My Little Donkey and the Stork's Dream

by Catkitty

VII - Helpful Hoof

At the end of the meeting Pinkie had an initiative: "Sunny! Maybe you'll drop in to the confectionery tomorrow? It would be great. We would be talking, we would eat some cakes..."
"Of course," the donkey said, "I have time tomorrow."
"Ah..." Applejack sighed, "I wanted to show you the farm tomorrow."
"I have a lot of time," Sunny replied, "I can visit you too."
"It would be nice to me," Rarity began, "If you found a moment also for me."
"I'll find two," the donkey smiled.
"Well, Sunny..." Rainbow Dash started, "There's something..."
"Rainbow, if I have to meet you tomorrow, there is no problem."
"Sunny..." Fluttershy began with her silent ("nightingale-like," donkey thought) voice, "If you don't mind, you can also visit me tomorrow."
"A-a-as I sa-id..." Sunny Ray stuttered, "Um... Tomorrow I have a lot of time. I would like to visit you too."
"That's very nice," the pegasus was glad, "I'm going to familiarize you with local pets."
"So tomorrow you gonna see each of us?" Rainbow Dash asked.
"How will you know where to find us? " Applejack inquired.
"Twilight," the donkey turned to the unicorn, "I have two questions: Can Spike go with me tomorrow, and does he want to go with me?"
"Of course he can, but you have to ask on your own if he wants to," she replied.
"So what, Spike?" Sunny asked the dragon, "Will you come with me?"
"I'll walk about gladly," Spike replied.
"So we have a solution," the donkey said, "Tomorrow I will be at yours."
"OK. So bye, y'all!" Applejack said while going out.
"Goodbye!" Pinkie squealed, running out.
"See ya!" Rainbow shouted, flying out.
"See you later," Rarity said while leaving the library.
"Goodbye..." Fluttershy whispered, slowly closing the door behind her.
"Are you sure that you'll manage to visit them all?" Twilight asked.
"Of course," Sunny said while grabbing a pen and notebook, "Just a little time management."
"Oh, Sunny..." she sighed.

The next morning, after breakfast, Twilight asked the donkey: "Don't you leave yet?"
"Look, please, on my plan," Sunny asked.
"Early morning - breakfast; Late morning - helping Twilight"
"Exactly. What can I do for you today?" Sunny asked.
"Sunny, you do not have to help me, though."
"I do not have, but I WANT to," he said.
"Okay. Alright. I have a problem," she surrendered.
"What kind of?"
"In the library there are so many books, and in Ponyville there are so many residents. I'm slowly getting lost in remembering who borrowed which book."
"Oh. Could I see the catalog?" the donkey asked.
"Cata... What?" Twilight got surprised.
"Don't you have the catalog?!" Sunny got terrified, "But it non-compliant with the standards."
"With what?" she asked.
"Does not matter," he claimed.
"Do you have any idea?"
"What?" she asked curiously.
"We will create a catalog of books based on their Unicorn Resource Identifiers in the namespace of Equestrian Standard Book Number. Each of the residents of Ponyville will have been assigned a number too, and it will be their URI," Sunny said.
"Two questions: What do we need and why do you care about all these 'standards'?"
"I will answer the first: A bookstand, blank paper, a list of books in the library and a list of ponies that borrow books from here."
"And the second question?"
"I did not tell you who my... parents were? They worked in Asinestrian Committee for Standardization. They made sure that donkeys complied with the standards. Let's go back to the catalog."
"Where to get these Book Numbers?" the unicorn asked.
"They're on the fourth page of each book. Look: ESBN of this book is 9788324627325, so its URI is 'esbn:9788324627325'."
"So how to make the catalog?"
"Take eight times fewer sheets than the number of the books, and split each into eight equal parts. On each of the cards thus obtained write the URI of the book with its title. Then lay the cards on a bookstand alphabetically or, if you prefer, categorically. Every time somepony borrows a book, write down his URI on the card of the book. Every time somepony returns a book, you will strike their URI on the card. Understand?" he finished.
"Yes. There will be a little bit of work with these cards..." Twilight claimed.
"The magic will simplify the job," the donkey claimed.
