Apple's Blossom

by englishwitch

Chapter 1: When the Apple Blooms

Apple’s Blossom
Fanfic by Englishwitch

A big thanks to Isseus for their help in editing.

Applejack covered her eyes; she couldn’t watch. Not that she needed to because with every bang, crash, yelp and squeak her imagination filled in what her eyes didn’t see.

After the chaotic noise died down AJ finally dared to raise her hat from her face. Just as she’d pictured, there was a pile of wood, which had once been lumber, barrels, baskets, buckets and one wagon wheel. The orange mare sighed and trotted over to a long red tail that was sticking out from the carnage. Deep moans rose from the broken boards.
“You okay, sugar cube?” AJ gripped the tail in her teeth and pulled gently. Slowly but surely Apple Bloom rose out of the pile of what was little more than kindling now. She was dazed, her eyes unfocussed, her bow was torn and her apple coloured mane was now white from the paint that had landed on her head.

“Ah think so, Big Mac.” Apple Bloom sighed as she was lowered to the ground. She tottered around on her hooves unsteadily. “Can ah have ‘nother fritter.” Her eyes rolled back in her head and she fainted.


Apple Bloom came to with a throbbing headache. Her vision swam for a few seconds before she managed to figure out where she was. She was in the living room of the good old family home, on the sofa, wrapped in a blanket. Granny Smith was sleeping in her rocking chair but there was no sign of Big Mac or Applejack.
“Wha-” She began but stopped herself as she remembered exactly what happened.


“C’mon, Applejack, ah can help. Ah helped on the farm before.”

Applejack shook her head as she turned to buck another tree. “Y’know we only ask for ya help when we get real busy.” She grunted as her hooves connected with the bark, shaking loose the ripe apples. Before AJ moved to the next tree she took the moment to speak to her little sister properly. “Ya too small to be doin’ the big jobs like me and Mac. Ya chores should be enough.”

Apple Bloom stuck out her tongue and shook her head. “Carrryin’ baskets and feedin’ pigs? They smell. An’ it makes me smell.”

“Well stop fallin in.” Applejack moved on to the next tree.

“Ah don’t fall in,” Bloom snapped. Then a blush rose on her cheeks. “Not always.” She followed her sister through the orchard. “How am I s‘posed to get my cutie mark in apple farmin’ if all I ever do is chores? I always do chores. If I was gonna get a cutie mark in chores, I’d have it by now.”

AJ reared up on her front hooves and bucked the tree hard. It shuddered but no apples fell. She glanced over her shoulder and gave the tree a silent glare. “Bloomington Bertie, y’all gimme them apples. Ya know it’s time to let ‘em go.” She shook her head. He was always a stubborn one. She gave him another buck, this time the apples fell.

Apple Bloom sat down and sighed, convinced her sister had stopped listening. “I’m never gonna get my cutie mark.”

To her surprise a caring hoof touched her shoulder. Apple Bloom glanced up into the gentle smiling face of her older sister. “Now c’mon, sugar cube, don’t be down. First, you’ll get your mark when you’re good an’ ready. Second, ya don’t need to throw yurself into apple farmin ‘cos there ain’t no guarantee it’s gonna be apple related. Remember, second cousin Hayseed Turnip Truck? His mark’s three turnips. And aunt and uncle orange have...” She smirked, “....well, they got orange cutie marks. And second cousin, once removed, on Granny Smith’s side of the fam’ly, Cherry Fizzy, got cherrys as a cutie mark.”

“But they is all distant relations.” Apple Bloom whined. “All the direct Apple family has got apple marks.” She looked into Applejack’s eyes pleadingly, putting on her largest and cutest puppy dog look, “Whut if my mark’s sumthin’ to do with apple farmin? If ah don’t try more jobs on the farm, I might not get my mark for years and years. Jus’ lemme try, Applejack. Pleeeeeeaaaaaasssseeee.”

