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The neverending story....

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The neverending story....
  • as she gazed over mesa that rose above the canyon walls. She wondered which direction she should take to begin her search for the magic lake. She looked to the skies and tried to find the angels who had led her from the inferno that now engulfed the canyon that had been her home since she was a young filly. She listened for the swishing sound of their wings, but the only sound in the air came from the burning canyon below and a distant sound of thunder as the storm that had caused the lightening strike was now moving across the distant skies. The sky to the west was filled with smoke that was now rising out of the canyon. The little mare looked to the north and could barely make out the faint shape of a far away mountain range. She.... 
  • ...turned her nose towards the mountain and walked on weary legs.  She had nowhere to go and very little strength.  After only a few miles she sank to her knees.  She could go no further.  She sank into a deep dreamless sleep. 
    It was a smell rather than a sound that woke the little mare up.  A smell that rankled her nostrils and caused every nerve ending to tingle.  She was stone-still as she tried to clear the fog in her head.  She knew that smell but it wasn't coming to her just yet.  One thing was for sure.  It meant danger.  She meant to break and run as soon as she figured out which way the smell was coming from.  But she didn't have to spend another moment figuring.  The low growl came just off of her left rear quarter. 
  • She sprang to her feet with a grunt of terror, just as the bear broke through the brush near her.  It's head was turned the other direction, looking behind it and she could tell that the bear was running from something else, not pursuing her.  Before it could sense her, she dug her hooves into the dry earth and ran and ran and ran, away from the bear, away from the smoke, away from the storm.  Branches lashed at her face, snatching at her mane like fingers.  Her breath came in panicked gasps.  Finally, once again, she could run no more.  She stopped, heaving as she gulped in air and looked behind her.  No bear, no fire, no more smoke.  She looked ahead.  A tall, rocky cliff rose up in front of her and disappeared to the left and right with seemingly no end.  She began to walk to the right, looking for someway past the cliff.  Suddenly, she came upon a break in the rock face, a dark hole........
  • Eyeing the hole warily, she waited for her breath to slow and her sides to stop heaving.  Her coat was a lathered mess of sweat and soot.  She tried to ignore the ugly gray that covered her beautiful snowy complexion.  She was no longer afraid.  She felt brave.  She arched her neck and snorted at the black hole.  She pawed up a small cloud of leaves.  She danced herself around until her back end faced the hole, snaking her neck at the overarching trees.  She gave a little buck and sent dirt flicking into the chasm.  Out came a growl of complaint. 
    The little mare startled 2 feet in the air, 4 feet sideways and froze, eyes wide, nostrils flared.  Her breath was coming rapidly and her bravery deserted her.  Still, there was no bear smell, nor any preditory smell that she had filed in the survival section of her brain.  Growing more curious than afraid, she lowered her head, nose to the ground, eyeball level with the dark hole, now a safe distance away.  She could see something in there.... she took one furtive step closer.  Something moved!  As the gray form appeared she drew her nose back in surprise and arched her neck.  The animal was smaller than a wolf.  It had strange hair that looked like reeds growing from its back.  It looked sleepy and very grumpy. 
    She gingerly sniffed in the direction of the stranger and saw the animal exhale as if weary.  She turned her head to the side and reached her nose towards him. 
    "Hold on there missy" came a wheezing voice.  "you probably never kissed a porcupine before".
    Shock registered on her face.  "And I certainly don't intend to!" she replied indignantly.
    The odd creature laughed a wheezing chuckle.   [':)']
  • ....the plot thickens.... [':D']
  • "Don't worry", the prickly creature replied, "I don't have any intentions of stealing a kiss. I was perfectly happy being left alone to get my beauty rest, until you came storming along and put an end to my nap. Just where do you think you are going in such a hurry anyway?"  
    The little mare wasn't sure she could trust this strange looking animal, so she decided to keep her destination to herself. "I was running away from a bear, and I think the bear was running away from something else. If you can tell me how to get past this cliff, I will be on my way and let you return to your dreamland."
    The porcupine...........
  • cocked it head and looked at her.  "You say the bear was running from something else?  Hmmmm, what would make a bear run?  Not many things except fire.  I caught a whiff of smoke earlier.  Is there a fire somewhere?"
    "Yes!" she exclaimed, it started in the canyon.  I got separated from my herd in the panic.  Now I'm lost and so tired of running."
    The porcupine grunted sympathetically.  "Well, I can't tell you how to find your herd but if you'd like to find your way to a safe place, you should continue down the cliff face about a mile or so.  You'll come across a place where the vines grow thick and green.  When you get there, pull aside the vines and you will find........"
