Big Mac was busy in the field bucking for apples thinking back to the few days before when Babs Seed had arrived. He along with the rest of the Apples knew the reason she had been sent here of course, but since she’d arrived Applebloom and her friends had seemed less full of life.
Hearing a commotion a couple of fields over and recognising his little sister’s voice calling out “But it’s our Clubhouse” had him concerned. Walking over he spotted the three Cutie Mark Crusaders wandering down the road away from the farm, yet looking back he could see there were ponies in the clubhouse.
He decided to go and investigate. When he got nearer he saw how the stair had been juryrigged to stop anyone else getting in. Shaking his head at this he was fully aware the CMC’s wouldn’t do this.
Getting closer but staying out of sight of the windows, not easy considering his size, he moved to hear the voices coming from inside.
“Did you see the way those blank-flanks looked as if they would cry! Honestly Babs I never thought you had it in you” A voice Big Mac recognised as Diamond Tiara, someone he knew A) didn’t belong on the farm, and B) would never be invited to the clubhouse. He also recognised the laughter of the other girl as Silver Spoon. Shaking his head in anger at this he decided things had to be dealt with. He and Applejack had tried the non-confontational speeches and how not to let bullies get to you with Applebloom in the hope that her antagonisers would leave her be.
Shaking his head he was also disgusted that Babs Seed had turned to bullying to try to cope with what she had been through, having been bullied back in Manehatten he thought she would have had more sense.
Once he was far enough away from the clubhouse as not to let the filly’s inside think he would have heard them he made his way over to the barn where Applejack was busy making some repairs to the back wall. As he got closer Applejack looked up to see him approaching. With an easy grin on her face she spoke. “Hey thar big brother, everythin’ ok?”
He answered one word. “Eenope”
Applebloom, Sweetie-Belle and Scootaloo were all in Sweetie-Belles bedroom at the Carousel Boutique, it being one of their refuges from Babs Seed. They had been there a while now coming up with different plans to try to get their revenge on their tormentors. Of the three only Sweetie-Belle was unsure on whether revenge was the right route to go.
Having spent a few hours cooped up in the room Applebloom was staring out the wnidow and saw Applejack, Big Mac and Granny Smith making their way into the Boutique.
“Wha’? Sweetie, did ya sis say anything abaht a big order fer mah folks?”
Sweetie-Belle looked over and shook her head in the negative while Scootaloo raised an eyebrow at this. “Why’s your whole family coming over is what I wanna know.” She said with no small amount of curiosity. Applebloom shrugged her shoulders and replied. “Ah ain’t got a clue, but ah rekkin’ we’ll find aht iff’n we go dahn.” She finished making her way to the bedroom door just as Rarity’s voice called up, asking them all to come down.
Rarity was enjoying the peace and quiet in the boutique even though the three daredevils that were the CMC were upstairs. They had come in earlier looking rather down but wouldn’t tell her what was wrong, only asking for a couple of drinks and a snack before making their way up to Sweetie-Belle’s room.
‘I hope after I’ve give them some time the little darlings will tell me what’s wrong’ She thought with some concern as she realised just how quiet the Boutique was. With those three being here for how long they were, normally some sort of crusading disaster had happened by now. For them to be so quiet meant something was troubling them. As she turned her back to the door she heard it’s bell go as somepony made their way in.
“Welcome to the Carousel Boutique, where everything is –“ She stopped mid-sentence as she saw who had walked in. “Oh my, is there a problem?” She asked noticing Applejack, Big Mac and Granny Smith all had serious looks upon their faces.
“Ahm afraid so Rar. It seems mah niece Babs Seed isn’t the golden girl she portrays, That and ahv had it with Diamond Tiara and Silver Spoons bullying of our young’uns.” She went on to describe what Big Mac had seen and heard. Had Rarity not been able to see it was Applejack in front of her she would not have known it was her with the held in fury of her voice.
Rarity nodded. Hearing that anypony had deliberately made her sister cry was not something anypony would like to readily admit to her. The fashionista may affect a delicate air, but everypony knew she was no delicate flower, when necessary she could give Applejack a run for her money.
Going over to the stairs she called up the stairs to the three fillies asking them to join her down in the main room. As they made their way down she waited at the bottom of the stairs for her little sister.
