The Legend of the Arachnapony

by RaijingtheClockworkPony

True Story

Apple Bloom reached the farmhouse and wasn't surprised to see the lights on in the living room. She walked slowly up to the door bracing herself for the upcoming yelling that was likely to come from her family. She opened the door and entered the house. When the door shut she heard movement coming from the living room. She placed her nag down on the floor and slumped to the floor, the long walk and the excitement of the night quickly catching up to her. Her rump had barely hit the floor before Applejack and Big Macintosh came around the corner.

Applejack was the one to start the yelling. "Apple Bloom! What in tarnation took you so long to get home? It's almost three hours past your curfew and not to mention it's dark out to boot."

Apple Bloom cringed under the assault of concern. "Ah'm sorry. Ah do have a reason though..."

She went on to tell them of leaving Zecora's house ("You should'a stayed the night!"), how she saw the light off the path ("An' you thought it was a good idea to walk over to it?"), how she had sketched the strange glowing plant ("At least she did somethin' creative." "Yer not helping!"), and how she had been chased by the Timberwolves. Her older siblings fell silent as she told them about being chased and how the wolves had knocked her bag off and how they had cornered her. At this point Big Mac went up the stairs and into the bathroom. Applejack moved next to her sister and started inspecting the cuts and scrapes on her.

"And then they leaped at me and a rope shot out of the tree and grabbed the wolf and threw it across the clearing."

Applejack took a step back. "Beg yer pardon?"

"I was saved by a... a thing in the trees. It rescued me from the wolves and led me back to the path. Then it gave me this."

She held up the amulet the creature had given her. Applejack took it and studied it. Her expression turned hard. "Apple Bloom what have we told you about lying like that?"

"Wuh..." Apple Bloom was shocked by the sudden change in her sister's attitude. One moment she was kind and motherly the next she was yelling at her.

"Ah can't believe you would make up a story like that. Of all the things you could have said you went and made up such a ridiculous story."

Apple Bloom pulled away from her sister. "Ah ain't lyin' Ah swear! Ah'm tellin' you the truth. It really happened."

Applejack moved closer. "Apple Bloom stop this right now. Ah don't wanna hear any more of your fibbin'. I thought we raised you better than that."

Apple Bloom took a few more steps in retreat and could feel the tears in her eyes. "Why won't you believe me? Ah ain't lyin'. You have to believe me."

"Apple Bloom please just tell me the tru—"

"Apple Bloom. Come up here now please."

Both of the Apple sisters looked up the stairs to see their brother looking back down at them. Apple Bloom walked up the stairs with a sniffle and stood before her brother. She looked up his towering frame, which seemed all the larger now that she was certain she was about to be yelled at, and wiped her eyes.

His voice was gentle however. "Why don't you go wash up and get ready for bed."

She was about to protest but felt that tempting fate wasn't the best idea at the moment. She walked past him but was stopped when he gave her a gentle hug. She returned it feeling much more relaxed and relieved knowing that he loved her. They finished the embrace and she went into the bathroom. Macintosh turned his attention to the fuming Applejack at the bottom of the stairs.

"Why'd you go and let her get off fer? She was lyin' just to get out of trouble."

Macintosh walked down the stairs and moved over to the backpack Apple Bloom had left next to the door. He picked it up and gave it a quick look over. What caught his attention was the strange fabric like substance that was in three lines in the back of the bag. He placed the bag back down and returned his gaze to his sister.

"Ah didn't 'let her get off.' All Ah did was tell her to wash up."

Applejack grew irritated. "So were just gonna ignore what she just did? She stayed out past when we told her to be back, she came home past curfew, and now she's making up stories about things saving her from wolves!"

Macintosh let out a sigh then walked up to his sister. "Look Applejack, she's tired, frightened, and she got some nasty scrapes on her. Right now she don't need a lecture on what she did wrong. What she needs is her family to be there for her and a good night of sleep. We can worry about if she was lyin' or not tomorrow"

Applejack looked like she was ready to protest but Macintosh raised his hoof to silence her. "When you came home from Manehatten we didn't yell at you or do anything of the sort. Ah know that these are sorta different but when you left Ah was mighty mad at ya, but when you came back all Ah was worried about was if you were okay and happy. Now go up there and help yer sister get cleaned and tuck her into bed."

