|Daring Do Bakes a Cake|
The story's cover art
|Date published||August 14, 2012|
|Type/genre||Slice of Life|
The story is written in the 3rd person, present tense. The story dives little into addressing details at first, and instead leaves the reader to discover them as the entity they are subject to come into play with the story.
Daring Do is expecting company and needs to cook a full meal that night. However, she is a very bad cook, and constantly reminds herself how much she would rather be in one of many life dungeons than trying to pull off this feat. Evidently she has not cleaned up her kitchen in weeks, and ultimately failed to think of doing so before commencing her task. As she struggles to maneuver around her grimy kitchen, she bumps into her tape player. The tape player begins to sing "Sunshine, lollipops and rainbows…" and only gets louder as she attempts to turn it off.
Daring then realizes that her cake is still in the oven far too late, and only manages to witness its charred mass. After she mourns over her cake for a moment, she then realizes that her mane has been set on fire by the stove. She immediately rushes over to her sink which is filled with stagnant moss covered water, and dunks her head in. Only after getting her head out of the rancid water does she realize how filthy it is, as well as how dirty it made her hair and face. She decides to settle on a take out.
Daring then waits in her living/dining room reflecting on the overall peaceful state of her suburban neighborhood in Hoofington. She lies on the couch in the dark, wearing a red dress with a badge resembling a compass pinned to it, and waits for her guests to arrive. The badge itself resembles her cutie mark, but is far more ancient than herself. She has a present prepared for her guest in the form of a rather costly vase.
As the time passes by, Daring gets more and more nervous, and begins to fidget with her badge and stroke her tail anxiously. When the doorbell finally rings however, she is hesitant to open it. She does and greets her mother, an old mare with an arrogant attitude but a commanding air to back it up. Her mother immediately criticizes the filthiness of her only daughter's house, her dress (even though she was the one who bought it, and her tackiness in having ordered take out. She had insisted in visiting her however, when Daring had apparently called asking to tell her some news in person.
Dinner was an uneventful and dismal affair consisting of many awkward and frustrating moments on Daring’s behalf. She tries to postpone the moment she break her important news to her mother as much as possible by distracting herself with her various archeological trophies scattered around her house. In the end she considers calling a cab for her mother and booting her out of the house, forgetting about telling her the news she thought all so important to convey yesterday. She likes the idea so much, it shows on her face, and her mother scolds her for it.
Daring makes a move to discuss the issue she has been putting off until now, but cuts her short, and gives her mother her present prematurely instead. Her mother then asks what is for desert, something which Daring is unable to give. Her mother then decides to bake herself a cake, and makes her way to the kitchen. Daring hesitates for a few moments before her mother’s fussing over her kitchen’s hygiene prompts her to go tell her the news now.
Daring Do walks into the kitchen and interrupts her mother's string of complaints to tell her that she quit her job as an archeologist, and that her plan now is to sell the house and cash in her trinkets in with the University to get her started on her new life. It just so happens that Daring's tape recorder comes back to life just before she and her mother get into a heated argument, in which the expensive vase she got for her mother falls to the floor and shatters.
Daring rips off the dress her mother got for her along with the badge hesitates only a moment before she hurls it into the garbage bin. The badge had been given to her on her sixth birthday and had been in the family for generations. She then runs out of the house against her mother’s pleas and runs out of the house. She continues running until she is well outside the city limits, finding herself on a bridge.
Daring takes this moment to reflect on her life. She has hated her job as an archeologist for the past 11 years, ever since she first got it. When the University had commissioned a formal book on archeology based off her exploits and positioned her as the supervisor, she coaxed the author into spicing it up into an action story, and even add a villain.
She then lied through her teeth, and kept the University in the dark about the matter. The University never found out until the day the first batch of copies were being shipped for sale, and considered firing her. That is, until they received the money from the book sales. However since the book had been commissioned by the University, Daring Do saw little of the money they made.
Daring then reminisces a little about her childhood. She remembers how her mother always insisted that she wear clothes, and in particular she remembers the day that her mother gave her the compass badge. The moment she saw it, she had thought about how cool it would be to have a compass for a cutie mark which would represent her love for adventure.
Daring Do then sneaks back into her house using a spare key she hid under the doormat, and makes her way to her bedroom. While there, she decides to occupy herself with the video game adaptation of "Daring Do and the Raiders of the Lost Saddle". She has some trouble with a puzzle that requires her to spell Celestia in Old Equestrian, but suddenly she gets a hint from her mother, who happened to be in the room with her. Daring isn't startled by her mother's sudden appearance, but is surprised by her gentle tone.
Daring and her mother then have a heartwarming conversation where Daring apologizes for shouting at her, and her mother apologizes for her behavior. Her mother then gives her the compass badge back, all cleaned up and polished. Her mother then tell her once again how she needs to clean up her house, but it comes out much more friendlier this time. When she leaves, Daring Do thinks about how many awesome adventures live may have in store for her, and soaks in her newfound feeling of freedom. She then turns off her computer and goes to bed.
Daring Do does not socialize with other ponies. She speaks with some colloquial dialect. She has wanted a life of adventure since she was a little foal, and that desire never changed throughout her entire life. However she finds archeology boring since she finds it mostly consist of digging holes and doing paperwork. Ironically she finds the idea of working for the local weather team a much more exciting prospect. Daring Do first appeared in season two of My Little Pony Friendship is Magic in the episode Read it and Weep.
Daring's Mother is a strong believer in discipline, and holds archeology in enormous reverence. As she puts it, Daring's family had been archeologists for five generations. Her personality got colder as she aged over the years, but she has always been supportive of her daughter's decisions save for the Daring Do book series. She always refers to her daughter as "Junior", something Daring does not appreciate. As of late, she doesn't visit her daughter more than once a year.
- The book Daring Do was using to help her cook the green bean casserole entitled "Anypony can Cook" is a play on another fictional book entitled "Anyone can Cook" from the movie Ratatouille.
- The name "HP Hoofcraft" Daring Do refers to in the story is a play on the name of a famous horror story writer HP Lovecraft
- It is ironic that Daring Do seems to hold weather ponies in high regard since that is the job of Rainbow Dash, a great admirer of her book series.
- The part where Daring Do kicks open the front door should technically not be possible since, her being inside the house, the front door would have to open inwards.
- The title of the book "Daring Do and the Raiders of the Lost Saddle" is a play on the title of the movie Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark