As dawn breaks over the village, Tilly and I follow the path to a neighbor's field, where we find a herd of wild ponies who have strayed down from the moor.
We know this particular herd, which often grazes on the village Commons (where I can see them from my studio windows as I work), but Tilly and I are both surprised to find them here, shaggy little phantoms in the misty morning light.
As we cross the field, Tilly is curious but well trained. She keeps her distance, and they pay her no mind. As for me, they are gentle, affable, and patient as I walk among, camera in hand.
When I first lived in the village, on Lower Street, I would sometimes hear the unshod hooves of wild ponies clattering down the street below my bedroom window late at night...
...like fairy horses riding through the dark. And that's how I think of them still: fairy horses. Appearing and disappearing as if by magic.