End of winter, beginning of spring
Eris, Memoire Musique, Big Mac, Shutterbug, Applejack, Rarity, Nettleglum, Thunderfire, Derpy, Trixie, Berry Punch, Paja Fuerte (NPC), Sugar Rush, Mixtape
Eris sure wasn't going to be joining the weather team - her flying's not quite up to par. So, plants or animals? Well, there was that one time where she killed an entire strawberry patch. And then that other time with the chimera. Hm. She looks to Shutterbug quizzically.
Memoire_Musique has to think fast. Screwing up her courage, she squeaks out as loudly as she can. "Uhm! Everypony on the Animal Team, come get your vests! We need to wake da' aminals up slowly and gently, otherwise dey gets mad!" she says, perching atop Thunderfire's head. "U....Uh... I tink there's bells! And string! If you's scareded of animals, can put the bell on a string?" she asks, looking down at her brother for confirmation.
Big_Mac turns to focus on AJ, chuckling a little at the thought of a vest in his size He'll stick to his collar, he reckons. Of course, he's old hat at this winter wrapup thing, he's happiest behind a plough!
Shutter is already lining up behind the Animal team, putting on a home-made vest Dreamy sewed for him. Catching Eris' gaze, the foal gives her a shy smile and beckons her over with a few dips of his head.
Applejack squeegrins. "Uh. Ain't rightly sure that's a good idea, Nettie. Ah don't doubt they're plenty festive, but yer plants are usually, uh, a mite too ENTHUSIASTIC fer most folk. We're tryin' ta stick ta food an' grass an' th' kindsa things everypony can enjoy without any kinda special trainin' or equipment. 'Kay?" Of course Mac will be behind a plough! He's her lead ploughman! The others will follow his wake.
Rarity shuffles around quietly, putting bird nests together and making them fabulously fabulous...
Nettleglum cannot look disappointed. Or indeed, anything else which implies a metabolism. Her waxwork's voice is flatly optimistic. "Of course, dear. I quite understand. Ponyville is... very fond of its local plants." She thinks it's a bit disappointing how provincial the town is, but, not everypony enjoys the simpler pleasures of life.
Thunderfire slips on his vest from AJ and glances up at Memmy. "Right." he tell her assuringly while also listening to AJ in the meantime.
Eris hops off of Big Mac's back, finally, squawking a 'Thanks!' The fledgling heads over to Shutterbug and the animal team. She then wrestles on one of the animal team vests - a bit too big for the little griffon - and grabs a bell. Perhaps those little talons could go to use making nests, as well?
Floating his camera out of his bag, Shutter takes a moment to snap a single shot of the Animal Team, all gathered together. Whoo! He hopes the photo and some dental work will be enough to identify them after they've all been eaten by rabid chipmunks. o.o
Memoire_Musique giggles a little and puffs herself up a bit more. "And we gots to get them ALL awake!" she says. "So... Uh... Be e-fission-ant!" she says, struggling into an Animal Team vest too big for her. She's gonna do good!
Applejack nods. "Exactly! We do things traditional-like 'round these parts." She pauses, frowns in surprise for a moment, then lowers her voice and mutters to Nettleglum, "... but, uh... ya will show me yer garden sometime, right? IT always sounds so interestin'..." And then raises it again. "Any more questions, or can we mosey on over ta Sweet Apple Acres ta get started?"
Big_Mac looks somwhat concerend at the requested crop to AJ, followed by a little sigh of relief. He's been out in the everfree enough time to see the sort of things that like growing, and he's not sure being nervous of his own crops is something a hardened farmstallion is something he'd care to admit. he offers a wave to Eris as she hops form his back, giving a wave, though somewhat relieved not having to worry about the youth falling off, even if she has wings. He's quite the softie like that.
Thunderfire sets Memmy down giving his sister a kiss to the top of her head, "See you later." he turns heading over to Big Mac standing by the stallion trying to look strong like him.
Applejack says "No more questions? Good! Come on everypony, follow me!"
Memoire_Musique trots around her team eagerly. "Okay! Can we do this!!!" she says, looking each of them RIGHT IN THE EYES. "We's gonna wake up all the animals ever! Winter-Wake up!"
