• Published 29th Jul 2016
  • 1,995 Views, 28 Comments

Daring Doodle Donkey - The 24th Pegasus

Daring Do is one of the greatest explorers in Equestria, but who taught her everything she knows?

  • ...

A Family

A Family

A knock on the door stirred Cranky from his sleep. At first he thought it was nothing, and was content to simply let it be, but another series of knocks put an end to that idea. Whoever was knocking on the door, they sure were insistent.

Groaning, the donkey sat upright and rubbed his eyes. The sun was already coming through his bedroom window at a steeper angle than he was used to, and a glance at the clock on his nightstand told him it was nearly ten in the morning. Grumbling, Cranky stretched his legs and worked his neck from side to side, popping vertebrae and getting some blood flow back to his brain. He hated sleeping in past the dawn.

Still, he at least had good reason to sleep in today. He glanced to his right, where a jenny mumbled something and shifted, searching for Cranky’s warmth. He could still see a bit of her makeup from the day before, and he grinned as the memories came rushing back to him. Leaning over, he nuzzled the other donkey and kissed her cheek before crawling out of bed.

More knocking reminded Cranky of why he got up in the first place, and quickly throwing on his toupee, the surly donkey trudged over to the door. “Yes? What is it?” he grumbled, doing his best to keep his shout to little more than an annoyed growl for fear of waking the other donkey in his bed.

He opened the door to find a familiar khaki mare beneath a purple coat and red glasses staring back at him with a small smile on her face. “Hey, you look like you just got up. Getting too old for the sunrise, Dad? Or just catching some sleep before the big day?”

“Daring?” Cranky whispered, nearly stumbling over her name, before smiling and reaching forward to embrace the mare in a hug. “Oh, it’s so good to see you! Why, I think the last time we talked face to face was—”

“Over lunch at Spring Run,” Daring finished for him, nuzzling the donkey’s shoulder before ending the embrace. “Celestia, that feels like forever ago.”

“You’re telling me,” Cranky said, standing back so that Daring could enter. “Don’t be a stranger, come in! Are you hungry? I can get some eggs made in a few minutes if you want.”

“That’d be great,” Daring said, stepping inside. As soon as the door shut behind her, she tossed her hat on a hat stand and shed her purple jacket, flexing her wings. “It is so uncomfortable to travel in that thing. Especially in the heat.”

Cranky strolled into the kitchen and set a pan on the stove and turned on the heat. “Did you ever find what you were looking for? Those rings of something or other?” He glanced at the sun and smirked, adding, “The sun hasn’t fried us yet, so I guess that’s a good thing.”

“Oh, yeah, that,” Daring said, rubbing her shoulder. “Yeah, I put a stop to Ahuizotl’s plans for that by… well, destroying an archaeological treasure. But I’m sure that’s better than the alternative.” She looked out the window to where a majestic white mansion floated above the town and added, “I actually had some help from Rainbow Dash and her friends. Who knew that they lived in the same town as you?”

The pan sizzled as Cranky dropped some eggs into it. “I certainly didn’t, not at first,” he said, discarding the eggshells and turning back to Daring. “Though I learned pretty quickly. The pink one, Pinkie Pie, wouldn’t leave me alone when I first moved in.” He chuckled, shaking his head before adding, “She made up for it in the end, though. She found her for me. I guess I really owe her everything.”

“So you said in your last letter,” Daring said, grinning at the donkey. “I’m really excited for you guys. It should be quite the ceremony!”

An egg slipped from Cranky’s grasp, shattering on the floor. Daring raised an eyebrow at the donkey, cocking her head to the side. “You alright, Dad? Need help cleaning that up?”

Instead, Cranky just swallowed hard and turned around. “Oh, Daring, I’m so, so sorry, I should have found some way to let you know about the wedding.”

Daring opened her mouth to respond, but just that moment, another donkey entered the kitchen. “Doodle, sweetie, you should have told me we were having guests! I would’ve gladly cooked!” Then, turning to Daring, she put on an enormous grin and trotted over. “Oh! Are you Cranky’s daughter? Why, it’s so nice to finally meet you!”

