An old stuffed toy horse left out on the pavement for trash pick-up went on to a life of celebrity, after residents of a small village in Norfolk, England adopted him as their face-mask-wearing mascot.
It all started about a week ago when a gentleman in Hethersett who had recently lost his wife, was cleaning out his house and the horse was one of the things he was throwing away.
It is believed that some children picked him up and played with him, leaving him on a grassy knoll—the rest of the story is filled with the kind of whimsy we all need in this time of restricted community.
At first, a lady posted on a local Facebook page asking if anybody had lost him, and obviously a lot of comments with horse-y puns ensued.
“The next thing we knew, he got put outside someone’s door, and she took him in and named him Derek Trotter,” said resident Kim Rout—a reference to the character from an 80s TV sitcom Only Fools and Horses.
Derek has since trotted from home to home, with villagers keeping track of his whereabouts on a Facebook group that Kim set up called Derek Trotter the Globetrotting Pony.
The Facebook group, which has gained nearly 400 followers, has been a hilarious addition to people’s day.
“A couple of days later, there was Rodney left at a bus stop, waiting for a bus.”
People have been sharing photos of him appearing on their doorsteps, or ‘grazing’ on grass and flowers in their gardens.
Derek has been taken out on ‘walks’ with some residents, and he has even gained a horsey friend, with the mysterious emergence of a smaller toy horse, which has been named Rodney, and now travels around beside Derek.
Kim, who has a 15-year-old son, said, “It feels like it’s come at just the right time, what with everyone having been in lockdown.
“It’s really brightened up the village. People have told me that they sit and wait for posts on the Facebook page, to see where the boys have been and what they’ve been up to.
“They’ll spend the night with somebody, and then get passed on further down the road, or to somebody in the Facebook group.”
Derek and Rodney have also been on the occasional excursion out of the village.
This week, Kim drove them five miles to Wymondham, where they had a paddle at the edge of a river, and tried their hoofs at ‘abseiling’ from the top of a wooden observation tower.
And Sharon Watts, 52, who runs the local village Brownies group, said Derek and Rodney have made two visits to the group, and have proven themselves to be very popular among the girls.
“Derek and Rodney joined in with the meetings and even got given a Brownies uniform – although we don’t usually allow boys in!”
Kim said she hopes the two horses will end up being passed further afield than Hethersett once they have “exhausted” their adventures.
“We’d like to see how far their new celebrity status can reach.”
SEND Derek on a Journey Around the World By Sharing on Social Media…