Chapter 3: Another Story Heard From
Today, we publish the third chapter of an ongoing children’s book written by New Ipswich author Emily Chetkowski and illustrated by young artists from Highbridge Hill Elementary School. New chapters will appear each Tuesday.
Kenton Traffie, 3rd Grade, Highbridge Hill
Hayes Pearson, 3rd Grade, Highbridge Hill
Emma Carr, 3rd Grade, Highbridge Hill
Connor Traffie, 3rd Grade, Highbridge Hill
Emily Pare, 3rd Grade, Highbridge Hill
Elizabeth Surprenant, 3rd Grade, Highbridge Hill
James Crawford, 3rd Grade, Highbridge Hill
Ivana Somero, 3rd Grade, Highbridge Hill
Brooklyn Labrie, 3rd Grade, Highbridge Hill
Mackenzie Dionne, 3rd Grade, Highbridge Hill
While Charlie certainly enjoyed Shaggy the Donkey’s story, and appreciated how happy he was, he still wanted to know what it said on his piece of the newspaper. Ammy the Stallion lived with Shaggy. He’d been listening to Charlie and Shaggy.
“I’m t’inkin’ I kin read it fer ya me boy’,” Ammy exclaimed. His thick Newfoundland accent was usually a little hard for Charlie to understand, but this was clear.
“Thank you, Ammy!” said Charlie eagerly.
“Stay where youe_SSRqre to, Ie_SSRqll come where you’re at!” Ammy said as he hobbled over. e_SDLqIe_SSRqll be out there ‘de once and I’ll read it de_SSRqrectly”. He was right, despite his crippled back leg, Ammy got over to Charlie fairly quickly.
Balancing on 3 legs which included the damaged one, Ammy reached a front leg out to pull the piece of newspaper closer. He could stand on that back leg well enough; it just didn’t work the way it should.
A beautiful little pony with a wild mane and thick tail, Ammy looked at the paper carefully while Charlie waited patiently.
“Hmmm. I’m ‘aving a wee bit of a problem dere. I comes from da island of Newfoundland, Canada. We speaks some different den you do here. Dere’s more slang in Newfoundland den dere’s icecaps on da water!”
Ammy stared at the paper more intently, but it was no use.
“You kin take the boy out of the bay but you caine_SSRqt take the bay out of the boy; I cain’t read yer paper Charlie me boy.e_SDRq
The mention of ice caps, and Ammy’s accent made Charlie curious. He wanted to know more about Newfoundland.
“What’s it like in Newfoundland?” he asked.
Ammy was more than happy to recall his times there.
“Dey calls it da rock for a good reason me boy, a grand sized rock as big as all New England, where she rises up from de ocean off eastern Canada.”
Ammy told Charlie about its steep cliffs, and rugged coastline. He talked of fishing villages, surrounded by woods, and wildlife and beautiful scenery with winters that made every living thing tough and hardy, including Ammy.
It was where his pony ancestors before him ran free for 400 years. Years ago, everyone had a pony. They willingly worked side by side with people, hauling fishing nets, carts, plowing gardens, and transporting people until machinery replaced them. The pony helped make Newfoundland what it is today. But now there are very few left, both on the island and on the planet.
“It sounds so beautiful,” Charlie said. “Why did you leave?”
“Dey sent me to da States ta start raisin’ me family, to do me part to save me breed. Aye, a fore long I got hurt, I slipped on de ice, and broke me leg.
“Oh dear!” said Charlie.
“Dem was tough times me boy. Dey mucked me off to the hospital, says I might not make it. But de wind musta bin at me back, and I did make it, and da’s what I did me boy”.
“I’m sorry you got hurt, Ammy,” Charlie said sadly.
“Me leg she’s not wha’ she used ta be me laddie. Can’t do much wid her atall. But I’m not in pain, so don’t ya worry now.”
“Do you ever miss Newfoundland, your family and friends there?” Charlie asked.
“Dere are days I wish me cake were dough.”
“What?” asked Charlie. Ammy’s accent and sayings weren’t the easiest to understand.
“I wish I could go back in time,” Ammy explained, “and not be hurt. But because I got hurt, dey sent me to dis Sanctuary. I got friends and people who love me here. This is me family now, me home. No, it ain’t Newfoundland and I’m not spry as I used to be back den, but I’ve made meself very happy here.
I can’t change the wind me boy, but I sure can adjust dem sails.”
Just then, Ammy spied Misty as she headed out toward the fields to join the other mares.
“Oh now would ya get a gawk at dat! Ya gotta like it!” shouted Ammy as he hobbled off, to get a better look at pretty Misty.
“Onward through the fog, me little laddie. Onward through the fog!!”