The members of the Fellowship Standing at the entrance of the cave Jill stared out in awe. From the look on the other Fellowship member's faces, they were equally impressed. The cave entrance seemed to be high above the valley, if there was a valley. A pathway traced along the side of a mountain of indeterminable size. It was certainly larger than Cathedral Rock from whence they entered the cave or tunnel or whatever it was. The top of the mountain wasn't visible, nor was the bottom. Across the huge valley other mountains came into view. A heavy layer of fog or cloud cover obstructed their view of the bottom. The pathway, a series of switchbacks, disappeared into the mist.
"So much for the golf carts," remarked the bodiless voice of Sandy.
"Yeah. It looks like we hike it," added Chad.
While the others continued to stare, Jill hiked up a gradual ridge to get a better look.
"Chad!" About a hundred feet to the group's right, she waved her arm in a circular motion, beckoning him over. When he approached, she said, "On the other side of the ridge."
They walked to the top of the ridge and glanced down. Chad's eyes widened and he seemed speechless. "Awwwwak!" Squawked one of the creatures.
Before their unbelieving eyes were five large catlike creatures with the head of an eagle, and seven unicorns. All were saddled and apparently waiting.
"It looks like somebody is expecting us," Jill remarked.
"Yes. Are we supposed to ride those creatures?"
Chad couldn't see her, but he knew Gail's voice when he heard it, "They have saddles on, don't they?"
Jill reached up and pulled what resembled a large carryall bag from around the saddle horn of one of the unicorns. She set it on the ground and breathed a sigh of relief when she opened it. "Everybody can relax now. I found clothes for us."
Rachel and Susan cheered, but the three boys moaned. They had obviously been enjoying the pretty, feminine scenery.
The clothes, which were all the same, resembled plain white ancient Greek tunics. Footwear was supplied as well in the form of leather sandals. Rachel and Susan were the first to don the garments. As Jack picked a large tunic out, he pleased the girls when he said, "At least I can still see your gorgeous legs."
Susan, who had eyes for Jack, nevertheless, teased him. "Too bad we can see yours."
Jack made a feint toward her, and she playfully skedaddled away chirping as if he was after her.
That's enough kids, the rest of us have to get dressed, so we can get going." Jill admonished.
Chad stated, "I'm a cowboy. I'm not going to ride one of those ugly beasts," declining to ride one of the eagle headed creatures, instead tried to mount one of the unicorns. The unicorn must have thought Chad was an ugly beast himself, for she threw him in seconds. Determined to tame the wayward horseflesh, Chad, showing off his cowboy wares, mounted the same filly and grinned for three or four seconds, before she started bucking violently. Even with a horn to hold onto he was on the ground in seconds. Scratching his head, he confided to her, "I've been on brahmas that were easier."
Then Rita went over to the filly, petted her nose, her neck, and gave her a hug. "You are beautiful." and slowly mounted her.
"Be careful yelled Chad, she's a wild one." But nothing happened. "Well, I'll be," Chad said, just before being shoved forward. Turning around quickly, he stared in the face of an eagle. "Awwwwk." It squawked and turned sideways, as if beckoning him to mount.
"It's obvious, the beautiful graceful unicorns are for the girls and the ugly beasts are for the ugly beasts." Laughed Rita.
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