• Published 1st Apr 2016
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Group Precipitation - FanOfMostEverything

Stories set in the Oversaturated World, some silly, some less so.

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Donkey Khan, by FoME

Cranky Doodle wasn't.

That is to say, he wasn't cranky. He definitely was in the sense of existing. Some might say he existed more than most people these days, though he wasn't one for that sort of philosophical or magical debate. He was just concerned with instilling some degree of respect for the Wranglish language in kids who were more interested in how much they could mangle into under one hundred forty characters.

Still, he had to admit that that had gotten easier after the world changed. Oh, the kids weren’t any smarter; Cranky swore there were fewer who knew how to think every year. The middle schools were still happy to let students graduate eighth grade without knowing what an adverb was. The change hadn’t even gotten him his hair back.

No, the important changes had been internal. He’d stopped getting ulcers from the idiocies and inadequacies around him. That tickle in his chest he’d never mentioned to anyone had, as he’d silently hoped, gone away. The general malaise that had come from a poorly treated body on the wrong side of sixty wasn’t there anymore, and without that weighing him down, the rest of his burdens had become a lot easier to carry. Even the ears weren’t that bad. He was in good company what with a decent chunk of the population turning into elves, even if his brought basset hounds to mind. Besides, Reader Response would get tired of telling everyone in the faculty area to forget not that he was an ass any day now.

Just as the bad parts of Cranky’s life had improved, so had the good. Matilda was enjoying her magical refreshment just as much as he was, and had taken to researching it. She’d always been more technically and civically minded than he’d been, and now she’d tell him all about her discoveries over dinner. He’d respond to with nods and polite murmurs for most of it, the various tests and testimonials determining just what the rare donkey aspects were capable of. The answer seemed to be “Anything a sane person would volunteer for.”

When the darker moments came to light, he paid more attention. When she mentioned how thousands had simply walked out of Tauros, barely slowed by anything short of Tirek himself, they immediately began discussing what they could do for those who weren’t so lucky. It wasn’t much, but it was better than nothing.

One night shortly after the end of the school year, Matilda chuckled as she sat down.

Cranky couldn’t help but smile. “What is it?”

“One of my websites, one made for donkey aspects. It’s the Internet, so it’s mostly young men, and they’ve gone and found a way to show off.”

He gave a laugh of his own. “Remember that time at the state fair when I tried to win you a teddy bear?”

“You must have spent thirty dollars. I told you they glued down those milk bottles. But these fellows try to one-up one another on how much punishment they can take. They’ll run marathons in parkas, handle dangerous animals, help clean up toxic waste sites…” Matilda shook her head. “They’d probably have all killed themselves a few months ago.”

Cranky shrugged. “With any luck, they’ll grow out of it. Don’t see how that’s funny, though.”

“It isn’t. The funny part is that no one’s been able to top the current leader for more than a week.”

“Oh? What’s he do?”

Matilda beamed, her crow’s feet crinkling. “He teaches at Canterlot High.”

Cranky considered that for a few moments before smirking. “Well, you’re not wrong.”

Author's Note:

Donkey + human = stupidly tough. We've already minmaxed our Constitution compared to most species. Donkey aspects can take physical, mental, magical, biological, chemical, radiological, and every other kind of punishment imaginable and keep going better than anyone else. They're not invulnerable, but there are times when it seems like they are.

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