• Member Since 24th Oct, 2013
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SpiritDutch


Not really paying attention to any of this anymore, but I keep the tab open... for some reason.

E

Granny Smith has fallen into serious debt. How can she solve this problem?

Chapters (5)
Comments ( 93 )

This was decently done, and I have but one complaint.


There isn't more. There should totally be more.

Really does deserve more. I'd like to see AJ's reaction.

Would love another chapter or two. I feel this could easily be expanded upon.

This is one of those one-shots that could easily be the prequel for a larger story

This was a sweet little read. Excellently done. Well written, everyone was in character, no needless stuff cluttering up the scene. It was very touching. Respect to you, sir or madam.

A continuation would be nice, but it stands perfectly well on its own. As you point out, it's wrapped up.

I wouldn't say it's Sad, because all in all it's very hopeful. Yes, Granny will lose the farm, but it's in good hooves. Twilight will make sure of that. And Applejack's made it clear all the way back in S2 that Twilight and the girls are family as far as she's concerned, so technically the farm is staying within the family still.

Short and sweet - both Granny and Twilight felt in-character (I liked the fact that you had Twilight going fair and square about this and that she intends to get her money back sometime down the road, even if her terms are understandably generous, rather than just hoofing over the bits and calling it a day), the issue introduced made sense and the way it was solved felt genuine. All in all, a good read.

I will mirror the opinion though that this almost feels like a prequel to a longer story though, or at the very least the first of the would-be two chapters. Technically the issue was solved (as in, the Apples won't lose their farm for good), but it didn't quite feel like that even was the main "conflict" of this setup - I mean, it was pretty clear that Twilight was going to help out, one way or another, so the fate of the Acres (in terms of whether the Apples would be left without a farm) was never really in that much of a doubt.

Like you introduced in this chapter though, it almost feels like breaking the news to the family would be the bigger, or at least the more intense conflict. Buying the farm was just bits - sure, Twilight treated the whole issue admirably seriously and all, but it was still just bits that she has no shortage of, so solving the issue was a pretty simple and impersonal affair.

Having granny convey the news to the rest of the family though, especially AJ, feels like it could be a real goldmine for a powerful scene or two. How would AJ deal with the knowledge that the farm isn't their anymore (even if Twi expects them to buy it back one day)? How would her pride cope with the fact that they are, essentially, living off Twilight's charity at this point in time? Could she still feel equal next to her friend knowing that she literally owns their home and orchard?

Indeed, all those thoughts running through AJ's head after first learning of the issue and watching her dealing with them could make for an excellent second-chapter plot, and the first chapter all but sets it up and raises the issue. I hope you reconsider and tackle it, instead of leaving it as a oneshot.

Still, that's ultimately your call, and it was a good read.

Simple enough way for them to get the Farm back without having to pay back Twilight. Can anyone say TwiMac.

Hmm. Up until the end I would have agreed with you that this story could be considered wrapped up. However, at the end you introduce a cliffhanger. Granted, its not the biggest cliffhanger, but it is one none the less. Because of that, it does feel as if this is a pilot episode of a cancelled show still. Actually, I think it might even feel more like a scene from a bigger story. *Shrugs*

Ignoring that, it's ok. It does what it needs to do.

Yup. A second chapter, with a stubborn Big Mac or AJ (or both) would be perfect. It's great as it is, but it really feels like there should be more. :fluttershysad:

While I agree with the others that this could be the set-up to a more involved story, I also note from the summary and author's notes that this is based on a real, and sad, event... So I can understand why this would be complete as it is.

It's a good thing Granny Smith didn't go to Discord for the loan. She would have found herself upside down on the mortgage... and everything else besides.

Short and simple. Could stand to be longer, but it gets the point across.

This:

As much as I love them, I don't want Applejack or Big Macintosh cheating me out of this.

felt a bit out of character for Twilight, and the question of just how well off she actually is could do with a bit of explanation (does she have a blank cheque from the royal treasury now, or something?), but it mostly works.

Two things that need to be fixed, though:

Granny nodded sadly. “I've made some terrible mistakes, and I'd loose lose the farm anyhow if I can't sell it to ya.”
The bottom line was that without help, Granny Smith would loose lose everything. She would loose lose the farm for defaulting on her reverse mortgages, and then still owe for the credit.

