• Member Since 15th Apr, 2012
  • offline last seen Wednesday


Twilight floated a second fritter up to her mouth when she realized the first was gone. “What is in these things?” “Mostly love. Love ‘n about three sticks of butter.”


Written for the The Great Shipping Collab.

Few ponies know that Daring Do is a real pony, her adventures only rarely bring her back to Equestria. But any time they do, she's drawn to a hut inside a gnarled tree in the Everfree Forest, where the zebra she loves waits for her. This time, Daring offers Zecora a choice, to send Daring off on another dangerous adventure, or keep her safe at home. To find the answer, Zecora will have to weigh heart against soul, and love against desire.

Based on a pairing randomly generated by Garbo802, preread by Garbo802, DbzOrDie, Jackie and First_Down.

Chapters (1)
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Comments ( 54 )

Once again, please check out The Great Shipping Collab!

Also, I love this pairing. Someday I hope I'll write the prequel to this story, about how Zecora and Daring first met.

This really was something rather spectaluar.
You absolutely nailed Zecora's vernacular.
The story read well and the romance was fitting;
I wish I could read this in more than one sitting.

The feelings were true and the stories retold,
Furthered the prose by about tenfold.
These tales of adventures from far, distant lands,
Leaves my mind wondering of what others they've had.

A rounding success! And a hearty applause,
You've earned from this reader along with guffaws.

(Yes, I am unashamedly proud of that first rhyme. :ajsmug:)

I'm quite amazed at your rhyming prowess,
how long that took you, I can't even guess.
But that scene by the fire on Zecora's rug,
I expected more steam, you just showed a hug.
So if that promise of "moar" should prevail,
do tell us, please, in finer detail.
I quite liked the part with Rainbow Dash crashing.
No, that came out wrong, I'm not RD bashing!
But 't was cute the way she missed who she met
maybe next time we'll prank Twilight instead?

So many rhyme.

I read this story once before,
It only makes sense that I read it once more.
This story's got rhymes, and it shows in the comments.
And so someone must find something that rhymes with "comments".

But I digress, I say! Good show!
Because I'm positive that you wanted to know,
That your story is flawless. So craftily done.
Like a fine summer day that's been spent in the sun.

And now it is done, so please offer me shelter!
Because Daring is gone and I'm under the weather.
Will no one come over and save me today?
Maybe... at Zecora's house I can stay... :raritywink:


So I'd just like to say this is a fabulous tale.
And just maybe, we can all learn from this as well.

- Church

You claim that few words rhyme with "comments"?
I say, stop this childish and foolish nonsense.
Ten minutes I spent on searching this rhyme
don't you dare say, I wasted my time! :trixieshiftleft:

I love that you guys got your comments to rhyme, because trust me, I know that takes some time. I'm glad you guys liked it, I hope to write more, but I do have some other things to finish before. But if shutaro wants something dirty, then he's out of luck. I'm keeping this teen, so you won't see them-

I'll let you finish that.

Thanks guys! :ajsmug:

Ah, I have no words in how touching and how much I love this story :heart: Of course, amazing work!

Warning: This comment contains things that may
Ruin this good story, and ruin your day.
If you wish to read first and experience the bliss,
Then I shall tell you now, reader, DO NOT read THIS [comment]!

Hello, fellow author, the lovely Bookplayer,
The skilled sentence scribe and witty word-weigher!
I shall now leave a comment about this good tale
Giving you my thoughts on this, and I'll rhyme without fail [mostly]!

Now, please do not lose heart at my criticisms;
I'm a horrible writer with many prose cataclysms.
They are only put out there to offer advice
But whether you take then or not, your stories will always be nice.

Now before I make a fool of myself... again,
It's time for my lengthy comment to begin!

I'll begin with grammar, 'cause that's how I roll.
Now, I admit that there's two things that did take a toll
On the flow of the story; they almost distract
But one's likely subjective, while one's maybe fact.
The first I have checked; I think you should too.
Thought it's nothing too big, that is true:

After dinner, Zecora laid down on her side, and Daring took her place in front of her, pressed against her.

You used the word "laid" six times; five are wrong.
The word "lay" is the word where five times belong.
Take a gander here, and please double-check
My remark; I probably made myself a wreck.