“So you’re the famous Matilda I spent years listening to this old donkey go on about,” Daring said with a grin, standing up and hugging the jenny. “Cranky told me he’d finally found you in a letter a while ago, but I’ve been too busy to drop in and say ‘hi’ in the meantime. Good to finally meet you. We traveled all over Equestria looking for you. It took the stubborn donkey thirty years before he even considered settling down.” She winked at Matilda. “That’s commitment. You guys are going to have a fantastic marriage.”

“It’s already been off to a fantastic start,” Matilda said, sharing a look with Cranky. Only when she saw the horror on his face did something click. “Oh dear…” She whipped her head back to Daring, who sat at the table, watching the two donkeys with her brow furrowed and head tilted to the side.

“I’m sorry… am I missing something?” the mare asked.

Cranky trotted away from the stove and wrapped his adopted daughter in a hug. “The wedding was yesterday, kid. I know I told you last time we talked that it’d be today, and it was supposed to be today, but our printer was a complete ditz and messed up the dates on the invitations, so we had to move it to yesterday, and this wouldn’t have happened if I’d checked the invitations before sending them, and—”

Daring’s hoof pressed against Cranky’s lips silenced him. “The wedding was yesterday?” she asked, blinking. Her excitement deflated a little, and she covered it up with a sad smile. “Oh. Well, how was it?”

“It was wonderful,” Matilda said with a happy sigh. “It was everything I ever dreamed of since we first met at the Gala all those years ago! So many of Cranky’s friends he’d made along his travels were there, including Steven Magnet, and that changeling, Kevin. It was something to see!” She grinned at Daring, though that fell away in an instant when she remembered who she was talking to. “I mean, we took pictures, and I think Photo Finish may have been recording the whole thing.” Fidgeting, Matilda made her way to Daring’s side and joined Cranky in hugging the pegasus. “We’re sorry, Daring, but it was just out of our control! It all started with the invitations, and there was no way we could’ve notified you in time, and—”

Daring pressed her other hoof against Matilda’s muzzle, silencing her as well. “Hey, it’s okay. I get it, alright? Besides,” she added, smiling at the two of them and lowering her hooves, “it’s the marriage that matters, not the wedding, right?”

Matilda chuckled and covered her muzzle with a hoof. “Oh, you should have heard Steven yesterday. He said just about the exact opposite. I think he was trying to rile me up before the big moment.”

“That sounds like the slippery serpent,” Cranky mused, smirking. “He didn’t mean any harm, Matilda.”

“Yeah, Steven’s a nice guy,” Daring said. Then she turned to Cranky. “So you actually got Steven to show up? I haven’t seen the big guy in years!”

“Oh, yeah, Steven was there, alright,” Cranky said. “He couldn’t exactly fit in the town hall, but he watched through the window. The big guy hasn’t changed a bit.”

“You met Steven, too?” Matilda asked Daring. “Oh, I’m sure he’d love to see you!” She turned to Cranky and asked, “He’s still in town, right?”

Cranky nodded. “Steven lives in the Everfree Forest nowadays. He decided he’d had enough wandering the rivers after the ordeal at the Hoofer Dam.”

A grin broke out across Daring’s face. “I remember that. If he were a professional high diver, I would’ve given him a nine.”

Chuckling, Cranky added, “Those ponies sure weren’t happy about us convincing a sea serpent to jump from one side of the dam to the other.”

“Yeah, but you talked our way out of it in the end.” Wiggling her eyebrows at Matilda, she nudged Cranky in the ribs. “Watch out for this one, he can be a real smooth-talker when he sets his mind to it.”

“Oh, I’m aware,” Matilda said, making her way around the table to stand next to Cranky. “You never told me the Hoofer Dam story, Doodle. All this time to catch up, and I don’t think you’ve hardly told me a fraction of all the adventures you got up to.”

Cranky shrugged. “A lot happens in thirty years…”

Daring smiled, then raised her muzzle into the air and sniffed. “Uh, Dad? The eggs?”

“Oh, dang it!” Cranky shouted, turning around and shutting off the stove. All that remained of the eggs in the pan were two black patches of char, scorched remains of what once had been a promising meal. Grumbling, Cranky opened the kitchen window to let the smoke out and scraped the remains of the eggs into the waste bin. “You distracted me, kid,” he grumbled over his shoulder.