Applejack stood there for a moment stunned by her older brother. She had never heard him confess how he had felt when she left. She opened her mouth a few time in an attempt to say something but in the end all she did was nod and head up the stairs. Macintosh watched her go up the stairs and shook his head. Sometimes that girl is so stubborn. He went back to the bag and continued his inspection.

Applejack reached the top of the stairs and walked over to the bathroom door but was stopped by the soft sound of sobbing on the other side. She hesitated for a moment then knocked on the door.

"Apple Bloom? Do you mind if Ah help you?"

There was a faint sniffle behind the door. "Alright."

She walked in and saw Apple Bloom trying to hide her teary eyes as she washed a small cut on her leg. Applejack moved closer and picked up a cloth of her own and started to wash her sister's back. Her sister looked up at her and gave a small sniff.

"Are you mad at me?"

Applejack stopped with the cloth in her hoof and looked down into the sad and hurt eyes of her sister. She placed the cloth down and brought her into a loving hug.

"Celestia knows you drive me nuts some days and sometimes Ah get a bit cross at ya but Ah could never stay mad at you."

Apple Bloom returned the hug and buried her head into her sister's coat. "So... do you believe me?"

Applejack sighed. "Right now that isn't important. Let's get you cleaned and into bed. You still have school tomorrow."

Apple Bloom awoke the next morning at the crack of dawn and rose from her bed. She went to to her dresser and reached for the bow she always wore but couldn't find it. She started to search for it when the events of last night caught up with her tired mind. She did however find the small necklace that was given to her. She looked at it for a few moments then put it over her neck. She brushed her mane as best she could and headed down the stairs for breakfast. She was greeted by Granny Smith working at the oven making food, Big Macintosh reading a small book with a picture of a plow on it, and Applejack eating a bowl of cereal.

"Morning Apple Bloom. Ah got yer food all ready right here for ya."

Granny pointed to a chair at the table and placed a plate filled with food down for her. Apple Bloom sat down and started on her food. It was a few seconds later that her sister noticed her missing accessory.

"What happened to yer bow Apple Bloom?"

She reached up to her mane and ran her hoof through it. "I lost it in the forest."

Applejack was about to start criticizing her sibling but Macintosh stopped her. "Then Ah guess you'll just have to go to Rarity's and get a new one."

He got up and went upstairs. A few moments later he returned with a small pouch. He gave it to Apple Bloom. "Here this should cover it."

Apple Bloom gave him a weak smile. "Thanks Big Mac."

He gave her a gentle pat and headed for the front door. Applejack rose from her seat and followed him out. They reached the front yard before Macintosh turned to face her.

"Ah need to go talk to Zecora."

Applejack stood there confused and it must have shown because Macintosh went on without giving her a chance to say anything.

"This is mostly to confirm Apple Bloom's story about going to her hut and not staying the night. Now Ah need you to do the barn chores while Ah'm gone and Ah promise that Ah'll do your barn chores for the next few days. Deal?"

Applejack thought about it for a moment then spat on her hoof and held it up to Macintosh. He did the same and they slapped their hooves together sealing the deal. Macintosh set off down the dirt road while Applejack went back inside to finish her breakfast.

Apple Bloom finished her breakfast quickly and went to grab her bag. She nearly ran into Applejack on the way to the front door.

"Whoa there sugarcube, Ah need to talk to ya real quick."

The pair of them walked into the family room and sat down on the sofa. Applejack tried to give the best reassuring smile she could but she knew by Apple Bloom's worried expression that it wasn't working.

"Ah know that last night Ah was kinda..."


"Worried." Applejack finished. "Ah was worried that you had been hurt or had gotten lost, and Ah also know that last night we didn't finish a certain conversation."

Apple Bloom swallowed visibly. Applejack move closer and tried to give another friendly smile. "But Ah think that we can finish it later tonight. Ah want you to know however, is that Ah love you no matter what."

Apple Bloom gave her a smile. Applejack swept her sister in a tight hug. The younger pony returned the hug with enthusiasm. They broke off the hug after a few seconds as Apple Bloom remembered that she had to get to school.

"Ah'll see you later."

She waved good-bye to her sister as she set off the road toward her school.

Apple Bloom walked along the simple dirt road to school thinking deeply. She should be dead by all accounts, Timber wolves are one of the most aggressive and vicious creatures in all of Everfree Forest but something even stronger than them had attacked the pack that was chasing her and saved her from certain death. She glanced over to the edge of the forest that was off in the distance.

