Gertrude vs. My Little Pony

Gertrude's Diary

Beware the insidious evil that lurks beneath the Christmas Tree: My Little Pony.

My experience with My Little Pony began about 4 years ago when my daughter reached an age when well-intentioned people began to give them as gifts. Unlikely-coloured animals with unusually coquettish postures began to appear around the house, adding an exotic touch to the ranks of toys.

As my daughter has grown, she has become aware of the enormous range of ponies and accessories available, and also of the importance of each pony”s identity. Early on in our acquisition of ponies I threw away some packaging without first learning the name of the pony it had contained. As a result, I yesterday spent 40 minutes on the internet searching for websites that could help me identify the pony in question. Luckily Wikipedia had a link to a site with a comprehensive listing of ponies, so now we have a name for Beachberry. She can join Brights Brightly, Sunnydaze, and the other outlandishly named bits of plastic.

The entry in Wikipedia also revealed the history of Ponyville, which apparently has its own monarchy. Reading further, I learned that there was some mystery attached to the identity of the heir to the Ponyville throne, until it was discovered that Wysteria was the Princess Royal. Her first act as ruler was to declare all the other ponies princesses too, which has a nice egalitarian feel to it but seems to altogether miss the point of a feudal system.

A recent search on YouTube revealed some episodes of My Little Pony Tales (along with dozens of home made “Pony Apocalypses” featuring pony burnings, drownings, and gang wars). The episode I watched with my daughter was from the widely scorned 1992 production which omitted the fantastic elements that featured in the earlier series. I hope a magical setting suits the ponies better; there was something very disturbing about watching them behave like miniature trophy wives. Witness this exchange at the aerobics class.

Pony 1: (puffing) I”m outta gas. I have to stop.

Pony 2: That blueberry muffin you had for breakfast must be slowing you down.

Pony 3: And the one you had for lunch, too.

Much giggling from several ponies.

Horrid little creatures.

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The official Hasbro My Little Pony website is all saccharine pop music and sickly sweet pink castles. Well, pink everything, really. Pink flowers. Pink insects. Pink bees. Pink food. As one friend commented after some Christmas pony-shopping for her niece, “I thought my eyes were going to bleed”.

I just hope they don”t turn feral.


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