You thought back to a time when you first stole from a general store.
The store was a small place with generic things you'd expect to find in a store such as this one. Food, cheap clothing, some children's toys, the works. Only a few employees ran about tending to customers with their purchases.
There was one item you remember fondly for some reason. A radio. It was a small radio, with a crooked antenna sticking out of the top and a few red dials on the front. It probably didn't get more than three stations. One of the dials on the device was missing. It almost looked like a device that the owners here probably just picked off the street from some hobo.
But still, the device was cute, and in working condition, which a quick test of the power button proved. The radio was priced at only four bits. You thought about buying it for a moment, if not stealing it. But something stopped you. You don't know what it was, but you didn't buy or steal it. You just left it there, and moved on to other wares.
Whatever it was that stopped you that day, you cursed it with all your heart. The music that little radio could have provided could have at least staved off some of the boredom you were experiencing now.
You had never been so damn bored in all your life, plowing this field in complete silence.
The two farmers had left you to plow this field in solitude. Applejack had come by to check up on your progress a few times, but you figured it was just so that she could tease you. Big Mac stopped by once or twice as well, giving you a few tips on how to make this easier on yourself. Most of his tips went unused or were unhelpful, however.
When they weren't around pestering you, you were all alone, pulling this accursed machine through the dirt.
At least your work here was almost finished. You were on the final row, right next to the flag. Your legs ache, your head was burning, and there was sweat dripping from every pore on your body. Your face and mane were absolutely soaked in your own perspiration. You regret having taken your time to do this. Applejack wasn't kidding when she said there was nothing worse than working during the hottest part of the day.
Only a few feet of ground remained to be plowed. Pouring the rest of what little energy you had in reserve left into your legs, you pull the plow through the remaining distance. You look back to ensure that all the land was finished. Satisfied with your work, you take a much needed collapse to the ground.
You lift your hooves and toy with the ropes binding your yoke to the plow. After fumbling with them for a moment, you manage to disconnect yourself from the device. The moment you freed the yoke, you pulled it off your neck and tossed it aside. It had left the skin on your neck and chest quite irritated, and it was incredibly uncomfortable. You curse the pony who invented the device.
You simply sat there for a moment, taking many deep breaths. Your tongue was incredibly dried out at this point. You would kill for a glass of water right now.
You bring your head up to find Big Macintosh standing over you, a glass of water in hoof. Without missing a beat, you snag the glass from his grip, and down the contents within seconds. The cold, crystal clear liquid flows past your tongue, providing the much needed hydration. It was probably the best glass of water you've ever had.
Standing back up, you wipe the excess water off your lips, and hand the glass back to Big Mac. "Thanks," you say. You really meant it, too.
"Eeyup." You expected him to say more, but when he didn't, you weren't really surprised. It seems like he enjoys using as few words as possible.
"Big Mac," you start. "I gotta hand it to you. I don't know how you can do this on a regular basis." You really were being sincere.
He just shrugs. "I dunno, just used to it, I guess." He looks around for a moment before starting again. "Go take a breather under those trees fer a minute."
"What? You're not gonna like, throw me right back into work?" You question.
Big Mac looks upward and taps his chin a few times, as if he's searching his extensive vocabulary for what to say. "What ya did ain't right, but I understand ya need a break every now and then. Ya ain't used to the farmwork around here. If anything, AJ would put you right back to work if she saw you were done now. She doesn't understand that ya ain't used to this sort of work."
You blink a few times to process what he had just said. In your short time here, he hadn't said more than a few words at a time to you, so you weren't expecting that. "Uh, well...thanks."
"Now go on, get a bit of rest. AJ will be over here soon." He begins to trot off the opposite direction. "Don't go runnin' off, now." He shouts over his shoulder.
"Er, I won't, I promise." You call back. You really were being sincere. You had a new found respect for Big Macintosh. Not only because you knew what he was capable of, but because he understood what you weren't capable of. Something that little Miss Country Mare needed to learn.
Besides, even if you wanted to run, you wouldn't get far. Your legs felt like pudding, and wouldn't hold up under the stress of running.
Shaking the sweat off of your head, you trot over to the trees and take a much needed seat under their shade. It felt glorious getting out of the sunlight. You immediately felt cooler under the shade of the limbs and leaves above. Leaning back, you rest your head and back on the trunk of the tree behind you, taking the load off of your exhausted limbs.
Taking deep, relaxing breaths, you wipe the sweat from your brow. You look around to find...not much. Nothing but a bunch of harvested apple trees, really. You look toward the sky. Judging from the sun, you figure it to be about two in the afternoon. Maybe three.
