It should have been creepier. But that’s my fault.
It’s astounding that something so simple as three dozen cast-off rocking horses could give off such Jekyll and Hyde sides with just a slight shift of context.
But there are theories.
Like the one that says the horses mark the site of a previous lemonade stand, which the kids decorated with a couple of their rocking horses. When the economy crashed, the kids went back to earning in-game currency in Minecraft, but the horses stayed. And multiplied.
Or the one that claims that a single rocking horse had been set there as part of a Halloween display, ridden by a headless rider. Eventfully the rider disappeared, but the horse stayed. And multiplied.
Or that they just started appearing. Somebody dropped a horse on the side of the road because he didn’t want to bother with the town dump. It caught on, and the horses multiplied.
Whatever the reason, the people of Lincoln are used to them now. As the joggers went by, I touched my cap to them, and one replied, “Looks like there are more here. Must have been a good winter for them. You should really think about taking up jogging.”
All the horses were facing outward from a central point on our visit, but every once in a while somebody comes along and rearranges them. Sometimes they circle the horses up, which is how the Rocking Horse Graveyard got its other name, Ponyhenge. Sometimes they’re lined up like race horses. Sometimes they’re decorated for the holidays.
But they’re always there, like the ghost of a yard sale, cracked plastic and splintered wood and rusty metal, and each one giving visitors and passersby the side eye. So if you live nearby and have a rocking horse that your kids have outgrown, you know where to go. But be sure to drop it off at night. And don’t tell anybody. Ever.