The pretty palomino gazed out over the valley that had been home for as long as she could remember. She studied the familiar landscape, the river gurgling along it's rocky course, the lush green woodlands lower down and the open moorland above, the sweet perfume of the heather on the gentle breeze intoxicating her senses.

Chewing idly on her bit, her gaze moved to the people place below her, there seemed to be an unusually high level of activity, she thought she recognised the stable hands but she couldn't be sure. There was more activity over by the stable block that she shared with three other ponies.

People stuff didn't interest her much and she once again turned her attention back to the surrounding countryside. She watched as a group of rabbits played in the afternoon sunshine, they always provided her with entertainment with their antics.

A shrill whistle rent the air startling the rabbits and pony alike.


She looked for the source of the voice and spotted Mike, the head boy over by the gate.

"Come on Smokey, time to go" he called to her.

She took a last long look over her valley and realised then that this would probably be the last time she would enjoy this view. Was it only yesterday that Mike had told her she was going away, out of the valley and to some far place he called Merica. A tear formed and ran down her face. She turned from the view and slowly walked to the man waiting patiently at the gate.

"Come on girl, time to go"

She stood passively while he put her bridle on then clipped a lead rein on to walk her down to the waiting transport.

"Good, Mike's got Smokey. Is everything organised?" Fiona asked her companion.

"Yeah sis, Don's gonna drive the stock down to Glasgow this morning, the boat leaves on the tide about five"

"I wish we didn't have to do this, I like it here" Fiona lamented

"I know Fi but we always knew we might have to leave and that last incident was a bit too close for comfort" John McClintock stated.

"Damn hikers!" Fi spat.

Mike guided the palomino into the transporter and got her settled. Smokey was getting a bit twitchy; she'd only left the valley a few times previously, the finality of this trip now really hitting home. Mike stroked her mane to calm her down.

"There now Smokey, I'll see you in a couple of weeks and we'll soon get you ponies back into a routine"

She nuzzled his shoulder and let another tear form.

"I know girl" he consoled, "there'll be new things to see, new ponies to meet even"

"My god, McClintock wasn't kidding was he" the thickset man stated as he viewed his temporary charges.

"Sheesh Chuck, they make our stable look like weekenders" Mo replied

"Well let's get them settled in" Chuck decided

The two guys each took two pairs of reins and led the four ponies out of the box and across the yard to the stables.

Smokey was a bit skittery, as were her stable mates, Prancer, Blaze and Jemima. She looked about her new surroundings, squinting in the bright sunshine. They were heading towards a stable block where she could see that other ponies were already in residence, catching sight of one she was taken aback and pulled against her rein.

"Hey girl, easy there" Chuck admonished, then spotting where she was looking went on, "that's Tammy, you can get introduced later"

"Who's these Chuck?" Tammy asked

"I told you yesterday we woz looking after some stock for a few days"

While this exchange was going on Smokey was watching the people called Tammy. She was obviously people but she was wearing some sort of tack and not much else, very odd for a people!

"Someone sure likes their ponies" Tammy stated

"You saying we don't?" Mo asked

"Hell no, a gal couldn't ask fer better, I can't wait for the others to get a load of these"

"See ya later Tam" Chuck mentioned

"Bye Chuck, bye Mo, see you later girls"

This last confused the ponies a bit, why would a people say that? But as well trained as they were they followed the men to their temporary homes further along the stable block.

Tammy watched the little procession as it continued down the block not really believing what she was seeing. Hell in five years of working here and getting all round the US, she'd never seen any ponies that good!

Meanwhile back across the Atlantic.

"John Arthur McClintock you are charged with abduction, perversion of a minor, grievous bodily harm, extortion and tax evasion. How do you plead?"

"Not guilty" John stated

As the court proceedings continued John thought back to how he came to come to this.

"What do you mean you're pregnant?" Arthur McClintock raged

"What do you think I mean?" Fiona spat back

"Who's the father?" her father demanded

"Some guy I met at Uni."

