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On the Sliding Scale Of Cynicism Vs. Idealism, I like to think of myself as being idyllically cynical. (Patreon, Ko-Fi.)


This story is a sequel to A Duet For Land And Sky

There are certain requirements for herbivores, particularly when it comes to kitchen appliances. A few items wind up being used just about every day and in this case, the ancient piece was used until it broke. All Applejack has to do is find a suitable replacement for the old salad spinner. Something just about anypony should be able to manage with virtually no trouble at all.

Of course, the Bearers aren't just anypony...

(Part of the Triptych Continuum, which has its own TVTropes page and FIMFiction group: new members and trope edits welcome. This story is only tagged as a sequel to show its rough place in the timeline.)

Now with author Patreon and Ko-Fi pages.

Chapters (1)
Comments ( 74 )

Awww yiss. More Estee goodness.

This is the single best comedy you've ever written. Maybe a little of my glee is because it's midnight but I loved it so much.

The librarian smiled. "He hates it, though. We've got one that's a lot like your old piece, and... well, he can just grab the wheel, but he says he has to pretty much lean all his weight into it to keep it from going all over the counter. And when he was younger, it used to take him with it." And sighed a little. "We could use a better one ourselves, just to make it easier on him. It's overdue."

We have one at Chic-Fil-e. It's probably harder when the spinner is bigger than you.

But the Apple Family's banter in the beginning was perfect, and Applejack was a joy to be around the whole story! It's so nice to see character development paying off after we've spent so long waiting for certain triggers to be pulled, especially when Applejack could be so difficult to interact with. Reading this after the one where she mentally scars Rainbow, and after the flashback one with the drill Sargent, and even after all the pain she went through in the one that ended in an anime duel, was beyond satisfying.

Also! You've told this story a bunch of times before (inciting incident, person travels through a series of skits that explore the ramifications and also worldbuild, ____, conclusion) but this felt fresher, somehow. You subverted Applejack trying to replace the exact same device early on, and then later giving AJ a chance to win before blowing it up was great... anyway, this was overall just really solid, great job.

Emil #3 · Nov 20th, 2019 · · ·

An' so is every server an' chef you've sent one back on. Pretty sure the record was five times. Heard the crying comin' out of the kitchen after the third.

Generosity better tip reaaaaaal well.

She should have just trusted her sister from the start. Now my question is who uses a salad spinner in real life? My family tried it and ended up agreeing with Rarity. We just wash the leaves and call it good.

Note to self if I ever end up in Equestria.
Become rich by designing gadgets that are earth-pony-friendly.

This definitely needs the Comedy tag!

Yep, drying salad is a chore nobody likes. Go Applebloom, inventor of the first Starfrit kitchen appliances!

Small, portable treadmill attached to a variable gearbox, then sell attachments. Hook up the laundry, hook up a salad spinner, etc.
Brazillionare easy.
Interesting that they have aluminum sitting around.

I was surprised about the aluminum too. Copper is generally the first metal societies start working with because it's found it in it's metallic state right out of the ground.
Aluminum isn't, and it takes a lot of effort to chemically or electrically separate it out.
The latter is no problem for a species that can stomp lightning from clouds, and since ponies do experiments and research it's not surprising that they know about it. It is a little surprising that they already mass-produced it to the point where you can get a bunch of aluminum parts on short notice though.

For hoof-powered stuff I'd probably use a treadle plate like the first sewing machines used.

The bit with Dash surprised me. I figured she'd throw the wet leaves in a basket and fly around her house really fast.

Aww. That ending was adorable and needs to be drawn.

That intro about carnivorous plants is one of the best things I've read in a while. It reminds me of Borges' Book of Imaginary Beings.

reminded me a bit of some of the flora/fauna descriptions in The Edge Chronicles.

Copper is a conductor of Pegasus Magic in the Continuum, so it might not have occurred to Equestrians to use it for mundane purposes. It’s already got a known practical use. And it might not be safe to have it laying around your house if a Pegasus comes to visit...
Whereas there’s ponies like Twilight who are always experimenting, so the discovery of Aluminium, as well as finding a way to use, it is at least plausible enough. And if they have Aluminium, might as well use it.

I think this one just has to go into the “Justified By Virtue Of Alternate Universe” category.

"I whip my mane back and forth," the baker tunelessly singsonged. "I whip my mane back and forth..."

You are evil. The Hedgehog Song is too good for you. (It’s a pity Twilight doesn’t have a big stick, someone could sing A Wizard’s Staff Has A Knob On The End...)


