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Patch the Pony
Warns Children of Strangers
Patch the Pony gives directions as police office Floyd Miller looks on
WDTimes, 04 24 1968 and 04 25 1968
Patch the Pony Warns Children of Strangers
Patch, the talking pony, raising his hoof toward the sky warns, "Remember, Boys and Girls. . . . Nay! Nay! from Stranger's Cars, Stay Away."
Patch, a quaint little red and white pony is fast becoming a friend of hundreds of children throughout the United States. And even in foreign lands. Standing guard against child molesters, Patch wears a black patch over one eye and a sheriff's badge on his chest. He teaches children, with love and simple understanding, to stay away from strangers in a "fun-way" of learning about a serious problem.
The whimsical pony was created in 1963 by Mrs. Margaret Liles. Mrs. Liles, the mother of four children, was appalled by a talk on child molestation by an FBI agent and decided something had to be done about it. After much thought, she designed the pony character, "to bring the age-old, terrible problem into the open." Patch offers children, parents, schools and all groups a new educational program which, in a simple "Once Upon a Time" legend, warns youngsters to shun strangers.
This program is now being conducted in our schools by the Watertown Jaycettes. It is presented with the cooperation of Lt. Krahn of the police department, and Mr. Sheffield, superintendent of schools. Lt. Krahn and the Policemen's Protective Association have purchased a "Patch the Pony" film strip and record, which will be shown to all children enrolled in this program. The Jaycettes wish to thank Lt. Krahn and Mr. Sheffield for their encouragement of this program.
Patch the Pony Story
The story of Patch the Pony, briefly told, is that of a small j red and black pony with a black patch over one eye. One day he sees one of his little friends about to be lured into the car of a stranger, with a gift of bubble gum. Patch shoves the child away from the car, and kicks the door shut. Another child takes the license number of the car, the school principal notifies the sheriff, who apprehends the criminal, and appoints Patch his deputy. The PTA gives the pony a shining black saddle, and Patch says "Ride with me, Children. . . . but never ride in a stranger's car!" He then returns to his watching place with a promise to keep his one good eye on his small friends.
Patch teaches children never to get into a stranger's car, never to accept presents, candy, money or anything else from strangers and never to follow a stranger anywhere, no matter what kind of treat is promised.
Message for Parents
In his safety rules, Patch has a message not only for children but for parents. He admonishes parents to keep close watch on their children, to always know where they are, to be alert to the fact that there are three types of child molesters— strangers, acquaintances and relatives, and to never leave a child alone in a car or at home. Even children too young to read can understand the message in its colorful 12 paragraph story, simply narrated on a child's level.
This is the first educational program of this type to reach a national level. Other such campaigns have been started and died after a time. "I guess I have just a little more determination," Mrs. Liles said. Mrs. Liles also points out that parents cannot repeat too often the admonition to their children not to accept candy, gifts or rides, and to shun strangers in their own front yard, on the playground and in the theater.
The program will be presented to the kindergarten, first and second graders at all schools in Watertown.
History of Watertown, Wisconsin