Applejack and the Stallion Stampede by DCFTEF (GS/BigMac&AJ)

Oct 25th, 2014
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  1. Applejack and the Stallion Stampede by DCFTEF (
  3. ---
  5. >"Shucks, I sure wish I wuz going."
  6. >"Eeyup."
  7. Applejack had said that a dozen times already, but her big brother was patient.
  8. >"I betcha I'm a better barrel racer than any'a them other ponies."
  9. >"Eeyup. I don't doubt it."
  10. >"Well it ain't fair I can't go just 'cause I'm too young!" AJ protested, "I got mah cutie mark...I ought to be allowed to go!"
  11. MacIntosh stepped away from his dresser and playfully bopped her hat. She wasn't quite big enough for it yet, so it fell down over her eyes.
  12. >"You'll get your chance soon enough."
  14. Applejack adjusted her hat so she could see, and pouted;
  15. >"Doubt it. Granny Smith'll never let me go to the Stallion Stampede. It's 'cause I'm a girl!"
  16. Her big brother sighed and shook his head.
  17. >"There's plenty of fillies...em...young mares at the Stampede, but things do get pretty rowdy. Granny didn't let me go until I turned 16 last year. You only got 3 more years t'wait."
  18. >"I'll bet I could hold my own" AJ boasted.
  19. >"I'll bet Granny Smith would whup yer behind if you tried."
  21. Big MacIntosh took a final look at himself in the mirror. Absent was the heavy wooden work collar he usually wore; in its place was a crisp white collar and loose black ribbon tie. That was as "fancied up" as anypony could ever hope to see him but his younger sister still thought he looked regal.
  22. >"Maybe I could ask Granny Smith one last time..." the filly suggested.
  23. She spoke at the wrong moment though, as the family matriarch ambled in just in time to hear her speak.
  24. >"An' maybe you'd rather spend the day scrubbin' the kitchen floor instead."
  25. AJ shut her mouth quick, but just to show there was no hard feelings the elder mare reminded her;
  26. >"Big Mac does more work around here than any colt his age ought to. He bided his time and waited he's old enough t'go to the Stallion Stampede on his own. You let yer brother have his fun...he don't need his little sister taggin' along."
  28. The 13 year old filly crossed her arms in a frustrated pout, but made no further complaint.
  29. >"Besides, yer gonna have yer own good time today. You an' yer fancy friend from school are gonna have a heap'a fun together."
  30. >"Rarity is a prissy stick in the mud" muttered Applejack, "we're barely friends. I'm gonna be bored outta my mind."
  31. >"She's always eager t'hear about the time you spent in Manehattan" MacIntosh reminded her.
  32. AJ had little enthusiasm for the visit to Rarity's house but she knew better than to argue the issue further. She had a plan.
  34. In the next room Granny Smith was fussing over Big MacIntosh;
  35. >"There, looks mighty fine" she said, straightening his collar & tie.
  36. >"Now just because there's gonna be a'heap'a other young stallion's actin' like fools don't mean you got to."
  37. >"Nope, Granny."
  38. >"An' you steer clear a' fillies that only got one thing on their minds."
  39. >"Eeyup, Granny."
  40. >"Now I expect a colt your age is gonna have a few ciders, but you steer clear a'sippin' whiskey. I don't wanna have t'go lookin' for ya and find you passed out in a creekbed."
  41. >"Nope, Granny."
  42. At last she paused before adding;
  43. >"An' remember t'have fun, Big Mac. Ya do so much around here, more than any young stallion yer age ought to...ya deserve a nice day off."
  44. >"You sure you don't need me today?"
  45. Granny Smith shook her head.
  46. >"The chores are done, Applejack is gonna be off havin' her own fun with her little friend in' Lil' Bloom and I are gonna find plenty to keep us busy, won't we?"
  47. The toddler filly giggled happily as Granny Smith mussed her mane.
  48. >"Now hurry along...wouldn't wanna miss any of the heck raisin'."
