“Apple Bloom? … Here. OK, we’re all here. Now… Sweetie Belle, what are you doing?”
Sweetie Belle had a glazed look in her eyes, which didn’t bode well when one was standing beneath the CMC clubhouse good idea bulb.
“Oh. I just like pretending Rumble and Button Mash finally decided to join us and they’re on the roll call sheet,” Sweetie Belle frowned.
“Sweetie, they’re just not interested,” Scootaloo told her for the umpteenth time. “And they definitely won’t join if you keep pestering them.”
“I haven’t been pestering them!” Sweetie Belle insisted. “Anyway, you’re just mad because of Zipporwhill.”
“Can you blame me?” grumbled Scootaloo. “She’s a year younger than us and she got her cutie mark. And she can fly! It’s so embarrassing. I wish we could sign up all the foals in the grade under us, but everypony says the same thing. ‘Zipporwhill’s just an early bloomer’.”
“It is kinda funny,” Apple Bloom said, looking at the same old roll call scroll. “We’ve been at this forever and not only have none of us gotten our cutie marks, but we also only ever met one of the three foals we managed to recruit.”
“Well, that’ll be different soon,” said Sweetie Belle, perking up.
“That’s right,” said Scootaloo. “Now that those school ponies from Manehattan are field tripping to Ponyville for the Festival of Flora, we’ll finally get to meet Babs Seed’s members.”
“I just hope we don’t have to talk to those foals who’d been picking on her before we first met her,” Apple Bloom groaned. “The last thing we need around here is more Diamond Tiaras.”
When the day came for the train from Manehattan to come to Ponyville, Apple Bloom, Sweetie Belle and Scootaloo were the first ones on the station platform to welcome Babs Seed and her two fellow crusaders. Soon enough, in came the train and out came about twenty foals. Apple Bloom and Babs Seed were delighted to see each other again, and Babs’ friends were happy to meet Apple Bloom, Sweetie Belle and Scootaloo. It was a nice feeling to be amongst so many foals who were wearing the same capes.
“So, once your chaperone’s done gettin’ y’all situated, we can show ya our Ponyville headquarters,” Apple Bloom smiled.
“Might take a while,” said Babs, looking around at the foals being herded into the station house. She and her friends would have to join them. “But you guys can hang ‘round here and wait for the next train.”
“The next train?” asked Scootaloo. “You mean your school needed two trains two get its students here?”
“No, no. Didn’t your teacher tell ya?” asked a very amused Babs Seed. “There are three schools field trippin’ here for the flower show.”
“Yeah. Ours from Manehattan, one from Clopley Hill, Steeds, and one from Barrow in Harness.”
After Babs Seed and her two mates had been ushered into the station house by the school appointed chaperone, Apple Bloom, Scootaloo and Sweetie Belle got in trouble from the station master a few times for jumping around all over the platform in excitement.
“How did we miss that?!” cried Apple Bloom. “Do either of you remember Miss Cheerilee saying anything about Clopley Hill or Barrow in Harness?”
“Nope,” said Scootaloo and Sweetie Belle together.
“Guess we got distracted when she said Manehattan,” suggested Sweetie Belle.
Scootaloo giggled. “We thought that was exciting, but now…”
“We shoulda known more schools would come,” said Sweetie Belle. “I mean, look.”
They peered around the station house. The streets of Ponyville already did look festive. There were a few kiosks set up in advance and bunting was strung between buildings, lampposts and trees. It looked lovely, especially in the bright sunny day the pegasi were making. Not even the dandelion seeds lying all over the grass could spoil the view. Sweetie Belle spotted some dandelions growing in the ballast on the tracks. One of them still had all of its seeds on it. She magiced it off the tracks and held it in front of her.
“I wish for more blank flanks to come to Ponyville,” she said excitedly before blowing the seeds away.
The prospect of meeting and recruiting more blank flanks was making the three of them a station hazard. They managed to occupy a bench and wait patiently until the station master announced that the 8AM from Steeds Central to Ponyville Station was now arriving.
“Make sure to let them all see our capes,” said Sweetie Belle as the passengers began to disembark.
There were about the same number of Clopley Hill school foals as Manehattan school foals. Apple Bloom, Sweetie Belle and Scootaloo looked around. Every foal who exited the coaches had a symbol on their flanks. A colt with a hammer for a cutie mark approached the caped fillies grinning.
“Actually, we’re the Cutie Mark Crusaders,” said Apple Bloom, posing with her friends.
“You still sound like superheroes,” said the colt, still grinning.
