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Rick Rogers Saves The Horse

Tap! Tap! Tap!

Rick closed his book and looked up eagerly. That must be the Wizard. They were due for another adventure. Life was really exciting now that Rick was an apprentice wizard.

The window slid open and Rick stepped out into the Wizard's magic surrey again. The Wizard called to his horse, and the surrey sped through the air.

"We have a long journey today," said the Wizard. "We're going a million years into the past."

"A million years!" Rick exclaimed. "That was the time of the cave men!"

"Yes, and we're going right into the middle of an Ice Age." The Wizard explained that they had a special mission this time: to save the last horse. The cold of the Ice Age was killing many of the animals that lived on the Earth at that time. And food was getting so scarce that the human hunters were killing any animal they could find. Many kinds of animals were disappearing from the Earth forever. The horse was one of the species in danger. There was then only one horse left in the whole world. If she were to be killed, there would never be horses on Earth again.

The surrey dipped down below the clouds. Ahead Rick saw a giant mountain of ice. It stretched for miles and miles, as far as the eye could see.

"Hey!" Rick shouted. "There's the horse. But we'd better hurry!"

A band of hunters had the horse surrounded. She was kicking out with her hoofs. But the leader of the band had his spear raised and was about to throw it at the horse. She whinnied in fear. The Wizard's horse strained at the traces and neighed.

"I know what to do!" Rick shouted, grabbing the Wizard's staff. The Wizard leaned back and watched, waiting for thunderbolts to come crackling out of the staff. A good fireworks display should do the job.

But instead, Rick pointed the staff straight downward and shut his eyes tightly. At first, nothing happened. Then a violent wind swept over the plain. There was a thundering roar. In the distance, the giant ice mountain was cracking and crumbling. The hunters screamed and looked up -- and saw the surrey, like a chariot of the gods, hanging in the air above them. They threw down their spears and ran.

"That was quick thinking," said the Wizard. "But what did you do?"

"Oh, I just tilted the Earth a little bit on its axis," said Rick.

"You -- tilted the -- Earth?" the Wizard croaked, sinking down shakily onto the seat of the surrey.

"Sure," Rick replied. "I was reading an article about the Ice Ages. Things should start warming up around here, now. Then there will be more game, and the hunters won't have to kill off the horses."

The Wizard scratched his head. "Speaking of horses, we'd better get that one quiet before she hurts herself." Rick pointed the staff at the horse, and immediately she was gentle as a lamb. They landed beside her.

Suddenly there was a yell behind them. A young hunter had hidden in the bushes nearby when the rest of the band fled. But the sight of the "gods" landing their chariot and taming the wild horse was too much. He was shaking with terror.

A touch of the Wizard's staff calmed the young hunter and made him able to understand their speech. Rick explained that he and the Wizard had come to help. He told the hunter that horses could be trained to carry people on their backs and help in the hunt. The hunter promised to take care of the horse and guard her and all her children.

"Well, we've solved this one," said Rick, climbing back into the surrey.

The Wizard chuckled. "Good work, Son, but you've forgotten something. One more little problem to take care of. This is the last horse - - the only one left. How is she going to have babies?"

Rick stared at the Wizard. His mind raced frantically, turning over all the things he had learned in school and the books and articles he had read. How could he solve this problem? Then, suddenly, he laughed.

Rick hopped out of the surrey and touched it with the Wizards staff. Instantly it was transformed -- into a battery-operated electric car. He unhitched the Wizard's horse from the surrey and led him over to the hunter and the mare.

A few minutes later, the hunter watched the two gods in their chariot sail off into the clouds.




©1973, 2013 The Silversteins