Ah fall, the crisp season with falling leaves, blue skies, and chilled air, it was Annona’s favorite season. She just loved the unique smell that fall brought to the farm. Perhaps that’s why, even with all the work she had on her own farm, she had offered to pitch in to help a local farmer with his pumpkin harvest. She couldn’t just leave a fellow farm owner hanging like that after all, oh well, at least she could to have a partner who also was helping with the harvest. Speaking of which, where was her partner? She hadn’t bumped into them yet, though she had been chasing Sage, her Eevee, around quite a bit since she arrived.
Coming along with Ann that day were her Eevee, Sage, Peony, her Sylveon, Clay, her Mudbray with a small cart attached to him, and lastly, a Pokemon that joined her farm recently, Marigold, her Rockruff. They were quite the ragtag team of Pokemon, but each had a role to play in helping Ann like they did on her own farm. Sage was good at spotting things if they were missed, Peony kept Sage in line, Clay pulled a cart to carry things, and Marigold, well she was there mainly to learn to help more.
“Remember Marigold, we’re here to make sure we help get as many of these pumpkins harvested as possible, not play.” The Rockruff looked a little crestfallen, considering Sage got to run around, but he was being scolded at that moment by Peony too. So, Marigold just gave a happy ruff and rubbed her stones against Ann’s leg as a sign of affection. “Good girl,” Ann smiled, reaching down to pet her head before looking back up, “Our partner should be here any moment.”
The young adventurer had trouble waking up this morning but when she had realized the time she was rushed out of the house, telling her younger sister goodbye before anything. Mackenzie ran quickly down the path towards the pumpkin patch. “Oh man, we’re running late, come on Luke!” Mackenzie said looking back behind her, keeping pace with her was her Lucario, Luke. The Aura Pokemon rolled his eyes before barking at her. “Hey! I didn’t mean to sleep through my alarm! I swear I had it set correctly!” She defended. She slowed to a walk as they got closer looking over through the patch. “Look that must be here over there,” she pointed before looking back at Luke who crossed his arms over his chest. “Come on now, we’re not that late, we rushed as fast as we could, let’s go get introduced and say hello!” Mackenzie said with a smile to Luke. He soon gave a small smile of his own before he walked over with his trainer.
Mackenzie waved over in her direction. “Hello there! Um, I apologize for assuming, but I’m guessing your my partner for harvesting the pumpkins correct?” she asked before rubbing the back of her neck sheepishly. “I was supposed to meet her here about 10 minutes ago, but my alarm hadn’t gone off and I slept in,” she laughed her explanation. Luke stood behind her shaking his head a little before returning a small smile to the trainer and her pokemon that were with her.
Ann turned in the direction of the voice, she had been looking out over the pumpkin patch to get a vibe of what was to come, plus she just loved crops. “Hm? Oh! Yes. I was waiting for my partner to arrive. I had hoped I didn’t wander too far from the front of the farm. Sage gets a little too excited sometimes and likes to dart off.” She gestured to her Eevee, then her Sylveon, “Peony keeps him in line most of the time.” She walked over to bridge any gap that was left and extended her hand. “I’m Annona, but you’re welcome to just call me Ann. I have a farm of my own a few miles East of here.” Clay gave her a snort, the Mudbray clearly trying to correct her, “Er sorry, South East. Clay’s very particular about directions, but he’s a great wagon puller.”
All that left then was her Rockruff to be introduced, who clearly noticed the last of being mentioned and started to tug on Ann’s pants leg, giving small whimpers wanting acknowledgement as well. “Oh! And this is Marigold, she doesn’t really like to wait at home so she kind of follows me everywhere.” She chuckled a little as Marigold puffed herself all proudly only to run over and rub her rocks and neck fur against the newcomer’s leg, a sign of affection and greeting.
Mac laughed a little before she leaned down before scratching the Rockruff behind her ears. “Why hello there,” she said with a gentle smile. She looked up to Annona, “Name’s Mackenzie, but of course you can call me Mac,” she smiled before standing up straight again, she indicated to the bipedal pokemon right behind her. “This Lucario here is my own Partner, his name’s Luke, I have the other’s too!” She pulled the pokeballs from the belt that was around her waist before tossing the five pokeballs into the air. “Come on out everyone!” She said. Soon popping out from the pokeballs were 4 Riolu, two looking extremely different while the other two looked completely normal, followed by one little Pichu.