"Right," she said, but after a while she asked, "Wait, you know that I can do magic? How?"
"You are a unicorn, and two-thirds of the books lying on top are about magic. Besides, we do not need to talk about it."
"Okay. I have one more question. How do you know so much?"
"I studied at AIT."
"Asinestrian Institute of Technology - a good school where you can learn everything about mathematics, construction, mechanics," Sunny looked at the window, "Oh dear! So late. I have to go…"
"Early morning - Pinkie Pie," Sunny read from the list.
"Oh yes, I forgot," the unicorn stated.
"Spiiike!" the donkey called the dragon who just after a while was with him, "We are going to Pinkie."
"So see you later, Twilight!" the boys bade farewell.
"Bye!" Twilight replied.

"It's here," Spike said just after he stood in front of a "deliciously"-looking building of the "Sugarcube Corner".
"Fine. So let us come in."
They went inside. "On the left - cake, on the right - cakes, in the back - cake, in the front - cakes, on the top - cakes, at the bottom - surprise - the floor," Sunny was thinking so.
"Oh! You're here already!" bouncing Pinkie Pie cheered, "Come with me."
"Tell you something, Pinkie?" the donkey asked when he went into the kitchen.
"Tell me! I'm listening," Pinkie squealed.
"After getting here and seeing all the goodies, I got hungry," Sunny laughted.
"I am not surprised at all," Pinkie Pie replied, "I was just about to bake cupcakes."
"Can I help you?"
"There's no need to. After all you're my guest."
"But I like to help," he said, "And to bake as well."
"Oh... fine," Pinkie sighed with a smile.
"Fine. How can I be useful?" Sunny asked.
"That’s the spirit. And such po... sorry, donkeys I like," the pink pony replied, "Here you go." Pinkie hoofed him a cupcake.
Ray was puzzled. "I thought I was helping you bake."
"You will be," Pinkie assured him, "I made these two just for you and Spike before you got here."
"So, is this like taste testing or something?"
"Sorta," Pinkie said, "At least you'll know what flavor you have to achieve."
"Okay." Sunny popped the pastry into his mouth. He chewed a bit and swallowed. He had to admit that it was quite tasty. "Okay, now whaaaa..." Sunny felt lightheaded. His world spun and, seconds later, he dropped to the floor.
After a moment he got up. "Nothing happened?" concerned Pinkie asked.
"Nothing, nothing... I just have never eaten such a sweet cupcake." Donkey smiled. "I'm not used to it."
"So let's go," Pinkie squealed.
"Okay. Where?" Sunny asked.
"Pour, please, 6.22 ounces of flour into a bowl, and then..." Pinkie was reciting the recipe, and Sunny was adding further ingredients, measuring them with the uncertainty of measurement of five hundred twelfth of pound.
After adding all the ingredients, mixing, pouring into molds and baking at 386°F, the cupcakes smelled DEL-ICIO-US. "Well, we are perhaps removing it from there," Sunny stated.
"You're right," the pink mare said, "It's high time."
"May I?" the donkey asked.
"Okey dokey lokey," she squealed.
Sunny pulled the muffins from the oven and felt that he had wet hooves. He looked down where he saw Spike and stream of saliva flowing from his mouth. "I see, Spikey, that you must be hungry," Sunny laughted.
"Yeeeaaah..." dragon murmurred with his eyes on the cupcakes.
"Pinkie," the donkey turned to the pony, "You do not mind that Spike was the first to get a cupcake?"
"Of course I do not mind."
"So, enjoy your meal!" Sunny said while hoofing Spike a cupcake with one hoof, and using the another to set aside the baking plate
with the rest of the pastries on the countertop.
"Thanks!" responded the dragon who was savoring the cupcake.
"Sunny," Pinkie began, "I have some question, because, you know, I have some donkeys among my friends and, well, they looked completely different. They had manes, tails, the look other than yours."
"Lusher manes and tails run in my family. My mother Warm Ray had so, and my dad "X" Ray too, and my grandfather, Tiny Dash and grandmother Hedwig Dot also," Sunny explained.
"Your grandfather is called Dash?"
"His name was Dash, Tiny Dash. And my mom before the wedding - Warm Dash."
