Greetings, and I thank you for this meeting. It has long been a dream of mine to have my story written down so that others may find inspiration from it, I merely lacked the time. Now then, I am the Personal student of Princess Celestia, Element of Magic and Leader of the Elements of Harmony, Abigail Jac-
Hm? I don’t need to talk so formally here?
In that case, y’all can call me ‘Applejack’! Nice ta meet ya!
A Pony POV Series side-story:
Seeds of Magic; Part 1 of ?
Yer not the first, to look that surprised I mean.
The accent’s bad enough fer most o’ these here Canterlot ponies, ‘s why I learned to talk all fancy-like from mah Aunt and Uncle Orange. I dun care what some o’ the other Apples say, thems good ponies and still family; some of it’s even stuck, y’all shoulda heard me growing up if ya think this is a thick accent. Y’all shoulda seen how proud they were when I told’em what I’d done. Uncle Orange darned near broke my back he hugged me so hard, and all those fancy dresses o’er there in mah closet? Half o’ them are presents Aunt Orange bought fer me outta pocket; boy howdy, she gives Rarity a run fer her element some days.
Anyway, I’m getting ahead of mahself; I’ll still probably tell ya about mah family, gonna have to really, but let’s take this one step at a time. I didn’t ask fer this just to talk about mah family tree (though that could be a book all on its own), this is about mah story. Hopefully, some other Earth Pony’ll read this and try to be something more than they thought they could; or maybe some Unicorn or Pegasus’ll do the same.
Yeah, I know what some of the magazines say about me: ‘Pride of the Earth Pony race’, ‘Herald of a New Era’, ‘The Unicorn Without a Horn’, ‘Canterlot’s Most Eligible Bachelorette’; yeah, even that one. They all make me out t’be some ‘Savior’ o’ Earth Ponies; but, really, I dun care about who I inspire. Now that I’m actually doing it, I know just how hard magic like this actually is, and I can’t imagine Pegasus stuff is any easier. That’s about the only thing I really regret though: Everypony and their brother is making this huge fuss o'er me and mah friends ain’t gettin’ nothin’; they worked hard to get where they are, same as I did!
Um... sorry; didn’t mean to shout like that. It’s just... mah friends, they mean a lot to me; and I dun like how everypony thinks that I’m better then them just cause I do what I do... it just doesn’t seem fair to them.
...no, no, I’m okay now; sorry about that, got all caught up in mah emotions there. Can’t turn back now, this is why I called ya here: To make sure all mah friends get the credit they deserve; sorry fer rambling about all that other stuff, lets get to this!
Okay, it all started during the 1000th Summer Sun Celebration, I’d gone to Ponyville because-
Huh? ‘Earlier than that’? Whatcha gettin’ at there, Missy?
...back when I first started gettin’ into magic; that’s it, ain’t it?
*sigh* I suppose there’s no helpin’ it; can’t really help inspire other ponies without lettin’em know how it happened with me. Okay, I’ll tell ya about me first, then we’ll explain how my friends helped me.
Back when I was still a young’in, didn’t even have mah Cutie Mark yet, I was horsin’ around on the farm. I’d told Macintosh (he weren’t too ‘big’ back then) and Granny Smith about wanting to visit Aunt and Uncle Orange a couple o’ days before and they weren’t none too happy about it, but they said they’d think about it. Still, I figured I’d still get in some apple bucking before I went, one last yee-haw before I was gone fer good.
It wasn’t really harvest time yet, I was just messin’ around; Macintosh’d come along to play too and was showin’ me how it was done. There’s always a few dead trees fer practice.
“Yer buckin’ too hard, AJ,’ he told me, ‘’s not ‘bout how hard ya hit, it’s where ya hit it.” Every kick o’ his just seemed to shake the whole danged tree; me, I could barely get some twitches out of it.
“Ah’m trying, Macintosh!” I was just kickin’ an kickin’, but nothin’ seemed to work. “Ain’t no kick from me gonna buck any apples.”
“Yer jus’ not used ta it,” he said, “Ah’ll show ya how it’s done.” He pulled his legs up an’ kicked the tree so hard the both o’ us heard something crack. ‘Course, when we looked up, we didn’ see nothin’ fallin’, so we kinda just fergot about it.
“Ya see? Ya gotta hit the trunk right in the middle and with both o’ your hooves at the same time. ‘Kay? Git it? Now you try.”
