At his work bench

by ChappyHooves

Chapter 1

Big Macintosh dusted off his gloves as he finished up the last of the evening chores. With wheat stem in mouth, he sauntered his way towards the old garage that sat on the west end of the farm.

As he walked into the building he was greeted by the old smell of saw dust and aging upholstery. To some people the aroma would be considered dirty or unsettling, but to Big Macintosh it was the smell of comfort and retreat.

Being the only living male on a farm Mac knew he needed to have a place where he could be himself, his own 'mancave' as his sister Applejack called it.

The building used to house the Apple family’s first tractor back in the old days when his granny was a little girl. About the time Macintosh was born they had built the larger and more modern mechanics barn and just let this building be used as a storage area.

When Macintosh became a teenager he wanted a place for him and his buddies to hang out and not be disturbed by his granny or his younger sisters. He first thought of using that old tree house he and Applejack built in the backwoods when they were kids, but he was much too big for it and the tree house itself needed a bit of work.

He eventually settled on asking Granny if he could clear the old tractor barn to be his own workshop and hang out.

“The barn is all yours,” she said stoically to him. “And I mean all of it. I was planning on hiring someone to tear that old building down but if you want it, you can have it. But know this, you take care of it, you clean it, and you pay out of your own pocket for the maintenance. Any broken beam, hole in the roof, or fading paint is your responsibility. You hear?”


And that was how Big Macintosh got his workshop. He did restore the old beams and patched the roof. And from spring to fall when he was not working on the farm, with his girlfriend, at supper, or in town, he was in his workshop.

Macintosh even pulled in two of the old couches that had been replaced from the farmhouse into his workshop. He had a mini refrigerator, and an old TV he got working stacked on a few milk crates in the corner. He decorated the area with old photos and awards from trips to the county and state fairs. He even had his old football jersey from high school framed and hanging on the wall.

Macintosh went straight to his work bench. He switched on the work lights that hung overhead. Lying on the bench was a solid block of walnut.

The piece of word was beautiful and still had that pure clean scent a piece of it being freshly cut. The grain was smooth and had almost a wave like pattern the way it traveled down the block. This was a special piece of wood.

Macintosh ran his finger down the grain, getting a better feel for the texture. He idly looked up at one of the photos he kept above his work bench.

The picture was of his girlfriend, Fluttershy. She was sitting on blanket that was on a hill that overlooked the forest near the farm. She was wearing a yellow cream sweatshirt and a modest green skirt. Her pink hair was being blown above her shoulders from the wind, the picture was frozen in place from when the shutter closed and captured the instant.

She was not aware a picture had been taken of her. Her gaze was looking away at a small group of butterflies in the sky, her expression calm, serene, and thoughtful. This photo held a special place in Macintosh’s heart. He remembered the day he took it.

It was a relatively warm spring day, too early to start any planting of field, but certainly a day in which the weather was perfect.

It was Fluttershy’s day off from the clinic, and this was one of her favorite spots where she liked to go to relax. The hill was high enough that you could see nearly the entire north 20 of Sweet Apple Acres.

Fluttershy had told Big Macintosh that in the past she would come up here with her lunch, watched him work the field, and secretly admire him from afar.

Now that the two of them know of each other's feelings to one another, the hill now served as a meeting place for their picnics and stargazing.

Macintosh snapped the candid picture of her with his camera. He then quietly walked up the hill behind her, crouched down, and gently placed his hand on her shoulder. Fluttershy slightly tensed when he touched her. She then reached her hand up and placed it on top of his. The moment the two hands made contact he could feel the tension in her shoulders relax and heard her give an affectionate sigh.

She then reached her other hand reached back and grabbed the back of his head and pulled it down towards hers.

Fluttershy leaned her head back so their lips could meet. The two of them held their kiss for what felt like a lifetime for Big Macintosh. Not to say that was a bad thing for him. Those kinds of moments made time stop were something he treasured.

Songs, stories, and poems always talk about the ‘power of love’ but none of them could even fathom what that feelings he had, and the amazing sensation that he was sharing them with someone else. There was not a single doubt in his mind she felt the same way too. And all of that was conveyed by the simple act of placing their lips together.

The photo always stirred Big Macintosh’s heart whenever he saw it. The reason why he took the picture moments afterwards was not only to remember what Fluttershy looked like but to remember what he felt.

Macintosh rubbed his thumb into the grain of the wood, his thoughts going back to it.

This was a unique piece of wood and he wanted to put it to a special use. He wanted to use it to show her that she was special to him.

His eyes drifted from her expression in the photograph to the butterflies she was looking at. He turned his head slightly to the sight of them in midflight and thought.

“Eeyup,” he finally said out loud to himself, and reached for his woodcarving tools.

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