Friday, November 28, 2014

A Thanksgiving Scenelette to Leave You On

Just a bit of drabbling that was beating around my head yesterday.  Enjoy some seasonal quickwriting, below the break, and enjoy your leftovers for the rest of the weekend!

When Matilda Donkey opened the door to her home upon returning from her walk, she was greeted by the sound of cursing, followed by a panicky "Don't come in yet!  Go around the block one more time!"  Rolling her eyes, she went inside and sat down at the dining room table.

Cranky emerged from the kitchen a moment later, balancing a huge plate with an irregular black lump on his back.  With a sigh of relief, he slid the plate to the table.  Then, he saw Matilda.  Stifling another curse, he put on the fakest smile Matilda had ever seen (and she'd once spent a year in Canterlot) and hurriedly whipped off his cooking apron, taking a seat across the table from her.

Matilda cocked an eyebrow at the spread, and tried to keep from smiling.  "So... what do we have here?"

Cranky wiped the sweat from his brow, and his smile grew a little less forced.  "Well, I've spent a lot of time traveling around Equestria, and I've learned a lot about ponies along the way.  For example, today's a big holiday of theirs where they all get together with the ponies they love and--"

"Oh, I know about Thanksday, Doodle." Matilda gently cut him off.  "But I never would have guessed you'd have any interest in celebrating it."

Cranky shifted in his chair.  "Well, I may have spent the last twenty Thanksdays angrily rejecting the idea that I had anything to be thankful for," he admitted, "but this year... this year I do."  As Matilda blushed, he went on.  "So, I whipped up a traditional Thanksday feast for us.  Or as near as I could manage, anyway."

Matilda pointed at the black lump.  "And that's...?"

Cranky smiled proudly.  "A tofu centerpiece, shaped like a turkey."  As he continued on about the association between turkeys and bounty, Matilda squinted at the lump, trying to decide which end was supposed to be the head.  Noticing that she wasn't paying attention, Cranky trailed off.  Clearing his throat, he muttered, "Ah, well, anyway, it's a little burnt, but I'm sure it's just the crust."

Grabbing a knife, he carefully cut into the tofu.  Or rather, he tried to; as soon as the knife touched it, the entire lump disintegrated into a pile of fine, black powder.  His ears drooped.  "Oh."

The fake smile came back, and he gestured a little too enthusiastically at the table.  "Well, still plenty to eat!  We've got the mashed potatoes..."

Matilda carefully started picking lint and hair out of the bowl.  A moment later, she was done--the bowl was empty.

"That, ah, I may have dropped on the floor."  Cranky quickly swept the bowl away with a foreleg.  "Nevermind.  We've got rolls!"

Matilda shook her head.  "The rolls need leavening, Doodle.  These are hockey pucks."  She continued around the table.  "It looks like you put hot sauce on the salad--"

"I thought it was strange that the vinaigrette bottle was covered with flames," Cranky muttered to himself as she continued.

"--you used salt instead of sugar on the cranberries, if the look of these is anything to go by--" she gestured at the pathetically dry pile of red pellets, "--and then there's the pie."

Cranky gaped at the pie.  "The pie?  What's wrong with the pie?  It looks beautiful!"

Matilda smiled.  "Yes it does, Doodle.  But I'm allergic to pumpkin."

His head sank.  "Well, this was a wash."  He grimaced.  "Speaking of, I guess I should start cleaning up.  You, ah, might not want to go in the kitchen.  For a few days."

Matilda got up and walked around the table.  Pulling out Cranky's chair, she stood him up and pulled him into a deep kiss.  She didn't let up until she was sure he was too out of breath to interrupt her.

"Doodle," she said, "Of all the sweet things you've done for me this year, this is by far the sweetest.  If I wanted a cook, I'd have married one years ago.  I wanted you, and every day you prove you were worth the wait.  Besides, you do the most adorable thing with your ears when you're flustered."

Cranky smiled through a gasp.  "Well, I tried."  He selfconciously straightened his ears, then paused, smiled, and let them rumple again.  Tell you what, why don't we go downtown to one of the restaurants and--"

Matilda planted another kiss on his cheek; just a peck, to slow him down.  "Let's stay in and clean up instead."  She began picking up plates, but paused when she saw Cranky's befuddlement.  "Doodle, we can go out to dinner anytime.  Thanksday is for sharing with the one you love, and I want to share this meal with you."  She winked.  "One way or another."

Smiling, Cranky grabbed a plate, and the two of them trotted to the kitchen together.


  1. I'm not the only one that came up with a pervy ending, right? Guys?

    Good job, Chris, but you've made at least one error: "... today's a big holiday of there's..."

    1. There is nothing pervy about washing dishes with your special somedonkey. Or doing anything else with them immediately afterward, or possibly even halfway through. It's all very proper, very correct, and, I'm sure, very enjoyable :)

  2. Huh. That makes me wonder: even if ponies associate turkeys with bounty, whence the idea of (even symbolically) eating them?

    1. Lessons from Sweetie Belle?

    2. My theory is that, long ago, it used to be good luck to invite a turkey to your meal. When the ponies moved north pre-windigoes, though, they found themselves in a land without any native turkeys, and so started crafting turkey-shaped centerpieces as fowl placeholders. Poorer families who couldn't afford turkey table toppers made do with drawings, costumes for their children, or turkey-shaped foodstuffs. The latter caught on as a fun and easy way to evoke the bounty turkeys are said to bring, and within a few generations, turkey-shaped main courses were standard at Thanksday meals.

    3. I like this. Make this a thing. Explore how pony traditions became donkey traditions.

  3. I never could figure out in canon how old these two are meant to be, and I've seen fic writers portray them as anything between thirty and seventy. Not kidding. It's one of those things that I don't think we have anything definite on, and the ambiguity drives me crazy.

    1. If it's ever addressed, I really hope it's in donkey years. Not a fan of these characters having human lifespans

    2. Really? Why? That seems an odd thing to take issue with to me.

    3. I have a couple of reasons. I loved how they retained some level of ponyness in the first season. There'd be horse snorts, they'd use their mouths instead of velcro hooves (pretty sure that was always there to some extent, but wasn't as bad early on), and they'd display horselike behavior. That stuff's still around somewhat, but it feels like the show staff sometimes forgets they're dealing with ponies

      Different lifespans might help to explain their differences in physical and mental maturity, as well (just checked, and Lauren herself used that excuse)

    4. Little touches I don't mind (god I hadn't noticed the hooves thing; I hope this isn't a precursor of going back to mutant mitten hooves D:), but I honestly can't deal with ponies being, well, horses. :( Pony stories are people stories, to paraphrase Cold in Gardez, and ponies to me are just little people in horse costumes. So if you go by horse years and tell me a character is twelve, I'm not going to understand what that means. To my mind, twelve-year-olds go to middle school and text about boys. (You can always look at it as "years from their perspective", thus the ponies keep track of age on their terms rather than ours.)