“We’re not,” retorted Sweetie Belle. “We’re a club for foals who don’t have cutie marks.”
“Oh. Well, everyone at Clopley Hill Primary has one,” the colt told them. “You three don’t need to be here.”
As he trotted away, his smile not fading, Scootaloo got the feeling that the hammer on his flank didn’t represent carpentry skills.
When Babs Seed returned with her friends, Apple Bloom told them that no blank flanks had come from Clopley Hill, Steeds. She was about to ask the other two Manehattan crusaders about themselves when Sweetie Belle and Scootaloo started rambling, alternating between complaining about the time they wasted waiting for the Clopley Hill train and freaking out over the possibilities the next train would bring.
“We coulda ran back to the clubhouse and grabbed more capes.”
“I sure hope we six aren’t the only blank flanks in Equestria. Well, for our age anyway.”
“Can you believe that colt? Thinking we were supposed to be superheroes?”
“What if all the foals in Barrow in Harness have cutie marks and Diamond Tiara finds out we had a recruitment drive that didn’t go anywhere?”
“The 8:30AM from Barrow in Harness is now arriving! Please stand well away from the edge of the platform!”
The brakes squealed, the engine hissed, hooves thumped, and Scootaloo and Sweetie Belle squealed.
A blue filly strolled onto the platform gazing around. She nearly ran into Scootaloo, Sweetie Belle and Babs Seed, who had run right up to her as soon as they spotted her.
“Hi! Who are you?!”
“Um, I’m Skyward. Who are you? And what are you wearing?”
“We’re the Cutie Mark Crusaders,” said Scootaloo, Sweetie Belle and Babs Seed together.
“We’re a club for foals who don’t have their cutie marks yet,” Apple Bloom said after approaching Skyward herself.
Skyward’s eyes widened, then she turned around and called into the carriage she had come out of.
“Hey guys, you don’t have to worry! There’s lots of other blank flanks here!”
“Really?!” came an ecstatic voice.
“Yeah! Six of them!” Skyward replied.
Scootaloo, Sweetie Belle and Babs Seed could hardly contain themselves as three more cutie markless fillies exited the coach.
“Are you really a club for blank flanks?!” asked one of them.
“Yep!” answered Apple Bloom.
“Any chance the four of us can join?!” Skyward asked.
“A chance?!” spluttered Babs Seed. “You guys are practically already in!”
Of course, the only thing stopping the ten of them from running to the clubhouse right then and there was the Barrow in Harness chaperone needing all her students present for roll call and introduction to the Mayor.
At last, they were all sprinting through the partially decorated town heading for Sweet Apple Acres. The Barrow in Harness fillies wouldn’t stop talking about how nervous they had been about being the only blank flanks at the festival. Sweetie Belle was already practising her initiation speech.
“We, the Cutie Mark Crusaders are proud to welcome its newest members… um… what are your names again?”
“I’m Castaway,” one of them reminded her. “That’s Flotsam and that’s Washout.”
“Right! Right.” said Sweetie Belle. “And that first one?”
“Skyward,” said Scootaloo.
At the mention of that name, Apple Bloom looked around. Skyward must have broken stride because she wasn’t in the group. Apple Bloom stopped and looked back. There was Skyward looking up at the Ponyville weather crew hard at work cloud busting. As Apple Bloom backtracked, she thought Skyward looked like she was having the time of her life even though she wasn’t with the group of blank flanks.
“I hope we didn’t come on too strong and turn her off,” groaned Apple Bloom.
“Oh, sorry about that,” said Skyward when Apple Bloom attracted her attention. “I was just… well, to put it in a nutshell, I really love weather.”
“Yeah. I think it would be really cool to work in the weather industry,” Skyward smiled, watching Rainbow Dash, Flitter and Cloud Chaser clearing the sky.
“Oh, so, you’ve already got some idea of what you wanna do with your life?” asked Apple Bloom.
“Pretty much,” said Skyward dreamily.
Apple Bloom thought for a moment, and then said “Well OK. So what kind of weather work would you like to do? Making snowflakes? Measuring cloud gaps? Balancing rainbow colours? Have you had any practise in the sky? Have you learned how to fly yet?”
Skyward grinned. “Um, I can’t fly. I’m an earth pony.”
Apple Bloom went red. “Oh. That’s embarrassing. I don’t think I ever noticed.”
“It’s OK,” said Skyward. “We just met.”
“Um, Castaway’s an earth pony too, right,” Apple Bloom was trying to remember what the other fillies looked like.