"You don't even know who? I brought you up better than that" he fumed, "I suppose I've got to sort it out, I know a doctor in Aberdeen who owes me"

"Not an abortion Daddy!" Fiona shrieked

"What do you suggest then?"

"I don't know Daddy"

McClintock senior wasn't a bad man but this situation was 'virgin' territory!

"If an abortion is out we'll have to come up with something else"

"Yes Daddy"

"Who else knows?"

"No one yet"

"Well keep it like that for now"

McClintock's plan was risky and if anyone ever found there would be hell to pay. Like a lot of his social class, he entertained a few perversions, a bit of bondage and lately this had moved to getting into a bit of 'horse play'. People would do anything for enough money and finding willing players was surprisingly easy.

However Arthur wanted to go one step further than most of his peers in the genre, he would often dream of the perfect human horse. He realised that it was unlikely that he'd ever find a willing subject to put his ideas into practice, and whilst an option, abduction was somewhere he didn't want to go.

Fiona's baby might be his chance, if it turned out to be a boy it could go for adoption, just as he told Fiona. On the other hand, if it was a girl...

The baby was born at the family pile, amidst much secrecy. Of course John, Fiona's brother knew and the household but no one else. It was a girl so Arthur's plan span into action.

John remembered his reaction when his father, on his deathbed, took John into his confidence.

"Does Fi know?" he shouted

"Of course not. I'm only telling you now so you can look after the gel"

"What about the others, are they family too?" he spat, "tell me Dad"

"Calm down son"

"Yooz girls are really into this shit then" Tammy stated

What was this people talking about? Into what Smokey mused.

"You don't talk much do you?"

Prancer snickered in reply

"I guess not," Tammy said to no one in particular.

Smokey looked at the people called Tammy. She was blonde; a cascade of tight curls reached well down her back. Her almost naked body was encased in a parody of tack, all straps and buckles not serving any purpose other than decoration. The woman sported a tattoo of a prancing pony on her left shoulder blade and besides earrings, another ring adorned her right nostril.

The visiting ponies got on with washing each other while Tammy looked on. These gals were something else!

"So tell me Dad, the whole story"

"Okay son, best make yourself comfortable. Well the baby was taken to a cottage out on the estate"

"Hang on what about the authorities, didn't they get suspicious of a disappearing baby?"

"Why should they? The birth was never registered, Fi thought it was adopted, I even had her sign some fake papers. The only people who knew were myself and the woman who looked after the child. Eilean made sure that the gel didn't have any outside contact, no TV, no radio, not even much in the way of toys.

The child was, is, very bright, I began to have second thoughts on continuing but I did. I thought that if I was going to produce a 'real' pony girl I would need to start her young. So I had Eilean start her training when she was about three, nothing serious, really just encouraging her to pretend to be a horse. A light harness and reins and the child was away, galloping around, as happy as Larry."

"You pervert! Your own grandchild" John spat

"There was never anything like that, the child was well looked after, never abused" Arthur asserted

"Maybe not sexually but its still abuse"

"I suppose so. But I could have stopped even then."

"But you didn't"

"No I didn't." the old man hung his head before going on, "when the child was about five I arranged for the changes in her appearance to start."

"Her ears I take it"

"Yes her ears. This fellow in Holland did the work, he claimed to have done similar jobs before."

"So you, you chopped off the poor child's ears! And put those things on her head"

"I suppose technically that's true. Van Meerwen, that was his name, removed her outer ears and then grafted her new ears in place a few weeks later. Her pony ears are actually her own, the doctor reshaped them and fitted her with a state of the art microphone system, her hearing is actually better than it was before."