Applejack sighed, feeling her resolve melting under that adorable, heart-stopping, look. It was true she had been around Apple Bloom’s age when she’d earned her cutie mark, a mark that made her know she wanted to run the farm. She had taken on a fair amount of responsibility back in those days. She had to. After their parents had passed on a lot had been laid on Granny Smith’s and Big Mac’s shoulders. When AJ had returned to take her fair share it had been welcome all around. But as her little sister had grown, she had vowed that Apple Bloom wouldn’t be forced to grow up before her time and she would have the normal foalhood that Applejack and Big Mac didn’t. Oh they’d had time to make friends and play. But there hadn’t been any school, except home schooling. They had been too busy running the farm to spend four hours a day in a class room. Granny Smith had done a great job, even if she had a habit of falling asleep during lessons. The school board had checked on the siblings often, and had found nothing wrong with their learning.

Still, if Apple Bloom was asking for more responsibility, rather than being handed it, maybe it was a sign the filly was becoming ready for a little more duty. “Well...” She shook her head. “Okay. But just light stuff for now. Don’t go thinkin’ you’ll be buckin’ whole orchards or runnin’ the stall by yourself.” Or running the stall at all she thought. AJ still remembered what happened the last time Apple Bloom had tried to help with selling apples. “We got a fungus runnin’ through the north-west trees. Nuthin else has worked, so we gotta use some chemicals before it spreads too far. You run off to the barn and get that big gallon spray bottle with the red label.”

Apple Bloom’s eyes brightened. The cute look vanished and a smile broke out over her features. “Thank you, Applejack.” She hugged her sister tightly then raced off as quick as she could.


Apple Bloom sighed and pulled the blanket off herself. Her headache wasn’t getting any better, she wanted a glass of water. Silently she chided herself for her lack of common sense.

What Applejack had forgotten, and what Apple Bloom soon discovered, was that the big plant sprayer with the red label was on the top shelf of the barn, dusty and forgotten, where it had sat for years waiting to be used. It was well within reach of a large pony like Big Mac, even Applejack would be able to grab it, if she stretched. Apple Bloom however, was too small. Even standing on her back hooves and stretching her hardest she couldn’t even touch the shelf bracket.

Then Apple Bloom had noticed the large amount of wood stored in the barn. Planks of wood, fence posts, a couple of wagon wheels and various other things. She should have tried to find a ladder, or perhaps even tell Applejack that she couldn’t reach the sprayer. She didn't because she had been too afraid that Applejack would start talking again that she was too young or too small, and take away the responsibility she had just earned.

So she had piled the lumber up in a makeshift staircase. It wobbled horribly as Apple Bloom had climbed. That had probably been her last chance to stop and look for a better solution. Still she had kept climbing. As structurally unsound as the stairs were, they only needed to last long enough for AB to grab the sprayer and get down again.

Then Applejack had arrived, wondering what was taking so long. Apple Bloom had reached the top, when the whole structure had collapsed. In fear Apple Bloom had automatically grabbed onto the shelf, which also collapsed as the weight of the filly had pulled away the tiny nails that had been holding the shelf to its brackets. The last thing she remembered before waking up on the couch was wood, shadow and the smell of paint.

“Oh thank goodness, your awake.”

Apple Bloom turned from the sink. Applejack was standing in the doorway. She was dusty and looked tired. Then Apple Bloom saw a cloud of splinters in her sisters legs and hooves. She hung her head shamefully. AJ must have spent the last, Celestia knew how long, cleaning up the mess she had made in the barn.

“Ah’m sorry, Applejack,” Bloom whined. Applejack sat down at the table and started pulling the small splinters out of her coat.

“Oh, it's okay, Apple Bloom." She sighed. “You was jus’ tryin’ to help.” She spat out several splinters and licked her lips, feeling for anything that might be stuck there. She tilted her head and her neck cracked loudly.

“I’ll do better next time.” Apple Bloom promised. “I swear I won’t mess up again.”

Applejack stopped clearing her coat of wood and looked down at her little sister. “Look sugar...” She sighed, a long and deep sigh, before continuing. “Maybe it was just a little too soon to get you workin’ on the farm proper. Maybe we should just leave you with your chores and try again in another coupla months.”

Apple Bloom jumped the space across the room and took Applejack’s hooves in her own. “No, c’mon, Applejack. Please. I can do it, I know I can. Jus’ gimme another chance and I’ll get it right. No more mistakes, I promise.”

