Friday, January 27, 2012

Thelwell's Naughty Ponies

When I first got Blessi, the stable owner told me that Blessi looked and sometimes acted just like one of Thelwell's naughty ponies.  I had never heard of Thelwell.  She lent me her beloved Thelwell books and I laughed out loud at the cartoon antics of the little English girl Penelope and her pony Kipper.  Kipper had the thick body, somewhat short legs, and long mane and tail that looked like a cartoon Icelandic.  I promptly went out and got my own copies of Angels on Horseback and Pony Panorama

Thelwell drew his first pony cartoon for Punch in 1953.  Per the official Thelwell site, "...Angels on Horseback, was published in 1957, and was inspired by his observations of two hairy ponies - 'small and round and fat and of very uncertain temper' - who grazed in a field next to his house. They were owned by 'two little girls about three feet high who could have done with losing a few ounces themselves.... As the children got near, the ponies would swing round and present their ample hindquarters and give a few lightning kicks which the children would side-step calmly as if they were avoiding the kitchen table, and they had the head-collars on those animals before they knew what was happening. I was astonished at how meekly they were led away; but they were planning vengeance - you could tell by their eyes' " (para 4).

Although you seldom hear of an Icelandic kicking out at people, the Iceys certainly have attitude and can be creatively naughty.  If you want to make your own comparisons, you can check out some cartoons at the Thelwell site.


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