As sweetie-Belle got to the bottom Rarity pulled her into a hug while watching Applejack do the same for Applebloom. She noticed Scootaloo in the background and made her way over with Sweetie-Belle paying no mind to the confusion on the little ones faces. Gently she pulled Scootaloo into her arms as well before waiting for Granny Smith to speak, as she was the eldest there, therefore the one to take charge.
“Nah then little ones, wah dain’t ya come to us abaht how bad th’ bullyin’ had gotten? Especially when it’s one of yer own family?” She addressed the last bit of the statement to Applebloom.
Applebloom looked up to her Grandmother eyes wide trying to hold back tears. Buh, bu, Babs said we’d be a snitchin’ – Ah don’ wanna be a snitch!” she wailed out before turning in her big sisters embrace.
Shaking his head Big Mac spoke up. “Nah then, that ain’t right, Babs said you’d be snitchin?” At this Scootaloo nodded. “Think abaht it, Babs said that because she knew whut would happ’n if we fahnd aht” He elaborated to the young ones.
Rarity looked around with an expression on her face that many had come to know. It was a good thing nopony who had upset her was in sight at the moment. “Well I think we should make our way over to Diamond Tiara’s and Silver Spoons parents and inform them of what their children have been getting up to, and the consequences of such actions, as well as taking Babs to one side and explaining to her what family truly is.”
“Oh don’t worry abaht that” Applejack said with a stern tone. “Nah then, I suggest we take these three over to Fluttershy’s.
“But why can’t we come with you?” Scootaloo piped up. Rarity looked down and chose to answer her. “Because dear, the language that may be said at these two meetings may become uncouth, and I surely wouldn’t want to hear such words from you young ones.”
Scootaloo and the other CMC’s looked on in surprise before Sweetie-Belle piped up as they made their way out of the boutique. “But I thought you wanted us to try to avoid getting in to con – confluxts with Diamond and Silver?” she asked looking on with a perplexed expression upon her face.
“That’s ‘Conflicts’ Sweetie, and yes we did. But when they turn your own family against you . . .”
“Tha glove’s ain’t stayin’ on th’ hooves dearies.” Granny Smith finished just as they got to the path leading to Fluttershy’s front door.
Fortunately Fluttershy was in the front garden tending to her animals, and after a quick explanation she was happy to take the children in for a couple of hours. It was while they were walking away that the whole party winced at an outburst behind them.
“CUTIE MARK CRUSADER CHICKEN WRANGLERS! YAY!”
Filthy Ritch’s place of business was in the middle of Ponyville’s main street, and from what Applejack could tell from the store-front was doing good business as the only other place apart from her cart in Ponyville to sell ‘Sweet Apple Acres” produce.
However this would not be true following this meeting. She had words with him before about his daughter’s treatment of her sister to which his reply had always been that he would talk with Diamond Tiara. Snorting at the thought, she shook her head, talks hadn’t done anything, yet whenever Applebloom had crossed the line 3 swats to the flank had always taught the lesson, thankfully the last time that had been necessary was over two years ago.
As she looked to the others she saw Rarity reaching into her own saddle bag with her magic levitating a bag of bits before turning to follow. Applejack raised a quick eyebrow at this but didn’t say anything as she made her way into the popular “Mega-Grocer’s” store.
Filthy Ritch looked up to see her approaching the counter with her family and Rarity behind her and, to Applejack at least, he looked rather nervous.
“Howdy mr. Ritch, Might we have a word with y’all in private please?” Applejack asked.
“Certainly. Please follow me.” Was the short reply they got.
He lead them all away through a door that was obviously the entrance to his office, he made his way behind the desk before turning to face them. “Now, what can I do for you?” He asked.
Applejack looked about the room to see if they wanted her to take point on this. After receiving three nods she turned back to face him.
“Mr. Ritch, due to the repeated actions of a member of your family against one of mine, ahm afraid that Sweet Apple Acres will not be renewing our contract with you at the end of the month, as warned when ah repeatedly came to speak to you over this matter.” Filthy Ritch’s face went pale at this.
“Miss Applejack, please, you can’t be serious! Our families have worked together since the Ponyville founding!” Applejack nodded at this, knowing full well the history. “Please, Sweet Apple Acres produce is my main export. You can’t” Applejack looked straight at him.
“You and ah know ah could export mah farms produce cheaper than you do. What’s to stop me? You sell our Apple Pie’s at abaht 20 bit’s a pie, the shops you export to sell at 30. What to stop us going to those shops an selling direct at 10 bit’s a pie?” she threatened. Seeing his face go ashen at this he stammered out a single question. “W . . . wh. . . . why?”
