• Published 2nd Mar 2017
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Land of Equines - Daddy Joe

Who would've thought that being at the wrong place at the wrong time would bring something so surreal.

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The Cutie Mark Crusaders

The Cutie Mark Crusaders
November 8th, 2012

I started jogging towards the path that I took to get to Ponyville and backtracked towards Sweet Apples Acres. After a while, I eventually came to the sign that read the farm's name. I walked to the farm and saw Big Mac hauling around some wooden barrels.

“Hey, Big Mac.” I greeted.

“Howdy, Caleb.” he replied.

“Have you seen Applebloom around anywhere?” I asked.

“Eeyup. She was headin' towards her treehouse with her friends.” Big Mac said.

“Where’s that at?” I asked.

“Go back out the entrance and hang a left until you come across a clearing of trees and you’ll see a red treehouse.” Big Mac directed.

"Back there? I just came from that way. I must've missed it. Alright, thanks Mac." I said.

"Eeyup." he said.

After heading back out and taking a left, I walked in a straight path until I saw the clearing that Big Mac told me about. I looked a little more and saw a light red treehouse with a darker red roof, and had a set of stairs that led up to the door. I walked up to them and knocked lightly three times. Slowly, the door opened and Applebloom answered the door.

“Caleb! I knew you would come!” Applebloom exclaimed, happily.

“I don’t break promises, Applebloom. Are your friends in there?” I asked.

“Yeah, I was just about to come and find you. I’ll let them know you're here.” Applebloom said.

Applebloom than slightly shut the door and said:

“Guys, Caleb is here!.” Applebloom announced.

“Really?” replied a squeaky, little girl's voice.

“Come on then, let him in.” replied a girl's voice that sounded a bit tomboyish.

The door opened and there stood two young fillies who were about the same age as Applebloom. One with a white coat and mane with purple and pink while the other had an orange coat with a purple mane.

“Woah, he’s actually real!” said the orange one.

“I know! He’s much more taller than I thought!” exclaimed the white one.

“Amazing isn’t it?” I said to both of them, causing them both to gasp.

“HE CAN TALK!?” they yelled in astonishment.

“You bet I can. What are your guys’ names?" I asked.

“My name is Sweetie Belle.” said the white one.

“And my name is Scootaloo.” said the other.

“What great names you guys have. My name is Caleb.” I said.

“Just Caleb?” Sweetie asked.

“Actually, I have three names and I haven't told anyone else except you guys. My full name is Caleb Lee Barlow.” I revealed.

“Three names? Most ponies have two or one.” said Scootaloo.

"I took notice of that when I arrived in Ponyville." I said. "So what do you guys do here?" I asked.

“All three of us figure how we can get our cutie marks because….” Appleboom trailed off while signaling to Sweetie Belle and Scootaloo.

"WE'RE THE CUTIE MARK CRUSADERS!" all three yelled in unison.

“Is that the name of your club?” I asked.

“Yeah. A club where we find out our special talent.” said Applebloom.

“That’s cool! What’s a cutie mark?” I asked.

“It’s a mark that appears on a pony's flank and signifies what a pony's special talent.” clarified Applebloom.

"Ohhhh, so that's what those are for. I thought those were tattoos at first." I realized.

“Nope, they come naturally. So far, we haven’t really gotten ours yet.” Applebloom said while all three of them looked at their flanks with sad faces.

“Thats nothing to be sad about. That means you’ll have more time to figure out who you really are and what your talent will be.” I said.

“Well, you do have a point there.” Scootaloo agreed as Applebloom and Sweetie Belle nodded their heads.

"So what do you guys wanna do?" I asked.

“What we usually do is to try out different things in order to hopefully earn our cutie mark.” Applebloom explained.

“What do you like to do? Maybe we can possibly earn a cutie mark in something you do.” Scootaloo suggested.

I thought about what I could possibly teach the three fillies in hopes of earning their cutie marks. I originally wanted to teach them baseball, but I realized we don't have a bat or anything. As I thought more, I came up with something that I used to do, but stopped doing in 2011. It's a long-shot I understand, but I had to think of something.

“Well, there was something I was somewhat good at. It’s called freerunning.” I said.

“What’s that?” Sweetie asked.

“It's the act of running at a fast pace and overcoming many physical obstacles in your path. The key is to find more obstacles to get past while continuing your running pace.” I explained, thoroughly.

“That sounds like something i’d like to do! Fast paced and extreme.” Scootaloo admitted.

“Awesome! What do you think Applebloom and Sweetie Belle?” I asked.

“I can give it a try.” Applebloom said.

“Umm, I think i’ll pass on this. Is that okay, Caleb?” Sweetie asked.

"Sure. You can observe and if you feel like trying, go right ahead." I said, supportively.

"Okay." Sweetie replied.

“Can you give us an example of this freerunning?” Scootaloo asked.

“Sure, watch this. Now i’m not saying you should do what i’m about to do, just watch.” I said as I headed for the door.

With that, I sprinted out the door and jumped off the stairs that lead up to the clubhouse which was probably a ten foot drop. Right when I hit the ground, I did a roll in order to soften the impact of my fall and flipped myself on my feet again. I looked up and all three looked at me.

“Wow. That was a pretty long ways down.” Sweetie said with worry in her voice.

“It was. Like I said, do not attempt anything this dangerous if you’re just beginning. You could hurt yourself if you landed the wrong way.” I warned.

“What do you have in store for us then?” Scootaloo questioned.

“It’s going to be something very easy, but will make you utilize your coordination. Follow me back to the farm." I said.

Me and Cutie Mark Crusaders walked back to Sweet Apple Acres. I plan to set up a simple little obstacle course that should be suitable for them without getting hurt.

