|The egg isn't particularly dangerous either.|
So, cheered by the sight of horses so nearby, I collected Boxter from the shelter, and we climbed the hill to take a look. Maybe there would be others. Maybe there would be a pegasus?
The horse didn't appear to be accompanied, but it sort of shuffled to the south a little ways. I've learned to take hints from horses, so I continued in that direction.
There was another horse nearby, a more premium model (the horses are color-coded), and for a moment I was hopeful that the progression would continue to unicorn, and then finally pegasus. But there the trail ended. Oh, well. Arrows are useful too. I collected the arrows and we wheeled away to the northward.
|Does that black horse look like it has an evil red eye?|
I took daring chances with nearby lions - I begin to suspect that they are in fact quite nearsighted, and won't pursue us until we're quite close indeed. Boxter didn't seem to like this method of lion-buzzing, but it does reduce the overall damage. Barring that one unfortunate time with a lion at the door, I think most of the lion-related damage I've taken has come from falling off cliffs while trying desperately to scramble away.
|The lion seems to be going about its business unaware of us.|
|Boxter pointed out nervously that the ground seemed to have gone all molten over there, and could I please do something about it?|
And more wonders. This would make the ultimate spot for an inaccessible fortress, reachable only by pegasus. Maybe, someday, when I had found a pegasus, we would stop there for the night. But then the disaster scenarios started playing through my head. We would stop, and I'd have to dismount to place torches to prevent monsters from appearing in the night. While I placed torches, the pegasus would step off the edge, and fall to its death. Based on what I've seen so far of Minecraft animals, there's every chance that a pegasus would be that dumb.
The landscape wasn't without its dangers - plenty of pitfalls like these abounded. We had some near misses thanks to my inept driving, and Boxter's tendency to block my view of the terrain at the crucial moment.
|One misstep, and things could get interesting in a hurry.|
This was interesting - and you can just barely see it - a battle between a bear and a shark. The bear won, and we gave it a wide berth.
|The battle's just visible at the upper left.|
I chose a steepish hillside for digging the night's shelter, dismounted, and got to work.
|Home for the night|
When Boxter twice wandered out of view, I went to get him - there were cacti around, and although he'd shown himself intelligent in many ways, I didn't quite trust him not to hurt himself on the cacti.
|In this picture, he is in fact standing awfully close to one, perhaps teasing me.|
I - skillfully by now, if I do say so myself - enacted my now-usual shelter-building plan. A deep and tall cave set back in the mountainside, and a two-block-tall barrier at the doorway. We leapt the barrier without incident, and I dismounted to find myself once again somehow occupying the space between Boxter's atoms, just like the previous night. Maybe by finally learning to build a shelter, I had unlocked some secret of horsemanship?
|The tranquil landscape that will soon fill with monsters.|
At least it didn't seem to hurt either of us. I dismounted and began enlarging the shelter. Boxter followed me curiously, or perhaps calculatedly, and I gave him a sugar cube, and took one for myself. For some reason, whenever I hand out sugar cubes, it's always one for the horse, one for me. They must be really tasty.
|Flat sugar cube time!|
I spent the night digging a pointless mine (I found some coal, yielding just barely a net gain for the night) and in the morning trudged up the long stairway, kicking the spinning bits of cobblestone aside.