"And perhaps have you noticed that one of my friends is Rainbow DASH?" Pinkie asked.
"The convergence of ponies and names is a coincidence," Sunny said mechanically, "What time is it?"
"Eleven o'clock upcoming."
"Well, thank you for the nice time, but I have to go because," Sunny pulled a list out of the bag, "Late morning - Applejack".
"So goodbye!" Pinkie squealed again.
"Bye!" the boys shouted while crossing the threshold.

After a long walk, the donkey and the dragon reached a gate. "Sweet Apple Acres," Sunny read the inscription on it. They went to the premises. Sunny looked around and saw (strange that he hadn't noticed it before) a big apple orchard spreading to the horizon.
"How many apples here!" Sunny shouted in disbelief.
"I've seen more," Spike dashed him.
"Where ever?"
"In Appleloosa."
"Never mind."
At that moment, the orange, freckled, blonde-haired mare in a hat approached the two. She smiled and shook her right front hoof with the donkey. "Hey, Sunny! Howdy, Spahk!" she greeted them.
"Hey, Applejack!" the donkey said, accepting the hoofshake. He began to mentally count the shakes of hooves performed by Applejack: "... 18, 19, 1A, 1B, 1C, 1D, 1E, 1F, 20".
"And as a greeting," the mare began after she freed a slightly sore hoof of Sunny, "Apples from our orchard."
The donkey thanked and bit into an apple. "Is it Golden?" he asked.
"Yes, " the mare's jaw dropped, "How did ya know?"
"As I said yesterday, I like apples right after carrots," the donkey smiled.
"Alright. Come with me," the mare instructed. After a while of marching, she added, "Just watch out for..." She heard a thud, "the open pantry door..."
AJ and Spike walked to the door. They bent over them and looked down. "Sunny!" Applejack shouted, "Are you fahn? What in tarnation happened there?"
"No!" the donkey replied from the underground, "I fell to something, which prevented me from a clash with stone ground."
"Y'know what?" the farmer asked.
"I will see, as soon as I get up." Sunny stood up and looked around. "Hoof it all! I have destroyed your box for apples."
"Broken?" Applejack asked after going downstairs.
"No. Only the nails came out. I can fix it."
"But ya don't have to."
"But I WANT to."
"Fahn. So go." Sunny was hammering the nails with his hooves with rate of one per second. After sixteen seconds, all the nails were in their places, and the box looked much better. "Not bad!" the mare stated, "The hooves don't hurt?"
"They have to?" the donkey asked.
Applejack did not answer. She went out with Ray from the cellar. She closed its door.
"So what now?" she turned to the guest, "So now let's introduce ya to mah closest fam'ly."
After walking 50 yards they reached the family. "Fam'ly," Applejack started, "Get to know Sunny Ray. Sunny Ray, meet Granny Smith." The farmer pointed at the green-coated, advanced in years mare.
"I am pleased to meet you," Sunny said solemnly.
"Ah'm too, boy," the mare replied.
"This is mah brother, Big Mac," AJ pointed at the well-built, redhead, freckle-faced, red stallion.
"Hi!" Sunny began, "So you are Applejack's older brother, right?"
"Eeyup," Big Mac replied tersely.
"And she is mah little sister, Apple Bloom", Applejack pointed at a young, red-maned filly with a bright coat.
"Hello, Apple Bloom!" Sunny greeted her happily.
"Hello, Sun... Sunny?" filly replied uncertainly.
"Yes," the smiling donkey said, "Sunny."
"Once we met already," AJ began, "Ah invaht ya to the brunch."
"Br... unch?" Sunny faced a word which did not exist in Asinestrian. "What is a 'brunch'?"
"Brunch is a late morning meal" the mare replied, looking at the guest kinda chaffily.
"Oh, I understand," the donkey announced uncertainly. They went inside, where they sat down to the table, which made Spike very happy. They started eating, talking at the same time a little bit. "On the way from the gate to here," the blond-haired started, "Our guest had a little accident."
"Yeah?" Apple Bloom asked.
"I dropped into the pantry for a moment, broke a box, made it back and went back to the surface," the guest finished.
"A box... a box... a box..." Granny Smith was repeating, "Big Mac, didn't ya have to repair some broken box in the pantry?" she asked finally.
