Probably my favorite part of watching the storm coverage yesterday (for hours, obsessively, swaddled cozily in survivor’s guilt out here in Seattle) was when CNN, scrambling for new Sandy updates, took a lengthy detour to discuss adorable ponies.
At one point, the field reporter—I think it was Ali Velshi?—heard that the town of Chincoteague and nearby Assateague Island were being flooded and battered by winds, so he paused his storm coverage to explain the entire plot of the 1947 children’s pony-novel Misty of Chincoteague. WHILE STANDING WAIST-DEEP IN ANGRY, HOWLING OCEAN FLOODS IN THE MIDDLE OF AN ATLANTIC CITY INTERSECTION.
The anchor then responded with a detailed history of the feral Chincoteague ponies, which (if I remember correctly) included the phrase, “They love to roll around in the sea oats.”
Anyhoo, if you—like CNN—have been worrying about the fate of the ponies, officials say that they are (probably) fine:
Thornton said the refuge manager on Assateague told him there was no sign of the ponies, meaning they likely were still hunkered down in sheltered areas of the 37-mile-long island. They typically head to higher ground during tidal surges, he said.
“They’re smarter than most people sometimes,” Thornton said. “They kind of got a mind of their own. They know where they need to go.”
The last time ponies died in a storm was the Ash Wednesday nor’easter that pummeled Assateague and Chincoteague 50 years ago.
PHEW. STAY SAFE, PONIES. (And humans.)