Let It Snow

by ToixStory

Chapter 1: Oh, The Weather Outside is Frightful...

Rainbow Dash wheeled through the air above the Everfree Forest, sending up light flurries of fresh snow in her wake. They drifted down onto Applejack below, who had to take off her hat and wipe it off so the melted snow wouldn’t ruin it. She watched Rainbow skim the treetops before climbing back into the sky for a dive toward the ground.

Rainbow tucked in her wings as she dove, and just before she hit the ground she snapped them out, blowing piles of snow into the air, coming to gentle landing just in front of Applejack. She couldn’t help but giggle when she saw that her landing had covered her friend in a layer of snow.

“It ain’t funny, Dash,” Applejack said.

“I’m sorry, it’s just . . . your face!” Rainbow said, collapsing into another fit of giggles.

Applejack glared at her as she wiped snow off herself and brushed her hat off a second time. She sighed and gave Rainbow a friendly smile anyway, and helped her to her hooves. “Just try to be careful where you spray that, Dash. There’s a lot of critters here that might not appreciate it.”

Rainbow looked around at the quiet forest that surrounded both of them on all sides. Besides a few branches blowing in a light breeze, there wasn’t a sign of any “critters.”

“You worry too much, Applejack,” she said.

Applejack flicked her tail. “This forest just gives me the jitters, is all. It ain’t natural, and besides Zecora there isn’t much in here worth coming for.”

“So why are we here, again?”

“Hearths Warming.” Applejack pointed over a hill covered in barren, scraggly trees to where green could be seen poking out. “The best Hearths Warming trees in all of Ponyville are in there. Big Mac usually gets them with Caramel and his friends, but they all got sick last week.”

She frowned. “Those thickheaded stallions were playing hoofball out in the cold all day.”

Rainbow shrugged. “Just means we get to pick out the best tree this year. We gotta find the biggest and thickest one in the whole forest!”

“I agree with you there,” Applejack said, walking beside her friend. “It’s for Twi’s party, remember, and she wants a big one this year of us to decorate. Seeing how she’s a princess and all, I guess she wants to look fancy.”

“Yeah, yeah, I know,” Rainbow said. She made a show of making deep tracks through the snow, letting little puffs of it fly up with every step. Her coat was soon covered in snowflakes, but she didn’t bother to wipe them off.

Applejack trotted beside her, a saddlebag slung over her back bobbing up and down as she moved. The tools inside made soft clinking noises against the coils of rope. The wind that swept over the snow-covered field was bitterly cold, and Applejack could feel goosebumps forming under her coat. She saw Rainbow shiver and hold her head down.

“You want the scarf I packed?” Applejack asked.

Rainbow shook her head. “I’m fine.”

“You sure? You look mighty cold.”

There was a pause. “Fine, but only to make you feel better.”

Applejack reached back and pulled a red scarf from her saddlebag with her teeth. The thick scarf had been stitched by Granny Smith herself, and was covered in designs of different apples. Rainbow took it and fumbled with it until she got it around her neck.

“That better?”

Rainbow pulled on it. “It’s a little tight.”

“That’s how it’s supposed to be.”

“Then yeah, it’s better.”

The pair continued to trudge on, up a steep hill blocking their view of the rest of the forest. A few birds tweeted from within the bare forest. Applejack paused for a moment when she thought she heard a distant howling, but most of the animals were either in hibernation or driven into their dens by the cold, so she thought nothing of it.

Rainbow Dash loped ahead of Applejack, sometimes fluttering her wings a little, but she didn’t take off once the wind really started up. She pulled on her scarf a little every once in a while, but stayed quiet. Applejack could see her saying something under her breath, but wasn’t sure whether to ask or not.

Finally, once they were near the top of the hill, she asked, “Something on your mind, Dash?”

“No, no, it’s not anything,” Rainbow said. “It’s just getting really cold is all. It’s not really very good flying weather.”

“Do you know if there’s snow scheduled for today?” Applejack asked.

Rainbow shook her head. “We never know anything about the Everfree,” she said. “I mean, I don’t think it will . . .”