Lose is the opposite of "win", "gain", or "find."
Loose is the opposite of "tight".

Next: The rule is that dialogue followed by a dialogue tag (an attribution containing a "speech verb" showing who said the dialogue and how) is treated as a single sentence; if the character's dialogue ends with a period, you must use a comma instead:

“It's ah matter of business,” Granny Smith said finally.
“Well sure. I love apples. Especially Apple family apples,” Twilight said. “You know that.”

If the next word outside the quotes is not someone's name (or the pronoun "I"), you do not capitalize it:

“It's ah matter of business,” the aged mare said finally.
“Well sure. I love apples. Especially Apple family apples,” she said. “You know that.”

And finally, if the dialogue ends with ? or !, you use those as usual, but the "single sentence" rule still applies:

“Business?” Twilight asked in surprise.
“Business?” she asked in surprise.

Only if what follows the dialogue is not a dialogue tag, but a separate action taken after the character stops speaking, do you end dialogue with a period and then start a new sentence. So this:

“Well, not to put too fine a point on it, but I'm pretty well off.” Twilight tapped her forehooves together nervously. “I could probably buy most of Ponyville, hypothetically.”

is actually correct. :twilightsmile: Twilight speaks, then taps her forehooves together, then speaks again, so the three things are separate actions. If you did it this way:

“Well, not to put too fine a point on it, but I'm pretty well off,” Twilight said, tapping her forehooves together nervously. “I could probably buy most of Ponyville, hypothetically.”

then the hoof-tapping becomes part of the dialogue tag because it's an action occurring simultaneously with her speech. See?

Aside from those issues... not bad. :twilightsmile:

4272883

felt a bit out of character for Twilight, and the question of just how well off she actually is could do with a bit of explanation (does she have a blank cheque from the royal treasury now, or something?), but it mostly works.

I dunno, I sort of feel that her elaborating on her finances would be somewhat off at this point. It was already established that she doesn't necessarily like talking about how wealthy she is and didn't elaborate on her actual finances (besides "a lot"), so it makes sense the narrative would move past that point.

As for the origins of her funds, like you said - she would either have access to the Royal Treasury (within reason, though the limits of said "reason" would seem pretty big against the backdrop of a backwater town like Ponyville), or she would have her shiny Princess salary, which would be fit to ensure she can live like a princess (har har) in Canterlot ...

Which, given how and where she chooses to live instead, Twilight probably doesn't spend even a fraction of and it just keeps piling up. Even without counting such possibilities as her family being nobles, it would be more surprising if Twilight didn't have the bits to draw upon, should she feel the need to do so, I reckon.

4273332
Well, not all exposition has to be done through dialogue. That's the difference between a written story and a television script; the author can insert explanatory asides as needed without having to make one of the characters say it out loud.

Or, the scene could play out like this:

Twilight was confused. “Are you asking me for a loan?”

“Well... I suppose, in a way. But friends don't loan friends money,” Granny Smith said. “But I would like ta ask, if you where willin, how much could you lend?”

“Well, um...” Twilight tapped her forehooves together nervously. “Quite a lot, probably...” she finally admitted with a blush and a nervous laugh. “I mean, when they made me a Princess, they gave me a pretty generous stipend to go with it, because the Royal Treasury just kind of assumed I'd have my own royal mansion, and servants, and everything... but I've never really wanted any of that, so it's just kind of piled up, and, well..."

Despite herself, Granny Smith couldn't help but be amused by Twilight's flustered expression. "How much is 'a lot'?" she prompted.

“Hypothetically? I could probably...” Twilight began, before trailing off into a Fluttershy-like whisper.

"Come again?"

Twilight sighed. "I said, I could probably... buy most of Ponyville," she admitted. "Hypothetically."

Which not only explains things to the reader, but lets Twilight have one of those adorkably awkward moments she's so well-known for. :twilightblush:

Proposal not preposal

I think you mean "lose" not "loose".

Nice story, some issues, but nice. :twilightsmile:

Absolutely nothing in this story is believable. The Apple Family being this hard-up for money, when they provide the single most crucial fruit crop in Equestria? Granny Smith borrowing the business into unsalvageable debt? Twilight being wealthy enough to afford to just buy out Sweet Apple Acres and its mountain of debt? Being concerned that Big Mac and Applejack might try to swindle her?

