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After Apparent Abduction, Miniature Pony Returns To Circus

Sighs of relief were breathed in Austria today, after a missing pony made it back to his circus after an apparent horse-napping. While it might seem difficult to steal, and then conceal, a horse, consider that the animal, named Fridolin, is only about two feet tall.

The miniature pony, a main attraction of the Vienna Christmas Circus, was found after a tip came in that the pint-sized horse "had been abandoned at a bus stop," reports the Vienna Times.

The newspaper was reportedly one of several media outlets that ran high-profile stories about the plight of little Fridolin after he went missing on Monday, Dec. 17. That coverage is receiving at least partial credit for the animal's safe return, which came after an anonymous phone call.

"According to the anonymous caller they had taken the pony in order to give some Christmas cheer to a sick child – and it had been fed baby food in the time it was away," the paper reported. "They apologised for the inconvenience. Police are investigating."

Circus staff were content to have their unique and talented equine back, apparently no worse for the experience.

"Fridolin is the tiny star of our animal crew and works together with another horse to entertain the public," circus director Adolf Lauenburger told the Vienna Times. "One of the great things about him is that he doesn't have a fixed schedule – he just does what he wants and is a real natural performer in entertaining. Nobody taught him – he just seems to know."

Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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