“I HATE THIS POUCH,” yelled Danny, as Judy and Baby flew after Rosy, Runway and Roland.
The enemy riders charged full speed ahead, directly at them. Judy’s heart was pounding and Baby’s excitement wasn’t helping, but pouring into her, making her even more hyper. She felt as if she was going to explode with energy.
The enemy rhinos were close enough to clash when suddenly their riders were flying over their heads. Some were stabbed by the horns of those they had been riding. Several riders stayed seated but most fell to the ground, as their rhinos turned against those who remained.
Judy reined in Baby and watched what was taking place. Her Knight pulled up next to her. Danny, surprised by the lack of movement, poked his head out of his pouched and stared.
The rhinos were fighting the riders, not each other. Rosy was in the lead. She was the smallest but she was fierce. One of the rhinos flew to Judy and chattered. He said they had been sneaking into the rhino herd and telling them how life could be different. The war rhinos could see the changes in their old comrades and eventually, they wanted to be happy as well. They were tired of the heavy armor. Tired of the poor rations and tired of fighting. So they designed a plan to overthrow their riders, literally.
While Judy was listening, the last of the riders had been dispatched and the rhinos were surrounding her.
Roland moved through the crowd and then started leading everyone to the castle. Judy and her Knight followed the rhinos.
When they got to the castle, a ground battle was taking place, The fighters were fighting each other, the rhinos were guarding the castle. Jimmy, the Mako shark, was tearing a rider to shreds and the fox was running with the rhinos.
“Wow,” said Danny, “look at that fox go. I guess he was ready to join the action, but no one noticed. We were all too busy protecting him.”
Just then a Rider grabbed the fox by the neck and was ready to throw him, when Danny jumped from the pouch, fell through the air, and landed on the man’s face. The man dropped the fox, who hit the ground, turned, and bit him in the ankle, while Danny ripped the man’s face off. When the man was down, they both ran to the courtyard.
Abbey was outside, holding her broom. She was guarding the door. Joseph, and his crew, were working with the pegasus herd and the rhinos. Some of the men were putting out small fires. Comet, the Knight’s main ride, was in the air, fighting. It didn’t look as if the war was going to last long. The rhino fighters were going down fast, their rides were turning on them and they were badly outnumbered.
Slowly, things began to die down, the rhinos started to wander away. The few remaining rhino fighters were disappearing into the woods. The castle fighters followed them. Abbey started sweeping.
Judy and her Knight flew over the forest, to keep tabs on the fighters. But not much happened. The other side was beaten and they knew it. They stopped fighting and gave up.
Back at the castle, Judy explained how she ended up back at the apartment and how Rosy had come to find her and take her back. Danny yawned and stretched out across the table. The fox lay curled up next to him with a blackberry.
Everyone wanted to know how it happened, but no one knew. Abbey was putting food on the table and everyone could see rhinos wandering around, when they looked out of the windows. Joseph and Bert were leading them to food and the outer field. Rosy, Runway and Roland were telling the others what to do and where they should go. Then they came to the castle door.
Judy was waiting for them. “I love you so much,” she said, her words thick with emotion. You have ended a long and bloody war. You. All three of you. I’d say that I’m proud of you but it’s more than that. I’m awed by your courage, your intelligence, and by your passion. Thank you.” They all moved forward and pushed her with their horns. she rubbed them between their ears and gave each one of them an apple. “Can you come inside?”
One by one they walked through the door, into the great room. Everyone greeted them warmly and offered them food. Martha, brought out new skirts for all three. They were purple, for royalty and bravery.
“You know,” said Judy, this war wasn’t won with love, it wasn’t won with violence. This war was won by one side showing the other side that there was a better way to live and the other side deciding for themselves what they wanted to do.
“I don’t know about that,” said Danny, licking his paw. “There was a lot of violence, if you ask me. I mean there were dead bodies everywhere. You even killed a guy in this very room.”
“Right,” hissed Judy. “Spoil my big moment.”
“Oh, is that what that was?”
The fox snickered and ate his blackberry.
Abbey covered her mouth with her hand and looked away.
“The cat’s right, you know,” said her Knight. “There was a lot of violence.”
All three rhinos nodded, while happily accepted their new clothing.
“Okay fine,” said Judy.
The fox got up and grabbed a strawberry out of the bowl at the other end of the table. Then he turned and brought it over to Danny. He dropped the berry in front of him and went back for one of his own.
Danny looked at Judy and whispered, “What am I supposed to do with this?”
“Say thank you and eat it, I suppose.”
“Eat it?” he whispered loudly. “I’m a cat, I’ a carnivore.”
“Up to you,” said Judy, watching the fox curl up next to the cat’s back.