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Ask Lyssea - The Apple and the Thief

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It was hard to tell how long she’d been moving, the only thing she had to go on was the sun and the shadows it cast, and she had no idea how to read those well.
But it had been hours, she could tell that much, though if it was three, four or five she had no idea.
The forest had given way for tall grass, so tall she was barely able to see over it when walking, sometimes even forcing her to stand on her hind legs to try and spot a target at the horizon to walk towards.
She had picked her target, another forest by the look of it, at random when she had spotted it when the trees of her own had thinned out.
Or, not entirely at random, when she had first seen it she’d though that there had been a trail of smoke over it. It had been gone the next time she had looked, but she hadn’t changed her direction anyhow - it was as good as any other.
As for the grass, she had found it inedible. She had tried to eat a mouthful when she walked, but the leaves had been razor sharp and almost cut her lips and tongue to shreds. Even ignoring that, the grass had been coarse and tasted awful. It would have to be a last resort, if even that.
During the hours the forest had come closer and now, almost as if it had suddenly teleported in, it was right in front of her.
Unlike the other, which sneaked up on you by growing oh so slowly in density, this one began with an almost straight line in front of her. One moment you were in tall grass, the next you were in the forest, with no gentle transition from one to the other.
She looked up, and to her happiness she saw that most, if not all, the trees were apple trees with large, ripe apples hanging from every branch.
It was tempting to stop and try to get one down, but she suspected that if she stopped she’d end up setting camp in the area, and there was still sunlight to light her path.
So instead she turned and began to walk along the edge of the forest, close enough to see it, but still far in among the trees.

It was surprisingly easy to walk among the trees, for there was barely a hint of bushes or other plans in the under-grove. It was as if someone or something had cleared them away - most likely the local herbivores.
Not that she minded it, it made it far easier to move among the trees, even easier then out on the field, and even though was not galloping she still made good speed. But good speed cannot win over what resided in her belly.
Even though she would have light for another hour or two she was soon forced to stop as her belly growled like a caged beast. Apparently the apple she had eaten earlier not sated her hunger, only teased it into a wild rage as it did not get more.
Luckily for her there was plenty of things to feed her, for even here the trees were heavy with ripe, delicious apples. She came to a stop beneath one of the largest trees in sight and placed the book against the trunk.
The book was, luckily enough, only lightly marked by teeth, and with a bit of luck it’d be possible to get rid of later.
For the moment, however, she barely payed it any attention at all. Instead her focus was on the fruits above, as her focus turned upwards almost before the book had been placed down. There, out of reach for a hungry pony, hung the apples, tauntingly close and holding great promises.
Her first thought moved to getting a long stick and try to smack them down that way. However, looking around revealed a distinct lack of available sticks and branches, so that plan was out the metaphorical window before she could even try it.
Climbing was very hard and flying wasn’t exactly something ponies could do. That left… She paused as a new idea came to her mind. She had managed to get an apple down earlier - by mistake and to the price of a throbbing headache, sure, but this time she’d be prepared.
She moved so that her leg would reach, looked up to be prepared, and kicked the trunk.

There was barely a shiver in the leaves above her, and certainly no falling apples for her to eat. Even though she waited for several moments, no apples fell, not even to try and knock her out.
She frowned and waited another moment, then raised her leg again and gave another kick, far harder then the last one. This time she could see the apples themselves shiver from it, but stubbornly refused to fall down to her.
Another few moments of waiting, before she shifter her stance, and then delivered a hard double-hoofed kick to the tree. She both felt and heard the trunk give way as two permanent marks of her kick was permanently imprinted on the wood.
This time, clearly furious, the tree dropped its apples. Not just one or two of them, but each of the ripe apples was suddenly hurling towards the ground and the evil attacker.
Unfortunately for the tree, and luckily for herself, the pony had still kept her attention upwards, giving her a good chance to avoid, something she did with grace. As the apples thumped to the ground all around her, the pony remained unharmed, only briefly grazed over her flank by the fruits of her labor. Success!
With a smile she picked up the closest apple, looking over it to make sure it wasn’t bruised or bad, then rubbed it against her arm until the dirt was on the apple no more.
With a clean apple in hoof she moved closer to the trunk, sat down against it, and bit in. The apple was delicious, just like the last one, though thankfully not as juicy.
Two bites into the apple she reached out with her free hoof and brought the book closer, and then flipped it open to see if it had any new questions for her to answer.
As she opened the book she found that this time it had no further questions for her, even though it had been hours since the last one.
Even so, she spent the rest of the apple lazily flipping through the pristine pages, to see if there would be anything to them, but found nothing more then the first time.
Once the apple was gone, with the exception for the core which she threw away after a moments hesitation, she flipped the cover closed and moved over to the closest apple. It was hardly more then a few steps away, almost within reach from where she had been sitting in the first place.
Also this she briefly cleaned from dirt and bit into, but unlike last time, she did not get further then that before she heard a voice, a shouting, not-very-happy voice.
“Hey! You! Apple-thief!”
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Updated 05-03-2013 at 12:00 PM by Lyssea

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