The popular film The Wizard of Oz includes an improbable scene where Dorothy, Toto, house and all are lifted into the air by a massive tornado. Surprisingly enough, this experience has happened—without the witches and magical technicolor world—to more than one person in real life. One of these was nine-year-old Sharon Weron, who was taken for quite the unexpected flight atop her pony.
The whole experience began uneventfully enough; the family had been visiting some friends nearby to pick up a horse and was headed home. Sharon’s mother Marion and three other siblings had opted to take the car, while Sharon followed at a slower pace on the pony. Marion had just parked the car in their home’s garage when she saw the twister take Sharon over, lifting her into the air like a leaf on the wind. With 100 yards of open road between them, Marion could only watch in shock as her daughter and the horse were tossed away.
Like a scene from a film, Marion jumped into a farm vehicle to follow the twister, tracking Sharon by the blue of her blouse. As the article to the left states, Sharon’s mother recalled that “the gray pony looked like a ‘roll of barbed wire.'” At the homestead, the two oldest children left in the family car, 8 and 5, held down the brakes as the storm buffeted the vehicle.
When the tornado abated and Marion arrived at the scene, Sharon was miraculously unharmed other than a few severe bruises and a strained neck. In the shock of the moment, her first words to her mother were, “What happened?” The pony was also mostly unscathed, with a broken hoof his only injury to show for taking a mile ride in a tornado.
Newspapers collect many such unexpected stories. Eleven-year-old Scott Anticzak was another to survive the harrowing experience of being man-handled by a twister, and Pennsylvania’s the Daily Courier tells of another tornado-flight survivor, Park Pile. Pile’s story is especially interesting in that just moments after he was unexpectedly blown away from the side of his car, a detached roof landed on the vehicle. And in another twist, a tornado so gently relocated a hen house that the hens were found inside among their completely intact eggs, perfectly content.