I'm sorry, but absolutely nothing in this story works within the context of the show. This really does feel like you just slapped pony names onto random farmers and a random financier.

You're thinking about ending the story with a rather heavy shoe hanging in midair.
:ajbemused:&:eeyup: WILL find out at some point.
Ergo, this story ain't done with ya yet.

I'm afraid I have to agree with 4275530. :fluttershysad: While the writing itself is fairly decent (although, as 4272883 rightly points out, you have problems with your dialogue punctuation, and with repeatedly misusing "loose" when you mean "lose"), the story itself just doesn't quite hold together. The premise, at least in the form it's given here, just isn't believable; the idea that Sweet Apple Acres is drowning in debt, despite being the biggest supplier of apples in the area and the sole source of a particularly valuable specialty crop (zap apples), is a stretch in and of itself... but the idea that Applejack and Big Mac would be completely unaware of that stretches credibility to the breaking point. They're the ones who work the farm and take the crops to market; they would surely know how much product they're selling and how many bits they brought home, and if those bits just vanish into a financial black hole without any explanation, sooner or later they're going to wonder where the money is going...

And Twilight Sparkle being rich enough to just buy the entire Acres and pay off all the debts, just by writing a check? Not only does that stretch credibility past the breaking point, but her behavior towards the end takes a decided turn for the unpleasant when she's telling Granny how the contract will work and preemptively suggesting that AJ and Mac might try to cheat her. She's acting more like the flint-hearted banker in It's A Wonderful Life than the supposed Princess of Friendship, here, proposing to turn one of her supposed best friends into an indentured employee who'll spend the rest of her life trying to work off a crushing debt.

If Twilight's really that well-off, and the money really doesn't mean that much to her in itself... why not just offer to settle the debts, on the condition that Granny Smith (a) comes clean to Mac and AJ about the financial mismanagement, and (b) agrees in writing to have no further involvement in the Acres' finances and accounting?

I'm going to jump on the bandwagon and say that, while good on it's own, I think there should be more. Looking forward to it.
Keep up the good work. Deus tecum.

Lots of good points made. Still interesting fic, might be worth a revise and expansion upon later down the road.

4275967

Sorry, I have to disagree on both accounts. Firstly, the financial "troubles" of the Apples (or at least Sweet Apple Acres) are canon in the show. AJ is always on the lookout for possibilities to make more profit, and is wistfully thinking of saving up enough to fix Granny's bad hip. This is the in-show reality of the farm's finances - that Granny can't afford to foot the medical bill that would allow her the medical attention she needs. This situation is canon, so there is not even much to debate there. Going from there to the farm having a debt isn't that much of a stretch.

Secondly ... what? Cold hearted banker? The terms of her contract are amazingly generous to the point of bordering being charity - she covers the debt, she lets the Apples stay there without rent (which would be a huge cost saver compared to before), she is going to contribute for the farm's maintenance costs, she sets no interest rate and no deadline - there is absolutely zero pressure on the Apple family here as the sum won't continue to grow, so they can take their sweet time in returning the debt in a way without harming the farm or their livelihood - over a few generations if need be, though it shouldn't take that long considering the farm doesn't have to worry about paying an ever increasing interest any more and has just been abolished from paying taxes.

Seriously, Twilight did them one better than simply lending the money, she took away the majority of expenses associated with running the farm! She doesn't ask for rent and she will contribute to keeping the farm running! Cold hearted banker? That's a dream-deal the likes of which you will never find anywhere again. It would be child's play to make considerable profit at this point.

Only thing more charitable she could have done would have been simply gifting the money to the Apples, and that's just being fiscally irresponsible, which I can't imagine Twilight being despite her considerable finances. And she wasn't even dealing with her friends directly here, but with Granny. (And I kinda doubt Granny would have accepted such an outright blatant gift anyway). Being Princess of Friendship doesn't mean she will suddenly start funding all the expenditures and expenses of their friend's lives, that just sets up bad precedents and expectations for the future.