Mac pointed to each one as she said their names, “The Pichu is Spark, my Pink Riolu is Flora, the purplish one is Buster, and these two are Cleo and finally Strike.” She said with a smile. “We’re all here to help with the harvesting!” She said, “And again I apologize for being late! We’ll make up for it for sure!” she said happily. “Where should we start?”
“It’s a pleasure to meet all of you.” Ann said as she glanced at each of the Riolu and the Pichu in turn. She was a little surprised by how many Riolus Mac seemed to have, but it was a good kind of surprise. “You really don’t need to apologize though, we’ve got plenty of time to get all the pumpkins harvested.”
Peony gave Ann a tap with her ribbon, when the Sylveon stepped out into the light more it was apparent she wasn’t just your typical Sylveon, she was actually rather special herself. She gave a point at the pumpkins and then towards Ann’s wrist as if to say they needed to get a move on anyway even if there was time.
“Oh right, I do have to make this week’s dinner preps tonight, so we can’t take too long.” Ann had completely forgotten her typical weekly schedule, oops. “Alright well, I suppose starting at the furthest end and working our way back would be the smartest choice, that way we feel more like crossing a finish line at the end.” She pulled out a small paper that had a blue circle around a select patch, “This was the one that we were asked to take care of, and with everyone’s help I know we’ll get it done in no time.”
Mac nodded. “Alright then!” She grinned towards Ann before stepping over heading towards the end of the patch. “Come on everyone!” she calls out to her team. Her team quickly followed behind, most of them smiling happily. “Rio!” Called out Cleo as she raced past the others. “Pi Pichu!” Spark said jumping along the top of the pumpkins before jumping up and landing on Mac’s shoulder. Mac looks back to Ann as she stood among the pumpkins. “So are all ready for harvesting? Or are there some we’ll have to leave to finish growing?” She asked just to be sure.
“Rio!” Flora asked before lightly tapping the top of one of the pumpkins, a hollow sound easily heard, the other Riolu gathered around some different pumpkins each ready to pick up a pumpkin and pack them to the wagon. They each waited through for a command to start harvesting them. Luke stopped at one of the bigger ones right beside Mac and looked back towards Ann. “We’re all ready when you are, I just absolutely wanted to be sure on harvesting them all,” Mac laughs a little bit.
After catching up with the energetic bunch, Ann took a look at all the pumpkins. “I don’t see any large green or vibrant yellow patches so I’d say they are perfect for plucking.” She crouched down looking at the one nearest her, the color was perfect for a pumpkin for this season, such a lovely orange color. “Back up the wagon slowly Clay! You don’t want to run anyone over.”
Looking rather offended that Ann even said this, Clay the Mudbray slowly backed the cart up towards the group with a heavy snort after lining it up with them all. He gave an impatient stomp of his hoof, not that they were in any sort of hurry, he just was being stubborn and salty.
Meanwhile, Peony, Sage, and Marigold started to work as a team to gather the pumpkins. Well, at least for the most part they worked as a team. Sage and Peony seemed in sync with each other, both pulling at the same time, Sage holding some on his back while Peony balanced it with her ribbons. However, Marigold seemed unsure of how to help them. She would try pulling with them only to roll back and tumble against another pumpkin with a whimper. Eventually though, she was able to pick up a smaller one in her mouth, half dragging it to the wagon all proudly.
Mac laughed before she leaned down and picked up the one directly in front of her. Luke followed the process and picked up his as well. “Shouldn’t take us too long with all of us working together,” Mac said walking over to the wagon, the adventurer made sure to watch her step, making sure no pokemon got underfoot, or there weren’t any other pumpkins in her way. She set the pumpkin down inside the wagon, she stopped for a minute and thought. “Luke!” She called over as he looked to her. The Lucario walked over with his held pumpkin. “Mind climbing in and moving them to the back? We can make a some kind of assembly line,” she asked. Luke tilted his head and soon nodded, he stepped up into the wagon and moved his pumpkin and the one that Mac brought to be back of the wagon. Mac moved to pick up the next one and handed it to him which he set down near the others. “That should help us out a little faster, that way we don’t have to keep climbing in and out,” she said looking to Ann.