Applejack stepped back at this point letting Granny Smith take over as she was getting way to angry at this pompous stallion. She had repeatedly warned him in the past that if he didn’t stop his daughter’s bullying of Applebloom that there would be consequences.
“Nah see here sonny! Ah don’t know what happened to ya growin up! But you ain’t the colt ah remember foalsittin.” Granny Smith started at him. “Nah that colt, he’da took his daughter who was a’bullyin an put a stop tah it. The reason we’re pullin out is simple. Diamond Tiara went too far, an nah she’s turned one of our own against her cousin. Tell me what was in the original contract of our families that should one set out, and cause strife in the others family – no matter the age!”
At this Filthy Ritch slumped down, the Apple family had not only got the moral ground but also the contractual right to pull out of the long standing family ventures.
“I see. I shall stop selling Sweet Apple Acres produce and remove it from my shelves on the 30th of this month.” He said with a sigh. Unfortunately for him he was about to get another massive hit to his profits. Rarity stepped up and deposited the bag of bit’s upon his counter.
“I am afraid to say, that for the first time ever, I will not be completing an order. This is the money you paid me to create a range of affordable yet chic clothes for fillies to sell with your daughter modelling.
I am afraid after your daughters deplorable treatment of my sister and one other filly who I care greatly for I cannot in good conscience make this order. Know this – I do not have a problem with you personally - but I refuse to have my clothes endorsed by a filly who promotes bullying.” With that she turned and left the office, the Apple family following.
Dark Steel was working hard in his family saw mill busy preparing for the next delivery of trees for conversion to firewood when Applejack walked in to the mill, followed by her family, and the clothes designer he’d hired to create a dress for his daughter Silver Spoon.
“Hey there miss Applejack, what can I do for you?” he asked quietly, quietly wondering what the others were doing there with her. “Mr Steel ahm sorry to say that we will be cancelling our contract with you for our dead lumber.” Applejack started, she then went on to explain the reasons being – and just like Filthy Ritch, his own family’s contract had the same clause about causing inter familial conflict.
Shaking his head at this he couldn’t believe what had happened. One thing was for sure though – Silver Spoon would be losing a lot of her privileges come this evening. He wouldn’t be in as bad a spot as Filthy Ritch as his saw mill was also on the edge of the Everfree forest, and he had royal consent to take trees from there.
Rarity then approached and levitated a bag of bits to him, informing him that due to his daughters actions she would no longer be able to create the dress she had been asking him for months for. Nodding his head he spoke. “I understand miss Rarity, however I will ask this – please complete the dress, display it in your shop for a week, and then auction it off – I would be grateful if you would send the proceeds to Ponyville Orphanage. I myself promise no member of my family will buy the dress.”
Rarity nodded at his request before stepping back and turning to follow the Apple family out.
He looked up as a door behind him opened, through it walked a grey filly, with plaited hair and glasses. His daughter. “Silver Spoon! What is this I hear about you atrocious behaviour! I did NOT raise you as a bully!” He demanded
Silver Spoon looked up to him eyes wide. “Bu – but I . .. Have it. . Diamond Tiara said . . . Snitches!” She blurted out.
“ENOUGH!” Dark steel thundered. “Because of YOUR actions towards Applebloom I have lost the Family Contract to Sweet Apple Acres lumber! Because these profits are what I normally use to pay for your treats and whatever you ask for, you shall no longer be getting them. Your Spa days? Gone! Your fancy Dresses? Finished! The latest one you begged me to have made? It will be sold at auction – and you will NOT be having any of our family buying it! Finally, you are grounded for the month young lady! IS THAT CLEAR!”
“Y. . . Yes daddy!” Silver spoon said meekly looking to the floor.
“Good. Now get home and stay your room!” Dark Steel ordered. Silver Spoon fled.
Bab Seed was sat on her cousins – no HER bed looking up at the celling with a smile. She wasn’t the weak one here no. Here SHE was in charge! It was such a turnaround from the city! The power she had over the youngsters here was brilliant! No one made fun of her here. No here SHE was the one in charge.
Suddenly the door slammed open and in the doorway was her Aunt Applejack, quickly plastering on a sweet smile she spoke up. “Hey Aunt Applejack, what’s up with the noise?” she asked. It was only then she noticed the Stetson wearing orange earth pony look about the room PROPERLY.
