The Old Drover

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The Old Drover

Post  Dsarker on Sun Dec 11, 2011 1:03 pm

Not finished in the slightest.




Applebloom sat on the nearly empty train as they headed to Appleloosa. The other occupant lay down, looking at a single slip of paper. Applebloom held in her curiosity about the older pony as long as she could, but she eventually couldn't hold it in anymore.

"Well, excuse me sir, but what's that y'all have in yer hooves?" she said. The old (she realised now he looked to be almost as old as Granny Smith)  pony turned to her, and with a smile on his face, he beckoned her over. Curiousity rising, she slowly stepped over to him. He held out the short piece of paper and she glanced down at it. It appeared to be a photograph. A mare, a stallion, and three foals of varying ages

"The faces in the photograph have faded," the old pony said ruefully. "And I can't believe he looks so much like me," indicating one of the foals. "It's been almost fifty long years today since I left for Old Cork station, and ten years since I got this. I'm a drover you see, filly."

"A drover?" asked Applebloom. "What's that?" Even her teacher hadn't said anything about what a drover was or did. It was the first time she'd even heard the word.

"A drover leads cattle from different places. To help them find enough grass to graze on, you see," was the old stallion's answer. "I do the Diamantina route. Not much rain out there. I'm heading up to start leading another herd out."

Tears began to form in his eyes. "I said I'd be back when the droving was done. But I don't think I could go back to my family anymore. It's been fifty years since I started, and it's hard to change your mind once you start something. My mare and the foals have probably gone by now, like the drays go out from Old Cork station to no notice. They'll have long left there."

Applebloom was silent after that. She walked back over to her seat. How could anypony not know where their family was? She always knew where Applejack and Big Macintosh were. This had been the longest she'd been away from both of them. She didn't want to think how it would be without them. Even without her parents, she always felt at home. 

"So..." she started to ask. "What's droving like?" The old pony started to smile again, memories passing on his face.
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Re: The Old Drover

Post  Debesh on Sun Dec 11, 2011 5:51 pm

You're pumping out *masterpieces* here, Dsarker. Did you get to legendary form the strange mood that founded Friends in Need?
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Re: The Old Drover

Post  Sean Mirrsen on Sun Dec 11, 2011 8:07 pm

Do you even get a skill boost from a fell mood?

(and besides, Friends in Need wasn't completed.

...

actually, maybe that explains it.)
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Re: The Old Drover

Post  Dsarker on Mon Dec 12, 2011 1:42 pm

You only don't get skill gain from possession.


An updated version.




Applebloom sat on the nearly empty train as they headed to Appleloosa. The other occupant lay down, looking at a single slip of paper. Applebloom held in her curiosity about the older pony as long as she could, but she eventually couldn't hold it in anymore.

"Well, excuse me sir, but what's that y'all have in yer hooves?" she said. The old (she realised now he looked to be almost as old as Granny Smith)  pony turned to her, and with a smile on his face, he beckoned her over. Curiousity rising, she slowly stepped over to him. He held out the short piece of paper and she glanced down at it. It appeared to be a photograph. A mare, a stallion, and three foals of varying ages

"The faces in the photograph have faded," the old pony said ruefully. "And I can't believe he looks so much like me," indicating one of the foals. "It's been almost fifty long years today since I left for Old Cork station, and ten years since I got this. I'm a drover you see, filly."

"A drover?" asked Applebloom. "What's that?" Even her teacher hadn't said anything about what a drover was or did. It was the first time she'd even heard the word.

"A drover leads cattle from different places. To help them find enough grass to graze on, you see," was the old stallion's answer. "I do the Diamantina route. Not much rain out there. I'm heading up to start leading another herd out."

Tears began to form in his eyes. "I said I'd be back when the droving was done. But I don't think I could go back to my family anymore. It's been fifty years since I started, and it's hard to change your mind once you start something. My mare and the foals have probably gone by now, like the drays go out from Old Cork station to no notice. They'll have long left there."

Applebloom was silent after that. She walked back over to her seat. How could anypony not know where their family was? She always knew where Applejack and Big Macintosh were. This had been the longest she'd been away from both of them. She didn't want to think how it would be without them. Even without her parents, she always felt at home. 

"So..." she started to ask. "What's droving like?" The old pony started to smile again, memories passing on his face.