Big_Mac smiles at THunderfire, tilting his head down to give the little colt a wink and straightens his posture, making himself stand nice and tall with his chest out a bit, trying to be a good role model for THunderire.
Memoire_Musique waddles around. "Lezgo!" she says, hefting up as many bells and strings as she can carry!
Derpy walks in, wearing an old tatty bedsheet whose color could be described as what happens when purple cries until it has no more tears. She's smiling and expectant, ready for duty. Her eyes are only slightly crossed.
Memoire_Musique perks up as Derpy walks in. "Is perfect Mail Mare!" she chirrups, waddling over and hugging a Derpy leg. "Gonna help wake up aniamls.?"
[Sweet Apple Acres]
The wind is crisp and chilly as it breezes gently over Sweet Apple Acres, but there is a gentle hint of green to it, the promise of spring soon to come. Very soon, in fact, as soon as the ponies can bring it about! A line of gleaming green-and-brass plows sits here, facing the field that the Apple family uses for their few non-apple crops. Nearby is another stand of smaller carts, with shovels and unusually large-treaded tires. Several more ponies of various sizes and shapes have joined the group from the town hall, including Caramel and a couple of hefty Earth stallions. "Okay, everypony! We gotta get alla th' farms done as quick as possible. First order o' business is here. Mac, yer leadin' th' plow ponies. You, you, you, an' you, " says AJ, pointing at the biggest stallions, including the unfamiliar one with the interesting accent who volunteered at the hall "- yer plowin'. Mac starts, then each o' y'all follow along, make sure ya keep th' left edge o' yer furrow just inside th' right edge o' th' furrow on yer left. Most o' y'all're gonna be doin' smaller snowclearin', usin' them carts ta trample th' snow between th' trees, an' th' colts an' fillies an' anypony who's got a light touch with their hooves are gonna follow along behind th' plows, plantin' seeds. Everypony ready ta g-" And she catches sight of someone she was hoping not to see again. "Trixie?? What in tarnation are y'all doin' here?!"
Nettleglum mournfully digs out tiny plots to bury the seeds in. Broccoli, you will be missed. Radishes, rest in peace. She carefully stands a little headstone-shaped seed marker in front of every miniature plot.
Trixie's fantastic purple cape with gold and silver starts ensemble has been replaced with a tightly wound scarf and earmuffs in the same pattern. She straightens up a little when Applejack's eyes fall on her. "Ahem," she neighs primly, quietly sucking up attention like a dry sponge. "Trixie is here to assist in the managerial processes, to wit planning, overseeing, delegating, and general in-chargedness." She beams a smile with a little glint off her perfectly white teeth, then explains in a slightly quieter voice, "Twilight couldn't make it."
Applejack used to find that creepy but this season thinks it's kind of endearing. All that time spent being Nightmare Moon must have left a mark.
Thunderfire grabs some seeds and goes to follow Mac planting them as he goes. One day he hopes to be big enough to plough! For now he will follow along helping where he can be useful.
Applejack raises an eyebrow at Trixie. "Uh huh. An' Twi sent Y'ALL in her place? Yer pullin' mah leg, good thing Ah got three more. Ah'm doin' th' 'in-chargedness' 'round here; if'n yer here ta help, yer on seed duty. Follow Nettleglum's lead, she knows where everythin' goes, an'... uh, th' tiny tombstones are optional. Everypony else, LET'S GIT 'ER DONE!" AJ rears up on this last shout and starts ushering everypony to their tasks.
Berry_Punch passes by Trixie with nothing but a bandolier and hipflask on. Speaking of hips, hers happens to bump Trixie's on the way through--a pony she apparently doesn't notice standing there. "So, stallions plowing, kids planting," she says, heading toward Applejack. "You want me on snowtramping? 'Cause I don't really know how to tramp stuff."
Nettleglum regards Miss Trixie. This is rather like the eyes on a creepy painting following you, except the painting probably blinks more often. Nettie's voice crawls up from someplace damp, where even earthworms look for better school districts and affordable housing. "Miss Trixie. How delightful to see you, dear."
