“Carousel Pony” by Holly Sheidenberger
That park had an old-fashioned carousel in it.
Carl would never be caught dead on one of those prissy, fancied-up, flowered white carousel ponies.
But this carousel had a dolphin on it.
He had to ride that dolphin.
When the gate opened, he speed-sauntered over to it.
A little child reached the dolphin first, and he panicked.
Carl lunged, grabbed the pole, and yelled out, “Dibs!!”
The child’s lip quivered, then a rasping inhale and a wailing cry filled the air.
Carl looked to see that the child was clutching a dolphin toy and soaking it with tears.
He looked down at his maniac hands clenching the dolphin’s reins.
He sighed, loosened his grip, and handed them over. “Here you go, kid. Sorry.”
He guessed it was a fancy pony sort of day after all.