It had been about a week since Applejack and her friends had discovered that Zecora wasn’t quite the evil enchantress that everypony in town had made her out to be. Sure, there were still a good number old ponies holding out who didn’t trust her, but that number was slowly shrinking down. However, there was one pony in particular who wasn’t really interested in getting along with the strange zebra. And that pony was Applejack, who sighed as she watched the zebra approaching her farm. “Ugh…” Applejack rolled her eyes. “Great… what does she want?” She grumbled. “Doesn’t she know I’m busy?”
Applejack didn’t like the fact that Zecora had formed a bond with her little sister. It was one thing for her to see the zebra hanging around in Ponyville, but it was entirely another for her to be skulking around her farm. Not because she was a zebra, but more because she found her… creepy and untrustworthy. Nothing ever good seemed to come out of the Everfree, and Zecora was no exception. Still, she had to give Zecora credit for curing her poison joke, so she was reluctant to just tell the zebra to go away. If only there were some sort of way she could scare her off, so she wouldn’t have to deal with her… maybe intimidate her somehow…
Then Applejack remembered that her brother had recently bought himself a shotgun, so they could scare off the Timber Wolves that came into their fields at night. A sly smirk came over Applejack’s face. She figured if the weapon could be used to scare off one type of pest, it would be able to work on other types as well. She hurried over to the barn to retrieve it, so when Zecora approached, she could be seen polishing her gun on the fence surrounding her fields.
“Hello, Applejack, my dear. Is Apple Bloom currently here?” Asked the zebra.
“Nope.” Applejack said casually as she polished the firearm, hoping the mere sight of it would be enough to encourage Zecora to leave her alone. “She’s at school right now.”
“Ah. She’s busy with her educator, in that case I will wait till later.” Said Zecora.
“That might not be such a good idea.” Applejack snorted, hoping Zecora would get the hint.
“What do you mean, my fellow mare? What is it you have right there?” Pondered Zecora, looking at the strange weapon Applejack was carrying.
“This right here is my boomstick, and this here fence is here for a reason, Sugarcube.” Applejack said with a bit of stink eye, getting a little frustrated that Zecora hadn’t just left yet.
“Erm... What?” Zecora frowned, so confused she nearly broke her rhymes. “It is much to my dismay, that I do not know what you are trying to say.”
“This fence is meant to keep pests out.” Applejack frowned. “Now… Move away.” She said much more bluntly, cocking her gun in the process.
Zecora tensed up. “I do not know if this is a threat, but it will be something you will regret.”
“I aint sayin’ nothing.” Said Applejack. “Now git.”
Zecora blinked and stared at Applejack with an intense look. “I am not welcome. That's what I perceive, so I will go and take my leave.” Zecora turned towards the Everfree to return home.
“Well shucks. That was easy.” Applejack chuckled. “This thing ain't even loaded.” She got up to continue her chores for the day, most happy about the fact she didn’t have to deal with the zebra.
Zecora trotted off to her home, quite upset about her encounter with Applejack. It wasn’t so much the fact that Applejack had told her off, but rather the fact she had threatened her to do it. Zecora didn’t like being threatened at all, and her mind was already racing for ways to get back at Applejack.
Then an idea struck her. Zecora quickly ran back home and began working on a brew she sometimes used to scare hydras off from her area of the forest. A size brew, one of the zebra's specialties, although one she hadn’t made for a long time. Soon that eccentric farm girl would pay. Nopony got to threaten Zecora and get away with it.
Applejack was in the process of bucking apples near the edge of the Everfree, when she felt the ground beginning to shake underneath her. She could hear the sound of hoofsteps coming from the forest, but they were loud and booming. “What the?” She cried out and pulled out her shotgun as the familiar striped pattern fur appeared from within the forest, stepping out to reveal its equine form.
A huge zebra loomed out of the forest, easily one-hundred feet tall. She looked over the orange mare and chuckled. “Hello there, little Applejack. As you can see, I am back.”
“Gyah! Z-z-zecora! I… I… I… “ The young orange mare shook in fear, the gun shaking in her hooves as she gazed upon the gigantic zebra, wondering what she had in store for her.
“Oh... Applejack. There's no need to pout. Go ahead and try getting it out.” Zecora chuckled, amused to see that the orange pony so nervous.
