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Episode The Cart Before the Ponies
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[students chattering]
Students: Good morning, Miss Cheerilee!
Cheerilee: Good morning, everypony! I hope you brought your thinking caps, because today we're going to learn about physics!
Scootaloo: Physics?
Cheerilee: Mm-hmm! Specifically, the use of force in energy conversions! In this case, using mechanical work to convert potential energy into kinetic energy!
Apple Bloom: The what now?
Sweetie Belle: Um, Miss Cheerilee? That sounds a bit over our heads.
Scootaloo: Yeah. Why would we even need to know that stuff?
Cheerilee: Oh, it's very important. In fact, you'll most likely end up using it tomorrow.
Apple Bloom: Tomorrow? What for?
Cheerilee: Why, for participating in the... Applewood Derby!
[students gasping and cheering]
Snails: Oh, phew! For a second, I thought we were gonna have to, you know, learn stuff.
[theme song]
[students chattering]
Scootaloo: We get to race in the Applewood Derby tomorrow? That's so cool!
Apple Bloom: My family's talked about it for years, and now I'm finally old enough to race!
Cheerilee: Now hold on to your horseshoes, everypony. You've got a lot of work to do before you're ready to race.
Snips: Yeah, but... not schoolwork, right?
Cheerilee: There'll be a block of applewood just like this one waiting for you at Sweet Apple Acres tomorrow, and you've got one day to turn it into a race-ready cart.
[students groaning]
Scootaloo: Oh, yeah... That is a lot of work.
Cheerilee: Mm-hmm. Luckily, you'll each get to pick an older pony to help you! But choose wisely, because they'll also have to ride in the cart with you during the race.
Scootaloo: Hmmm... I think I know just the pony to ask.
Sweetie Belle: Me too!
Apple Bloom: Me three!
Cheerilee: Just remember, everypony. Your cart has to be able to finish the race if you want to win one of the awards. Fastest – for winning the race, naturally. Most traditional – for the best working replica of an original Applewood cart. And most creative – for the cart with the best overall design.
Apple Bloom: [dreamily] Hoo-wee! Those ribbons are the bees' knees.
Students: [dreamily] Uh-huh...
Cheerilee: All right then, class! You've got a lot to learn if you want to build a race cart.
[students groaning]
Snips: Aww... I knew there was gonna be a catch!
Sweetie Belle: Wow! Have you seen what the carts used to look like in the olden days?
Apple Bloom: Yeah, I know all about them. When Ponyville started the Derby, they decided to use the wood from our apple trees for the carts. The race has been a part of Sweet Apple Acres ever since.
Sweetie Belle: I just think these old carts look so cool! But I guess you and Applejack will probably win the award for the most traditional, huh?
Apple Bloom: The Apples usually do, but honestly, I'd rather build the fastest cart there is and win the race!
[wings buzzing]
Apple Bloom: But... I'm pretty sure Scoot and Rainbow Dash'll take that award.
Scootaloo: You know, I race around so much on my scooter, being the fastest isn't such a big deal. Maybe I'll try to make the wildest looking cart I can think of!
Apple Bloom: Really?
Scootaloo: Sure! If I win most creative, you can totally win the award for fastest!
Sweetie Belle: And I can win the award for most traditional!
Apple Bloom: Sounds like we're all gonna try somethin' different. I can't wait to tell Applejack!
Scootaloo: Let's get to it!
Cutie Mark Crusaders: Go, Crusaders!
Rainbow Dash: Are you kidding?! Of course I'll help with the Applewood Derby! I want you to have as much fun as I did when I was a filly!
Scootaloo: Wait, Cloudsdale has a derby too?
Rainbow Dash: Sure! Practically every town in Equestria has one! [sighs] I still remember racing my cloud cart...
Young Rainbow Dash: This is so awesome! Woo-hoooooo!
Scootaloo: And lemme guess. You won fastest cart.
Rainbow Dash: Heh, obviously!
Scootaloo: So what do you say? Will you help me make my race cart?
Rainbow Dash: Help you? I'm all over it! I've got tons of ideas.
Scootaloo: Don't worry, I've got a lot of— Whoa. Ideas of my own. Um...
[vase breaks]
Scootaloo: What are you looking for?