She looked up at the sky, which had been covered in lumpy clouds since early that morning. They hung low in the sky, like they wanted to meet the ground but couldn’t quite make it. The sun shone through in parts, but otherwise the day seemed to be cast in a permanent shadow.

“We’ll be fine,” Applejack said.

“I guess,” Rainbow said. “So why did you bring me with you, anyway? It’s not like I asked, you just showed up this morning.”

Applejack waved nodded. “I just needed somepony to help me.”

“But you could have gotten Twilight or Rarity and used magic. Why me?”

“Well Twi’s preparing for the party, same with Rarity, so I couldn’t really ask them.” Applejack smiled. “And what with harvest season and all, we didn’t really get to see each other much. I thought it would be fun to do something together.”

Rainbow shivered. “Well I would have liked to do something a little warmer . . . but thanks.”

Applejack kicked her hoof in the snow, sending a cascade of cold flakes onto Rainbow. “You’re welcome.”

“Hey!” Rainbow said, while Applejack laughed. “So not cool.”

“Brought it on yourself, Dash,” Applejack said.

Rainbow grumbled, but let it rest. They had reached the treeline at the top of the hill, and the green trees were visible in the distance. The wind whistled through bony tree trunks and limbs shook in its wake. Rainbow walked closer to Applejack as it began to get colder and colder.

Applejack was starting to feel the cold, too, and was glad for the saddlebag that kept the worst of it off her middle and flanks. Her ears, though, stung and her nose felt numb. Still, if Rainbow wasn’t going to complain, neither was she.

“It’s going to snow,” Rainbow said.

“Just don’t worry about it,” Applejack said. “We’ll be fine. We just have to get to the tree, get it down, and drag it back. Going down all these hills, it’ll be easy.”

“We’re dragging it?” Rainbow asked.

“How did you think we were going to get it back?”

Rainbow didn’t have an answer for her. Instead she groaned, and said, “Well maybe we shouldn’t get a big one, then. Maybe a little one? Those are still cool, right?”

Applejack put a hoof on Rainbow’s shoulder. “I’ll drag it by myself, if you want to. I just need help to get it down. I was the one who asked you to come after all.”

“No, no, I’ll help,” Rainbow said. “Just jittery, that’s all.”

“The cold?”


They reached the grove of evergreen trees in silence. The trees stood tall over the snowy ground, flush with pine needles and rid of their pinecones, which had already dropped that year. The pine needles tickled when they brushed over Applejack’s fur.

Just as they had begun to walk through the stand of trees, a snowflake dropped down from the sky and landed on Applejack’s nose, where it melted quickly. She looked at it, then turned her eyes skyward. More snowflakes were filling the air, drifting down to the Everfree Forest below. Most landed on the trees, but a few made it down to them.

“I told you it would snow,” Rainbow said.

“Well I was just hoping it wouldn’t,” Applejack said. “It’s just a few flakes, anyway. We’ll be done before it picks up.”

Rainbow looked at the large grove of trees surrounding them on all sides. “Are you sure?”


Rainbow flicked her tail a few times and her ears pressed against her head, but she stayed silent. Applejack bit her lip. She wanted to say something, but she figured it would be better if she focused on getting them out.

The trees didn’t seem to end as the two walked around them, and they started to all look the same. Applejack kept searching for a great, big one, but after a while she wasn’t sure if she would ever find one. Most of the trees differed in height by only a few feet, and after a few minutes of searching she was ready to give up.

The snow had only gotten heavier since it had started to fall, and now big flakes dropped on them in increasingly large numbers. The wind had picked up, too, and Applejack found herself staying next to Rainbow as much as possible, if only for the heat.

Just as she was about to give up, she heard Rainbow shout, “There!”

When she looked where her friend was pointing, Applejack saw a tree that towered over all the others. It was at least the height of eight ponies, and as thick around as an oak tree. Rainbow ran to it, and Applejack could only follow in her wake. They reached its side and Applejack gaped at how it looked even larger up close. A thick bed of pine needles surrounded the base.

“Can this even fit in Twilight’s library?” Applejack asked.

