• Member Since 26th Sep, 2011
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Forget not that I am a derp.


After the long winter, the first earth pony-assisted crops of the spring have come in, apples included. But Applejack has something more important to worry about, which will make her question her family, her life, and her very destiny.

A reimagining of "Owl's Well that Ends Well" and winner of Skeeter the Lurker's Switcheroo! contest.

Chapters (1)
Comments ( 42 )

helpin' Fluttershy with that Orms-by-Gore fella...

I'm giving you an evil eye for that one.

Entry noted!

Best of luck to you!

~Skeeter The Lurker

This was a good read, it's rare to see stories that take place in season 1 nowadays!

Took me a while to work out how you wanted the title to have changed - I thought the italics were just emphasising the changed bit, and was confused when it appeared to be the same. Something like "with the italics" in there to clarify would be nice.

Don't take that as me criticising the fic, though. It was good. :twilightsmile:

6180154 Something something good old days :grannysmith::trollestia:

Ah. This is cool! A "you're the sane one....ACT LIKE IT!!!!" deal.

Well, this was the first I heard of that particular contest :derpytongue2: Best of luck!

Very good story, and poor Applejack :ajsleepy: I feel like a lot of it is basically the same lesson as in Applebuck Season, only from the other way around. Yes, AJ, not only do you have to accept that you can't do everything yourself, Cutie Mark Destiny or no, you also have to accept that this means that other ponies will do those things.

Learnings is hard.

Well, Applejack did say he had more eyes than teeth...

Yeah, this contest was a good opportunity to revisit the past.

Adjustment made.

Applejack is a silly pony, but she's still the least silly one out of the Mane Six. Between the extreme introvert, the neurotics, and the pair more self-absorbed than a sponge Klein bottle, somepony's got to be the voice of reason.

Granny didn't really deceive Applejack, per se. She just informed her of the decision after making it, much as Twilight did to Spike in the source material. (At least, that's the way she sees it. Communication issues are something of an Apple family failing.)

With any luck, Applejack will remember this lesson when that pie delivery through the Flame Geyser Swamp comes around.

:applejackconfused: Ah know Ah'd feel a heap better if Ah could jus' check on Apple Bloom one last time. You go on ahead and make yer delivery. Ah'm just gonna take a quick peek, and then Ah'll make mine.
:eeyup: Ya gonna do a quick lap 'round Ponyville, too?
:ajbemused: ...
:applejackconfused: But what if she invites 'er friends over? Unsupervised?

6181391 All she has is the delusion that everypony everywhere is relying on her to do everything; that and a stiff drink of cider earns her a participation pin in the Crazypony Games.:derpytongue2:

Really well done, and I can't say I've seen this variation before.

Good AJ 'episode' :pinkiehappy: I enjoyed the trip down memory lane in full Country-style and magical theory is always fun to read about :) At least Applejack didn't try to frame Carrot Top for murder :moustache:

Now, I know that Fluttershy has quite a large collection of animals at her cottage.....but what's a big black evil eye doing there? :applejackconfused:


Now, I know that Fluttershy has quite a large collection of animals at her cottage.....but what's a big black evil eye doing there?

Probably sitting there, preventing you from attacking with non-Eye creatures.

This was something of a "house call" in the Everfree. Applejack was needed as an assistant wrangler.

And then it teams up with Queen Chrysalis.

I'm rather annoyed with Princess Celestia here for sending Applejack off on all these missions, many of which don't require the Elements of Harmony, when Applejack has a full time career and Celestia has a Royal Guard (and if they're incompetent, that's her fault as well). I sure hope Carrot Top's salary is coming out of the Royal Treasury.

Latin pun!

In other news, you write an awesome Granny Smith.

a thief stealing away love and friendship from those you care about.

And then Carrot Top was revealed as a changeling.

Yeah, weird how Celestia used the Bearers like a paramilitary force. It's almost like Twilight wasn't the only one she was training for greater things...

"Every time I try to feed on Ditzy, I go all cross-eyed."

And writing Granny Smith is fun. Blend the wisdom of experience with the cantankerousness of age, then put it in a position of blended love and fear that Machiavelli could only dream of. Basically, Granny Weatherwax with a splash of Nanny Ogg to soften the bite.

6183120 Celestia (a) assigns missions to Twilight, who then recruits her friends without Celestia's say-so, and (b) is only responsible for about half the "missions" anyway. Celestia herself has only called upon the complete Elements of Harmony at most once per season, starting with the S2 premiere (i.e. after the point in time this story is set). If you should be annoyed with anyone, you should be annoyed with the other Elements, for constantly roping Applejack into their troubles.
EDIT: Well, FoME agrees with the "Celestia calls on the Bearers regularly" thing, and he would know better than I, but until Twilight's ascension and except for two-parters, it's definitely through the medium of a letter to Twilight saying, "Could you and your friends please look into this?", which Twi automatically takes to mean, "Could you and all five of your closest friends please look into this?".
6184940 I suppose this means that Granny Smith makes scumble? And now, recalling the variety of grape that gets made into wine before the vines blossom, and the prescience-granting properties of that wine, I wonder what Zap Apple Scumble might do to you.