“What me? Scared? Of what?” She said nervously as she slowly lowered her shotgun in order to not upset the giant zebra.
“Oh. You're not intimidated? That's a surprise. I thought you might be scared of my size.” The zebra laid down and smirked, clearly aware that the pony was scared out of her wits, but not wanting to say anything to embarrass her.
“Oh. please why?” Applejack said as she tried to play it cool. “It’s not like you're one to hurt anyone. Twilight and I learned that last week…”
“Are you sure of that, my little mare. That is still up in the air.” She playfully raised a hoof over Applejack.
Applejack began to panic and put her own hooves over her head. “Gah! Please, Zecora! I’m sorry! I shouldn’ta threatened you!”
“Maybe next time you won’t be so rude, to a mare that could easily see you as food.” She teasingly licked her lips.
“No, no, no,” Applejack said as she got on her knees and begged. “I’ve learned my lesson… Honest!”
“Is that so, you little gnat?” She leaned down to put her nuzzle against Applejack’s. “And please share what lesson is that?” She gave Applejack a playful lick, greatly enjoying her teasing of the little mare.
“I… W-well…” Applejack sweated in fear, almost afraid to say anything. She really didn’t like the fact that she was near a mouth large enough to fit her whole body, and she began to wonder if the stories about Zecora eating ponies were true.
Zecora chuckled. “You should have learned it’s bad to assume. But at point, you’re basically doomed!” She gave Applejack another lick.
“Wait what!?” Applejack shivered from the enormous lick, her fur now coated not only with the zebra’s saliva, but her own sweat as well. “You mean you’re gonna…?”
“Sorry, AJ. But this conversation has soured... Now prepare to be devoured.” The zebra opened her mouth, letting Applejack see just how small and vulnerable she really was. She imagined being threatened wasn’t so much fun when the shoe was on the other hoof.
“N-No… No… No! This can’t be!” Applejack screamed as she turned tail and began to sprint away. “I aint gonna die like this!”
Zecora grinned and allowed Applejack to escape to her barn by walking as slowly as possible, knowing she could have easily caught her if she wished. It amused her to see the farm pony fleeing like a rat from a stalking housecat.
Once inside the barn, Applejack locked the doors, shut the windows and hid herself from view in a bale of hay. She wasn't going to be anyone's snack today.
Zecora playfully tapped on the roof with the tip of her hoof, shaking the building causing dust to fall from the ceiling. “I know you're in there, Applejack. Come on out, and be my snack.” The zebra put her face up to a window and licked it, fogging it up with breath and spittle.
Applejack stood quiet, burying herself in hay and staying perfectly still, praying to Celestia that the giant zebra would not be able to locate her. “Oh… Celestia… please no…” She pulled her hat over her face.
Zecora didn't wish to damage Applejack's barn, so she started to pace around outside in order to intimidate her, letting the stomping of her hooves terrify the farm pony inside.
The steps kept shaking her little barn, causing tools, bags of food, haystacks, and other heavy things to come crashing down all around her. As the shaking intensified, Applejack began to fear that the whole barn was going to collapse on top of her. Eventually, fear got the better of her and she ran over to one of the windows and climbed out, hoping that Zecora would be focusing her attention on the doors and that she might be able to slip away undetected. She snuck outside, just in time to see a drop of drool land in front of her. She looked up and gasped.
Zecora was gently resting on top of the building. Not enough to crush it, but enough that she could lean against it and be immediately above AJ when she walked out. “Hello.” She drooled, letting another droplet of spittle land next to the pony, who was covered with sweat, spit and hay.
“AAAahhh,” Applejack screamed out. She turned to run back inside the barn, only for a massive hoof to crash down in front of her, cutting her off from the escape route. Her eyes widened, and she stared up at the zebra in absolute terror, screaming the whole time.
“Good heavens. If you're so scared of death, then please make sure to pause for breath.” Zecora put her head down so she could look Applejack eye to eye, even though she would appear upside-down.
Applejack was panicking, panting and barely able to keep herself up as she crawled backwards, accepting her fate as zebra food. “Please d-don’t…”
“Don't do what?” Zecora purred. “Put you inside my gut?”