Along for the ride as well is Solar Solstice, who seems to find himself in the seeding team, and also that strangely-accented stallion from earlier. They seem to be conversing, and after a short time they switch places, with Solstice on the plow and the sombrero-stallion following behind as his planter.
Trixie looks absolutely affronted that she was not immediately placed in charge of this entire operation. With a little snort like she knows she's better than this, the blue unicorn hoofs a shallow furrow in the dirt and levitates a seed into it. "Miss Nettleglum," she greets as if they often meet in snowy fields, digging in the dirt together.
While the ploughs have been lined up, there is one that stands out among the rest, painted in a rich red with green accents, matching a certain stallion, to which the plough is one of his prides and joys. He listens to AJ carefully, though is correct in reckoning that not much has changed since years past, at least in the ploughin. He too rears up when AJ calls all the ponies to action, Mac motioning his hoof toward the ploughs. "lets get ploughin'!" he exclaims, taking a moment to give AJ a look as she reards Trixie, almost to encourage her to not be /too/ hard on the mare, if she's here to help. Leaving AJ to handle things about planting, he trots over to his plough and hitches up in practiced movements. He pulls forward slightly, signifying he was ready to roll and waits for the rest to follow suit.
Nettleglum disavows any knowledge of digging with Miss Trixie prior to this occasion, and cannot, if asked by a jury, attest to the whereabouts of anything they may have hypothetically buried together. ._. Also, that mausoleum was totally already open when she got here. She climbed into it and closed it afterwards.
Applejack nods to Berry Punch. "Simple enough, sugar. These here carts got extra-wide tires fer crushin' th' snow down. Just hitch yerself on an' drag it around among th' trees. Tools in th' back in case ya cant' reach a piece." And because she knows her audience, AJ lowers her voice. "Make sure th' whole orchard's clear an' there's a bottle o' two-hundred-proof cider in it fer ya. Been savin' it." Then she catches sight of Trixie and raises it again, all the way! "HAY! HAY, YOU THERE, LULAMOON! NO MAGIC, YA HEAR ME? That is NOT how we do things around here! Hooves an' teeth an' elbow grease, capisce?!"
Nettleglum very slowly rises up behind Miss Trixie and offers a pot of elbow grease. ._. Yes, it's genuine. Yes, there are elbows in it. If you need spare teeth, she has those on offer as well.
Thunderfire is planting and following Mac.. eeeyup
Trixie rolls her eyes as if she's NOT just been caught breaking the first rule of winter wrap up, but instead like a petulant filly. "Trixie is more than just a pair of hooves, you know," she grumbles. Regardless, she blows a strand of blue-white mane from her eyes and dig another hoof-hole in the dirt. She looks aside to Nettleglum for more seeds... and takes a half-step back. If she only knew how many elbows it took to make that much grease.
Nettleglum hoof-selects only the finest vintage elbows, and lovingly crafts... but, you didn't come here for advertising. The gaunt, cadaverous filly shambles loosely along the furrows left by the snowplows. "Ponyville is... very traditional, dear. Miss Applejack insists on planting only their own, local flora, such as these carrots, or... root-a-bagas." She pronounces it as though it were a strange visitor from another world.
Berry_Punch acquiescently nods and goes about hitching herself to the tramping cart. "Ooh, great! Thanks!" She kicks one of the tires and finds it worthy. "All righty! I'll go show that snow what for." She heads off past Nettleglum and Trixie, eying them with some suspicion but mainly just aloof amusement. "Wait. Two hundred proof?" she asks no one in particular. "Is that even a thing?"
Nettleglum believes that's known as 'Ol Liver Failure'. Delightful aperitif.
Trixie understands the basics of food production but has never truly experienced them for herself. It is puzzling and a little fulfilling as she tamps down the dirt over another seed. Oh dear, what was it? Was she supposed to keep them marked, or only use the same kind of seed in a row? Well, it's not her problem and won't be anypony's problem until harvest season. C'est la vie.
Applejack glares. "Yeah, Ah know. Yer two pairs o' hooves, a horn, an' a whole heap o' TROUBLE. But right now Ah ain't turnin' down help. Y'all worked on that rock farm, this here'll be a cinch in comparison. But NO MAGIC." AJ watches the blue unicorn closely. "Follow th' rows. This here field's all corn, TRY not ta plant grapes or somethin'."
