If you ever read Misty of Chincoteague by Marguerite Henry, you will undoubtedly remember the part where Paul and Maureen Beebe do chores to raise money to buy their dream horse, the Phantom, at the Pony Penning Week auction. Last week I got to witness firsthand the drama of the real Chincoteague foal auction. I was there to promote my Marguerite Henry biography, Marguerite, Misty and Me. (I do hope you'll read it--CLICK HERE to grab a copy of your very own.)
I say drama, because there was an array of emotions I felt throughout the event. First I was in love with all the adorable foals. Then I was sad because they were newly separated from their dams. Their little whinnies kind of broke my heart. But then I thought about how all young creatures must be weaned at some point. If the foals weren't auctioned to find homes to love them, wild Chincoteague Ponies would overrun Assateague Island. No one wants that.
I had two friends who were bidding on foals. I felt the anticipation and tension of "Will they get the winning bid?" (They did.)
Each sweet foal brought out seemed to be cuter than the next. I fell in love over and over. Their fluffy mohawk manes and long, spindly legs and pretty eyes--they were all like living works of art.
I'm the happy owner of a retired Thoroughbred racehorse. I'm way too tall for a pony, but I will say, I did think about which one I would bid on (if I were shopping). It was a beautiful day to relive the dream of a story--drink in the sights, smells and sounds Marguerite Henry wrote about in her classic book Misty.
If you've never been to Chincoteague Island, the beautiful seaside town made famous by Marguerite Henry, you should definitely go.