Missing Mr. Peabody: The Story of a Lost Pony
Oops, did we lose you when you saw “Lost Pony” in the title? Hang in there with us—we wouldn’t do that to you! Like all properly raised and socially conscious human beings, Jenny and I think all animal stories should be like baby shampoo: cruelty-free, die-free, and no-more-tears.
We grew up on a farm, so we know the hard facts. We just like to avoid them.
So when we heard that one of our LitWitters would be missing last week’s workshop because of a lost pony, we started crossing fingers and toes. Ponies do love to escape and get lost. I have a memory of my own scoundrel of a steed, Prince Albert, trotting jauntily down the middle of our country road in triumphant freedom, and of eight-year-old me chasing futilely after him on my spindly legs, watching in horror as his rump disappeared around a distant dangerous curve. We got him back (no-more-tears!) but I never forgot that terrible, desperate feeling.
The day after the missed workshop we got a follow-up email containing the rest of the story as a perfect narrative arc, which Jenny read out loud to me through one anxiously squinted eye. I listened in cringe-position. How would the story end? This parent didn’t know about our happy-endings-only policy – would we be confronted with some horrible Steinbeck-style reality check?
Nope. Turns out it was a total baby-shampoo story in every way but tangle-free!
Listen to this:
Thank you so much for your understanding. [Of course!]
Thank God we found Mr. Peabody the next day! [Mr. Peabody! Really?? This is a great story already!]
We looked all day and most of the night until it was so dark we used flood lights. Then the fog rolled in and we could no longer see – sadly. [Flood lights and fog. Rising Action, complete with atmospheric alliteration!]
Friday morning we started a media search, sheriff, Animal Control, ASPCA, and another search locally; we also had our kids camp going on and lessons. [Here at the Climax things seem pretty awful! Something must happen to solve The Problem of the Missing Mr. Peabody or ALL WILL BE LOST!]
One of our campers was playing around this giant potato bush we have, and I asked the young man to stay where I could see him (he was 5 years old and on the busy-body side). [We’ve found the best heroes often are.]
He said, “Well there’s no room in the bush today, there’s a Peabody in the bush!” [A PEABODY IN THE BUSH!]
Oh my did we all just jump at that! Poor pony was stuck in the middle of this bush and could not move. 🙁 [Just taking a moment to savor this sad but adorable mental image.]
We searched everywhere, and he was right in front of us the whole time! ? [Can you imagine a better resolution? He was right there THE WHOLE TIME!!]
We cut him out, cleaned him up, and fed him his missed meals … of course many kisses from many children and adults were a part of his meal. [The Falling Action leaves us with a scene of love, joy and reunion. Ahhhhh perfection.]
We had to read this story several more times just to get all the satisfaction out of it. When we said “no-more-tears” we didn’t mean the happy kind! Sniff! Isn’t that a great story? And there’s even a moral: A pony in the bush is worth—well, it’s priceless.
May you find what you’re looking for right in front of you all day long!
Many thanks to Michelle LeClair for letting us share her emailed story and photos. Michelle is the owner of Pleasant Valley Horse Club in Aptos, California, where she teaches horsemanship to kids and works with rehabilitated horses.