"Eeyup," the stallion replied tersely.
"Oh! So, our guests did the work for ya," AJ said.
"At least I got useful." Sunny smiled.
After the eaten brunch, Sunny stood up. "Thank you for your hospitality," he started, "But unfortunately I have to slowly go..."
"Why?" AJ asked.
"Because," donkey pulled out a notebook from his bag, "Noon - Rarity."
"Well, so... See y'all later!" the mare said goodbye to the guest.
"Bye!" the boys shouted while going out.

"We're almost there," Spike said, and pointed at the building in the distance. It was a nice looking structure on the circle.
"Here's the Carousel Boutique."
"Bou... What?" Sunny heard a word he did not know again.
"When we come back to the library, you'll check out in a dictionary," the dragon claimed.
"Right..." Sunny agreed, "You know, Spike," donkey decided to change the subject, "I noticed something..."
"Yeah??" Dragon asked.
"Namely, I noticed that Miss Rarity is someone you like..."
"Do not try to lie to me," the white-eared smiled, "I know what I see..."
"Well... Yes... I have crush on her," Spike surrendered, "How did you know?"
"Well, during my presentation of friends, while you've been saying the name of Rarity," young master Ray began his discourse, "you started melting because of your own speech... It was a whisper connected with a sigh... Besides, yesterday it was probably just for her why you had attired yourself. Later, during a conversation, you were at her beck and call," a breath, "Hence it is deduced," the end.
"We're already here," Spike announced coldly, embarrassed by this entire conversation.
"Right." Sunny slowly and gently opened the door. The bell hanging at the top rang.
"Good morning," the donkey greeted politely.
"Hey, Rarity," the dragon joined the welcome.
"Hello, boys," Rarity smiled, "I'm glad you are here."
"We're glad too," Sunny declared.
"Ahem..." The dragon, staring at the white mare, added.
"Could you be, please, kind enough to help me?" Rarity asked.
"Naturally," the donkey said.
"Of course!" Spike claimed.
"In what?" Sunny asked.
Fifteen minutes later: "Sunny," dragon whispered reproachfully, "how did we agree to that?"
"I wanted to be helpful," the white-eared whispered back, "and you are simply unable to refuse her," he deduced, "but look for the positives."
"Positives?" Spike asked.
"It could be worse," he heard in reply.
"Namely?" He asked the donkey in disbelief.
"She could get us dressed in dresses and/or socks with turquoise-pink stripes," Sunny said with a crooked smile.
Spike sighed. He and Sunny preferred to politely stand. They feared that any movement would cause ripping up tight formal suits that they were wearing. "And how are they?" Rarity asked after returning to her "living mannequins", "Are you enjoying them?"
"Yeah...," Spike replied disingenuously, "It's great!"
"They present perfectly," the donkey smiled, "my one realized me that it is high time to diet."
"Could you clarify, please?" The indigo-maned mare asked.
"These costumes are a bit tight at the waist section," Sunny announced with a polite tone.
"Uhm... oh yes... indeed," Rarity agreed, "it needs to be improved." Rarity took off boys' clothes which resulted in the sound of two heavy breaths in the room.
Mare sat at the sewing machine and, using magic, began the tailoring. "So tell me, Sunny, please," she said," are you enjoying your sojourn in Ponyville?"
"Yes, definitely," the guest responded, "there is a lot nicer here than in Malleogard. More colorfully."
"My home city - the capital of Asinestria," Sunny clarified, "it is dominated by two colors: gray and red. But mostly gray..."
"It is terrible..." Rarity got frightened.
"If you live there since your birth, you get accustomed..."
"That is right too," she said, "and do you like ponies?"
"You all are nice," Sunny answered inconsistently with the question,
"why asking?"
"I am just asking," the dressmaker replied, "finished!"
"But what?"
"The tailoring," Rarity replied, while putting improved outfits on their guests with the use of magic.
"Now they are great," Sunny commended, grateful that he could breathe.
"Sunny's right," Spike announced.
"That is the same thing which you said before," Rarity noticed.
"Um," the dragon sighed, "Sunny, don't you have a busy schedule?"