"What was it? Why would it save me?"

She stopped on the road and lifted the white stone necklace up so she could inspect it in the light. She noticed that the stone was somewhat transparent but only when she held it in direct sunlight. When she put it in her shadow it became a more solid white in color.

"What is this made out of anyways?"

She let it drop back down and continued on her way to the school house. She walked along the road while occasionally glancing in the direction of the forest. Why? It attacked the wolves with no real mercy but it willingly went out of its way to save me and get my bag. As she walked along the path she failed to notice the voice calling out to her. It wasn't until a hoof touched her did she realize that she had been joined by Scootaloo.

"Hey what's the matter with you? You look kinda beat up."

Apple Bloom glanced over at her. "It's kinda a long story. Ah'll tell ya after Sweetie joins us."

Scootaloo gave her a quick look over and looked at her friend with a worried look. "Okay. You certain you should be going to school today, I mean you look like you got into a fight with a Timberwolf or something."

Apple Bloom gave Scootaloo a shocked look. Of all the examples she could've chosen. She gave an involuntary shudder and after another moment she started to tear up. Scootaloo stopped walking and noticed this sudden change.

"Whoa, hey! I didn't mean it. I was just joking."

Apple Bloom wiped her eyes and gave Scootaloo a weak attempt of a smile. "It's not that. Let’s find Sweetie then Ah can tell you."

The pair of them made it to the school yard with next to no conversation. Apple Bloom kept looking back to the forest, regardless of the fact it was barely a tree-line at this point. They were joined by Sweetie Belle and they walked over to a secluded patch of the school yard.

"So how did you get all beat up?"

Apple Bloom motioned for them to get closer and she started her story. The pair listened to her story with great interest. She was barely done with leaving Zecora's hut however when the bell rang. The trio rushed into the schoolhouse and took three of the desks in the back of the class.

Scootaloo leaned over to whisper to Apple Bloom. "So then what happened?"

Apple Bloom opened her mouth to continue her story but Cheerilee walked into the room. "Good morning class! Today we'll be talking about..."

Her gaze lingered on Apple Bloom for a moment then looked to the other two crusaders. Her slowed speech only lasted for a second but wasn't missed by the class. "... How tell the difference between their, there, and they're. We will also be going..."

Apple Bloom's attention shifted to the gazes of her fellow classmates. Many of them looked from her to her friends and just simply shrugged and looked back. However there was a few that let their gaze linger for more than a few second. One was Featherweight who was silently asking the question she was trying to answer to her own friends and, much to her misery; the others were Diamond Tiara and Silver Spoon. Both of them were snickering at her. Apple Bloom lowered her head and tried her best to ignore every pony in the room and listen to the lesson.

The first half of class couldn't have passed any slower for Apple Bloom. By the time the bell rang for recess she was convinced that time had almost stopped. The three crusaders headed over to their secluded spot and took a seat.

"Alright. Now as Ah was saying; I had just left Zecora's and was walking along the path when—"

She stopped when she noticed that their three just became four. Featherweight had joined them and was trying his best to look friendly. "Hey Apple Bloom. I was wondering how you got all... well beat up I guess."

Apple Bloom gave him a small smile. "Sure Ah guess. Why do you wanna know anyways?"

Featherweight took a seat next to Sweetie Belle, the filly herself blushed for some reason, and pointed to all three of them in turn.

"Well when all three of you show up a little worse for wear we really don't think much about it but today you're the only one that's hurt. So I figured that I should check, after all we all did work on the Foal-Free-Press."

The trio nodded in agreement then Apple Bloom cleared her throat. She was unable to continue the story however when a haughty laugh reached their ears.

"Yes why don't you tell us how a blank flank like you got hurt? I bet she was trying to earn her cutie mark in something ridiculous."

The small group turned and let out a collective sigh when they say the pair of fillies heading toward them. Diamond Tiara and Silver Spoon were walking over being closely followed by the rest of the class. Apple Bloom let out a small groan then nodded.

"Fine. Y'all hear about it anyways in good time."

She told her tale to the class. When she reached the part about the glowing tree there were many 'ooo's' and 'wow's' when she told them of how she had heard the Timberwolves howling many of them shuddered or let out gasps, and when she told them of how she had been chased into a small clearing and had nowhere to run they all looked frightened. She paused for a moment and took a breath. She then told them about how she had been saved and how the thing that had saved her led her out of the forest and warned her not to do something like that again.