“So guys, how athletic are all you three?” I asked.

“Well, I like to ride on my scooter a lot.” Scootaloo stated.

“I work on the farm sometimes, so I get some exercise.” said Applebloom.

“I’m pretty much an average pony. I’m not into athletic stuff.” Sweetie Belle admitted.

“Alright, alright. What i’m planning on doing is setting up an obstacle course that will involve small amounts of running and coordination, but it will be rather simple for you. You guys go run along up by the farmhouse and I’ll call you when i’m done.” I said.

Applebloom, Sweetie Belle, and Scootaloo ran back to the farmhouse to do something else for a while. I on the other hand, inspected the area around me for any obstacle I could work with. I saw the fence that acted as a boundary to the dirt path and the apple orchard, and a large log. Next, I walked up to the farm and got four bales of hay and lined them up sideways in a straight line that led to the fence. After setting those up, the course was done. I then walked back up towards the farmhouse and called them back to the course.

“This is it?” Scootaloo asked in skepticism.

“Nope, it's not just the hay, there’s more to it. First, you’ll get a good running pace, leap onto the first bale of hay and jump on the next without falling off. When you reach the last bale, you will jump off and duck under the fence while running. After going under the fence, you will leap over that large log that’s probably a foot taller than you and land on your hooves.” I said. “Okay, who wants to go first?” I asked.

“Me! I’ll go first!” Scootaloo cried out.

“Get up here Scoots! Get yourself in a ready position.” I said.

Scootaloo then hunched herself towards the ground and scraped her hooves, kicking little dirt clouds behind him.

"Readyyy…. GO!” I yelled.

Scootaloo quickly ran and jumped onto the first bale of hay. She swiftly leaped onto the second bale, but kinda lost her balance for a brief moment.

“Remember, Scootaloo, maintain your balance when you land on the hay!” I reminded.

Scootaloo nodded at me in response and jumped on the next bale and repeated until she reached the last. She jumped off the last bale and positioned her body in mid air for a slide under the fence. This impressed me.

“Alright, Scootaloo, you got this!” I encouraged.

Scootaloo then jumped as hard as she could to vault over the log, but only got to the top, not over, which was pretty good for a filly her size. Finally, she leaped off the top, landing on her hooves. She did it.

“How did I do Caleb?” Scootaloo asked while panting slightly.

“You did great Scootaloo! For a beginner, you’re pretty good. You had some trouble with your balance at first, but you corrected it. Also, I loved that slide you did under the fence, very impressive to me.” I said.

“Thanks, Caleb!” she beamed as she trotted to the side with Sweetie Belle.

“Okay, Applebloom, it’s your turn!” I said.

Applebloom walked up and got into a starting position.

“Three, two, one…. GO, GO, GO!” I yelled.

Applebloom quickly ran towards the first obstacle and jumped onto it. What was amazing was that when she leapt for the second bale, she ended up leaping over to the third bale. She must have good lower body strength.

“Nice leap, Applebloom!” Sweetie praised.

Applebloom tried to do a slide, but kinda fumbled while going under. After recollecting herself, she ran over to the log and leapt clean over the log while landing on her hooves.

“How was that Caleb?” Applebloom asked me.

“It was pretty good. I can see you have really good leg strength due to the fact you jumped over a bale of hay onto the third and you hurdled that log with ease. Very good. Both you and Scootaloo were. Want to try Sweetie?”

“Oh no, there’s no way i’m doing that.” Sweetie replied.

“Oh, c’mon Sweetie, don’t be such a soft marshmallow.” Scootaloo teased.

“Scootaloo, don’t say that to her. If she doesn’t want to do it, she doesn’t have to. It's okay Sweetie Belle.” I told her in a calm tone.

“Sorry, Sweetie.” Scootaloo apologized.

“That’s alright.” she responded.

“Who wants to go for another run?” I asked.

“I’ll go again. I want to see if I can get my cutie mark in freerunning!” Scootaloo exclaimed.

“Me too.” Applebloom said.

“Oh yeah, a cutie mark. What am I thinking? I’ll give it a go!” Sweetie Belle surprisingly said.

“Go ahead.” I said.

Sweetie Belle did mess a few times at first, but she got pretty good at it. All three of them looked like natural born freerunners after a while. Looks like I might have some competition. They repeated the course for quite sometime and they finally stopped.

“Okay girls, we have to have our cutie marks by now!” Applebloom blurted out while panting.

All three of them looked at their flanks, hoping to see their very own cutie mark, but their faces soon faded into disappointment as they realized they still didn’t have one.

“Dagnabit! Looks like freerunning wasn’t our thing.” Applebloom said.

“Look on the bright side girls. You can still do many more activities to find your talent in life.” I said.

“Yeah, you're right. Thanks for being a fellow crusader in helping us to find our talent.” Applebloom thanked.

"Yeah! I thought it was pretty fun!" Sweetie Belle said.

"Me too!" Scootaloo seconded.

Over the course of all of this, it must've been quite a long time because I looked towards the skyline and the sun was starting to go down a little bit. I heard Applejack call out to Applebloom that it was time to eat dinner.

“Well guys, we had a pretty good day as crusaders. I think it's time we parted ways.” I told them.

“Yeah, it’s getting late.” said Sweetie Belle

“Do you know the way back to your homes?” I asked Sweetie Belle and Scootaloo.

They both nodded in response.

“Alright then, i’ll see you there tomorrow maybe. Be safe while going home.” I said.

All three of them turned in their separate ways and headed off. I stayed to put the bays of hay back in their original location. After that, I headed back to Ponyville for the night.

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