Applejack put one hoof on her sisters shoulder. “It ain’t about the mistakes sugar. Mistakes are okay ‘cause that’s how we learn. It’s you I’m worried ‘bout. When you took that fall I couldn’t look. I...think my heart stopped. It was a nasty fall and so much stuff landed on you....” She wrapped her hooves around Apple Bloom and pulled her close into a hug. “I don’t want you to get hurt.”

“But I’m okay.” Apple Bloom said from within her sisters embrace. She was hurting, would probably be bruised for a while, but nothing worse than some of the injuries shed received crusading.

“This time.” Applejack sighed as she slowly released Apple Bloom from the hold. “But one sharp bit of broken wood, one rusty nail, anythin’ can happen.” Her eyes were wetting up, the beginnings of tears forming in her eyes. “Please, Apple Bloom, for me, jus’ wait a little longer, until you’re bigger an’ more ready.”

Apple Bloom wanted to protest, maybe even beg and plead more, but the sight of Applejack on the verge of tears showed her just how frightened and worried she had been. Big, strong, brave, honest and loyal Applejack was worried to tears because of her. It wasn’t fair her duties on the farm were taken from her before they’d begun, but it also wasn’t fair on Applejack to be scared and worried that something bad would happen to her.
With a sigh she nodded her head. “Okay.” Her voice was quiet and weak; a tone of surrender. “I’ll wait.”

Applejack’s smile was as warm as the sun of the summer dawn. “Thank you, sugar cube.” She gave Apple Bloom another — tighter — hug. “Now, how about y'all go upstairs and take a bath. Y'all still got paint in your mane.”


A couple of hours later, bathed and scrubbed to a sparkling clean, Apple Bloom was wandering the market of Ponyville.

She was already regretting giving in to Applejack. It wasn’t fair. What if she was supposed to get a cutie mark in apple farming? Now she’d have to wait before she could try again and that could mean months, or it could mean years, before she got her cutie mark.

It made sense for her to have a farming cutie mark. Not all earth ponies were farmers but more earth ponies had jobs that involved growing something than anything else. All earth ponies liked to grow things. Miss Cheerilee was a teacher but her garden was a thing to be envied on a summers day when all the flowers were in bloom. Bonbon ran a candy store but she had some nice window boxes she tended to in her spare time. But Apple Bloom had grown up on a farm, her parents were farmers, her grandparents, and so on as far back as anypony could remember. Almost every pony in her family worked on a farm. If she wasn’t born to be an apple farmer, then what the hay was she supposed to do?

“Hi, Apple Bloom.”

The voice broke the filly out of her daze. She looked up to see her old friend Twist sitting on the balcony above the flower store. Apple Bloom managed a weak smile.
“Hi, Twist. What’s up?”

Twist shuffled to the edge of the balcony, sticking her head between the wooden railings and looking down at AB. “I was gonna ask you the same thing.” Twist said with her ever present lisp. “You look a little down.”

Apple Bloom sighed. “It’s nuthin. Just a ‘nother cutie mark gettin’ attempt that failed.”

Twist’s smile faltered for a second. She thought it was great that Apple Bloom had found two friends to share experiences as they tried to earn their cutie marks but ever since she had formed the Cutie Mark Crusaders she and Twist had been hanging out less and less. They still hung out in school, but barely did more than exchange pleasantries at any other time.
“I’m sorry, Apple Bloom.” She gave a sympathetic sigh. “Do you wanna come up and try some peppermint sticks? I made them myself.”

Maybe a few sweets will make me feel better. “Sure.” Her smile was small but it was more genuine. She opened the door and stepped into Twist’s home, and promptly fell over a stack of flower pots.

Usually Rose, Twists mother, kept the stock from her flower shop next door, separate from the home side of the building. For some reason that habit had been broken today. There were stacks of empty flower pots, big sacks of potting soil, long trays of colourful flowers and a rather large shipment of watering cans.

Rose’s head appeared in the door. “What’s all the- Oh, Apple Bloom, are you okay?” She helped the filly to her hooves and dusted her off.

“Yeah, I’m okay.” She looked around the room. “I hope I di’nt break anythin’.”

Rose surveyed the room. “Everything seems fine. I’m sorry about all this. I’ve had a rather large delivery in the store today. I had to put a few things in here until I get my store-room organised.”

