*With apologies to their gorgeous owners, this I do have to share. But, ladies, for your own safety (you know who you are, and it was no trouble, honestly), you will be given new identities and placed in a safe house, with a door with a pony flap.
JF looked up at me, bewildered as we shut the last stable door. “I thought when you said miniature Shetlands were 1. Satan’s handbag and 2. the naughtiest things alive, you were just kidding. I remember thinking, she’s just joking, how much trouble can these cute little fellas be?”
Boy did he find out.
I was sauntering back from various errands (if you can saunter when you’re in the car) and was just bumping down our farm track when I witnessed a sight that could freeze your blood. Two miniature Shetland ponies, trotting importantly toward me, in a neighbour’s field. It got worse, they clapped eyes on the car, turned on their fluffy little heels and lit out back the way they’d come – at a speed you would deem impossible given the wind resistance caused by impenetrable layers of dense fur and legs roughly the same length as a tallish hamster’s. Oh, and did I mention, the field they were meant to be in …. was mine.
Oh Royal Crap.
So, hurling the car into an impressive ‘The Sweeny’ style stop I was soon legging it, in entirely inappropriate footwear, yelling for JF. Got him via phone in the end: “Get out here, there are Shetland ponies everywhere, and none of them are where they should be.”
JF was sent to find lead ropes, having established from the looks of the rest of the mini-herd (who hadn’t yet squeezed through the 50 pence-sized gap between the post and rail fencing) that at least the little buggers were wearing head collars.
Then fortune smiled, what I suspected would happen, did. The ring leader had obviously suffered some kind of panic attack and was trotting, legs pistoning, back toward his field. We stood back and then moved in to close off his escape. Would he let us catch him, er, no.
Next stroke of good luck. Desperado numero dos turns up, a worried look on his face and his little ears (the size of Dairy Lea Cheese Triangles) pinned at a right angles to his head – we presume for stability when tackling the corners at high speed.
By which time our ‘alpha’ Maine Coon cat Dorothy Elizabeth was on point and not up for taking any nonsense from a pony not much bigger than her. She took up her position and ‘stood him down’.
The pony jinked to the side, JF, Dorothy and I pincered to close the gap. I then grabbed the two Lost Boys by the scruff and threw them through the gate before we caught everyone and hauled them into detention to think about what they’d don (while stuffing their little faces with meadow hay).
I do feel, though, for the poor lady dog walker in the field who I saw in the distance as the mini stampede approached her and her Cavalier King Charles spaniel. I couldn’t hear the scream, but I saw her arms fly up in defence as the (wild front door – Steppe) ponies careened toward her, very possibly to take the spaniel out at the knees. Well he was wearing a nice little tartan coat that would easily have fitted the smaller of the two jail breakers.
Note: No ponies were in any way deprived of entertainment during this episode.