Applejack says "Wait, did Ah say 200?"
Applejack runs off to catch up with Berry Punch!
Big_Mac watches as the row of ploughs lurch forward akin to Mac, prompting him to grin and raise a hoof once all are ready. "All right y'all, lets move out!" he calls, seems when thres ploughing involved, Mac really takes charge. he's just about to move forward when he notics Thunderfire behind him, flashing the colt a smile. "Looks like y'all are with me." he says deeply, giving a tip of his head to the colt before craning his head, motioning toward the fields. "Try an' keep up alright?" he offers and leans into his plough, causing it to lurch forward and begin crunching the snow aside, sending a good bank off to his left and onto the blade of caremel, which moves the bank onto the next stallions and the next.
Solar_Solstice is doing his best to follow the rows, methodically pulling the plow with little effort. Despite being rather smaller than either Big Mac or his sombrero-wearing companion, he's quite strong. Meanwhile, sombrero-stallion is following after him with a bag of seeds, and he seems to be taking his time, gently rubbing the ground above where he plants the seeds, whispering softly.
"Trixie is not sure how to tell a grape seed from any other kind of seed, anyway," the haughty unicorn announces just to let her thoughts on the subject be known by all. She decides to save a little time by digging one big deep hole and putting a BUNCH of seeds in at once. That is much more efficient.
Nettleglum looms up behind Trixie, casting a shadow that could frost a side of beef, if anypony happened to have a side of beef handy. Talk to Nettie about her sides of beef. "Miss Trixie, dear. Far be it from me to criticize your agricultural technique, but, planting the seeds together like that will only result in them choking the life out of one another, setting upon each other in the dark of the soil and slowly, writhingly, strangling one another, root and stem, until no life remains." She lurches in closer and closer.
Berry_Punch stops pulling her cart at Trixie's side. "Uh..." She listens to Nettleglum's critique. "Yeah, she said it better than I could've." Shrugging, the wine-colored mare continues toward the trees. Avast ye, fell snow! Get thee flat beneath my broad, bold wheels! She grins as she pulls, even trotting over the easy parts.
Applejack returns, having caught up to Berry Punch to tell her she misspoke - 170 proof, not 200 - just in time to catch Trixie try to plant a whole row of corn in one hole. Nettleglum seems to have that well (if creepily) in hoof, so she just shoots Trixie a look full of daggers and approaches the stallion with the interesting accent. She opens her mouth to give him an instruction, but something else decides it needs saying instead. "Hay there, Ah don't reckon we've met! Gotta say, Ah appreciate yer pitchin' in!" She grabs his hoof and shakes it like a year's worth of maracas! "Ah'm Applejack! Plumb pleased ta meetcha! This here's Sweet Apple Acres, home o' th' best apples in all Equestria, an' th' first o' th' farms we gotta clear today!"
While she would have thought Nettleglum would appreciate little plants choking each other for dominance, Trixie's ears lay flat back and she withers away from the sepulchral pony. She trots away a short distance and into snow-tramping territory. She is nearly run over, twice, in the span of only a few seconds.
Big_Mac is constnatly looking back over his shoulders to check up on 'his' team as it were, making sure none were falling behind or having too much trouble keeping up, especially little thunderfire following along behind. The stallioons make steady and quick progress in the fields. He notices Solar Solstice and tips his head in respect ot the oterstallion, Mac cant help but appreciate the capable stallions work.
"Whoa, Miss Trixie!" Solar Solstice exclaims, as the cornflower unicorn trots past him. "A pony could get hurt doing that!" -- The sombrero-stallion doesn't seem to take much notice in all this, just continuing to plant seeds and whisper mysteriously as he tamps down the exposed soil.
Solar_Solstice grins and waves at Big Mac, though his path wavers a litte in the process. Quickly, he re-jiggers the plow and gets back into position.
Nettleglum's cutie mark is entirely plant-related. Most of those plants politely wait until their older until they start strangling things, of course. Exhuming the mass grave of the seeds, she carefully inters them more neatly in spaced rows, for their inevitable resurrection come the warmer weather. ._.
