Sunday, March 6, 2011

Part 9: In which I am still not good at building shelters

After some moments cowering at the back of my tunnel, I gradually came to the realization that the menacing sheep was probably not planning to attack.
But if the sheep had managed to wander into the pit, that meant that I had not made the protective walls high enough, and the shelter I had built probably had a closer resemblance to a buffet dish than to a fortress.  The next creature that entered the pit might be bad news, and by huddling back here I was abandoning Boxster to his fate.

I pushed aside the sheep with some difficulty, and joined Boxter and the sheep in the main pit.  I spent the rest of the night staring vigilantly up at the stars, sword drawn, trying to maintain my footing as Boxter and the sheep jostled me from side to side.
"Whoa, careful of the sword there!  Stop shoving!  I'm trying to defend you guys!"  I realized that if a bear or lion dropped into the pit, my odds of being able to actually hit it with my sword in the ensuing moshpit frenzy were very low.  A creeper would be disastrous.  I began to hear a spider somewhere above us.  Movement caught the corner of my eye and I whirled.  It was another sheep, coming to join us.  "I heard there was a party going on in here?  Rock on!"

"Get - mmmfff - move it - stop it - rrrrrgh!"  Morning was a long time coming.

When at last rosy-fingered dawn appeared, I climbed out of the pit to battle with a lingering spider, which had so luckily been too dumb to actually fall into the hole we were sheltering in.
As long as I was out of the pit and Boxter couldn't go anywhere, I might as well collect some more leather to use for another pegasus saddle.  I chased down two cows, then turned to go back to the pit.  Where was it?  Uh-oh.
I spent some moments stumbling about in panic before I finally caught sight of one of the torches I had placed last night.
Luckily, Boxter was still there.  "What took you so long?"  he seemed to ask as he looked up at me.  "Did you get lost or something?"
"Shut up," I told him, and commenced digging a stairway out of the pit.  We set off again across Horse Heaven, passing yet another light-brown horse demonstrating its mastery of forced perspective.
Mega-Horse returns!
Then I saw a bit of the territory that looked strangely familiar.
We had in fact started at almost this exact spot the previous day, which meant that we had been going in circles.  As I rechecked my compass and continued northward, I wondered if Boxter's frequent neighing was not "I'm a horse!  I'm a horse!  Look at me, I'm a horse!" but something more along the lines of "*&@@ing human."

Before the day was out, we had crossed to the far side of Horse Heaven and were now in a sparse woodland.  Even worse, we appeared to have run out of continent.  We wandered along the northern shore before finally spotting a mountain off in the distance, with a chain of islands between us that might possibly be hoppable.
I would have started for the far island right away - but then I saw a bunny rabbit.  These rabbits, in addition to being completely adorable, are supposed to grant horses extra powers if you ride the horse while wearing the bunny on your head as a hat.  I know, I know.  But here was a bunny and of course I had to give it a try!

Have I mentioned before how cute the bunnies are?  I love the way they're tiny and hop extra-high.  And they look even cuter when on your head!
Hey! Stop laughing!  I am a mighty warrior!
We hopped around, with the bunny's toes visible hanging down over my forehead. 
Tee hee!  Cute little bunny feet when I look up!

It appears that having a bunny on your head somehow grants your horse the power to jump extra-high.  Maybe if we had been in the mountains the bunny's added jumping power would have been useful, but as it was, all we did was jump high before coming down hard, taking falling damage.  A few jumps later, I'd had enough of falling damage, and lifted the bunny back off again.

Now it was time to build a shelter - night was coming soon.  I selected a spot and began digging, while Boxter watched.
After a moment, Boxter began to wander off.  He disappeared around the other side of a tree and I quickly grew nervous and went to go look for him.  Here's where I found him:
How did he DO that?
Yes, he had apparently figured out what I was doing, then showed me up by finding a much better natural hole in about ten seconds.  It was perfect - a shaft straight down for a few blocks, with no scary side tunnels. This horse was not only smarter than Squares, he was a genius.  I built up the sides of the pit so nothing could climb over them, then - after some maneuvering - joined Boxter in the pit.  I gave him a haystack for his efforts, and he settled down quietly for the night.

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