The crowd sat in total silence, awed by her story. The silence was broken by a huff. "That's stupid. How could you have been saved by something you couldn't see?"

"Ah don't know. It saved me and here Ah am. Whatever it was gave me this so Ah could have proof."

She held up the stone and many of the schoolpony's moved closer to get a better look. Diamond Tiara however scoffed at it. "It looks like a cheap quartz that you carved yourself. Too bad you didn't get a story telling cutie mark for that one blank flank."

She turned around and left, followed swiftly by Silver Spoon and a few other ponies that merely shrugged and went to do something with what was left of their recess. After a few moments much of the small crowd had dispersed, some saying they believed her, some scoffing like Diamond Tiara, but most had simply walked off. Featherweight stayed with the group however.

He was tapping his hoof to his chin thoughtfully. "So what do you think it was?"

Apple Bloom shrugged. "Ah don't really know. Whatever it was wasn't really friendly. It sounded more annoyed with me then anythin' else."

Featherweight placed his hoof down after a moment of thought. "I know how we can prove you right."

The trio of fillies gave him confused, but interested, stares. He pointed to the forest. "All we have to do is go in there and get a picture of it. Then she won't be able to scoff or laugh at you."

Apple Bloom brightened up. "That's perfect. We could probably get the picture tomorrow. Ah'm kinda in trouble for not being home on time."

She gave a sheepish blush. The rest of the recess of spent with the four of them planning how to get the creature to reveal itself to them. When the bell rang for class the four of them were smiling with barely contained anticipation.

The three crusaders and Featherweight walked into the Carousel Boutique, the bell attached to the door signaling their arrival. The small group were greeted by Rarity wearing her work glasses.

"Hello. Sweetie you should have told me you were planning on having company over, I would have made some snacks for your little group. Oh, and who is this nice young colt you brought with you?"

She gave Featherweight a warm smile. Sweetie blushed and shuffled on her hooves for a second before she answered.

"This is Featherweight. He agreed to help us with something."

Rarity gave her a quick glance then returned her gaze to the colt. "They didn't force you into this did they?"

He gave a small laugh and shook his head. "No Ms. Rarity. I volunteered."

Rarity gave a small sigh. Her attention was transferred to the pony that didn't look herself. She noticed Apple Bloom's condition and lack of bow she always wore.

"Why my dear Apple Bloom, what happened to you? You're missing your bow and look like you got into a fight."

Apple Bloom looked at the other three ponies in the room then looked back to Rarity. She sighed and told Rarity everything she had told the others. Rarity stayed silent the whole story her expression growing more and more worried as it went on. Finally Apple Bloom came to the end.

"And when Ah told Applejack about it she didn't believe me."

Rarity kept quiet for a few second. She gave Apple Bloom a gentle smile and placed her hoof on the young filly's shoulder.

"I can see why she would... doubt your story. It's hard to believe at first glance."

Apple Bloom could feel the tears forming in her eyes once more. "But you believe me right?"

Rarity bit her lip and tried her best to find the best thing to say. "Well... I think you know what you saw and I believe you about that."

Her answer or lack thereof, seemed to make Apple Bloom relax. With that out of the way Rarity decided to address the current crime in the room. She led Apple Bloom up to the small dais that stood in the center of the room surrounded by mirrors.

"Now let’s focus on getting you a bow that will really make your mane pop."

Apple Bloom walked along the road to home adjusting her new bow, a deep green in color, and tried her best to make it sit in her mane just right. It just ain't the same. She sighed defeated and turned off the main road to the path that led to the farm house. She came up on the house and noticed Applejack sitting near the front door looking down the road she had just come from. She looked behind her and noticed a figure walking in the distance.

She waved to Macintosh as he came up the road. Applejack walked next to her and gently nudged her. "Hey, Ah see Rarity got you a nice new bow."

Apple Bloom shrugged. "It ain't the same."

Applejack gave her a quick hug and a loving smile. She watched her sister walk toward the house for a few moments then turned to look back her brother quickly approaching. He came into earshot quickly and she lost no time starting the conversation.

"Apple Bloom is home now. You want to help me with the talk or do you want to sit this one out?"

Macintosh gave her a stern look that made her hesitate. After a second he looked behind her to see where Apple Bloom was.

