The Alien Apple Orchard Case: A Pony Detective Story — Part I

M and the crew are back! This time the M&T Pony Detective Agency is looking into the unknown — the alien unknown. Read on for more!

By N.A. Souer

The giant spacecraft hovered over the barn. Bright light illuminated the building and surrounding paddocks.

“Alien puddle monsters,” Tweak cried out, darting down the aisle. “Run for your life!”

Sasha bolted for her stall and tried to hide under the manger. Unfortunately, her QH backside did not quite fit.

“What the heck just happened?” Mousy asked, coming out of the feed room. “All the computers cut out.”

“The aliens are after us,” Mama Kitty cried in alarm. “Call M, he’ll know what to do.”

“I tried, but my phone is dead,” Mousy told his mom.

Suddenly, the bright light overhead turned off. Everything returned to normal.


The M&T Pony Detective Agency had been hired by their neighbor, Otis Ritter, an elderly Percheron pony who ran a carrot and apple business across the field. Mr. Ritter was the third generation of his family to run the business and after a recent diagnosis of cancer from the vet he feared he’d be the last. Mr. Ritter was a widower and had lost his son and daughter-in-law several years back in a barn fire. He did have a college-aged granddaughter, Ellie May, and she was his pride and joy. Although, he was skeptical she’d have any interest in continuing the family business.

The trouble began a few months back when supposed UFO sightings were seen in the apple orchard, hovering over the trees. There had also been a few mysterious incidents of poison showing up in apple treats sold at the farm’s gift shop. Needless to say, this type of activity was not good for the Ritter family’s business. Local residents had even started to say the property was haunted, but M had other ideas. He just couldn’t prove it. His staff had been on the case for a month already with no breaks. Mama Kitty was working undercover at the farm’s gift shop, while Sasha worked out in the warehouse packaging apple treats for shipment.


When M returned to the barn an hour later, his staff was still shaken up. They met him at the door and all tried to talk at once.

“It was right over the barn,” Tweak said.

“It was a big silver thing,” Sasha said

“The power cut out on all the computers,” Mousy said, “and there was no cell service.”

“There were so many bright lights,” Sasha said.

“It was terrifying,” Mama Kitty said.

M snorted, then stomped his miniature-sized hoof in order to get silence.

“Come on,” he said to his staff. “Aliens? Really? Look around. What would aliens want with a few barn cats, a bunch of middle-aged geldings, and a menopausal mare?”

“Maybe they’re trying to scare us off the case?” Tweak said.

“That’s possible,” M said. “But I’m not about to be intimidated by a bunch of thugs, regardless if they’re from outer space or not.”

“Well, I don’t know about aliens,” Mousy said, “but I can tell you when it happened it was like a mega-power surge hit the barn’s IT network.”

Mama Kitty looked at M.

“Where were you all this time?” she asked, upset that M had not been there during the whole scary incident.

“I had to go to the county records office,” M explained. “Our detective license was about to expire, and I had to get it renewed or we’d be out of business.”

Mama Kitty hesitated, then said, “After all the trouble with this case, maybe we should think about going out of business.”

M snorted.

“Not after I just paid the renewal fee for another year,” he said, then asked, “Did anyone get a look at this supposed spaceship?”

“It was outside my stall window,” Sasha said. “It was a big oval thing, like our water tank. It hovered over the barn, then took off towards the swamp, and then just vanished.”

“Let’s take a look outside,” M said, walking toward the door. The rest of his team cautiously followed. Outside, M sniffed at the air and looked up at the tree limbs over the barn.

“Look at that,” M said. “Did any of the apple trees get singed like that over at the orchard?”

“I don’t know,” Mousy said. “I never looked at the tree limbs.”

“I sure wished I knew how they were doing this spaceship thing,” M said, shaking his head in frustration.

“I’ve got a theory if you’re interested,” Mousy said, “but we’ll have to go over to Ritter’s farm in order for me to show you.”

“Lead the way,” M said

Ten minutes later they stood in the utility shed on the West end of the orchard.

“So, here’s what I am thinking,” Mousy said, pointing a paw over at an odd set-up of junk in the far corner. “Apparently this shed is only used for storage, so hardly anyone ever comes in here. I found this the other night when I was snooping around after the last UFO sighting in the orchard.”

“What am I looking at?” M asked.

“At first glance it looks like just an old water tank, that someone recently painted a weird, shiny color.”  Mousy paused, and then pointed over to a pile of dirt with shiny speckles. “Only to make it even more strange, they mixed the paint with that.”

“What is it,” M said, stepping closer to give it a sniff.

Mousy darted forward and stopped him.

“Don’t get too close,” he warned. “Unless I miss my guess, it’s nuclear dust, a byproduct of the power industry that looks like specks of glass.”

“So, what’s it doing here?” M asked.

“I suspect someone mixed it with that paint,” Mousy said, pointing over to some half used paint cans, “then applied it to the water tank in order to it make it refract light.”

“So,” M pressed, “what does that have to do with our case?”

“Don’t you get it?” Mousy pointed over at a large mirror, projection light and camera set-up in the opposite corner. “If someone shinned that projection camera at the tank, then aimed the mirror in the direction of our barn, for example, it would look like a giant, oblong object in the sky with all kinds of bright lights.”

“So, you’re telling me Sasha really did see a flying water tank?”

“She saw the projection of one,” Mousy said.

M shook his head.

“And, I thought she had drank too much of that fermented, apple diet stuff,” he said, then asked. “What about the singed leaves on the trees by our barn?”

“My best guess is that it was caused by residual heat from the nuclear dust. That’s why all the sightings have been short in duration. If the projected light lasted for any length of time they’d risk starting fires.”

“Aliens wouldn’t care about starting fires,” M said, thinking out loud, “but drug dealers would. It might burn up their profits” He paused, then looked over at Mousy. “But why would a bunch of light cause our computers to cut out?”

Mousy thought a moment.

“The only logical possibility,” he finally said, “is that there was enough residual magnetic energy reflected in the light to temporarily disrupt our power.”


The next day, M. Tweak, and Mousy were busy researching this new theory for the case.

“Hey M,” Mousy called out from his cubicle in the tack room. “Did you see this?”

M trotted up the aisle to the doorway.

“See what? “ M asked, as Tweak came up behind him.

Mousy motioned to his computer. Tweak read the headline on the screen, “Apple Orchard Heiress Returns to Family Business.”

“Mr. Ritter didn’t tell us his granddaughter was going to take over the orchard,” Mousy said.

“Wow,” Tweak said, looking at the picture on the computer screen, “Ellie May Ritter and Sasha could be twins.”

“Yeah,” Mousy said, “they do look alike.”

“Mr. Ritter did not say she was coming home from Pony College, either.” M said, then glanced at the image on the screen and added, “It makes sense when you think about it. Since he probably has more days behind him than ahead, he’d want his family close by.” M turned to Tweak, “Any word from your friend at the State crime lab?”

“Yeah,” Tweak answered. “He said the sample was definitely laced with a fatal amount of FB powder.”

M stomped his foot and grimaced. “I was afraid of that,” he said.

Fenta-Bute, also known as FB powder on the street, was the latest craze in illegal, designer drugs in the equine community. The substance had anti-inflammatory properties, but also caused a lot of undesired side effects including hallucinations, violent behavior and pulmonary embolisms which often resulted in sudden death.

“Let me make some phone calls,” M said, “and see if there’s any known drug rings in this area.”

Stay tuned for Part II tomorrow… 

About N.A. 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.  🙂 

The real life M after winning an online show in the UK (that’s why the ribbons are red instead of blue).