Ponies, express

A funny thing happened on the way to my house.

On Wednesday as I drove home from work, I noticed a man with a white bucket walking alongside the road. Given the temperature and the fast-setting sun, I thought this was a little foolish.

The car ahead of me slowed down considerably. I was a bit irritated. Sure, I realized it was important to reduce speed and move over so as not to hit the pedestrian. Still, I wanted to get home.  I was further annoyed because the car continued to slow even once we had safely passed the man with the bucket.

The sedan in front of me was almost to a crawl when the driver turned on his four-way flashers. I realized that there must another reason for the driver’s caution.

The obstacle came into view once the car preceding me moved into the other lane to pass. Six ponies were trotting down the highway. Now, I spot horses traveling the roads almost every day that I drive to work, but they are usually attached to an Amish buggy. Even Mustangs have drivers. These ponies were riderless and unaccompanied by humans. If that man with the bucket was their owner, they had far out-paced him on the two-lane highway.

The ponies had shaggy coats and surprisingly wide bellies. Their manes and tails whipped in the wind. A black one seemed to be their leader. I kept my eye on him. He would slow and turn his head to the side, so the others would slow, too.

I realized that I wouldn’t be able to pass this small herd. They could veer into the other lane at any minute. I didn’t want to run into one of the animals, so I just slowed down to stay behind the unpredictable creatures.

They were approaching a small village. I wasn’t so much concerned about them getting lost in this far-from-booming “metropolis” as was about the intersection in the heart of the township. A traffic light halts vehicles where two state highways meet, but I suspected that ponies don’t know that green means “go” and red means “stop.”

A half-mile out from the village limits, the ponies decided to stop on their own. I did, too. The black horse looked around as if uncertain where to lead his rogue band.  Just then, a man driving a truck heading north spotted the ponies and pulled into a towing company’s lot. He got and slowly walked toward the herd. I could see him whistle and watched him clap his hands. The black pony turned around, so the rest followed suit. They began to trot northbound. When they were past my car, I smiled and waved to the good Samaritan and resumed my commute.

I glanced in my side view mirror as I accelerated and watched the ponies get smaller. Soon, I was in the village and they were out of sight. Several minutes later I was home.

I hope the ponies made it home, too.

Janine's Confessions of A Mommyaholic

And here I thought I’d never have a story for this week’s “Finish the Sentence Friday.” Have you ever encountered livestock on the road during your travels? Then maybe you can share a post that begins with “A funny thing happened on the way to . . .”

20 thoughts on “Ponies, express

  1. Wow! Last summer, I was driving in central Oregon. I was cruising along until all of a sudden, I found myself surrounded by a herd of cows! They did not seem nearly as alarmed by my presence as I was with theirs.

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  2. Wow – whew I am so glad nothing bad happened that you know of. I once saw a herd of deer (how many is a herd anyway) in my backyard. It was six of them at one time. I was too shocked to run a get a camera. This was in broad daylight.

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  3. Ok now this is so much lovelier than the chap my son and I encountered on the way to water polo. I also wondered what happened to the horses and was delighted to read your later comment that they all made it back to their home. Whew! Sounds like you live in a lovely part of the world. Say hi to the horses when you next go by.

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  4. I’ll trade the ponies for the deer gang who run the neighborhood. Those things have really gotten brave lately. One even tried to play chicken with me while I was in my car. He sat at the end of the road staring at me while I honked my horn like a mad woman. I drove closer, he walked closer to my car. When we got about 20 feet apart, I swerved around him. So I lost the game of chicken to a deer. Damn bastards.

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  5. Very cool! I once rounded a corner in the forest and discovered a hand-made sign on the side of the road which said “CAUTION – PIGS!” and thought it was weird. Then got stuck in a queue of traffic all waiting to take turns to pass a mama pig and her seven babies, who were all out munching acorns! Bizarre!

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