My Sediments Exactly

by Twinkletail

My Sediments Exactly

"C'mon, Maud! This way, to Sweet Apple Acres!"

Pinkie Pie bounced excitedly, leading her older sister along the path to the most famous apple farm in all of Equestria. She had been so excited when she'd received a letter from her about her intent to visit Ponyville again. Her previous visit had averaged out to be pretty excellent, despite the rocky middle part of it. Now, though, she was already giggling, and it wasn't just because of that accidental rock pun she'd just thought of. She was mainly giggling out of glee at being able to show Maud the rest of her new hometown.

Maud, for her part, was just as excited as her sister. It was purely evident from her nonchalant stare and her deadpan frown that she was positively elated to be receiving a tour of the town. She had already seen the town hall, the local boutique, and enough other places to really give her a good impression of just what made Ponyville so special to Pinkie. It was safe to say that she had quite enjoyed each place she'd been to. The town hall had some extraordinary specimens of sedimentary rock strewn in front of it, the boutique had a plethora of jewels that caught her fancy, and even Power Chord's House of Rock, while a bit misleading, did have a pebble by its entrance which she found intriguing.

Try as she might, though, she just couldn't imagine what it was about an apple farm that Pinkie found so special and amazing. True, her sister could find joy in practically anything, and she could understand the predisposition to farms, but an apple farm? It made no sense. Apples weren't rocks. Apples weren't bad, but they didn't possess the eloquent beauty or the pure versatility that rocks did. Still, she felt like humoring her sister. Pinkie was trying so hard to make sure she enjoyed herself, after all. If she found something of value in a silly apple farm, then the least she could do was try to enjoy it.

It wasn't long before the two arrived on the rolling green plains of Sweet Apple Acres. Maud watched her pink blur of a sister bounce excitedly about, pointing out all the apple trees one-by-one. Even though she could tell just by looking at them that they were apple trees, Pinkie insisted on naming each one anyway. It was something she was used to, to be honest. Having Pinkie as a sister lent itself to becoming used to situations like this. Maud sometimes wondered what it would be like to express her emotions with the same exuberance as her sister, but she would always quickly dismiss the thought. She was quite happy doing things the way she did.

Maud's attention was pulled away from Pinkie and her energy by the sight of a small pile of rocks. Pinkie had been trying so hard to garner some interest in the rest of the farm, but nothing she had shown her was comparable to the majestic glory held within that pile. She leaned over to sniff one of the bottom rocks, her sister seemingly paying no heed to the fact that she'd lost her follower on this Ponyville tour. Maud felt the excitement build up in her as she looked over the marvelous pile. These rocks had to have been here on this farm for years and years. Just the scent was enough to tell her that this was a truly special sample in front of her eyes. She had no idea why Pinkie was trying to pull her interest towards all those boring apple trees when she had this to stare at. She had never seen a specimen this amazing outside of the farm. It almost made her smile.

Boulder had to see this pile. Maud knew that he would enjoy it just as much as she did. She reached into her pocket and pulled her loyal pet rock out, holding him just in front of the pile. She allowed him to gaze upon his brethren, and gaze he did. As much as she liked sedimentary and igneous rocks, those of the metamorphic variety held a special place in her heart. Boulder was a perfect example, and the rocks that the two of them stared at were as well. The two spent a nice few moments, pet and owner, admiring the beautiful pile. Nothing could be better than this.

Maud suddenly felt a light bump from behind her. She stumbled forward, but caught her balance before she could faceplant the pile of stones. Boulder, however, lacked limbs, and therefore was not quite as lucky. Maud watched with perceived apathy as her beloved pet fell into the pile. She hadn't been planning on playing Camouflage right this moment, but it seemed like Boulder, as well as whatever had bumped her from behind, had other plans. She glanced behind her to see the source of the jostling, and was met with the sight of a large red stallion.

"Awful sorry," the large pony said simply.

"It's okay," Maud responded.

The two stared silently at each other for a few moments, the only sounds coming from the gentle breeze and the faint sound of Pinkie in the distance, still describing the farm to a tourist who was no longer there.

"I dropped my pet rock in that pile of rocks," Maud said.

"Eeyup," the stallion responded.

Another moment of silence passed. Maud watched the stallion chew on a bit of hay. His coat was a vibrant red. It reminded her a bit of scoria, though scoria tended to be a bit of a paler red. Regardless, the color was akin to that of scoria, and that was that. Scoria was among her favorite igneous rocks, after all.

