Fiction is Stranger Than Truth

Or something like that.

So I’ve beeDSC_0482n writing about our quest to find the wild horses of Chincoteague – a phenomenon made famous by the children’s classic Misty of Chincoteague. You can visit the Chincoteague Museum which has many Misty artifacts … and in fact, Misty herself stuffed and standing there as big as life. We didn’t go to the museum. The downtown square also has a statue of Misty. In other words, everywhere you look in town – you see Misty or books about Misty or mugs or …

Which made it quite a surprise when I read about the author Marguerite Henry and her love for this Assiteague horse whom she met on the island and her intrigue that the horse’s markings included a map of the United States on her side. Because after Mrs. Henry met Misty, she had the horse shipped to her farm and that’s where she wrote Misty and the other five Misty books. Neighborhood children would visit the horse and come to Misty’s birthday parties.

Where did all this happen?

Not in Chincoteague – not even in Virginia.

No – this all happened in Wayne, Illinois.

Seriously? I go through Wayne on the way to work. So I did some research because I figured Misty is a famous horse and somewhere in Wayne it must say something about her …

Oh, wait a minute! The meadow where Misty lived is now a “natural area” set aside for nature. A meadow I have been passing on the way to work for the past 20 years.

I took this picture this morning. Who knew?

I think the book should be called Misty of Illinois.

(After 10 years. Mrs. Henry did ship Misty back to Chincoteque where the horse lived until she died … and now stands stuffed in the museum.) FullSizeRender-2

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