He moved off to the side and I pulled back fer another go at the tree. Problem was, even with all the tips in the world, I weren’t nothin’ more than a little filly who hadn’t really built her strength up too much at the time. I did better, fer sure, but not enough to do much more than make it shiver just a bit. “Dagnabbit! I ain’t never gonna git it right; maybe I’ll do better in Manehatten.”
Lookin’ back, I can tell that was probably why what happened next happened; family is important to the Apples, and Macintosh weren’t no different. Musta figured that, if I learned to buck, I’d stay instead’a leave. “Give it one more go, AJ, Ah know ya can do it.”
Never could say no to him when he looked all sad like he was, I think Apple Bloom learnt it from him growin’ up. Anyway, I went to buck again, and- while I was lookin’ the other way- so did he; he managed to hit at the same time as me and the whole danged tree shook like it was stormin’.
“AH DID IT! AH DID IT!” I was all bouncin’ and happy, so was Mac, then, we heard that crackin’ sound again and looked up.
Near as I can tell, one o’ the larger branches on the tree had rotted and all o’ our buckin’ managed to break it. ‘Course, at the time, all I saw was about half a tree comin’ down on me.
Now, y’all’ll probably hear ponies talk about how ‘I shoulda just moved’ or ‘why did Mac just stand around?’ All o’ them don’ know nothin’; when it happening right in front o’ ya, ya don’ really think as fast as ya should.
I did move some, but not quick enough; a branch about the size o’ a support beam landed right on me. I felt a lot o’ things break, especially in one o’ back legs; but, after that... it gets a bit foggy. I know I was cryin’, and Mac was hollarin’ fer Granny Smith, but after that, nothin’.
Doctors said I passed out from all the pain and I believe’em; I ain’t never felt pain like that afere or since, and I don’ want to neither.
Darnest thing too, while I was out, I was dreamin’; or rememberin’, I guess. It weren’t nothin’ fancy, just a meal with me, Macintosh, Ma and Pa all sittin’ at the table and talkin’. I don’ even think it was that important, we were just talkin’ about whether or not to make some apple fritters fer dessert, but it was a happy memory. Made me remember just why I liked the farm in the first place: It’s where I really learned what it meant to be a family....
Next thing I knew, I was layin’ on a bed in Ponyville Hospital; one o’ the unicorn doctors there was standin’ o’er me with his horn glowin’. “Oh thank Celestia, she’s waking up. Applejack, Applejack; can you hear me? Just nod, or move your hoof or something to show you can-”
“Doc, yer givin’ me a headache.” Yeah, it was rude, but I weren’t feeling too good at the time and, well, he kinda was givin’ me a headache. Though it was more o’ ‘Everything-ache’, since I couldn’t find no part of me that didn’t hurt just a bit; mah leg, the right one on the back, it was the worst. I didn’t have to move it to make it hurt, and the few times I did made it even worse.
“Sorry about that, Applejack,” the doctor used his horn to pick up a clipboard and looked at it, “you gave us quite the scare fer a while. You’ve been out fer nearly three days.”
Let me tell ya, that there was quite a shock fer me, the doctor could tell just by lookin’ at me. “Indeed, we were starting to worry you’d never wake up. It’s a miracle you survived that accident.”
While I was glad o’ that, I was sorta lookin’ to get back to work. ‘Cause o’ the dream, I felt like I should just stay on the farm and help out. “Thanks doc, can ya get me outta here, Ah have buckin’ to do.”
The doctor... well, he just looked down at the floor; like he’d heard something similar from ponies who just didn’t want to face the truth. “I’m sorry... You won’t be doing any bucking with that injury... ever again.”
Celestia as mah witness, I swear I felt something inside me break then and there.
“W-WHAT?!” I made the mistake o’ movin’ and paid fer it when my leg moved too and I felt just how badly it was broken, but I didn’ care; I just pointed at his horn, thinking it would solve all mah problems. “U-use your magic or s-something!”
He just shook his head at this, looking even sadder. “I’m sorry. I’m a doctor, not a miracle worker. The techniques to repair this kind of damage simply don’t exist yet. Medical magic is ten or twenty years away from that.”
I slumped in the bed, not caring about the pain I still felt in mah leg. “T-That’s ... that’s not fair.”
The doctor put a hoof on my shoulder, but could only say ‘I’m sorry’ again.
