• Member Since 7th Sep, 2012
  • offline last seen July 24th

Dark Avenger

"Un bon mot ne prouve rien." (Voltaire)


Cranky Doodle Donkey has moved out of Ponyville in the twilight of his life. Now, with his final days drawing near, he wishes to immortalize his experiences in the form of a memoir.

Although his caretaker has sworn to see him through this task, she herself doesn't seem to believe in whatever cause her patient still endures for, not to mention whatever message his stories are trying to tell her.

Thus, an old donkey and a very skeptical griffon have themselves a little debate...

(Submission for the Equestria Daily Summer Fanfic Contest)

Chapters (2)
Comments ( 32 )

Bob pointed me at this. It was quite interesting. I like it. :D

Interesting. The music was a good touch. Good luck to you.


Thank you! Good luck to you too. :twilightsmile:

This is the third comment I get that said "interesting" and very little else. Is that a good thing? :derpytongue2:

4839869 Well, while your diversity of the characters (and your development of Cranky) was good, personally I felt the story lacking a certain je ne sais quoi.

4841374 And why exactly are your pants downstairs?

4844987 I blame myself. I had to ask. :facehoof: (And where do you find a picture like that? Did you come across it somewhere and save it or did you actively look for it? :rainbowhuh:)

That was a really nice read, I liked it. Story and characters were excellent, and I found that the dialogue was well written and well broken up. The music was a cool touch, too. Appropriate yet unobtrusive. I think I come from the opposite side of the argument you made on my story where you said that it was lengthy. I found myself wishing there was more detail in your story (like Liz, for example, I'm not sure what she looked like, so it was hard to picture her). We could probably argue that forever, though.

I've only read a handful of stories so far and I'm already sweatin'. This contest has so many great stories, including yours. Here's hoping we both make it through to the next round, hey?


Thank you very much for your comment. Indeed, I felt that Liz could have used a better description, but I never really found a good place to put it in (i.e it just felt wrong to put in a section that goes "a griffon with such and such coloration," etc.) Maybe after the contest, I'll do a slight edit and work it in there. As for anything else beyond than what has already been said, I felt that it would have been unnecessary padding, as the message itself had already been delivered... literally and figuratively, so to speak... :ajsmug:

I also hope we both make it. It would be a shame not to be rewarded at least minimally for our efforts...


For a very simple idea with a fairly simple execution, I enjoyed this. Funny thing is, I'm not even sure I can say why. For a critic, that's an odd sensation. Makes it hard to judge, too.

The only thing that really springs to mind is that the characters are very organic: no extremes, archetypes, or stereotypes here. Liz is slightly combative, but not without being sympathetic and genuine. None of the interactions feel forced or 'for the purpose of the story'. Not finding any errors in the prose helps a lot, of course, as does hitting the prompt square in the face.

6/10 Prompt: Strong


Thank you very much for the review. I'll attempt to reciprocate as soon as I have the time. :raritywink:



So I dig around the Golden Oaks thread on Twilight's Library, I click you, and turns out you're already on my to-read list thanks to InquisitorM. Just some brief feedback:

"No, I... I think that's about all of it." Cranky replied.

all of it," Cranky replied - comma

One has already shed almost all of its leaves,
Both have now shed their canopies

Random tense shift from past to present continuous in these two instances. I'm not sure if it was deliberate, but I don't see anything lost if you changed them to regular past.

Cranky suggested with a smug look on his face.

You use the word "smug" a lot. This particular instance could probably do without it, and you can actually stand to reduce the "with a smile"s etc. descriptor tags as the characters develop on. The mailpony scene comes to mind, where you've got 4 or 5 descriptions all saying the same thing - "He is fearful" and maybe just leaving things unsaid could work in your favour. Mind, this is only because you describe the characters fairly extensively at the beginning; I would not change the front half at all. Just saying that you can put your descriptive setup to work a little more.

