Parents of toddlers at My Little Pony Daycare in Graphite Corners are fuming over what they call “flagrant violations” of county building codes and threaten a lawsuit if changes aren’t made quickly. Babs Stricklen, speaking on condition of anonymity, said her group will picket the center next week to implore parents to remove their kids “for their safety and the safety of the community.”
It all began last Wednesday when six children, sworn to secrecy by the operator, disclosed that they had been playing in darkness for months following the cessation of electrical service to the facility. Their claims, backed by public utility records obtained by The Bugle, fueled further outrage when revelations emerged that the kids who protested were given matches, candles and told to “play in the corner” if they didn’t like the dark.
Ms. Stricklen, spokesperson for the newly-formed parental group, says she was mortified when she heard their description. “I was shocked. It was all I could do to bite my tongue and hug my kid in disbelief. I mean, it’s like the Middle Ages!”
To be sure the building has seen better days. Built in 1769 by runaway slaves, it began as a safe house for fugitives like Buttercorn Davis who studied law by candlelight until his whale oil gave out in 1781. Following the Revolution, Thomas Jefferson used the structure as a latrine while scouting for paramours. Even Stonewall Jackson is said to have graced the facility. Indeed, he is rumored to have drawn his nickname from its historic walls.
Those walls however are not doing well these days, despite the endorsement of Flubug’s Commission on Child Safety and the glib reassurances of Sheriff “Big Dog” Ramsey.
“We checked that place last year,” Ramsey shot back at critics. “And found maybe eight or ten violations. That’s not enough to close a place down. Hell, you gotta have fifteen or more violations to take action.” He paused for a moment to flick his cigar. “Now the candles thing? That’s a little weird. Might be a case there. Then again, them kid’d have a helluva time proving that one to a judge.”
Proof or not, it seems clear that Stricklen won’t be satisfied until drastic changes are made or the facility is closed permanently. “It’s a disgrace,” she sobbed, rubbing her thumbs in her temples. “The building doesn’t even have running water! What was I thinking to leave my kid in that place?”
The proprietor of the daycare, said to be vacationing in the Cayman Islands with the proprietors of Al Fresco Village (the senior center renamed when it’s roof collapsed), could not be reached for comment.