And of course she is going to have the money to buy a currently barely profitable patch of land in some backwater farming town (or most of the town) - being a Princess would come with a paycheck to reflect that (or otherwise the ability to draw funds from the royal treasury as she sees fit, within reason), a paycheck that would allow her to live like one in Canterlot, huge royal mansion/palace-thing and servants and all that other monarchy-stuff.

Considering that she lives by herself in her dingy little tree-home though (and chances are she doesn't have to pay rent for even that, not that the sum would have amounted to anything against her princess-y salary) and her daily expenditures (a few dozen bits at most probably, as opposed to the thousands of running a royal mansion in Canterlot that her stipend would be set up to support), it wouldn't take her long at all to find herself sitting on a really, really huge pile of bits.

So ... yeah, I do believe you are dead wrong on all accounts. The less than ideal financial situation of Apples is canon, Twilight's deal with the apples was mind-bogglingly generous on her part, and what wouldn't make sense would be Twilight not being able to afford a patch of farming land considering her new status and the benefits that would come with it, even if she prefers to pretend they don't exist most of the time and doesn't flaunt them.

4276754

On the part mentioned about the Canon debt of the farm, as someone who knows ranchers and farmers from here in the lone-star state, I just want to point out that sadly even grossly profitable farms and ranches often end up in dept simply form the high overhead needed to run the farm. in simple terms most and often all - and sadly often more than all - of the profits of the farm are feed right back into paying for new seed, feed, compost, equipment, workers, veterinary bills, utilities, and various other expenses. If you are ever considering going into business for ones self, take it from experience, Farming is not, well... a cash cow. so the fact that Sweet Apple Acre's is the largest farm in Equestria and an exclusive provider of specialty produce in no way means that they cannot be or are not in debt.

4276842
4276754

Hmm the deal is great. However the only problem I see here is that Granny Smith was at the founding of the farm for her to have been in control of the farm as long as she has and mismanage the money this badly over what would have had to been a fairly long period of time is a bit unrealistic. Especially like was previously mentioned they are the only supplier in the world of Zap Apples. When you have the only supply you can pretty much demand what you want.

My Headcannon in regards to AJ being so penny-pinching is that it is more her nature then actual necessity. More likely Big Mac is the one who handles the book-keeping.

4277234

Hm, in the confines of this fic, I imagine the farm was making some profit, perhaps even a decent one - it's not that the farm is unprofitable, it's that it couldn't afford both the costs of running it and paying off the ever increasing debt.

I mean, she probably took a new credit to pay off the old debt (which would include the interest that would have accumulated by that point), then rinse and repeat, until she could no longer keep up with the interest and banks probably wouldn't give her any more loans at that point.

Going through a couple of long-term credits could have lasted her a good number of decades easily enough, I reckon, until it came to a boiling point.

Regarding the finances and money-grubbing though - it's an in-show situation that they can't afford to have Granny's hip fixed (which is why AJ was looking for more, as the more immediate concern anyways), which doesn't speak well for their financial situation, or their ability to make savings at the very least. A few jam jars a year probably doesn't do too much for the overall situation if they are living from paycheck to paycheck, no matter how exclusive (especially if its all purchased by the local farming populace, rather than exported to rich places like Canterlot or Manehatten) - it may well be what helps them stay afloat at all.

I do want to see the aftermath, but I ain't sure about a sequel.

I'm not actually dutch, but William of Orange is my spirit animal.

Oh, one of those. :rainbowwild:

Awesome story! But I wish here was more. :heart:

Not bad. Though, if you're going to use spaced paragraphs, you need to space all paragraphs as opposed to just every second one.

As for this story feeling unfinished, I think that's because you set up a new conflict right at the end: AJ and Mac don't know about this deal and Granny and Twilight don't really know how they will react. It's almost a cliffhanger, actually.

This would have been fine as a one-shot if it has been just Granny selling the farm, but there's clearly still more story to be told.

4275530

Twilight being wealthy enough to afford to just buy out Sweet Apple Acres and its mountain of debt?

Actually, since she is a princess, she may be entitled to a considerable appanage. And since she's very modest and seems to have maintained the same living standards and expenses as before, it's not completely implausible that she'd be sitting on this huge, steadily growing pile of money that she isn't really sure what to do with.

