Willie was a mischievous lad and
rather cheeky too. He never did what his mum or dad asked him to do, even
though they went out of their way to try to please him. One afternoon they
took him down to the beach. He went on the carousel; he got an ice-lolly
from the ice cream man, and looked for crabs under the rocks. His dad went
with him for a swim in the sea. They splashed and jumped in the waves.
They even hunted for seashells, but no matter what they did, Willie wanted
to do more. He spotted Norton, the donkey, tied up to a pole. "I want a
donkey ride!" Willie demanded. He ran towards Norton. "I want a ride!" he
shouted at Murdoch.
"You can have a ride as long as you
pay 50p," Murdoch told him.
Willie ran towards his mum crying,
"I want 50p. I want a donkey ride!" His mum handed him the money and he
ran back to Norton.
Murdoch lifted Willie on Nortonís
back, grabbed hold of the rope and walked along the seashore. Willie
looked down at the waves and saw a big seashell come washing onto the
sand. "Stop! I want that seashell!" he commanded.
Murdoch looked at the spoiled lad.
"We canít stop. If you get off now, Iím afraid your ride has ended."
Willie started shouting and crying.
"I want that seashell and I want a longer ride. Stop this donkey right
Murdoch kept walking. Willie started
kicking his sandy, bare heels into Nortonís side. Norton let out a loud
bray. When Murdoch turned around to see what was wrong, Willie kicked
again and Norton pulled the rope out of Murdochís hand and ran off, with
the boy on his back. Willie grabbed the rope and held on tightly. "Stop!
Stop running, donkey. I donít want to fall off!" he shouted.
Murdoch chased the donkey. Willie,
realizing he wasnít going to fall off, began to enjoy his ride. He kept
kicking Norton in the sides and Norton kept running. He ran and ran and
ran until he was out of breath. When he stopped, he was so far down the
beach that he couldnít see Murdoch or anyone else. Willie jumped off the
donkey. "Why did you stop? There are no seashells here!" He looked around
on the sand and seeing none, tried to get back on Nortonís back. He was
too small and couldnít climb on. Norton started walking slowly back along
the beach toward Murdoch. Willie sat in the wet sand and cried. "Come
back, donkey. I want to get back on! I want a seashell!"
Finally, Murdoch caught up with
Norton. "Good donkey," he said, petting Nortonís back. He saw how tired he
was. "Iíll take you back to the barn now. Whereís the lad?" Norton panted
softly and brayed. He had no idea. "You stay here, Norton. Iíll go and
look for him." Murdoch walked further along the beach and found Willie
crying, sitting in the sand as the waves splashed around him. "Come on,
lad. Letís get you back to your mum." He grabbed Willieís hand and they
walked over to Norton.
"I want to get on the donkey. Iím
tired," Willie complained.
"Sorry, lad. Nortonís too tired for
a ride. You shouldnít have run away with him like that. Now no other lads
or lassies can have a ride on him the rest of the day."
When Willie saw his mum, he ran
towards her. Murdoch explained what had happened. She was annoyed with
Willie for his bad behavior. "Weíre going home now, Willie and thereíll be
no more donkey rides for you for a long time." She apologized to Murdoch
and Norton and then took Willieís hand and headed for their car.
Norton spent the rest of the
afternoon in the barn, resting and nibbling on the hay. Murdoch brought
him a big red apple and petted his neck. "Itís been a busy day for you,
hasnít it, Norton?" Norton sighed and munched his apple all up. He hoped
that tomorrow his day would be much quieter.