“Well,” said Judy. “That went well. How’s your eye?”
“I did break his nose, didn’t I?” asked the Knight.
“You did. I think you knocked out his tooth as well.”
“What about your ribs?”
“Bruised, not broken, but he’ll be limping for awhiile, after what I did to his leg.”
“How is any of this going to help the rhinos?”
The Knight looked away. “You don’t understand,” he said. “We’re SWORN enemies.”
“Why?” asked Judy.
“Why are you sworn enemies?”
“Because we’ve always been sworn enemies.”
“That doesn’t make any sense. What, exactly are you fighting ABOUT?”
The Knight stared at her. “I…”
After a few minutes, Judy just said, “That’s what I though. No one knows why they’re fighting, they’re just fighting.” She got up and walked to the kitchen. “Do you know why you’re fighting?” she asked the rider, who was being bandaged by Abby.
“Right,” she said. “So no one knows why this war is being fought. Are you their leader?”
“Take me to your leader. OMG I can’t believe I just said that,” she snickered. “Take me to your leader,” and she broke into laughter.
The Knight walked in and asked what was so funny. She waved him away. He looked at the rider, who just shrugged.
“I’m going back with him,” she said, when she could finally talk.
“I’m coming with,” said her Knight, immediately.
“Me too,” said Danny, sharpening his claws on the leg of the huge kitchen table.
“Can I go?” asked the fox.
“No, it’s too dangerous,” said Danny. “You stay here. Abby will give you more strawberries.”
Everyone looked at Danny and smiled.
“Here’s how it’s going down,” said Judy, pulling up a chair in front of the rider. “You’re going to take us to the guy in charge. You can ride your rhino, and we’ll take our rides. You will give us your word that we have safe passage there and back. Do you agree?”
The rider nodded.
Judy held out her hand. And waited. And waited. Finally, she grabbed the riders hand and shook. “That means we made a deal and you have to keep it or die.”
The rider looked at his hand, then at her’s and frowned.
Twenty minutes later they were in the air.
“I WANT A DIFFERENT POUCH! meowed Danny, as soon as they took off.
“We can talk about it when we get home,” said Judy, pressed against Baby’s neck and shoulder.
They landed in front of a tattered tent and the rider held up his hand, telling them to wait. Then he walked into the tent and came out with a huge troll-like male with abs that would put The Rock to shame.
“What?” he said.
“The truce is up in four days,” said Judy.
“I’d like it to last longer,” said Judy.
“No. Everyone misses killing the enemy.”
“There are no enemies. Do I look like an enemy to you?”
“I don’t know what enemies look like but yes, you do.”
“That doesn’t even make sense.”
“We want our rhinos back.”
“No,” she said.
“You have four days to return them, then the fighting begins again.”
“I don’t want to have to kill all of you,” said Judy. “I really wish you wouldn’t make me do that.”
“Give it your best shot.”
“Where did you learn to talk that way?”
“When were you in New York?”
“It’s where I’m from.”
“Because I asked nicely,” growled Judy.
“Is that your cat?”
“It is,” she said.
“He looks…like he could do some damage.”
“You have no idea,” she said. “Now talk.”