I liked this short story, but I have to agree with 4272883, the "cheated out of it" part just kind of breaks it for me. I see what you needed to do to to fufill the concept, rather than just , say, giving them the money or the farm, but it could have been handled better. As it is, it makes Twilight look like she mistrusts the Apples or expects them to steal from her while also making Twilight look like kind of an unnecissarily greedy jerk even though what she's doing is ultimately charitable. What I would have prefered would have been either an "I'm sorry can't just give you the money but..." or brobably better just have left the point ambiguous or implied.

Count me as another one on the "wish there were more of this" bandwagon. I'm no writer, but it really does just feel like a first chapter. A good first chapter, but still just a first chapter.

I know you're getting plenty of this already but... I kind of want more just like everybody else. It just feels so... incomplete. And there's so many different ways this story could be taken. You could make it a comedy or a tragedy or any assortment of things depending on what you wanted to do. Take the opportunity to do more. It's pretty obvious that's what everybody wants.

I'm not gonna beg for a sequal, but I will tell you that it's a good idea.

Great story, my friend! And I hope that whoever it's based on gets through their rough times. :twilightsmile:

I could definitely see a second chapter, sealing the deal and telling the rest of the Apple family about what's going on. As the story currently stands, it feels half-finished.

Not bad! You need an editor and/or proofreader to help guide you over some of the rough punctuation and grammar issues, but it's pretty good as it stands.

I can believe the debt. Small farms are essentially gambling operations: bet everything you own up front (buying seeds, fertilizer, equipment, hiring help, etc.), then work the fields for months and hope you can recoup your costs and a little more come harvest time and market season. One bad season - poor weather, plant disease, bugs - and you're drowning in debt. It's entirely possible that Granny inherited the farm's debt after the death of AJ and Mac's parents. They could have made the poor financial decisions before they died, which left Granny with the burden afterwards. Granny, not being a financial wizard, paid off loan debt with credit, which made the already crippling debt even worse and just delayed the inevitable. That, I can see.

Zap Apples might help, but there aren't enough of them to make a difference.

I can also accept Twilight's position. She offers them a very generous arrangement, but she can't just throw money at them. These are her friends, and it'd be perceived as nepotism. Very bad, especially for a newly-crowned Princess. Her line about AJ and Mac "cheating" her is a bit harsh. I'd add in a smile and an eye-roll, because she's dealing with the Element of Honesty here, and she knows AJ would never intentionally cheat her - it's probably just hyperbole. Also, again, she can't be seen as letting her friends get a totally free ride, so she has to do what she doesn't want to, and be a Princess before she can be a friend here. And Twilight would probaby insist on telling AJ and Mac, likely with an easel full of charts and graphs and a lecture on the history of farm credit.

I agree that it's a little short. I don't know if it needs a sequel or even an epilogue, just maybe a bit more meat on the conclusion and some more detail in the narrative. It's a great premise, and I hope to see more from you.

4272553
This is pretty much my exact opinion on the story, but said better than I would be able to manage.

MORE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!:flutterrage: Pleaze :fluttercry:

Woah, looks like the friendship between Applejack and Twilight isn't what it is in the show. Perhaps this strange distrust will be explained in future chapters.

Oh god I love it! Please write more for this!:twilightsmile:

Wait, hold on, what? You have this marked as complete? Why? You have the start to an awesome story, and you're just going to end it before anything gets good?

This story has lots of potential, and I really recommend that you keep writing it.

A good start...
No, seriously, I meant that; you have the start of a good story here - probably could have done with building up the whole 'about to lose the farm' aspect, but complete? No, no, no - you need to wrap up _all_ the plot threads before you can tag this 'complete'. So far, that's just getting the contract written up in proper legalese and signed, and letting the rest of the Apples know - which will inevitably lead to a conflict and resolution between them and Twilight.
Plus whatever threads you start whilst getting that done.

“I could probably buy most of Ponyville, hypothetically.”

And now we know why she lives in the town library. She didn't get it by royal grant - she just bought the whole darn thing!

There was one point raised that I do have to quibble over, I'm afraid -

her local monarch,

What? When did Twilight get her own sovereign state? No, Twilight is, at most, _one_ of the rulers of the land. If there's three of them, that would make her a triumvir, and after that, you're just getting into different levels of oligarchy.
And if her title is mainly ceremonial, then the issue gets even more complicated.

