It was an unusually warm, sunny autumn day in Ponyville. Not so warm as to cause one to wonder why, but a bit warmer than normal. It was a perfect day to be outside, enjoying the weather. And not a bad day at all to be getting some work done. After all, apples don’t buck themselves. No matter how many times you tell them to go do so.
Applejack watched as the apples fell from the trees and landed perfectly in the buckets she had set up. Many might wonder how she was able to do that. A few might suggest it was because she knew magic. They would be laughed at. After all, an Earth pony can’t use magic; at least, not in the way unicorns can. Others may say it was because she knew Pinkie Pie. That crazy mare seems to know what’s going to happen before it even happens. The legends told about her Pinkie Sense become more and more exaggerated the farther you get from Ponyville, as word-of-mouth tends to do to stories. It has been said that she can predict exactly when and where you’ll fall in love, or what grade you’re going to get on a test months before you take it. However, even if these rumors were true, Pinkie was nowhere to be seen, and therefore could not be the forseer of falling fruits. How, then, did Applejack know where to put the buckets. Well, that’s simple: she knows apples. She’s bucked enough trees to know where the apples would fall better than Twilight would know exactly what shelf one would find a particular book on.
Completely oblivious to the nonsense some ponies may or may not think about Pinkie Pie or some falling apples, Applejack picked up the apple-filled buckets and put them on her cart. As she adjusted her trademark stetson, she noticed something that would make some ponies question their vision, but to her was completely normal. A cyan blur with a trailing rainbow sped towards Sweet Apple Acres, in the general direction of Applejack. It slowed down a bit as it grew closer, so as to not crash into any trees. Good. She’s learning, the farmer thought. The blur finally slowed down enough to reveal that it was a pony; a pegasus, in fact. A pegasus with magenta eyes, a rainbow mane, and a confidant smile.
“‘Sup, AJ?” Rainbow Dash asked as she touched town.
“Nothing much, Sugarcube,” Applejack replied. “Just tryin ta harvest the last of the apples in this section of the orchard. Ah’ve still got a few more rows to go, though.”
“Huh. Sounds like a lot of work,” Rainbow remarked, lifting off the ground to get a better view.
“It’s a bit more than I normally do in a day, but it’s not too much,” The Earth pony responded.
The pegasus surveyed the trees, a skeptical look on her face. “Only a bit more than normal?”
“Yeah. We’ve gotten a little behind. We gotta make sure we get all the apples harvested before winter. It ain’t gonna be this warm forever.” Rainbow took another look at the trees still left to be bucked.
“You do a lot of work in one day,” Dash said, looking impressed by the Earth pony’s work ethic.
“Ah’m a hard worker,” Applejack replied, not a hint of braggery or boastfulness in her voice. It’s the truth, after all. Nopony could deny that.
“So, do you think you’re gonna be finished by tonight?” The cyan mare questioned, softly landing on the ground once more. The farmer turned, getting ready to buck another tree.
“Maybe. It depends on what time you’re talkin’ ‘bout. Why?”
“I wanted to know if you’d like to go out with me.” The brash pegasus asked, not a hint of worry or nervousness on her face, save for a light blush.
The Earth pony finished kicking the tree, the apples never missing the buckets. “Go out? As in a date?” She asked.
“Yeah. A date,” Rainbow confirmed.
Applejack shrugged. “Sure, what the hay.”
Rainbow grinned. “Cool. So, I’ll meet you at Sugarcube Corner at five?”
The farmer shook her head. “Nah, Ah don’t think Ah’ll be able to make it in time. How ‘bout six?”
The daredevil shrugged. “Sure, sounds like a plan.”
“Ah might be a few minutes late. It depends on how long it’s gonna take me to finish up this part of the orchard.”
“That’s fine. Just don’t stand me up,” Rainbow joked.
“Ah wouldn’t dream of it.” Applejack replied with a smile. “But Ah might have to skip out on taking a shower if Ah’m runnin’ late.”
The pegasus laughed. “So? Who do you think I am, Rarity?”
Applejack chuckled, remembering the time she had to skip a shower after a hard day’s work in order to catch the train when they all went to Manehattan to see a play. Rarity had outright refused to get on the train unless Applejack took a shower. It was a shame, really. Rarity would have loved that play.
“Ah’ll try to finish up quickly so Ah’ll have time for a shower. Ah don’t mind gettin’ dirty and smelly too much, but Ah’d rather not be if Ah don’t have to. Also, Ah wouldn’t wanna upset Pinkie by driving away all the customers.”
Rainbow laughed again. “I gotta go. I promised Scootaloo I would watch her new scooter trick.” The multicolor-maned mare took off, calling over her shoulder, “See you tonight!”
Before Applejack turned back to her work with renewed vigor and a time limit, she smiled and watched the retreating form of the prismatic pegasus, seeing nothing but a blur followed by a rainbow. Unbeknownst to her, if she were to be able to clearly see the departing daredevil’s face, she would see it being graced by the largest grin anypony would have ever seen, or would ever see since. Perhaps it was fortunate that Applejack could not see it. A smile that bright might make one go blind.