Ponies Are Scary, And That Is Straight From The Horse’s Mouth

| Related | August 13, 2013

(My four-year-old daughter loves to watch “My Little Pony” on TV. My wife and I think she might like to meet a real pony, so we decide to take her to a petting zoo.)

Me: “Are you excited about seeing the ponies, babygirl?”

Daughter: “Yeah!”

(When we get to the enclosure where the ponies are kept, a zoo employee greets us.)

Employee: “Hello! Are we going to be feeding the ponies today?”

Wife: “She sure is! [Daughter’s name] loves ponies.”

(The employee reaches into a food bucket, and hands my daughter a carrot.)

Employee: “The ponies like to eat carrots, sweetie. So I’ll go ahead and bring one over and you can give him a yummy treat, okay?”

Daughter: “Okay.”

(The employee enters the pony enclosure and brings a large, brown pony back with her, guiding it right up to the fence. It’s quite a bit taller than my daughter. When she lays eyes on it, she starts to shake, drops the carrot and hides behind my wife’s legs.)

Wife: “Whoa, [daughter’s name], where are you going? Don’t you want to say hi to the pony?”

Daughter: *shaking her head* “Nuh-uh.”

Me: “Come on, babygirl. You wanted to meet the pony, didn’t you?”

Daughter: “No. It’s scary.”

Employee: “He’s not going to hurt you, sweetie. He’s very gentle!”

(It takes several minutes of cajoling to get her to agree to give the pony the carrot. Finally she holds it as far from her body as she can and tiptoes toward the pony. It lowers its head to sniff at the carrot.)

Daughter: “Daddy, it’s scary!”

Me: “What’s scary about it, babygirl?”

(At that moment, the pony snorts loudly. My daughter drops the carrot and races toward me, clawing her way up my body in a split-second and clinging to my neck and chest with her arms and legs. She holds on very tight, wide-eyed and shaking. Several minutes later, once we are able to pry her off and calm her down, we’re on our way back home.)

Wife: “I don’t get it, honey. What was so scary about that pony? You love to watch My Little Pony!”

Daughter: “That wasn’t my little pony. That was my BIG pony!”

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