As you sat there, you couldn't help but get an odd feeling. It felt like you were being watched.
You shrugged off the feeling, and just relished in the slight relief you were getting from the heat of the day. You folded your front limbs behind your head, let out a sigh, and closed your eyes.
It really was peaceful around here.The birds chirped all around, the slight breeze caused the trees to rustle, and the cicadas and other insects played their harmonious tunes. That breeze felt great on your burning body.
Your mind was completely at peace. If only you could live like this every day. Not worrying about tomorrow's meals, or who you would steal from next, it felt great. It's been a long time since you felt this at peace. Heck, if the ponies here didn't hate you, you almost wouldn't mind living here. Almost.
The area around almost felt unreal. It felt like something out of a storybook, a land so peaceful as this. The only thing making it seem real was the sound of some other pony breathing.
Wait...some other pony breathing?
You let out a yelp and fall over, completely taken by surprise at your sudden company. Not the most graceful meeting, but hey, you've had worse.
You bring yourself back up into a sitting position to face your company. You're greeted with a small, yellow filly sporting a red mane and tail, a pair of bright, orange eyes and a large, pink bow.
"Wow mister, you sure are jumpy!" The little filly says before bursting into a cute fit of laughter. She had the same country drawl as Applejack.
"Well, I wasn't expecting to be ambushed by a little filly." You reply, dusting off your shoulders.
"Ambushed?" The filly looks skeptical. She looks away for a few seconds before letting out a loud gasp. "That's it! Cutie Mark Crusaders Ambushers..." She looks away again in thought before continuing. "...Nah, that doesn't sound very good..."
"Uh, Cutie Mark whats?"
"OH!" The sparkle in the filly's eyes was almost blinding. "The Cutie Mark Crusaders! We go to the ends of the earth to find our special talents, and finally get our Cutie Marks!"
"Er, well, okay then...wait, 'we?'"
"Yeah! Me and my two friends, Sweetie Belle and Scootaloo! Maybe you've met them!"
"I can't say I have..." You stop for a second, trying to get a better read on this pony. "So, I'm going to assume you're part of the Apple family?"
"Yup! I'm AJ's little sister! My name's Applebloom!" Well, there's one mystery solved, you think to yourself. "Say, mister, how did you get your Cutie Mark?"
"My Cutie Mark?" You look back to the image on your flank: a bag with a '$' symbol on it. Of course, you knew what the mark really meant, but telling this filly probably wouldn't put you on better terms with the family, and would only serve to make your life here harder. "Uh, well, my Cutie Mark means that, um...I'm good with money!"
"So you're like, a banker, or somethin'?" She let's out another gasp. "That's cool! So you handle other ponies' money all the time?"
"...You could say that." You say, looking off into the distance.
"Cool!" She seems oblivious to your lie, but you weren't complaining. She stops for a second with that thoughtful look on her face. "Wait...if you're a banker pony, what are you doin' here on the orchard?"
You open your mouth to answer, but another voice beats you to it. "He's a hand we hired to help us around fer a bit." You look over your shoulder to see Applejack trotting towards the two of you, a rather displeased look on her face.
"Oh, hi AJ! You hired this guy to help out? Why haven't I seen him around before?"
"Uh, well, it was a pretty recent thing. We just decided to get a little help for Zap Apple season." Even if you didn't know better, you wouldn't have had a hard time telling she was lying.
"Oh, okay then!" Luckily, Applebloom doesn't seem to notice.
"Applebloom, Granny needs your help up in the house. Why don't ya run along and see what she wants?" You could tell she desperately wanted the little filly out of here.
"Alright then! I'll see ya around, mister!" She turns and runs off for the house.
A moment of silence passes as Applejack waits for the filly to run out of earshot before she speaks. She brings her face close to yours and whispers. "You stay away from my little sister, you hear me!?"
"Hey now, she approached me. I was just taking a breather over here when she came to me about her Cutie Mark Adventurers...or whatever."
Applejack stares daggers into your eyes before turning around and walking the opposite direction. "C'mon, ya got more work to do."
"Ugh, already? What am I doing now?"
"Baling hay with Big Macintosh. He'll show you the ropes on that." She cranes her head around and yells. "C'mon, get moving!"
"Alright, alright, don't get your apples in a bunch." She merely glares at you. You reply with a raised eyebrow and a cocky smile.
As much as you hated the fact that you were already being put back to work, you were at least grateful for the slight rest you got beforehand. Besides, maybe Big Mac would take it easy on you.