By: Blonde Two
Up on Dartmoor, if a motorist driving in the opposite direction flashes his lights at you; it doesn’t mean that he finds you irresistibly attractive (even if you are Blonde and in a sports car), it usually means that there is stock (usually Dartmoor ponies) in the road.
On Friday, I had a very amusing pony moment. I had slowed down, as there were clearly ponies and foals by the side of the road. As I got nearer, the group started to wander across the road in front of me (not unusual) so I stopped and waited. They all moved safely to the other side of the road and started grass munching again; apart, that is, from Fred.
Fred (not necessarily his real name) was a beautiful tan and white foal, who matched his mother, but didn’t necessarily want to follow her. He obviously had a thing about little blue Mazdas, because he came right up to the front of mine and started nibbling it.
I couldn’t think of a thing to do about the situation, so I just sat there while the traffic piled up behind me (‘piled up’ might be a bit strong for Dartmoor!) People coming in the opposite direction started taking photos, causing more car queues; and still I didn’t know what to do. What is the right thing? Beeping my horn would have seemed impolite, it was after all Fred’s moor not mine. Getting out and shooing him away seemed equally rude, he was only showing a polite interest and didn’t actually manage to eat the number plate. I could have driven very gently on, by Fred was a determined soul and I didn’t want to risk hurting him.
So I just sat and waited, I didn’t even take a photo; something I regret now, but it was a moment that didn’t warrant spoiling. Fred eventually decided that wing mirrors, not number plates were the tasty part of Mazdas and I was able to edge my way past him.
There is a serious message to this very cute moment. Dartmoor ponies are killed on Dartmoor roads every year. Some of them are there because they have been encouraged, by feeding, to seek out the public and cars. No matter how persistent they are (witness Fred), please don’t feed the ponies, you are putting them at risk if you do.