“I ‘preciate lettin’ ‘Shy and me to tag along to your library trips, Twi,” Applejack said, “where’d you say the agriculture books were?”
“Try the southeast wing. If not, it should be on the third floor to the right, I think.” Twilight said.
Applejack nodded and trotted into the sea of looming shelves stuffed with books.
A quick glance at the books’ spines gave off a antiquated, hoof-made feel, rather than a mechanical precision of a printing press. Would there be anything useful in these books? If the books were as old as they looked, then Applejack would find outdated and impractical methods of farming.
Still, the old contained hidden wisdom. Even though the primitive (and highly destructive) concepts of soil tilling and monoculture were praised as groundbreaking farming strategies, the farmers of old had a certain charm that persuaded Applejack to study their old ways.
A large tome caught Applejack’s eye. A forceful tug of her hoof sent the book sliding from the shelf and into her arms. The embossed cover was barely readable.
She opened the cover.
The Effect of Animal Communities On Agricultural Plant Growth was the book’s name.
Applejack knew what the book was going to discuss, but found herself drawn to the analytical prose. Granny Smith’s sage advice were mere observatory speculations compared to the precise and clear explanations of farmer’s findings.
As Applejack flipped through the pages, a paper slid out of the book. She jumped back, thinking her forceful page-turning accidentally ripped one of the pages from its binding.
Applejack picked up the rectangular paper. It was a white paper, folded neatly. It belonged in an envelope, not tucked away in a book where nopony would find it.
It was as old as the book, maybe even older, as the folds surrounding the paper were ready to rip in her hooves if she were to tenderly tug on the paper.
She gingerly unfolded the paper. The ink was faded, but it did not stop Applejack from reading the letter.
My dearest, it read.
The days are long without you. I long for another day wrapped in your- embrace. O, how time is cruel! To you, those butterflies that gracefully dance upon your flank represent the winds of life, but to me, the butterflies soar along the winds of a lonely heart.
I cannot write more, as my parents will become suspicious. An Apple never spends too much time away from the farm.
I love you, I love you, I love you.
I swear we shall meet again soon. An Apple never breaks promises, and I won’t be the first.
Applejack’s head shot back.
“There’s no way!” She shouted. It attracted the angered glare of several studying unicorns, causing her to shove the book back in place and leave the wing in embarrassment.
A gentile caretaking pony? With an Apple? It sounded logical, but that union would have been torn in half by both their parents. But it did explain the secrecy of the letter hidden in the book. An Apple would rather die than be separated from its goals, no matter how selfish or outlandish.
Apples are stubborn, after all.
Applejack regained her composure, stuffing the letter in her hat. Nopony would know of her discovery. Nopony would-
“Um, A-Appplejack?” A familiar, timid voice spoke. “I-I found a stran-strange letter while I was reading through an old book about nutrition from fruits, particularly apples.”
A pegasus crept down a nearby staircase, trying to hide a small, rectangular piece of paper between the stair’s railings.
“I, uh, didn’t you, um, say that your great-grandfather’s name started with an ‘R?’ I-I think you might want to read it.”
Norse Pony’s comments: Nice take on the prompt. I enjoyed the narrative convenience of them both discovering the letters at the same time, that was amusing. The letter itself was lovely, I very much enjoyed the way you wrote that. Good work.