Granny Smith and Macintosh came in after that, but I weren’t really in the mood to talk; ‘specially with Macintosh. I don’ like to admit it, but- at the time- I sorta... blamed Macintosh fer what happened. It weren’t really his fault, there was no way he coulda known, but I was young and I felt like everything had to have somepony to blame fer it. They just talked about how they hoped I got better soon, Macintosh said he was sorry, but I didn’ listen to any o’ it. I was just so... angry; all I could think about was how unfair it was, that I couldn’t do the one thing I’d decided I wanted to do just because o’ some accident.
I was only in the hospital a few days, us earth ponies can really spring back, but I still ended up havin’ to be carted home by Macintosh. I probably coulda walked, at least into the house from the porch, but I didn’ want to; honestly, I didn’t want to do much o’ anythin’ but just lay there fer the rest o’ mah life. Yeah, it was stupid, o’ course it was stupid; but hindsight is 20/20, I thought mah life was as good as o'er at the time and didn’ care what happened from then on.
“Welcome home, AJ.” Macintosh was still trying to get me back to mah ole self, and I was still basically bein’ nothin’ but a big ole jackpony about it.
“Whatever.” I drug mahself o'er to mah bed and just flopped out on it, face down in the pillow. I don’t really remember much o’ what happened after that; Macintosh tried to make some conversation, but I just grunted and tried to ignore him.
“Ah’ll bring up some food once Granny gets it cooked up, kay?” I didn’ say anythin’, wasn’t really all that hungry, but he could be as stubborn as me sometimes; he brought it up a few hours later, but I just nibbled at it to make him go away.
That’s pretty much how I spent the better part o’ three months; just layin’ in that bed lookin’ at mah ceiling. Actually found time to count the knots in the wood- there’s 6 o’ ‘em, by the way- but never really moved; they even had to help me to the bathroom, and I didn’t even have it in me to be embarrassed by that.
Anyway, one day, mah brother came in about lunchtime with the usual grub; but there was somethin’ else on the tray.
“What's this thing?” I picked it up and gave it a once o'er, vaguely rememberin’ somethin’ like it from when Ma and Pa were still around.
Macintosh looked at me with an eyebrow cocked. “It’s called a book.” From the tone he took, ya’d have he was talking to a foal... don’ gimme that look! Y’all know what I mean!
Either way, I weren’t too interested in no book. “I don't want it,” I shoved the thing away and turned mah back to him.
But, like I said, Macintosh could be as stubborn as me when he wanted. He picked it up and dropped it on the other side of the bed, right in front o’ me again. "But you need it."
I pushed it hard enough to throw it against the wall, gettin’ angry with him. “It won’t make my leg better.” It was a low blow, I knew that, he still blamed himself fer causing the accident, and so did I sometimes. I still don’ like to admit that, it weren’t fair to him, but it is what it is, nothing in the world can change what happened.
Still, even hit hard, Macintosh didn’ give up without a fight; or, at least, a final jab. “But it might make you better.”
I gotta tell ya, that bit stung something fierce; granted, I probably deserved it fer what I’d said to him, but it still hurt. To hear yer own brother say something like that... it ain’t like when some stranger talks down to ya, that ya can just ignore and hold yer head high because they don’ know the real you. But Macintosh did know the real me, if he thought there was somethin’ wrong with me....
That’s probably why I ended up pickin’ up the darned thing in the first place; just to take mah mind off how much it hurt. Weren’t nothing too fancy, just one o’ them ‘Darin’ Do’ books; gotta tell ya, they got away with some pretty dark stuff fer books meant fer colts and fillies.
Weren’t too sure about readin’ a book about some pegasus; didn’t really hate ‘em persay, just... well, when yer whole life had been spent waitin’ on rain that didn’t always come, there was a bit o’ bitterness that tended to crop up. I gotta tell ya, though, them books are some o’ the best I ever read; and I’ve read a lot o’ books. Didn’ even realize that time was passin’, I just sat there readin’ it and occasionally munched on some o’ the food; then, Macintosh came back.
“Huh; ya actually ate yer food this time.” I looked up and was just plain surprised that he was right; fer the first time in a long time, I’d eaten everythin’ he’d brung me. “Seems that book helped after all.”
I just looked at it. “Yeah... Ah guess it did.”
