"Wait. We actually have to KICK trees?" Garnet asked, astonished.
"Err...yeah. That's why it called 'apple buckin''," Applejack simply replied.
"I thought we would be picking apples - you know, with our hands." Garnet indicated to her hooves.
"Err...not sure that you've noticed Garnet, but we don't really have hands anymore," Adara reminded her friend.
Garnet looked between Applejack and Adara, then gave up with a sigh. She was not meant to be here, and everyone knew it. She might as well give up now.
However, Adara had other plans. She took one look at her friend, then charged towards the nearest tree. Garnet looked up.
Adara kicked out when she reached the tree - not a particularly strong kick, but strong enough to make the tree sway for a bit. She went to the next tree and did the same, with the same effect. Again and again, she kicked trees, but no apples came tumbling down. Garnet smiled at her friend understanding exactly what she was indicating.
Adara stopped for a moment to look at her friend, and saw the smile. She walked over to the nearest tree and, without breaking eye contact with her friend, kicked the tree. Immediately, the apples began falling from the branches, landing perfectly in the baskets below.
Adara walked over to her friend and uttered one word.
Garnet smiled - she had to admire her friend's guts. The purple mare nodded and hugged Adara. "Keep moving forward," she whispered into the unicorn's ear. Adara smiled, and hugged her friend harder.
"Now, come on - let's go buck some apples!"
Skylar opened her eyes to a bright blue sky. She sat up and smiled. She was in Rainbow Dash's house - her favourite pony of the entire show. She remembered her jumping at the chance of staying with Rainbow and laughed at herself. Still, she was lucky - not many people can say that they are staying with their favourite character.
She walked outside and saw Rainbow Dash lying on a cloud nearby. Skylar looked at her wings; yesterday, she somehow managed to fly up to Rainbow's house, but that could have been due to the adrenaline. She decided not to risk it - she didn't want Rainbow Dash having to swoop in to save her.
"Hey! Rainbow!" she yelled.
Rainbow sat up and saw Skylar and immediately flew over to her.
"Hey!" she said, landing softly next to her. "Nice sleep?"
"Like on a cloud," Skylar joked. I'm so witty, she thought.
Rainbow shook her head, while laughing.
"So, what are you planning to do today?" Skylar asked.
"Well, I was just going to practise some tricks today, but since you're here, I have a even better idea!" Rainbow said, turning to face the green pegasus mare. "How would you like to go to Cloudsdale?"
Skylar's eyes widened and her jaw dropped. She nodded her head quickly, her dark green mane bouncing. "I would like that VERY much."
"That wasn't as bad as I thought it would be."
Applejack, Twilight, Adara, Garnet and Heidi were walking back to the house, after filling all the baskets they brought. Garnet, surprisingly, was the best out of all of them, apart from Applejack of course.
"See, you did enjoy it. My Little Pony isn't seeming so bad now, is it?" Adara said.
"Don't push it."
The ponies laughed, and were met halfway by Big Macintosh.
"Adara, yer haven't met my big brother, Big Mac, have yer?" Applejack asked. Adara shook her head and shook Big Mac's hoof.
"It's very nice to meet you," she said.
Big Mac helped them carry the baskets back to the house. But while they were walking back, something kept going through Adara's mind - eventually, she had to speak up.
"Twilight, what do you know about the Bindings of Hope?"
Twilight sighed - she had been expecting this question eventually, just not now.
"I'm not entirely sure," she said. "I did some research last night - that was why I was up when you came down so early. There wasn't a lot on the subject, but what I did find was that the Binding of Hope are similar to the Elements of Harmony - an ancient magic that can be used to defeat evil. While the Elements specialise in creating harmony between others, the Bindings specialise in hope - hope for loved ones, hope for the future, hope that everything will become eventually better. That was all I was able to find out - I don't even know what the Bindings are! But I'm sure the princess must know more and she will have to tell us at some point."
"Any idea when?"
Twilight shook her head. Adara lowered hers - she thought that that would be the case.
Suddenly, she heard a loud 'Whoo hoo!' above her. The entire group looked up to see a rainbow blur above them, followed by a green pegasus.
"Skylar!" Adara, Garnet and Heidi shouted. Skylar looked down, saw her friends, and swooped down to greet them.
"Hey guys!" she said, smiling as Adara gave her a huge hug.
"How's Rainbow?" she asked.
"She's awesome - we're just going to go so she can show me Cloudsdale - I can't wait!"
Heidi and Garnet were just about to ask a question when Adara exclaimed, "That's amazing! You have to tell me all about it when you get back."
Skylar looked above her and saw Rainbow gesturing to her. She turned back to her friends and said, "I have to go. I'll talk to you guys later, ok?" She then spread her wings and carefully took off.
Watching her friend fly away after Rainbow, Adara felt a pang of jealously - Skylar was off living the dream, flying to Cloudsdale, and she was stuck here. Then she realised what she was saying. She was in Ponyville, for god's sake! How can she been jealous when she was in the very place she wanted to be.
Turning away from Skylar, she smiled then ran after the others towards Applejack's home.