The Little Three-Legged Pony That Could

Molly the pony
Molly, a pony that survived Hurricane Katrina, and now has a prosthetic leg.

With Molly, hope limps, but it still lives. On three good legs - and one prosthetic one.

You see, Molly is a three legged pony. CBS News correspondent Mark Strassmann has the story.

Kaye Harris rescued Molly after hurricane Katrina - but then right after there was a near tragedy. A pit bull she also rescued got loose and mauled Molly.

"One of her legs was so bad she could hardly stand," Harris said.

One of Molly's legs was too hurt to save. Like most horse people, Harris thought that losing a leg meant losing the horse.

But Harris also sensed Molly was different.

Harris called Louisiana State University's vet school. Its surgeons agreed to amputate the rest of Molly's bad leg.

Molly recently took her first steps on a prosthetic leg - one of America's only ponies that has one.

"She had very rough times," Harris said. "And she continues to survive, thrive, and bring help and hope to others."

And Molly seems to have one special gift - with kids who are a little different.

Kim Batlz's son Ben had bone cancer last year.

Eventually doctors had to remove his right leg. At 7, learning to walk again, he wondered how he would fit in at school.

Then at a camp for cancer kids, Ben met Molly.

"He just connected with Molly and hung out with her," Kim said. "And was awestruck that she had prosthesis and was walking so well."

"You felt comfortable with her. In what way?" Strassmann asked.

"She was kind of like me," Ben explained.

"I think seeing Molly actually surviving - and doing so well - I think it helped him say, hey, I can handle this too," Kim said.

The day after meeting Molly, Ben went back to school.

He's never looked back.

"There is something about Molly," Ben said. "You have to see it in action. But she gives people hope."

Just ask Ben Baltz - if you can get him off his skateboard.

  • Mark Strassmann
    Mark Strassmann

    Mark Strassmann has been a CBS News correspondent since January 2001 and is based in the Atlanta bureau.