"His name is Boulder," Maud informed the stallion. "He's my pet."

"Eeyup," the stallion responded. He glanced around Maud to the pile of rocks, as if to give it a quick visual scan for any signs of Boulder, then looked back to Maud.

Maud said nothing. There really wasn't much to say, after all.

"Need help?" the stallion offered.

Maud contemplated this suggestion. The wind blew past the two as she contemplated, unsettling their manes. Far off in the distance, Pinkie could be heard introducing nopony to the Apple family's corn field. All of this was background noise to Maud, who was weighing the pros and cons of help from the bulky stallion who stood before her. He had no clue what Boulder looked like, which certainly wouldn't help matters when it came to locating him. But on the other hoof, Boulder did have a certain uniqueness to him. Surely he would be easy to find. And besides, playing Camouflage with somepony else was better than playing alone.

"Sure," Maud finally answered. "He's a rock. He's small and gray." She watched the stallion look past her again at the rock pile. All of the rocks in the pile were gray, though they varied in exact hue, as well as size. Not a single one looked exactly like Boulder. Boulder was unique and different, and she hoped that this helpful stallion would be able to see the difference.

"Eeyup," the stallion responded.

"Thanks," Maud said.

"Eeyup," the stallion responded. Then he strode past her, taking a closer look at the rocks. Maud studied his expression as he examined the pile, searching for any sign of awareness about exactly what he was looking at. She found herself relatively surprised at his lack of reaction to the pile of wonderfulness sitting in front of him. She supposed that not everypony could properly appreciate rocks the way she did, but at the same time, it baffled her that such beauty was capable of being completely overlooked. Maud was certain that this stallion would have to eventually wake up and notice how impressive the sight was. She studied every bit of his expression; his stoic gaze, his ambivalent, pursed lips. How could he just...not react?

"Gonna help?" the stallion suddenly asked. Maud blinked, suddenly realizing that not only had she spent that entire time staring at his face, but she'd also been caught in the act. Her mind worked at a fevered pace, searching for the perfect explanation for why his visage had kept her interest over the search for her pet.

"Sure," Maud said. She turned her attention back to the rock pile. It was truly a wonderous rock pile, as she had noticed before, but for some reason, looking through it now felt even better than it had before. It was odd, considering how often she found herself turning her attention back to the red stallion who was helping her look. She told herself that the reason for glancing at him so often was purely based on wanting to see if he would finally recognize the glory of the rocks that lie in front of them, but she was not an unintelligent mare. If his expression hadn't changed upon his first sight of the pile, nor had it upon her previous three looks in his direction, it was very unlikely to change on the fourth.

At the same time, she couldn't stop glancing in his direction. Something about his stony stare was intriguing to her, though she couldn't explain exactly why. His unchanging stare held a certain elegance, those aloof green eyes looking to hide a spark of intelligence. He reminded her of...she couldn't place her hoof on it exactly, but he certainly reminded her of something, and the something that he reminded her of was undoubtedly a positive something.

As Maud looked back at the pile, she spotted Boulder, lying there in plain sight near the bottom of the pile. She reached a hoof out to pick him up, but paused when her hoof collided with the stallion's. Had he also recognized Boulder too, simply by her description? She knew that she had been rather detailed in describing him, so that possibility was not completely out of the question, but it still impressed her nonetheless. She showed this emotion by staring up at the stallion, her expression completely unchanging.

"Whoops," Maud said.

"Eeyup," the stallion responded.

Neither of the two noticed the pink blur far in the distance as it dashed from the farmhouse to the barn. Their attention was focused squarely on each other.

"That your pet?" the stallion asked.

"Yes," Maud responded. He knew. He had recognized Boulder. She knew that this had to be the case. Perhaps he truly did understand rocks the way she did.

"Good," the stallion said. She watched the corners of his lips curl into a small, calm smile. He was so expressive.

"Good," Maud responded. She leaned over to pick Boulder up, but the stallion had already done so. She looked down at his large hoof, Boulder looking like a tiny pebble square in the center of it.

"Here," the stallion said. Maud extended her hoof, and the stallion placed Boulder into it with a level of gentleness that she hadn't expected from such a large pony.

"Thanks," Maud said.

"Eeyup," the stallion responded.

The two stared at each other for a good while before Maud put Boulder back into her pocket.