After that, things started to get a lot better; I’d read a book every meal, and I’d finish everything on the plate. I actually started to get back to mah old size, not eatin’ too much befere then had really slimmed me down somethin’ fierce. Then, I just started readin’ more and more; the books were just... well, I couldn’t run or jump around anymore, so they let me remember what it was like, ya know?
Got to the point that, once those books were done, I actually started readin’ the borin’ books. It weren’t as to make sense of them, but I still tried. Took me longer then I’m gonna admit to make it through Macintosh’s math books, never had much o’ head fer numbers, but I’m every bit the stubborn earth pony they say I’m am in Canterlot; I finished them eventually, and some o’ Granny’s old romance novels, got to the point that I’d read pretty much every book in the house.
“You got any more books from the library today big brother?” He’d been promisin’ to get me the next Daring Do book as soon as it came out, and I’d heard it was due any day.
“A few more actually.” He pulled a saddlebag off and put it next to me on the bed. “Ya know the librarian is lookin’ to retire in a few years.”
“Really?” I was still pretty young, still didn’t even have a Cutie Mark, but it was always good to have a plan. I loved books by then, and probably read most o’ the library anyway, so workin’ there just made sense to me. But there was one thing that put a bit of a stitch in mah giddy-up.
I’d stopped being a complete layabout by then, I could hobble around to get the the bathroom and back by mahself, but this was an entirely different haybale. I had to learn to walk again.
Well, not entirely, I knew how to walk; but I had barely used mah leg since it got ruined. It just hurt so badly to walk on it, even moving it weren’t too fun; but, like I said, stubborn earth pony. I would walk, no matter how much it hurt.
Managed to rope Macintosh into it, but I think he was just glad to see me doing something again. I could stand on three legs just fine, the problem was walkin’ with them; every time I’d go to take a step, I’d have to basically hop with half mahself. Works fer gettin’ to and from the bathroom, but anythin’ more than that is just too much. I had to work on how much it hurt to use mah leg; I had some pills from the doc, but they didn’ really do all that much when I put weight on it. Hay, first time I tried to actually walk, I pulled mah leg up while I was still using it and fell flat on mah side.
Hurt like Tartarus too, since that meant hittin’ mah leg on the floor.
I’m not gonna lie, I thought about just givin’ up then and there, but Macintosh weren’t havin’ any o’ that; his baby sister was finally actin’ like her ole self, so he wouldn’t let go o’ that without a fight.
“Come on, AJ, git up and we’ll try again.” He pushed me to mah hooves and stood next to me. “Just across the room, you can do it.” He matched me almost step fer step, right up until I got ready to put my bad hoof down; I started to put weight on it, and it jerked right back up. Thankfully, I only ended up leaning against Macintosh this time. “Push yerself, AJ; ya never let somethin’ git in yer way before now.” That actually made me glare at him, since I was pretty sure he’d never had to deal with this much pain just standing.
I put mah foot down again, grittin’ mah teeth and fighting to not just pull it up again. Took me nearly a minute, but I finally managed somethin’ that looked like a step anyway. Hurt almost as bad as the branch fallin’, and I almost fell o'er from how much it took outta me, but I still did it and was pleased as punch about it. Of course, it still took us o’er twenty minutes to get from one side of the room to the other, but that was the start of me walkin’ again and I treated it like I’d just won a marathon; it was about tiring as one too....
Took me another month before I could walk by mahself; and even then, I still had a limp that wasn’t going to go away. Still do have it, actually; every doc I’ve talked to tells me it’s always gonna be there since the bones healed wrong or somethin’. But it was enough to get me ta the library; didn’t much care fer all the starin’ they were doin’, but can’t say I blame ‘em either. Not every day ya see a filly with a limp, probably could help but feel sorry fer me, but I didn’ really care; I had places to be and I wasn’t gonna just hide away from the world anymore.
Thankfully, I made it to the library on my own- even though I saw Macintosh followin’ me, don’t tell him- and sat down with the librarian. She was a nice ole unicorn, ya kinda remind me o’ her, ma'am, but she was gettin’ on in her years; it was just gettin’ hard fer her to keep goin’.
Anyway, talkin’ with her was actually kinda fun; she really knew her stuff about books, even had a cutie mark in it and was a published author. I told her what I was lookin’ to do, and she seemed all for it; just had to wait fer my to get a bit older. Until then, she’d be teachin’ me everything she knew about runnin’ the library whenever I could stop on by fer a visit.
