“Take me home!” said Bob, for the fortieth time, as Louie carried him down the street of the small town they’d found at the edge of the woods.
“Nope,” said Louie, for the fortieth time.
“NOW!” said Bob. “TAKE ME HOME!”
“Nope,” said Louie. “Look, let’s save some time here. Nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope. That makes fifty nopes today. That’s all you’re allowed to have.”
“Then stop and let me off. I’ll walk home by myself.”
“You’d have a long walk,” said Louie. “Your home is in another universe.”
“I travel between universes, Bob, looking for adventure,” said Louie. “That’s what I do. This universe was next on my list. And when I travel I like to take someone with me. It’s more fun that way. I’m from another universe, one where ponies talk. I visited your universe and hooked up with you. And you need to stay with me until I’ve had my adventure, or you’ll never get home.”
“Why me? Why did my parents do this?” Bob muttered. “If they wanted me to go outside they could have got me a portable TV. Why’d they have to choose a pony.”
“Your parents didn’t choose me. I chose them,” said Louie, “and made them think they were buying me. I could see they were desperate, and I wanted to meet the kid that could make them so desperate. He’d be a challenge, and I like challenges!”
“I hate challenges,” said Bob. “I want my sofa. I want my TV.” He sat and sulked as Louie clopped on.
“I hear something,” said Louie. He stopped and held his ears straight up. “Maybe it’s our adventure.”
“All I hear is a crazy pony that had better take me home,” said Bob.
“It’s this way,” said Louie, turning left and heading down an alley.
The alley opened into a large town square. A crowd of people was watching something in the center of the square. From time to time the crowd applauded and cheered.
Louie pushed his way through the crowd.
In the center a tall man was standing on one leg. A short man was linking his thumbs together and flapping his hands like a bird. A skinny lady was breaking thin sticks, then bowing. A sign behind them read, “Irving’s Circus.”
“Some circus,” said Louie. “I can do better than this in my sleep.” And with an unhappy Bob on his back, Louie headed into the center.