Lauraís room was filled with toys.
She had dozens of dolls, dressed in costumes from far away lands. She had
pink parasols, purple parasols and pale blue parasols. Over in the corner
stood a dollhouse. In it were five little people, carved from the finest
woods, painted and decorated with faces and tiny clothes. The furniture in
the dollhouse was exquisite. Tiny beds, chairs, couches and tables
decorated each room. Laura spent hours in her room, using her imagination
to take her to exotic places, like Tahiti, Japan and Bali.
Her favorite toy though, above all
the others, was her rocking horse. It was Victorian style, with a fluffy
white mane on its head and down its neck. It was carved from maple and
polished to look dark and mysterious. Laura called him Liam. Sheíd sit on
Liamís back and rock back and forth, back and forth. Sometimes sheíd brush
his mane, other times sheíd play with his fine rope tail. It was soft and
fluffy and tickled her legs when she brushed by it.
One night Lauraís mum came into her
room. "Itís time to go to bed now," she said.
Laura didnít want to go to bed. She
wanted to play with her dollhouse a little longer. "Mum, canít I stay up
for fifteen more minutes? I just want to let my dolls finish their
supper," she said.
"Oh," her mum smiled, "and what are
they having for supper tonight?"
Laura thought for a moment and then
answered, "Beef Wellington, brussel sprouts, boiled potatoes, bread with
butter and jam, and chocolate ťclairs for sweets."
"That sounds delicious. All right,
Laura, but go to bed as soon as they are finished eating," her mum said.
She gave her daughter a hug and a goodnight kiss. "Donít stay up long,"
she said as she shut the door behind her.
Laura finished playing with her
dollhouse and changed into her nightgown. It was made of soft flannel. She
put her slippers on, washed her face, brushed her teeth and headed for her
bed. She walked past Liam. "Should I have one more ride, Liam?" she asked,
stroking the rocking horseís neck. She climbed onto his back and started
rocking back and forth. "Just for a few minutes," she whispered in his
Suddenly Liam whinnied. He began to
move quickly and soon Laura found herself flying around her bedroom.
"Liam, what are you doing?" she called out. She was afraid at first, but
then realized how much fun she was having. "Wheeee!" she called. She
petted Liamís mane. He wasnít made of wood and rope any more. He was a
real horse. She looked down at his feet. They were still attached to the
wooden rocking parts. The bedroom window flew open and Liam, with Laura
still on his back, flew out of the window. "This is fun, Liam, but I hope
Mum doesnít see us," she giggled.
Liam flew above the treetops,
weaving in and out of the clouds. He flew around the church steeples and
above the stream. Laura felt like she could touch the leaves on the trees.
As he swooped past a giant oak, one of Lauraís slippers came off and fell
to the ground. "Iíve lost my slipper," Laura shouted, but Liam kept on
flying. After a while he landed in a field. There was a barn not far away.
Laura could see a light on inside. Liam whinnied. "Do you want me to go to
the barn and get you some food?" she asked. Liam nodded his head up and
down. "Iíll be right back," she answered. She put her other slipper on
Liamís back and ran to the barn. "Oh look, here are some apples and some
sugar cubes." She carried them back to where Liam stood. "Here you go,"
she said and put an apple to his mouth. He chewed it. Soon Lauraís hands
were dripping with sticky apple juice, but she let him finish. "Youíve
eaten the whole thing," she laughed, "even the core." She put the sugar
cubes in her hand and let him lick them. His tongue and lips felt ticklish
on her hands as he nibbled on them.
Liam began to whinny again. Laura
climbed on his back. He flew back towards their house, in through the
window and landed on her carpet. As soon as he did, he turned back to wood
again. Laura climbed off and got into bed. When she woke up she ran
downstairs to get her mum. "Mum, come and see. Liam came to life last
night and took me for a ride. I flew over the tree tops and fed him apples
and sugar cubes," she said.
Her mum looked over at her and said,
"Laura, it was just a dream. Rocking horses canít fly."
"It was? I didnít really go for a
ride on Liamís back?" she quizzed.
"Of course not, Laura. Why donít you
go upstairs and get dressed and then weíll have breakfast," her mum
Laura ran upstairs. She stood next
to Liam. "I just dreamed that you took me for a ride," she smiled. "Silly
me. Rocking Horses canít fly." Just then she saw her slipper. It sat on
the floor next to Liam, but there was only one. Her eyes turned sparkly
and a big smile came upon her face. "It is true, Liam, isnít it? I did go
for a ride. The slipper fell off my foot. It did happen. Rocking horses
can fly." She sat down and hugged Liam. "I wonít tell Mum though. Weíll
have it be our secret. Can we go out another night?" she whispered in his
ear. She heard a small whinny.
"Laura, your breakfast is ready,"
she heard her mum call.
She quickly got dressed and ran
downstairs for breakfast. Liam opened his eyes and blinked. WHINNY!