Chapter Four

Looking down the mountain, I enjoyed the view set out before my eyes. Wild trees and grass covered the ground and heatwaves rippled through the air. I looked back at the mining village and waved at the mule-lender, who lent me a mule. It stood beside me, sniffing and stamping. In the distance, I saw a river, then further onwards, a little damper, a green jungle that spreaded outwards like a pancake. No clouds filled the sky, just a warm breeze and the blazing sun.

"Hello mule," I said, brushing its hair. It threw its head up and I stood back in surprise. "Calm down!" I climbed onto its back, and steadied myself, making sure I was in a good position and wouldn't fall easily. While I was doing that, the mule shook its body, unbalanced me, and I fell off its back. It's head turned towards me, I saw a mischievous face grunt at me, almost as if it was laughing at my disfortune.

"Not funny mule, stay still." Climbing back on, I held onto its back firmer than before, convinced I wouldn't fall off. The mule didn't throw me off, but it didn't do anything else either. It sniffed. It grunted. It stamped its feet angrily. It put its nose on the ground. But it didn't move. I slid off its back then felt it smirk at me.

"Stubborn mule. Do what you're told." I felt like I was talking to a toddler. Maybe the mule was disabled? "Walk." I demanded. Surprisingly, it did, the four-legged animal trotted around in a circle with its head held up high. I felt my t-shirt soak into my back and a trail of sweat run down the side of my face. "See that?" I pointed down the mountain. It ignored me. "That's where we need to go." Crawling back onto the animal's back, I felt it wriggle beneath me. "Okay, move." The mule stumped around in a circle, then returned to its original position. "No!"I groaned, "Down there!" I sighed heavily, we were getting nowhere.

Lowering myself back down again, I picked up a random stick from the ground, grabbedc some string and a carrot from my bag, then tied the three of them together. The carrot is dangling from the stick like a fishing rod.

"Okay, fetch the carrot." I was sitting back on the beast, waving the carrot in front of its nose. The mule turned its head and sniffed a little, then reached for it. I held it further away, making sure it couldn't reach the carrot unless it took a step forwards. It shook its head and turned away. Smart mule. I released the carrot from my hold and slumped on the mule in despair. It immediately reached down for the carrot and in seconds the orange vegetable was gone. "Well done, you fetched the carrot," mumbled me.

Unexpectedly, the mule started to trot towards the edge and began its journey down the steep mountain.

The End

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