"It's difficult work, but it's satisfying. I'm one of the night-ponies in the plant. If we get a rush, I'm one of the ponies supposed to bring them to a stop." His eyes misted over. "Still, lucky we haven't had to do that much recently. I'm probably not up to it much these days." The smile stood out on his face.

"A rush? What's that?" asked Applebloom. She'd never heard of one of those before, even from Applejack, and Applejack knew everything about herd.

"Old drover slang for a stampede." The smile stuck on his face. "Probably not much call for the term in...where do you come from, again?"

"Ah'm from Ponyville," said Applebloom with pride in her voice. The stallion laughed. "What are y'all laughing at?

"You'll never guess, but I was thinking of settling down there," replied the drover, a chuckle still in his voice. "What's it like out there?"

"Well, it's nice and friendly. My big sis Applejack stopped a stampede there a couple of months ago!" Applebloom exclaimed. The ears on the pony perked up.

"So you're a member of the Apple family?" asked the drover. When Applebloom nodded, he continued "Do you know Maria?"

Applebloom thought for a moment, then shook her head. "Nope, ah don't. But if you're heading up to Appleloosa, you'll be able to meet Applejack. She knows everypony in the Apple family."

"Thanks, miss..."

"Applebloom's mah name."

"Miss Applebloom, but I'm not heading all the way up to Appleloosa. No work for a drover up there." The smile turned wistful. "No, just up to Old Cork station for me. Maybe we'll see each other again later on, if I do decide to settle down in Ponyville."

Applebloom nodded. "Everypony knows everypony else in Ponyville."

The stallion smiled again. "Sounds like my kind of place, then. Now, if you'll excuse me for a bit, I'm gonna go take a nap."

"Okay," said Applebloom. 

-----

The train slowed to a stop, and jerked Applebloom awake. With a start, she looked out of the windows. There was nothing around. She was startled by a tap on her back. The old drover was standing behind her. 

"This is Old Cork station. I'll be leaving you here. Have a good trip, miss Applebloom." Applebloom just stared as he left the train, then walked over to the other side. A small collection of buildings were there, and as Applebloom watched, she saw the old stallion leave the train and start talking with one of the ponies there. The train began to move away.

She sat back down. The old pony had given her a lot to think about. Sure, droving sounded fun. But to be apart from your family for a long time, for years? That sounded as unfun as it could be. Was it worth the sacrifice? She was still pondering as she got to Appleloosa.
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Re: The Old Drover

Post  Armok on Mon Dec 12, 2011 2:15 pm

Cutie mark crusaders drovers! yay!

This is quite nice, as in actually *nice*, which is quite rare on these forums!
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Re: The Old Drover

Post  MC Dirty on Mon Dec 12, 2011 4:19 pm

*slow clap*

That was awesome! I really don't know how to pin it down or anything. The descriptions, the dialogue, the characters, it all just fits perfectly. Are you planning on continuing this? I really don't know how it could continue (well, actually, there are a few ways, but I can't think of one that would fit the story's style so far), but if you do decide to continue it, I'm certainly looking forward to it.

Also, have a link. As always, I'll try to keep it updated.

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Re: The Old Drover

Post  Dsarker on Mon Dec 12, 2011 11:35 pm

Well, there are two ways it can go ahead.

First is happy ending for everypony.

Second is melancholy ending for most everypony.
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Re: The Old Drover

Post  Armok on Tue Dec 13, 2011 1:28 am

Happy, this forum doesn't have enough of those.
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Re: The Old Drover

Post  Debesh on Tue Dec 13, 2011 1:30 am

Armok wrote:Happy, this forum doesn't have enough of those.
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Re: The Old Drover

Post  MC Dirty on Tue Dec 13, 2011 1:37 am

Debesh wrote:
Armok wrote:Happy, this forum doesn't have enough of those.

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Re: The Old Drover

Post  Dsarker on Tue Dec 13, 2011 1:37 am

Well, here's the melancholy one for now. Happy one will come too, but you'll be able to guess the happy one's ending from this one, I hope.

Melancholy

Applebloom sat on the nearly empty train as they headed to Appleloosa. The other occupant lay down, looking at a single slip of paper. Applebloom held in her curiosity about the older pony as long as she could, but she eventually couldn't hold it in anymore.

