On a grassy field in the town of Lincoln, Massachusetts rocking horses keep appearing. They started showing up on the field as early as 30 years ago, when kids used to run a lemonade stand there. The stand vanished but the horses stayed and their number has steadily grown, as if the wooden steeds are reproducing themselves. (Actually, not all the horses are wooden. There are also plastic models.) As of 9/2016, more than 30 hobby horses stand in Lincoln, arranged in a semi-circle. They have been given the name of “Ponyhenge.” At Christmas lights are draped around them. Sometimes they are rearranged to look like a static merry-go-round without music or motion. At other times, like the Kentucky Derby, they are put into “racing” positions. No one knows who originally placed them there or who moves them. For the locals it’s like a community art project, tinged with the allure of mystery. Nobody ever steals or damages the horses. Their population is always replenished, never decreased.
Sherlock Holmes, a character in Annabelle Troy’s novel Jane Eyre Gets Real, has spent hours mulling over Ponyhenge. He has ruled out bored housewives, drugged-out kids, former carnival owners, even space aliens. Just this morning he came up with a solution. Holmes knows precisely who is behind the hobby horse circle and their motive. So here it is–but wait! Sherlock has been known to keep secrets even from Dr. Watson and Queen Victoria. It has occurred to him that the lovely wooden and plastic horses so artlessly arranged, protected within their circle as if by magic, should stay a mystery. Alone, each horse is only a discarded piece of junk. But together they form a hopeful message of beauty, unity and delight. As only the greatest detectives know, some mysteries are better left unsolved.