam for an honest day's work."

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