  50. After saying goodbye to his family, Big MacIntosh ambled along at his own pace, headed for nearby Hoofington, where the Stallion Stampede was being held this year. It was a annual Earth pony tradition, and usually a pretty rowdy one with plenty of cider, moonshine and good natured roughhousing. Hundreds, if not thousands of ponies showed up to the party every year, not just stallions either. There were a lot of games, a lot of fights, a lot of fooling around and a lot of showing off. All that kicked up a lot of dust, so naturally there was a lot of drinking.
  52. Mac was a mild mannered stallion, but even he looked forward to a day of fun when he could get it. A whole day away from Granny Smith's watchful eye...a whole day that he didn't feel the need to set a good example for his two little sisters. He was almost there, MacIntosh could already smell the dust in the air.
  53. >"Howdy, big brother!"
  54. Mac reared up in shock as a little orange filly hopped out onto the trail.
  55. >"Applejack, what are you doin' here!?"
  56. With a mischievous, self-satisfied grin his sister explained;
  57. >"Well, Granny Smith wouldn't let me come, even though I'm CLEARLY old enough t'go to my first Stallion Stampede. So I just sorta took a detour and skipped goin' to Rarity's house."
  58. Big Mac flushed crimson with anger (more crimson than he was already).
  59. >"AJ are you crazy? Granny Smith is gonna tan yer hide when she finds out about this!"
  60. >"Well what she don't know won't hurt her."
  61. >"I think you ought to be more concerned with how much your rump is gonna hurt!"
  62. The filly pushed out her bottom lip and tried her best "sad but cute" act.
  63. >"Please, big brother? I can't spend a whole day playin' tea party with prissy Rarity. And we already walked so far. It'll take an hour ta walk back to the farm...fer nuthin'."
  65. Mac made a low rumbling sound in his throat to signify his disapproval, but his resistance was crumbling. A whole hour walking back to the farm...then an hour returning to the party. The Stallion Stampede only happened once a year and that was 2 hours of it missed.
  66. >"Come on, MacIntosh...I just wanna have fun with the grown-up ponies like you."
  67. She was using flattery to butter him up...calling him a grown-up pony...and Mac knew it, but he was still young enough to feel for his little sister. It was no fun waiting to do things that older ponies got to do. Plus, if he brought AJ back and told Granny Smith what she'd done she was sure to get a licking. The thought of his little sister getting a spanking eliminated the last bits of his resolve.
  68. >"Alright, but I ain't lettin' you outta my sight!"
  69. Applejack cheered and pranced back and forth with delight.
  70. >"Whoooppeee! I'll betcha I can outrun even the grown-up stallions at the barrel races...and can I drink cider?"
  71. >"No cider!" snapped MacIntosh, "If you come home with booze on yer breath Granny will know you weren't sippin' tea with Rarity and we'll BOTH get out behinds busted!"
  72. That didn't slow AJ down much, she went skipping along the trail ahead of him, babbling and bubbling over with excitement about all the stuff she wanted to do. Mac sighed though. If he had to keep an eye on his sister it meant he wouldn't be enjoying any cider either.
  74. The Stallion Stampede was even rowdier and more chaotic than Applejack expected. It was nothing like the Ponyville Rodeo (where AJ already had 3 blue ribbons in the Junior events). There was barrel racing, as she had hoped, but it was hardly a formal event. Ponies entered the course at any point they chose, whooping and hollering, cutting each other off intentionally. If there was a dispute there were no judges...such things were resolved by fighting.
  76. AJ and Mac had not been there 5 minutes before they saw a young stallion get knocked down and trampled. Shocked, Applejack clung to the safety of her big brother.
  77. >"Land sakes! Ain't anypony gonna call a doctor fer him?"
  78. But no doctor was summoned. The injured stallion's friends carried him off the course and poured whiskey down his throat, then left him in the care of two drunken fillies who fawned over him, and called him "brave".
  80. The pavilion where a band was playing was no better. Ponies were shouting so loud that AJ & MacIntosh could not hear the music from the back...but getting closer to the stage was no option either. The crowd was so rowdy that young Applejack would have been trampled.
