A day at the Park with Jimmy
It was a spectacular spring day. The sun was shining brightly, without
a cloud in the blue sky, over Rockwood Park, nestled along the
Saint John River bank. Families were strolling along the pathway,
bordered by sprawling green fields. Two large brown and white
horses pulling a large red wagon, filled with children, singing at the top of
their voices, ambling along.
He seemed as if he was five feet tall, as he proudly straddled the
shaggy, brown and white Shetland pony. His head held high. His
emerald-green eyes glistening with excitement. They looked like saucers
on his tiny pointed face, peering from under his oversize navy and canary
army colored hat. His tiny hands clutching the reins.
"Giddy up, Scotty, giddy up." His voice rang out with excitement. The
pony ambled along as if carrying a heavy burden. Two older boys were
walking on either side of him. They occasionally peered in his direction,
as if making sure he was okay. As they were approaching the end of the
pathway', he pleaded, "Can I go around once more?"
"No, Jimmy," said one of the boys. "We still have lots more to see."
Before he dismounted from the pony, Jimmy laid his bony little frame along
the horse's flesh. "That's okay Scotty, I'll be back next week, I promise" he
said softly. He reached into a small black satchel, which was slung
across his slender shoulders, and took out a carrot, which he gingerly fed
He scrambled off the pony's back, just a pint sized bundle of energy.
His feet barely touching the ground, as he skipped along. A light breeze
was brushing his tiny face. A wisp of flaming red hair was peeking out
from under his huge hat. His multicolored jacket hung to his knees, atop
baggy burgundy pants, His size ten, maroon joggers were too big for his tiny
feet. His satchel was swinging to and fro. He appeared to be about six or seven
He raced over to the stall where the goat was tethered. The goat, with
its brown gray coat, two horns sticking out of its head and a large ragged
beard looked up as if he recognized Jimmy. "Hi, Billy," he whispered as
he lovingly stroked his back. "I have a treat for you!" Reaching into his
satchel, he took out a huge piece of blueberry cake. His eyes gleaming
as he fed it slowly to the goat, one piece at a time. As he was departing,
he said, "See you next week, Billy."
Next he raced over to the raccoon's pen. His laughter was peeling the
air. With his little hand grasping the wire pen, he watched in amazement.
The raccoons, with big black circles surrounding their beady eyes, put on
a performance for him. They swung upside down from the top of the pen,
shrieking as they did back flips and landed on the side of the pen. Jimmy
leaped up and down, whooping with excitement. He was staring at the
sign on the pen.
One of the older boys said "Jimmy, you know you are not allowed to
feed the raccoons".
"I know, I know," Said Jimmy.
"Come on, let's go," said the older boy impatiently.
"I want to stay for a little while longer, you can't make me go, you're
only my brother." whined Jimmy.
"Okay, just for a few more minutes", said his brother impatiently.
"I'll catch up with you in a few minutes, okay," said Jimmy.
As his brothers left, Jimmy looked from left to right, shyly reaching into
his satchel and pulling out two pieces of apple. He poked one piece
through the holes in the pen, "Here Chester," and then the other piece
"Here Snookers," he whispered. His eyes bulging as each raccoon took
the piece of apple. Chester went over to a dish, carefully holding the
apple between his paws as he carefully washed it and popped it into his
mouth. "See you next week, Chester, Scooter, " he said as he raced over
to join his brothers.
He grabbed both their hands. "Come on, come on," he shouted
excitedly. Let's go to the duck pond. I want to see the duckies.
"Ok, Ok", said his brother impatiently, "but only for fifteen minutes,
then we'll have to go. Mom is picking us up."
"I promise,' he said grabbing his brother's hand
and started pulling him towards the lake.
When he reached the lake, he just stood in awe at the sight before
him. The sun was gleaming like diamonds on the crystal blue green
lake. The water was rippling, as the drake, with his glossy green head and
sleek gray body swam along side the mother duck with her brown-
speckled plumage and coming up in the rear was six yellow baby
ducklings. Reaching into his satchel, Jimmy took out a handful of bread
and threw it piece by piece into the lake. The ducks raced toward the
shore, squeaking loudly and grabbing the bread in their bills, shaking their
heads to swallow and then grabbing another piece until the bread was all
He stood on the shore and gazed at the ducks. "It's all gone, Duckies,"
he said sadly. I will be back next week with some more. Reaching for
his brother's hand, he said "let's go home now," as he gazed back over
his shoulder at the family of ducks.
With his satchel swinging back and forth, against his tiny
legs, he held onto both his brothers' hands, as he hopped and skipped
along the path. He looked up and saw his mother's car.
"Hi Mom," he called out excitedly, a big smile spreading from ear to
ear. "I had so much fun. I rode the pony and fed the goat, the raccoons,
and the ducks. Can I come back again next week, please mom, please?"
"We'll see, we'll see," she said, laughing and shaking her head as the
brothers helped him into the car.