"Well, excuse me sir, but what's that y'all have in yer hooves?" she said. The old (she realised now he looked to be almost as old as Granny Smith)  pony turned to her, and with a smile on his face, he beckoned her over. Curiousity rising, she slowly stepped over to him. He held out the short piece of paper and she glanced down at it. It appeared to be a photograph. A mare, a stallion, and three foals of varying ages

"The faces in the photograph have faded," the old pony said ruefully. "And I can't believe he looks so much like me," indicating one of the foals. "It's been almost fifty long years today since I left for Old Cork station, and ten years since I got this. I'm a drover you see, filly, by the name of Thomas."

"A drover?" asked Applebloom. "What's that?" Even her teacher hadn't said anything about what a drover was or did. It was the first time she'd even heard the word.

"A drover leads cattle from different places. To help them find enough grass to graze on, you see," was the old stallion's answer. "I do the Diamantina route. Not much rain out there. I'm heading up to start leading another herd out."

Tears began to form in his eyes. "I said I'd be back when the droving was done. But I don't think I could go back to my family anymore. It's been fifty years since I started, and it's hard to change your mind once you start something. My mare and the foals have probably gone by now, like the drays go out from Old Cork station to no notice. They'll have long left there."

Applebloom was silent after that. She walked back over to her seat. How could anypony not know where their family was? She always knew where Applejack and Big Macintosh were. This had been the longest she'd been away from both of them. She didn't want to think how it would be without them. Even without her parents, she always felt at home. 

"So..." she started to ask. "What's droving like?" The old pony started to smile again, memories passing on his face.

"It's difficult work, but it's satisfying. I'm one of the night-ponies in the plant. If we get a rush, I'm one of the ponies supposed to bring them to a stop." His eyes misted over. "Still, lucky we haven't had to do that much recently. I'm probably not up to it much these days." The smile stood out on his face.

"A rush? What's that?" asked Applebloom. She'd never heard of one of those before, even from Applejack, and Applejack knew everything about herd.

"Old drover slang for a stampede." The smile stuck on his face. "Probably not much call for the term in...where do you come from, again?"

"Ah'm from Ponyville," said Applebloom with pride in her voice. The stallion laughed. "What are y'all laughing at?

"You'll never guess, but I was thinking of settling down there," replied the drover, a chuckle still in his voice. "What's it like out there?"

"Well, it's nice and friendly. My big sis Applejack stopped a stampede there a couple of months ago!" Applebloom exclaimed. The ears on the pony perked up.

"So you're a member of the Apple family?" asked the drover. When Applebloom nodded, he continued "Do you know Maria?"

Applebloom thought for a moment, then shook her head. "Nope, ah don't. But if you're heading up to Appleloosa, you'll be able to meet Applejack. She knows everypony in the Apple family."

"Thanks, miss..."

"Applebloom's mah name."

"Miss Applebloom, but I'm not heading all the way up to Appleloosa. No work for a drover up there." The smile turned wistful. "No, just up to Old Cork station for me. Maybe we'll see each other again later on, if I do decide to settle down in Ponyville."

Applebloom nodded. "Everypony knows everypony else in Ponyville."

The stallion smiled again. "Sounds like my kind of place, then. Now, if you'll excuse me for a bit, I'm gonna go take a nap."

"Okay," said Applebloom. 

-----

The train slowed to a stop, and jerked Applebloom awake. With a start, she looked out of the windows. There was nothing around. She was startled by a tap on her back. The old drover was standing behind her. 

"This is Old Cork station. I'll be leaving you here. Have a good trip, miss Applebloom." Applebloom just stared as he left the train, then walked over to the other side. A small collection of buildings were there, and as Applebloom watched, she saw the old stallion leave the train and start talking with one of the ponies there. The train began to move away.

She sat back down. The old pony had given her a lot to think about. Sure, droving sounded fun. But to be apart from your family for a long time, for years? That sounded as unfun as it could be. Was it worth the sacrifice? She was still pondering as she got to Appleloosa.

-----

Thomas was helping the herd settle down for the night when the train was heard in the distance. He made his way over to the rails. He could see it in the distance, getting closer. He settled down to wait, and peered through the passenger cabins. There, he could see Applebloom, and the pony who must... Who must have been her sister. As he looked, he recognised them.