  81. They both made the best of it, enjoying the chaos, but Mac spent most of his attention making sure his sister stayed out of trouble. It wasn't difficult; the filly stayed right next to her big brother the whole time.
  83. By mid-afternoon both of them were feeling worn out by the heat, dust & raucous fun.
  84. >"Think we could get somethin' t'drink?" AJ asked.
  85. >"Eeyup" agreed Mac with a nod.
  86. They found a vendor that looked trustworthy, a purveyor of apple juice that looked reasonably cold.
  87. >"Eh, did you bring money?" MacIntosh asked.
  88. Applejack blushed and shook her head.
  89. >"Sorry...I forgot I might need some" she admitted.
  90. Grumbling a bit, Mac accepted that he'd have to pay for his sister as well.
  91. >"You save us a good spot in the shade. I'll get us a few drinks."
  93. Applejack was nervous about leaving her brother's side, but felt very grown up to be trusted with any task. She staked out a cool spot under a big sprawling oak and awaited the return of Big Mac.
  94. >"Heya filly. You find anypony special yet?"
  96. The young stallion was obviously drunk, Applejack could smell the cider on his breath.
  97. >"Maybe we could watch the fireworks together."
  98. >"Eh...the f-fireworks ain't until n-nightfall" stammered AJ.
  99. She backed away from the menacing lothario.
  100. >"Then maybe we ought to make some fireworks ourselves" suggested the stallion with a lecherous grin.
  101. Applejack looked both ways, frantically searching for Big MacIntosh, but she had lost him in the crowd. She was on her own and suddenly she did not feel so grown-up anymore.
  102. >"Come on, give us a little kiss, sweet thing."
  103. >"Eh...look sugar cube, I'm sure you're a real nice fella, an'..."
  104. The young stallion was a lot bigger than Applejack, she found it difficult to duck and dodge him as he got pushy, insisting on that "little kiss". AJ did not want to scream but she was getting desperate. Her admirer already had her backed up against a tree.
  106. >"Nope."
  107. That deep voice swept over Applejack like a wave of relief. MacIntosh set down the beverages he had gone to fetch and squared off against the stallion harassing his sibling.
  108. >"What are you, her coltfriend?"
  109. >"Brother" growled Mac.
  110. He was big, and determined, but had no significant size advantage here.
  111. >"Well we're just talkin'. She's got her cutie mark, she's old enough to make her own decision."
  112. In this tense moment AJ disagreed with the stallion. It was thinking that she was old enough to ignore Granny Smith that put her in this predicament. Big MacIntosh said nothing; he just stood his ground, ready for anything but unwilling to start it himself. Finally, the other stallion's nerve gave out.
  113. >"Aww, forget about it. I didn't sign on to deal with the whole family."
  114. Kicking his hooves in the dust, he turned around and went in search of more promising prospects.
  116. >"Gosh, thank ye, Mac. If you hadn't shown up when ya did I don't know what I woulda did!"
  117. The older brother scowled and asked;
  118. >"That fella didn't do anything to ya, did he?"
  119. >"No, he didn't get the chance."
  120. Applejack shifted her weight back and forth nervously. The experience had shaken her up quite a bit.
  121. >"Umm, if it's all the same, do ya think we could be gettin' home now? I don't think I wanna stay and watch the fireworks."
  123. It was an hour walk back to Sweet Apple Acres, and the siblings said little. That was normal for Big MacIntosh, but Applejack had a lot on her mind. Granny Smith had been right; the Stallion Stampede had been a bit too much for her. Thankfully she'd learned that lesson without anything bad happening...and with luck Granny would never have to find out about it.
  124. >"Umm...Mac?"
  125. >"Eeyup?"
  126. >"There's no reason Granny has to find out about there?"
  127. Big MacIntosh was silent for a few paces, but then he stopped.
  128. >"It don't feel exactly honest t'keep it a secret" he said, "but I don't see what good it would do to tell her. She'd just fret and you'd get in a whole mess a'trouble."