Apple Bloom was no longer listening, her attention had been caught by a rather large pot, almost as big as she was, full of soil and a little sapling. It was no more than three feet high, had just two tiny branches with a small scattering of green leaves. “Is that a tree seedling?”

Rose broke out of her speech and followed where Apple Bloom was looking. “Yes, yes it is. I might have to grow it for a while before I can sell it. So few ponies want to raise a tree from scratch.”

“I’ll take it.” Apple Bloom rounded on Rose, her eyes almost as wide as her smile. “Maybe if I can raise a tree by ma’self, Applejack will see ah’m ready for more responsibility on the farm.”

Rose didn’t know what Apple Bloom was talking about but she did understand the prospect of a sale.


Moments later Apple Bloom left the home of Twist and Rose, dragging a small red wagon behind her, carrying the potted sapling, a large bag of plant food, a new watering can, a little trowel, and several bamboo canes and a new ball of twine; to help support the tree as it grew larger.

If she could raise this little sapling and get it to grow its own crop of apples, all by herself, with no help from nopony, then Applejack would see she was ready. She could take on more tasks at the farm, more than dumb chores and sitting pouring drinks during cider season. As soon as Applejack saw how good she was raising trees she’d have her cutie mark in no time.

“Apple Bloom?”

The little filly stopped and glanced in the direction of the voice. Twist was looking down at her, with confusion and disappointment. Apple Bloom did feel a flash of guilt for letting down her friend. “I’m sorry, Twist, but I’ll have’ta take a rain check. This could be a way to earn my cutie mark.”

Twist sighed and nodded. “Okay. You go. We can hang out later.”

Apple Bloom looked at Twist for a long time before she continued on her way.


Heading into the back orchard Apple Bloom pulled the tree, who she had decided would be named Sherman after a tree she’d heard about in school that was the tallest in the whole world, hundreds of feet high and thousands of years old. Maybe, by calling her tree the same name, it would grow as tall one day.

She took a scenic route through the orchards to avoid the dirt road going by the house. She didn’t want any of her family to know she had Sherman until he had grown big enough to bloom and bare his first fruit.

“Now, Sherman, I’m takin’ you down by the tree house.” She spoke to the little tree. “There’s lotsa sun and clear spots down there, so y’all should have lotsa room ta grow. Plus ma’ family don’t go down there often, so I’ll be able to keep you secret ‘till I’m ready to show you off.” The tree house was in sight, she smiled. Maybe Sweetie Belle and Scootaloo were there, they’d help support her through this time. She would put her hoof down one some things though, she would be the one to feed and water Sherman, she had to do this all by herself to show Applejack she could work the fame. “I’m gonna give ya lots of food ev’ry day, Sherman. Y’all gonna shoot up so quick if you had a head you’d get dizzy.”

Apple Bloom had lived around the orchards long enough to know more about apple trees than most earth ponies. If left to its own devices a normal tree could grow up to three feet in one year, given perfect conditions such as the right amount of sun and rain and no insects, diseases or fungus that could damage the plant. Apple Bloom intended to give Sherman lots of plant food and lots of fertiliser. She wasn’t sure if they were the same thing or not but surely it couldn’t hurt to use both. She also knew too much food was actually bad for a plant (she might not have known much, but she knew a lot about what she did know.) But trees could take a lot of food before it did them any serious harm. If everything went right, and she didn’t see why it wouldn’t, then she could get the seedling to be a six foot sapling by the end of the year. It was a hay of a long time but that wasn’t the goal. With just a little more growth and the right amount of sun, Sherman could start to grow blossoms in a few weeks, and have a small crop of young apples in just a couple of months. It was a lot longer than she’d like to wait to prove her point but if it put her on the road to earning her cutie mark then she would do it.

Having reached the clearing around the tree house Apple Bloom wiped some sweat from her forehead and smiled. “Here we are Sherman. Your new home.” Unstrapping herself from the wagon she got to work pulling Sherman’s pot off the cart and onto the ground. It was hard and heavy work but it was over quickly and the pot made a very satisfying THUNK when it landed on the soil.

Apple Bloom smiled to herself. “I’m gonna get you some water from the river and give you a nice big feed.” She grabbed the watering can and trotted off with a spring in her step.


One Week Later.

