The DNA Match Case: A Pony Detective Story, Part I

M and his crew are back, but this time the investigation is focused on M. Read on to learn how his DNA plays a crucial role in the story. This is part one of three installments.

By N.A. Souer

M stomped his miniature sized hoof in frustration.

“Mousy,” he yelled over the stall partition, “the cousins have knocked over the router again.”

Mama Kitty’s sister was visiting with her two grand-kittens, and M was not happy about it. The young kittens ran up and down the barn rafters, using his computer wiring like trapeze swings. M was running low on patience. He kept telling himself they were only going to stay a few days. None-the-less, the bills had to get paid so the M & T Pony Detective agency had to keep operating despite the feline acrobatics going on above the staff’s heads.

M sensed somebody behind him. He turned from his stall computer desk, expecting to see his secretary, Sasha, standing in the doorway. Instead, his eyes met with a large, dark TB like horse, looking down at him.

“Are you Special Agent M&M?” the tall stranger asked.

“Who wants to know?” M asked, “And, how did you get by my secretary’s stall?”

“Your staff is a bit pre-occupied,” the big animal said, motioning down the barn aisle.

M glanced that way. His private investigator, Mousy, along with Mousy’s mother, Mama Kitty, Tweak, and the office secretary, Sasha, were busy trying to coax the delinquent kittens down from the rafters.

“My name is Special Agent Thunder,” the visitor said, bringing M’s attention back. “This is Special Agent Thai,” he added, acknowledging his partner standing beside him. “We are from NPSS.”

M knew the acronym well. It stood for Northland Pony Secret Service, where M had worked before starting his own private detective agency.

“That would be former Special Agent M&M. I retired several years ago,” M said.

“Yes, we see that in the in your personal records,” the tall bay said, “but something strange has come up, and we’d like to ask you a couple questions.”

“About what?” M pressed. “My employment history was considered classified.”

“Yes, and it still is, but like I said something out of the ordinary has come up and we need to verify information with you directly.” Special Agent Thunder paused, and then added, “Special Agent Thai and I both have top level clearance if you are concerned about your privacy.”

M hesitated, then asked cautiously, “What do you need to know?”

“Do you know who this filly is?” he asked, while Special Agent Thai moved closer with a photo for M to inspect.

M shook his head.

“No,” he said. “Who is she?”

“She was the victim in a cold case we’ve been assigned to re-open,” Special Agent Thunder explained, “Her name was Willow. She was a school horse that was pasture assaulted and kicked up pretty bad, then left for dead. The perpetrator was never caught. This happened back in the late 90s, so we are taking a second look using DNA technology.”

M snorted nervously. He now had a hunch where this was going.

Several months back, Mama Kitty had talked M into taking a DNA test. She had gotten interested in family genealogy research while recovering from her hip surgery. It all came about one day when things were slow at the barn office, and M confided in Mama Kitty that he had never known his mother.  Mama Kitty encouraged M to take a DNA test, but M was hesitant. In the end, and against M’s better judgment, he relented. Somehow M just could not say no to Mama Kitty, and he figured what harm could it do since he had been raised in a home for juvenile rescue ponies before being adopted by Grandpa Sonny and later going into the Pony Secret Service. But now, he was not so sure.

“We have discovered quite a number of DNA matches,” Special Agent Thunder continued, “but what is puzzling it that yours matches both the victim and the perpetrator.”

“There must be a mistake,” M said.

The big horse looked down at him with a serious expression.

“We consulted an expert in the field of DNA and you are a confirmed match to both parties.”

M shook his head, then softly snorted. He had been curious about his family background but never thought taking a DNA test would link him to a crime.

“So am I a suspect?” M asked.

“No, but we are here to ask your help in narrowing down possible suspects. We’d like to have you interview with a DNA genetic specialist,” the big horse said.

After M agreed to meet with their specialist the next day, they left the barn. M trotted down the aisle where his staff had just persuaded the kittens to come down with a can of tuna.

“New case?” Mousy asked as M approached.

“Not in the usual way,” M replied. “It seems your mother’s genealogy hobby has got me into a bit of a hassle.”

“How’s that?” Mousy asked, watching as Mama Kitty and her sister herded the kittens into an empty stall where there was a Kitty play set for the over energetic youth. “It’s a bit of a long story,” M said. “Let’s get the team together for a meeting while your Aunt looks after the little ones.”

Once the kittens were busy, everyone met in the feed room, which also doubled as the office conference room.

“We have a unique situation,” he began and then explained how his DNA had been matched to a cold case and what the special agents had requested. “Before I go down to the NPSS headquarters,” he concluded, “I want to know as much as possible about this case, and the use of DNA in cold cases.” He then assigned each member of his staff a task and the group gathered again a few hours later.

Stay tuned for Part II tomorrow… 

The real M. Photo by Nancy Souer.

N.A Souer (Nancy) got talked into submitting the first Pony Detective story by her mini horse, M&M, who fancies himself a writer. When Nancy explained to M that no one would believe a mini horse could write, he told her if she did not submit his stories under her name he’d dump her out of the cart on the next trail drive. LOL M (and Nancy) live in the south-metro area of MLPS- St. Paul and when M is not writing, he enjoys going with Nancy to visit nursing homes and competing in agility and driven dressage classes offered in on-line horse shows. M also shares ownership of his person with his barn mate, Sasha. Together, they keep Nancy busy and out of trouble, or in trouble depending on how you see it.  🙂