Berry_Punch tries to avoid Trixie, but it isn't easy the way she galavants without looking where she's going. "Whoa! Blue stuff, you gotta be careful! Want to join me? I'm killing snowflakes!" She stamps happily along around the trees, serving as the vanguard for her cart's crushing wheels.
Trixie dodges Berry's cart like a bull fighter, just barely arching her body out of the way. Trotting around she can certainly do! The Great and Powerful unicorn falls into step with Berry Punch, happily crunch-crunching snowflakes betneath her hooves. That sound is so satisfying!
Sugar_Rush comes trotting into view, pulling his bejeweled cart behind him. However, in addition to his usual assortment of bags and boxes, it looks like two beverage containers have been temporarily strapped into the back. He makes his way down to the field, stopping at the edge. He quickly sets the brake, then sets about opening up some some side-boards for laying out various treats.
The sombrero-stallion peers up curiously at Applejack as she speaks to him. "Ah, buenos dias, senorita Apple. I am Paja Fuerte. A pleasure." He doffs his unnaturally large hat and bows respectfully as his hoof is shaken. "Indeed, senorita, your estate is quite bountiful, if I do say so myself. It is, how you say it, a real gem."
Applejack does indeed speak to him. And shakes his hoof nearly out of its socket! "Welp, Ah'm mighty glad ta have yer help. If it wouldn't be too much touble, Ah'd prefer if'n y'all were on snow-cushin' duty if'n ya don't care fer th' plows. That takes stronger backs an' th' little, uh, folks... can..." She trails off, watching Trixie spontaneously reassign herself. "Aw, horsefeathers. Never mind, y'all just keep on doin' what yer doin', we should be done in two shakes, if'n Ah can CATCH that unicorn! Consarnit!" She trots off after Trixie, pausing a moment to commend Mac and his team on a job well done and to wave to Sugar Rush.
Paja Fuerte listens politely. "My skills, you see, are more suitable to planting, as you will soon discover, but-" And then AJ has to go supervise Trixie. He leans over to whisper to Solstice in his native language: <<That unicorn is a troublesome one, huh, senor?>>
Berry_Punch looks oddly at Trixie, wondering if she's got an ace up her sleeve or something. When nothing seems forthcoming, she slows down and says, "Uhh... you know, you're really supposed to have your own cart if you're gonna be doing this. I don't think it's a bare hooves kind of deal."
Berry_Punch perks up at the accent. "Whoa. Who's the Andulusian? I should really go network!" She looks apologetically to Trixie as she wends back toward the stranger.
Trixie Lulamoon is helping! Tromp tromp tromp, she trots through the snow. This is refreshing, almost fun! "But why would I want to pull a cart? They're heavy and Trixie doesn't trust wheels." Not after last time. She slows down as well. Perhaps she was not helping after all?
Applejack canters after Trixie, who is rapidly becoming more trouble than she's worth! "Trixie! TRIXIE! Tarnation, if'n yer gonna do THIS, that' fine, but where's yer goldanred CART? Look!" She points behind the two other mares, where Berry Puch has left a nearly snowless track and Trixie has done nothing but decorate the snow with gentle clip-clopping hoofprints! "Ah don't give a hay if'n ya trust wheels or not, that's how we do things in these parts. So go on, hook yerself up. An' DON'T go messin' that up, Ah already know ya know full well how ta pull a wagon!"
Sugar_Rush waves back to AJ as she passes by. He seems to have a good deal of items set out. Looks like he doesn't just have his usual candies. There seems to be a nice stack of peanut butter sandwiches, with various kinds of jellies, jams, and preserves. A big bowl of a tossed salad is here as well, with dishes and a few dressings. Of course, Rush has many snacks as well: his trademark marshmellows, several bags of apple fruit leather, lemon drops, jelly beans, lollipops, and such. Lastly, there are cups near the two drink containers. One is labeled "Hot Chocolate", the other "Cold Lemonade".
"Trixie pulls wagons with *magic*," the blue unicorn asserts to Applejack, waving her forehoof in a Z shape for some reason. "Not a harness." She gives the prominent curl in her mane a flip as if to show that she's not the sort of pony who pulls carts with their muscles. "Very well. What else can the Great and Powerful Trixie assist you with?" she deigns to offer.