Woo! Apple Bloom figuring it out was foreshadowed early on, but seeing it conclude was awesome!

I'm thinking Apple Bloom might patent and sell the thing, since it's totally muscle powered, seemingly cheap to manufacture, etc.

Maybe work with Diamond Tiara, because she's great at business...

And this simply, with no fuss, reveals the aftermath of "A Duet for Earth and Sky"! So good!

Yes, Applejack, all of your friends are insane.
But your little sister is also damn good at gadgeteering!

A simple premise, and brilliant slice of salad life story.

And yes, A pony's as smart as a predator...

The salad spinner: an epic adventure by Estee :pinkiehappy:

Now, this is something which is completely alien to me. I not, nor have I ever eaten salad[1], so salad spinning is basically the whole "asking a brick's opinion on dentistry" thing with regards to myself.

See, I think the carnivores have missed their own point - it's not abotu how hard it is to sneak up on a blade of grass, it's because you're a carnivore, you only have to make one big effort once in a while, and you can spend the rest of your time lazing around, whereas the herbivores have to spend so much more effort constantly eating.

Equestrian ponies are totally natural omnivores and only vegetarian by choice; every other aspect of their biology screams omnivore, since the only other reason they'd have sterioscopic and colour vision is if they were tropical tree-top fruiteaters and they clearly ain't that... Plus, their muzzles are far too short for grazers (literally why we have "face as a long as a horse," because grazers need their eyes far away from the mouths so they can see predators), they have proportionally small bodies which you don't get on grazers which need multiple stomachs or a big long gut (grazer =/= herbivore; browsers are grazer feed completely differently). The very fact they have large heads and intelligence ITSELF is a good indicator, since while it's more physical effort, that saying about not needing brains to graze is true - lot and sauropods Even more notably, Equestrian ponies can vomit which terrestrial horses can't (because they are designed to be hindgut fermentors) - there's you fun fact for the day! So, yeah, pretty much everything screams that they naturally are built to for a principally high-energy food diet, not low-energy ones, suggesting the ancestral Equestrian pony's lifestyle was very different from a terrestrial horse. They clearly were not full-on predators, but they were almost certainly primate-like generalists, rather than herbivores.

It actually makes more sense now that I think about - that's almost certainly what the Cornocopia Effect does locally, which is to actually ENHANCE the energy of the crops to a level where it satisfies pony biology in a way that "natural plants" don't and is probably a primary reason why ponies CAN easily choose to be vegetarian, since unlike on Earth, their crops literally magically engineered (unconsciously) to be optimised for that.

(I was gonna leave this in small text as a Humorous Bleakbane Rant aside, but then realised that last part was far too interesting not to leave prominent.)

[1]Yes, Spirit-Bound liches are quite capable of eating, (the ingested material goes onto the ethereal where it is re-radiated, it doesn't drop out of the ribcage or anything) and you can have my chocolate when you can pry it from my cold, actually-dead hand.

Bloom's gonna have her mark before too long. She hasn't even realized how well shes taken to it yet.

I love how much Equestrians overcomplicate their machines with magic, and then there's just Apple Bloom who goes "I used some springs and a rope so now the machine's hoof-activated."

Edit: yes I know it's a bit more complicated than MacGyvering up a machine at-will, that's not the point of my comment.

And now, I'm mildly afraid of Fluttershy.

Technically Ponies are predators of nature itself, so it makes sense that the thing which causes them the most inconvenience is their own inventions.

They still have a way to go, however:


"Get a new one," her oldest friend placidly suggested. "Or at least something different."

Heirlooms are tangible traditions. Some work just as well as they did decades ago. Some work exactly as well as they did decades ago.

When you can out-neurosis Fluttershy and Twilight, you don't just have issues. You have enough periodicals that Twilight has to resist the urge to organize them and stuff you in the display racks.

I do love Applejack's moment of self-awareness. I adore Rarity being confronted with her own silliness. Context can make all the difference.

It's never been a problem for anypony! Not in Cloudsdale!

And there's our problem. Because even after all these years, part of Dash's mind still never came to ground.

I have to wonder who's banned in more places, Applejack or Apple Bloom. I suspect the former. The Crusade was largely confined to Ponyville, while Bearer missions go to far more places, and thus present far more opportunities to get kicked out.

Raccoons make some sense in terms of vegetable rinsing. I'm clearly not thinking enough about the concept, and that's out of self-defense.