“Uh huh,” nodded Skyward.
“And Flotsam’s a pegasus and Washout’s a unicorn?”
“Other way around,” corrected Skyward.
“Right,” said Apple Bloom, face still red.
“Hey, at least you remembered their names,” said Skyward.
Skyward started looking around again.
“Did the weather team make yesterday windy?” she asked.
“How’d ya guess?” asked Apple Bloom.
Skyward pointed at the dandelion seeds all over the grass. “It was either that or all the pegasi in town have dandruff. Huh. Dandelions or dandruff.”
They both chuckled.
“I love weather, but everypony tells me to leave it to the pegasi,” said Skyward. “Still, I wasn’t as nervous as those other tree. All I had to do was not mention my hobby to anyone and I wouldn’t have to be embarrassed.”
“You’re not really bothered about not having your cutie mark, are ya?” inquired Apple Bloom. “All you’re worried about is your special talent having nothing to do with weather.”
“You’re right,” Skyward sighed. “If I can never do anything weather related, whatever cutie mark I’d end up with would be a total lie.”
“Well then, let’s get you a weathery cutie mark!” said Apple Bloom confidently. “I know just who to go to.”
Skyward had heard about the Everfree Forest, and couldn’t believe her eyes when she realised that Apple Bloom was leading her there.
“What in Luna’s bib are we going in there for?” she demanded.
“There’s an herbalist zebra named Zecora who lives there,” Apple Bloom told her.
“OK, and what would a zebra know about weather?” asked Skyward. “Did your teacher tell you about a species of flying zebra that our teacher didn’t bother to mention?”
“No, but the Everfree Forest is a self-contained ecosystem,” said Apple Bloom. “The weather isn’t controlled by ponies. It rains and shines however it wants.”
Skyward was intrigued enough to allow herself to be guided to the hut in the Everfree Forest by Apple Bloom.
“Hot air is sent up by the sun’s rays. Then cold air comes to take its place,” Zecora told Skyward and Apple Bloom. “The cold wind blows the rain clouds along. The plants get watered and grow before long.”
Skyward got more and more invested as she, Zecora and Apple Bloom wandered around Zecora’s garden.
“So since it’s hot right now,” Skyward guessed, “it’ll get windy soon, and then it’ll rain?”
“That is the ordinary pattern of weather,” Zecora nodded. “And all done without someone lifting a feather.”
“Does it ever snow in this forest?” asked Skyward.
“Every winter just like everywhere else. And it’s somewhat a result of Celestia’s spells,” Zecora answered. “At that time of year, the sun is moved back. It’s further away from the ground and the pack. This makes the rain in the forest freeze. The snow here is not made with artistic expertise.”
Nothing in the Cutie Mark Crusaders clubhouse could make Skyward happier than what Zecora was telling her.
“And do rainbows exist here?” she pressed.
“They will appear after rainstorms. They are not rare. The sunlight shines through water vapour in the air.”
“All my life, I thought weather was an invention of ponykind,” Skyward beamed. “Now I know they just control when it happens.”
That evening, Apple Bloom and Skyward were walking back into Ponyville. They were both extremely satisfied with what Zecora had taught them, but Apple Bloom noticed that Skyward was starting to frown a bit.
“Anything wrong?” she asked.
“No, no. That was great,” Skyward insisted. “I loved learning about ordinary weather.”
Skyward sighed. “But knowing how it works just isn’t the same as getting involved.”
“Well, what if you could pass on what you learned to other ponies?” suggested Apple Bloom.
“Nopony wants to learn about weather that happens on its own,” said Skyward. “I’ve heard no schools teach it because all the weather in Equestria is controlled by pegasi.”
“My teacher never told us about it, so I guess you’re right there,” Apple Bloom said after a moment’s thought.
“Still, I want to thank you for trying to help me get my hoof in the door,” smiled Skyward. “But it’s no use. I was born an earth pony, so…”
“Don’t go givin’ up!” snapped Apple Bloom.
“I know a unicorn who got involved with weather before,” Apple Bloom was recalling Rarity's brief gig in the weather industry. “So I know that not only pegasi can control the weather.”
“How did she do?” asked Skyward.
“That’s not the point,” Apple Bloom waved the question away.
“Can I ask you something?” Skyward asked.
“I wasn’t assigned a roommate,” said Skyward. “There’s an odd number of us from Barrow in Harness, so I got my own room at the inn. I could ask my chaperone to let you stay with me tonight-- um, if you want, that is.”
