For the Love of an Earth Pony

by AJ

Chapter 1: Settling in/Making Friends

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Settling in/Making Friends

As I unpacked my things in my new home in Ponyville, I started to reflect on the weeklong journey I had made to the Kingdom of Equestria, which was mostly by train. When they train entered the great Kingdom, the landscape was suddenly so much more beautiful, so many vibrant colors, all things that life in my previous home lacked. When the train finally arrived in Ponyville, the land itself – the far green country, the puffy white clouds, the beautiful blue sky – made it feel like I was in paradise already.

The further along the train went, the less I saw of my kind, and the more ponies. By the time I got to Equestria, I was the only one on the train who was not a pony. Most of them seem surprised to see me and would often have long looks at me, as I’m guessing I was the first they’d seen of my kind. To my great delight, some of them would even talk to me, and they seemed to like me. They told me they I was hardly different from a pony, except in appearance. This is exactly what I hoped for. I left my hometown because there was no real friendship there anymore. People were more concerned about themselves then their friends. But I had heard of a place far far away, where friendship and love was as abundant as the air you breathed. This is what I longed for, what I wanted to live for. I didn’t want to marry; only to be surrounded by real friends.

I was very young (nineteen years old), and to leave my home and start new life in a far away land seemed like a bad idea to everyone but me. Throw in the fact that my race was exceptionally rare in this land called Equestria, and almost everyone thought I was downright crazy. But I wanted what I wanted, and if the ponies in the land of Equestria were as friendly as I heard, I wanted to try to fit it. So I packed my things and set off.

A knock on the door interrupted my unpacking. Could that be my new pony neighbor coming to befriend me? I thought. I eagerly ran over to the door to see who it was. I opened the door, and standing before me was a brilliantly pink pony. She had party balloons on her flank, big light-blue eyes, and a bushy pink mane. She looked surprised at first to see someone of my kind, and stared at me for a few seconds with an open mouth and wide eyes. She smiled after getting a good long look at me.

“Hi! I’m Pinkie Pie. What’s your name? Are you the one moving in here?” said the positively pink pony.

“Hello there. My name’s AJ, and yes, I am moving in here,” I said, moving my foot around and avoiding her gaze. I had never had many friends, even though I wanted them.

“I’ve never seen a real human before! I’ve seen pictures of them in books before, but never in person! Well, I have seen a minotaur who is half human and half bull, but he was kind of a monster. You're not a monster are you? Oh wait, of course you're not a monster. How silly of me! Do you have any friends here? Will you be my friend?” she said, bouncing around. I found the fast talking and bouncing quite adorable.

“No, I don’t have any friends here in Ponyville, I’m from a very far away land. And yes, I’d love to be your friend,” I said. Pinkie Pie smiled like I’ve ever seen anyone smile before. It made me wonder if she was like this with everypony. I couldn’t help but smile back; it was contagious.

“YIPPIE! I’m your first friend in Ponyville! You know what you need? A party! I’ll introduce you to my best friends and everypony else in town! Won’t that be fun?” said Pinkie Pie, going on and bouncing around my doorstep.

“Gosh, Pinkie, thanks! I don’t know what to say,” I said. Pinkie Pie laughed.

“It’s no trouble at all! Just come to the top of Sugarcube Corner tonight at eight, right over there. And be ready to have a lot of fun!” said Pinkie, and she bounced back into town. It really was the best thing I could ask for. I wanted to make friends, and now this cute, energetic pony was offering to throw me a party to help me make them. I unpacked my things with much greater delight now. This is exactly how I wanted to start off my life here in Ponyville. I looked at my watch, and eight o’clock couldn’t get here soon enough.

At around seven thirty, I started having a clothes dilemma. Ponies didn’t usually wear clothes, but that wouldn’t work with me for obvious reasons. I couldn’t decide if I should wear something casual or something formidable. I wanted to look nice since I was not something that many, if not all of them, had ever seen in person before. I went ahead and put on my tuxedo. I combed my long, dark hair and shaved off my scruff. The women where I was from often told me how handsome I was, but that was the problem; they were only interested in me for my looks. I came to the land of Equestria and the town of Ponyville to make friends that didn’t care about what my cover was. However, I wanted to come off as a formidable creature to them, so I tidied myself up as best I could.

I set off for Sugarcube Corner at around five till eight. I arrived at the shop and nervously made my way upstairs, eager to make a good impression on everypony. It sure sounded like fun. I could hear music playing, hooves tapping, ponies having a good time, etc. I reached the door to the loft where the party was, took a big gulp, and pushed it open.

