Sunday, November 4, 2012

Part 22: Shufflin'

Having survived until morning, I broke the glass and took off running as usual, finally stopping what was hopefully a safe distance away, and then turning back to see what I had run from.  In this case, it was a (harmless-in-the-daytime) spider, a couple of pigs, and a not-very-near lion.  It also looks like I've been having distinct hobbitish tendencies lately.  Maybe it has something to do with being on a long journey very, very far from home.  I could do with a powerful wizard companion to ride along beside me on his white super-horse and zap lions.

Nice day.  As usual.  This version of Minecraft only has sunny days with scattered clouds.

I had stopped on the edge of very pleasant country, Horse Heaven-like and extensive, with rolling hills and a comfortable lack of trees.  And there were valleys and mountain ranges all like this.

Room to stretch one's rectangles.

 And there were horses here, too.  I took the long way around back toward the icy lands, so that I could walk with ease across the ice from one large continent to the next.  At the edge of the ice was what I can only describe as a mini-horse.  It bounced.  It emitted resounding neighs.  And it was tiny!  Relentlessly, adorably tiny.  Ridiculously tiny, even for a baby horse.  Here's a picture of the mini-horse next to Boxter for comparison.  I can only imagine what he must have been thinking - perhaps we had indeed stumbled on the horse equivalent of The Shire, complete with hobbit horses.  Or maybe we had both gone slightly batty after spending the last two nights staying in hobbit houses.

Mini-horse!  Eeeee so cute!

We crossed the ice bridge and, like the first people who crossed into the New World, found ourselves in a new icy land.  This one had bears, like the old land, and was swarming with horses.

The new world.  Sadly, still containing bears.

 Here's a picture of a spot we found ourselves in, where there were so many horses that it was actually hard to move, and we were in some danger of getting nudged off a cliff by mobbing, bouncing horses.  These at least were normal size, but there were some minihorses among them.  Notice the size comparison between the minihorses and a chicken that happened to be standing nearby.  I wonder what would happen if you tried to saddle and tame one?  If my saddle hadn't been precious and reserved for the pegasus that I still hoped I would see (despite Boxter's skepticism), I would have tried it.  Maybe I'll find a mini-pegasus.

Horse mosh!  And mini-horses looking ridiculously small next to a chicken.

The Horse Heaven territory stretched wondrously on and on, and we kept encountering groups of horses, for some reason evenly distributed between full size and compact models.  But no pegasus.

"No griffins either," Boxter pointed out.

"Shut up.  They exist."

Another horselet!

And the landscape was quite scenic.  Lots of caves and cliffs to watch out for, so we did a lot of headlong dashes mixed with sudden swerves - probably hilarious to any casual observer.

Natural arch!

Around noon, I spotted a likely-looking candidate for a night-time shelter - a cave, not too deep, and not too vertical, which could be conveniently walled off.  Like the caves that Boxter had tended to pick out - see, I'm finally learning!

Cave.  Yes!

So I made a mental note of the cave's location, and continued exploring the surroundings.

Nice landscape.

Evening came, and I returned to the location to find that it was now somewhat less-ideal than when I had last left it.  Lions AND bears in the valley.  But other than that...

Lions!  No!

I jumped off and dealt with the nearer of the two lions, and scoped out the cave, while Boxter stood by.

"There's a lion!"

"Yes, thank you, Boxter, I see the lion."

"Do you see the bear?"

"Yes, Boxter, I see the bear."

"What about the other bear?"

"Yes, Boxter, I see the other bear too."


I jumped back on Boxter's back and rode him handily into the cave, taking only slight ceiling damage when I dismounted.  I fumbled for a haystack - no more messing about with fleeing horses... if I ran out of haystacks, I would just have to settle and - ugh - farm, and make more.  And just as Boxter was bunching his blocky legs to spring gleefully out of the cave, I lobbed him a haystack.

There was a munching sound as he devoured the haystack in midleap, landed, and kept sliding forward on the slippery snow until he came to a rest well beyond the edge of the cave.

Eyeing the bears in the background, I pondered the situation.  If I remounted Boxter and rode him back into the cave, I would have wasted the haystack, and there was no guarantee he wouldn't make another slip-and-slide exit.  My alternative, though, was to extend the cave clear out from the mountainside so that Boxter could be safely enclosed.  A Horse Mahal.

"Look, there's a bear!" Boxter helpfully pointed out, with a resounding neigh.  The bear pricked up its little pixellated ears.

Darn it, Boxter.
 Horse Mahal, then.  Fortunately, I had a bit of cobblestone in my pockets.  I didn't make the quickest progress, on account of Boxter's frequent shouts of "Bear!" and the occasional arrivals of actual bears.  They're not aggressive toward humans or whatever-I-ams during daylight, but at night, they turn vicious.


 It was getting to be night.  The bear was beginning to look in my direction.  It's surprisingly difficult to build a cobblestone mansion when one's fingers are stiff with blind fear.

Is that the beginnings of a red glint in its eyes?

But I somehow constructed the roof, and hopped inside.


And plugged the last hole, which I had cleverly this time NOT left directly above Boxter's head.


With the cave extension in the back, the shelter ended up being quite spacious.  In the picture below, I'm standing at the edge of the cave looking out toward Boxter.  You can see how far he'd slid, and why I was so concerned about the size of the shelter I would be building.

Interior shot of the Horse Mahal

Since the shelter was handily floored with sand, and since I had decided to make a policy of adding lavish windows to all my shelters, I took the time to scoop up some sand, build some furnaces, and start smelting.

I'd picked up some feathers during the day (dropped by dead zombies, for some inscrutable reason), and decided to top off my arrow supply.  For that, I needed pointy flints.  I had no pointy flints, but I had five blocks of gravel that I'd picked up somewhere, and I knew that when digging through gravel, there's a small chance of finding pointy flints.  So I placed my five blocks of gravel.  And then shoveled them back up again.  Placed the five blocks again.  Shuffled through them with my shovel again. 

 Blockblockblockblockblock.  Shuffleshuffleshuffleshuffleshuffle.  

Blockblockblockblockblock.  Shuffleshuffleshuffleshuffleshuffle. 

Blockblockblockblock - poink!  I've found a flint that was totally in this gravel all along.  And somehow a block of gravel had disappeared.  I wasn't about to argue, though, since a useless block of gravel had been transformed into a proto-arrow.  Shuffleshuffleshuffleshuffle.

I occupied myself this way for the rest of the night, and by dawn had five pointy flints and no gravels.  

Minecraft is weird.


1 comment:

  1. Tiny horses! I can't believe how small they are! In the first pic I thought you and boxter were up on a ledge, and the horse was just down below in the distance. I have high hopes that you will find a tiny pegasus!! Even though it does seem even less likely. But it would be awesome. Make sure you look carefully at every little horselet!