“We can have it outside,” Rainbow said. “Come on, you dragged me out here to get the biggest one, and now here it is. Let’s get it down!” She paused. “How are we going to get it down, again?”

Applejack set her saddlebag down next to the tree and rooted around inside. She brought out an axe whose end glowed with a slight purple tint.

“Since it’s just us,” Applejack said with the handle in her mouth, “Twilight gave us this fancy axe to use. It’s supposed to be magic or something.”

Rainbow smiled. “Awesome.”

Keeping the handle in a tight grip in her mouth, Applejack walked around the side of the tree until she came around to the backside. Falling from there would land it on the bare snow instead of on other trees.

She motioned for Rainbow to stand out of the way, then swung the axe into the tree. It took some effort, but the blade slammed right into the tree with token resistance. It slid back out as smooth as butter, and hit just as solidly again. Applejack smiled around the handle and kept swinging.

The sound of splintering wood was muffled by the newfallen snow, but still gave a sharp crack with every blow. Rainbow stood to the side, rubbing her hooves together while she watched Applejack work. The tree started to lean after a few minutes of hitting, and only leaned more with every crack after.

“You sure you don’t need my help?” Rainbow asked.

“Positive,” Applejack said.

“I mean, I could hold something for you or push on the tree a little . . .”

“Don’t worry, Dash, you’re fine where you are. Just be ready to help when she comes down. She’s gonna side.”

Rainbow tugged at her scarf. “The snow’s getting bad.”

Applejack felt a sweat beginning to build up, which was a strange sort of sensation to her. She was freezing, yet sweating as much as she had the past summer. A few salty drops hit her eyes and she had to blink them away.

She was able to let out a satisfying groan, however, when the tree was cut enough that she didn’t need the axe any longer. She dropped the axe back in her saddlebag and looked the tree over.

While she inspected her work, a flurry of snow almost blew her hat away. Applejack had to grab it and hold it to her head while she looked over the deep gash in the tree with a smile on her face.

“You need help now?” Rainbow asked.

“Like I said before, I’ve got it,” Applejack said. “Is something bugging you, Dash?”

Rainbow rubbed her shoulder. “I just feel weird, standing around here and not doing anything.”

“I asked you along for some company.” Applejack indicated to the tree. “I’ve got it, I really do. Don’t worry none, I’ll be done real soon.”

She turned back to the tree, and leaned against it. “Make sure you’re out of the way, Dash,” she said. When the mare stepped to the side, Applejack turned around and gave the tree a hard buck.

The wood groaned and the entire trunk shook, but began to lean forward. Applejack bucked it again, and the massive tree finally tumbled to the ground. It hit with a ground-shaking crash, and immediately began to slide forward, down the slope of the hill they were on, toward Ponyville.

Applejack waved her hat in the air. “Whoo, there she goes!”

Great cascades of snow were swept up as the thick trunk plowed through the field in front of the two ponies. Applejack took off after it, with Rainbow following close behind. It was hard to see anymore than a few feet in any direction, so Applejack followed the massive drag mark the tree had made in the snow.

Just as they were beginning to reach the bottom of the slope, Applejack heard a massive thump from ahead of them. She galloped on toward the noise, only to nearly run into the trunk of the tree before she saw it. What surprised her most was that the tree was laying sideways, rather than straight ahead like she had faced it. Looking closer, she saw it had crashed into a wayward tree on its way down, and stuck itself between two more trees.

“What’s wrong?” Rainbow asked.

“The tree’s stuck,” Applejack said, pushing on the log.

Rainbow looked up at the sky, then back to the tree. “What do you mean ‘stuck?’”

“I mean that we aren’t getting this tree back anytime soon.” Applejack shoved against it with her shoulder. “It’s too darn heavy.”

“So what do we do?”

“We—” Applejack looked around them. Without her noticing, the storm had picked up once again. She couldn’t see more than Rainbow, who was standing right next to her, and only because of her bright coat. Everything was just white nothingness, piled on top of a cold winter gale that sliced through her bones.

“I . . . I don’t know what we do,” Applejack said. “I can’t see a darn thing in this blizzard.”

