When a caller reported a "unicorn-like" animal galloping down an open Central Valley road, the California Highway Patrol suspected someone was high on hallucinogenic drugs.
But then officers met Juliet -- a snow-white, 600-pound Shetland pony with a prosthetic horn and a fuzzy pink bridle.
The wannabe unicorn twice bolted from a photo shoot in Madera Ranchos on Wednesday, leading CHP officers on a lengthy, if not enchanted, pursuit.
It was around 2:30 p.m. when a dispatcher first alerted the nearest CHP officer to an apparent mythical creature at large.
"Initially we thought it might be somebody out there on drugs, seeing things," said CHP spokesman Josh McConnell. "It was a little unreal to hear calls of a unicorn running around on the roadway.
This time, "it was a little more difficult to capture the pony-slash-unicorn," McConnell said.
It took officers three and half hours to round up the pony, using a helicopter with thermal imaging to track down Juliet in an orchard. Then, they needed to use one of the pony's friends, a horse, to help bring her out of hiding. The horse whinnied to Juliet, who whinnied back and then ran to her friend, Boos said.
"The unicorn is in custody," Boos heard on the police radio. As soon as she heard that, she called to tell her 5-and-a-half-year-old daughter, who rides Juliet. Her daughter, Tatum, had been frantic when Juliet ran away, she said.
Boos said she doesn't frequently hold photo shoots with Juliet, but she does them because "the little girls just love it," she said. She typically dresses up Juliet with a plush satin horn attached to a pink halter. There's usually a wreath or garland around her neck, but it went missing during the chase.
"Never to be seen again, I'm sure," Boos said with a laugh.
Response by Meg Langford
I am not amused. This is very irresponsible journalism. It is irresponsible journalism because it is “responsible journalism”. We all had a chance, for one fleeting, magical moment, to believe that Unicorns and fairies and leprechauns and magic all really do exist, but noooooo, these so called “responsible” journalists---pandering to all those niggling, nitpicking organizations who stodgily champion perverse and impossible notions like “Accuracy In Media” over more wonderful ideals like whimsy and make-believe--just HAD to tell us “the truth”, didn’t they? They just had to rip away the thin veil that separates truth from fantasy.
Who the heck do they think they are, anyway? Well I, for one, choose to believe that Juliet really is a UNICORN, and that she was just identified as a pony because the government (which controls the media) can’t afford to have us believing in Magical Things, because if we all became Wizards and White Witches and such, that would take away the government’s power and destroy their plans for World Domination. I am convinced that Roger Ailes is behind this entire Unicorn dehorning kerfuffle.
And every good conspiracy theorist know that Charles and David Koch not only own a whole mystical forest full of unicorns, but they go riding sometimes in the evenings and kill a Unicorn and skewer it and serve it at shadowy ultra-conservative Illuminati fundraising barbecues—with fricasseed fairies for appetizers. http://raincoaster.com/…/…/01/mummified-fairy-remains-found/ (And by the way, in those news photos of Juliet with the little girl, where are the little girl’s fairy wings, hmmm?)
I don’t get it with the news, these days. Candidates get away with a hundred lies a day, and they each live in their own little fantasy world, and you cynical gazetteers cavalierly let them get away with all of that, but oh, oh, no, with this One little Unicorn you have to cry fraud? Haven’t any of you Fourth Estaters ever read “The Glass Menagerie”? Well I’m not buying your government complicit plot. Unicorns are real, dammit. (Cue Peter Pan music and children everywhere chanting, ‘I do believe in fairies. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3NSQ3mgstY4 )
I do believe in Unicorns, fairies, leprechauns, woodnymphs, shapeshifters, genies in bottles, incubi, succubi, Angels, Atlantis, Micomicon, Whoville, and Hogwarts and the Hundred Acre Wood and String Theory and the Shadow World of Things. What I refuse to believe is that Dame Edna is a man. You gonna go investigate that next, intrepid reporters? I am Meg Langford. And now I have to go put magical hexes on journalists who ruin Unicorn fantasies for kids, large and small.
Post script: The police officially called it in as having “A Unicorn in Custody”, they are sworn peacekeepers and the police never lie.