Apple Bloom poured the cool river water into Sherman’s pot when a flash of colour caught her eye. She glanced and her jaw dropped. The watering can fell to the ground, spilling its contents over her legs, but she didn’t care.

There, on the end of Sherman’s rightmost twig, was a tiny little white bud.
“Sherman...you’re startin’ ta bud.”

She let out a loud squeal and danced on the spot. She was doing it, Sherman was doing it; growing and surviving. She was raising him successfully.


Three weeks later.

Scootaloo and Sweetie Belle stood around, board, as Apple Bloom trimmed a few twigs from Sherman. Scootaloo was a lot more vocal about her boredom.

“Just leave the tree alone. It’s a tree, growing is what they do.” She groaned. She paced back and forth, her wings flaring with annoyance. “It’ll be fine for one day. C’mon, we’re s’posed to get our cutie marks in bull fighting today.”

Sweetie— for once— had to agree with Scootaloo. Not that she was thrilled with learning to fight bulls, but the bull in question had been so friendly to take the time out of his day she didn’t want to disappoint him by not turning up. “Mr Ferdinand was nice to agree to teach us to wrestle. But he won’t wait forever.”

Apple Bloom tossed the bare twigs aside and patted some food down onto the soil. “I’ll jus’ be a ‘nother minute.” She started to set up an umbrella.

“OH COME ON!” Scootaloo facehoofed.

Apple Bloom continued to set up the umbrella. “There’s a storm comin’ tonight.”

Scootaloo continued to stare in disbelief. “So you’re giving a tree an umbrella?” She glanced at Sweetie Belle. “She’s giving a tree an umbrella.”

Apple Bloom shook her head. “Too much water is bad for a little tree. It’d satty....satturrr.... It’ll flood the soil and make his roots rot.”

She paused to look at Sherman. She’d owned him for less than a month but he’d risen up almost a foot in that time. His green leaves were now dominated by a cloud of pink flowers. More of them seemed to blooming every day. The thing that really thrilled Apple Bloom was that the blossoms had started to fall off and she had noticed the flower starting to swell into the fruit.

“Kay, I’m ready.” She placed a hoof on Sherman’s trunk. “I’ll be back later Sherman ta make sure ya okay before the storm hits.”


Two weeks later.
(One and a half months of Sherman ownership)

Apple Bloom smiled as she bounced down the stairs. With every day the day was getting closer. Sherman’s fruit was getting larger every day. Soon she would be able to show off the apples she had grown all by herself. Then her family would be impressed and Applejack would let her work on the farm and she would earn her cutie mark.

“Mornin, Sugarcube.” Applejack smiled. She gripped the frying pan and gave the pancakes a flip. “Yur lookin’ bright this mornin’.”

Apple Bloom paused long enough to grab a glass of apple juice. “Well it’s a good day, Applejack.” She laughed. “See ya later.” She headed for the door.

“Whoa Nelly!” AJ yelled after her. “Where you headin’ so early. And without breakfast I might add.”

Apple Bloom hesitated in the doorway. She was going to check on Sherman, but of course she couldn’t tell her sister that, not yet. “I was...just goin’...to do somethin’ real quick. I was gonna come back.”

Applejack shook her head then slid the freshly cooked pancakes onto a plate. “Whatever it is, it ain’t so important it can’t wait ‘till you got a meal inside ya’.” She put the plate on the table and pointed to it with her hoof. “Now sit.”

Apple Bloom sighed and took her place.


Apple Bloom trotted as quickly as she was able with her full stomach. “Ughhh,” she groaned. “I ate too many pancakes.”

She reached the clearing for the tree house and Sherman. “Mornin’, Sherman. How’s my tree today? Growin more app-” She stopped and stared at Sherman.

On one of his lower branches was a small red sphere. What had been under-ripe and green just the other day had ripened and turned a deep, dark, red. Only this was no apple that had grown, it was a cherry.

“Sherman?” She walked up to him slowly, as though she expected somepony to pop up and tell her it was just a prank and reveal her real tree, heavy laden with delicious apples. By the time she reached the pot she could see the fruit clearly but she still didn’t want to believe it was there. She reached up and touched it with her hoof. It was real and it was growing on her tree.

“Yur a cherry tree?” She staggered back and had to sit down. “Cherry?” She shook her head, feeling the reality sink into her brain like a stone in a river.

