Taped to the underside of each drawer in this living room is a full color photograph of various full time adult occupations. Whichever you pull loose will be your job for the next forty-eight years. There is no negotiating, no refusal and no trading with the others.

Each of the sixteen cadets removes a drawer and flips it over revealing their fate.

“I’ve got a picture of a man with a paint brush looking through a magnifying glass at an open printed book, carefully dotting each of the lower case i’s,” said Ralph.

“So do I,” said Augustus.

“I do too,” echoed Francis, Samson and everyone else, except David, Jr.

With all eyes on him, David, Jr., slowly held up his drawer bottom. There, in color too vivid to deny, a painting of a Pony King.

“Oh god.”

A Pony King is Master of all he sees. His crown is golden and pure. But unlike other rulers, the Pony King’s power comes with a price: He must remain, at all times, atop a Pony. Never again shall his mortal feet touch the earth.

“What will become of my dancing dreams?” David, Jr. asks.

As the Ponies weaken and die, strongmen lift and transfer the Pony King to new ponies, securing the kingdom and all its children.

And when the Pony King grows old and weakens, he himself, through the power of Science, is transformed into a pony for the Next Pony King to command.

As David, Jr. and the other boys wept, I loaded them into the station wagon and took off towards Town.

Tonight, for our last night, we shall eat Whoppers.

Chris Weagel

Chris Weagel writes about the intersection of technology and parenting for Wired Magazine. No he doesn't. He can't stand that shit.

View all posts

Add comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *