My little pony ficlet #5
Disclaimer: none of the characters are mine, but belong to Hasbro™.
Once upon a fine day Applejack and her brother Big Mac were busy working on their apple farm, when a group of three or four Changelings promptly swooped down from the sky and landed on top of their barn, each staring in a different direction and each one ignoring the Element of Honesty and her brother as you would.
“Nothing here,” buzzed one of the Changelings.
“Or here – wait. Something’s here,” said another Changeling, and they rapidly flew off, followed by several others, who were apparently hovering in the sky.
“Were those fellows Changelings?” Applejack asked her brother.
“Were they here?”
“And they ignored us before flying away in a completely different direction?”
“Eeyup for the third time!”
“Are we going to just stand here, then, and do nothing?”
Big Mac opened his mouth, closed it, and gave Rainbow Dash a look. So did Applejack.
“What?” the rainbow-colored Pegasus mare asked nonchalantly as she continued to sit on an apple tree branch. “The two of you were having such a nice and loud discussion that I couldn’t sleep and decided to join in instead.”
The Apple siblings just continued to look at her.
“Fine,” Rainbow Dash relented. “You two stay here. I’m off to see if those Changelings need to be dealt with!” and she flew off.
“Hey, wait for me!” AJ yelled in irritation and followed the Pegasus on foot.///
When the duo arrived, the main event was already over, and the Changelings were already leaving, each one carrying a large bag of ashes on its bag. Since there were more of them than AJ and RD had originally counted, the two Elements decided to let them get away this time and turned to ask the local witnesses instead.
“Hey, cousin AJ!” said one of those witnesses as soon as Applejack turned in their direction.
“Hey, cousin Red!” AJ replied brightly, before turning to Rainbow Dash. “Rainbow, this is my cousin Red Delicious and his wife Golden Delicious. They run the local firepony department, you know?”
“I know and I know them,” Rainbow rolled her eyes. “Ponyville’s fire department have contacted Cloudsdale weather department regarding water-related issues many times in the past, you know?”
“I didn’t,” Applejack shook her head. “Cousin Red and his family are welcome visitors, of course, at the farm, but they tend to come only on big family meetings, or the Winter Wrap-Up, or sometime similar, you know?”
“What can I say? We’re rather private ponies, for Apples,” Red Delicious shrugged apologetically. “Anyways-“
“Wait,” AJ raised one of her hooves. “Was here a fire?”
“Cousin Red, stop mumbling-“
“Applejack, please be quiet. You’re upsetting Angel Bunny and his cousins.” Fluttershy, the Element of Kindness and the other Pegasus friend of Applejack looked out of the bushes. “They’re having a party and would like for you and your cousins to tone it down, please?”
“That reminds me. Gala?” Red Delicious turned in the direction of Fluttershy.
“Here, dad!” a small red filly about the age of Apple Bloom, Applejack’s sister peeked out of the bushes. “I was helping cousin Apple Bloom and her friends to try and earn their butterfly-catching cutie marks. So far it is not going so good. Oh, hey cousin AJ! How’s the farm?”
“Hello to you too,” AJ shook her head. “Rainbow Dash, this is Gala Red, daughter of Red Delicious and Golden Delicious.”
“Hi!” Gala out of the bushes revealing that she was a Pegasus, just like her mom Golden (who really looked like an older Pegasus version of Apple Bloom). “Are you really the fastest Pegasus in all of Equestria as Scootaloo says?”
“Maybe,” Rainbow Dash preened. “I’m certainly as fast as any of the Wonderbolt cadets, I have you know!”
“Really? Can you show me?” Gala asked brightly.
“Show you what?” Scootaloo joined Gala and Fluttershy at the bushes. “Hi, Rainbow Dash! Hello, Applejack! How’s the farm going?”
“As splendid as usual,” Applejack shrugged. “Fluttershy, was there a fire?”
“Let’s see,” the Element of Kindness looked thoughtful. “Today was a wonderful warm windless day so I went out for a walk. Sadly, it turned out to be a rather busy day here today, for first Spike was out here with Twilight Sparkle, and then the Cutie Mark Crusaders came to try to earn their latest cutie marks, and now your cousin Grey Delicious-“
“Grey Delicious?” AJ lifted her eyebrow.
“Oh, for Celestia’s sake, AJ, we’re Pegasi, remember?” Rainbow Dash snorted. “We don’t see your earth pony red color. Fluttershy and I told you that quite a while ago-“
“Sorry, I forgot,” the earth pony sighed. “So, Fluttershy, how did the fire occur?”
“There was a fire? Eep!” Fluttershy cried and fainted.
“Great going, AJ! You know that Fluttershy is so high strung,” Spike grumbled.
“Sorry, Spike,” Applejack sighed as she blinked and shifted to view the baby dragon and his unicorn companion. “You were out here enjoying this fine day as well?” she added to Twilight Sparkle’s tail and hindquarters as the unicorn trotted over to the Cutie Mark Crusaders and RD to say hi, apparently.
“I suppose we were,” Spike shrugged. “And not just us, either. First Fluttershy went flying in her typical low flung style. Then the CMC team arrived to try to catch butterflies. And that was before your cousins came over.”
“To put out the fire?” Applejack shrugged.
“I guess,” Spike shrugged. “I didn’t see any fire, though.”
“What about the Changelings?”
“What about them?” Twilight Sparkle, the Element of Magic joined the discussion.
“Well, they flew out of here carrying ash.”
“Oh yeah, Star Swirl the Bearded wrote about this. Ash, still warm from fire, helps the Changelings to grow faster and become healthier somehow,” Twilight shrugged. “Considering that nowadays are the last days of summer, the spontaneous fireweed is combusting almost daily, there’s plenty of ash for them to carry to their hives.”
“Spontaneous fireweed?” AJ repeated two of the more important words in TS’s monologue.
“Yup,” Twilight Sparkle pointed to a small flowering shrub that grew in plenty around Ponyville’s outskirts. “Such small grey flowers, but they pick quite a wallop! They don’t burn out themselves, but they can start a bushfire as easily as you can buck an apple tree.”
“Grey?” Fluttershy has recovered herself and looked curiously at the flowers.
“Unicorn. See world in black and white. That’s why I have Spike and Owloysious and even Pee-Wee to a certain extent to help me around the library,” Twilight Sparkle shrugged.
“Oh.” Fluttershy looked embarrassed. Fortunately, at this moment Golden Delicious spoke up:
“In any case, while you all were chatting, Pinkie Pie and I set the picnic table, so if you want to eat now-?”
“Sure!” Every pony, young and older, eagerly replied and trotted off to eat the edible part of the picnic, even Applejack – but not before casting one last look at the spontaneous fireweed, which even now was flickering with small tongues of flame...