  129. That was another huge worry lifted from young AJ.
  130. >"Thanks Big Mac!" she sighed with relief, putting her arms around his neck.
  132. Soon they had arrived at home.
  133. >"Not a word to Granny?"
  134. >"Nope."
  135. The younger Apples were confident that they had gotten away with their escapade.
  137. Inside, Granny Smith was feeding little Apple Bloom. When her two older grandfoals arrived at the door she gave them a long, pensive look, but said nothing right away. Big MacIntosh picked up on it immediately, but not Applejack. She bounded in, confident that her misdeed was safely concealed from discovery.
  138. >"Hiya, Granny! Did you & Apple Bloom have fun today?"
  139. Granny cast a glance over her and answered;
  140. >"Yes indeed we did. And how about you? Did you enjoy your day with Rarity?"
  141. >"Yes ma'am, it was okay."
  142. >"And Rarity didn't bore you?"
  143. >"Well, Rarity is always really prissy, but we got along okay."
  144. Applejack felt proud of how seamlessly she covered. Granny moved on to her grandcolt;
  145. >"How about you, MacIntosh? Did ye have fun at the Stallion Stampede?"
  146. >"Eeyup."
  147. >"And nothin'...unexpected happened?"
  148. Big Mac froze. He knew in that instant that both he & Applejack were in great peril, but he was caught between a rock and a hard place. He suspected Granny knew, and that the safest course of action was to confess all, but he'd promised his sister he would not spill the beans.
  149. >"Nope."
  151. Granny Smith sighed. She'd given them both the opportunity to confess.
  152. >"Applejack, I spoke to Rarity's momma in town."
  153. The filly froze.
  154. >"And don't you try to tell me you was at her house today."
  155. Before Applejack could stammer out an explanation Granny turned her attention to MacIntosh.
  156. >"Do you want to tell me the truth now?"
  158. Gradually the whole story came out, Granny knew exactly what questions to ask.
  159. >"MacIntosh, you knew I didn't want yer little sister goin' to that rowdy free fer all."
  160. >"Yes'm" he replied sheepishly.
  161. >"So why didn't you bring her straight home when you found out she foller'd ya?"
  162. Big MacIntosh was never comfortable with words and it was even worse when he was in trouble.
  164. >"Well...umm...well...I would'a took a whole hour t'walk her back, then another hour to..."
  165. That was exactly the answer Granny was boxing him into.
  166. >"So 2 extra hours at the Stampede were more important to you than keepin' yer sister safe and seein' that she did as she was told?"
  167. Mac had no answer for that; he just hung his head low and blushed in shame.
  168. Applejack leapt to her brother's defense though;
  169. >"Granny, it wasn't Big Mac's fault, it were mine! He looked after me an'..."
  170. >"You hush" Granny Smith answered, "it'll be yer turn soon enough, don't be in such a hurry."
  171. She turned to MacIntosh and told him;
  172. >"You take Little Bloom over t'Carrot Patch'es house. Her daughter Carrot Top will look after her until we're done here. She's expectin' you."
  173. >"Yes ma'am" replied Mac, gathering his youngest sister up in a saddlebag carrier.
  175. Once he was gone Applejack faced the full wrath of Granny Smith...but it wasn't really the wrath she expected. Granny Smith didn't yell at her, she just continued her calm questioning;
  176. >"So what did you think of the Stallion Stampede?"
  177. Already in enough trouble, Applejack admitted the truth.
  178. >"It was a little scary. Ponies were actin' crazy & just didn't seem right."
  179. >" understand now why you ain't old e'nuff to be goin' to a thing like that?"
  180. >"I do Granny...and I'm real sorry!"
  181. Granny Smith nodded thoughtfully.
  182. >"Well, that's a good start. It's just a shame you chose to disobey and get both you an' yer yer brother in trouble. You're gonna wait here and listen good while MacIntosh gets his lickin' first."
  183. Big MacIntosh was going to get spanked for this!? It didn't seem hadn't been his fault!
  184. >"Granny, please don't whup Big Mac! It was all my idea...all my fault!"