"Ah think it'd be best if we don't punish her."

"WHAT? She was out alone, after curfew, and made up that ridiculous story—"

"She ain't lyin'."

Applejack stood there confused. "An' pray tell how do you know that?"

He held up his hoof for a second. Applejack followed her brother’s gaze to the approaching younger sibling. Macintosh walked over her and towered over her.

"Apple Bloom Ah'm only gonna ask this once, so Ah expect nothin' but the truth, ya hear?"

She nodded and cowered slightly. He reached down and lifted the necklace so he could get a better look. He studied it for a moment then let it fall back around her neck.

"That story you told yer sis, was every word of that true?"

She nodded. "Yes. Ah would never lie to either of you."

He leaned down and locked eyes with her. They held the gaze for a short eternity before Macintosh sighed and gave her his friendliest smile.

"That's all Ah needed to hear. Go along inside and get yerself a snack. Ah like the new bow."

She gave him a quick hug and dashed into the house. Macintosh faced the elder of his two sisters. She was beside herself in silent fury.

"Mac, that ain't no way to tell if she's telling the truth!"

He nodded. "If that was the only thin' Ah did then Ah would agree with you but fortunately it ain't."

He motioned for her to follow him. They walked around the house toward the field that bordered the forest. Macintosh stopped next to the fence that was used to signal where their land ended and where the forest began and leaned on it chewing on a new wheat stalk he grabbed on the walk over.

"Ah talked to Zecora this mornin' like Ah said Ah would. She was kinda jumpy."

Applejack joined him on the fence. "What was the matter?"

He glanced over at her then looked over to the tree line. "Well she told me that she normally spends her mornin's gatherin' herbs an' such, an' once such thin' she collects are twigs from the Timberwolves. This mornin' however, when she went to gather the twigs from the den the wolves weren't even there. The cave looked abandoned."

Applejack tilted her hat back on her head. "How could she tell?"

He shrugged. "Don't really know but Ah do know that she looked spooked. Timberwolves don't just up and leave a den without a good reason. Also Zecora says that something has been scaring off some of the other creatures in the forest. She couldn't find half of the critters she gathers reagents and things from."

Applejack cast a worried look to the forest. "Well that ain't exactly comforting but how exactly does that help Apple Bloom get off scott free from breakin' curfew?"

Macintosh gave her a look of faint amusement. "The reason Ah didn't get back as soon as Ah thought Ah would was because I met Miss Fluttershy on the road coming out of the forest."

Applejack gave him a confused look. "What does that have to do with—”

"She was almost frantic. She was worried about a family of warthogs that visit her once a week to get cleaned or somethin' along those lines. They didn't show up today either. That's the second family of animals that went missing."

Applejack was trying to figure out where he was going with this but stayed silent knowing that he would tell her. He was never one for suspense nor was he ever this talkative.

He looked over at her and she could see the worried look in her eyes. "She asked me if Ah had seen them in the forest. Ah told her Ah hadn't and she started to really freak out. Ah tried muh best to calm her done and after a few minutes I managed to get her somewhat normal. She then told me that she really worried about her animals because they’d been actin' up somewhat fierce."

He switched the wheat stalk to the other side of his mouth and turned his gaze to the farm. "Some of her animals have gone missing and almost every animal she has won't go near the forest. Ah almost didn' believe her but when Ah saw that bunny of hers it confirmed every word. The poor thing would go within twenty yards of the trees."

Applejack noticed the deeply troubled look that was quickly replacing the worried look he had previously had. She didn't like it at all and it made her uneasy.


He sighed. "Both Zecora an' Miss Fluttershy think somethin' is going on in that forest. Somethin' has made a home there an' it's driving off the competition. We both know that Timberwolves ain't the kind of critters to run from a fight. From what Apple Bloom told us this thing is strong enough to not only face a pack of them but win as well. It could have easily killed her as well but it didn't."

Applejack looked back at the forest which had suddenly looked much more intimidating. She knew that everything that Big Mac had said was true. Timberwolves never ran from a fight. They would hunt anything that entered their territory regardless of what it was. If Apple Bloom was telling the truth then not only was there a new and much more terrifying creature in the forest but it was sentient as well.

"It saved her. Why?"

Macintosh looked over at his sister and followed her gaze to the forest. "Ah wish Ah knew."