The green fruit growing on the tree’s branches had been small sure, but all apples started small. Also, Sherman was a small tree, it made sense to Apple Bloom his apples should be small too. She hadn’t thought, hadn’t guessed, that the fruit was actually cherries. How could she not see? Maybe she hadn’t wanted to.
Now she thought about it, she had never even asked Rose what kind of tree Sherman was. She had just been so excited at the thought of raising a tree she had bought him right away.
“What am I going to do?” She was asking herself, Sherman, and the world in general. She didn’t know the answer and the other two weren’t forthcoming with any advice.

She was Apple Bloom, of the Apple Family. Her sister, Applejack, had three apples as a cutie mark. Her brother, Big McIntosh, had an apple half cutie mark. Granny Smith had an apple pie. They lived on an apple orchard. Apples, apples, apples. The fruit was their whole lives. It defined them as ponies and as a family. And she had just thrown all of that out of the window by spending almost two months raising a cherry tree!

Her head fell into her hooves as the first tears started to flow. A cherry tree. What kind of Apple family member was she? She was a disgrace. No wonder Applejack hadn’t wanted her helping out on the farm. Maybe her sister could see it in her that she was no apple farmer, that she didn’t belong.

Oh Celestia! What was Applejack going to say if she found out? Or Big Mac, or Granny Smith?
Surely they’d disown her? Or send her away to the other side of Equestria, or further, and never want to see her again?

Even if they never found out how could she face them after this? She couldn’t. She was a disgrace to the name of Apple!

“How could I raise a cherry tree?!” She rose her head and stared at Sherman, panic rising. “How am I sup’pose to prove I can work on an apple farm raisin’ a CHERRY TREE!?” She started to pace around the clearing. “Oh buck what the buck am I gonna do?” Her pacing sped up until she was galloping in a full twisting panicked route all around the clearing. “They’re gonna disown me. They’re gonna send me away. I’m gonna hafta leave the farm. I’m never gonna see my fam’ly again. Never gonna see my friends again. I don’t wanna leave Ponyville!”

She skidded to a sudden halt, almost crashing into the large tree that held her clubhouse. A clubhouse she would never again. The tears poured out of her like twin waterfalls. Apple Bloom threw her head back and howled to the sky, “I DON’T WANNA GO!”


The sun was starting to set. Applejack hadn’t seen her sister all day. She was worried.

Granny Smith was waiting at home in case Apple Bloom came back. Big Mac was going around to Scootaloo’s and Sweetie Belle’s homes. Applejack was checking some other places around Ponyville, starting with the Cutie Mark Crusader clubhouse.

As she stepped into the clearing the first thing that caught her eye was the cherry tree sapling sitting in the large pot. A potted plant in the middle of an orchard would catch anypony’s eye.

Her attention was pulled from the tree by a sound on the air. Gasps and sobs, coming from inside the tree house Confused, Applejack climbed the rickety wooden steps quietly and peeked inside.

There was a shape huddled in the corner. Applejack couldn’t see it properly because it was wrapped tightly in a blanket. It was rocking back and forth, sobbing loudly. Then Applejack caught sight of a long apple red tail.
“Apple Bloom?”

The filly yelped as she spun around to face her sister. Her coat was stained with huge streaks of endless tears, her eyes were red and puffy and her face was contorted by her weeping and misery.

Applejack’s worry over her missing sister was replaced with a very different kind of worry. She rushed over to the filly and scooped her up into a tight hug. “Apple Bloom, what’s wrong?”

“Please don’t hate me.” The filly sobbed. She threw her hooves around the mare, clinging onto her tightly, sobbing into her shoulder.

Applejack stared at the top of the filly’s head. “Hate you? Sugar cube, why in the wide, wide, world of Equestria would ah ever hate you?”

The little pony sobbed all the harder. Applejack held her tightly, ignoring the spreading wetness on her shoulder.

With a long wail Applebloom stuck out one hoof, pointing out of the window. “ ‘Cause of that.”

Applejack looked to where Apple bloom was pointing. Even without looking the filly had pointed directly at the cherry tree.
“A tree?”