Yeah, I didn’t really have much else to do, so I was there a lot.
That’s actually how I found out about Princess Celestia’s school; turns out, she taught there herself. The princess don’t have enough hours in her day to meet and teach every pony that goes there, there are other teachers that teach some o’ the other students; I’m the exception, not the rule.
But librarian had been one of the teachers when she was younger, taught advanced magical theory and could go on for a long time once you got her started. She was the one the first got me interested in magic and what it could do; took away a lot of misconceptions I had ‘bout it too, like that it wasn’t any effort. She was always struggling to lift the heavier books with her telekinesis, like I would’ve if I’d been able-bodied; and anything too advanced would leave her needin’ to sit down for a while, like Granny Smith when she did too much fer her age.
Still, all she had to say, it got me really interested in that school... maybe a bit too interested. Once I found out that you could just apply for it, I actually begged Granny and Macintosh to take me to Canterlot so I could apply; they both tried to tell me that it wasn’t going to work, but I didn’ wanna hear it. I just begged and begged and begged them until they finally agreed to take me to Canterlot.
It was like nothin’ I’d ever seen; I dunno if you really get just how shocking it is, when ya grow up all yer life somewhere where the tallest building ya’d ever seen was wasn’t much bigger than a barn and ya come someplace like Canterlot. It was... well, put it this way: I remember bitin’ into mah first Zap Apple when I was still a real young’in, and- fer the longest time- that was the most wonderful thing I’d ever experienced. Then I came here, and it was every bit as exciting inside me like that Zap Apple was; there ain’t no other way to say it, sorry.
We asked around about the school, and a lot ‘o the ponies were too snooty to even talk with us, but the ones that did pointed us in the right direction. Did ya know the school is actually part of the palace? Yeah, it surprised the heck outta me when got there; it’s one thing to be going to a school with the princess’s name on it, it’s another bale of hay entirely to go to one in her palace.
O’course, you can probably guess how it went when we actually got there.
I’ll give the stallion handlin’ admissions this: He didn’ outright reject me, and actually looked at the transcripts I’d brung with me; all that talkin’ with Page Turner (the ole librarian) had really helped mah schoolin’, so I was doin’ pretty darn well in class, but... well....
“We’re sorry. While you are within the proper age range and your grades are all above average, the fact remains this is a school for gifted UNICORNS. As an Earth Pony you simply don't apply.”
I took it pretty hard, called him some names that I still regret to this day and limped outta there with tears in mah eyes. Macintosh and Granny tried to cheer me up on the way home, but I was just too broken up about it; as far as I knew, I was turned away just cause I didn’t have a horn. I mean, now I know that it was just common sense at the time; everypony thought only unicorns could do magic after all, so lettin’ an earth pony into a school all about magic didn’ make a lick o’ sense. But back then, I was just angry about it.
“It ain’t fair!” It pretty much screamed that at Granny, Macintosh and Page Turner every chance I got after we got back. “Ah’m just as smart as all o’ them! Ah study hard, Ah know everythang about magic that you told me, Ah even tried ta talk fancy when Ah was there! It’s not fair!!!”
Page Turner gave me a hug, nuzzling up against me while I kept on throwing mah tantrum. “Applejack, life isn’t something that usually is fair,” yeah, she said that to a foal without any parents, “it’s just something that we have to accept. Sometimes, our dreams don’t work out like we had hoped they would; we just have to find other ways to use our talents.”
Now, I get that she was tryin’ to get me to let go o’ that whole thing and focus on things I actually could do; but, well, you try tellin’ a foal lookin’ to get their cutie mark anythin’ and tell me how it goes.
...no offense, sweetheart.
Anyway... fer some reason, I took it to mean that I had to get creative with gettin’ inta the school; and, well, Ponyville has a costume shop that sells all sorts o’ fake things: Wings, claws, teeth... and horns.
Macintosh ain’t never been one to sugarcoat things, even back then. Once he saw what I’d bought with mah allowance, he didn’ waste any time tellin’ me exactly what he thought of it. “AJ, this idea of yers is just plain stupid.”
I was too busy trying to get the string to hold it in place over mah head to really listen. “Ah gotta try.”
“No pony’s gonna be fooled by that there fake horn. And ya can’t do the floaty stuff!” There wasn’t really anything to say to that, but I was a foal on a mission and wasn’t going to be stopped by words.
