The view that greeted us at the sun rose hinted that today's going would be slow.
Sure enough, I had some difficulty getting us out of the pit. To an outside observer it must have looked rather odd: a human on horseback lunges out of a pit up a rough-hewn dirt staircase. The human's head is bonked on a tree, and the two fall back into the pit. After a second the human and horse emerge again and scrabble at the edge of the pit, bouncing and turning in all directions, hitting their heads on every available tree branch. They fall back into the pit. Presently the human emerges alone and bats furiously at the foliage, making branches fly everywhere. The human disappears into the pit. Human and horse leap up together again and this time clear the pit edge and keep running, crashing into branches and tree trunks, turning and spinning. They disappear over the horizon when they fall off a cliff.
|I wonder if the going would be easier if I just set fire to all this?|
We hadn't been traveling long when we came across yet another bear, this time at much closer range than yesterday. We barely had time to react before the bear attacked, proving beyond doubt that although bears don't attack humans on horseback, they do attack horses under humans.
|The bear looks positively evil in this shot.|
We also found out that creepers, although they don't attack horses, do attack humans on horseback.
|Notice how the creeper leaves the horse to the left alone, and heads straight for us at a dead run.|
Fortunately, our luck held out - the forest cleared and we entered a flat desert, where we could finally pick up speed and leave our pursuers in the dust.
At the far edge of the desert, we came across the first dirt hill we'd seen in quite some time.
It was - very well occupied. Animal Party Hill. Completely covered in bunnies, birdies, foxes, boars, lions, bears, cows, pigs, sheep, all bouncing and jumbling about and chasing each other. A bear was in close pursuit of a cow, who saw us coming and ran toward us in an evident attempt to transfer the bear to us instead.
It was getting toward late afternoon when we came upon this:
Some sheep beckoned us from a nearby dark overhang. "Come! Join us! It's safe here! Saaaafe!"
|I think I found enough coal to cover the coal I used up in all these torches. Maybe.|
|Also, a spot I missed when building the pit! Luckily nothing dangerous is small enough to get in through that hole. Unless bunnies are dangerous now too.|