They waved through the windows, and he stood up, starting to run as fast as he could to follow the train. But as old as he was, he was unable to run anywhere near as fast as the train could go, and he fell far behind.

With a sigh, and tears in his eyes, he made his way back to camp.
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Re: The Old Drover

Post  MC Dirty on Tue Dec 13, 2011 1:50 am

Yeah, it is pretty easy to guess where this goes in the happy ending. And honestly, I think that would fit way better. Applebloom thought the old drover was nice, she had thought about trying droving (although she probably won't be able to do it, but that's of no concern) and she knows he works somewhere near Old Cork. Not only that, but she waved, so really, I don't see a reason why they wouldn't at least stop to have a chat and leave with one of the next trains.

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Re: The Old Drover

Post  Dsarker on Tue Dec 13, 2011 4:14 am

Happy, still unfinished.

Applebloom sat on the nearly empty train as they headed to Appleloosa. The other occupant lay down, looking at a single slip of paper. Applebloom held in her curiosity about the older pony as long as she could, but she eventually couldn't hold it in anymore.

"Well, excuse me sir, but what's that y'all have in yer hooves?" she said. The old (she realised now he looked to be almost as old as Granny Smith)  pony turned to her, and with a smile on his face, he beckoned her over. Curiousity rising, she slowly stepped over to him. He held out the short piece of paper and she glanced down at it. It appeared to be a photograph. A mare, a stallion, and three foals of varying ages

"The faces in the photograph have faded," the old pony said ruefully. "And I can't believe he looks so much like me," indicating one of the foals. "It's been almost fifty long years today since I left for Old Cork station, and ten years since I got this. I'm a drover you see, filly."

"A drover?" asked Applebloom. "What's that?" Even her teacher hadn't said anything about what a drover was or did. It was the first time she'd even heard the word.

"A drover leads cattle from different places. To help them find enough grass to graze on, you see," was the old stallion's answer. "I do the Diamantina route. Not much rain out there. I'm heading up to start leading another herd out."

Tears began to form in his eyes. "I said I'd be back when the droving was done. But I don't think I could go back to my family anymore. It's been fifty years since I started, and it's hard to change your mind once you start something. My mare and the foals have probably gone by now, like the drays go out from Old Cork station to no notice. They'll have long left there."

Applebloom was silent after that. She walked back over to her seat. How could anypony not know where their family was? She always knew where Applejack and Big Macintosh were. This had been the longest she'd been away from both of them. She didn't want to think how it would be without them. Even without her parents, she always felt at home. 

"So..." she started to ask. "What's droving like?" The old pony started to smile again, memories passing on his face.

"It's difficult work, but it's satisfying. I'm one of the night-ponies in the plant. If we get a rush, I'm one of the ponies supposed to bring them to a stop." His eyes misted over. "Still, lucky we haven't had to do that much recently. I'm probably not up to it much these days." The smile stood out on his face.

"A rush? What's that?" asked Applebloom. She'd never heard of one of those before, even from Applejack, and Applejack knew everything about herd.

"Old drover slang for a stampede." The smile stuck on his face. "Probably not much call for the term in...where do you come from, again?"

"Ah'm from Ponyville," said Applebloom with pride in her voice. The stallion laughed. "What are y'all laughing at?

"You'll never guess, but I was thinking of settling down there," replied the drover, a chuckle still in his voice. "What's it like out there?"

"Well, it's nice and friendly. My big sis Applejack stopped a stampede there a couple of months ago!" Applebloom exclaimed. The ears on the pony perked up.

"So you're a member of the Apple family?" asked the drover. When Applebloom nodded, he continued "Do you know Maria?"

Applebloom thought for a moment, then shook her head. "Nope, ah don't. But if you're heading up to Appleloosa, you'll be able to meet Applejack. She knows everypony in the Apple family."

"Thanks, miss..."

"Applebloom's mah name."

"Miss Applebloom, but I'm not heading all the way up to Appleloosa. No work for a drover up there." The smile turned wistful. "No, just up to Old Cork station for me. Maybe we'll see each other again later on, if I do decide to settle down in Ponyville."

Applebloom nodded. "Everypony knows everypony else in Ponyville."

The stallion smiled again. "Sounds like my kind of place, then. Now, if you'll excuse me for a bit, I'm gonna go take a nap."