Daring chuckled and waved a hoof at the donkey. “Dad, you couldn’t make an egg on the road to save your life. I was the one who did most of our cooking, remember?”

“I got along just fine without you for fourteen years.” Throwing the pan back on the stove, he threw two more eggs into it and stared at them, daring them to burn themselves again.

Matilda smiled and trotted to Cranky’s side, brushing her coat against his. “How about I take care of that, Doodle?” she said, gently ushering the jack away from the stove. When she finally got Cranky to sit down at the table with Daring, she placed her hooves on the counter and smiled at the two. “How about you tell me some of your stories, you two? I’d love to hear all about them.”

Daring and Cranky both looked at each other, and the pegasus shrugged and smiled. “Hey, I thought the wedding was today, so my schedule’s cleared for the rest of the day. You?”

Cranky shrugged back at her. “I was just going to spend the day with my wife, but I guess I can make room for my daughter as well.”

Matilda grinned at them. “Perfect! This will be fantastic! Tell me all about it!”

“Well, she’s your wife,” Daring said, looking at Cranky expectantly. “You pick the first one.”

“Oh, that’s a no-brainer,” Cranky shot back. Clearing his throat, he leaned forward in his chair as his family quieted down to listen. “Well, what was it… fifteen years ago? Sixteen?” He shrugged and waved his hoof. “Anyways, I’d just left Los Pegasus, and was on my way north through the Smokey Mountains to Tall Tale. I’d stayed at a few mountain settlements, but the next on my list was a little place called Glacier Point…”

Comments ( 17 )

At last it is done.

Is gonna be a fun one.

~Skeeter The Lurker

Hey, prereader here, just wanted to say thanks to 24 for writing another great story, and I hope all of you had (will have?) as much fun reading this as I did.

This was really good. Very heartwarming.:twilightsmile:

I want more! This story even rivals Summer!

Daring Do discovers precious treasures.
Cranky Doodle discovered the most precious treasure of all.

Okay, this story won my heart and gets a place on my favorites list <3

A startlingly underrated story. Have a fav! :pinkiesmile:

...Now I want to see Rainbow Dash's face when she realizes who Cranky is. :pinkiecrazy:

......Also, Cranky's reaction to "Daring Do con". :rainbowderp:

..................Though let's hope he stays away from the merchandise-section, lest the whole convention hall be burnt to the ground. :trollestia:

Author Interviewer

Fantastic. Oddly, I like this final chapter least, because it's so firmly entrenched in things we already know. But it picks up again right there at the end, and well, it certainly doesn't bring down an otherwise excellent fic. :)

That was a very fun read.

What a great story. Of course Cranky has a changling friend. The sheer love pouring out of a guy who searched for his gal for 30 years....

How the hell did you manage to get this story in such few words? Have a have, this one deserves it.

Fun tidbit: I've only ever seen one episode, slice of life. And this does so much to explain how cranky had so many different friends.

Also, thirty years in search of his one true love. Thirty years of adventure with an amazing daughter to boot. The guy deserves his rest.
That is, until he decides that the call of adventure is too strong in his blood, and he goes onward to save his daughter and equestria.
That book would sell like hot cakes :pinkiecrazy:

7586021 You should do a sequel, where Rainbow Dash finds out that Cranky Doodle taught Daring Do. I can practically see her pestering him to teach her as well.:rainbowlaugh:

A wonderful tale. Some of the best literature I've read that isn't over a hundred-thousand words.

I'm very impressed with the way you took a strange concept and made it plausible, to the point that I want it to be "true." It's very heartwarming and well-paced. There's just enough information to give us the basic story and let our imaginations fill in the gaps. The fanfic certainly doesn't drag, but somehow it doesn't feel too rushed either. Very well done.

I wish this was canon. I really do. It also deserve a sequel. Maybe Daring want to write a prequel to her book and tell the tales of her early years and who taught her how to be an adventurer.

Or she could offer to write her father memoir. With his perfect memory and her writing talent it would be a best seller. I mean, a 30 years search across the world that's quite the tale.

Rainbow would sure be surprised to find her in Ponyville... And why.

Aww, such a sweet heartwarming ending. This is truly a wonderful tale, and very believable. Thank you for writing this. :scootangel:

Now this is a good story!

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