6184940 Yeah, except Twilight and Rainbow Dash chose that lifestyle, at least kind of (I'm assuming Twilight knew "become my personal student" meant "occasionally go on dangerous missions"). The other four did not decide this was their new career goal. Also, if you're going to have Granny Smith be a Wyrd Sister, you should have Fluttershy hanging around Granny, learning herbal recipes. :yay:

6185132 Hmmm. You do have a point that Twilight ropes in her friends more than Celestia may intend. But in the first two seasons she still calls on them 1)Season Pilot (There's no way Celestia knows about the Elements of Harmony, tells Twilight "go make some friends" in the next 24 hours, and then gives Twilight a list with 5 names on it without that counting as Celestia stealth recruiting the other 5). 2) The Dragon episode. 3) Facing Discord 4) During the Royal Wedding (I'm assuming they got paid for helping with the wedding, I'm counting this for when she tells them to go get the Elements to stop Chrysalis).

You're right that Twilight is the one who often ropes her friends into this, but after the first time she does this, Celestia surely read the detailed friendship report on the incident, and lets Twilight keep roping her friends in. And a lot of those other missions do require the Bearers of the Elements of Harmony. I guess it comes down to whether or not you think Celestia deliberately set up Twilight to recruit those 5 ponies to be element bearers or not. If you think it was all just coincidence and Celestia didn't really have a plan, then yeah, afterwards Celestia is just adapting to a rather unfortunate situation. But if Celestia had planned for the other 5 to be element bearers, why the heck couldn't she just have arranged for Twilight to meet up with the most honest guard, loyalest guard, kindest guard, etc.. and spend a day or two befriending them before the Summer Sun Celebration?

Well, reannual wine derives its divinatory powers from its unusual growth process, so zap apple scumble could probably be used as a potent battery acid. Or pegasus recharger. Hmm. You may have determined just what was in the stuff Dash took when she was magically exhausted. No wonder she loves cider.
As for the "Celestia calling on the Bearers" thing, I definitely could've questioned the premise more.

I suspect one of those future-foretelling dreams may have been involved. That, or Celestia trusted in destiny, but knew that whoever got picked to bear the Elements, they'd need to be prepared for anything, what with the expiration dates on so many sealed evils coming up. Thus, the occasional dragon chastisement, or siccing Luna on the town when she was only halfway caught up with the millennium she'd missed.

6185433 Yeah, that's probably a good point. Celestia has divination powers, she probably had some foresight dream about a farmer, a fashionista, a weather manager, an assistant pastry chef, and an animal control officer in the suburb at the bottom of the mountain that she should send her student to meet. And I can see her thinking she should give them some training missions to warm them up for things. But where's the chest full of bits she sends to each pony after they go above and beyond and save Equestria? What has Celestia ever given Applejack as a reward? I count one juicy catering job for a royal wedding, and a pair of tickets to the second gala. Doesn't seem sufficient to me.

6185231 I had forgotten about the list of five names, but remember that the ponies attached to those names had each (presumably of their own accord) volunteered to take responsibility for some important aspect of the Summer Sun Celebration. Twilight's initial contact with them was to inspect their readiness for the big event. The instruction to make friends didn't have a time-frame attached, and it also seems like the only thing Celestia has ever said that Twilight outright ignored. Seriously, she makes zero effort to befriend anyone in S1Ep01.

But I will concede that the whole sequence of coincidences is awfully suspicious.

In regards to your response to FoME, I actually think neither Twilight nor Rainbow Dash deliberately chose the adventuring life. From what we see of Twilight's life in Canterlot, she was a complete shut-in who lived for academia and magical research. Sure, adventure (and, in the latter case, danger) can be found that way, but it's of an entirely different kind than that which she gets up to as the Bearer of Magic. Rainbow Dash is a municipal weather technician, a profession that normally precludes leaving with little notice on adventures of uncertain duration. (RD gets away with it as the Bearer of Loyalty because those adventures are at the urging of Celestia or Her Personal Student.)

Of the Main 6, I think Rarity and Fluttershy are actually the most adventurous. Rarity regularly goes on gem-finding trips, which we know can lead her into trouble. And Fluttershy is easily the bravest of the Main 6; if she learned that there was a dragon in the Everfree that needed medical attention, she would go to its aid, despite being afraid of the Everfree and terrified of dragons.

