• Published 16th Dec 2015
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Scootaloo's New Family - Alaborn

Scootaloo has the worst family in all of Equestria! Even Princess Twilight Sparkle agrees. That’s why she’s granting Scootaloo the whole summer to find a new, better family. And Scootaloo knows just where to go.

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Chapter 2: Applejack

Scootaloo’s New Family

By Alaborn

Standard disclaimer: This is a not for profit fan work. My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic is copyright Hasbro, Inc. I make no claim to any copyrighted material mentioned herein.

Chapter 2: Applejack

“Have you decided who to ask to be your new family?” Twilight Sparkle asked Scootaloo.

“Yeah! I know I’ll be good with somepony who works hard all the time, not just on the things she likes. Applejack!”

“Very well. Why don’t you get settled in for bed? I’ll go talk to Applejack tonight, and we’ll make things official come morning.”

“All right!” Scootaloo cheered.

“You might want to hold off on your celebration until you learn when in the morning you’ll be heading over to Sweet Apple Acres.”

Five o’clock in the morning was not Scootaloo’s preferred hour to rise. But she’d done it plenty of times in the past, for a crusade, or just because Apple Bloom always woke at that time during their sleepovers. And the thought of finding a new and better family energized the little pegasus.

Scootaloo raced Twilight Sparkle to Sweet Apple Acres, the alicorn keeping up with her in the air. She twisted and spun to a stop, resting her scooter against the side of the farmhouse like she always did when she visited. Except, this time, it wasn’t a visit.

Twilight Sparkle knocked on the door. Applejack opened it. Twilight Sparkle placed a hoof on Scootaloo’s back and nudged her forward. “Scootaloo here has something she’d like to ask you, Applejack,” she said.

Scootaloo suddenly felt nervous looking at the honest mare she knew well. “I’m wondering if maybe I could try being part of your family for a while?” she asked.

“Come on in, both of you,” Applejack replied.

They headed to the living room, where Apple Bloom and Big McIntosh were waiting. Scootaloo avoided looking them in the eye, instead examining the room and its furnishings. She found herself comparing them to her previous homes. The room shared the old and worn feeling of her original home, perhaps a bit older, but with less clutter. But it was a definite improvement over Rainbow Dash’s home.

“Now, Scootaloo, I’m going to be honest here,” Applejack started. “I don’t approve of you turning your back on your family. It isn’t the Apple way. But I trust Twilight Sparkle, and if she thinks this is a good idea, well then... turning our backs on a foal in need isn’t the Apple way either.”

“I’m sure it will work out!” Scootaloo said.

“There’s a lot to do on the farm,” Big McIntosh said. “We expect all hooves to work hard. Can you do that, Scootaloo?”

“Of course.”

Apple Bloom rolled her eyes. “Have you seen the work we’ve put into getting our cutie marks, Sis?” she said.

“That’s all well and good, but your work isn’t going to be as fun as your crusading,” Applejack warned.

“Like I said, I want to try,” Scootaloo said.

Twilight Sparkle stood up. “Well, now that we’re in agreement, I’ll leave you to your new family, Scootaloo. All the same rules apply.”

“Got it.”

“I’ll see you later, Scootaloo.”

As Twilight Sparkle departed, Applejack rose. “Now that that’s all settled, we’ve got a whole mess of work to do. So let’s get to breakfast!”

Scootaloo looked with awe on the impressive spread of food Granny Smith had whipped up. Apple fritters, baked apples, and apple cinnamon oatmeal all waited for the family.

“Can I have the oatmeal?” Scootaloo asked.

“Of course, young’un,” Granny Smith said. She ladled a healthy scoop of oatmeal into a bowl.

“You gotta try the apple fritters!” Apple Bloom urged.

They did smell delicious. Scootaloo took one of the deep-fried apple treats and took a bite. “Wow!” she exclaimed.

“Pretty good, huh?” Applejack said. She poured a glass of apple juice and set it before Scootaloo. “But don’t eat too much, or you’ll get cramps.”

“But you gotta eat enough, ‘cause it’s a long way to lunch,” Apple Bloom said.

“Okay, okay,” Scootaloo said. She’d just have to wing it.

Scootaloo blinked as she stepped out into the early morning sun. “So what are these chores?” she asked Apple Bloom.

“Feed the hogs, water the garden, sort the apples, lots of stuff,” Apple Bloom replied.

“So how come we haven’t tried all of these things?”

“I already know it’s not my special talent, and it’s not the most fun of work.”

“I’m not scared of a little hard work,” Scootaloo said.

“Let’s see if you’re saying that after today,” Apple Bloom replied.

