"How to argue with a pony." Assateague Island by phastphreddy

Assateague Island Travel Guide: 29 reviews and 62 photos

There are plenty of warning signs. The ponies of Assateague are wild animals; they kick, bite, and can be generally unfriendly. You shouldn't get too close, and you shouldn't try and pet them. Enjoy them from a safe distance, but don't bother them.

So what happens when they come up and bother you?

I like to lie on a beach towel and read a book when I'm not in the water. On this occasion I happened to be with someone who liked the same thing. We each had a book, though both of the books belonged to me.

We had been lying out for some time, and I had drifted off into a pleasant state of half-sleep. I'd probably been on the same page for a half of an hour. At about the same time, a small group of kids had been molesting a pony that had wandered onto the beach. They had followed (or chased) it up and down a short section of beach several times. The pony passed us several times but never bothered us, ponies rarely bother people who have no food anywhere near them. I never really paid the pony much mind, thought I wished that the parents of the kids would stop them from bugging the creature.

Being half asleep, and quite happy at that, I didn't pay much attention when my companion told me that the pony was coming. I even blew her off the second time she said, despite her greater emphasis. Then I opened my eyes and looked up, into the pony’s eyes. He was right above me, and not wanting to get my head stepped on I jumped up pretty quickly.

I stood back and the pony walked onto my beach towel, stepping on one of my two books. That wasn’t too bad, but then he picked up the other one with his mouth and tried to eat it.

I snatched the book out of his mouth, which perhaps upset him a little. Now, I vaguely remembered that I'm not supposed to get to close to the ponies, but he got into my face first. He approached me and I didn't back down. I ended up nearly nose-to-nose with him, yelling at me that he needed to leave me alone and move on down the beach. I wagged my finger, pointed, and gestured but to no avail. He didn't seem to regard me too highly, but he eventually left without my book (or my finger, for that matter). That may have not been my most intelligent encounter with a wild animal.

  • Intro Updated Feb 28, 2004
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