An old plush toy horse that had been left on the ground for trash collection went on to live a life of stardom after the people of a small hamlet in Norfolk, England took him in as their face-mask-wearing mascot. This gave the horse a new lease of life and propelled it into the spotlight.
It all started about a week ago when a man in Hethersett who had recently lost his wife was clearing up his house and one of the things he was tossing away was a horse. The horse was one of the things the man was getting rid of.
It is said that some children picked him up and played with him before leaving him on a grassy hill; the remainder of the story is loaded with the kind of whimsy that we all require in this time of constricted communities.
At first, a lady posted on a local Facebook group asking if anybody had lost him, and as you can expect, a number of people responded with horse-related jokes in their comments.
Kim Rout, a local neighbor, was quoted as saying, “The next thing we know, he got left outside someone’s door, and she took him in and named him Derek Trotter.” This was a reference to the character Derek Trotter from the 1980s television series Only Fools & Horses.
Since then, Derek has been traveling from house to house, and residents of the community have been keeping tabs on his movements through a Facebook page that Kim created and named Derek Trotter the Globetrotting Pony.
People’s days have been made significantly more entertaining thanks to the humorous Facebook group, which now has almost 400 followers.
A couple of days later, there was Rodney still waiting for a bus at the bus stop where he had been left.
People have been sharing photographs of him ‘feeding’ on the grass and flowers in their gardens or “appearing” on their doorsteps. People have also taken photographs of him.
Some of the inhabitants have been taking Derek on “walks,” and he has even made a horsey buddy, thanks to the odd appearance of a smaller toy horse. Derek and Rodney, the toy horse, have become inseparable companions, and now move around together.
“It feels like it’s come at exactly the right time, what with everyone having been in lockdown,” said Kim, who has a son who is 15 years old. “It feels like it’s come at just the right time.”
“It has made such a difference in the appearance of the village. People have mentioned to me that they eagerly await new entries on the Facebook page in order to learn more about the whereabouts of the guys and the activities that they have been participating in.
“They’ll spend the night with somebody, and then get passed on farther down the road, or to somebody in the Facebook group,” you might hear someone say.
In addition, Derek and Rodney have been known to make excursions outside of the village on occasion.
This week, Kim took them to Wymondham, which is five miles away. Once there, they went “abseiling” from the top of a wooden observation tower and had a paddle at the bank of a river.
And Sharon Watts, 52, who heads the local village Brownies organization claimed that Derek and Rodney have made two trips to the group and have proven themselves to be quite popular with the girls in both of those instances.