"Well, you know who did that one," Twilight pointed out. "That's the color it should be."

Huh. I have to wonder how they arranged that. Though it was probably just a matter of a polite letter.

Well, Granny Smith does brew anti-scumble. It's only reasonable that she know the Hedgehog Song.

Wonderful stuff. It honestly doesn't feel fair that Apple Bloom didn't get a cutie mark out of this, but it's clearly just a matter of time, and not much of it. Speaking of, thank you for finding the time in an ungodly schedule to get this out.

Thinking about this, the "shake your head" basket?
*I* would have tied it to a piece of rope then spun it like a centrifuge

Apple Bloom, you might want to patent that, then talk to Filthy Rich about setting up a factory to mass produce them then sell them in Barnyard Bargains.

Because, the thing about those stores is: There's little that you can buy there that you can't get elsewhere. Unique products that you can only get in store are REAL helpful

A fun story! It’s interesting that Apple Bloom’s mark hasn’t arrived yet... while the talent is clearly there, it suggests that she hasn’t yet found the purpose for it that will fire her drive in life.

Screw-pump salad spinners are definitely a thing.


Well, Granny Smith does brew anti-scumble.

It's made of apples, innit?

Well, mostly apples, anyway.


"It is not cross-contamination. It is also not allowing them to drift within their own filth. It is infusion . That is completely different ."

reminds me of several videos about "homeopathy".
the absurd idea that you can treat health problems by taking something that CAUSES the problem and diluting it by 99% and repeating that 50 times.
"the water remembers."

"It is not cross-contamination. It is also not allowing them to drift within their own filth. It is infusion. That is completely different."

As long as she washed the vegetables off first, this is entirely correct.

Nice to see Rainbow Dash post triptych I don't think we'd had a chance to hear from her directly yet.

"-- and the snowplow went out of control," the farmer added, "'cause hidin' your field changes how the magic works . Y'changed it so much that y'couldn't figure out how t' counter yourself , an' the thing jus' went faster an' faster..."

ugghh after reading this I remembered OUR old salad spinner, which had both the hand crank and a lid that wouldn't stay shut.

.. and then I remembered the 'potato skinner' from when I worked in a restraint kitchen. Which probably would have worked better if the abd leg had been fixed... and the lid that prevents the water from spraying everywhere had been replaced.

I do feel bad for Apple Bloom, though. It's entirely earned, I know, but the fact that AJ can't even consider the possibility that her sister might actually help until the evidence is right in front of her is a little sad.

In a way, I'm glad Bloom didn't get her mark yet. I want it to be more momentous. I like the idea of showing her progress as it continues and not jumping right to the foregone conclusion. Anyway, I enjoyed this story! It was a nice surprise to see when I turned on my internet this morning. Thanks Estee!

You know, it occurs to me that there may be a very simple reason why Apple Bloom hasn’t got her mark yet, despite her obvious and growing skill as a Mechanic: that’s not what her mark is destined to be.

It’s been major plot points for several characters that a natural skill, a Mark-Enhanced Talent, a passionate pastime, and a simple Occupation are all different things. Pinkie is a Baker and Prankster, but neither of those relate to her Mark as a Party Planner. Rarity is a shrewd Businesspony, Fashionista and Mysophobic Hoofball Fanatic, none of which reflect her Talent for locating gemstones. Twilight’s Mark-Empowered Talent is for the research and creation of spells, but she actively looks for other things to spend her time concentrating on to avoid Falling Into The Mark, and displays every other natural talent we’ve seen.

So why would that not apply here? Apple Bloom might be on track to become the most gifted Engineer that Equestria has ever seen. But that doesn’t necessarily mean her Mark will reflect it. And even then, consider this.

Engineering is, at its core, the ability to look at something and figure out how it works, what its potential uses are, and how it can be applied. That’s fundamental.

Now, remind me... what was Apple Bloom’s Talent in the show, again?

