Applejack walked up the hill. The biggest one in Sweet Apple Acres, without any apple trees on it. It was no good to plant apple trees on, it was too high to walk up every day. It was only used on special occasions. It was deemed by her father that it should be kept for things like thinking. Her father had always believed thinking was a good activity, that should be exercised often.
Applejack got to the top of the hill and sat down. She sat in thought for a while, thinking of memories with her father. She remembered walking up this very hill with him before he... when she was a filly. She had been bullied that day for being a blank flank, and went up there to talk with him about it.
"So what happened, AJ?" Applejack's father asked his sobbing daughter.
"Well... ah was at recess, playin' with my friends... and these bullies came up and started teasin' us! Callin' us blank flanks and sayin' we had no talent! Just like that, for no reason at all!" filly Applejack choked out.
"Now, now. It's all right, sugarcube," her father soothed, using the name he saved for her, and her only. "Now think about it; if they started teasin' ya for no reason, then what reason do ya have to be embarrassed?" He pointed out.
"And hay, you're a smart and pretty filly. Ya shouldn't be embarrassed. In fact, ya should be proud of yourself! Ah sure am, and always will be, no matter what," he finished, nuzzling Applejack. Applejack gave him a hug in return, and sobbed into his shoulder until the sobs came to a stop.
Applejack almost shook the memory out of her head, but instead embraced the memory of her kind father. It was going to help her through the rest of the day. She got a smile from the memory.
"Heya, pa," she greeted, looking up at the moon. "Ah know it's been a year since we've talked, but ah've been really busy, with the farm and all. Ah'm sorry 'bout that, pa.
"Ah did some crazy things this past year. Ya know the old mares' tale of the Mare in the Moon? Well, it was true! She came back and tried to make eternal night. Me and my friends had to use the Elements of Harmony to stop her, which are these magical thingies that all unite with honesty, loy--" Applejack stopped herself short.
"Sorry, pa, Ah was ramblin', wasn't Ah?" Applejack gave a breathy laugh. "Anyway, lemme just skip past that part. Ah'm not really here to talk about me, anyway. Ah thought Ah'd deliver your message from as close as Ah can get to ya this year.
"Big Macintosh is doin' fine. He's gotten the most farm work done out of any of us, Ah'd say. Pretty big size advantage, he has. As quiet as ever, though," Applejack chuckled.
"Apple Bloom is doin' good too, 'cept some kids are givin' her a hard time at school. She made some friends just this year, and they formed their own little club, the Cutie Mark Crusaders, and meet in my old clubhouse. Ya never met AB, but Ah'm sure ya would've been just as proud of her as ya were of me and Mac. Ya remember that clubhouse, the rickety old place? And how Big Mac and Ah would play pirates on it?" Applejack sighed.
"Granny Smith is gettin' old, but doin' alright for now. And ya already know what happened to ma." Applejack let loose a tear. "Ah dunno what Ah'm gonna do once Granny's... gone. Everyone'll look up to me, and... Ah dunno if Ah can do it, pa.
"Augh. This is supposed to be a happy occasion, where Ah get to talk to ya. Not one where Ah cry like a filly," Applejack sniffed, smiling slightly. "Ah miss all the good times we used to have. Remember when you first taught me and Mac how to buck apple trees? Neither of us could budge the tree at all. We tried shakin' it, climbin' it, and when Mac tried to buck it, he fell on the ground. He nearly cried like a filly, if Ah remember right.
"Or the time when we built the old clubhouse? Ah tried to climb up the tree, but fell off the ladder and ya caught me? That was a close one. Ah'd like to thank ya again for catchin' me.
"One of my favorite memories is when ma and Ah tried to teach ya how to bake. Ya nearly blew up the house. Ah'm just glad we didn't have to eat it," Applejack teased, staring at the moon.
"We had so many good times together, all of us." Applejack fell onto her haunches, and looked up at the moon again. "Ah just wish that... ya were here. Y'all and ma both. Ah wish there were some way to get ya both back. This ain't right, Apple Bloom not knowin' her own parents. Y'all weren't even that old..." Applejack trailed off. She looked at the ground, and set her father's hat, that she'd gotten from him, down next to her. She loved that hat to death. It was last thing she had to remember her father by.
"Ah'm rantin' now," Applejack sighed again. "What Ah really came here to say: thank you. Thanks for everythin'. Ya were the best dad Ah could've hoped for. Ah miss you so much..." Applejack choked up, unable to say anything else. She laid down, crying silently, looking up at the moon.
She heard something behind her, and turned to see what it was. She saw her older brother, Big Macintosh, sitting next to her.
"Here for him, too?" Applejack asked through tears.
"Eeyup," Big Mac replied, his voice cracking. He set his father's old yoke next to his hat.
The two siblings sat in silence on the hill. They stared into the moon, silently thanking their father for everything.