After feeding the hogs, Scootaloo found herself agreeing with Apple Bloom’s assessment. The muddy pit where the hogs wallowed stunk, and so did the hog feed, which was mostly rotting apples.

But it was still better than Rainbow Dash’s home.

“Now we got to wash up,” Apple Bloom said.

“Definitely,” Scootaloo said as she headed for the farmhouse.

“No, not there,” Apple Bloom said. “We have a shower by the barn.”

The shower, as it turned out, was just a hose attached to a tank filled with rainwater. That water, plus a thick chunk of homemade soap, was what the Apples used to clean themselves. But it worked; Scootaloo’s hooves and fetlocks were cleaned of muck.

They then headed to the barn, where barrels of harvested apples waited.

“We have to sort all of those?” Scootaloo said.

“Yep,” Apple Bloom replied.

“Like, how?”

“Bad apples, like ones that are badly bruised or that some critter got to, go over in the hog slop bucket. Apples that are still good to eat, but that don’t look the best, go into that barrel. We eat those. The good apples go into the various buckets, sorted by type.”

“Okay,” Scootaloo said.

Scootaloo started slowly, selecting only the good apples until she got an idea of what Apple Bloom deemed to be destined for the other two buckets. Once she got the idea, things went quicker. In fact, she was faster than Apple Bloom, given that she could use both her mouth and her wings to move the apples.

“Hold up, Scootaloo. Don’t mix up the Braeburns and Honeycrisps,” Apple Bloom said.


“Over there,” Apple Bloom said, pointing with a hoof.

“I don’t get it.”

Apple Bloom huffed and picked up two apples. “See?”

Scootaloo stared at the two apples. “Aren’t they the same?”

“No! They’re clearly different!”

Scootaloo squinted. They didn’t look different to her.

“I don’t know. Maybe I should stick to sorting the green and yellow apples.”

“Granny Smiths and Golden Deliciouses, and don’t you forget it!” Apple Bloom said.

“Okay. Granny Smiths and Golden Deliciouses.”

As a filly who grew up in a family where an apple was an apple, Scootaloo knew she had a lot to learn.

“Pretty good work, you two,” Applejack said.

“Thanks, Sis,” Apple Bloom replied.

“Since you’ve worked so quickly, and since you’ve got Scootaloo to help you, how about you practice your applebucking?”


“Sure thing, sugarcube.”

The three ponies headed to the orchard. Apple Bloom was humming happily.

“What’s the big deal?” Scootaloo asked.

“Well, I want my cutie mark, but I also want to buck an apple tree like Applejack and Big Mac,” Apple Bloom replied. “The first shows the world I’ve discovered my special talent, but the second proves I’m grown up enough to provide for other ponies.”

“You mean you haven’t bucked a tree before?”

“Well, I have, but not the right way. You’ll see.”

They approached the first tree. Apple Bloom placed a hoof on the tree, and Applejack covered it with her own.

“Now remember, Apple Bloom. It’s not all in the kick,” Applejack said. “You need to connect with the tree, talk to him, make him listen. That’s how you’re going to get all the ripe apples to fall at once, and make them fall where you want.”

“Okay,” Apple Bloom said. She touched the tree in several places with her hoof before dropping to four hooves, turning, rearing, and bucking. Some of the apples fell, and not all in the buckets they had placed.

“I’m sorry, Applejack,” Apple Bloom said.

“No worries, Apple Bloom. It takes time for your magic to develop and for you to hear the trees,” Applejack said. “It takes practice. And now that Scootaloo’s here, she can help you pick up the other fallen apples. You can practice without slowing down the harvest. Now give it another try.”

It took several tries for Apple Bloom to fell all the apples on the tree. Scootaloo’s job involved picking up the fallen apples that didn’t hit the buckets. It wasn’t bad work, save for the occasions where the apples landed on her head.

“I’m going to let you handle this from now on,” Applejack said.

After repeating this process on a dozen trees, Applejack came back, announcing that lunch was ready. Even after that big breakfast, Scootaloo was famished, and raced Apple Bloom to the farmhouse.

The kitchen welcomed the family with the smell of baked bread. Lunch was apple bread with zap apple jam and a chilled apple salad mixed with whipped cream and walnuts. The two fillies dug in along with the rest of the family.

“Now you two, run along and have a good time with your friends,” Applejack said after lunch ended.

“Well, that was a bust,” Sweetie Belle said, and Apple Bloom and Scootaloo concurred.

They failed to get cutie marks in interpretive dance, weightlifting, or rowing. All their chosen activities that day left them with nothing but sore muscles.

“Maybe next time,” Scootaloo said.

