Every year at Christmas there is a pop-up ice skating rink in the village Dave and Darcy live in. Lots of people come to visit from far away to have fun and get into the festive spirit.
Darcy has been going with her parents since she was a toddler, but this is the first year Dave will be joining them.
They wrap up warm with hats, scarves and gloves, then walk into the village ready for the opening night. Dave is a little bit nervous, but Darcy says she’ll skate with him.
“I’m so clumsy,” he says. “What if I keep falling over? Everyone will laugh at me!”
“Don’t worry, I’ll teach you how to skate. Remember, everyone is a beginner to start with,” Darcy replies.
When they get to the ice rink, there is already a big queue. They buy their tickets, and Darcy and her parents find skates that fit them.
“What am I going to do?” asks Dave.
“You’ve already got metal shoes on your hooves, so you can skate on those!” Darcy smiles.
It's their turn next, so they step onto the ice and start following the direction of the other skaters. They’re all a bit wobbly to begin with, but they soon find their rhythm.
Darcy’s parents only do a few laps before getting off and watching Dave and Darcy.
“Looking good, guys!” Darcy’s dad shouts.
The pair do a few more laps around the edge and then Darcy asks if Dave wants to skate in the middle with the more confident skaters.
“I’m not sure,” he says sheepishly, “I’m scared of falling over.”
“You’re doing really well,” Darcy replies. “Let’s have a go and if you don’t like it, we’ll go back to the edge.”
Dave nods and they make their way into the middle. It’s quieter away from the edge, as only a few other people are confident skaters. With a bit more space, Dave finds it easier and slowly gets braver.
Darcy starts skating from side to side, then spins in a circle on the spot.
“You look like a ballerina!” cheers Dave. “I wonder if I could do that.”
He starts at one end of the ice rink, weaving from side to side. Suddenly he leaps into the air, lands on his back legs and spins around and around in a circle. He’s enjoying himself so much that he doesn’t realise the whole crowd has stopped to watch him.
He carries on weaving and jumping in the air, before finishing with a really fast spin. As he comes to a stop, the whole crowd cheers and claps. Dave realises they were all watching him and goes very shy.
“That was amazing, Dave!” Darcy skates over and gives him a big hug. “I never knew you could ice skate!”
“Me neither,” he giggles.
They skate over to the exit where Darcy’s parents are waiting with a big group of people. Everyone wants to meet and have their photo taken with ‘the ice skating horse’!
After lots of photos and hugs, the crowd starts to leave. Dave is very tired so Darcy’s parents suggest they all go and get a big cup of hot chocolate with marshmallows and whipped cream.
“They’ll be asking you back next year as a special guest,” Darcy’s mum teases.
Dave takes a big slurp of his hot chocolate and gets whipped cream all over his nose. They all laugh and start walking towards home.
“Thanks for believing in me,” Dave nuzzles Darcy.
“You’re my special goofball and you can do anything if you put your mind to it,” she replies with a big hug.
That night, Dave dreams he’s a famous figure skater who wins first prize in a big competition. Maybe one day, Dave.
If you liked this story, you’ll love the Dave and Darcy picture book series, which you can purchase here.