Friday, March 16, 2012

These are the days of EL RANCHO TEXACO ..... Native Magic

In the middle of Barsoom lies an oasis, a cool, fresh, greensward known as Jules Verne Memorial Park.  It has a picture book woodland, a clear, bright stream, called the Sambation and a lush, verdant meadow called The Plains of Sharon.

Tiny creatures, brought from Earth, wriggle through the sylvan night. Flying squirrels glide through the shadows. Cunning, dowager spiders weave webs. And specially designed, nocturnal turtledoves sing of steadfast love.

Eleven strange sky-ponies circled o're this rarefied spot, carefully choosing the proper place to alight.  And after a time, each one came down to silently find purchase upon the ground. I do not know if mechanical devices (of which the Troopers have many) saw them as they flew. In all probability they are able to do so. But this night and the events therein, were very far from probable.

Bart slid off first. Then he and the ranch hands went 'round to help the others. Although never stated, each soul sensed the importance of discretion and no one spoke.  After perhaps ten score heartbeats they assembled in a small circle under the starry sky. 

The strange sky-ponies stood 'round for maybe three dozen heartbeats more, until one-by-one, they slowly dissolved and merged with the late-night mist. Little Davey waved good-bye, as the last one nickered softly.

India mouthed a prayer. Miss Sissie did too. The ranch hands and their women said countless 'amen's.' 

But Miss Monica knew who the sky-ponies were. She knew that and other things too. And she whispered the secret to her daughter - They were the 'elders,' the Tuva-Tuva elders. The same ones who welcomed us into the jadeite cave......... And then she told no one else. 

Now Bart was a spiritual cynic. But practical, none the less. A ride was a ride, no matter how fortuitous. And miracles in the dark, although unexplained, could still be welcome gifts. So he gathered the little band together and led them along a narrow path toward the sounds of traffic not so far away.

Upon reaching the Ring Road surrounding the park, they shunned the androids and their rickshaws and set off, on foot, for 'the secret hide-away' (a jewel-box townhouse unknown to the press), there to rejoin their kin.

Zebulon almost died when he saw them in the hall....


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