Applejack frowns. "On this team, it's plowin', plantin', or crushin'. Th' basic problem yer havin is *alla* these options are WORK. Work's what we do here, Good honest work, not sashayin' around callin' ourselves mighty this an' magnificent that, ya hear me!? No way am AH trustin' y'all with one of our plows, so it's gonna be plantin' or crushin, an' either way Ah'd be glad ta have ya IF AN' ONLY IF ya do it RIGHT!!"
Berry_Punch is at Sugar_Rush's stand now, still hitched up to her cart. She looks back at the drama between AJ and Trixie and grins. "Things are just more fun with Trixie," she remarks. "Am I right? Oh, and hey, I hope some of this is free, 'cause I didn't bring any money to Winter Wrap-Up."
Solar_Solstice and Paja Fuerte continue their work, leaving behind a string of mini-plants already growing...wait, what? It seems that, whatever Paja's doing, he's doing it very well: after he does his pat-and-whisper routine, the seed begins to sprout just a minute later.
Clicking her tongue and rolling her eyes, Trixie crosses her front hooves. "This is why Trixie sought a position in management. Trixie is an ideas pony!" She rears a little and spreads her forehooves as if showing AJ a broad and colorful banner. And what does that banner say? Trixie, of course.
Sugar_Rush smiles to Berry Punch, "Remember to leave enough for the others, but yes, this is free to all those working to wrap up winter!"
Applejack glares coldly. "Yeah, Ah REMEMBER yer 'management'. We ain't HAD our little discussion 'bout feathers yet. Ah wouldn't put y'all in charge of an anthill. So listen up, Ah need y'all plantin' PROPER-lie, or Ah need y'all hookin' yer blue fanny up ta one o' them crushin' carts, or else Ah need ya GONE!" She glances over at the plowers. "LOOKIN' GREAT, ALLA Y'ALL! WHEN YA FINISH THERE, BLADES UP AN' DO TH' SAME OVER AT TH' PUMPKIN PLACE! FOLLOW BIG MACINTOSH! AN' WATCH OUT FER THEM SHOOTS!" ... wait. *shoots*? Now!? "Trixie! Ah said NO MAGIC! Did y'all enchant them seeds? Get over there an' UN-enchant 'em!"
Nettleglum continues tirelessly down the row, burying things. Such a delightful thing to be able to bury things. To close the dark soil over their heads and know they're down there, just waiting for the right moment to lurch back out of the ground. Of course, she's talking about seeds. Today.
There's a burst of crimson, cinnamon smelling smoke that explodes from near the barn, fuming and billowing up, and just as simply, disappears leaving in it's wake, a familiar little crimson maned, white filly, grinning with a devious, devilish grin. Enter; Miss Mixtape. "Oy...Applejack? 'Ey! Applejack, 'ow're you, love?" Mixtape grins, stumbling over towards Applejack with a bright grin across her lips. "Oy...Applejack...listen, luv, run into a bit of a mess, n' I need yer 'elp straight away, yeah? Me bar is runnin' a bit low on ciiiiiiiider, and I was 'oping you'd be able to offer me a fresh supply, yeah?" She griiiiiiiins.
Berry_Punch grins and takes a big bite of salad right from the bowl, chews and enjoys it, and helps herself to a peanut butter and jelly bean sandwich. "Thanks a mil, Rushie.," she says with her mouth half full. She takes a cup of hot chocolate, supplements it with a swig from her flask, and checks out the sitch. "Heh! Fun on the farm, as always. Oh hey, they've got crop markers this year?" She heads over to where Nettie's planting and peers at the tiny tombstones.
~Here lies peapods/ Beneath this stone/ To be harvested/ When they've grown~
~Here lies corn / Beneath these rocks / To await the day / It finally stalks~
Trixie huffs. She certainly didn't enchant any seeds. She'll take credit for what she didn't do, but certainly not the blame for it. "That had nothing to do with Trixie," she explains of the unseasonably early sprouts. She huffs again, long-suffering and put upon. "Trixie supposes she will go find a *wagon* then," she says and slinks away with a flip of her long scarf's end. Some ponies are so ungrateful for the help Trixie provides.
