The Carousel

There once was a girl with an imagination like Alice from Wonderland. It was a warm September night when the sky was just beginning to change to shades of red, pink, and orange. It was her favorite time of year. She and her father made a family tradition attending the annual fair. They would always enjoy the famous pink clouds of cotton candy and the exhilarating rides.
Just as the sky was beginning to dim and her father was leading her out of the park, something caught her bright blue eyes. It was something she had never seen in the park. Her big eyes widened in awe as she took in the spinning ride with fleeting bright colors and the laughter of young children. But what really caught her attention were the dozens of still horses spaced out with smiling children on top. Each horse was different from the next. They were different sizes, colors, stances, and decorations. As she stared in astonishment, the girl saw her reflection in the mirrors on the carousel, bringing her attention back. She ran towards the ride, dragging her father along with her to get in line.
As she was waiting, she was examining all the horses, searching for the perfect one. When it was finally her turn, she ran around to the opposite side of the carousel, until she stopped in her tracks- she found the perfect horse. The wooden horse had light golden fur and white hair, decorated with her two favorite colors: red and blue. Red roses lined the horse’s neck like jewelry. He looked like he was frozen in the middle of a neigh. She raced up to her horse before someone could take it. As she jumped up she admired all the details closely. All of a sudden the ride began to spin and the music started.
After one full spin, she heard a strange sound and felt movement below her. She looked down at the horse and saw his eye shimmer. She blinked in confusion, thinking her eyes were playing tricks on her. Suddenly instead of feeling a hard wooden seat beneath her, she could feel fur and warmth of a living creature. The horse looked back at her with a neigh and began to walk forward, off the ride and into the park. She couldn’t believe this was happening. Her father had always told her stories about magic, but she had never experienced it.
As they walked away, the amusement park eventually faded into a large landscape of green grass, wildflowers, and a silky blue sky. The sound of the fair disappeared, and she was surrounded by only the sound of the horse trotting and an occasional bird flying by. The two strolled around the untouched, peaceful meadow and wandered into a glowing forest. There were beautiful birds and bugs, unlike anything she had ever seen before. A radiant blue butterfly landed on illuminating purple and green flowers. A family of hedgehogs watched her and the horse explore before running to play. When they turned a corner she saw a heavenly waterfall that filled the silence with a constant pour of water into a stream and soft drizzles onto rocks. She excitedly jumped off the horse and ran to play in the water.
She played for hours in this dream world with friendly animals, her horse never leaving her side. But eventually the sky began to darken and she began to feel the autumnal crisp chill. She looked at her horse knowingly and climbed on top of him. The horse turned around and headed back the same path they came in. This time around she admired the sky, catching a few shooting stars and making a wish for this to happen again.
Too soon, she could see the fair in view. She pet the horse as they made their way through the park and all the way to the carousel. The horse stepped up on the ride and he neighed one last time. He posed in the same position he was in when she first spotted him, his front left leg up and his head down. The muted carousel music began to grow louder and the people began to reappear. As the ride stopped, she looked longingly down at her horse when her father’s voice woke her from her daydream.
“How was your ride?” He laughed from beside her.
She answered wondrously, “It was magical!”

Leave a Reply