This post is inspired by the current theme of The Waiting Blog – it’s a celebration of back-in-the-day nostalgia.
My love of fantasy manifested early in my life, and some of my favorite toys that I first remember (outside of my babydolls) were My Little Ponies. (Side note – I am glad that I don’t have a young daughter, because I’d be embarrassed and a little scared to buy her the new so-called My Little Ponies. Of course I mean no offense to you if you like the new look. To each their own).
My sister and my best friend also both loved Ponies, so if the three of us got together, we had a wonderful herd of at least a gajillion Ponies, give or take a few. True to my storytelling nature, I loved the complex games we played, the Pony characters that developed, the worlds we built.
I had two of the Moondancer Ponies. One I’d bought, then got the other as a birthday gift; but instead of returning it, I kept it. And thusly, the twin sisters Moony and Dancer were born. I kept the tail of one of them braided and the other loose to tell them apart.
When the My Little Pony babies were introduced, and later the Pony Big Brothers line, I was thrilled, because now at last I could have a nuclear family. Even at a tender age, I somehow understood that in a society of nothing but girl Ponies, there could be no babies. So I set up for myself a blue mommy Pony, a pink baby Pony, and a white boy Pony wearing a fireman’s hat. All was now right with the world. And the fireman’s hat was especially cool.
I had a physically challenged Pony, just to add another dose of realism to this make-believe world. She was one of those fuzzy Ponies, and she was in a rearing position and came with a clear stand. Because of the fuzz inside the holes in her feet, she wouldn’t stay upright on the stand properly, so I played with her down on all fours. Well, that didn’t work so well either, because all of her legs were arranged for a fancy prancing rear. So consequently, she either had to have a block stuck under one front leg so she could balance, or she had to perpetually lean against a wall. The wall was usually easier (for me), so that Pony often got left out of the grand across-the-room-and-down-the-hall adventures.
Then my Pony herd grew again when my friend and I started collecting Breyer horses, and we sometimes played with the Breyers and the Ponies together. Because a pink Pony with green balloons on its rump goes perfectly with a life-like maquette of Secretariat. Good times.
My Little Ponies were just one of my childhood fancies that shaped me into the writer I am today. Never underestimate the power of childhood magic and playing pretend!