  • "...a small patch of saffron.  Take as much as  you can, but don't eat it.  Bring it with you down the trail.  When you see the stand of oaks on your right, go to the biggest tree in the glade....."  with a wheezy little yawn, the critter scratched his tummy with a paw and toddled off towards the black hole.  "I wish you well.  Don't take any wooden nickels and watch out for bears."
    "Wait!" the mare called desperately. "What's saffron?"  She watched the spikey back disappear into the darkness.  "...and how will I know it.. oh boy."  The mention of bears put the little mare on high alert and she nervously set out, trying to recall the words of the porcupine. "continue down the cliff face about a mile..." she murmered over and over as she picked her way along.  After a time, she saw the place where the vines grow thick and green.  "that wasn't quite a mile" she considered herself an expert judge of distances.  "I suppose it would feel further with such short legs.  Now..." she snuffled the patch of vines then tossed them aside with her head.  A pungent fragrance met her nose.  "Saffron?  Is that you?" She liked the way it smelled, whether it was saffron or not.  Her mouth watered as she bit off bunch after bunch until she looked like she was wearing a saffron beard.....with slobber.  Everything in her wanted to chew and swallow but she remembered the words "Don't eat it" so she refrained.
  • The little mare made her way down the trail and cautiously looked back from time to time, just in case the bear had followed her along the same path. Thank goodness, she saw no sign of danger lurking behind her. She wondered how far she would have to travel before she found the oak trees. She had not eaten since early this morning, and even though she was starting to get hungry, she headed the warning not to eat the saffron that she was carrying in her mouth. She had not idea why she was told to bring the saffron to the big oak tree, but..............
  • but... ??? But what??? Aaaaaagh! Someone continue this story! (This is almost as bad as those old Saturday morning serials. Or am I the only one old enough to know what I'm talking about?)
  • curiosity and fear drove her onward.  Soon she saw several large trees around the curve of the cliff.  As she walked along, she thought "Hmmm, pine tree..... sycamore...... apple"  which made her mouth water even more!  Finally she passed another tall, stately pine tree and there behind it was a gnarled oak tree with white dapples on it's trunk and huge branches that spread out like the arms of an octopus.  At the base of the tree burbled a stream, so clear and swift as it headed down toward a lush, green meadow.  Her stomach was gurgling with hunger and she forgot about the oak tree and saffron and started to follow the stream toward the meadow.    Suddenly, she felt like she had hit a rock wall, but as she staggered backward, she couldn't see anything.  She edged cautiously forward, sliding one hoof in front of the other until her hoof tapped an invisible shield.  She moved over a little and felt again, same thing.  For a moment, her confused mind was awash with sadness.  She was soooo hungry and that meadow was out of reach, behind something her mind couldn't comprehend.  Then she remembered "The saffron!"  She turned toward the oak tree and ........
  • ...looked up.  She couldn't believe her eyes.  Her mouth dropped open and the saffron fell to the leafy carpet below.  She licked her lips in case a stray piece was hung.  (She was hungry.)  The branches of the huge oak flared gracefully around a massive trunk.  Leathery green leaves rustled in a gentle breeze.  The sun was peaking through and caused the mare to squint as she tried to make sense of what she saw.  Two of the biggest birds she had ever seen sat silently staring down at her, heads cocking this way and that as if listening intently.  Their beaks and talons looked razor sharp and yet the mare had no fear.   She remembered the safron and grabbed a clump by the roots from the glade floor.  She raised her head skyward and squinted again, this time as dirt trickled down her nose towards her eyes.  As she stood before the majestic pair, she felt ashamed by her grimey coat. 
    With a swoosh of wings, the bird with the snowy white head landed at the mare's feet and picked up the fallen greenery.  He gave a start at the sudden growling of her stomach, but resumed eating.  The plainer of the two birds landed in the lowest branch.  The little mare turned her head towards the branch and offered the clump of herb.  She found herself looking into the kindest pair of eyes she had ever seen on a bird. 
  • [quote=Durangogramma]

    but... ??? But what??? Aaaaaagh! Someone continue this story!

    ROFLOL!!! [':D']
  • The eagle, for that's what they were, plucked a piece of greenery from the little mare's lips and nibbled thoughtfully as she gazed at the mare.  Finally she said, "Girl, you're a MESS!"  [':D']
    Oops, dana are you writing?   [':)']   (miss numb lips...*snicker*)
  • "Please forgive my appearance," the little mare begged. "I have had the worst day of my life." She told the eagles about the fire, the bear, and the porcupine that had all played a part in bringing her down the long trail and to the big oak tree. "You poor thing," the lady eagle said. "No wonder you're such a mess." The male eagle quit chewing long enough to look at the mare. He added, "We are grateful to you for bringing the saffron to us. We will wait here for you, if you would like to wash yourself off in the stream." The little mare made her way to the stream and stepped into the cool water. She pawed with her right front leg and splashed the water over her back. She dipped her mouth to the bubbling stream and took a long drink of the refreshing liquid. For the first time today, she felt at ease. The eagle pair watched the little mare from their perch in the big oak tree as they continued to nibble on the saffron.