6185522 You're right about the alleged purpose of the list, but there was a definite time-frame attached, as Twilight figured she would only be in town for 24 hours and then leave with Celestia. And I'm not so sure the Mane 5 volunteered, since as we've seen in Simple Ways, the Mayor outright appoints ponies to be in charge of planning celebrations, I could definitely see Celestia telling Merry Mare who to name to those posts.

You're right about Twilight, I was trying to cut Celestia some slack, but I think Twilight's goal before the show was to be some sort of professor or academic. Rainbow Dash, on the other hand, always planned on being in the Wonderbolts, part of the Equestrian military. She's openly bragged about it since the very beginning of the show, so she's the one pony I don't have a problem with Celestia dragging into secret missions and making her part of the special forces unit, as RD has clearly expressed this is what she wants.

You do make a good point about Rarity and Fluttershy being adventurous in their daily lives. Fluttershy lives right on the edge of the Everfree, and Rarity has probably been claim-jumping the Diamond Dogs for years. (Although I think you forgot about Applejack hauling those pies through the Fire Swamps). But even surly diamond dogs, or manticores that can be put off via a good Stare, aren't in the same danger level of a rogue alicorn or god of chaos. If Rarity, Fluttershy, or anypony else wanted to spend their lives fighting for Equestria, they would either have joined the military, or be in the process of doing so, as Rainbow Dash is.

We're forgetting an important piece of the puzzle here: Pinkie Pie. It seems to me that in any canon setting, she's sort of an overgrown child who doesn't quite understand the stakes of the game she got dragged into. The others might be aware of the risk but nothing I've seen tells me that Partiponi quite understands how much suck has entered into her life since she laid eyes on a purple unicorn with a pink streak in her mane.

A nice little reinterpretation. AJ fits very well in her role here.

I liked this one.

Okay, um... full review time.

This was... a really interesting study for Applejack. Many of the fics I've read (though I purposely read bad fics, so this isn't saying much) were very, very poor at portraying Applejack and I'm so glad that I found one that is almost the embodiment of Applejack.

First off, I kind of understand why the sad tag is on there. But it kind of seems unnecessary. It didn't feel ... that sad to me. Is that a bit cruel? I'm not saying it's bad to have it there. And it certainly doesn't hurt the story in any shape or form. It just seems like the slice of life tag would do just fine. But, this is nitpicking and me reading too deeply into something.

I loved Applejack's portrayal in this story. I love how you've analyzed her as this diligently hard working character, as she should be. But you go the other direction and I love it. Making her feel like she couldn't pull her own weight at home because of her responsibilities as a hero of Equestria was a wonderful choice. I'm geeking out right now, it was such a good choice. It's something I rarely see done and I think this was done so well, that I couldn't help but love it.

Carrot Top. I would have liked to explored more of her character, but at the same time, I completely understand why we didn't get to. This was an Applejack focused story and we wanted to keep the focus where it belonged. That is not to say that Carrot Top was bad character. She was fine. It would have been so easy to make her a bitch and make her just cruel to Applejack and she wasn't and I'm so happy that it didn't happen that way. I'm glad that Carrot Top was pleasant and helpful and it was more Applejack being her own antagonist rather than Carrot Top, which I liked.

One of the gripes I had with this one was the dialogue that Applejack and the other Apple family had with the accents. Now, technically there is nothing wrong with it, and this could just be a personal opinion. With that said, it's sometimes a little hard to read. Again, this could be a personal thing, but sometimes when they spoke while writing in the style of their accents, it became a bit too much. Like I was being overwhelmed by this style. I realize its a Applejack focused story and you are going to get a lot of that. It just bothered me how much of it I saw in this.

While you said this in the author's note, I don't think Twilight needed to be there. She just doesn't feel right being there. And you are totally right, this is Season 1, she has to be there, but still. She didn't need to be.

The end with Applejack overexerting herself... was a bit weird, but its totally understandable and I think fits her well enough that it's not distracting.

I loved this story. Another great entry for the contest. A really fun exploration into Applejack's psyche, which to me are rare because Applejack is the least popular character of the main six. Which is really too bad in my opinion. The writing for the most part was really solid. The character of Applejack was great. The moral was good. It was a fun, fun story to read and I'm glad I did.

Thank you for letting me review it and I hope to hear more from you in the future. Until then, take care. :pinkiehappy:

Thanks for the review! I admit, writing the Apple Family with a phonetic accent is one of my biggest ponyfiction vices, but I just can't bring myself to stop. Sadly, that means that stories that focus on them tend to come out... well, like this one.