Rainbow backed into the tree trunk, shaking her head. “W-We’re trapped.”

Applejack turned to reassure her, but found that Rainbow had thrown herself to the ground. She was curled up in a ball, with her eyes squeezed shut. She shook, though whether because of the cold or something else, Applejack didn’t know.

“What’s wrong, sugarcube?” Applejack asked.

It took Rainbow a few moments to reply, only barely squeaking out, “Th-The cold, I don’t like it. I don’t like it one bit.”

“I know it doesn’t look too great right now, Dash, but we’ll get through this.” Applejack leaned down in the snow next to her friend, with her hoof pressed against the tree trunk beside them. “It’s just a little snow, is all. You aren’t afraid of snow now, are you?”

“No, no, it’s the cold,” Rainbow said, hugging herself again.

“Why is that?”

“Because the higher up you fly, the colder it gets.” Rainbow sighed. “When I was a filly, I flew up too high and . . . it was so cold, Applejack. I couldn’t hardly breathe and my wings failed on me. I’ve never been so scared in my life. I hate the cold.”

Applejack stood up. “Well then just hang on, because I’m going to get us out of here. All I have to do is just chop away some of this here log and the tree will slide out of place. We can ride it all the way back to Ponyville downhill!”

She looked down for her saddlebag with the axe in it, but found only empty snow. She poked at the ground around her, to see if she had dropped it somewhere. When that didn’t turn up anything, she started digging around in the snow around her.

She started to yell. “No, no, no! I know I had it here!” She beat the snow with her hoofs, and started to pant. “I know I have it here . . . I know I did, didn’t I?” She looked back up from where they had come, back up the hill. It was snowing too hard to see, but she knew her saddlebag would be lying at the top of the hill under a big pile of snow, where she had left it. And behind them, was only more snow and forest.

“What’s wrong?” Rainbow asked, peeking out from where she lay.

Applejack slumped to the ground behind her. She shivered. “We’re stuck here, that’s what. I left my saddlebag at the top of the hill.”

“Oh.” Rainbow looked down. “I’m sorry, Applejack. I never should have come.”

“Now why would you say a darned thing like that?”

“Because if I hadn’t taken so long to come with you, and if I hadn’t made us take forever to get up here, you wouldn’t be in this.” She sniffed. “I haven’t done any of the work, I haven’t helped you, I haven’t done anything but get you into all this!”

“You came along with me,” Applejack said.

“That isn’t anything.”

“It is to me.” Applejack turned toward her. “You were the only pony who accepted when I asked. You just went with me on a fool trip like this because I asked. That means a lot to me, Dash.”

“Yeah, well if I was such a good friend I could fly up and get those tools for you,” Rainbow said. “If I wasn’t so scared like a little filly.”

Applejack looked at her, then started to laugh.

“Hey, what’s so funny? I’m sorry I’m scared, okay?”

“No, no, it’s not that,” Applejack said. “It’s just, well, you remind me of how I must have sounded to my daddy. I used to hate being out in the snow and cold when I was little, but I had to go check all the orchards anyway.”

“Well, how did you get over it?”

Applejack grabbed one of Dash’s hooves in her own. “Well, he took me by the hoof one day and pressed it to his chest—” Applejack did so, pressing Rainbow’s hoof to her chest, right over her heart. “He told me, that if I ever felt too cold, to remember that here it’s always warm, so long as I kept going.”

“I don’t know, Applejack . . .” Rainbow said.

“Dash, you’re the bravest pony I know, and you’ve got a big heart,” Applejack said. “If you know where to look, you can always feel warm.”

Despite the wind picking up, Rainbow started to smile a little. She took her hoof back, and looked at it for a moment. Then, she pressed it to her chest and used her other legs to stand up.

“What are you going to do?” Applejack asked.

“It’s too far to fly back to Ponyville in this weather,” Rainbow said, “so I’m about to do something really stupid.” She held out the hoof she had pressed to her heart to Applejack. “Want to come along?”

Applejack smiled. “You know it.”