“Where’s Appleblooms Pictures? Why is there a straw bed in the corner with ALL her things? Why is her room looking like it’s not hers? Nah you better not lie to me! Ahl be able tell when you are!” Applejack demanded.
Babs looked on with her mouth open in shock. She could feel Applejacks prescence over in the middle of the room! She’d heard the family stories about her, how she was one of the bearers of the Elements of Harmony. She had put that down to tales of the farm being mixed up in the city, now though – she wasn’t so sure. However she wasn’t going to let herself get caught THAT easy no. she had a ready-made story just for this purpose.
“I know! Applebloom was so nice! She volunteered to let me use the bed! She even moved all her stuff for me, saying she only wanted the cor. . .” She stopped when she saw Applejack stalk forwards into the room, and before she could stop the farm pony she’d reached under the bed where she’d put all the stuff she’d taken from Applebloom – including the toys she’d deliberately broken.
Applejacks face turned to thunder at this point. “You see this here doll! The one that was made outta porcelain? That NEVER left the top shelf there!” Applejack demanded pointing to the small set of shelves opposite the bed. Babs could only nod, not daring to anger this mare anymore.
“This was the ONLY thing she had left of her mothers! I know she wouldn’t break it. This ripped photo? It’s one of her favourites. Why? Because I’m holding her as a little foal! No damn way she’d rip it. Now, how did these things get lahk this! An AH. WANT. THE. TRUTH!”
Babs could only look on in shock. How did they know. She knew that the fillies wouldn’t tell with the fear she’d put in them, so how did the adults know? She sat on the bed shaking her head as if trying to deny the truth.
“Pack yer bags Babs. Ahl stand by the door to watch yer don’t take nothing that don’t belong to ya. You’re goin home!” These words did shock a reaction out of her.
“No! Please, you can’t send me away! I can’t go back –please! I don’t want to go.” She implored.
Applejack just looked on with a snort of anger. “Well yer shoulda thought of that afore yer bullied yer own family! Now git packin!”
“NO!” Babs shouted. “Ok. BIG MAC!” Applejack called.
Applejack stepped to the side to let Big Mac in, as he stepped in Babs watched as he grabbed her bag of the top of the wardrobe before opening it.
Applejack by now to Babs’ horror had gone around the room and gathered all of Babs’ things and put them in the bag. “Now come on” Applejack said walking out the room carrying the now closed bag, Big Mac picking up Babs.
Babs couldn’t believe what was happening when Big Mac and Applejack frogmarched her to the train station and got two tickets to her hometown. Applejack turned to her and spoke with a tone of ice. “Nobody, not even family hurts mah sister. Big Mac will see you home and explain to your parents why you won’t be allowed back on our farm. Yer parents will always be welcome, but it’ll be up to Applebloom when you’re allowed back. If ever.” With that she passed the tickets and back to Big Mac before walking away from the station.
All Babs could think was ‘How am I gonna be in charge now?’
Diamond Tiara walked in her house with her head held high, looking forward to another day tomorrow showing the blank flanks their place. Her thoughts were suddenly cut off when her jewel encrusted tiara left her head. Whipping round she saw her father putting it in a bag.
“D. . .Daddy?”
The look he gave her was one of severe disappointment. “Diamond Tiara, because you have constantly ignored my warnings of how you treated Applebloom, Sweetie-Belle and Scootaloo, the Apple Family and Rarity have cut business ties with me. Do you understand what this means?” She shook her head, not sure at all.
He held up the bag with her tiara in. “I can no longer afford the payments to finish paying the jeweller for this. So it must be returned. Along with this I am having to downsize the family business as half our profits ALONE were from exporting Sweet Apple Acres produce!” You will no longer be able to have your personal Ballet lessons, as we can no longer afford them. Oh and this big house? Say goodbye to it – we’re moving back to the house I grew up in.”
Diamond Tiara looked at her father in horror. “You. . . you mean . . . we’re POOR! We have to live in a COMMONERS HOUSE!!” She shouted. She didn’t understand when he shook his head in disappointment, but his next words shocked her even more. “Diamond Tiara, we ARE commoners! I thought I raised you better than this!” He said with heat in his voice.
She shook her head. “no, no, no! I refuse to believe it! If we were commoners we wouldn’t have a nanny!” She shouted back. The next two words hit her like a bucket of cold water.
Her scream of outrage could be heard half the town away.