I pushed open the door and walked in, and everypony stopped what they were doing and looked at me with open mouths. Even the music stopped playing. I just stood there and blushed, embarrassed as ever.

“So that’s what humans look like! I’ve never seen one in person, have you?” said unseen voices from the back. Many ponies were now looking at me and whispering amongst themselves, which left me turning the color of a red bell pepper. Seemingly out of nowhere, Pinkie Pie sped up to me with a big smile and broke the awkward silence.

“Everypony, this AJ! He’s a human! He’s new to the town of Ponyville, so let’s all honor him and welcome him as our friend!” said Pinkie Pie. At least now the music started up again and ponies continued their fun and games, so it wasn't as embarrassing anymore. For the first time, I noticed the streamers and balloons that decorated the loft, and the wonderful different colors and mane styles on the different ponies. I looked in front of me, and a beautiful white unicorn with blue royal curls and big blue eyes walked up to me, smiling and looking impressed with my outfit.

“Darling, that tuxedo is absolutely adorable. Clearly you have a great sense of fashion,” she said. I was just blush city at this party so far.

“Me? Look at you! Those curls are beautiful,” I said, smiling. The unicorn raised her hoof to curls, padding them in agreement.

“This is one of my best friends Rarity! Fashion is her passion! If you ever need a dress –er, wait – suit made, she’s the one to go to!” said Pinkie Pie. Before I could respond, a purple unicorn chimed in from my right.

“Hi, I’m Twilight Sparkle. Pinkie Pie told me you came here to make friends? You couldn’t have come to a better place. I was sent to this town by the Princess to learn about friendship, and I have found that there’s no greater adventure, no greater thrill, no greater power then a good friendship!” said the purple unicorn.

“You know the Princess?” I said, looking interested. And I was.

“Oh yes, I’m her favorite student. I- oh, hi Fluttershy! AJ, this is Fluttershy. She’s a little… shy,” said Twilight, catching somepony in her sight. I spun around and saw an absolutely adorable pegasus shying up to us. She had bright yellow skin, a light pink mane, and a delicate face that said “Hey! Have a cuteness overload.” I smiled at her and tried to make her more comfortable.

“Hi Fluttershy! There’s no need to be nervous; I’m kind of shy myself. I just wanna be your friend,” I said, and Fluttershy stood up taller and smiled. When she spoke, she spoke with the softest, kindest voice I had ever heard.

“Oh, why thank you. Feel free to stop by house sometime for some tea,” she said. I smiled wide at her kind offer; not only did I love tea, but I loved the fact that she and everypony else was being so kind to me. Suddenly, there was a flash of rainbow, and a light blue pegasis with an awesome rainbow mane.

“Wow,” I said in admiration of this pony’s awesomeness.

“Ha, feel free to admire! Name’s Rainbow Dash. Nice to meet you, AJ,” said light blue pegasus.

“Nice to meet you, Rainbow Dash. You look like an athlete,” I said. Rainbow blushed; she seemed to appreciate this comment.

“I don’t like to strut, but that is kinda my game,” she said.

“Say, where’s Applejack?” said Pinkie Pie, handing me a cupcake. I thanked her and took a bite, but suddenly it felt as though my mouth was on fire. I started to sweat and my face cringed.

“You alright, darling?” said Rarity.

“Yea, you don’t look so good,” added Twilight. I couldn’t hold it any longer. I looked around for some water and saw a bucket being used to bob for apples and sprinted there. Pinkie’s friends looked at her with annoyance, realizing she’d given me a cupcake with hot sauce.

“What? They’re good,” said Pinkie in rebuttal.

I ran to the bucket and threw my face into the water, sucking in as much water as I could to put out the fire in my mouth. Something grabbed from behind and pulled me out. I looked up, and holding me by her hoof was an Earth pony, with sherbet orange skin and a flowing blonde mane, country style. She had the cutest white freckles on her face, and cowpony hat. But the thing I noticed above all else were her eyes; she had the most beautiful, gentle eyes I have ever stared into. She smiled and let out a laugh.

“You alright, sugarcube? Ah’ve never met no one who was as enthusiastic about apple bobbin’ as you,” said the country pony in a country accent. I had to catch my breath before I spoke, plus I was amazed at how nice her voice sounded.