  185. AJ took a deep breath and built up all her courage.
  186. >"If anypony gets a lickin' it ought to be me."
  188. It had taken all of Applejack's bravery to say those words. She was a tough young pony, but the thought of getting her rump roasted still terrified the 13 year old filly. She could not believe she was actually asking for a spanking.
  189. But Granny Smith just rolled her eyes;
  190. >"Applejack, don't be ridiculous. Of course yer gettin' a lickin' are gonna get yer behind blistered today. But Mac done wrong too and he's gonna get his share. You can't save him from what's comin'."
  191. >"But Granny!"
  192. >"There ain't no but's about it...unless yer talkin' about the two butts that are gonna get paddled in a few minutes. MacIntosh knew perfectly well what the right thing to do was...he should'a marched you right home, but he didn't. Mac's barely old enough ta take care a'himself at the Stampede, he knew I didn't want you goin'. Fer that he's gonna hafta pay the price...but fer puttin' him in that position you're gonna get it a lot worse. That's why you're gonna sit here an' listen while Mac takes his medicine. He's gonna get it plenty bad but you just think about how much worse you got it comin'."
  193. Young AJ gulped, but her mouth was dry. Realistically she'd known from the start that this would result in a very sore rump, but hearing Granny confirm it sent her into a dizzying spiral of worry. She knew she deserved what was coming, and it made her sad that she'd dragged Big Mac down with her, but right now Applejack found it difficult to focus on was the blistering her hindquarters would soon receive.
  195. About that time Big MacIntosh returned. Applejack shot him a mournful glance...he'd soon be learning Granny's intentions. To her surprise Mac looked like he already knew, and was resigned to it.
  196. >"MacIntosh, you come along with me, we need t'have a talk" instructed Granny Smith.
  197. >"Yes'm" he answered, solemly.
  198. As her big brother trudged to his doom Applejack hopped forward, unsure of what to say. This was her fault and she was heartbroken.
  199. >"Big Mac...I'm so, SO sorry!"
  200. He just looked at her, nodded understandingly and replied;
  201. >"Eeyup."
  203. Alone now, AJ sat down on the sofa and waited in fear.
  204. >"Oh, why'd I hafta go taggin' along like that? Of course I was gonna get caught!"
  205. She'd have given anything to go back in time and shake some sense into herself. Not only was she facing a very painful spanking, poor Big Mac was going to be punished too.
  206. >"An' it's all mah fault" she wept.
  208. The young filly waited for a long time, listening for the promised paddling to begin, but all she heard were muffled voices from behind the door of Granny's parlour. Perhaps Big Mac had talked her out of paddling him? He did have a convincing way of explaining things when the mood took him. Perhaps he might save his younger sister from a spanking too! The very idea made Applejack's heart hopeful...he would be her hero, her knight in shining armor if he could do that.
  209. But it was not to be. Her moment of optimism came crashing down like a shoddily built barn when the first unmistakable crack of the wooden paddle reverberated through the house. Mac held his silent dignity for 3 more smacks, but on the 5th one he lost composure, letting out a low, moaning cry. From then on it was painful grunts, deep whimpers and the occasional choking sob inbetween the terrifying sounds of wood whacking his hindquarters.
  211. Applejack curled into a ball and cried guilty tears...fearfully aware that her turn was coming soon enough. Any licking harsh enough to make her indominable big brother cry out loud must be absolutely awful...and Granny had promised that her punishment would be worse.
  212. >"I *sniff* deserve everything I get...but..."
  213. She was too scared to carry that notion any further. As Big Mac's spanking went on his cries became more desperate; less like a proud stallion and more like a naughty colt. Applejack wasn't even close to being a grown mare yet; as she sat there trembling on the sofa the 13 year old felt very much like a little filly, helpless to avoid her fate.
  215. Mercifully, Mac's paddling did not last very long. Through the door AJ heard no more smacks, and soon her brother's sobbing calmed down. Quiet dignity was his natural state, even when nursing a rump that must feel like pure agony. Granny lectured for a bit longer but all the filly could hear were muffled words.
