Illustration to story by Chris Buzelli

I read another Nebula nominee today, “Ponies” by Kij Johnson, available on-line here at It’s an awful little story, not because it’s badly written, but the end made me cover my mouth in horror.

In this world, every girl has a pony with wings, a unicorn horn and a voice. A time comes, as the girl gets older, when she and her pony are invited to a cutting-out party, where the girl has to cut out two of her pony’s three gifts. It’s more like cutting a doll; it doesn’t seem to physically hurt the ponies. Barbara and her pony Sunny are looking forward to their cutting-out party, but what happens is just devastating.

I understand that it’s a story about growing up, about the pressures to fit in and the tendency for girls to be downright cruel at times, but I almost wish I hadn’t read it. It’s well-written but so disturbing.

1,255 words 11/17/10

5 out of 5 stars

John hosts Short Story Monday at The Book Mine Set. Head over there to see what he and others have been reading.

I read “Ponies” on-line and the above is my honest opinion..


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