"Okay," said Applebloom. 

-----

The train slowed to a stop, and jerked Applebloom awake. With a start, she looked out of the windows. There was nothing around. She was startled by a tap on her back. The old drover was standing behind her. 

"This is Old Cork station. I'll be leaving you here. Have a good trip, miss Applebloom." Applebloom just stared as he left the train, then walked over to the other side. A small collection of buildings were there, and as Applebloom watched, she saw the old stallion leave the train and start talking with one of the ponies there. The train began to move away.

She sat back down. The old pony had given her a lot to think about. Sure, droving sounded fun. But to be apart from your family for a long time, for years? That sounded as unfun as it could be. Was it worth the sacrifice? She was still pondering as she got to Appleloosa.

-----

"What's up, sugar?" asked Applejack as she and the other ponies boarded the train home. Applebloom started, then sat back down.

"Nothin' much, sis. How was Appleloosa?" she asked.

"It was nice, in the end. How was your train ride up?" Applebloom didn't respond. "Applebloom? Applebloom?" Applebloom looked up again.

"Sorry, sis. Just been thinkin' about some things. How was Appleloosa?" she asked. 

"Ah already told y'all, Applebloom. Sure there's nothin' y'all want to talk about?" Applejack asked as she got to her seat and lay down.

"Oh, yes. Do y'all know somepony called Maria?" asked Applebloom as she recalled the old stallion's question. Applejack scratched her head.

"Ah know one pony by that name, but she don't use it none anymore. Why do y'all ask, honeybunch?"

"An old stallion called Thomas asked if Ah knew her when Ah said Ah was from the Apple family."

"Well, it might be the same Maria, then. Y'all know Granny Smith?" At Applebloom's nod, she continued "Well, her real name is Maria Ann Smith. Where did y'all meet this stallion?"

"Ah met him on the train ride up. He said he were a drover. He looked almost as old as Granny Smith," Applebloom answered.

"Well, he might have passed by Ponyville before and met her then. What's a drover?"

"Somepony who leads herds of cattle around, he said."

"Well, Ah can't say as Ah've ever heard of it before. Well, we'll be home in a day. We can ask Granny about it then." 

As the train left the station, Applejack lay down to get as much sleep as she could after a long and trying day. Applebloom just stared out into space. She felt a strange feeling, like loneliness, but different. 

The time passed quickly for both of them, and they both soon fell asleep.

-----

Applejack was awakened from the sleep when the train started to slow down to a stop. She yawned, and got up, only to realise that it was still dark outside. She frowned, and was about to get up, when she heard the sounds of carriage doors opening. As she looked through the darkness, she could see somepony, backlit by a small candle, slowly walking through the carriage. They eventually came to an empty seat and lay down, before blowing out the candle. Applejack lay back, and waited until sleep claimed her once more.
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Re: The Old Drover

Post  Armok on Tue Dec 13, 2011 12:27 pm

Nice, but I'm a bit unsure about what exactly is going on occasionally.
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Re: The Old Drover

Post  Dsarker on Tue Dec 13, 2011 12:44 pm

I'm just rambling on at this point. I should have finished with Applebloom thinking, really.
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Re: The Old Drover

Post  Dsarker on Tue Dec 13, 2011 11:09 pm

Blah.

Applebloom sat on the nearly empty train as they headed to Appleloosa. The other occupant lay down, looking at a single slip of paper. Applebloom held in her curiosity about the older pony as long as she could, but she eventually couldn't hold it in anymore.

"Well, excuse me sir, but what's that y'all have in yer hooves?" she said. The old (she realised now he looked to be almost as old as Granny Smith)  pony turned to her, and with a smile on his face, he beckoned her over. Curiousity rising, she slowly stepped over to him. He held out the short piece of paper and she glanced down at it. It appeared to be a photograph. A mare, a stallion, and three foals of varying ages

"The faces in the photograph have faded," the old pony said ruefully. "And I can't believe he looks so much like me," indicating one of the foals. "It's been almost fifty long years today since I left for Old Cork station, and ten years since I got this. I'm a drover you see, filly."

"A drover?" asked Applebloom. "What's that?" Even her teacher hadn't said anything about what a drover was or did. It was the first time she'd even heard the word.

