Today’s story is a rich look at a pair of poor little rich girls.
A Diamond and a Tether
[Drama] [Slice of Life] [Human] • 13,294 words
Heiress Lucy Burdock knows life has a way of surprising you.
For example, she wasn’t expecting a little pink pony for her birthday. She certainly didn’t expect it to start talking, either. It was cute at first, but it kinda feels more like taking care of a little kid than a pony. Lucy’s never really been great with kids … but she can make it work!
FROM THE CURATORS: When The More Most Dangerous Game Contest challenged entrants to reinterpret fandom classics, this story stood out, placing second in a crowded field of 92 entries. We were equally impressed, especially with the originality it brought to My Little Dashie’s core premise. As JohnPerry explained: “A human is gifted with a pony in a box and tasked with raising it … then completely screws it up. And not in a way that seems sadistic or cruel, like many an MLD parody, but in a way that seems unsettling but still believable.”
We agreed that that premise wrung emotions out of unexpected places. “It’s hard to make rich brats sympathetic, but it had me aching for the feelings of a self-absorbed trust fund kid — and without ever getting preachy, or dropping a ‘being rich doesn’t mean you’re happy!’ cudgel on the reader,” Chris said. One aspect of that was the well-constructed characters, as Present Perfect noted. “You’ve got a noteworthy human protagonist in spoiled, vain Lucy,” he said. “You’ve got the beleaguered housekeeper. And Diamond Tiara doesn’t exist just for Lucy’s narrative benefit. This is her story, and it presents a wholly engrossing backstory for her.”
While any reinterpretation of our fandom’s most-read story has large shoes to fill, we unanimously agreed that A Diamond and a Tether held up both inside and outside of Dashie’s context. “I think it’s a testament to the creativity of this fandom that this was written out of a prompt based on My Little Dashie, because it’s the polar opposite of that story in terms of tone or outcome,” JohnPerry said. Present Perfect agreed: “It can stand alone without MLD, yet it does so many things that story did, only better.”
Read on for our author interview, in which PatchworkPoltergeist discusses floriography problems, ornithology comparisons, and unexpected gerbils.