"Oh, indeed," the donkey said taking off the outfit,
"It was nice, Rarity, but I have to slowly leave..."
"Why so?" The mare asked.
"Due to:" Sunny pulled out a notebook, "Afternoon - Rainbow Dash".
"I see... So see you later, boys!"
"Bye!" The donkey and the dragon shouted, while closing the door behind them."
"Phew," the dragon sighed, "I'm glad I can move..." Sunny did not answer, just smiled and peeked at Spike with a look of understanding.

"Where are we going to?" Sunny asked the dragon.
"To Rainbow," the reptile replied.
"Okay..." donkey sighed, wondering which way they were going to RD. Where they were, there was nothing after all.
"Rainbow!" Spike shouted suddenly, ofter lifting up his head. The long-eared instinctively looked at the same cloud as Spike. He noticed a rainbow mane protruding from the behind.
"Rainbow Dash?" he asked.
"Yeah, it's me!" He heard a familiar voice.
"Hello, Rainbow!" He shouted, "Can you fly down to us?"
"Hey, guys!" Dashie greeted them, "I'm flying down."
"Nice to see you," Sunny claimed, "I wonder how it is to lie on a cloud..."
"Just great!" RD said, "I was just getting a nap before the training."
"I do not want to get out of shape," the rainbow-maned claimed, "I train air stunts."
"Can I watch, help you with something?" he asked.
"You can..." The mare began.
"Yes??" Sunny interrupted.
"You can measure the time," she replied after a long moment of thought. At the same time she hoofed a stopwatch off on him.
"At least I will be useful," the snow-eared smiled, "When to start?"
"Now!" The starting Dash shouted.
Sunny quickly turned on the timer. He wasn't measuring for too long. "10 SECONDS?!" The donkey got amazed.
"What were you thinking?" The mare asked, landing lightly on the grass.
"You are great!" The guest bypassed the question, "There is CERTAINLY no pony equal to you!"
"Oh, you," the rainbow one sighed with a feigned modesty, "But it's true," she couldn't hold herself back finally.
"How is it?"
"But what?"
"To fly... have wings?"
"It's awesome!" RD replied.
"Oh," Sunny sighed with no more questions.
"You like?" The mare asked after a moment of silence.
"But who?" The donkey asked after being pulled from a reverie.
"She asks if you like the place," Spike said.
"'Who'??" Dashieasked curiously.
"Slip of the tongue," said the donkey, after looking away, "I really like this place," he smiled, "I would love to stay here..."
"Then stay."
"But where?" The donkey asked, "I can not still occupy space in the home of Twilight ..."
"Yes, you can," a little dragon sneered, "Twi does like you... Oh, does..."
"Spike, please, stop such insinuation," Sunny said quietly, while Rainbow was trying to stop giggling.
"Inies... What?" Spike did not understand.
"We come back to the library, you will check the dictionary," the donkey said.
"Eh," Spike knew why the donkey replied so.
"Race you?" Rainbow proposed to Sunny, breaking the "manly talk".
"I am not muscular ENOUGHT to catch you up..."
"Enought? I mean... Are you muscular or not?" The concerned mare asked.
"Well," the guest smiled, "I got some muscles during two years in the army..."
"Army?! Rainbow Dash and the New Rainbow Dash chorussed, flabbergasted.
"Did I not tell you? Oh... I did not," he sighed embarrassed, "After graduation, I had nothing to do with myself, so I joined the Land Forces of the People's Republic of Asinestria... But running with a rifle is quite not my destiny..." Spike and Rainbow with gaping mouths stood in silence. "You look funny," Sunny chuckled.
"What else will we know about you?" The mare asked.
"I do not know..." After a long pause he added, "Tell you what, Rainbow?"
"Tell ."
"I feel like I already have known you," the donkey said.
"Yes?" Mare got surprised, "But that's impossible."
Then was the silence. "What time is it?" Ray asked.
"Half past two," the dragon said.
"Well, unfortunately, we had better be getting along slowly," Sunny claimed.
"And it's time for my nap!" The mare announced all and sundry.
"Well, bye!" Sunny shouted towards the cloud, which Rainbow choose. The mare snored back. "Oh... Have... sweet dreams," the donkey sighed and they hit the road.