Assuming ponies evolved in a somewhat natural fashion, the primitive versions would have had smaller heads, bigger jaws, wider spaced eyes, and bigger more complex guts. Their color vision probably wasn't as good either.
Having a bigger brain means your jaw is going to get smaller as you can no longer have the big jaw muscles that wrap around the head. That's how it happened with humans.
When you get smarter, you can start using tools and coordinate group efforts effectively. That means you can be a lot more picky about what you eat, and go for high-energy foods like fruits and nuts rather than grass. This in turn means you can support that big brain and don't need as much gut machinery to squeeze nutrition out of crap food.
MLP Ponies do eat hay, but it's hay that's been bred for centuries to be more nutritious and easier to digest. Same thing humans did with our crops. It's why modern humans can be vegetarians as long as they eat the right mix of plants. In the past, going full veggie would have killed you. Whenever eating wild grass has been mentioned, it's implied that a pony would have to graze all day just to keep from dropping dead, never mind doing anything strenuous. So modern ponies aren't as good at digesting plant matter as their primitive ancestors were.
When you're a tool-using fruit eater, forward-facing eyes become more important. Ponies were always a herd species so not having wrap-around vision is less of a problem as there are always others on lookout.
Steroscopic vision is also useful in a fight. A hoof is a hammerfist, and pony who can't escape is gonna need to accurately gauge distances to strike accurately. Even a non-earth pony's leg is at least as strong as a human arm, and being able to chose your target and strike accurately with a keratin wrecking ball makes pony kicks pretty damn scary.
Color vision becomes important as well for judging fruits by appearance and spotting that spot of red or yellow against the green.
This is why primates have full color vision while most other mammals are red-green colorblind.
In a nutshell, MLP ponies are pretty close to what we would expect naturally occurring sapient ponies would look like.
Even the flashy colors might make sense if they happen to be the right shades.
Consider those charts used to test for color-blindness. They have shades of pink and green that look different to someone with full color vision, but would look exactly the same to a wolf. So the bright colors of ponies might the particular shades that would let them easily spot each other, but look drab to most other creatures.



Here's one more thing that occurred to me as well.

Real-world horses sleep in short bursts and even only lie down for a short period for REM sleep, and so are active all hours. But the dark isn't good for colour vision, so one can imagine there would have likely been a steady, slow process of ponies becoming more and more diurnal...

And suppose that tail-end lasted right into the Era of the two Princesses? Luna's apparent waning night-time following may have been tragically a factor influenced by nothing more malicious than the changing habits of a developing society moving away from a continuouslly active foraging cycle to a diurnal farming one.

...thanks a lot, Pinkie. Ah owe you one. Ah think Ah owe you the one 'bout the hedgehog. An' we'll see how long it takes you t' get that out of your head.

That's so evil.


Now, remind me... what was Apple Bloom’s Talent in the show, again?

Oddly enough I've been thinking recently that there's still the opportunity for a triple manifestation.

Thanks for this Estee, it was great :pinkiehappy:

I saw a video where Alton Brown reviewed one of those Rollie tubular-egg cookers, and apparently it took 17 minutes(!) to cook two eggs. So in addition to producing unappetizing-looking results, it's not even particularly convenient; I can make scrambled eggs in a frying pan in less than 5 minutes, and I have a microwave egg poacher that can do poached eggs in about 2 -- and both of them can go in the dishwasher afterwards, which I'm sure is a lot easier than whatever you have to do to clean that tubular-egg thing...

Ask a homeopath how the water contrives to "remember" only the substance they want it to remember, while conveniently "forgetting" everything else the water has come in contact with. Then sit back and enjoy the resulting torrential flood of illogic. :pinkiehappy:


That rarely gets through to them. Ask how many pairs of kidneys it has passed through.

congrats you got on the first page


I prefer multipurpose "culinary centrifuge."

If all they did was salad, it would just be a total space-wasting gimmick.

Comment posted by Dan deleted Nov 21st, 2019

I had to take a minute to reach back into the Deep Memory for one of a salad spinner.

Seeing as I haven't owned or used one in...going on 20 years.

And those uses were as a child fooling around with the cool spinning bowls, not as actually making the salad.

I love how you see the implications below the surface setting and the stories within those:

Ponies are vegetarian (for a certain definition of vegetarian).
∴ Some ponies eat salad.

Ponies are civilised (for a certain definition of civilisation).
∴ Some ponies wash their salad.

Some of those ponies use salad spinners.
Pony salad spinners.


The group had led the charge on the Returns desk

I guess you could call the checkout counter the Abeyance desk. :pinkiehappy:

In the absence of that, Korobeiniki, then? Or is that going too far?

Sounds like a similar concept to a treadle pottery wheel, but stomping on a pedal rather than pushing it horizontally.

Loved this story. It was really funny and it's great to see how far Applebloom has come as a character there at the end!


It's also useful for draining pasta more than normal or removing extra brine from sauerkraut so the bread doesn't get soaked when you make a reuben or draining canned beans or veggies, etc.

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