• Published 28th May 2013
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The Arrival of Ford Mustang - RoyalRainbow

After a mysterious golden light teleports him to Equestria, the human, Ford, has been transformed into a full-grown Pegasus without a Cutie Mark. What challenges await him as he coops his new life in Ponyville?

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Chapter 13 – Opening Day on Cider Season

Chapter 13 – Opening Day on Cider Season

For nearly a week, I spent my sick days in bed while I was recovering from the Feather Flu. As the Apple Family worked on the farm, Rainbow Dash would come by whenever she gets the chance to keep me company as well as help me on my recovery. It was a usual routine: checking my temperature, preening my feathers, and reading me stories. When I told her that I’ve never read the Daring Do series before, she was incredibly shocked to hear that from me, and she greatly insisted that I start reading the books myself. Whenever I have some time alone, I would read the books myself to try to catch up with Rainbow Dash. Of course, that was a nearly impossible feat at this point. As much as I was starting to like this series myself, it just isn’t the same without Rainbow reading it along with me, so I truly value her company whenever I get the chance.

After I have finally made a full recovery, I was just in time to help out the Apples getting ready for Cider Season. As being the extra hoof around here, I pretty much switched between jobs: bucking apple trees with Applejack, assembling baskets with Apple Bloom, quality control with Granny Smith, and running on the apple presser treadmill with Big Mac. All in all, it was a very productive day at Sweet Apple Acres.

Now, today is the opening day of Cider Season. The Apple Family and I got up as early as possible to get everything ready for the big day, and there were already hundreds of campers in line just waiting in anticipation to taste that delicious cider, including Pinkie Pie, who is of course leading what I consider to be the biggest outdoor slumber party in history.

Once we are all set, Cider Season begins! And Pinkie Pie starts it off with 75 mugs of cider fresh out of the first barrel! How she’s able to carry all of that without making a mess of herself, I may never know.

For the most part, I am helping out with Big Mac when it comes to carrying and assembling the heavy barrels to the cider dispenser. Thanks to my wings and my hard working muscles, I can lift and carry some of the barrels that are stacked high up from nearly anypony’s reach.

As I continue to work, I begin to think about Rainbow Dash, and knowing for a fact on how much she craves this stuff to a great extent! Oh, I can’t wait to see the look on her face when she finally shows up! I sure hope that there’s plenty of cider left before this day is over.


Several hours later, and I still don’t see Rainbow Dash anywhere. Where could she be? Usually, she would get up as early as possible, even if it’s at the crack of dawn. And we just took care of all the late-night campers in line. So where is she? Truth be told, I start to worry. This isn’t like her to miss out on something like this!

Just then, I hear Applejack hollering out in tremendous joy. “That’s it, everypony!” she calls out to me and the rest of her family. “The last customer for today! This calls for a celebration! YEE-HAW!”

The last customer? How can it be the last one? Did we already finish all of the cider for today? I quickly look back at today’s stock, and to my great surprise, there are only three barrels left. I sigh in relief of this, but does that mean that Rainbow didn’t show up today?

“Ford! Get on over here!” Applejack hollers at me with a big smile. “We got an announcement to make!” I walk over to her where AJ, Apple Bloom, Big Mac, and Granny Smith all gather together around the cider dispenser.

“For the first time in Apple Family history…” Applejack begins her speech while dispensing the mugs with cider. “…we actually have enough cider left over from our opening day of Cider Season!” Big cheers fill the air, as I stand there speechless on hearing this startling news.

“And with these few barrels left over in addition to our extra stock for the rest of the week…” Applejack continues gleefully while topping off the last mug. “…we might actually be able to satisfy everypony’s thirst for the rest of this year’s Cider Season!” Once again, the rest of the family gives thunderous cheers on this grand announcement.

“And we owe it all to our newest member of the family, Ford Mustang!” Applejack says with pride as she hands me a fresh cup of that tempting cider.

“M-me?!” I stammer sheepishly in complete shock.

“Darn tootin’!” Granny chimes in.

“You bet!” Apple Bloom joins in.

“Eeyup!” Big Mac finishes it with his catchphrase.

“Ford, Ah know it must be hard for you considering that you’re not from around here and what not…” Applejack says humbly to me after passing the rest of the mugs to her family. “…but honestly, we can’t express ourselves well enough on just how happy we are to have here in our home. And with all of the mighty help you’ve been givin’ around here as well as for being there when we need it the most, we just want to say that no matter what, you’ll always have a special place with us as a member of our family.”

I look around slowly with wide eyes as I see the rest of Applejack’s family nodding simultaneously in agreement. All of those kind words that Applejack has said to me begin to sink into my heart as my eyes start to get all watery.

“Thank you.” I say to them gratefully as I nearly break into tears. “Thank you so much.”

“Now Ford, don’t get them tears into yer nice cider like that!” Applejack jokes at me playfully. “This is a time of celebration, not a time of grievin', ya know!”

“Right, of course!” I chuckle with a broad smile as I quickly dry my eyes.

“To family!” Applejack toasts with her mug raised-up.

“TO FAMILY!” We all say in unison as we clank our mugs together.

Everypony around me chugs their drinks deeply, but as for me, mine was nothing more than a sip. I was pretty much in silence with myself as I keep thinking about what happened to Rainbow today.