“I’d love to,” Apple Bloom smiled. “I’ll probably be the first pony to stay in a hotel in her own home.”
Skyward chuckled. “You’ll probably get a big 1st as a cutie mark for being the first pony to do a bunch of weird stuff.”
Apple Bloom grinned before Skyward looked up at the pegasi again. She spotted Rainbow Dash towing a grey cloud towards Town Hall.
“Rainbow Dash! Couldja come here a minute?!” called Apple Bloom.
“That’s the coolest name I’ve ever heard,” said Skyward.
Rainbow Dash heard this as she approached and needless to say, it gave her a big head.
“Well you need a cool name if you wanna be a weather captain or a pending Wonderbolt,” she said smugly.
“Oh! You’re the weather captain of Ponyville!” burst out Skyward, vigorously shaking Rainbow Dash’s hoof.
“OK, OK,” said Apple Bloom. This wasn’t the reason she’d summoned Rainbow Dash. “Rainbow, couldja do me a favour and tell Granny Smith that I ain’t gonna be home tonight? I’m gonna be spending the night with Skyward here.”
“Sure thing,” replied Rainbow Dash. “I got some time before tonight’s rain’s due.”
And she took off towards Sweet Apple Acres, causing a trickle of dandelion seeds to blow around the two fillies.
On the way to the inn, Apple Bloom and Skyward thought they could hear crumpling paper. They approached a row of houses and spotted Roseluck carrying a roll of newspapers to a garbage bin.
“Evenin’ Roseluck!” called Apple Bloom.
“Oh! Hi, Apple Bloom,” replied Roseluck. “Who’s your friend?”
“This is Skyward. She’s visiting from Barrow in Harness,” said Apple Bloom as Roseluck and Skyward shook hooves. “Been paintin’?”
Roseluck quickly looked at her crumpled up newspapers, which weren’t entirely black and white.
“Uh, yeah,” she said. “Thought I’d give my fen--”
“Where’s your garden gnomes?” asked Apple Bloom. “They’re not in your garden.”
“Oh, I just…”
“You gave your garden gnomes a new coat of paint?!” said Apple Bloom excitedly. “Great! They’ll look fantastic!”
“Aw, that secret’s out,” groaned Roseluck.
“Why were ya keepin’ it secret?” Apple Bloom asked.
“I was planning to decorate my flower display tomorrow with my gnomes,” Roseluck answered. “They were my secret weapon.”
“Don’t leave them outside to dry. Bring them in. It’s gonna rain tonight,” warned Skyward.
“But they’re dry. And I didn’t use water base paint,” said Roseluck.
“Rain can still spoil the colour of your gnomes,” Skyward insisted. “That’s why the paintwork fades when they’re left out all the time.”
“Well, thank you for the suggestion,” said Roseluck. “You know, I wanted to keep this a secret…”
“We won’t say a thing to anypony,” promised Apple Bloom.
“Thanks girls,” Roseluck smiled before turning to her backyard.
Apple Bloom and Skyward spent the rest of the evening in Skyward’s room at the inn after getting the Barrow in Harness chaperone’s approval. They discussed possibilities for jobs Skyward could get in the weather industry, but neither one came up with a solution. The last thing that was discussed before lights out was Apple Bloom making Skyward promise to never abandon her goal. They both slept well that night despite the noise of the rain, but they were woken earlier than intended by voices coming from outside. They both went to the window and opened the blinds. Mayor Mare was shouting at Cloud Chaser, and it was soon clear why.
“What’s all that goo on the ground?” asked Apple Bloom.
“Well, unless the weather team made some wind before they made it rain,” said a very amused Skyward, “that must be wet dandelion seeds.”
Apple Bloom looked around. It looked like there’d been an explosion at a porridge factory. The grass and some of the kiosks were nearly completely covered in white goo. Needless to say, the Festival of Flora could not go on while this mess was lying around. Who would want to admire a bunch of flowers while squelching through a ton of paste?
“I can understand why they made it rain the night before a big flower show,” said Skyward later than morning after Cloud Chaser had told Rainbow Dash about the complaints and Twilight had done everyone the favour of magicing the mess away, “but why did they make it windy the day before?”
“I think I heard Derpy mention something about pollination,” said Apple Bloom.
“Pollination?! What’s the point? Flower show contestants always prepare their plants months in advance,” said Skyward. “And even if it would make a difference, all those mini gardens are gonna get is a buncha dandelions.”