Apple bloom pulled out of the hug and looked up at Applejack with desperation in her eyes. “A Cherry tree. Ah’m sorry, Applejack. I didn’t know. I thought it was an apple tree. I did, really. You gotta believe me! I jus’ wanted to prove I was responsible enough to work on the farm. I thought I was raisin’ an apple tree.” She broke down into a fit of sobbing again. “Please don’ send me away.”

If her sister hadn’t been crying Applejack might have snickered at such a random sentence. “Send you away? Why the hay would I ever send you away?”

Apple bloom took several gasping breaths and wiped her eyes with her hoof. “Well,” she sniffed and wiped her nose on a corner of the blanket. “I raised a cherry tree.”

Applejack’s expression was soft and reassuring. “What kind of reason is that to send you away?”

Apple bloom wiped her eyes a few more times. She had cried herself out, for now. “I’m an Apple. What kind of Apple am I is I raise cherry trees.” She turned her head away from AJ to look at Sherman, the cause of all her troubles. “I ain’t never gonna prove I can work the apple farm raisin’ cherry trees. Whut kinda Apple am I if I...” She started to weep again. “if I...” sob “raise the wrong trees.”

Applejack pulled her close into a fresh and tight hug. “Oh you silly filly. We ain’t gonna hate you, or send you away, just ‘cause of that.”

“You’re not?” Applebloom asked, her face buried in Applejack’s neck. “You’re no upset or disappointed?”

Finally Applejack laughed, lightly and kindly. “Heck no, sugar cube” She pulled the filly back so she could look her in the face. “You wanted to show you could handle bigger jobs on the farm? You raised that tree in secret to prove that point? An’ you did an amazin’ job. It don’t matter if that was an apple tree, a cherry tree or a lemon tree. You raised that tree and you raised it well. That cherry tree-”

“Sherman.” Applebloom interrupted.

Applejack smiled. “Sherman. He’s as healthy as any tree in the whole of Sweet Apple Acres. You raised him all by yourself and you did just as good a job as me, big mac, or granny, coulda done.”

Applebloom cleared her eyes again and managed a weak smile. “I did?”

“Sure as sugar you did.” Applejack laughed and rubbed a hoof on Apple bloom’s head, messing up her hair. “I was wrong to stop you tryin to take on more responsibility on the farm. Anypony who goes to so much trouble to prove she can do somethin other ponies think she can’t,” She gave Applebloom a loving kiss on the forehead. “She’s the kinda pony I want workin’ on my farm and the kinda pony I’m proud to call my fam’ly.”

The filly gave an unsure smile, “Ya are?”

Applejack nodded, her proud smile cheering up Applebloom, chasing away the last of her fear, misery, and panic. Now the moment had passed she actually realised how silly she had been.

“Thank you, Applejack.” She hugged her sister again. Out of nowhere her stomach growled loudly. Both ponies laughed. “Can we go home?” Applebloom blushed. “I ain’t eaten all day and panicking makes ya’ real hungry.”

Applejack nodded while she laughed. “Sure thing, Sugarcube.” She picked up her sister and put her across her back, giving her a ride like she hadn’t done for a long time, since she was a foal.


Dear Princess Celestia

Today I learned a lesson about family. Family are just like friends, they’ll always be there for you, no matter what. Sometimes we make mistakes, even if we started out with the best of intentions.
There ain’t no reason to hide away when you do something wrong.
Better to turn to your family and friends and see that they’ll love you, no matter what. There ain’t no mistake so big that family will ever turn their backs on you.

Your loyal subject,
Apple Bloom.

P.S. I’m including a slice of fresh cherry-apple pie with this letter. I hope you enjoy it. It’s made from Sweet Apple Acre’s Apples and from our first ever cherry harvest.
I grew the cherries myself and my sister, Applejack, helped me make the pie.

Author's Notes:

This just grew out of a random idea that popped into my head one day. How would Apple Bloom react if she'd spent all her time trying to raise an apple tree, only to find out it's a cherry tree. MLP characters seems to blow simple things out of proportion, so I could guess that it would make a fun story.
What I thought would be a quick, short, story, grew into a days work. Give or take multiple breaks for procrastination.
One of my more productive days off.

In other news: The name Applebloom chose for her tree, Sherman, was after our real world tree General Sherman, the worlds largest tree at over 200 feet tall and estimated to be over 2000 years old.

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