That's when I knew, Cora. The minute I laid eyes on you, I fell in love.

Now again, this entire thing's not meant to spite,
But I think here's the only time you used it right.
The second I may need to do repentences;
They may just be me, but you may have run-on sentences.

A loud roar came from behind her, she glanced over her shoulder, face to face with a full grown manticore bearing his teeth.

Zecora had to smile a little, Daring was older than Rainbow Dash, and a bit worn from years of rough travel, but without her hat and shirt there was a resemblance between the two in both body and manner

It may just be me, but these seem too long.
They make the thoughts in them a little less strong.
It may be the commas--yes, that may be it
But it may just be me; I'm naught more than a twit.
The rest of your grammar is perfect, I believe
And you should be proud, and I shall not deceive.

Now I move to your prose, the way that you write
And I can honestly say it doesn't feel trite.
It mostly flows well with fantastic word choice,
And the tone of this piece gives it unique voice.
Now I do feel at times, you were running a race
Early on in your fic, 'twas a rushing in pace.

It didn't take her long to reach the gnarled tree surrounded by hanging bottles-- a practice Daring remembered Zecora making note of in the southern swamps. The way Daring collected artifacts from faraway places, Zecora collected wisdom; she had explained to Daring that the light reflecting from the bottles, the sound of the wind blowing across the mouths, and the herbal mixture she'd fill them with kept the wild creatures of the forest away from her hut.
Daring knocked on the door, and didn't have to wait long before Zecora opened it. The zebra paused for a second, then a grin spread across her face.

The first paragraph her is great
But I think the underlined part does not satiate
I think not describing Daring's reaction here hurt this part,
But that may just be me, a curmudgeonous young fart.

The rest of your story flows nicely, I think
But there's one part where confusion goes on the brink:

“Giant cannons are usually a bad thing.” Daring explained. “They’re not much good for anything except holding a castle hostage so somepony and try to take over the world.”


Zecora smiled softly to herself, thinking of the gleam in Daring's eye (This isn't a criticism, but I would like to ask why you decided to put the gleam in one eye. Is that normal? Sorry, but I haven't seen this before; that's why I'm bringing it up.) when she found a new challenge.

Now before my heart breaks and my brain shatters,
It's time for me to praise the much more important matters!

It didn't take her long to reach the gnarled tree surrounded by hanging bottles-- a practice Daring remembered Zecora making note of in the southern swamps. The way Daring collected artifacts from faraway places, Zecora collected wisdom; she had explained to Daring that the light reflecting from the bottles, the sound of the wind blowing across the mouths, and the herbal mixture she'd fill them with kept the wild creatures of the forest away from her hut.

A lashing of my tongue is not what I'm betting;
I'd just like to tell you that I love your setting.
Your whole atmosphere is very well done
I could vividly picture everything under the sun.
Each scene is quite vivid, from sight to sound
A colorful tangible world all around.

Your characterization is one to behold
Every darn interaction is one of pure gold.
You utilized past to something deep
Every word said and action done piled in a heap
Of pure gold; I don't think I can criticize
Anything about it, and that's probably wise.

Now your plot is quite deep, but there are two things
That I must mention, and it really stings
For me to say one of these you can improve
While the other--to me--makes this story a little less smooth.
But first, I must praise! You have given me thoughts
That go far beyond my focus for their "hots".
The pondering, the heartfelt love and goodbye
Were quite innovative, and interesting, o my!
Now I must mention this, let this be understood
That my criticism here comes mainly from food.
I'm talking 'bout meal time, a place of communion
Where there's SO MANY WAYS to strengthen a union
Or reveal some doubts or some fears or some grudges,
From slow sensual bites to flung food and sauce smudges.
You skip these mares' dinners, and I think that's bad;
Maybe next time, show from that what characters had.
My other comment is something more specific:
With miss Daring Doo, a pony great and prolific,
I found it quite odd, and maybe a bit rash
That you didn't have her recognized by Rainbow Dash.
You could've done something with that, but I dunno...
And it is with that that my criticism must go.

