by CanterlotGuardian

First published

Spiders are everywhere...

Being the sensible farmpony that she is, Applejack knows that spiders are nothing to be afraid of. Fluttershy herself would tell her that. But that still didn't stop her from harboring a deep-seeded fear of those eight-legged critters. And when Fluttershy's spiders escape their homes, Applejack starts seeing them everywhere.

She promptly freaks out and runs away.


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It was a perfect day in Ponyville for the Apple family. At least, it was until Rainbow Dash had shown up wanting to show off her new pet.

“Ah don’t see how ya could have done such a thing…” Applejack was looking at Rainbow Dash with an oddly askance look on her face. “What in the hay would you want one of those things for? They don’t even make good pets!”

Dash looked at her, affronted. “And just what do you mean by that? They’re awesome! Just look at them!”

“How in tarnation do ya even know it’s a she?” Applejack asked. “It’s a spider… They all look alike!”

“They do not…” Fluttershy stated chidingly. “It’s actually rather easy to distinguish between a spider’s genders… Here, watch.” She carefully took the spider away from Dash and held it up about eye-level. “Yep, just like I thought. This one’s a female.”

“And how in Equestria do ya know that?”

“Simple,” Fluttershy stated matter-of-factly. “You see this silver streak going from the front to the back? That means it’s a female golden silk spider. The males wouldn’t have any distinct color to them all- just a brown-ish color all the way around the body. Also, it’s a big one, so more than likely for this species it’s a female. The males are usually smaller.”

Applejack shuddered. “Okay, Ah get it. Ya know how to tell what gender they are. It still don’t make them not creepy…”

“Oh come on,” Dash complained. “There’s nothing to be afraid of. They’re harmless.”

“Well not all of them, really,” Fluttershy corrected, “but for the most part, I have to agree… Surprisingly.” Dash shot a glare at her, but she went on without acknowledging it: “As long as you don’t do anything to spook them or make them feel threatened, spiders are some of the most docile creatures you will ever come across. And they are rather cute…” She looked at the spider on her hoof adoringly.

Applejack was almost ready to run.

“Ah just don’t see what’s so special about them,” she said. “Ah guess that’s just me… Y’all can have as many spiders as y’all want, just don’t let them around me or my apple trees. Don’t spiders make their nests in trees like mine?”

“Oh, you’re probably thinking about the spider mite. Those are two completely different things. Spiders, if they go near fruit at all, generally tend to stick to grape vines or banana trees, because the insects that they like to eat congregate around those fruits in particular. It’s the insects’ food of choice, so thus the spiders go there. Spider mites can hurt your trees, though, so you should probably go and do a check of your trees to see if there’s anything out of the ordinary about them.”

Applejack shot a deadpan look at her. “Do ya realize how many trees we’ve got at Sweet Apple Acres? That would take forever…” She sighed. “It is a necessary thing, though, and Ah’ll admit, Ah haven’t been checking up on the health of the trees themselves like Ah should. Probably should go do that soon…”

“Well, I gotta get this little fella home anyways,” Dash said, taking the spider from Fluttershy. “Can you come with me, Fluttershy, and help me set up the cage?”

“Oh but of course,” Fluttershy replied with a smile, “but I can’t really stay that long. I have to get back to my cabin soon. Today is the day I was supposed to clean out the spiders’ cages, which is why I thought it was funny that you came today asking about them.”

“Oh, so this was your idea,” Applejack said with a smirk.

“Yep,” Dash replied with a grin. “Fluttershy was talking so much about her spiders and how awesome they are, that I had to go and check them out for myself. Turns out, she was pretty much right.” She and Fluttershy waved to Applejack and walked away.

As soon as they were gone, Applejack sighed deeply in relief. “Ah am so glad that’s done and over with…” She shuddered. “Ah hate those darn things… All creepy and crawly… Ah don’t see how in tarnation either of them can stand to touch the things…” She started heading back to the Acres, vowing to check as many trees as she could before nighttime for the “spider mites” that Fluttershy had just told her about.

It was nighttime before Applejack even knew that time had passed at all. She had been working diligently, checking over each and every tree that she had come across for any sign of the dreaded spider mites. After asking Big Macintosh if he knew anything about them, she had found out a bit more than what Fluttershy had told her: they mostly built their thin, silk-like webs on the undersides of leaves, they mostly feed on the juices flowing through the veins of the plant’s leaves, and they could eventually (if they amassed on the plant in enough numbers) kill it by their own twisted sort of floral vampirism.

Naturally, Applejack had redoubled her efforts to keep her precious family trees away from this menace. The actual spiders that had previously been the only thing on her mind were now the furthest thing from it.

Applejack stopped and wiped the sweat from her brow. She looked around her, satisfied that she had looked over about a quarter of the apple trees on the lot. She started walking back to the family house, sore but determined to get more of the trees inspected the next day.

When she got up to the front door, she was surprised to see Fluttershy there, talking animatedly with Big Macintosh. As she got closer, she could see that Fluttershy bore a determined but worried look, and that more than anything else concerned Applejack.

“What’s wrong?” AJ asked as she approached them.

Fluttershy turned to her. “Oh, it’s simply terrible… When I got back to my house after helping Dash get her spider cage set up, I went to go clean out my spider cages like I said I was going to… And, well… They were gone.”

Applejack could feel her face blanch. “Gone, you say… All of them? Where did they all go?”