Sugar_Rush smiles as Berry Punch is his first "customer" of the day. He frowns slightly at her eating straight from the bowl, but then shrugs. He blinks at the appearance of the the white filly, but then goes about straightening this and that on his cart, waiting for the next pony.
Berry_Punch blinks at the enscriptions. "...Huh. Okay." She looks at Nettie and at the markers again. Then she blinks and trots off. "Oh hey! Yo! Mixtape! Didn't you you were plant team material! What's sizzling at the barn, huh?"
Applejack looks bewildered. "Y'all didn't... well then why did BWAH!" she rears slightly, discovering Mixtape right beside her all of a sudden! "Ah. Aheh. Mixtape. Howdy there. Y'all come ta... Oh. Actually, ah'm sorry ta say we can't help ya. Plumb out, 'ceptin' fer a coupla bottles that're already spoken fer. It's been a long winter." She peers over. Yes. There are shoots in the field. Why are there shoots?!
Trixie... actually takes a slight detour before heading for the carts. She has already been here a while, and breaks are standard operating procedure. She sidles up to Sugar Rush's setup with an eager, expectant smile. Nothing like a snack after some hard work, and that was nothing like hard work.
Mixtape Beams at Berry Punch- one of her BEST patrons. "OY! Very, Merry, Berry!" She giggles, and stumbles a bit closer to Applejack, wobbling sliiiiightly before sitting down. "So, you know 'ow it goes, yeah? Get to testin a bit o' the cider, and suddenly whole bloody barrel's gone! "She snorts, and giggles, and pushes her sunglasses back up onto her nose. "...Whats wif all the vests? You 'aven some sorta party 'ere? And you didn't invite me? 'Ow you gonna go n' do that then...You're tellin' me...you're tellin me, you 'avent got ANY cider 'ere...not even a BARREL? What...what is it, AJ...you need a lil somethin' from me? Is that it? "She asks slowly. "Are you lookin' for some 'sugar' luv...why didn't you jus say so...I can 'elp with that...heh, heh, heh...
Paja Fuerte keeps planting his seeds, keeps making them shoot up somehow.
Solar_Solstice is plowing along, too, quite unaware of the ruckus that Paja's shoots is causing.
Sugar_Rush smiles to Trixie. "Hello, miss. Might I offer you a sandwich? Some salad? Perhaps a snack, or something to drink?" Since Rush hasn't met Trixie before, this is probably good news for her, but will it be good news for him?
Big Mac nods towards his sister when she calls out and looks back to gauge the other plow-pushers. When they seem ready, he waves a huge hoof at them and with a flourish uses it to hit the lever that lifts the plowblade. "This way, y'all." Mac trundles off towards the Pumpkin farm, humming a tune that wanders between 'Got the Music In You' and 'Winter Wrap-Up'. He pauses occasionally to make sure the others are following, which indeed they are. Looks like at least one part of the Wrap-Up is on schedule.
The Great and Powerful Layabout can hardly contain her pleasure. "Peanut butter sandwiches and hot chocolate!" the blue unicorn squeals delightedly. She deserves it for working so hard already, doing 2 out of the 3 jobs available, and only because of a plow shortage or whatever the orange one said. So sixty-six percent of the work was completed by Trixie. She should get an award or something.
Berry_Punch walks knowingly up to Mixtape and pats her patronizingly on the shoulder. "Mixie. Mixie, Mixie Mixworthington. Take a deep breath, all right? It's all good." She takes a deep breath of the smell of spring, herself. "All good! Good times! Seasons, and friends, and ridiculous wizards... just cool it, and it'll turn out all right." She tilts her head. "All right?"
Nettleglum lurches into the shadows and vanishes.
Applejack blinks at Mixtape, then looks pained. "No, sugar. Come on now, ya KNOW us better'n that. We sell apples an' apple products! If'n we had it, we'd sell it, but it's th' END o' WINTER! We ain't had a crop ta press in months. So no, not even a barrel. Prob'ly not 'til May at th' very earliest. Uh. Pardon me, Ah gotta... gotta see what in tarnation's goin' on over there." Applejack trots away, over to the freshly-planted field. She stares at the shoots for a moment, then HOLLERS! "WHO THE HAY USED MAGIC!?"
