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Children's Stories
by Margo Fallis
The Carousel

Long, rough grass blew in the gentle breeze. It stuck out in clumps, giving a splash of color to the beige blanket of sand. Norton stood tied up to his pole. Heíd been giving children donkey rides all morning and was having a jolly good day. Murdoch had fed him apples and carrots and heíd even had a turnip, his favorite.

A family was sitting not too far from where Norton stood. He could smell their picnic. He watched as the wee girl ate an egg salad sandwich. Norton wanted a bite. The wee boy was eating roast beef with pickle and Norton started drooling. He enjoyed his turnips but loved pickle and egg. They guzzled down lemonade and nibbled on shortbread, biscuits, and oatcakes.

Music started playing. At first it sounded odd and slow but then it went quicker and quicker. The children jumped up off their towels and ran to see what it was. Norton noticed all the children were running away from the beach. What was that music? Where was it coming from? Norton turned around and saw something new standing in the sea grass. It was a carousel. The children climbed on wooden horses and elephants and zebras and they moved up and down as the carousel turned around and around. He saw the children laughing and they were having fun. Norton felt sad. Why would they want to ride on a wooden horse when they could ride on his back? He was warm and soft and made donkey noises. All afternoon the children stayed at the carousel and nobody wanted a ride. Norton stood and watched, a frown spread across his face.

Murdoch petted his back. "Whatís the matter, boy? Are you feeling sad because they like the carousel? Donít worry, theyíll soon tire of it and come back for a ride," he assured his donkey.

Norton didnít know if he should believe him or not, but after a while, the children all ran back to the sea to swim. The wee boy sitting near Norton started to have the chittery bite. He shivered and shivered. His mum wrapped a towel around him. "Maybe a pony ride would warm you up?" she said. She took her wee boy over to Norton. "Can he have a ride?" she asked.

Murdoch lifted him onto Nortonís back and they walked up and down the beach. The boy liked the feel of Nortonís warm fur and wasnít cold any longer. Soon his sister came running up. She wanted a ride too, so Murdoch lifted her up and put her on his back behind her brother. Norton was so happy. He was giving a ride to two children now.

Some of the children stayed at the carousel, but most of them only liked it for a short time and always came back for a ride on Norton!

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