“Hey, sugercube!” Applejack snaps me out of self-induced trance. “Why the long face here? Usually y’all would finish yers up first before anypony else. Is there something troublin’ you?”

“It’s just that…” I reply with mild hesitation. “…I’ve been wondering about something. Have you seen Rainbow Dash today?” Applejack ponders on this for a bit.

“Ya know what? Ah can’t say that Ah have.” she answers with a questioning look. “She usually craves this stuff more than anypony! She wouldn’t miss this for anything! Unless of course it had something to do with becoming a Wonderbolt that is.”

“I’m… worried, AJ.” I sadden even further. “I hope that she’s okay.”

“Now don’t you fret for nothing, Ford!” Applejack encourages me with a gentle pat on the back. “That marefriend of yers is as tough as they come!”

“Yeah, I guess you’re right-- WAIT WHAT?!” My sudden blush is just as red as the apples on AJ’s Cutie Mark.

“Come on, Ford.” she continues to make fun of me with a devious smirk. “Ya didn’t think Ah wouldn’t take notice on something like that since last week, did ya?”

“Applejack! I’m only concern for her as a good friend! Nothing more!” I retort quickly, but that did nothing to convince AJ otherwise.

“Suuuuuuure.” the grinning cowpony replies sarcastically as she takes a sip of her drink.

“Look!” I try to change this subject immediately. “Can we just focus on what’s important right now, like where’s Rainbow Dash right now?!”

“Umm… I know where Rainbow Dash is.” Fluttershy quietly intervenes.

“YOU DO?!” I yelp joyfully as I fly over to Fluttershy.

“EEP!” the timid Pegasus responds fearfully after my quick outburst greatly startles her, who almost dropped her mug of cider.

“So… just as a good friend, huh?” Applejack grins mockingly behind me. I turn my head sharply to give Applejack a “not now” glare at her. She just chuckles silently to herself as I stare at her intensely.

“Oh, I’m so sorry, Mr. Mustang, sir!” Fluttershy apologizes almost sobbingly. “I was finally able to have to chance to relax right after I have helped out with Rainbow Dash’s accommodations! I guess I was so anxious for this yummy cider that I forgot to mention about it to anypony! Please don’t be upset with me, Ford! I’m really sorry!” I could never be mad at Fluttershy. How can anyone be mad at someone so cute like her when she apologizes like that?

“It’s… it’s okay, Fluttershy.” I coo to her softly. “I’m sorry for startling you like that. Could you please tell me where Rainbow is?”

“Why… she’s at the Golden Oaks Library right now.” she replies timidly.

"Golden Oaks Library?” I puzzle slightly. “Why is she there?”

“Well… she’s… got the Feather Flu.”

“…Oh no. It can’t be.” I whisper sadly to myself. This unexpected news wound me deeply.

“But it’s true!” Fluttershy gingerly continues her story. “This morning, I was surprise to notice Rainbow not being in my room so early for Cider Season. So I flew up to her house just to check up with her. Once I got there, I saw Rainbow lying in her bed very sickly as most of her feathers were scattered everywhere! That's when I realized that she has contracted the Feather Flu!

Since she’s is unable to fly in her condition, I carry her to the library so that it will be easier for her to accommodate on ground-level. I originally thought about carrying her to my cottage, but with my animal friends living there, I was afraid that either Rainbow would get worse with her illness, or that some of my feathery friends might get sick too! So throughout the day, I’ve been tending to her needs as best as I could before I felt comfortable enough to get a nice, cold drink for a change.”

After hearing what happened to Rainbow, the news of her illness sinks inside me so heavily, I had to sit down on my hindquarters. I stare down at the brown dirt road for quite some time before I can speak again.

“It's my fault.” I remorse to myself. “She’s sick because of me.”

“Oh, come on, sugarcube!” Applejack shakes me up a bit to break me from my self-doubt. “Don’t be so hard on yerself! It ain’t your fault! It’s only natural for somepony to get sick like that. These things just come and go like always.”

“Thanks, Applejack.” I smile to her for the reassurance. “And thank you, Fluttershy, for telling me about Rainbow. I’m glad to hear that she’s okay now thanks to your tender care.”

“Oh, there’s no need to thank me, Ford.” Fluttershy welcomes me sincerely. “I’m only helping her because she’s one of my dearest friends, that’s all.”

“Well, she certainly is lucky to have a very kind friend like you around, that’s for sure.” I warmly comment to her. Fluttershy blushes a bit and shies away from my appreciative gaze.

“You know, Ford…” Fluttershy turns her attention back towards me with a gentle smile. “I think Dashie would really appreciate it if you would stop by and visit her for a minute. If you don’t mind, that is.” I smile greatly on that friendly suggestion.

“Thanks, Fluttershy! I’ll go there right away! Umm… Applejack. You don’t mind, do you?”

“Go on, Romeo!” Applejack teases me one last time. “We can take care of things from here!” I was about to make my hasty leave for the library, but then a brilliant idea pops into my head.

“Actually, Applejack, can I ask for a favor?”

“Shoot, Ford! Whatcha need?”

I grin widely as I enthusiastically tell her what my idea is. Once she hears what I had to say, her gleeful grin nearly matches with my own.

“Ya know something, sugarcube? Ah think we can make one last call before we have to close up for the night!”

Author's Note:

This was part of a greater chapter that's to come, but consider that the next segment is probably going to take a lot more time than this one, I decide to split it up from here.