Chapter I. The
Sara and Phineas had
been friends from the first time that they met each other. From
what Phineas could remember, he had been in the prairie for quite a
while before Sara arrived. He would often think back to how he came
to be on the prairie, as well as just how different it was from the
bright place. When he lived in the bright place, he was surrounded
by many different animals, as well as a few that looked much like
he did. Every now and then, a strange sound could be heard and a
mysterious device would dip down out of the light, afterward there
would be one less creature around him. Some of the other creatures
were afraid of the device and of the fact that their friends were
disappearing, but somehow Phineas knew that this was the way that
things were meant to be, and he was eager to go with the device and
see what was beyond the light.
One day, the sounds
started again waking Phineas up. He heard the other creatures gasp
as they always did when one of their number was being taken. He had
just enough time to wonder who the lucky animal was this time when
he realized that he was floating. This caused him to open both eyes
wide, giving him a sight that he had never even imagined! The land
that he lived in was much smaller than they had ever guessed. Being
so close to one another, none of the creatures had been able to do
much exploring, so they all assumed that the entire world was
filled with creatures. Knowing what he now knew, he wished he had
made the effort to explore when he had the chance. Too late now, he
thought to himself.
What happened next
was even more shocking to Phineas than floating had been, even
though he didn't think that was possible until it happened. The
device dropped him into a dark hole in the ground. He had just
enough time to start to become afraid when another large thing,
different from the device, yet still alien to him, came through
what had looked like a wall and grabbed him. At this point Phineas
did become afraid, as the other creatures in the bright place were
afraid. That lasted until he gathered the nerve to look around.
This did not take a long time, for Phineas was a brave tiger, and
he would never remain afraid for long.
When he looked up, he
finally realized that the world was much larger than any of them
had ever realized, for he was in what appeared to be a paw of a
giant creature that was walking on its hind legs. Phineas had never
heard of such a creature, and would not have believed that one
could exist, except for the fact that the truth of the matter
literally had a grip on him. Phineas believed that no matter how
large the world actually was, there was no way that it could
support more than one or two of these giant creatures; however,
this thought was no sooner formed than he noticed that there were
more of these creatures around than he could count.
After this series of
thoughts registered, he realized that the being that had him had
stopped moving and was looking directly at Phineas. Realizing this,
Phineas looked at the being as well, for even though he was a brave
tiger, that was no excuse to be rude. It was at this time that
Phineas realized that the expression on the beings face may have
been a smile, even though it was hard to tell without any fur or
markings. When he realized this, Phineas instantly relaxed and
decided to enjoy whatever path life had in store for him.
He soon found out
that he was not to stay with the being that had rescued him from
the hole (as he now came to think of it) but he was to stay with
another being that even though was smaller than the first one, was
still much larger than Phineas himself. This being had longer fur,
the few places where there was fur at all. Phineas found himself
wondering from time to time if the beings ever got cold without any
real fur. There was no way to find out, so he decided that they
must manage somehow, or else they would not have grown to such
unbelievable heights in the first place.
It was with the long
furred being that he first came to know the prairie. The prairie
was a strange place in that it was completely open and had had
plenty of space for Phineas to wonder around in. He imagined that
this must be what the bright place would have been like if there
had not been so many other animals. However, instead of light
coming from everywhere like it did before, now it only came from
one spot up high in the sky. At times the light would go out, and
he would have to rely on his night vision to see to explore the
prairie. This was all right, because he was a brave tiger that
would explore his new world as much as he could.
However, as time went
by, he started getting lonely. He thought more and more about the
other animals in the bright place. He did not wish that he was back
there in the bright lights and the overcrowding, but he did wish he
had someone that he could play with and talk to on the prairie. His
wish came true one day when he noticed that there was a stranger
near the prairie. Upon closer inspection, he realized that this was
the first being that had rescued him. He had not seen him in a long
time, and wondered if he had come to take Phineas to another place.
Phineas did not want to go because he loved the prairie and had
even come to love the long furred being that he saw near the
prairie every day. Phineas soon learned that he was not leaving,
but that the being had come to answer his wish for a friend.
On the edge of the
prairie sat a small lonely bear with a funny red bow wrapped around
its head. When he approached the bear, she (for he now realized
that the bear was surely a girl) backed away a little with a look
of fear in her eyes. She could only move a little ways in that
direction, because the prairie dropped off sharply to the ocean
below. He did not want the bear to hurt herself, so he backed away
in order to give her some room off of the edge. When he saw that
she was no longer in any danger, he tried talking to her. He gave
her his name, and in return she told him that her name was Sara.
After this, they began talking of all different manner of topic.
When it came to where she was from, she said that she couldn't
remember, but she did believe that if it had been the bright place,
she would have certainly remembered.
Since Sara's legs
were kind of short, and Phineas was such a strong tiger, he let her
ride on his back through the prairie. On these trips she would tell
him of the things that she did remember, namely what was on the
other side of the ocean. He told him of lands that had bears that,
while they were much larger than she was and dressed in some
strange clothes, they were nowhere near as big as the beings that
ruled this place. She also told him of four turtles that were
smaller than she was, and that they were ever so friendly because
they would nod and agree with everything that she said. Through her
stories, Phineas began to get an idea that maybe he should try to
cross the ocean and see these lands for himself.
And that's just what he did. Eventually.