The Mystery of the Wild Ponies created by Gertrude Chandler Warner
The Aldens are going to the Outer Banks for a vacation, that’s OBX if you’re not familiar with the lingo. They’re going to an area called Corolla. They are excited to learn that wild horses still frequent the area. The Aldens go around meeting their immediate neighbors. There is an artist. There are college kids. There is an older man, a fisherman. He tells the kids about a pony that is sighted only every once in a while. He will come back to claim his rightful place as the head of the herd.
The Aldens do see the ponies, at first, just in a pen. Most of the ponies are kept in a pen by the government. They learn that there is another such pen on Okracoke island, at the southern end of the Outer Banks.
One day, one of the ponies goes missing from the herd. Other things start to go missing as well. A sandwich goes missing. Some other things go missing. Could a seagull have taken an entire sandwich?
Soon it is made known that a boy has also gone missing, but some of the Alden children have seen a boy. Maybe the missing boy and the missing pony are connected.
What I liked
I’m actually surprised about the accuracy of some of the information about the ponies in this book. Those ponies are real and, yes, they do roam wild, but, yes, some of them are also kept in pens. You can actually buy tours to go to the beach and see the horses that run there. The horses of Corolla are a real thing.
The towns mentioned in this book are also real. I’ve been to one or two of them. I’ve also been to that pony pen on Okracoke Island. The author of this book was correct in saying that the Outer Banks ponies are descended from mustangs.
The Outer Banks is an interesting place to go visit, especially if you likes wild ponies, stories about entire groups of people who go missing, and pirate tales.
What I didn’t like
I’m beginning to think that there is some kind of formula for the people the children meet in each book. It seems there’s always at least one someone who is grouchy and another someone who is fun, but stretches the truth, and then there is almost always another kid somewhere in the whole mess.
I wouldn’t mind going on a vacation to the Outer Banks.
Would you like to see ponies in the wild?
What if a horse went missing? Do you care?