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
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
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!