"A drover leads cattle from different places. To help them find enough grass to graze on, you see," was the old stallion's answer. "I do the Diamantina route. Not much rain out there. I'm heading up to start leading another herd out."

Tears began to form in his eyes. "I said I'd be back when the droving was done. But I don't think I could go back to my family anymore. It's been fifty years since I started, and it's hard to change your mind once you start something. My mare and the foals have probably gone by now, like the drays go out from Old Cork station to no notice. They'll have long left there."

Applebloom was silent after that. She walked back over to her seat. How could anypony not know where their family was? She always knew where Applejack and Big Macintosh were. This had been the longest she'd been away from both of them. She didn't want to think how it would be without them. Even without her parents, she always felt at home. 

"So..." she started to ask. "What's droving like?" The old pony started to smile again, memories passing on his face.

"It's difficult work, but it's satisfying. I'm one of the night-ponies in the plant. If we get a rush, I'm one of the ponies supposed to bring them to a stop." His eyes misted over. "Still, lucky we haven't had to do that much recently. I'm probably not up to it much these days." The smile stood out on his face.

"A rush? What's that?" asked Applebloom. She'd never heard of one of those before, even from Applejack, and Applejack knew everything about herd.

"Old drover slang for a stampede." The smile stuck on his face. "Probably not much call for the term in...where do you come from, again?"

"Ah'm from Ponyville," said Applebloom with pride in her voice. The stallion laughed. "What are y'all laughing at?

"You'll never guess, but I was thinking of settling down there," replied the drover, a chuckle still in his voice. "What's it like out there?"

"Well, it's nice and friendly. My big sis Applejack stopped a stampede there a couple of months ago!" Applebloom exclaimed. The ears on the pony perked up.

"So you're a member of the Apple family?" asked the drover. When Applebloom nodded, he continued "Do you know Maria?"

Applebloom thought for a moment, then shook her head. "Nope, ah don't. But if you're heading up to Appleloosa, you'll be able to meet Applejack. She knows everypony in the Apple family."

"Thanks, miss..."

"Applebloom's mah name."

"Miss Applebloom, but I'm not heading all the way up to Appleloosa. No work for a drover up there." The smile turned wistful. "No, just up to Old Cork station for me. Maybe we'll see each other again later on, if I do decide to settle down in Ponyville."

Applebloom nodded. "Everypony knows everypony else in Ponyville."

The stallion smiled again. "Sounds like my kind of place, then. Now, if you'll excuse me for a bit, I'm gonna go take a nap."

"Okay," said Applebloom. 

-----

The train slowed to a stop, and jerked Applebloom awake. With a start, she looked out of the windows. There was nothing around. She was startled by a tap on her back. The old drover was standing behind her. 

"This is Old Cork station. I'll be leaving you here. Have a good trip, miss Applebloom." Applebloom just stared as he left the train, then walked over to the other side. A small collection of buildings were there, and as Applebloom watched, she saw the old stallion leave the train and start talking with one of the ponies there. The train began to move away.

She sat back down. The old pony had given her a lot to think about. Sure, droving sounded fun. But to be apart from your family for a long time, for years? That sounded as unfun as it could be. Was it worth the sacrifice? She was still pondering as she got to Appleloosa.

-----

"What's up, sugar?" asked Applejack as she and the other ponies boarded the train home. Applebloom started, then sat back down.

"Nothin' much, sis. How was Appleloosa?" she asked.

"It was nice, in the end. How was your train ride up?" Applebloom didn't respond. "Applebloom? Applebloom?" Applebloom looked up again.

"Sorry, sis. Just been thinkin' about some things. How was Appleloosa?" she asked. 

"Ah already told y'all, Applebloom. Sure there's nothin' y'all want to talk about?" Applejack asked as she got to her seat and lay down.

"Oh, yes. Do y'all know somepony called Maria?" asked Applebloom as she recalled the old stallion's question. Applejack scratched her head.

"Ah know one pony by that name, but she don't use it none anymore. Why do y'all ask, honeybunch?"

"An old stallion called Thomas asked if Ah knew her when Ah said Ah was from the Apple family."

"Well, it might be the same Maria, then. Y'all know Granny Smith?" At Applebloom's nod, she continued "Well, her real name is Maria Ann Smith. Where did y'all meet this stallion?"