Rainbow Dash: The blueprint for my derby cart, of course! I'll have to change it a little, 'cause this race is on roads, not on clouds. But trust me, your cart is gonna be amazing!
Scootaloo: Um, okay, Rainbow Dash, thanks! How awesome is this? With Dash on my team, how could anything go wrong?
Applejack: Well, I'm mighty flattered you wanna work with your big sis on your cart. I mean, the Applewood Derby did—
Apple Bloom: —start on our farm. I know.
Applejack: Well, I couldn't be more proud to help my little sister take the prize for most traditional.
Apple Bloom: Actually, I was kinda thinking of somethin' else. Like... fastest?
Applejack: [scoffs] Fastest? Apple Bloom, things aren't like they were in the old days. The fastest cart now has gotta be slick and modern and—
Apple Bloom: Exactly!
Applejack: Not Apple at all. The Apples win most traditional. We have since the Derby started! Why would anypony want to win anythin' else? Now why don't you head off and get some chamomile vines, some hickory sticks, and some apple barrels, and I'll show you what an Apple family cart should look like!
Apple Bloom: I guess I do have a family tradition to uphold...
Rarity: [gasps] The Applewood Derby?! [excited giggling] Of course I'll help!
Sweetie Belle: Wow. Uh, Rarity, I didn't know you'd be this excited.
Rarity: Me? Oh, why, I'm just itching to right an old wrong from long, long ago!
Rarity: [narrating] I designed my own cart when I was just a filly, and I was positive I was going to win the prize for most creative, hooves down! But I came in second. Second!
Sweetie Belle: You? Second in most creative? To whom?!
[ponies cheering]
[lightning cracks]
Rarity: [narrating] But I learned a valuable lesson.
Rarity: I learned to know my audience, and the race cart audience wants big! They want bold!
[door opens]
Rarity: Chop chop! Everypony out!
Upper class ponies: [indignant chattering]
Rarity: We've got work to do!
[door closes]
Rarity: This will take all of my considerable skills... [humming to self]
Rarity: ...but I will fashion the biggest and boldest Derby cart to ever win the prize for most creative!
Sweetie Belle: Actually, I was sorta thinking of something more... traditional?
Rarity: Oh! [tittering] Please, darling, leave tradition to the Apples. We're doing big, we're doing bold! [humming to self] Soon the prize for most creative will finally be in my hooves!
Sweetie Belle: You mean my hooves.
Rarity: Yes, that's what I said – my hooves. Darling, I hope you're ready to get an early start tomorrow!
Sweetie Belle: Uh... how early?
[birds twittering]
[cart rattling]
Sweetie Belle: [yawns] [groans] Rarity, the sun's not even up yet.
Applejack: Oh, apples, quit complainin'! In my day, we were up even earlier!
Rainbow Dash: Hey, I'd get up in the middle of the night if it means my cart crosses that finish line first and wins fastest!
Rarity: And my cart wins most creative!
Applejack: And my cart wins most traditional! Hoo-wee, it's gonna be a good day!
Scootaloo: You mean our carts, right?
Rarity: Yes, that's what we said, darling.
Applejack: Yup.
Rainbow Dash: Our carts.
Apple Bloom: Their carts? It almost sounds like they're planning on building them without us.
Sweetie Belle: I'm sure they meant "our" carts. Like, the team cart, right?
Scootaloo: Of course! I mean, they're all our older sisters. Practically. Plus, they've all done this before. I'm sure they know best. Let's just buckle down and get to work!
[carts rattling]
[chattering and handiwork noises]
Scootaloo: [straining]
Rainbow Dash: Scootaloo, where have you been? I've only got 'til noon to make the fastest cart ever!
Scootaloo: Uh, about that. I was really thinking of going for the most creative prize. I mean, I know all about speed already, so...
Rainbow Dash: Exactly! It's all about speed! You've gotta get across the finish line to win a prize, so we might as well get there first, right? Hey, I left a bunch of paint cans by the road. Bring them up here, would ya? Nothing as fun as painting racing stripes on the winning cart!
Scootaloo: [sighs] Right... Fun...
Apple Bloom: Spendin' time buildin' a cart with my big sister? Why, this is just tee-riffic! Um... how can I help?
Applejack: You can feast your eyes on... this! I-I mean, it ain't quite finished yet.