And that is the end. This story is great
With good plot, atmosphere, and setting; but please wait,
For I offer suggestions for things to look out for
For future writing that may hope, compared to this, outscore:
Watch out for lie, lay and laid; they are quite hard
And maybe slow down a bit, and draw out your role of bard.
Maybe expand on meal time; that could reveal much
I can't think of anything more, not even a touch.
This get a like from me, and definitely a fave
So this good memory I can cherish and save.

And again, please do not feel discouraged or sad;
If you continue to write, then I will be glad.
I'm a horrible writer myself, so with grains of salt
Take these comments, either with pride or with a halt.

Now, to stop this before I lose this guise of being clever:
I wish you the best of your talents with your future endeavors!

1626218 I won't say you wasted your time in good conscience
For finding a word that rhymes with comments.


Oh, that was just horrible.
I apologize for that very forced rhyme, everyone.:facehoof:

I don't get why I'm "out ouf luck",
you already had this two lovers hug.:trollestia:
Of course I respect this story's "teen" rating,
I too don't want to see read pointless mating.
But these are grown mares and I am quite sure,
your readers can take them a bit less demure.
Flirting and cuddling and kissing galore,
you don't need body-fluids to show so much more.:raritywink:

"innuendo" is a bad word for rhyming. :twilightangry2:

1626423 I can see it quite difficult to rhyme that word
But I'll try to do so and not make it absurd:
Those things are quite useful, for each innuendo
That's cleverly placed is like a crescendo;
Don't beat them on the reader's head like a match of kendo.

...Meh, I'm not really good at rhyming.

Thank you for your time, and the time it took to comment. All the technical matters have been fixed, except for the "gleam in her eye" which is an idiom. It can be written as "eyes" but it's also commonly used in singular. Don't ask me why.

As to the more subjective stuff, I'll give you a more detailed comment later.

Thanks again!

Oh, do I have to write a comment in a rhyme too? Let's see ...

Roses are red, violets are blue, this story is amazing, and so are you.

... That's all I got right now. :facehoof:

Ha! I started something.
This is quite amusing. :rainbowlaugh:

oh that collaboration......is kinda...weird XD lol
that pairngs are...very strange! XD lol
but this one....Zecora x Daring Do looks nice!

One of the rules of the Collab is no clop.
and I won't rhyme this comment, and everyone should stop.
Oh wait ...
That's just great.

1627351 I'm an overachiever, what can I say? :derpytongue2:

That was definitely the best Zecora story I've read. I don't know how long it took you to get her rhythm right, but it was certainly worth it. :twilightsmile:

"I'd considered to post in the form of a rhyme, trying to measure the wordings and time - all I could muster was this little ditty, which 'pon rereading I've found to be... not too bad!"

This actually surprised me - not for the odd pairing, nor the wonderfully worded poems (which, I might add, were the work of a genius). The fact that it works on a level that's truly intimate; faithfully recreating both characters, you've somehow made this... very believable. I don't care for most ships, but this is genuinely fun to think about! After Luna Eclipsed, I definitely found Zecora less of an alchemist nature freak and more an attractive older mare. Heck, remember her costume? Yeah, hot hot hot!

This is why I love Bookplayer - she introduces creative and challenging ideas as opposed to shocking varieties of the ponified Kama Sutra. Sex is easy! Portraying love and longing - especially between two mature women - is nigh impossible. Neigh? Nigh, right. Need I say more about her uncanny characterization? Yikes.

Thanks for the lovely read, as always! THUMBS UP BABY! TWIFIGHT LIKE!

"What good is a lover with half of a heart?"

That line will stick with me all day, all of the night, and probably all of the nights to come.

You didn't rhyme your comment. Ole!

1630094 Oh, snap!
Well... CRAP!

DON'T BE FOOLED, COMRADES! It's all a clever metaphor for AppleDash!
This story has the best comments. I'm lazy, so I will cheat and steal:

Mareakkesh Night Market

They're gathered in circles
the lamps light their faces
The crescent moon rocks in the sky
The poets of drumming
keep heartbeats suspended
The smoke swirls up and then dies

The stories are woven
and fortunes are told
The truth is measured by the weight of your gold
The magic lies scattered
on rugs on the ground
Faith is conjured in the night market's sound

The pairing is a brilliant idea, although it would be hard to write any story other than this one based on it. I admire anyone who has the patience to write Zecorah.