Mixtape stares at Applejack for a long few seconds as she trots away, and Mixtape, takes a few stumbling steps forward. "A, Applejack? Applejack what should I do, luv? D...do you want me to 'elp wi, wif this party thing? I can 'elp...I'm good at parties...o, or do you want me to jus go 'ome? Applejack? APPLEJACK!" She calls, wobbling forward, then back...
Leaning against the table, levitating a peanut butter sandwich and a cup of hot chocolate with extra marshmallows, Trixie observes to Applejack with a glowing horn and no hint of irony, "Trixie is not using magic today." Except for when she is.
Sugar_Rush smiles at another satisfied pony! He gets a few more sandwiches set out, as well as more marshmellows. "I hope I brought enough of a selection..."
Berry_Punch lopes after Mixtape, drinking doctored cocoa as she goes. "Mixtape? Swizzlestick? AJ needs her space, okay?" She smiles at Mixtape, again trying to get her attention with a gentle touch. "There's no party here, but how are you at pulling carts? Or hay, if you want to set up a station and rock the snow away, I'm game."
Applejack's cheeks start turning red! "WHO USED MAGIC, CONSARNIT! THIS AIN'T WHAT WE- Mixtape! Ah told y'all we're OUT. Gone. Nothin'. Nada. Zilch. If'n Ah had it, Ah'd sell it to ya in a heartbeat, 'cause that's what it's FER!"
Mixtape sniffles sadly, and turns back the way she came. "Oh...I...I'm ju, just gonna go then, ok? I'm gonna go!" She calls, and wobbles forward a little ignoring Berry Punch's calming words. A few stumbling steps forward, Mixtape suddenly straighten's up and starts trotting normally, grinning like a madmare. Annnd thats Applejack. All three leaders telling her to skeddadle, because she was obviously 'not in any condition to wrap up winter' ...four years in a row. Not her fault if they tell her not to work the day away...
Solar_Solstice and Paja Fuerte are coming back around now, being followed by a trail of sprouts. "Uh...what's going on?" Solstice asks, wondering what all the hubbaloo is about.
Applejack watches Mixtape go, complete with the straightening up, She can't see the grin, but it is obvious the theatrics were just that. She shrugs, then turns back and stares at the sprouts! "There! Y'all! PLEASE stop messin' with th' sprouts! We ain't s'posed ta use magic fer Winter Wrap-Up, a' Ah ain't too sure what this here's gonna do ta th' finished product, or th' soil! we MIGHT have ta yank 'em all up an' start again!"
Berry_Punch shrugs, waving to Mixtape. "See you at the basement, sister!" She turns to Paja Fuerte. "Huh! Big muscles and a soft touch with the green things, too? Guess I picked the wrong year to get engaged!"
Solar_Solstice opens his mouth to say something in defence, but it's Paja Fuerte who speaks on hi own behalf. "Ah, senorita, but you yourself said that we are to change this land according to earth pony tradition, and...this is very much in the earth pony tradition of my homeland. Besides, the effect is only temporary. Look." He waves his foreleg back, and sure enough the sprouts are slowly retracting into the soil several minutes after they are planted. "When they grow in truth, they will be stronger and more bountiful than is regular. This is good, no?" He glances at Berry curiously, but his reaction to her flirting is to merely smile mysteriously.
The wind rather goes out of Applejack's sails at that. "We're s'posed ta be doin' this th' PONYVILLE Earth pony way, but... yer tellin' me that ain't magic? What in tarnation were ya doin', then?"
From somewhere in the background, Trixie pops briefly into frame just long enough to point at Applejack and exclaim, "Told you so!"
Berry_Punch finishes her cocoa and resumes pullling her cart, but she stays within earshot and eyeshot of the mysteriously smiling pony. She uses her whole *body* mysteriously!
Paja Fuerte smirks. "Ah, senorita, now isn't that the big secret? But as you wish, I will resort to manual seeding, a task with which I am quite familiar."
Thursday, March 20, 2014