Apple Bloom: Oh, good.
Applejack: But don't it have the makin's of the best cart you ever did see? Uh... is somethin' wrong, Apple Bloom?
Apple Bloom: Actually, I was kinda thinkin' of somethin' a little more modern. And less rickety. With maybe a chance of winning?
Applejack: Bless my hooves, I thought we covered this! Tradition is all that counts! And who knows tradition better than Apples? Nopony, that's who! So are you an Apple, or are you an Apple? [snorts]
Apple Bloom: I'm an Apple, but... what if I just take off this fringe?
Applejack: No, not the fringe!
Applejack: Ugh! Why, shoot! Now I've gotta start all over from scratch, and it's almost race time!
Apple Bloom: Oh. So, maybe we can redesign it then? Just a little.
Applejack: No time! And who'd want to redesign somethin' that's already perfect?
Apple Bloom: Right... Perfect...
Sweetie Belle: Okay, so I sketched out some of my ideas.
[sound of wrenching]
Sweetie Belle: How about a nice yellow fringe on top?
Rarity: [muffled] Oh-ho-ho-ho, darling, [normal] the fringe is not exactly big! And that yellow is the least bold color I can imagine!
Sweetie Belle: Well, it doesn't have to be yellow. But I really do love the old-timey style. Like this.
Rarity: Sweetie Belle, precious face, "old-timey" is just another word for passé. Remember, big and bold! I do have a reputation to uphold! It was one thing to lose as a filly, but can you imagine if I didn't win the most creative now? Ponies might stop buying my couture!
Sweetie Belle: But we're supposed to be doing this together!
Rarity: Yes, of course we are, darling. In fact, we just finished. Voila! I know. You're speechless. Well, if that isn't big and bold, I don't know what is! Isn't it wonderful? [humming to self]
Sweetie Belle: [sighs] Right... Wonderful...
[montage music]
[ponies chattering]
Apple Bloom: [tired] Hey, Crusader... How's it goin'?
Sweetie Belle: [sighs] Rarity's definitely made the biggest, boldest cart anypony's ever seen.
Apple Bloom: Wow. Well, Applejack's built somethin' so traditional, it's practically an antique.
Scootaloo: [sighs] No matter what I say, there's no talking Rainbow Dash out of making the fastest cart in Equestria.
Sweetie Belle: Doesn't look like any of us ended up with what we wanted.
Apple Bloom: But... I'm sure our older sisters know what they're doin'. Right?
Scootaloo: Right...
Sweetie Belle: Right.
Apple Bloom: And even if our carts aren't exactly what we had in mind, it'll still be fun to drive them to the finish line.
Sweetie Belle: Sure! The race is the best part!
Apple Bloom: Yeah! CMCs behind the wheels!
Scootaloo and Sweetie Belle: [cheering]
Cheerilee: Derby racers to the starting line! Derby racers to the starting line!
Rainbow Dash: The race is about to start, Scootaloo! You better shake a leg if you wanna ride in the winning cart!
Rarity: You, too, Sweetie Belle. There's only one seat left aboard this creative masterpiece, and it's just for you. Woo-hoo!
Applejack: Whoa, ponies! Wait for me! This traditional cart handles at the exact perfect pace – slow! And I got the passenger seat all warmed up for ya, Apple Bloom!
Apple Bloom: Passenger seat?!
[carts rolling]
Scootaloo: [grunts] They're the only older ponies driving!
Sweetie Belle: First they built the carts, now they're gonna drive them?!
Apple Bloom: I know they were all excited to help, but I don't think they're really helping anymore.
Scootaloo: We better hurry if we wanna be a part of this race at all!
Cheerilee: Um, aren't you all missing somepony?
Applejack: They'll be along.
Cheerilee: And, uh, [hushed] usually the younger ponies drive the carts.
Rarity: [chuckles] Darling, do these look like usual carts to you?
[seat belts clicking]
Cheerilee: [blows fanfare] Racers! On your marks, get set, go!
Sweetie Belle: [screams]
Scootaloo: [screams]
Apple Bloom: [scream turns into a grunt] Can't we go any faster?!
Applejack: Faster? Don't be silly. This is perfect!
Apple Bloom: [groans]
[carts rolling]
Go, go, go!
