FimFiction Link - Short ID: 153416/tough-little-pony
Published: Dec '13
Tough Little Pony is an 11,8k word Slice of Life with hints of drama.
Rainbow Dash is the coolest pony to have ever cooled, and while that's impressive, Discord argues she's not the toughest pony out there. Scootaloo is. Incensed, Dash agrees to having her wings taken away until she can prove she's tougher than Scoots.
Cue a series of scenarios where Dash tries to be her best while not having wings. Also, some mild racism towards Earth ponies, for some reason. Also, Earth pony magic isn't a thing in this universe. Just regular talking minihorses.
Anyway, one thing I dislike is that for a good chunk in the middle we have a really abridged montage of Dash trying different things and coming short of impressing Discord. This is allegedly the meat of the story, but it gets mostly brushed under the rug. Makes sense since we know they'll fail, but I would've liked this part to be expanded into a longer montage rather than just a few paragraphs.
Anyway, things come to a peak when Dash's winglessness causes her to miss out on hanging out with Soarin. She can't take it anymore and goes to Discord to grovel and beg to get her wings back because she needs to fly and can't live without it. This finally proves Discord point of how bad Scootaloo has it, but the little filly still does her best every day.
Yeah, the moral of the story is that it doesn't matter how bad you have it, Scootaloo has to live with the awful reality of being Scootaloo. Quite daring, but I like it.
Speaking of Scoots, she's absent for a good 80% of the fic. It's only after Dash gets her wings back that she goes see her and offers to go see the Wonderbolts together. The way Dash realises she can't live without flying was well done, as was Discord teaching her a lesson, but I think it would've been better if she had come to that realisation herself by hanging out with Scoots.
I'unno, maybe I'm just nitpicking. The story is pretty good, and it manages to nail that "this could've been an episode" feel few stories manage.
If you want a nice story with a clear moral and you also like to see Dash suffer, check this out.