"That is sick" John stated

"The child was ecstatic, she was now a real pony, she kept saying she loved her new ears"

"Well she had little choice did she"

"I suppose not. She named herself Smokey after a horse in one of Eilean's stories; her eyes really lit up whenever anyone called her that. Anyway we started making other changes, she had all her piercings by the time she was ten, we used electrolysis to give her a mane and then she actually surprised us. Aye I remember it well"

"Well go on" despite himself John needed to know.

"Well she told Eilean that she wished she was pretty like the ponies in one of the books at the cottage. A palomino. So we started to make her into a permanent palomino by tattooing her. At about the same time Van Meerwen rang and said he had an idea for my pony. About her eleventh birthday the doctor came over and grafted a bit of scalp onto her tailbone."

"You mean to say that's not stuck on?"

"No, Smokey's tail is a real live bit of her"

"What about her feet?" John asked

"Yes her feet. Well she has been walking on her toes from the start, over the years her feet took on a sort of clubbed look, not very nice to look at I'm afraid. Her hooves are specially made and are pretty much the only option for her now"

"Poor girl" John lamented before his father went on

"By then she refused to talk, only making imitation knickers and snorts, I've not heard her talk for two years. It was obvious when we first started tacking her up that she was having trouble with the bit, so we removed several teeth for her. That's just about it, we finished her tattooing last Christmas and you recall her branding I take it"

John remembered watching the girl getting branded, a representation of the family arms right above her pubis.

"I can't believe that Smokey is my niece"

"I'm sorry son, it's all true, you've seen her yourself"

"So how old is she now?"

"She'll be sixteen in a fortnight"

"Why are you telling me all this now?"

"My time is nearly up, I want to make sure my granddaughter is looked after when I'm gone"

"What about Fi, shouldn't she know?"

"That's up to you"

"What about the others? The rest of your stable."

"They all volunteered, they are...indentured" Arthur supplied

"You mean they're slaves"

"Not at all! They 'want' to live like this. I'm just the catalyst that allowed it."

"So they are consenting adults?"

"Yes, as I said, they came to me"

"The court will now recess" the usher stated, "all stand"

John was returned to the cell to further contemplate his situation. It looked likely that he would get off on most of the counts against him due to a paucity of evidence. All the 'victims' were out of the country and were in any case volunteers. The exception was his niece, but there again she didn't exist! The prosecution had obviously thrown the case together, only the supposed tax evasion looked like it might stick.

He thought again about his stable, well he and Fi's stable. They were all safely out of the way in the American mid west on a pony ranch. Whatever the outcome of this court case, Fi was off to join her daughter and the others in America next week.

Of course Fi had lost it big time when Smokey's identity was revealed to her. By then of course old man McClintock was nearly two years gone and Smokey was eighteen. I'm not sure why but the thing that concerned Fiona most was her daughter's virtue! I could at least assure her on that score although I thought the old man had gone way too far. As soon as she started with periods he had another 'friend' perform a full hysterectomy and her sex was sealed leaving just a pee hole.

Fiona watched her daughter across the field. Yes she really was Smokey's mother. She hadn't believed John at first, she thought the girl was one of her fathers 'stable' of willing wannabe human equines. But then her brother showed her the scrapbook their father had kept of his granddaughter. As a small child Smokey was the spitting image of her mother, even now behind the tattooed face and Mohawk hair she could still see the family resemblance.

It had taken some getting used to, having a daughter like Smokey. Any semblance of a normal mother / daughter relationship was impossible but with the ranch up in Nevada she'd try. Poor John, the judge had not been kind and despite the lack of evidence, convicted him on several counts. Of course the kidnapping and associated charges had to be dropped, no one could find the supposed victims, or even evidence of their existence.


She twitched her ears, she recognised that voice.

"Smokey, here girl!"

Yes it was one of her people. She looked around the paddock to see where, ah over there! She cantered across to where Fiona waited.

"Smokey! Good girl" she offered her daughter some apple. The horse girl took a piece and Fiona hugged her close. "Come on Smokey, let's go to our new home"

Maddy Bell 28.12.03 © 2003

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