“We’ll feel a lot better after a good dinner,” Apple Bloom said. “Let’s go home.”

Apple Bloom hopped into the wagon, and Scootaloo propelled it and her scooter back to her new home. Winona greeted the two ponies eagerly once they returned.

Scootaloo steeled herself against the potential horrors of dinner with her new family. But what she found was reassuringly normal. The table was big enough for all of them, and the baskets of food were filled to overabundance.

“What’s for dinner?” Scootaloo asked.

“Grilled apples, applesauce, pasta with apple and onions, apple juice, and Granny Smith’s apple pie for dessert,” Applejack said.

Scootaloo marveled as the ponies at the table calmly passed around the baskets of food, making sure everypony had as much as they wanted. Applejack and Big McIntosh actually listened as Apple Bloom and Scootaloo talked about their day’s crusading, though Applejack’s suggestion of maybe sticking closer to the farm and trying things there wasn’t what Apple Bloom was eager to hear.

“And now, dessert,” Granny Smith announced.

The old mare opened the oven, and a delectable aroma filled the kitchen. She pulled out a tray, and then transferred the pie to the table. Steam wafted from the quintet of flutes cut into the pie crust.

“Now this is what I’m talking about!” Scootaloo said.

A healthy slice of perfectly golden brown apple pie was placed on Scootaloo’s plate. She looked at it and drooled. Taking her fork in her pastern, she cut off a piece and tasted it.

By any honest interpretation, it was the best pie she had ever tasted. She noted the flaky crust, a subtle blend of spices, and just the right level of sweetness. But as Scootaloo chewed the cooked apples, her mouth reacted. Something about them just felt bad.

“Something wrong, sugarcube?” Applejack asked Scootaloo.

“No, I’m just stuffed,” she replied.

Scootaloo stirred at dawn with the rest of the Apples. She washed up and headed downstairs, where the kitchen was full of activity. Granny Smith was at the stove, cooking something Scootaloo recognized by smell. Pancakes!

She was no stranger to pancakes for breakfast, as it was one of the few breakfast foods her father would eat. Many a morning featured dry pancakes, with only maple syrup to top them.

“Good morning, Scootaloo,” Granny Smith said around the pan in her mouth. “Got a big day ahead of us. Eat!” And then she flipped the pan, three golden brown pancakes tumbling onto Scootaloo’s plate in a neat stack.

Scootaloo added a thick pat of butter to her pancakes, and then reached for a topping. There was a bowl of warm apple compote with raisins, but she reached for the maple syrup instead.

The other Apples arrived in the kitchen, and stacks of pancakes were soon placed in front of all of them. The others chose the apple topping for their pancakes. Scootaloo speared a neatly cut segment of pancakes on her fork and took a bite.

The flavor was so much better than any pancakes she had eaten before, but then her teeth sunk into a chunk of apple. It dissolved into a mealy substance that reminded her of that time when she ate paste on a dare.

“How are the pancakes, sugarcube?” Applejack asked Scootaloo as she placed a glass of apple juice before her.

“Just great, Applejack!” she said. “So, what are we working on today?” she quickly added.

“I’ve got market duty today, Big Mac’s going to fix the cider press, Granny Smith’s cleaning the house, so that leaves you and Apple Bloom to harvest apples.”

“Can I help with fixing the cider press? I mean, Princess Twilight has been teaching me about mechanical stuff,” Scootaloo said.

“Sounds good to me, sis,” Big McIntosh said.

“Great!” Scootaloo said.

“So how come we’re fixing this now?” Scootaloo asked. “Isn’t cider season not for a few months?”

“We use this to make juice too,” Big McIntosh explained. “Got to get it fixed before we run out of apple juice.”

“So what’s wrong?”

“That’s what we need to figure out.”

Big McIntosh pulled a panel off the cider press, exposing a mesh of gears, shafts, and belts. Scootaloo looked in, but Big McIntosh pulled her back.

“I’m going to run first. Listen to what’s going wrong.”

Big McIntosh stepped onto the conveyor belt. His strong legs and large hooves had no problem moving the belt and turning the gearwork inside the cider press. But after only a few steps, a loud thunk was heard, and the conveyor belt stopped moving.

“There’s a loose shaft I’ve fixed, but it doesn’t stay fixed,” Big McIntosh said.

“I thought I heard something in one of the gears,” Scootaloo said. “Let’s see.”

Scootaloo crawled into the works of the cider press. It was a lot more complicated than her scooter, but the basic principles were the same, and the parts she didn’t know from her scooter she learned from Twilight Sparkle. She found the loose shaft, and then traced along the adjacent parts, looking for something that didn’t look right. One gear caught her attention.