“Yes, exactly that!” Applejack sniffled. “I’m sorry, Zecora! I shoulda just tolja I wasn’t in the mood to talk to ya!”
Zecora gets off of the barn and smiles, rolling over so she can look at Applejack right-side up. “Well, young one, to be frank. All of this was merely a prank.”
Applejack was still breathing heavily and was bracing to be eaten at any moment when Zecora revealed that information to her. “W-wh-what?” She shivered. So nervous that Zecora was pulling a fast one on her that she refused to move.
“Come on out. We have much to discuss. Let's see if we can find some trust between us.” The massive zebra gestured with her hoof.
Slowly, Applejack made her way forward. Shaking as she was quite traumatized by the whole experience. She slowly reached out towards the zebra's hoof and placed her own on it.
“There we are. That's not so bad, is it? How do you feel, my little tidbit?” She gently patted the mare.
“Uhm...” Applejack gulped as she looked away, not so used to be treated as the small one in any situation. She was often a lot stronger than most ponies. So. this was sort of a little demeaning for her. “W-well, scared. Or at least, I was ... now I’m just confused. I mean, why didn't ya get revenge on me?”
“If I wanted you dead, you already would be. That type of revenge just isn't me.” Zecora shook her head. “I just didn't like the look of your glare, so I thought I would give you quite a scare.” She gently kissed the Applejack with her massive lips.
Applejack blushed a bit as the massive lips of Zecora came down, engulfing her in warmth for a few seconds as she blushed. Hiding it under her hat as she responded, “Well, thank you, Zecora. Guess I misjudged ya. I wanna apologize for everything I've done to ya. It wasn't right for me to use my weapon to intimidate ya like that. It wasn't self-defense, or defending muh property or nothing. It were just plain meanness. I hope ya can in ya to forgive me.” She hung her head in shame.
“I was rather turned off by your threat, which is why I caused you to fret. But fear not, I’m a big mare. I can find some forgiveness in there.” Zecora placed a hoof over her heart.
“Y-ya mean it, Zecora?” Applejack smiled.
“I'm willing to look past your old mindset. Consider us even, no harm and no sweat. “ She gently put the tip of her hoof under AJ's chin and lifted it up, so she would look into her large eyes. She then brought her nuzzle against the tiny pony, so she could have something to hug.
Applejack returned the favor as she hugged tightly the large muzzle. “Yeah… I really am sorry. Let’s just let bygones be bygones. It was silly of me to drive you off like that. It’s just… I’m all stressed out.” She sighed. “Ever since Macintosh hurt his back, I’ve been so busy tryin’ to get everything harvested on my own. I mean… Twilight and my friends are a big help, but they all got lives of their own. Can’t be here all the time.”
“Since I am now off your blacklist, I would be willing to assist.” Zecora smiled and nodded.
“Wait… you mean it!?” Applejack gasped. “You, maybe wanna come by around tomorrow or so?”
“That is a certainty to be sure. I would love to be given a tour.” The zebra smiles. “Though... erm... You may see me as sort of a freak. For this potion will last for almost a week.” She rubbed her mane.
“Pfft, what's the worst that can happen?” Applejack asked as she leaned on her fence. “Heck, at your size, I’ll bet you can buck more apples than me and Apple Bloom combined.”
“Hmm. I have never done that before. But I will assist with your chore.” Zecora beams. “That way I can put my size to good use, instead of using it to feign abuse.”
“Great see ya tomorrow then!” Applejack said as she waved the giant mare goodbye. “Just make sure ya watch yer step and don’t kick too hard, okay?”
Zecora nodded “Then I wish you a fine goodbye, until tomorrow, when I come by.” Zecora walked off the farm, watching her step, just to make sure she didn't step anywhere she shouldn't. “Thanks for letting me make amends, hopefully we become good friends.”
“Thank you, Zecora.” Said Applejack, heading into the barn to hang up her brother’s weapon. “I hope that as well… See ya around.”
And so, the two mares parted ways. Though they came from different cultures and stood at different sizes, they found they could still be friends. They weren’t sure how long their relationship would last, but they had clearly planted the seeds of friendship. And if there’s one thing that every farmer and shaman could agree on, it was that every seed had the potential to grow into something beautiful.