Every so often Stephen King will produce a short story that is not scary or thrilling or heart-stopping and that is, instead, mature literature. “My Pretty Pony” sounds like a an odd horror parody of My Little Pony, but isn’t. It is actually a very simple, moving story as a man looks back on his time as a young boy and the last words he shared with his grandfather before he died, in which his grandfather waxed poetic about time and the way it goes too fast during good moments and too slow during bad ones, and gives his grandson the advice that he should focus and slow time during these good moments, into what he coins as “My Pretty Pony” moments, although he never truly explains what that means.
Come to think of it, it’s kind of weird that Stephen King short story books have no discernible theme aside from ‘stories written by Stephen King.’ If you picked up a book of horror short stories by random authors and smack in the middle was a heartfelt story with literary appeal. You’d wonder how that got there. You’d wonder who edited this. On some level it speaks to the pull that King has in a negative way, because nobody has the gumption to stand up to King and say: “Look, My Pretty Pony is a great story, but it doesn’t belong in the same collection as Chattery Teeth.”
In an age when it is perfectly okay to repackage Stephen King short stories in different collections, like Stephen King at the Movies, why isn’t there a collection of Stephen King non-horror short fiction? I feel like in you combined them together you could have one moderately-thick collection of good, thought provoking literature that might stand up with other, more literary short story collections. I don’t know why this was in Nightmares and Dreamscapes. Why wasn’t this saved along with all the other shorts like it for its own collection? Why, by the 80s, was all of Stephen King lumped together into one genre, simply titled “Stephen King”?
I digress. “my Pretty Pony” is a great, heartfelt short story that deserves to be read and enjoyed by all.