  216. With a creak the parlour door opened...out stepped Big MacIntosh. The fur on his face was wet and his back legs trembled as he walked.
  217. >"Mac, I'm SO SORRY!" cried Applejack.
  218. He gave her a long, thoughtful look in which the younger sister could discern no anger...not even annoyance. Instead of cursing her as she so rightly deserved MacIntosh nodded at Applejack and spoke a simple;
  219. >"Eeyup."
  220. Then he slowly walked off to his bedroom.
  222. >"Applejack, it's time, sugar cube."
  223. Granny's voice was gentle but it carried an absolute command that could not be disobeyed. The unfortunate filly slid off the sofa and forced her hooves to carry herself those first few terrible steps to doom. Without a word the elder mare guided her grand-filly into the parlour, where Applejack expected to be immediately bent over and paddled within an inch of her life...but Granny began with words instead.
  225. >"Young filly, you've had yerself some time t'think. Has you got anything t'say fer yerself before you get what's comin'?"
  226. Young Applejack blushed with shame. There were so many things she wanted to say; how sorry she was for terrible she felt about getting Big Mac into trouble. She also wanted to fall on her knees and beg for mercy, anything to get out of this spanking, but it didn't seem fair after MacIntosh had taken his punishment with such dignity.
  227. >"Just that...Ah'm sorry, Granny. Ah'm sorry I didn't listen to you, an' I'm most sorry I ruined the day fer Big Mac. Today was supposed t'be special fer him...somethin' he's earned on account 'a how hard he works an' how grown up he is. Instead he got a lickin' today an' it's all on account a'me. I wouldn't blame him if he never forgives me...ever!"
  228. Granny gently brushed back Applejack's mane.
  229. >"Now that ain't all true. MacIntosh knows he made a bad choice today an' he paid the price fer it. He don't hold a grudge against you. In fact, he asked me t'go easy on you, on account a'he's the big brother and shoulda known better. He asked to take yer lickin' for ye."
  231. That news made AJ burst into guilty tears.
  232. >"Ah'm the worst sister in the world! Big Mac oughta hate me fer what I done today an he still tries to protect me. I don't deserve it...I KNOW I oughta get the tannin' of my life but I'm still scared. Granny, if you told me I could just run away and not get spanked right now I'd do it! I'm ashamed but it's true! I ain't near as brave as Big Mac!"
  233. The young filly was nearly hysterical with guilt.
  234. >"Hush now, calm yerself down."
  235. Granny Smith gathered Applejack into her arms and spoke softly;
  237. >"You ain't gotta compare yerself to yer brother. He's 4 whole years older. At my age four years don't make much difference either way, but at yer age it makes all the difference in the world. Heck, that's even longer than little Bloom has been alive. Don't four years you'll be a stronger, more confident pony, just like yer big brother is now. Then you'll be ready fer things like the Stallion Stampede, and it'll be easier to accept responsibility when you make a mistake."
  238. Applejack sniffled and looked up at her Grand-mare questioningly.
  239. >"Do ya really think so? I feel like I'll never be that grown-up."
  240. >"Could you buck apples or handle a full day a'chores 4 years ago?"
  241. That made sense to AJ. Four years ago she was just a blank-flank foal. Now she could almost do the work of a full-grown mare...almost.
  242. >"I suppose not."
  243. >"Sugarcube, you're growin' up so fast it makes mah head spin. It seems t'me that you're a new pony every time I look at you. But you ain't all growed up yet an' you won't be fer a long time, so you got ta listen to what yer elders tell ya. You got ta listen to what I tell ya. An' when I tell ya you ain't old enuff t'go to the Stallion Stampede I expect you to obey...not lie an' sneak away to do what you ain't supposed ta do. You understand, right?"
  244. Applejack did understand, but she cringed and asked;
  245. >"If I say 'yes' then it's time fer mah paddlin', ain't it?"
