A tale of the moors, the ponies, spring and the natural world in all its glory…. mix in new born pony, cuckoos calling, copious amounts of chilled fizz, red wine, a barbecue, camping, bodmin moor, star lit night, worn out from running dogs even a little bit of sunshine and you have the recipe for a happy couple of campers. Oh yes, and the phones dont have signal, Bliss…………. The images in the slideshow are a taster of what greeted us when we arrived. In our ‘usual’ camping spot was a small herd of Bodmin ponies, including a mare who had obviously just given birth. All the other ponies were standing and/or lying around, waiting, but for what? We stopped the van, got out and sat down near them, waiting to see. The foal, clearly not yet in control or command of its legs, struggled unsuccessfully to get up, so we all waited, and waited, ponies and people. At first the foal gave up the struggle to stand and laid down flat, then the mare laid down beside her, all quiet then, except for the cuckoo, oh the joys of spring! Thoughts of intervention (was the foal ok…..) vs nature taking its course were intruding when one of the white ponies had obviously had enough and whinnied and trotted over the the mother, neck arched, almost prancing, the mother sprang up to protect the foal, kicked out at the intruder, this startled the foal and and after a few false starts finally go to it’s feet, still wobbly, but all four hooves nonetheless on terra firma. What followed was wonderful to watch, the first (less patient pony) went nose to nose with the foal (greeting?) then one by one so did each of the other ponies. All done without any further noise, or fuss. Once all the ponies had greet the new born they all drifted off and eventually the new born had a first suckle then mare and foal wandered off into the gorse. Amazing……… and a privilege to witness. One of many magical moments up on the moors. I’ve done a bit of research since, drier facts than our experience and not convinced the impatient pony was a stallion and we saw contact from the other ponies within hours of the birth. But the curiosity was certainly there. The arrival of a new herd member arouses great curiosity in all other horses, and fathers play an important protective role for they consistently circle the mare with her newborn foal and keep all other individuals at bay….(Feh, 1999). The first “stranger” to be allowed contact with the new born foal is its older sibling, sister or brother alike, but only after two to three days, once the foal has learned to follow its mother like a shadow (Murbach, 1976).