Thursday, December 20, 2007

Le Petit Cheval becomes homesick

The food and the sights in Normandy were wonderful, but the little horse grew restless. He wandered down a country lane, gazing at the beautiful countryside.

He tasted a turnip.

He sniffed a poppy.

He thought he spied some relatives.

He missed his mother.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

The Little Horse Discovers a Norman Castle

The little horse and his four old traveling companions were staying at an old farmhouse that had been converted into a wonderful hotel. It had a long and exciting history, including being part of the D-Day invasion of France during World War II. And the little horse was thrilled to find that veterans from the US army were staying at the hotel to commemorate the invasion. He listened to their stories and studied the lined faces of the actual participants. He even tried out an army jeep.

After a full day of sight-seeing the little horse and his companions strolled on the beach at Normandy. There were still remnants of the British landing force sitting in the water off the beach. But the little horse discovered something else—an ancient Norman castle, just his size.

He was about to invade it when it was time to leave. He was carried away in ignominious fashion, much to his dismay. Where was the jeep when he needed it?

Monday, December 03, 2007

Le Petit Cheval Invades Normandy

Bel looked at the packet of pictures over and over again. She was fascinated by all the standing stones at Carnac. But there was more to see. Her brother wrote that he had taken a long drive in a rented car. It was a Prius hybrid, he wrote, with automatic transmission and none of the French people at the rental agency knew how to drive it and neither did the old travelers. He had had to show everyone how all you had to do was press the button and the car turned on. There was no gear shift—just a lever that you moved up to drive forward and down to drive backward. Once they knew how to operate the car, the little horse and the four old travelers piled into the car and drove off to Normandy.

The countryside was beautiful, he wrote to Bel. He loved the way the road ran right into the little towns, and then out again, into fields of beautiful farms. After a long day of travel they came to an amazing sight—Mont St. Michel. Mont St. Michel is an abbey built on an island off the coast of Normandy. When the tide is low you can walk across the mudflats to the island, but when the tide comes in you must stay on the causeway. The little horse could see Mont St. Michel for miles before the Prius rolled to a stop in the parking lot. It was near the end of the day and most people were leaving, which meant they were able to park quite close. Some of the older travelers got out to walk partway up the curving stone roads that led through the town and up to the abbey perched on the peak of the hill that is the island. Le Petit Cheval stayed behind to guard the car and all their luggage. What if some clever thief tried to take their suitcases? What kind of sight seeing would they be able to do with no change of underwear?