“Well I don’t know… That’s why I came over here, well after I went to a few other spots that is. I was just trying to ask Big Mac if he had seen any spiders around the homestead.”

Big Mac shook his head. “Ee-nope, not yet, anyways.”

“Ah haven’t either…” Applejack admitted. “Ah didn’t even find any of those spider mites ya told me about, and Ah’ve been checkin’ for them for about the past six hours.”

“Well that’s good at least,” Fluttershy replied, allowing a pleased smile to cross her face. “But oh, I hope my spiders aren’t hurt somewhere, or dead…” Her smile quickly faded. “I just don’t know what I would do if anything bad happened to them…”

“Ah know what Ah would do,” Applejack said under her breath. Big Mac shot her a glare, but didn’t say anything.

“Well, I should probably get going… I have a few other places I’m going to check before I go back to the house. Maybe they just went for a walk, and they’ll be back before I get there. That would be really nice…” Fluttershy took off, flying away from Sweet Apple Acres.

Applejack looked at Big Mac. “Ah sure hope we don’t find any of those darn spiders anywhere near our house…” He nodded in agreement.

“Dinner’s almost ready,” Mac said. “Apple Bloom said she was going to make dinner tonight, and there was really no stopping her, as you probably know…”

Applejack sighed. “How’s it comin’ so far?”

“Actually, not bad,” he replied. “She hasn’t started any house fires yet, so I guess that’s something.” He grew serious. “Do you really think those spiders of Fluttershy’s are going to make it all the way over here? We are a pretty far ways away from her cabin, you know.”

“True,” Applejack admitted, “but Ah just can’t help but wonder… How fast do those things travel anyways? And can they-” she shuddered- “fly…?”

“They shouldn’t be able to go that fast, and I highly doubt spiders can fly. Though I guess anything is possible…” Big Mac shrugged and walked back inside, leaving Applejack standing on the front porch. She stared inside, her eyelids threatening to slam shut so suddenly, they would remain in that position for the rest of her life, unable to open.

She sniffed the air tentatively. “Is that… Burning pie I smell?” She bolted inside. “Apple Bloom! What in the hay are you burning this time?!”

After dinner, which admittedly would have been even more of a disaster than it already was had Applejack not put out the fire- which had spread to the entire kitchen in the five or so seconds that it took her to run inside from the front porch- and sent Apple Bloom outside so she could finish cooking. She was surprised that the pie that Apple Bloom had burned actually had a pleasant taste to it after being singed, so she decided not to get onto her little sister any more than at all possible.

She went to her room after dinner, yawning. “Shoo-wee, that was a mighty fine dinner. Ah feel like Ah could use a nap now…” She diverted to the little ponies’ room to do her business before she went into her room. As she entered the room and turned on the light, her eyes immediately set upon the toilet seat, and what she saw sitting there made her blood run chill.

“What the hay are you doing here?” she hissed as she stared at the spider that had made its rest on the seat. It glanced lazily up at it, as if to say, “What’s your problem, lady?” and made no motion to get off the seat.

She could feel shivers start to run down her spine, and she knew that at that point there was something about to happen. For reasons she couldn’t quite comprehend, she looked up at the ceiling, and her blood ran chill. She counted two more spiders on the ceiling, and another on the bathtub handle.

Slowly, she backed out of the room. When she was all the way out, she bolted for the door, running headlong into the streets. She wasn’t just running aimlessly, though; she had a very specific destination in mind, which she reached about fifteen minutes later.

Panting, she knocked at the front door. After a moment or so, it opened.

“Oh my…” Fluttershy said in concern, “why are you so out of breath? Did you run all the way here from Sweet Apple Acres…?”

AJ nodded. “Ah… found your spiders…”

Her face lit up. “Oh thank you so much!” She wrapped Applejack up in a bone-breaking hug. “Oh, I’ve been worried absolutely sick about them! Where did you find them?” she asked pleadingly.

“My bathroom…” Applejack deadpanned.

“But that can’t be right…” Fluttershy mused momentarily. “How could they have traveled there so fast? They can’t fly, after all…”

“Ah don’t know, but Ah would be pleased as punch if you could come over and get them. Ah got to use the little fillies’ room…”

Fluttershy motioned towards the hallway and Applejack took off in that direction. A few moments later, an audible sigh of relief echoed throughout the hallway. Fluttershy laughed a bit to herself. When AJ came out, they took off towards Sweet Apple Acres.

It took them slightly longer to get back than it had taken Applejack by herself to get there. When they did arrive, AJ took her up to the bathroom and showed her the spiders, who were lazing about contentedly.

“Oh yes, that’s them…” she said in an adoring tone. “Now you all need to come with me. I have your cages cleaned all out and your food and water are nice and fresh!” They all came to her as one and nestled themselves into her mane. She giggled. “Isn’t that precious…”

Applejack had to try her best to not have to use the facilities again, for a different reason. “What Ah still don’t understand is how they got here so quickly. It ain’t like-”

“Oh? What’s this?” Fluttershy looked closely at one of the spiders. “It looks like she’s got something wrapped around her leg…” She nipped the orange hair away from the spider’s leg and looked down at it askance. “That looks like one of your mane hairs, Applejack.”

That was the last thing she heard before she fainted dead away. As her last threads of consciousness waned, she saw a spider crawl out of her mane and scuttle over to Fluttershy, and then she saw no more.