“Can you pass me a wrench?” she called.

After a bit of work, Scootaloo emerged from the machine, grease smudging her coat. She dropped the gear onto the ground and inspected it. “Looks like it’s cracked,” she said.

“Should be easy enough to fix, provided we have a spare gear,” Big McIntosh said.

After a bit of searching in the barn, they salvaged a gear of the right size from one of the antique machines they stored therein. And once Scootaloo installed it, the cider press ran properly.

“Good job, Scootaloo,” Big McIntosh said. “Now get cleaned up. Apple Bloom could use your help.”

Even with only a single day’s experience, Scootaloo felt she was getting a handle on these chores. Working together, she and Apple Bloom harvested apples from tree after tree. And because she was with her friend, it didn’t even feel like work. They talked about all their new crusading ideas.

“I can’t wait to tell Sweetie Belle these! We’re sure to get our cutie marks!” Scootaloo said.

“Well, then, let’s get a move on. Clean up, get lunch, and then we’ll head into town!” Apple Bloom said.

Scootaloo did just that. She washed up and ran back to the farmhouse. Her smile faded when she saw what was for lunch, applesauce and apple slices in yogurt.

Apple Bloom was half done with her own lunch when she noticed Scootaloo just standing there. “What are you waiting for?” she asked. “You gotta eat!”

“I don’t think I’m hungry,” Scootaloo said.

Apple Bloom shrugged and polished off her meal.

After lunch, Scootaloo grabbed her scooter and wagon. She and Apple Bloom headed into Ponyville, stopping by Carousel Boutique to pick up Sweetie Belle.

“We got all sorts of ideas, Sweetie Belle!” Apple Bloom said. “We’re going to try tumbling, and....”

“Hey, I know!” Scootaloo interrupted. “Let’s talk about it at Sugarcube Corner!”

Although not what they had planned, going to Sugarcube Corner was never a bad idea, so the three fillies headed over to their favorite treat shop. Apple Bloom and Sweetie Belle took a seat at their favorite table. Meanwhile, Scootaloo went up front, and came back with a slice of chocolate cake and an oatmeal raisin cookie.

“I thought you weren’t hungry,” Apple Bloom said suspiciously.

“I am now,” Scootaloo said around a forkful of cake.

“So what are we doing today?” Sweetie Belle asked.

The Crusaders tried a lot of things, safer things than normal. So while they didn’t earn their cutie marks, they didn’t find themselves needing a bath, either. That left them with some time to just play before the sun began to set and they went their own ways.

Scootaloo and Apple Bloom pulled up to the rear door of the farmhouse, the one that opened into the kitchen. They could tell dinner was almost ready by the scents drifting from the kitchen.

“Come on in and help set the table,” Applejack said as they entered the kitchen.

Soon, dinner was on the table—a casserole fresh out of the oven, a salad with lettuce and apples, apple turnovers, and apple juice. Scootaloo took a big scoop of the casserole and a smaller scoop of the salad.

“I hope you’ve gotten a feel for what life’s like here at Sweet Apple Acres,” Applejack said to Scootaloo.

“Yes, I have,” Scootaloo replied.

“So I thought we’d talk about that tonight,” Applejack said.

Scootaloo winced.

“Something wrong, sugarcube?” Applejack said.

“No, no, go on,” Scootaloo said. Once Applejack started to talk again, she spit out the awful thing she found in her casserole. Amid hay and cheese and onions were chunks of apples.

“Scootaloo, we all want you to know you would be welcome here. There’s a lot more to running Sweet Apple Acres than bucking apple trees, so you’ll always be able to participate,” Applejack said. “We want you to know that you can be an Apple even if you have wings or a horn.”

“I know that,” Scootaloo said.

“But enough about us. What do you think?”

Scootaloo poked at her salad, pushing chunks of apple to the side. “I like Sweet Apple Acres, and I like you guys, and I’d love to stay with Apple Bloom. I mean, I always wanted a sister.”

“Now hold on a moment there, sugarcube. If you want me to adopt you, that would make Apple Bloom your aunt, not your sister,” Applejack said.


“And you’d best show respect to your Auntie Bloom,” Granny Smith said.

“Family’s important,” Big McIntosh said.

“But we’re the same age!” Scootaloo protested.

“Age doesn’t have much to do with being an aunt,” Applejack said. “Why, Cousin Honeycrisp in Fillydelphia was born an aunt!”

Scootaloo glanced at Apple Bloom. She, for her part, looked embarrassed at her family’s idea. Apple Bloom gave her a look she recognized, one that said they could talk later.

“I think I need time to think about it,” Scootaloo said. She stood up and started to leave.