  246. Granny chuckled and replied;
  247. >"Little filly, yer getting' yer behind paddled no matter what you say."
  249. The talking was over. Granny Smith took hold of her trembling granddaughter and got her into position, bent over a padded footstool. At 13 Applejack was too big to go over her knee and too strong to hold down in that position, but with the proper leverage Granny Smith knew she could hold down even Big MacIntosh from this position. She had recent experience to prove it.
  251. Applejack whined in fear when she saw the paddle. 3 inches wide, almost a half inch thick, 18 inches long not counting the handle. On its flat surface an image of an apple, drawn there long ago by a talented wood burner in the family. Applejack didn't know how old it was; an heirloom handed down through generations. Granny Smith had told stories of her own father & mother using it on her rump, back before the Apple family settled down in what would become Ponyville. Usually experiencing connections with long departed family filled Applejack with a warm sense of security, but today the trembling filly could only focus on how bad this was going to hurt.
  252. >"Now Sugarcube, don't be ashamed, you're gonna be cryin' yer lungs out, ain't nothin' you can do about that...but try t'be brave and sit still like a big filly."
  253. >"Yes ma'am" squeaked AJ, cringing for the first blow.
  255. It arrived sooner than she expected with a terrible, loud crack. The filly wasn't able to grit her teeth and endure it like her older sibling; she cried out immediately.
  256. >"OOOooowwWWWwoooOOOWWWwwwWWOOOOOoowwWWW! G-Granny it h-hurts!"
  257. >"Well, good. Means this old thing still works."
  258. The next few whacks fell hard and fast; Granny Smith was setting a fire in Applejack's rump, one that would rage like an inferno for a few minutes then smolder on for hours. The paddle was painful in every way poor Applejack could describe; sharp, stinging, burning. It was big enough to cover every inch of the wailing filly's behind with each stroke, so there was no part of AJ's rear-end that got even a momentary respite.
  260. >"WHHHhhhhaaaaAAAAAHHHHH! AH'M SORRY! BwwwwwaahHHHHH! Granny please, PLEASE STOP, I'm SO SORRY!"
  261. Granny Smith had heard plenty of fillies and colts cry for mercy over the years and she had no intention of ending Applejack's agony early. She knew how much a young teenage filly could take and AJ was going to get every bit of it. The matriarch was not without pity though. After she'd started things off with a terrible flurry of rapid spanks she settled into a more methodical rhythm, about one smack every 2 seconds.
  262. Suffering Applejack drummed her back hooves against the floor and gripped the stool with her fronts. She was blind with tears, drooling and coughing as the relentless burn in her rump only got worse...but she held on with all her willpower. Granny Smith only had to keep one hoof lightly balanced on her croup; the bawling filly made no attempt to fight or escape in spite of the awful pain.
  264. Granny paused, panting. Administering two paddlings in one day was turning out to be a real strain.
  265. >"Not as young as I used to be..."
  266. Shaking all over in pain, young Applejack turned her head to look up at her grand-mare with desperate hope in her soaking wet eyes.
  267. >"Please no more *hic* Granny...please let it be over."
  268. But Granny Smith shook her head.
  269. >"I'm afraid not young' got a little more t'go."
  270. >"G-Granny PLEASE, I'm sorry, *sob* I p-promise I won't never disobey again. Please, please, PLEASE no more!"
  271. It was heartbreaking; Granny Smith hated doing this, but she was resolved to finish the job she started. Young Applejack had gotten lucky this time, but the next time she started feeling too big for her britches she could really be hurt. She had to be shown that when Granny said "No" to something the consequences for disobedience would be severe.
  273. >"Sugarcube, yer almost done. I'm real proud'a how brave you been. Most fillies yer age would be fightin' to escape but you been takin' yer licks. I know it's supposed to...but once we get through these last few you'll be all done."