Flora looked among the different pumpkins, watched as Cleo and Strike helped each other, as well as Buster and Spark. She wasn’t as strong by herself, and there wasn’t really anyone else on the team to help her.“Rio,” she said quietly soon her attention was brought to the young Rockruff dragging the pumpkin. Her ears perked up a little and she rushed over. “Rio ri?” she asked curiously offering to help her carry the pumpkin to the wagon.
Ann blinked, seeing the teamwork between Mac and Luke. It was pretty impressive, reminded her of her Pokemon when they helped her on the farm, which just made her smile as she watched for a moment. “That’s a wonderful idea. It also keeps us from piling too many in one place and then having to move them in the end. Plus then they can be stacked up better so none of the smaller ones get squashed.” She brought a pumpkin over, offering it to Luke for in the wagon. “You guys are really a great team, all of you.”
When Flora came over and offered to help Marigold, her tail instantly started to wag. She stopped dragging it, letting go of the stem to give a happy Rockruffy bark of thanks. She then once more grabbed the handle in her teeth but instead of dragging it, she waited for Flora to help however she wished to help. Marigold felt a lot more confident that someone wanted to work with her, she was still trying to get the hang of doing things with others so it wasn’t often someone worked with her voluntarily.
“Looks like everyone makes a great team.” Ann said amusedly as she went to get another pumpkin, passing by Sage and Peony as they brought over their’s for the wagon. “So how did you meet your Pokemon?” She asked curiously, attempting to make small talk.
Mac looked over to Ann for a minute to think about the question before her smile grows a little bigger. “It’s a different story for each of them, Luke, he’s been my partner for forever, ever since I was little. He was given to me as my father, then I got Spark as my starter once I got my job, everyone else I’ve met and asked them if they’ve wanted to join my team. My father is very familiar with the use of Aura, him and his own Lucario, I’ve wanted to have my own team of Lucario and Riolu for forever and I’m well on my way,” she explains with a bright smile. “I’m happy to call them my family.”
Flora smiled wider and walked over picking up the opposite end of the pumpkin. She rotated it so she was walking backwards while Marigold was walking forward towards the wagon. “Rio!” She said happily, watching her step as she directed Marigold. When they got closer she looked up to the trainers. “Rio!” She said catching their attention to try and get some help getting the pumpkin into the wagon.
Ann smiled, nodding as she listened. “That’s amazing, kind of like my own story actually.” She chuckled and bent over to pick up the pumpkin from Flora and Marigold. “Thank you, you two.” She gave them each a pat on the head in thanks after putting the Pumpkin in the wagon. “When I was a little girl I grew up on my family’s farm, my dad gave me a Mareep, she’s back at the farm, who is keen on not evolving.” She smiled and looked at the others in her group. “The rest, we just kind of found each other along the way. It’s kind of neat how no matter the different paths someone can go down, there are similarities down each of them.” She picked up another pumpkin, just continuing this casual talk for a little while longer.
Marigold was so happy to have been praised by her trainer, thanks to Flora’s help, that she started running in circles a moment, barking happily and then jumped on Flora to rub her stones against her affectionately in thanks, soon darting to another pumpkin. She wanted to do another good job before all the pumpkins were picked.
Peony and Sage looked at Marigold, both of them shaking their heads at her. Sage was mildly perplexed by the Rockruff’s energy, while Peony was rather amused. Marigold reminded her of Sage when he first joined the farm. The two of them placed another pumpkin at Ann’s feet, who put it in the wagon. It looked like the wagon would be full soon, the pumpkins picked.