"Ah met him on the train ride up. He said he were a drover. He looked almost as old as Granny Smith," Applebloom answered.

"Well, he might have passed by Ponyville before and met her then. What's a drover?"

"Somepony who leads herds of cattle around, he said."

"Well, Ah can't say as Ah've ever heard of it before. Well, we'll be home in a day. We can ask Granny about it then." 

As the train left the station, Applejack lay down to get as much sleep as she could after a long and trying day. Applebloom just stared out into space. She felt a strange feeling, like loneliness, but different. 

The time passed quickly for both of them, and they both soon fell asleep.

-----

Applejack was awakened from the sleep when the train started to slow down to a stop. She yawned, and got up, only to realise that it was still dark outside. She frowned, and was about to get up, when she heard the sounds of carriage doors opening. As she looked through the darkness, she could see somepony, backlit by a small candle, slowly walking through the carriage. They eventually came to an empty seat and lay down, before blowing out the candle. Applejack lay back, and waited until sleep claimed her once more.

-----

She was woken by her head being shook by somepony. "Huh? What?" she asked groggily, before turning to see Applebloom. "Applebloom? Why are y'all waking me?" She got up and yawned. In front of her were Applebloom and a new pony, an old stallion. Probably the pony who got on last night, Applejack thought.

"Thomas, this is my big sis Applejack!" Applebloom said excitedly. Applejack recognised the name.

"So this is the drover, eh?" Applejack said, still sleepy. She stuck a hoof out. "Pleased ta meet y'all, Thomas. Applejack's my name. How d'yer do?"

Thomas matched her hoof with his own. "I'm reasonably well rested, miss Applejack. Unfortunately, as I've told your sister, I'm on my way home now. No work for a drover up here any more." A sardonic smile formed on his face. "Guess I'll just have to head home and hope more work turns up soon. Will be nice to dust it out, I guess."

Applebloom tugged at Applejack, a plaintive expression on her face. Applejack stood stern for a few seconds, before sighing and conceding the victory to her sister.

"Mister Thomas, why don't y'all come down to Ponyville and stay with us? I'm sure we have room for one more pony," offered Applejack. The old stallion smiled at this.

"No, miss Applejack, I wouldn't want to impose," was his reply. Applebloom continued to stare at Applejack, her intent clear in her eyes.

"No, Ah insist," continued Applejack. "We've got room. It wouldn't be no trouble at all." The stallion nodded.

"Well, if you're sure. I'd welcome the opportunity to see your family, miss Applebloom and miss Applejack."

-----

The train slowed to a stop as they reached the station for Ponyville. As the group waited to exit the train, they peered out the windows. A group was waiting for them. Mr and Mrs Cake, Sweetie Belle and Scootaloo, Granny Smith and Big Macintosh. As Applebloom watched, she noticed a tear in Thomas' eye.

"What's wrong?" she asked, concern in her voice. 

"No-nothing," he answered, his voice cracking. "I...I just don't want to wake up."

"Wake up? What do y'all mean?" asked Applebloom.

"I've had this dream before. I don't want this to be just another dream." He headed for the door, a little unsteadily. Applebloom followed him.

They exited the train last. Applejack was talking with Granny and Big Macintosh. Pinkie was jumping around Mr and Mrs Cake. The two foals were talking excitedly as they waited for Applebloom. Thomas stepped out, and slowly walked to the Apples.

"Maria? Maria, is that you?"
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Re: The Old Drover

Post  Dsarker on Thu Dec 15, 2011 1:07 am

Yeah, I'm scrapping the last part.
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Re: The Old Drover

Post  Debesh on Thu Dec 15, 2011 1:16 am

Is it because it makes the whole thing too obvious? That's pretty much the only thing I see wrong with that last bit there.
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Re: The Old Drover

Post  Dsarker on Thu Dec 15, 2011 1:33 am

It just doesn't feel right, if you understand.
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Re: The Old Drover

Post  Slag on Thu Dec 15, 2011 1:35 am

I have to agree. Something's just a little off.

I think the problem might be it's a bit rushed. AKA it's like everything I've ever written.

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Re: The Old Drover

Post  Debesh on Thu Dec 15, 2011 1:37 am

I don't quite see what you're talking about, but I understand the feeling completely.
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