Rainbow grabbed her, and wrapped her forelegs around Applejack’s middle. She spread her wings, and with a jump and flurry of snow, took off. The wind battered them and Rainbow almost crashed back down, but she kept flying, beating her wings harder and harder to stay up.

Applejack could hear her grunt as she flew near the tops of the evergreen trees, sometimes brushing against the snow-covered pine needles. Applejack’s own legs dangled down toward the ground, and she did her best not to look down. From above, the view wasn’t as bad, and they could see almost to the ground.

Flying in circles around the stands of evergreen trees, Applejack started to wonder if they would find the stump. Then, in front of them, a clearing opened up that was just the right size for the big tree.

“I think it’s down there!” Applejack said, pointing to the ground.

She wasn’t sure if Rainbow heard her, but they descended to the ground anyway. As soon as her hooves hit the ground, Applejack took off toward the middle of the clearing. She had to dig around in the snow, tossing up drifts of mush, but whooped in joy when her hooves hit something hard. With a grunt, she pulled out her saddlebag and pulled it on her back.

“You got it?” Rainbow asked. “And the axe too?”

Applejack checked. “Sure do!”

Rainbow picked her up again, and they flew down toward the log. It was easier to find than the bag, as it was a giant tree that was stuck near the edge of the forest. Applejack was happy to see it, but yelped when Rainbow started to waver in the air.

“You can make it, Dash,” she said. “We’re almost there!”

They did make it, but Rainbow collapsed in the snow next to the tree trunk. She was breathing hard, and her wings looked stiff and half-frozen. Applejack bit her lip, but didn’t waste any time. She dug the axe out of her saddlebag, got a good grip on it with her teeth, and went to work.

It was harder to bring the axe down again and again in the howling wind, but every time Applejack was ready to give up, she looked down at Rainbow. She closed her eyes and hit the tree again, with a resounding thunk.

Slowly but surely, it began to give. She could see the tree straining to hold together and stay stuck, with both halves ready to give. After another hit, she scooped Rainbow up and placed her on the tree trunk next to the pine branches and needles. She took the rope out of her bag and tied Rainbow down, then hopped on the trunk herself.

Applejack raised the axe up one last time, and brought it down in massive blow that sliced right through the remains of the trunk. There was a large groan, and she felt the tree begin to slide. Cut off from the other half, the tree slid away from the grove and started down the hill.

The tree picked up speed going down the hill, and soon the wind and snow were nothing more than annoyances that were blowing past the speeding trunk. Applejack pressed herself down to the log, with one hoof on her hat, and watched out front of the tree. She didn’t have any power of it now, and just hoped they would make it back alright.

Branches snapped as the tree slid through the barren forest away from the evergreens, avoiding some of the larger oaks and poplars, and somehow kept mostly to the path Applejack had come on with Rainbow. She couldn’t believe it, but she wasn’t going to argue.

There were more snapping branches as trees passed them by. Large trunks bumped them away like a pinball machine, shoving them closer and closer to Ponyville. For a moment Applejack began to grow afraid they would be stuck, but then they passed out of the forest, with only the path leading to town in front of them.

Applejack started to breathe normal as their momentum pushed them on to Ponyville. The evergreen gradually skidded to a stop on the cobbled stones of the town, coming to rest a few houses away from Twilight’s library.

Ponies began to come out of their houses to check on the racket coming from the street, but Applejack ignored them. She jumped off the log and ran to where she had tied Rainbow. Miraculously, most of the pine needles were still stuck on the tree, making it look like a Hearths Warming Tree had appeared in the middle of Ponyville.

“Dash, Dash, are you alright?” Applejack asked, running to her friend’s side. She looked over Rainbow, who still lay with her eyes closed and limbs hanging weakly down from their restraints.

Applejack’s voice dropped to a whisper. “Come on, Rainbow Dash, just be alright, you got me out of there, so just be okay . . .”

Slowly, steadily, one of Rainbow’s eyes began to open. She smiled at Applejack, who yelled with relief. Her other eye opened, and Rainbow pressed one hoof to her chest. “Hey, Applejack,” she said. “Still warm.”

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