“Yeah it is,” Mac agreed with another kind smile as she picked up one of the remaining bigger pumpkins. Luke was getting closer to the edge of the wagon as it filled up, most of the pumpkins managing to fit within it. “It had looked like this wagon wouldn’t of been able to handle all of the pumpkins,” Mac laughs a little before handing the one she held to Luke. Luke set it down towards a space at the bottom of the pile setting some smaller ones on top to make more room for the remainder. “This wasn’t as hard as I thought, was a good way to interact with everyone.” She grins. “We’ve been working a lot on teamwork.”
“Rio!” Flora calls out with a pokemon like laugh before nuzzling back in return before Marigold had jumped off of her. Flora jumped back to her feet quickly and followed after the pup to one of the last pumpkins in their section of the patch. She helped Marigold pick it up and they made their way back to the wagon to put one of the final pumpkins into the wagon with the others.
When the two had gotten over, Luke jumped down from the wagon grabbing the pumpkin from them and setting it on the top before closing the back of the wagon. Mac dusted her hands off against each other. “And there we go!” She smiles. “All done and ready to go.”
Sage scurried over, using Peony’s help to jump up in to the back of the wagon and drop a tiny pumpkin he had found on to the wagon. He also took this chance to make himself at home and comfy because after all that he didn’t want to walk. “Eevee!” He called to Peony who soon joined him in the wagon, very dainty like.
“It was an excellent way to build teamwork huh?” Ann looked around at the Pokemon, smiling at Marigold. “I’m really glad you were here to help. I think you and your team were just the team to help Marigold learn the importance of hard work and teamwork.” She picked up the little Rockruff, who was smiling and her tail wagging excitedly. “Now we have plenty of time to go home and make dinners once we drop the wagon off with the farmer.” She began making her way back down the path to the front of the farm where they had met up.
“Ruff!” Marigold was so excited at the thought of food, but then again, she didn’t want to leave her new friend either. She wiggled free of Ann’s grasp, running back to Flora with a happy bark, wagging her tail, as if to say thank you. Marigold had had a lot of fun doing this, she didn’t really want the fun to end, but food was a calling that all of Ann’s Pokemon seemed to answer to in a heartbeat. So, she steadily followed along behind Ann, half wanting to stay and half wanting to go home.
Mac chuckled. “That it was, we might as well join you in dropping off the wagon before we head home ourselves. If you are ever needing help on your own farm though, we are free and happy to help. Besides it’s nice that Flora made a new friend outside of our team. She’s usually really shy of new pokemon,” Mac explained as they walked down the path out of the pumpkin patch heading towards the house that stood right along the edge.
Flora’s own tail wagged happily, a bright smile on her face. “Rio rio!” She said as she and the remainder of their team followed after Mac. Spark ran on all fours before jumping up and making himself comfortable perched on Mac’s shoulder. “Pichu pi!” he said small sparks flying from his cheeks.
Mackenzie laughed again. “I think all of these guys would enjoy either helping or just hanging out again. Say we do a lot of hiking through the forests around Ivywood and we know it pretty well. Would you like to join us on one some day when you’re not so busy on the farm?” Mac asks as she stopped once they reached the gate to the farm. “I don’t know too many people in town, surprisingly especially since I’ve lived here for over ten years,” she laughs sheepishly rubbing the back of her neck. “It would be nice to hang out with others, and I hope that doing this basically qualifies us as friends.” “Rio rio!” Her pack of Riolu said in unison towards Ann and her pokemon all of them waving happily as if saying they did want to meet again. Mac smiled holding her hand out to shake with Ann. “What do you say? Until we meet again?”
“I’d say it definitely qualifies us as friends.” Ann smiled softly, extending her own hand and taking ahold of Mac’s to shake. “I like that idea. I think everyone here would agree that it’d be a lot of fun to meet up again.” She agreed, giving Mac’s hand a shake now. Once the handshake was done she unhooked the wagon from Clay. “And a hike does sound like quite a fun thing to do sometime, Sage loves the woods, it’d be nice for him to get out on them more.” She watched as Marigold once more gave an affectionate friendly nuzzle to Flora before picking up the Rockruff to head home. “Until next time then. I’ll-” A snort came from Clay, “We’ll be looking forwards to it.”