I’ve been thinking about looking into buying or renting a pony. Well, it’s just an idea I woke up with last night.

Asking around, I’ve been shocked to find that almost no one has a pony to rent.

I’ve been searching Facebook at night before I go to bed, and so far, the search has been fruitless.

Actually, you’re probably wondering why a man my age would want a pony anyway.

Then someone you know might say, “J.P. Devine wants a pony.”

“Oh, for God’s sake, what’s he up to now? A pony? The poor soul just lost the love of his life. He doesn’t drink or smoke. He’s always been weird, and he has a cockatiel for a pet. Now he wants a pony?”


I wrote about the picture shown here years ago on these pages. That’s me and the pony. I’m the one in the blue slack suit.

J.P. Devine is shown on a pony in an undated photo. Photo courtesy of J.P. Devine

During the Great Depression, this fella walked the streets with a pony and a box camera, and charged a nominal price to give mothers a print of their child sitting on the pony, to put on their piano. My mother, always a sucker for a guy with a pony, bought one. What struck me then was the expression on her face when she saw this man in a tattered suit and fedora with a camera and a pony.

She whispered his name while making the sign of the cross. My sister Eileen said, “He was in St. Boniface’s dancing class with me, the poor man. Where do you suppose he got that pony?”

Now, as I survive on what I do as a humorous scribe for these papers, I find myself alone in this big house full of echoes, trying to come up with a new column.
So I’m thinking, what else would a lonely widower do to fill the summer afternoons?

Then it dawned on me. I could get me a pony, buy a fedora, wear my one good seersucker suit, and, with my iPhone camera, plod the streets of my neighborhood and take pictures of kids sitting on my pony!

Of course, everyone now has an iPhone camera, but who has a pony?


The charge would be minimal, just enough to pay for the pony (which I would name “Amy” after that more successful columnist, Amy Calder).

I could simply keep “Amy” the pony and bunk her next to the Prius in the garage on a mound of a straw.

In the fall, I would occasionally ride her up and down Main Street. Wouldn’t that be a hoot?

I could tie her up to the tree next to the famed Paul J. Schupf Art Center, and entertain passing folks with an old routine about Roy Rogers talking to his horse Trigger, until the police showed up to clear the crowd.

This brings up some routine questions I should consider. What in the world does a pony eat, how much does it cost, and where do I get it? Walmart or Home Depot?

The same for the bed of hay. There are farmers about who provide that for their cattle, don’t you think?

This could grow. I could do a show at the old Opera House doing rope tricks and telling old Will Rogers jokes.

Is there anyone out there who has a pony that can carry a man who weighs 163 pounds? Let me know.

J.P. Devine is a Waterville writer. 

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