“Ah’ll think of somethin’.” I finally got it to stick and started limping toward the door, he got there first and blocked me in. “Darnit, Macintosh,” I tried to push him outta the way, “Ah gotta do this!”
“AJ, yer not listening to meh: It won’t work!” He was bigger than me, even back then, so he stood firm. “Yer not a unicorn, yer an earth pony; stop tryin’ to do all that fancy magic and just worry about what ya can do.”
“Ya mean just sit on mah bed and read?!” He flinched at that, I think we were both still touchy about the whole thing back then.
“Th-that ain’t what Ah-”
“But it’s the truth, ain’t it!?” I didn’t let up, I wouldn’t let him brush it away. I still don’t like how mean I could git when I got all riled up back then. “Ah can’t buck trees, Ah can’t keep up with everypony else durin’ harvest, Ah can’t even help Granny Smith with sellin’. All I can do is sit around here and do nothin’! AND THAT AIN’T WHAT AH WANT!”
He looked down, I’d hit him pretty hard with that little rant and he was showin’ it; I don’ care what sorta reputation he has, or how strong he gets, Macintosh is always gonna be nothing but a big ole softie. Hay, he once had to switch classes in school to one that had more fillies than colts after he brought in a doll when they asked them to bring in their favorite toy for show’n’tell; they wouldn’t stop makin’ fun o’ him for it.
Huh? O’course Pa didn’ care he played with dolls. Who do ya think bought him those?
Anyway, he did let up some after that. “Ah’ll go ask Granny about it.”
“No!” I stamped one o’ my good hooves at that, “she can’t come. And neither can you; they might recognize ya and figure out Ah’m not a unicorn.”
“Ya really think Granny’s jist gonna let ya go all the way ta Canterlot by yerself?”
“O’course not,” I said, grinnin’ like an idiot, “that’s why yer not gonna tell her.”
Yeah... that didn’ go over as well as some o’ the other stuff. It didn’ matter how much I tried to guilt him into lettin’ me go, he wouldn’t cotton to me leaving alone. He said he’d talk to Granny about it that night, but I had other plans.
I never actually let ‘em know just how much o’ mah allowance I kept around, somethin’ to go to in case I needed somethin’ and didn’t want ‘em to know I was gettin’ it. I had enough to buy a train ticket and- since Macintosh and Granny had chores to do- I also had enough time to get on the train before they even realized I was gone.
Took me a few hours to get to Canterlot, but I still had time to get to the school again. Granny and Macintosh still had to wait for the next train, so they wouldn’t be there for a while at least; not to mention, that gave me time to come up with a new name fer the school.
Don’t look at me like that! Macintosh is the Element o’ Honesty, not me.
Anyway, I hid mah accent and mah limp as best I could as I walked in; it seemed be goin’ good so far, so I really should have expected a curveball like I got.
“All right then ... ‘Magica De Apple’? Since you seem SO eager, it’s simple, hatch this dragon egg as your entrance exam.”
Yeah, the test to get into the school is all but infamous with the students. It weren’t till later on that I learned yer not supposed to be able to do it; it’s a test o’ creativity and ingenuity when faced with a task ya couldn’t solve. But, at the time, well, I was desperate; Macintosh was right, I couldn’t do any unicorn magic, and I didn’t have a cutie mark in animal care, so I didn’t know what to do.
I figured I could try to use earth pony magic, since that’s all about life, to do somethin’; I mean... dragons are life, so maybe I could help it along like I used to do with trees and other plants. It made sense in my head, but I was really reaching for it
I had to do somethin’, anythin’, that I could do to pass. Somethin’ to prove I was worth somethin’....
And then... KAAAA-BOOOM!
What I’d later learn was Rainbow Dash doin’ her Sonic Rainboom shook the entire castle, and shook somethin’ inside o’ me.
All o’ a sudden, it was like I was seein’ everythin’ again fer the very first time. There was magic, livin’ magic, inside o’ everythin’ around me: The egg, the cart that it was wheeled in on, even the air I was breathin’! It was just so... overwhelmin’.
