It was a lovely summerís day. The
sun sat in the blue sky, smiling and shining down on all below. Murdoch
took Nortonís rope and walked him down to the beach. "Here you go,
Norton," he said, tying the gray donkey to a wooden pole. "It looks like
it will be a grand day for swimming and for a donkey ride," he said,
brushing Nortonís coarse mane.
Norton looked up and down the beach.
There were a lot of people spreading out towels and running down to the
water to splash in the waves. Every now and then Murdoch would give him an
apple, or carrot to crunch, or some oats to munch down.
A lot of wee children ran past him.
Some even stopped to ask if they could pet him or feed him an apple, but
nobody wanted a pony ride. Norton wished that just one person would want
to walk up and down the beach on his back. He enjoyed splashing in the
waves and the way the sea smelled and felt as it rushed in around his
The hours passed slowly for Norton.
He started feeling very sad. He hung his head down and his nose touched
the sand. Please come and have a ride.
"I want a pony ride," a wee girl
said. Norton lifted his head. His eyes started to sparkle. "I want to walk
up and down the beach on the donkeyís back."
Norton suddenly felt happy. Murdoch
spread the blanket across his back and lifted the girl on top. "Letís go,
Norton," Murdoch said. He grabbed hold of Nortonís rope and they started
to walk along the beach.
Norton felt the waves tickling his
hooves. He saw seashells wash onto the sand. Some were black, some were
gray and some were white. He took a deep breath. Oh how he loved that
smell. He saw seaweed bobbing on top of the water. It was greenish-yellow
and had bubbles in it. Norton was happy. The wee girl was happy. She
laughed and waved to her mum and dad as she bumped up and down on Nortonís
back. They walked all the way to the cliff and back.
When her ride was over, Murdoch let
her feed Norton a fat, orange carrot. Norton was careful not to nibble her
wee fingers as he ate the carrot out of her hand. She petted his face and
then ran back to her mum and dad. A few minutes later, another wee girl
came by and wanted a ride on Nortonís back. Norton spent the rest of the
day giving rides and feeling happy.