"'Nother one," Ron called down. Sonata stood at the base of the tree, holding up a wooden bucket. Ron, clinging to the trunk of the tree, dropped a ripe apple into the bucket. He climbed around to the other side of the tree and picked another apple. "'Nother one."
At the neighboring tree, Kim leapt straight up, caught a branch with her fingertips, flipped up, and snatched two apples off the branch above her. She dropped down, put them in a bucket on the ground, then jumped up into the tree again.
"How're y'all comin' along?" Applejack asked.
"I've already cleared two trees," Kim said. "Not bad for an hour's work."
"We're still on this tree," Ron said. "I can only pick one at a time since, you know, gotta hang on for dear life here..."
Applejack rolled her eyes. "Well, so long as y'all're makin' headway." She scratched her head. "C'mon down outta there, rest up a sec."
Kim dropped to the ground, while Ron climbed down. Ron was dripping sweat; Kim had a faint sheen of sweat on her brow, but seemed largely unfazed by the high-intensity apple picking.
"Good...a break'd be nice..."
"Well, a break of sorts," Applejack said. "Y'all can pick up mah drops." She walked over to another, sturdy-looking tree, examining it critically. With a nod, she took a step back, then turned and delivered a swift spinning kick to the trunk of the tree.
Fifty apples dropped to the ground.
Ron's jaw dropped.
Kim stared. "Whoa."
Applejack grinned, buffing her nails on her shirt as she leaned against the tree. "You just gotta have th' right touch," she said.
"Remind me never to tick you off," Kim said as she grabbed a bucket and started picking up apples. Ron and Sonata followed suit, while Applejack walked over to another tree and kicked it, unburdening it of its load.
"HOW?" Ron wondered. "Who the heck just...just kicks a tree and makes all the fruit fall out?"
After dropping the apples from five trees, Applejack grabbed a bucket and helped the others pick up the precious fruit.
"So uhh...nice trick," Kim said. "How do you do that?"
Applejack shrugged. "Just somethin' Ah learned from my Pa an' Big Mac." She smirked. "How do you do all that jumpin' an' flippin'?"
"Years of cheerleading and saving the world from evil," Kim said.
Applejack looked around at the full buckets of apples surrounding them. "Welp, let's haul these out t' th' storehouse."
Carrying two buckets each, the teens walked across the farm to the low stone storehouse. Applejack pulled the door open with a foot, then led the others inside. The cavernous building was filled with barrels, some partially full, some overfull, all sorted by type. They set their baskets on a large work table at the back of the room. "Alright, let's see..." Applejack cast a critical eye over the buckets. "We've got Red Delicious, Granny Smith, an' Fuji here..." She sorted the buckets into three groups. She looked around the room, then quickly carried buckets over to barrels and began dumping them in, except for the last bucket; she motioned for the others to follow her as she carried this bucket to the farmhouse. Along the side wall of the house was a free-standing water spigot, with a wooden crossbar hammered into the ground next to it that had a couple of towels hanging from it. She turned on the water, then washed and polished three apples, handing one each to Kim, Ron, and Sonata, before taking one for herself. "Y'all more than earned a snack break," she said.
"Thanks," Kim said, biting into the apple. Juice dripped down her chin. "Oh. Oh, this is good."
"Sooo juuuuuicy," Sonata murmured, eyes rolling back in her head as she savored the fruit.
"Mmm...now that is a good apple. And you know it's true because I don't usually eat fruit," Ron said.
"It's true, he doesn't," Kim said, smirking and rolling her eyes. She looked around the farm. "So it's really just you and your brother taking care of all of this?" she asked.
"And you both go to school?"
"And you find time to be in a band?"
Kim blinked. "Wow. And I thought I had a busy life."
A faint music could be heard from Applejack's pocket. She reached in and pulled out her phone, glancing at the screen. "Oh hey, it's Sunset Shimmer!" She held the phone up to hear ear. "Howdy, Sunset! Ah thought y'all'd still be in that movie...oh? Aww, that's a shame. Yeah. Well, listen, can you come out t' th' farm? Ah got a couple people here that need some help, an' you're th' one that can help 'em. Ah hope." She listened for a minute. "Well, they're kinda...far from home, if'n y' know whut Ah mean. ...no, it ain't that simple. Better come 'round an' let them explain. Thanks." She put her phone away. "Okay y'all...Sunset Shimmer's comin' 'round fer supper. Y'all can tell her everything, an' she'll know whut t' do. Ah hope."
"Thanks, Applejack," Kim said. "We really appreciate it."
"Shucks, it ain't nothin'," Applejack said. She finished off her apple and tossed the core back into the bucket. "Welp...meantime, let's git back t' work."