No, I mean literally overwhelmin’; it was like tryin’ to force a bunch apples into a bin too small to fit ‘em all. It hurt too, like that time I got zapped from kickin’ a Zap Apple tree too early, only this just kept on going. I can sorta remember somethin’ like a circle appearin’ around me, as my mind just went everywhere. I looked at the egg, rememberin’ how I was supposed to hatch it, and it hatched; it wasn’t even an effort, it was just a thought. I looked toward the teachers that were givin’ me the exam and they started floatin’ since I was thinking about how high up they were; then one swapped his horn for some wings since he reminded me of a pegasus back home and another turned into a tree.
I looked back at the baby dragon, still sitting in the cart, and wondered what he’d look like all grown up. And then, he was; all big and huge and actually kinda scary lookin’, but I wasn’t scared o’ him. No, I was too busy bein’ in pain.
It was just gettin’ worse and worse as it went on, especially in mah bad leg, and I couldn’t stop it; I saw the circle around me getting fancier and fancier, with runes and lines and Celestia knows what else appearing in and around it. It hurt, it hurt so much and I couldn’ stop it, I didn’ even know how to stop it!
Then, I felt a hoof on mah shoulder and I looked back.
I have to say, with the way I was seeing everything at then, it wasn’t like how most ponies see things. I really dunno how to explain it, not even sure I even could explain it, but it was something so different from what things normally looked like that ya might as well try comparin’ black to white. The princess, well, she looked beautiful with the way I was seein’ her. I mean, not that she doesn’t all the time, but I mean... it don’t make any sense to compare the two ways; I can’t explain it, I really can’t. I’ve tried, since the way I saw her is something that ponies really should see; then they’d know why I’m so loyal to her, why all her guards and every pony who was ever loyal to her acts like they do.
But seeing that, it calmed me down. The princess wasn’t castin’ a spell or anything, but it still worked; the circle around me faded away and everythin’ just sorta snapped back to the way it was before. The dragon went back to bein’ a baby, even started sucking on his tail, and the interviewers I had changed went back to bein’ unicorns while the rest stopped floatin’.
I slumped to the floor, pantin’ and wincin’ from all the pain in mah leg; but, either way, I wasn’t castin’ all that magic anymore.
“Abigail Jacqueline,” I didn’t question how she knew mah real name, “That’s a very special gift you have there.”
“It’s ‘Applejack’,” I corrected outta habit, “Yer Majesty. And thank ya kindly.”
“Applejack, then.” She gave me a smile, seemingly amused that I had corrected her at all. “But even so, I’ve never met a unicorn with all your raw power.” She reached up the the fake horn I’d bought, and then pushed it up so the string slipped away. “Much less an Earth Pony.”
I remember the examiners going a bit nuts at that, can’t say I really blame ‘em either.
“However,” she continued, “You need to learn to tame that power through focused study, and I’m not sure that a normal teacher will do for a pony in your position.”
I was still a little out of it at the time, so I wasn’t quite gettin’ the message. “Huh?”
“Applejack, I’d like to make you my own, personal protege here at the school.”
“Huh?!” And that time, I was just completely flabbergasted.
“Well?” She was smirkin’; hoof to Luna, I swear it. The Princess was smirkin’ like yer parents do when they know ya can’t say ‘no’ to somethin’; and, really, who in their right mind woulda?
“Yes!” I actually managed to get to mah hooves for that. “Yesyesyesyesyes!” It was everythin’ I had dreamed o’ and more; and, turns out there was one more surprise comin’ that day.
“Oh, and one more thing.” I stopped my one pony celebration and stared open-mouthed at the princess.
“More?!” I didn’t know what to expect; fer all I knew, she was gonna give me wings and a horn next. Instead, she just pointed at mah flank; and that’s when I saw this ole thing.
(Interviewer’s Notes(Unicorn): Let the records show that Miss Applejack is pointing to her cutie mark: A Zap Apple inside of a Rune Circle.)
Yeah, thank ya fer that. Anyway, it was pretty much the cap to a great day; it was also about the only thang that kept Granny from tannin’ mah hide once she and Macintosh finally caught up to me. I was gonna be taught by the princess herself, who else could say that about themselves.
Once I started school, though, well-
Whoa Nelly! Is that the time?! Sorry to do this, but I’m gonna have to stop here; I’m supposed to meet mah friends for a party, and I’m gonna be late if I dun leave right now. I’ll get Spike ta send a message when I have some free time for another interview; I still got a heck of a lot to tell y’all, not to mention I still have to tell ya about the Summer Sun Celebration and how I met all mah friends.
‘Kay; see ya around; and thank ya fer yer time!