1st of 2nd Summer
Today marks the first day of Applebucking season. A time of year when the Apple family works for a full week harvesting apples ready for cider making later in the year. The galas are the only apples that would do, but the seeds I got from winning the annual reunion cider drinking contest won't be coming along to sprout the galas until next year.
Mcintoshes aren't really ideal for anything but pie and a quick snack, but they will have to do. Nopony in Ponyville ever really notices the differences in apples anyway. Any cider we make is the best in town no matter what.
Unfortunately, due to a terrible barn dance accident Applejack's the only pony to really do all the harvesting. A certain somepony got a little overexcited back at the reunion and broke my ribs showing off her bucking-bronco style dance moves. The doctor says it's just a minor fracture and it should heal within a week if I keep up a healthy diet. I'm guessing the Doc just means eat more apples.
Nothing keeps the doctor away than a good apple. That's what Granny Smith likes to say. Tripped and hurt your leg? If I ate my apples I'd be watching where I was going because of all the sugar coming to my brain. Broke some bones or gotten ill? If I ate my apples I'd have shrug that off like it was just a small trip on the road.
She'd go on like that for hours.
2nd of 2nd Summer
Today AJ took up her word and came out to the orchards to buck the trees without so much as me even asking her. Her work didn't last past an afternoon though, because come noon she comes chasing after a herd of stampeding cows. She was amazing. A real cow pony, just like Pa taught her to be.
She saved the town from the panicked cows and Mayor Mare was so impressed that she was going to hold an award for her later in the week. AJ was getting real uppity about her reputation as the most reliable and dependable of ponies. And now she's going to be officially awarded for it.
I really hope this doesn't give her any funny ideas.
3rd of 2nd Summer
Okay, at first I thought AJ could really handle all this harvesting with that gusto she showed me the other day. But she's really not helping anypony working nonstop like that. Watching her out there in the fields with bags in her eyes and her bucks getting slowly clumsier and clumsier... it really makes me mad at myself for letting me get like this.
She really is just like Pa. Keeper of her word. Honest right down to her Apple core. But that's what got him. With Ma being weak as she was, he just kept working and working. For years he said he was fine. He was fit as a fiddle, dandy as can be. But one Applebucking season, come sun down, he never came back home.
Me and AJ just came home from school and waited for him. We all thought that he was just out late in the fields again, squeezing those last few moments in the sun in before he comes home tired and smiling his stubborn smile. Like the world, for another day couldn't bring him down.
When the full moon came we went looking for him...
4th of 2nd Summer
Applejack came out in the morning to her award ceremony having literally just come from a night of bucking trees right to the early morning. She barely had an hour's sleep and still she insists on going to her ceremony. I offered to take her place and take it in her honour while she rested. But she insisted.
I was too worried to just leave things at that. I couldn't stop her, but at the very least I could keep an eye on her. I know as I am I can't do much, but I'm sure I can at least do something.
As AJ's friends talk about AJ I can't help but realise just how much she'd loaded herself with. Taking on Applebuck season alone is one thing, but to do all these favours on top? She's gotta listen to me and get some rest. The cider can wait, apples can be bucked later. We might lose out on some important funds, but that doesn't matter. It's pointless if I don't have the family to spend it on.
It seems, her unicorn friend was just as concerned so she visited the farm later in the day just when I'd been done begging her all day to stop working. I was hoping she'd listen to her friend. I mean family can easily be taken for granted, and in those times, friends tend to speak to a pony more. I was hoping that was the case with AJ. But I guess not.
5th of 2nd Summer
I was mad. Very angry with concern. So I thought I'd knock some sense into that thick head of hers and get her some sleep. Luckily I didn't have to. When I came to her early in the morning, she was asleep by one of the trees still standing up doing lazy bucks to the air behind her.
I thought I'd gently take her to bed. I don't know if my ribs are strong enough to support her weight on my back, but I had to risk it. And then the damn rooster crows and she remembers that she needs to go to town to meet Rainbow Dash for some stupid trick.
This time I couldn't chase after her. I couldn't do any heavy lifting, but I could still do a bit of light work. With AJ only ever bucking trees day in, day out none of the other chores have been done. If I didn't water the crops they would all die and we'd be out of pocket. I harvested what I could from the apples that just fell to the ground.
Hopefully that's at least enough money from Filthy to last us long enough for me to recover and put in some overtime later. In other news I got a random visit from one of the stampeding cows. She looked really interested in the field I had fenced, ready for animals. She was interested but I guess I wasn't really selling myself enough to appeal to her as an employer.
I really should work some part time jobs to earn a bit of extra cash. Mooerella the cow says there are some cows in Ponyville that are needing some help. And should I do a good enough job, they might visit the farm to live on the fields. Milk is really valuable around these parts. If I had cows on the farm, I would be able to afford some improvements around the farm.
6th of 2nd Summer
AJ came home all battered and bruised. I needed to do some errands that day around Ponyville so I decided to drag her to the local clinic for a check up. Apparently AJ's been eating her apples because from what she told the doctor about falling from a great height several times in a row, she should be a cast. But the doctor gave her a perfect bill of health besides a few minor injuries.
After the morning we went our separate ways. She had something to do down at the cakes with Pinkie Pie. I wanted to look after her but she's a big pony. She's only making apple pie. Thing's should be fine. At least I hope so, but even if that wasn't the case I have to get some work done and earn some money.
As I went about my day the streets of Ponyville became less and less busy. Come lunch time, no pony was on the streets at all. No idea what happened there, but it's not all that important. I needed to get back to the farm. I got a few chores to deal with before dark.
7th of 2nd Summer
Applejack left the farm late in the morning, dashing towards the Everfree forest in the direction of Fluttershy's cottage. So long as she doesn't pull off an epidemic as bad as the baked bads incident everything should be fine.
I'm still hurting a little, but I seem to be able to buck again. Picking up some slack but all the while taking it easy and steady I harvested a good bunch of apples. I left for town to buy some supplies for the farm and found everything in ruins. It was something about a great bunny stampede... I dunno. I just went about my business and went back home.
I came back with the whole farm Applebucked. With the help of a few farm hooves the work was done and I caught AJ and her friends getting a little high off our supply. Though a bottle of cider each doesn't cost us as much as actually farm labour wages. So I guess I can't complain.
I just wish Applejack didn't give away my break time cider that I hid inside the apple juice bottles that day. I was really looking forward to those things.
To be updated later.