On and on plodded the little horse. He could feel his tail drooping with weariness. His ears lay back. He barely glanced from side to side, so intent was he on putting one leg in front of the other. And he had four legs to keep moving, moving, moving, moving. He thought of his sister, safe at home on the bookshelf. Would he ever see her again? Would he survive the desert and be able to tell her of his close brush with dinosaurs? (well, with lizards the size of dinosaurs compared to himself.) On and on and on and on. His nose hung down almost to the ground. Each time he breathed he blew up clouds of dust. Had his au pair been right? Would nothing good come to a little horse who went off on adventures? He almost stopped paying attention. He was dazed and dazzled by the bright sun, the deep blue of the sky. How could a day so beautiful be so hostile and menacing?
He tripped over a rock in the path, nearing banging his nose on the ground. That made him pull himself together. What would his mother and father say if they could see him now, his ears laid back, his neck and tail drooping, not paying attention to anything? They would never let him go on another adventure again.
The little horse stood still and took a deep breath. He pulled himself upright to attention. He sniffed again. Something was in the air, a scent called to him. There was a coolness in the breeze that gave relief from the hot sun. He gave a little whinny, and stepped out on the trail again. The trail rose steeply and he scrambled up to the top of a rock. Was he dreaming? Before him was a lake as blue as the sky. Ducks swam in and out of tangled branches. Swallows swooped overhead. The little horse scrambled down the far side of the rock and cantered to the edge of the lake. Never had water tasted so good to him. He drank and drank, keeping a careful eye out to each side. He waded in up to his knees, letting the water cool him. He dipped his nose into the water and splashed his back. He danced in the water and admired his reflection. He thought about going for a swim, but the words of his au pair came back to him. He knew he should not swim alone. The little horse rested in the shade by the beautiful blue lake for a long time. He drank again before he left, and then he walked carefully down the long trail back to where he had begun. What an adventure he would have to tell his sister, Bel Canto, when he got home. Dinosaurs!