<< Предыдущий рассказ
Следующий рассказ >>
Ernest takes a ride
By Joan Stimson
Ernest the elephant had an
ambition. He wanted to ride on a red bus.
Each day Ernest looked out from his enclosure.
The buses went by exactly on the hour. "The three o'clock is the
bus for me," thought Ernest. "Everyone will be taking a nap
after lunch." Then he made his Plan.
One morning Mr Wainwright found a new notice in
Throw cash, not buns. Am saving up, signed
Mr Wainwright was shocked - but the visitors
loved it. In just one day Ernest became rich. That night Ernest
went to bed early, but he was too excited to sleep.
"Tomorrow," he kept thinking, "I shall ride on a
Ernest was too nervous to eat breakfast. He was
too jittery to take lunch. He was beginning to think that three
o'clock would never come. By five minutes to three Mr Wainwright
and the animals were snoring. HEAVE! By two minutes to three
Ernest had clambered onto the boundary wall of the zoo.
It was a real struggle, but Ernest made it. At
exactly three o'clock the red bus arrived at the zoo. Ernest
dangler his trunk over the wall, right by the bus stop.
EEEK! The bus driver screeched to a halt. Ernest
had attracted his attention all right. His trunk was blocking
the road! The bus had an open top, which lined up perfectly with
the zoo wall, and Ernest stepped very gently on board. Then he
settled comfortably into six or seven seats.
The bus driver had got over his surprise, and he
was beginning to feel quite important. He was looking forward to
telling the other drivers he'd picked up an elephant!
The bus conductor was beginning to feel nervous.
What if the elephant didn't have the fare? But he needn't have
worried. Ernest had plenty of money. He handed it over with a
RETURN TRIP TO THE ZOO-KEEP THE CHANGE,
Signed Ernest Elephant.
The red bus drove through the country and into
town. Ernest saw all the sights- the shops, the churches, the
parks and the factories. He'd done it at last!
"I'm riding on a red bus, I'm riding on a red bus,"
hummed Ernest happily.
Every few minutes the bus stopped. An old lady
got on with her dog. A young boy got off with his hamster. But
there were no zebras, monkeys, seals or hippos at the bus stops.
There was no sight of Mr Wainwright's friendly face. Ernest
began to feel homesick- homesick and hungry. At exactly four
o'clock the red bus pulled up outside the zoo. Ernest got up
from his six or seven seats, and stepped gently back onto the
zoo wall. Thud! Ernest was back in his enclosure. Mr Wainwright
and the animals had stopped snoring. They were beginning to
"It's great to be home," thought Ernest, and
nuzzled his trunk into Mr Wainwright didn't need a note to know
what Ernest wanted. Mr Wainwright could read Ernest like a book.
Ernest wanted his tea!