Misty of Chincoteague - Chick Lit Hero Horse
When author Marguerite Henry published "Misty of Chincoteague" in 1947, she could hardly have envisioned creating an enduring cult of young girls who would adore the book and its real-life equine heroine. Today, these grown-up gals (with daughters and granddaughters in tow) make the Pilgrimage to Chincoteague Island, and adjacent Assateague Island, where wild ponies still wander.
There they will see a commemorative plaque and a statue, commissioned by the Misty of Chincoteague Foundation and erected in 1997. On Main Street, at the Island Roxy Theater, fans can find two horseshoe prints set in concrete, a relic from the 1962 movie premiere that Misty attended.
But the real attraction on the island is the real Misty, preserved and mounted.
For years Misty and her foal, Stormy -- also mounted -- were displayed at Beebe Ranch, which was bloated with sacred spots such as the kitchen where a pregnant Misty was harbored during something known as the "Ash Wednesday Storm of 1962." But in 2010 Misty and Stormy were moved to the former Oyster and Maritime Museum, rechristened the Museum of Chincoteague Island, a more central and well-trafficked spot for visitors.
The stuffed carcasses are fairly unusual tributes to animals romanticized by young, impressionable fans. We wonder if little girls really are thrilled -- or just horrified -- to finally come face-to-face with the stiff, glass-eyed Misty of Chincoteague.