They didn’t have much time to try and figure this out because one of the foals from Skyward’s class told everyone that he found out that they were supposed to write an essay about the different types of plants that they saw at the Festival of Flora. Several foals were hastily grabbing paper and pencils so they would remember what they saw. Some foals outright refused to do any of the essay, feeling cheated because none of their teachers had mentioned this assignment before.
When the festival was declared open and the punters were pouring in, Apple Bloom and Skyward discovered that Roseluck wasn’t the only one who’d had the idea of decorating her flower display with garden gnomes. Although it looked like Cherry Fizzy could have taken a tip from Skyward. His gnomes didn’t exactly stand out amongst his flowers.
“If you don’t mind me askin’,” said Apple Bloom, “how long have your gnomes been out in your garden?”
Cherry Fizzy shrugged. “I don’t think they’ve ever been indoors. Why? Can’t you tell I repainted them yesterday?”
“Well…” Apple Bloom glanced around. “Look over there.”
Cherry Fizzy looked and his eyes popped. Roseluck’s flower display was easily visible across the fair. The garden gnomes standing around her flowers looked immaculate, especially in comparison to Cherry Fizzy’s.
“Wow, she sure did something right,” said Cherry Fizzy. “I don’t know how she does it. She always does one better than the rest of us.”
Apple Bloom and Skyward decided not to tell him that he and Rose had come close to being even.
Down the line, they did find a display that could pose a sufficient competition to Roseluck. Junebug’s flower display was quite tidy and vibrant. But Junebug herself was neither.
“What happened to ya?!” cried Apple Bloom.
“Oh, I just had a bitta trouble with the soil,” Junebug replied. “My garden got really wet last night. Took me a while to get everything neatly set up.”
“Well, usually, the contestants repot their plants in the morning before the show,” said Apple Bloom.
“I did,” groaned Junebug. “But there was so much water all over my flowers that it dripped onto my fresh soil and turned it into mud. Not sure if it was worth the effort this morning to be frank.”
“Looks like it was, to me,” said Skyward, peering around at Junebug’s flowers. “But you really should get cleaned up. We’ll watch over your display.”
Junebug thanked Skyward and Apple Bloom for their compliments and help, but as she went to find Rainbow Dash to give her a shower and a Rainblowdry, Skyward voiced some criticisms about Junebug’s display.
“It looks like everyone else’s display, really,” she said. “All the flowers here look colourful, but beaten up. How hard did the Ponyville weather team make the rain last night? All the flowers would need the night before the fair is a sprinkling.”
At that moment, they heard a high pitched squeal. They looked and saw Big McIntosh standing frozen underneath a string of bunting. Turned out a bit of rain water had dripped down and landed on his back.
Skyward looked at the decorations realizing they were soaking. “Maybe Junebug could just get washed off standing under there,” she joked.
The two fillies got a bit nervous when they saw the judges starting to walk around and inspect the displays, but Junebug returned five minutes before they got to hers. Apple Bloom and Skyward picked up where they left off walking around and admiring the flowers, but they soon found at least three other contestants who’d had trouble with their drenched gardens as well. Eventually, the winner was announced. It came as no surprise to Apple Bloom and Skyward that Roseluck’s spotless garden gnomes had gotten her first prize. No one ever gave speeches at the Festival of Flora, but Apple Bloom was sure that if they did, Roseluck would surely mention Skyward’s suggestion.
“What’s going on now?” asked Skyward, watching Rainbow Dash, Flitter and Cloud Chaser loitering around the winding down festival.
“I guess the weather team’s waiting until everypony’s cleaned up their displays,” replied Apple Bloom. “Then they’ll make it windy to get rid of all the petals and leaves on the ground.”
“Oh, they’re not just gonna bring a wind in, are they?” Skyward scoffed. “Look how wet and heavy they all are.”
Apple Bloom had to agree that all the leaves and petals that had dropped onto the ground were more or less part of the lawns and walkways.
“What they ought to do is move all the clouds and let the sun dry the petals and leaves out,” Skyward went on. “Then they can bring the wind in. That stuff will be outta here before you could say…”
Apple Bloom jolted. “Write a memo to the weather team!”
“I mean, why not? You haven’t been wrong yet,” insisted Apple Bloom. “Here.”
Apple Bloom hadn’t written anything on the paper she’d brought, so she gave it to Skyward and encouraged her to write down her suggestion to the weather team.
“Couldn’t I just talk to Rainbow Dash or something?” Skyward asked nervously.
“You look like you’d get tongue tied,” Apple Bloom watched Skyward sweat a bit. “This’ll be your first time doing something weather related, isn’t it?”