I'm not aware of another story with this premise, so you could probably cut the A/N out. =P

Like InquistorM said, the characters and their development: strong point of this fic. Sufficient descriptions to the point of overbalancing, as previously mentioned, some really nice subtlety around Liz & Cranky's relationship/circumstances to stir up that curiousity. I think you've performed excellent execution for your simple premise; while it's not a "wow" one, it is what it is, and I can respect that. Well done.


Thank you very much for the feedback. I'm glad you enjoyed it. :twilightsmile:

I did my best to re-edit a few things according to your observations. There is indeed a slight overuse of certain words and elements, so I tried to iron them out a bit. The numerous facial descriptors are there because I wanted to avoid the "talking heads" problem that I used to have... :applejackconfused:

I'm not aware of another story with this premise, so you could probably cut the A/N out. =P

Well, as soon as 50 other people say that, I'll give it a thought... :ajsmug:

I think you've performed excellent execution for your simple premise; while it's not a "wow" one, it is what it is, and I can respect that. Well done.

I've noticed a tendency for everyone to immediately write some "epic tale" whenever there's a contest, regardless of the prompt. If I may permit myself this much vanity: I wanted to go for an idea that digs deeper than that. Without giving away what (I hope people will realize) is the true meaning of this story, I'd say that the question for me wasn't "how can I write the most epic tale about some non-pony race that dukes it out with ponies?" It was: "why write a story about ponies from a non-pony perspective in the first place?"

That said, since I knew there's going to be plenty of "epic" fics, I wanted to do a different one. Besides, there's plenty of other, equally good contenders out there who appear to have gone for a similar premise. Those are the fics that mean the most to me, and by no means do I wish to suggest I'm the one who did it best... though I think I did anyway because to hell with false modesty... :trollestia:


Ah, right - silly me for forgetting that this was for a competition. I hadn't factored the use of the prompt at all, though I had picked up some kinda-more-than-likely meta tones in the middle part of the story.

Author Interviewer

Was not expecting to find meta commentary in this contest. It's welcome.

If this is missing anything, it's why Liz is so put off by ponies. Well, and how Cranky ended up the legal guardian of a griffon.


Thank you for the comment. I'm glad the meta stuff came across... though it isn't exactly thinly veiled... :ajsmug:

If this is missing anything, it's why Liz is so put off by ponies. Well, and how Cranky ended up the legal guardian of a griffon.

The former isn't so much because of "ponies" as it is because of the seemingly idyllic world they live in, not to mention her being worried about Cranky believing in it so blindly (at least from her perspective).

The latter is left intentionally vague. Or rather: "it's another story for another day..." :ajsmug:

Joking aside, there's another running theme beside that bit of meta commentary. Without giving away too much, the question one needs to ask is this: "we know Cranky and Liz have a bit of a history by now, but who decided to help who first?"

I hope that made sense... :twilightsheepish:

Author Interviewer


Still, there's the question of why Liz is so vehemently opposed to the idea of idyll. Is it just because of her background? Enough of that is suggested, I guess that would make sense...

A pleasant piece. It certainly did have a slower, winding down feel to it. You carried it well.

There were a number of unanswered questions, certainly, but as you said, perhaps for another time.


Thank you. For some reason, whenever there's a contest, I end up writing fics with this kind of tone, even though I'd like to do something "epic" just as much as many others did. I'm glad it still manages to impress people, though... :twilightsmile:

I am surprised I liked this since I hate cranky he's an asshole to pinkie so i hate any character who is mean to pinkie can you blame me? I guess that means I hate half of the characters in the show then. But yeah this was interesting but i personally liked your raripie desert story better since that had my two favorite characters in it.

You have done quite a lot with a one-episode donkey and an OC gryphon. I especially liked that you took the time to mention the postpony was terrified of the area. Have a like and a ribbon:

I loved it the story really was heart warming yet sad at the same time. Not nearly enough people write about that lovable donkey.

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