This weekend in the town near Darcy’s village there is a big rugby match between two top professional teams. The locals are all getting very excited, as there aren’t many big sporting events where they live.
Darcy heard from her friends at school that the police will be in town riding their horses to make sure everyone is safe and that there is no trouble.
“I’ve heard the police horses are absolutely huge!” says her friend Sasha.
“Even bigger than Dave?” asks Darcy.
“Oh definitely. They would make Dave look like a Shetland pony!” Sasha giggles.
“I’m going to ask my parents if we can go into town that day and say hello,” Darcy says.
“Make sure you take a photo so you can show me next week at school,” Sasha replies.
Darcy’s dad is a big rugby fan, so he says he’s happy to accompany Darcy and Dave into the town. They get ready and head off just before midday.
When they get to the town, it’s already very busy and noisy, so Darcy’s dad tells her and Dave to stay close to him. It’s not long before they spot the police horses in the distance.
There is an hour before kick-off, so Darcy’s dad says they can go and say hello before they find somewhere to watch the game.
As they get closer to the police horses, Dave notices that everybody is keeping their distance. Lots of people are pointing and whispering, but everyone seems a bit scared of them.
“Why is nobody saying hello?” he asks.
“Not all people are used to seeing such big horses, Dave. You’re a big horse but they’re even taller than you!”
“But they look so cool with their uniforms!” Dave grins.
Just then, one of the police horses spots Dave and does a loud whinny. The police officer looks over, smiles and waves to Dave and Darcy. She gestures for them to come over.
Darcy is so excited. She’s never met a police horse before and can’t wait to tell Sasha next week. They walk over, but everyone else still keeps their distance.
When they reach the horses, Dave realises that even he has to look up at them.
“Who’s this then?” asks the police officer.
“This is my horse, Dave, and I’m Darcy,” she replies. “Your horses are so beautiful, what are they called?”
“This one is Samson,” the police officer says, patting him on the neck, “and this is Marshall,” pointing to the horse her colleague is riding.
“Please may I say hello and stroke them?” Darcy asks.
“Of course,” the police officer replies. Darcy reaches up to pat Samson on his neck and she realises everyone is watching her. She looks tiny next to the horses, but she’s used to having a horse with big hooves and a big bottom, so they don’t scare her.
Meanwhile, Dave says hello to Marshall. “How long does it take to train as a police horse?” he asks.
“About two years,” Marshall replies. “It depends on your personality and how brave you are. Some horses pass their training in a year. Samson passed his in only seven months.”
Dave looks starstruck and can’t stop grinning.
“Dave is really brave,” Darcy says proudly. “I think he’d make a great police horse!”
“Well, keep an eye out on our website and if we’re ever looking for more police horses you could come in for a chat,” the officer replies.
By now, some of the people standing nearby have become braver and moved towards the horses to say hello. Darcy’s dad suggests they say goodbye and let some other people meet Samson and Marshall.
“Thank you so much for letting us say hello,” Darcy says. “Can we take a photo with you before we go?”
“Of course,” the police officers reply. Darcy’s dad takes a couple of snaps, then thanks the police officers again.
“You’re very welcome. Enjoy the game!” They wave goodbye, and both horses whinny to Dave as he’s wandering off.
“That was so cool!” Dave says. “I definitely want to be a police horse when I grow up!”
Darcy and her dad laugh, and they make their way through the crowd ready for kick-off.
If you liked this story, you’ll love the Dave and Darcy picture book series, which you can purchase here.