Skyward nodded and began writing her suggestion for a more efficient disposal of the stray petals.
As soon as Skyward finished, Apple Bloom’s suspicions of her itchy hooves were proven.
“S-so, how about you, uh…” she stammered, holding her note out to Apple Bloom. “Do you think you could give this to the weather team?”
Apple Bloom smirked, but before she could take the paper from Skyward…
“I’ll take it.”
Flitter swooped down like a hawk and snatched the note out of Skyward’s hoof. It happened so fast, neither filly saw where Flitter had come from or gone to.
Skyward looked like she’d drank a pitcher of garlic. “I’m… th-this was a terrible idea. Weather’s just m-my hobby. I’m not meant for weather work. I’m j-just an earth pony.”
Soon enough, Skyward’s twitchiness was intensified by Rainbow Dash’s comments on her amateur memo.
“Holy, Skyward! Where’ve ya been all my life? We’ve been trying to figure how to do this in one go every time there’s a Festival of Flora.”
Skyward was speechless.
“Thanks for the suggestion, kid,” Rainbow Dash finished before taking off to help Flitter and Cloud Chaser, who were already clearing the sky.
As the displays and kiosks were gradually dismantled and taken away, Ponyville grew warmer and warmer. Evenings weren’t usually this warm, but word soon spread that the weather team was trying out a suggestion from a visiting school pony. It even reached a group of foals who, as Apple Bloom soon remembered, she hadn’t seen all day.
“There you are!” cried Scootaloo as she, Sweetie Belle and the rest of the Cutie Mark Crusaders ran up to Apple Bloom and Skyward. “Where’ve you been? We had to do the initiation ceremony without you yesterday. And Skyward here still hasn’t had hers yet.”
“Check us out, Sky,” said Castaway, sporting her maroon cape with its blue logo and gold lining.
Skyward barely registered them. She had been watching a nearby pimpernel petal drying on the ground since she had been complimented by Rainbow Dash.
After Apple Bloom told Scootaloo and Sweetie Belle about their quest to find a productive way to implement Skyward’s interest in weather, the wind picked up. Castaway, Flotsam and Washout grinned as their capes flapped in the breeze. All Skyward and Apple Bloom could see was the bone dry leaves and petals being whisked away straight out of Ponyville. All Scootaloo, Sweetie Belle and Babs Seed could see was a nose-up paper airplane with indistinguishable writing on it appearing out of thin air.
“You got your cutie mark!” Babs yelped, pointing at Skyward’s flank.
Skyward looked back and whooped. “I’m gonna be a weather consultant! That’s it! That’s how I’ll contribute to the Barrow in Harness weather team!”
She took off, full of confidence, to ask Rainbow Dash for a letter of recommendation.
Apple Bloom glowed as she watched Skyward disappear, but Scootaloo and Sweetie Belle were moaning.
“She could’ve been our first graduate,” groused Scootaloo.
“We could have had a successful Cutie Mark Crusader,” Sweetie Belle complained.
“Girls,” said Apple Bloom firmly, “we don’t have to get our numbers up. We may be only a few fillies with no cutie marks, but the important thing here is our mission. Do y’all remember what that is?”
In Scootaloo’s and Sweetie Belle’s hesitation, Babs Seed spoke up. “Helping foals find their special talents.”
“Yeah. So that’s what I’ve been doing,” said Apple Bloom, undaunted by her best friends’ indignation. “Skyward knew what she wanted to do, so I helped her.”
Scootaloo and Sweetie Belle looked down at their hooves.
“It’s alright, gals,” Apple Bloom insisted. “I was just as excited about more members as you were.”
Scootaloo looked up. “Sorry we forgot our mission, Apple Bloom.”
Sweetie Belle nodded. “But please don’t let Diamond Tiara hear about this. If she finds out that a foal got her cutie mark before joining us, we’ll never hear the end of it.”
Apple Bloom couldn’t refuse, but she couldn’t help but think the story would spread like dandelion seeds.
“We never thought she could possibly become a weather pony,” Flotsam piped up. “You’re a lot smarter than us, Apple Bloom.”
“No wonder you’re the leader of the Cutie Mark Crusaders,” said Washout. “You really know your stuff. We three ain’t got a clue what our special talents could be.”
“Well then, welcome to the club,” smiled Apple Bloom. “Sorry I wasn’t there for your initiation.”
“No you ain’t,” Babs Seed smirked. “Sweetie Belle shmucked up the speech again.”