The weather outside was very nice; the air was hot, but with a breeze like ice. My friends, Rainbow Dash and Applejack, had joined me at the café for a snack. The pony with the rainbow mane had herself a hay burger, plain. The apple pony enjoyed two eggs, over easy, with toast that appeared burned and greasy. However, I am not a fan of either food, so I ordered a simple lilac stew.
“So, what brings you to Ponyville, Zecora?” Applejack asked in post to chewing her toast.
I held up my bags that I got from the stores. I’d bought a book and some chocolate for s’mores. “I’m going to be lazy in my hut tonight. So, there is something to read and a sweet bite.” I casually explained. I could tell that her interest was feigned. We had grown silent, save for the greetings, and then there was not much while we were eating.
“Zecora,” Rainbow Dash covered her mouth while chewing, so that the food in her mouth would not be for viewing, “Can I ask you a question?”
I nodded to her and prodded further, “Sure, Dash, that’s okay. Please, go ahead and ask away.”
“Applejack and I were having a little bit of an argument,” Rainbow Dash continued and then swallowed the food. “We would like to know: If you could describe an apple in one word, what would your one word be?”
I cocked my head and looked up to the sky. I thought for a moment and wondered, why? But Rainbow Dash is my friend, and I’ll be happy to help to any end. I thought deeply of all the enhancers, but ended up choosing my simplest answer, “After much thought, I will have found the imaginary apple is most likely round.” Was there something wrong with what I had said which prompted Rainbow Dash to shake her head?
“No, no, Zecora. In one word, describe an apple.” Rainbow Dash explicated while seeming frustrated.
“I’m not sure what’s wrong with what I said. Would it be better if my word was red?” I asked the rainbow pony, hoping to relieve some of her anxiety.
“Here’s an example.” Rainbow mentioned, and I made sure to pay attention, “In one word, how would you describe the Apple?” She asked Applejack, and then she turned back.
Applejack thought for a while, and then said, “Firm.” With a smile.
I wasn’t sure that I understood. Why was my word no good? I wasn’t sure how long it had been, but I thought carefully and answered again, “I will try to heed your wishes, and I will say the apple is delicious.”
Rainbow Dash laughed and closed her eyes, “Zecora, no.” She said with a sigh.
“I don’t understand. That is one word. Are you telling me that my answer is absurd?” I concisely stated while becoming frustrated. I wasn’t upset or angry with them, but was at my inability to comprehend.
“No, sugar cube, that is a fine answer, but you’re saying a bunch of things with it. Rainbow and I are trying to get you to describe an apple using only a one word answer. One word only.” Applejack made a box in the air and then signed. She was writing around imaginary text in her mind.
“What is wrong? My answer is too long?” I had said one word, and they were apple facts, but I still took a deep breath to relax. For a zebra to speak one word is rare, so I drew a cleansing breath to prepare. I let it out slowly, cleared my mind, and closed my eyes. I took one more breath that was much bigger in size. As the oxygen filled my breast, I strived to abstain and do my best. The apple is, I mouthed syllables but silent I stayed, and then I allowed my voice to say… “Small.”
Rainbow Dash and Applejack stared at me for a long time from the edge of their seat. My brain screamed at the unnatural feeling of leaving my sentence incomplete.
I was so sure it- but then I blurted, “...and that is all!”
“Ha! You owe me ten bits.” Applejack said loudly while biting more toast. She sat up proudly and continued to boast, “I told you she couldn’t do it.” Rainbow Dash nodded and passed the money with her wing. Applejack laughed very hard and even began to sing. Without regard or thought to my emotional beating, they simply returned to their food and began eating.
My glance bounced between them for a moment or more. I was the subject of a foolish score? “Why was concern for my speech so major that you two would create this silly wager?”
“Sorry, Zecora, we can be a bit competitive.” Rainbow explained.
I still complained, “Messing with me for a price. I don’t think that’s very nice.”
Applejack turned her attention from her egg, and then she calmly touched my leg, “We’re sorry, sugar cube. We weren’t trying to mess with you directly. I’m really sorry if we came off as mean.”
“Yeah. Sorry, Zecora.” Rainbow apologized while putting her sandwich on her plate. I was hurt, but I realized that I could relate. I am not one to let a good ribbing go to waste. If she were to trip and fall, I would laugh posthaste. Though I could not help but feel crossness at present, I suddenly thought of how to relieve my dissent.
“I’m sure if I tried hard, I could do it through much thought, but only if you two let me have the pot.” I said with an arrogant smirk. I’d gain 20 bits if I could make this work.
Rainbow Dash shrugged a shoulder, smiled and then told her, “It’s up to you ‘cause I’m out of my ten bits either way.”
“Sure, sugar cube, you’re on.” Applejack agreed while stacking Dash’s bits. She made a second stack of her own money, believing I had no wits.
My fore-hooves curled around each stack, and I silently slid them from Applejack. I sat back in my seat with delight and chuckled darkly at their plight. Gambling can be a dangerous craft, but I counted the bits and was inspired to laugh. I giggled while shaking my head, and then I pointed and said.