The verse A horse is a horse, of course, of course… brings back memories for millions of fans of the classic television comedy Mr. Ed, which aired its last episode in 1966, after a six-season run. The series stretched the imaginations of viewers to the limit by featuring a talking horse in the title role.
It may have been one of those uber-fans who recently had a hand in stealing Mr. Ed, as well. The corpse of the horse was allegedly stolen from “Hey! I’m Stuffed,” a museum dedicated to preserving famous memorabilia associated with famous and much-loved Hollywood animal performers.
Mr. Ed, whose actual name was Bamboo Harvester, was euthanized in 1970 at the age of 19. Soon after, Ed’s trainer, Les Hilton, employed the services of Bud Friscoe, “Taxidermist To The Stars,” to prepare the horse for display.
Museum Curator Margaret Winborne acquired Ed in 1976 and was met with an empty corner of her gallery when she opened for business last Monday. “I didn’t notice right away because I was going on about my business like always,” said the stylish 70-year-old Winborne. “I’ve operated the museum since 1969 and I screamed out loud right there in my tracks.”
Sgt. Adam Rendell led the investigation into the case of the missing horse. “This is the strangest act of burglary that I’ve ever seen,” he stated. “It’s not like anyone could just ride him out of here.”
Winborne has no idea who could have taken the horse, as no sign of forced entry was visible. “It’s just me, my husband, and our son who have a key, and they locked up last Saturday night and everything was normal,” she said. “There was a little money in the donation basket right there next to Gidget, the Taco Bell dog, and that wasn’t stolen, so we’re at a complete loss. I got a lock of Trigger’s tail in a glass case right out in the open, and nobody wanted to touch that.” Trigger was the famous horse owned by beloved singing cowboy stars Roy Rogers, and his wife, Dale Evans. “Why anyone would steal a horse on a Sunday is beyond me,” said Winborne.
Fans from around the world have expressed sadness and shock. Twitter user ColeMason tweeted: sad to hear the news #LongLiveMr.Ed #MrEdForever #EternalHorse.
Franklin Baranski, Facebook user and self-described Mr. Ed “superfan” posted a heartfelt message expressing the feelings of many who have offered their messages of support to Winborne and the “Hey! I’m Stuffed” staff.
"News of this horrible, horrible crime has broken my spirit and almost made me lose total faith in humans. Why someone should steal and desecrate the precious memory of a great Hollywood animal star such as Mr. Ed I will never be able to understand. Mr. Ed brought joy to millions, and his loss the first time around was hard enough. This loss is even more heartbreaking. We will pray for his safe return to the Hey, I'm Stuffed! gallery."
Sgt. Rendell suggested that Mrs. Winborne check local garage sales and antique houses. “Other than that,” he said, “we’ve asked anyone with information contact us. We still have to decide on a steady course of action for this one.”