"Do you like rocks?" Maud asked, her eyes not filling with hope or changing in any other noticeable manner. The stallion shrugged.

"Eeyup?" he responded. Maud attempted to read his expression to discern whether or not he was telling the truth. When she was convinced that he wasn't lying, she continued.

"I like rocks," she said, glancing down towards the pile. "These are metamorphic rocks."

"Eeyup," the stallion responded.

"That means that they're made from the transformation of other existing rock types," Maud said, looking back up to him.

"Eeyup," the stallion responded.

"Boulder is a metamorphic rock too," Maud informed the stallion.

"Eeyup," the stallion responded.

Maud was stunned. She'd never met another pony outside of her family who was this knowledgeable about rocks, let alone this interested in hearing her talk about them. She decided to be a little daring.

"I've written a lot of poetry about rocks," Maud said. "Would you like to hear a poem about metamorphic rocks?"

"Eeyup," the stallion responded, stunning her once again by offering a little smile. She couldn't get over how wonderfully expressive he was. She cleared her throat.

"Metamorphic rocks," Maud began. "You're made from the transformation of other existing rock types. Many rocks made you. You are made by many rocks. And yet you are different. A different rock, different from other rocks. Once you were other rocks, but now you're different. You are a new rock. It is a metamorphosis."

Maud stood silently, the wind blowing through her mane. She found the wind to be a fitting accompaniment to the ending of her poem. She looked up to the stallion, gauging his expression. He stood stoically, chewing on his bit of hay.

"Did you like my poem?" Maud asked, staring up into his deep, introspective eyes.

"Eeyup," the stallion responded.

"Would you like to hear another?" Maud asked, the bland look on her face defying the hope that she held inside her.

"Eeyup," the stallion responded.

Maud couldn't believe her luck. She had never expected to find a stallion who was so interested in her and her poetry. This pony truly understood her. In all her time on the rock farm, she'd had little experience with ponies outside of her family. Pinkie's other friends were nice, but they weren't really the type of pony that she could see herself having long, meaningful conversations with. This stallion, though...he was different. Something about his behavior, his demeanor, just spoke to her. She cleared her throat and began another poem, her heart smiling as she watched the stallion listen intently to her every word. When she finished that one, she began another. And another. The stallion's attention never dwindled, as if he was hanging on every word she said. His expression remained still, contemplating every word she spoke, occasionally adding in an appreciative "eeyup" upon a poem's consummation. He was such a brilliant conversationalist, Maud thought.

The minutes passed by like seconds as Maud went through her favorite metamorphic rock poems. Once she had finished the fifteenth one, she stopped, looking to the stallion for approval.

"Did you like my poetry?" Maud asked.

"Eeyup," the stallion responded. "Wanna hear mine?"

Maud stared at the stallion. She couldn't believe her luck; he was a poet as well.

"What's it about?" Maud asked.

"Apples," the stallion responded. Maud thought about this. She wasn't a big fan of apples, but he had listened so intently and politely to her poetry. It was only fair and right that she do the same for him. Besides, she certainly didn't mind spending more time in his company.

"Sure," Maud said. She watched as the stallion cleared his throat, then opened his mouth to begin.

"There you are, Maud!" Pinkie suddenly interjected, popping up between the two ponies. "I've been looking for you all over! I thought you were following me the entire time! I've been describing the entire farm to nopony! Which is actually kinda funny!"

Maud and the stallion both stared at Pinkie.

"Ouh, you've met Big Macintosh!" Pinkie said, bouncing in place. "Big Macintosh, this is my sister Maud!"

"I'm very happy to meet you," Maud said, looking back into Big Mac's eyes.

"Eeyup," Big Mac responded, staring right back.

"He's really nice!" Pinkie said, hopping up and ruffling Big Mac's mane. Neither Big Mac nor Maud said a word. They both knew full well to just let Pinkie do her thing.

"Well, c'mon!" Pinkie bubbled, nudging at Maud's side. "We've got a whole farm to go over!" She then stopped, taking in the looks that the two were giving each other. Her already-large smile grew even larger.

"Unless you two want to talk a bit more," Pinkie said, only barely suppressing a giggle. The two ponies looked at each other, then at Pinkie, then back at each other. They knew, only from each others' expressions, what their answer to Pinkie's offer was.

"Sure," Maud said.

"Eeyup," Big Mac responded.

Pinkie giggled happily as she waved and bounced off. This was easily the most excited she'd ever seen her sister.