Still, excessive apostrophes aside, I'm glad you enjoyed it. And given the response I've gotten, I suppose I'll pull the Sad tag. I don't know; I figured an existential crisis that drives someone to nearly killing herself through overwork seemed fairly depressing...

6216442 Well, different readers feel different things and what one gets from reading it, isn't always the same as the person who writes it. That's kind of the cool thing about art. And I can definitely see where the Sad tag came from. But it didn't feel needed.

I really liked this! It really captured the tone and the message of the show, and Applejack really fits the role well. The only thing that really bothered me was the dialogue of the Apple clan – but you've probably already heard about that by now. Still, solid entry to the contest.

You know, it says something about the relative sanity of the group when Applejack is considered the sane one...

Author Interviewer

All these missing commas! SHAME UPON YOUR FAMILY D:

Few people write AJ this way, and I think that needs to change. :)

Applejack cries on the inside.

I've reviewed this story (and the other contest entrants, minus mine) here. Good luck tomorrow! :twilightsmile:

This is so good, even accounting for the story just happening to hit all of the things I'm biased toward (Applejack, Carrot Top, earth pony magic among others). Given how it started I was expecting a story of silly hijinks as AJ tries to prove herself, and then it went and hit me right in the feels.

an earth mare with a mane the color of Applejack's coat and vice versa

Stop the story! I need to check that!


Okay, close enough. ^^

I immediately up-voted after reading the opening, because it felt perfectly like an episode's cold open. I mean look:

Her ears flattened. "Oh. Heh. Right."

I can hear the "Womp womp" in my head when I read this. Then it cuts to the opening. :pinkiehappy:

but she knew the state of being called "no hot water left" quite well.

Took me a couple of tries to parse this. Might be better as:

but she knew the state-of-being called "no hot water left" quite well.

Or something, I don't know.

Pegasi, on occasion, including Rainbow Dash on once.

Should be "on one," or "once," maybe.

I like how you tried your best to stick to the S1 formula. That was quite a trip down memory lane. You write Applejack and Granny Smith especially well. There was only one part that bothered me a little, and I think it adds to the feeling that Twilight didn't need to be in this story. When AJ said, "Nothin' special is what Ah am," Twilight should have shut that down and assured her that she was special. I know Twi was still learning about friendship, but that's not a good excuse. At least Granny made up for Twi's missed opportunity at the end, though.

I love the way you wrote about earth ponies giving the earth their magic through their hooves. It's always a delight to see authors expand on earth pony magic since the show talks about it so little.

You did an excellent job with the season 1 formula. Big Mac's little moment of knowing his sister too well for her comfort was amusing, the lesson (and Twilight's role in it) felt natural, and there wasn't any forced conflict with AJ and Carrot Top - AJ learned one lesson about working too hard from the previous episode, but required nuance in this one. It was an evolution of the concept rather than a flat re-skin of it, all told with the appropriate style. Well done.

Thanks! This was a fun challenge, and getting a chance to rework my least favorite episode of Season 1 along the way was a nice side benefit.

But darn it, this was Applejack's turf. She'd put her magic, sweat, and tears into this place, and for her family to go behind her tail because they didn't think she could give the farm the time and dedication it needed, without even telling her...

Two good turns of phrase in this paragraph.

The rest of the morning proceeded normally, with plenty of chores to take care of, especially with the tenants. The sheep were demanding a renegotiation of their wool contract, which was making the cows look over the dairy agreement, and even the pigs were trying to oink "union," bless their hearts.

I like this.

Ah ain't Celestia's personal student, or a supersonic flier, or Pinkie Pie<SNIP>

Defining Pinkie tautologically is nothing new, yet this made me chuckle. I think it would make sense that she'd leave Rarity off the list, but I would think she would have an Honest appreciation for Fluttershy's talent, even if (as "Bats" showed it) might put them at odds some of the time.

A spark of light flashed into existence on the tip of Twilight's horn and began to beep.

:pinkiehappy: Well, if their rumps can end up as beepers...

At my normal walking pace, by the time I get back to the library, exactly ten minutes will have elapsed.

It is so very her to have a precise definition for how much time away from books qualifies as... whatever she agreed to with Spike.

What's Twilight doing here? It's a Season 1 episode. She has to be involved so she can write the friendship letter. That's how Season 1 worked.


That was more invoking the Rule of Three than intending disrespect towards Fluttershy. (At this stage in their friendship, Applejack may have intended the disrespect towards Rarity. :ajsmug:)

Glad you enjoyed this! Especially why Twilight had to be a part of it.

Orms-by-Gore fella

Explanation please?

Fluttershy held his stare, Applejack kicked him in the eye.

Ah, I though it was a pun, rather than a direct mention to something and was trying to remember GrecoRoman beings similar to Argus and such.

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