Check me out, racin' the Derby
Check out my old-fashioned cart
Check me out, racing the Derby
In my original work of art
[Rainbow Dash]
Check me out, faster than ever
There's nopony can catch me now
[Cutie Mark Crusaders]
Let me out, I'd do it over
If I only knew how!
Giddyup, derby racers
Giddyup, derby racers
Giddyup, derby racers
Go, go, go!
My cart's the most original
Designed with imagination
My cart's the most traditional
Just plain, no complications
[Rainbow Dash]
Look at me, I am the ace
Might as well give up the chase
[Cutie Mark Crusaders]
Wish we could stop this race
Start again and do it our way
Scootaloo: Having any fun yet?
Apple Bloom: Nope! Maybe if we could go a little faster!
Giddyup, derby racers
Giddyup, derby racers
Giddyup, derby racers
Go, go, go!
Gotta get some attention
If I want that ribbon
[Rainbow Dash]
Gotta push the limit further
Blow away the competition
Gotta coast on through
Just relax, we're gonna cruise it
[Apple Bloom]
Guess I don't really care
Since we're clearly gonna lose it
See, everypony's watching
Presentation is a glory
[Rainbow Dash]
Just passed you, even faster
Speed is king, end of story
Bigger, bolder down the track
Love the view from the back of the pack
[Rainbow Dash]
Won't stop, we're on the attack
[Cutie Mark Crusaders]
Too late to take it all back!
Giddyup, derby racers
Giddyup, derby racers
Giddyup, derby racers
Go, go—
Cutie Mark Crusaders: Look out!
[ponies groaning]
Rarity: Oh! My beautiful swan cart is an ugly duckling!
Applejack: And my old-time cart is a rootin' tootin' wreck!
Rainbow Dash: [straining] It still counts as a win if I push my cart across, right?
[wheel bouncing]
Cutie Mark Crusaders: They're not your carts!
Applejack, Rainbow Dash, and Rarity: Huh?
Apple Bloom: We were supposed to design them!
Scootaloo: And we were supposed to drive them!
Sweetie Belle: The Derby was supposed to be for us, not the three of you! Now you've ruined it for everypony!
Rarity: Mmmh...
Rarity: Yes, well, I suppose we might have gotten a teensy bit carried away...
Applejack: But I thought you all wanted our help.
Apple Bloom: We did! We wanted your help to build our carts. But we all ended up with carts that are what each of you wanted!
Scootaloo and Sweetie Belle: Mm-hmm.
Rainbow Dash: But why didn't you say anything?
Scootaloo: You've all done the race before. I just figured you knew best!
Sweetie Belle: Plus it's hard to speak up to older ponies.
Rarity: Oh, I certainly understand that. But you mustn't think older ponies automatically know best.
Rainbow Dash: And we probably could have done a better job of listening to you.
Applejack: Oof. I guess we owe all three of you an apology.
Apple Bloom: Maybe not just us.
Rainbow Dash: [nervous laugh] Um, how do you feel about a do-over?
Cheerilee: I think that's a wonderful idea! But maybe the older ponies should sit this one out.
Scootaloo: Thanks for helping us fix up our carts. Pretty creative, right?
Apple Bloom: I know it's not traditional, but it sure looks fast, don't it?
Rarity: You know, darling, I can't believe I'm saying this, but that yellow fringe is rather bold after all.
Sweetie Belle: Thanks, everypony. We couldn't have done it without you.
[carts rolling]
Applejack: Yup, I sure am glad Miss Cheerilee agreed to run the race over again.
Cheerilee: Well, it isn't every year I get to say this twice, but... Derby racers to the starting line! Derby racers to the starting line! Racers! On your marks, get set... go!
[foals cheering]
Rainbow Dash: And it's probably best keeping all the grown-ups on the sidelines. But... what are we supposed to do now?
Rarity: I think I have an idea.
Rarity: [sipping through straw] Ahhh! Much better! Honestly, I'm not sure why we wanted to race those carts in the first place.
Rainbow Dash: Seriously! [sighs] This is the most relaxed I've been all day.
[spectators cheering]
[carts rolling]
Rainbow Dash: Go, Scootaloo, go! Woo-woo-woo-woo! Uhh, I mean... [nervous laugh] This is the life. Right, ponies? [sighs]