Lucy: Xena, you’re on a roll, so take it away!
Xena: Take it away where? What are you talking about, Lucy? I’m watching to see where this squirrel goes.
Lucy: I mean, go ahead with more of your story. Your adoring fans are waiting to hear what happens next. *sigh* I’ll watch the squirrel for you.
Xena’s story: A Dog and her Cat Friends, with another Plot Hound, Part Four
With a newly-found resolve, Xe and Tye headed in the general direction they thought was toward Tennessee. It was early morning, so they kept the sun on their right as they walked. From old habits in Siam, where Tye was from, they kept away from the water as they traveled, so nothing could jump out and eat them. As they walked they talked about many things. The pair recalled the fun they had together in Siam, and how Tye would catch mice to throw at any leopards or tigers they might encounter. That led to Tye relating her voyage from Siam to Texas and the mice she caught and cared for. Then the conversation took a more serious turn.
“You know what happened to you when you got off the ship wasn’t right.” Xe got angry just thinking about it. “We need to do something so it doesn’t happen to any more Siamese cats.”
“It’s true, Xe. I was so excited, thinking about seeing you again and the fun we would have, and the next thing I knew I was sitting in that detention center eating rotten vegetables. I hadn’t done anything wrong! I don’t understand why I got treated like that!”
“We need to go to the big white house and ask the people in charge to make those ICY people stop doing that,” exclaimed Xe. But it’s a long walk; we’re going to need a ride.”
No sooner did Xe woof their need for a ride than a horse came galloping up to them.
“I hear you’re in need of a ride.” The horse bowed her head as she addressed Xe. “How can I help you free everyone of tyranny and oppression and rotten vegetables?”
Xe and Tye looked up at this huge horse, who seemed to genuinely want to help them, even if she was a bit zealous and also a bit off the mark of their goal. “What is your name?” they asked in unison, both with a slight quiver of fear in their voices.
“I am a Horse with No Name,” replied the magnificent creature. “Tell me why you are out here in the middle of nowhere, and where you want to go.”
Xe was spell-bound that there could be a Horse with No Name. Ignoring the horse’s question, Xe asked, “Have you been to the desert? I hear in the desert you can remember your name.”
When the Horse with No Name didn’t reply, Tye and Xe related their experiences over the past few days.
“Stay here,” said the horse as she wheeled about on her hind legs and cantered off into the scrub brush, just out of earshot. They could hear her whinnying and nodding her head, but couldn’t make out what she was saying into her iphone.
“Both of you, climb on my back and I will get you as far as I can,” the Horse with No Name told them as she skidded to a stop in front of them.
The two friends looked at each other, and, with unspoken agreement leaped upon the Horse with No Name’s back.
As their newest friend started off at a full gallop, Xe and Tye laid down and hung on for dear life. “Ho No!” they screamed,” we’re going to die!”
“How did you guess that I go by ‘Ho No?’ asked the Horse with No Name.
“Is that a Hawaiian word?” asked Tye.
“No, it’s short for HOrse with NO Name,” replied the horse. “And I won’t let you die. I’ll stop if I feel one of you slipping off.”
On like that they went for about 87 miles, with Ho No settling into a smooth trot that she could keep up for hours. The riders kept their eyes closed for a long time, pressing themselves against her broad, flat back. Except for an occasional grunt, their claws digging into her sides didn’t seem to bother Ho No at all. At one point, Tye opened her eyes, and seeing how pretty Ho No’s mane was braided, asked her about it. “It’s because I’m a girl,” Ho No said as if that was the only explanation needed.
After what felt like 87 hours Ho No came to a halt. “This is the end of the line for me, girls,” she whinnied. I’ve gotten you as far as northeast Georgia. I spoke with one of my friends, who is going to pick you up and take you the rest of the way to the big white house.”
“Will we see you again?” Tye began to ask, but Ho No had already disappeared down the back dirt road in a cloud of dust. Or maybe it was a cloud of red clay since they were, after all, in Georgia
They waited there for about 87 minutes, watching for another horse to appear, hopefully one with a real name. They were taking advantage of the fresh water nearby (that Ho No had promised was safe), when an old truck came charging down the road.
“Xe Xe,” whispered Tye, ” get your nose out of the grass and look at this. I think maybe the ICY Plott Hound has found us, but something looks different about him.”
At that, Xe whipped around, ready to make a run for it with Tye.
To be continued…