“Oh, yes, I was just, uh, Pinkie Pie gave me something awful spicy, so I just needed a drink of water,” I said.

“Oh Pinkie, she’s a keeper alright. Mah’ name’s Applejack, or AJ jus’ like yerself!” she said, tipping her hat in a most respectful manner. I smiled.

“Nice to meet you, Applejack!” I said energetically, holding out my hand for her to shake. She shook my hand real fast, then flipped up an apple from the bucket to me.

“Here, try one a’ these, ther’ fresh picked from my apple farm,” she said. I took a bite, expecting it to be just like the apples I had back home, which I liked, but I was very wrong. What I bit into was the sweetest, best tasting apple I had ever tried. I chewed and chewed, not wanting to swallow it, amazed at its goodness. It was almost as if it were a different fruit from what my perception of apples had been.

“Applejack, this is the sweetest apple I’ve ever eaten. You grow these?” I said, looking at her eagerly. She blushed, which almost made say “d’aaww” outloud. It was obvious she appreciated the compliment.

“Aww, thank you, sugarcube! Mah’ family’s been doin’ it for generations, ah’m just carryin’ on the tradition,” she said. I was about to reply to her, but not before Twilight and Pinkie Pie walked back over to us.

“Sorry about that. Pinkie doesn’t realize that she’s only the one who likes hot sauce on cupcakes. Don’t feel bad, she did it to me my first day here, too,” said Twilight, rolling her eyes.

“Sorry about that, AJ. I forgot that not everypony – er, everybody likes the same things as me,” said Pinkie Pie.

“Oh, that’s quite alright. It wasn’t that bad, I guess,” I said, lying through my teeth, but at least I had the divine-tasting apple to make up for it.

“So are you looking for a job of some sort, AJ? I’m sure there’s plenty of ponies in town who could use you,” said Twilight.

“Oh yes, I’ll take a job anywhere. I just wanna work, even for a small amount of bits,” I said.

“Well I’d love to have you work here at Sugarcube Corner, but I don’t think Mr. and Mrs. Cake need any help at the moment, even with their two foals. What about you, Twilight? You need any help at the library?” said Pinkie Pie.

“Oh no, Spike handles the work around the library quite well. The last time I had someone –er, my pet owl help him, he ended up getting jealous. That’s the last thing AJ needs right now. Oh yes, Spike! Spike is my little dragon, but don’t worry; he’s not like other dragons, he’s nice. You’ll meet him soon enough I’m sure,” she said. Before I could get disappointed, Applejack spoke up, in her adorable country voice.

“We could always use some help over at the farm. I hope ya don’t mind workin’ hard though, but that shouldn’t be a problem. I can tell yer a hard worker,” she said. I let out a cheer.

“Are you serious? I would love to work on a farm. Gosh, Applejack, thanks! Where do I show up?” I said eagerly. That’s perfect! I thought. I had always wanted to work on a farm, but that was impossible in my homeland, where everything was being industrialized. I loved being outdoors and seeing the sun, the clouds, the sky, and the landscape, and now it looks like I could. Plus, Applejack was a beautiful pony and seemed really nice.

“My pleasure. Ah’m always excited to make new friends. Jus’ come on over to farm on the other side a’ town tomorrow, bright n’ early. Sound good, sugarcube?” she said, with her seemingly permanent smile.

“That’s perfect. Thanks, Applejack,” I said, and Applejack nodded.

After the party, I was exhausted out after all the fun games we played, not to mention all the cake and ice cream I had eaten. I knew they might be weary of me at first because I was the rarest of all creatures in the land of Equestria, but to my great relief, the ponies seemed to be much more comfortable with me by the end of the night, and most of them introduced themselves to me. I was very impressed with their friendliness.

I made my way back to my house, undoing my bowtie and unbuttoning my shirt. It wasn’t pleasant thinking I’d have to get up early seeing as how tired I was, but I was excited and thrilled that Applejack gave me this opportunity. I went opened the door, threw of my tuxedo, and hit the hay. I wasn’t in bed long before I fell asleep, but just before I did fall asleep, I couldn’t stop thinking about how happy I was to be here. I had made the decision to make the grueling journey here for the sole purpose of making friends, and it seemed as though things were going great. And now I got to work on a farm with delicious apples and a nice pony. I can’t imagine it would take anyone long to fall asleep with things like those to think about.

Next Chapter: Sweet Apple Acres Estimated time remaining: 1 Hour, 50 Minutes
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