  274. Applejack let out a warbling, fearful moan and shut her eyes tight in anticipation of more terrible spanks. With her arm rested Granny Smith delivered them, hard and fast just like the beginning...but she took her hoof away from the filly's croup. It was a test; Applejack had nothing holding her now...she could escape if she wanted to. The filly screamed and cried piteously; it was obvious she was in terrible, all-consuming agony, but she held on through this last salvo of hard spanks. That was enough. Young Applejack had made it through the worst and earned her forgiveness.
  275. >"'s all over. Ya did real good."
  277. She was a mess. Hairs from her mane were tangled up in AJ's face, sticky with drool, snot and what must have been a gallon of tears. Her backside was the color of a red delicious and felt like it was throbbing with pain. It would be days before the fire finally faded away completely.
  278. Wincing in pain the filly got to her hooves. She was still sobbing but had regained normal breathing and began to make coherent words.
  279. >"Granny Smith, I meant all'a what I said. I really am *sniff* sorry...I wasn't just sayin' that t'end my lickin' sooner. *sob* I deserved everythin' I got."
  280. The elder mare hugged her grandchild close.
  281. >"You made a mistake today, young'un, but don't ferget, you deserve all the good things that come to you as well. Now why don't you go have a rest in yer room? I'll call you an' Mac down when supper is ready."
  282. AJ blushed. Food had been the last thing on her mind, but she had to admit, her stomach was growling.
  284. As she walked upstairs to her bedroom, eager for a rest and a good, long, self-pitying cry, Applejack noticed her big brother's door still open. She still felt horrible about how he'd gotten pulled into her misdeed and could not walk another step without apologizing with all her heart.
  285. >"Big Mac?" she said, knocking softly on his door frame, "can I come in?"
  286. He'd been looking out the window, at the orchard, but he turned to face her and, astonishingly, gave his sister a wan but sincere smile.
  287. >"Eeyup."
  288. AJ threw herself at his hooves, fresh tears pouring from her eyes.
  289. >"Mac, I'm SO sorry I got you wrapped up in all that! I don't blame ya if you hate me fer it! I'll do all yer chores fer a year...even the hard ones! You can even take me out to the old tree house and give me a whuppin' as payback fer the one you got on account a' know, after my backside stops hurtin. I'll do anything, Mac, just t'show you I'm really sorry!"
  291. The big red stallion shook his head languidly.
  292. >"Nope. I don't want you do do any of that stuff. I got what I ain't yer fault."
  293. Applejack couldn't believe her ears.
  294. >"You can't mean that. It was ALL my fault!"
  295. MacIntosh shrugged his shoulders and admitted;
  296. >"I knew better than t'take you along. I was sorta bein' selfish. You know I ain't partial to big crowds full of strangers. When you showed up...well, I sorta thought it might be fun t'have my sister along. I made a bad decision. Granny is right, it was too dangerous for you. I'd have felt awful for the rest'a my life if something bad woulda happened t' what that drunk stallion wanted to do. I'm the big brother, I shoulda judged things better but I didn't. It's me who ought to be sorry."
  298. They were both silent for a whole minute. Birds chirping, and the wind rustling the leaves of apple trees could be heard through the open window. Applejack finally spoke;
  299. >"I guess we're both sorry."
  300. >"Eeyup. Ain't no harm in that."
  301. >"I still feel like I ought t'make it up to you."
  302. >"Then always be a good big sister to Apple Bloom. Look out fer her and don't make the same mistakes I do."
  303. Applejack smiled. That was something she could do.
  304. >"And you'll be lookin' out fer the both of us."
  305. >"Eeyup."
  306. >"I'm still sorry I ruined yer day at the Stampede."
  307. Big Mac shrugged again.
  308. >"In a few years, you'll really be old enough to go yourself."
  309. >"Parts of it seemed fun" mused the filly, "ya know, when I'm older and it's not so scary."
  310. >"And when that day comes there's no pony I'd rather go with."
  311. The siblings hugged, and all seemed right with the world again.
  312. >"So, I'll be 14 next year" asked AJ, "do ya think Granny will let me go then?"
  313. Big MacIntosh rolled his eyes.
  314. >"Nope."
  316. THE END
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