This really does need a sequel or more chapters. It didn't really end like it was all there was. It ended like it was a chapter, like it was a smaller part of a longer storyline.

wow that was surprisingly good

Ehh... it feels a little incomplete, honestly, but I understand that you might have nothing more to say/write about the subject.

This really feels like an intro, and its one I'd love to see more of because its both original and an interesting concept

This is actually really good. You can really see how Granny Smith got into this situation and that Twilight is really trying to get her out while keeping the Apple family's pride intact.

I see you could easily get one more chapter out of this. Granny breaking the news to Applejack and Big Macintosh. Twilight formalising the contracts with her and then... maybe a 'years later' flash forwards to when a wizened Applebloom is making the final payment to Twilight and naming her own grandchildren as the heirs to the property.

But that's just my own ideas. You probably have your own. Great work

I had to read this after playing Monopoly.
Oh irony.

I totally not expecting this story to be updated so soon, nor do I expect THAT about Twilight financial situation. Now I am curious exactly WHAT the next chapter will reveal. Also, I am fine with the grammar thing since its not noticeable to me, and the overall story is quite understandable. I like it. Although I would appreciate it if you later improve the grammar. Now I am curious what solution (if any) will you make for this story.

Also, I don't mind a spin-off about Rarities financial situation, as long as it makes you comfortable in writing and continuing/finishing your stories.

I kind of have to disagree with how sad this story is. I can definitely understand if it was based on a very sad and very stressful experience, but presented here, it just seems somewhat melancholy. The realism of the situation is not lost, but with the fact that this is a fictional story with ponies as the characters, I am almost waiting for the story to jump in to magical realism. Please don't beat yourself up about how sad it seems, I think a lot of people will continue to like this story regardless, myself included. Just remember, part of the reason this site exists is for the escapism of writing.:ajsmug:

ymom2 #50 · Apr 26th, 2014 · · 1 · Lie ·

Whenever I see a sad story about the failure in finances it always fills me with a sense of melancholy and frustration of the terrible injustice and fraud that is today's monetary system. A system that creates artificially generated booms and busts that transfer wealth from those who worked hard for their wealth to clever insiders who have not earned nor deserve the wealth.

An honest money system is supposed to facilitate efficient trade with a fungible, liquid, durable, divisible, and fair units of exchange. Unfortunately, that is not how the system we have works today.

The monetary system we have today began in 1913 with the creation of the Federal Reserve, a central bank system which is privately owned, designed, and closely controlled by political insiders (despite it's deceptive name "Federal"). Before the FED existed there was no income tax and the U.S. Dollar was not debt based. Before the Federal Reserve, the Treasury would stamp coins out of gold and silver and also issue paper claim checks to gold and/or silver "Dollars" and that was that. There was some inflation but it always corrected itself because of the requirement of redemption with gold(See Article 1 Section 10 Paragraph 1 of the US Constitution about gold and silver). When the FED was created it claimed the right to issue all new money (Dollars) with the caveat that the newly created money would be PAID BACK WITH INTEREST all under the guise of Keynesianism, smoothing the "Business Cycle" panics that banker colluders would perpetuate to consolidate foreclosed assets. Since then, all dollars created by the Federal Reserve have been loaned to the Treasury with the expectation of repayment plus interest. So much money has been created since then that almost every Dollar in existence is owed back to the federal reserve with interest. The only way to pay back the previously incurred interest is to borrow more money! The fed can control how lenient or strict they are with issuing new loans (money = loans). If the fed were to stop issuing loans then there would exist more debt than Dollars in existence leading to the collapse of the economy! Thus the direction of the economy rests firmly in the hands of those who control the Federal Reserve and they have the foreknowledge of booms and busts and can position their assets accordingly, profiting from those businesses and people who fail during the bust.

If you think you can escape the reach of the FED by never taking a loan then think again! Before the FED there existed no income tax and since then the revenues of the income tax have matched the interest payments of the National Debt to the FED quite nicely! The monetary system has literally turned us into the slaves of those who control the Federal Reserve.

If you want a more in-depth and clear explanation of the biggest fraud mankind has ever seen then look at my user page and near the bottom there should be a section with youtube videos explaining the history and the fraud of the monetary system.

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