Diddy Do, a shetland pony who for years hoofed with the best of them on the stage in Scunthorpe pantos, has hit the ripe old age of 38. You can see Diddy here, enjoying being handfed apple mush in her retirement. Jane Badger has a full set of covers of Gillian Baxter’s “Pantomime Ponies” series, featuring the creamy palominos Magic and Moonshine and their human friends, Ian and Angela, here. I wish I’d known as a child that there were four more books to read, as I dearly loved Pantomime Ponies. I have a 1982 edition with wonderful illustrations by Elisabeth Grant.
“The orchestra struck up a rumba, and Buttons dropped his hand to his side, moving so that he could touch Magic’s flank. Magic pricked his ears, and as Buttons began to dance a rumba the pony began to swing his hind quarters from side to side as though he, too, was dancing. The tune changed to a waltz, and Magic and Buttons circled the stage, twirling round in circles to the music.
The fairy story enchantment of the stage worked on Magic as well, and Angela found it easy to imagine that he really was a fairy pony, part of the mysterious forest, and not one of Uncle Arthur’s pantomime ponies at all.”