Zecorah explains the story's central problem out loud 3 times, first to Daring Do, then to Applejack, then to Daring Do again. If Yasunari Kawabata had written this, Zecorah would have had poignant internal-monologue recollections of their time together and also reflected on her fear, then explained the problem just once, to Applejack, then Kawabata would have used the post-Applejack section to establish a mood of resignation and resolution. If Jhumpa Lahiri had written it, Zecorah would never have explained it out loud, but either she or Daring Do would have had 3rd-person limited POV and told the reader gradually, circling around it using internal monologue. (Both these authors are excellent examples of when, depsite what Equestria Daily pre-readers say, it's good to describe what your character is feeling.)

You have no idea how many times I listened to that song while writing this. I actually was considering using it as a quote to set the scene, if/when I do a prequel.

As to the rest of your comment. . . I'm assuming you would have enjoyed it more either of those ways? Or just point out that there were some more creative paths I could have taken? Either way, those are excellent ideas.:ajsmug:

1632514 I'm assuming you would have enjoyed it more either of those ways?
Maybe. I was just reading those authors yesterday, and they write a lot about two people awkwardly circling around relationship issues that have been festering for years--it's kind of their genre.

Well, for such a strange pairing, you nailed it. I don't expect there to be many more Daring Do-Zecora fics, but they'll be hard pressed to match this. You took two characters who were little more than archetypes and developed both their personalities and romance in a very real way.

:moustache: Have a mustache, you've earned it.

I prefer the method used here. Let the dialogue and actions stand on their own, there are very few times when explicitly telling the reader what the character is feeling is the best way to go about it. But I suppose it's all up to preference.

1635774 Let the dialogue and actions stand on their own, there are very few times when explicitly telling the reader what the character is feeling is the best way to go about it.

There's two issues here. The simpler issue is that putting the same statement into dialogue is no different, from a "show vs. tell" perspective, than putting it into a statement about what the character is feeling. There's nothing better about writing

"I feel like you care more about that car than about me," Sheila said.

than writing

Sheila watched through the window as Fred polished his BMW. She had never imagined that she would one day feel jealous of a car.

The more contentious issue is "show, don't tell." We've all heard it a hundred times. I'm beginning to think it's a myth. If you read books that won the Pulitzer, or the Man Booker Prize, or by authors who've won the Nobel for literature, you'll find them telling explicitly what their characters are feeling all over the place. Shakespeare does it all the time; he was a firm believer in "tell, don't show".

The goal is to communicate concisely and specifically, and to justify your claims about your characters. Novice authors write lazy statements like "Herman was frightened" or "Jon felt embarrassed." This is bad, because you have to explain what frightened or embarrassed them anyway. Writing "I began to pity my mother; the older I got, the more I saw what a desolate life she led" (Jhumpa Lahiri, Unaccustomed Earth) is not wasting words. The story then shows in concrete ways how her mother's life was desolate, but without that explanatory line, the reader wouldn't know whether she reacted to these things with pity, scorn, resentment, or despair.

i really wish I could rhyme so that i could do this fantastic piece it's due credit but suffice to say I love this pairing I really liked the way you wrote Zecora and Daring and their romance and just in general I loved this fic.
If there as one thing to criticize it's that there was a little to much telling in some areas, specifically a few times when describing the characters feeling it felt a little stilted and once or twice the general description lacked the same warmth and feeling it had elsewhere.
Still despite that minor point I loved this! Liked and faved!
Any chance of a equal or a prequel? :scootangel:
There's actually a really amusing comic based on this pairing as well.

Well, you're right, depending on the context. 'Show don't tell' is a ridiculously simple way to describe a ridiculously complicated concept. It's not bad to tell how a character feels, it's bad to tell the reader how they should feel about how the character feels. It's okay to say something along the lines of "John felt frightened", if you're just stating it as a fact. But if you're trying to persuade the reader to feel frightened with John, that's the wrong way to go about it. That's where 'show' comes in. Show what's frightening him and pray that it frightens the reader too.