“Now hold on there, Scootaloo. You can’t be excused from the dinner table until you’ve cleaned your plate,” Applejack said.

Scootaloo looked at her plate, where all the little bits of apples she picked out of her dinner rested in piles. She looked at Applejack, who was staring at her with the no-nonsense expression of a mare who was serious. “Yes, Applejack,” she said.

Scootaloo sat down, picked up her fork, and scooped up some of the apples. Slowly, she raised the fork to her mouth. The sickly sweet taste of cooked apples overtook her taste buds. She chewed, and the apples disintegrated into a sticky mess that again reminded her of library paste. She looked up, saw the elder Apples staring at her, and forced a smile to her face.

Scootaloo estimated that it took her two minutes to clean her plate. They were the longest two minutes of her life.

Scootaloo spent the evening with the Apples, enjoying the company of family. It felt familiar, like her own family, just more sedate and without younger brothers to annoy her. But there was one question left unanswered. Once everypony had headed off to bed, Scootaloo quietly left the guest bedroom and walked to Apple Bloom’s room.

“Apple Bloom? You awake?” she whispered.

“Yeah. Come in,” Apple Bloom replied.

Scootaloo opened the door and entered, closing the door behind her. She jumped onto Apple Bloom’s bed. “Was Applejack serious about me calling you Auntie?” she asked Apple Bloom.

“Deadly serious. It’s the way we were raised. Respect your elders, and all that,” Apple Bloom said. “But I don’t want you to call me that when we’re alone.”

“Thank Celestia for that!” Scootaloo said.

“It’s always a problem at reunions, trying to remember who’s my great aunt or such. Fortunately, for most ponies, I just call them Cousin, and that’s probably right.”


“I know it’s different, but all families are,” Apple Bloom said. “I’m used to it. The only question is, can you accept it?”

“I guess I’ll have to think about it,” Scootaloo said.

And as she lay in her bed, she thought about it for some time, before sleep finally claimed her.

Despite the worries of the past night, Scootaloo rose early, perhaps even earlier than before. By the time she headed downstairs, only two ponies were up. Applejack was stoking a fire in the stove while Granny Smith was stirring batter in a bowl. Based on the pan of oil nearby, she was probably making fritters again.

“Good morning, sugarcube. Did you sleep well?” Applejack asked.

“I guess,” Scootaloo replied.

“Okay, out with it,” Applejack said. “I can tell something’s on your mind.”

“It’s nothing, really. I mean, I was just wondering... could you make something different for breakfast?”

“I don’t think that’s a problem, especially since you’re still our guest and all,” Applejack said. “What do you have in mind?”

“Scrambled eggs!”

“I can do that. Ma taught me her special recipe,” Applejack said. “Now go wash up and make sure Apple Bloom is awake.”

Scootaloo did so, and when she came back down, the whole family was gathered. She smiled as Applejack spooned a heap of scrambled eggs onto her plate.

The eggs were much better than her mother’s. When she made scrambled eggs, it was just that, eggs. It looked like Applejack had added onions and green peppers to her eggs, and sprinkled some cheddar cheese on it just before serving.

Scootaloo happily ate her eggs, until she found something she wasn’t expecting. A rancid taste filled her mouth, and she spit out the offending food.

“What’s wrong?” Apple Bloom asked.

“There are apples in here!” Scootaloo said.

“Of course. It’s Ma’s special recipe,” Applejack said.

“I can’t take having apples in everything I eat!” Scootaloo said.

“But there’s so many kinds of apples,” Granny Smith said. “Why, just in the last two days, we’ve had Red Delicious, and Jonagold, and Honeycrisp, and Fuji, and we can’t forget those Granny Smiths....”

“But they all taste the same to me!” Scootaloo shouted.

Everypony else gasped. The room was silent for a moment, and then Big McIntosh spoke. “Ain’t no Apple that’s ever said that before.”

“That’s just it. I’m no Apple,” Scootaloo admitted.

“But we could make other things!” Apple Bloom said.

“No. I never asked my mom to make things my dad wouldn’t eat, and I can’t ask you to change everything you cook just for me,” Scootaloo said.

“Does that mean you’re leaving?” Apple Bloom asked.

“Yeah. You’re just going to be my friend, not my aunt,” Scootaloo said. She stood up from the table and looked at everypony. “Sorry for wasting your time.”

“It’s never a waste of time to have you over,” Applejack said. “Now come on. We’ll finish breakfast, and then I’ll take you back to Twilight.”

At least this time, Applejack didn’t make her finish her plate.

Author's Note:

If she's being honest with herself, Scootaloo's next new family is one she thinks is less likely to work out. But she's still going to try.

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