If you read books that won the Pulitzer, or the Man Booker Prize, or by authors who've won the Nobel for literature, you'll find them telling explicitly what their characters are feeling all over the place


I've noticed that too. Far as I can tell, if you're writing a novel, you can tell all you want, but it's frowned upon in something this short. Of course there's no 'correct' way to write. Write whatever and however you want.

Heh, look at me, acting like I know what the hell I'm talking about. :twilightsheepish:

This fic was:heart:

This was a good fic, happy feels all round :heart::heart:.

Well... This is certainly an intriguing fanfic...
Most curious indeed. My interest has been perked!
Pray tell, shall we dive into the murky depths to reveal more about this working relationship?
Or the fact why Zecora seems so reluctant to go adventuring with Daring Do?

Does she know that if Daring is in any possible danger, that she might be able to prevent it as such?
What about those bandits? Or even more, flip the tables on Daring and have Zecora be the damsel in distress, tortured right in front of Daring's own eyes! So many paths that this story opens up!
What about the assassins? Surely they could locate Zecora, even within the Everfree Forest!


I will not cry, I told myself I wouldnt cry.

Listen to Hikari from kingdom hearts after reading this. It makes it complete.

Will there be more or is this the only Daring Do story you will ever write? Love the Cora Nickname

I really want to write a prequel one day, about the adventure where Daring and Zecora first met. I've just never written an adventure story, so I'm kind of scared of it. But writing an adventure is one of my resolutions for this year! So who knows!

2062464 I'd love to see their first meeting sometime, it sounds like great fun.

That was beautiful. Thank you for sharing this with us.

OHMYGOD THIS WAS SO FREAKIN' ADORABLE I CAN'T EVEN *squeals* Such an unexpected pairing, but it works so damn perfectly and please, please, please, I beg of you, WRITE MORE ROMANCE FOR THESE TWO. I WILL DO ANYTHING. Oh, boy, this is without a doubt going in my Faves of The Faves section.

1621160 I also want a sequel, one where Rainbow finds out about Daring Do

Shit shit shit why is this so good?

well...there goes my every-other-favorite-ship-ever... :ajbemused:

Well it's a good thing you waited on the sequel. Now it can't be destroyed by new canon, if you choose to write it. (Unless sometime in season 7 or so they're completely out of story concepts. Otherwise, I think we've seen most of the Daring Do storyline).

This is probably one of the sappiest damn things you've written.

I love it all the same :ajsmug:

Hey, I just realized that you called out Daring being real way before Dave Polsky.

As someone already said: That was a really sappy, nonetheless great and entertaining story. And an unusual pairing. I think, almost every couple including Zecora is pretty rare. Probably, because she's hard to write. I can't imagine how much time it must have taken you to write her dialogue-parts. Or did that came easily to you?

Anyway, nice one.
Thank you.

It's so odd reading this now, more than two years later. Fimfiction was so different back then. One thing that hasn't changed is how great this story is, and how great this pairing is. Now that I've finally gotten around to shipping these two myself, I've found a new appreciation for this story I didn't have the first few times I've read it. It's such a perfect fit, and yet fits so well into the "opposites attract" approach to romance. You get to work with two characters that have some established characteristics, but still with enough gaps to take the story in countless different directions. Every day I'm surprised that this hasn't caught on by now. But I guess that's just how things are.

This was a sad, sweet story. :pinkiesad2: You don't often see Daring Do and Zecora paired together, but it works so well here. Interestingly enough, if you've read G.M. Berrow's chapter books, you might realize that Daring Do and Zecora knowing each other might be canon in that. (In Rainbow Dash and the Daring Do Double Dare, Zecora is in possession of an artifact called the Half-Gilded Horseshoe. In the Daring Do chapter book Daring Do and the Forbidden City of the Clouds, Daring Do comes into possession of the Half-Gilded Horseshoe.) So yeah, that is like my headcanon now. Daring Do and Zecora know each other. :twilightsmile: And perhaps they are really more than friends. :duck: Anyway, this was a great story. Keep up the good work. :pinkiehappy:

Wow that was good :pinkiesmile: I didn't mind the tell so much but I think showing would have been good too :twilightblush: Either way for nice little one I liked it :twilightsmile: Well done

Feck. Feck. This is like... the third time I read this story and I still ended up crying.
I love this story so much

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