Joe the Rooskie gets lost

Amanda Smith, Staff Reporter

I was bored one day, so I decided to go flying beyond Lake­land College, but I started getting tired as I soared over the fields of green, yellow, and brown. I kept going until my wings gave out.

I made a less-than-graceful landing in the middle of a cornfield. I looked around and realized I was lost. I started following the path that was cut through the cornstalks and lined with sandbags and a wire fence, but I found a dead end.

I turned around and went right instead of left this time and found the way out. I looked around and realized I was on a farm. I could see bright red barns and fences that had peeling white paint. There were also many horses around. I counted ten different horses that were tied up next to a pale blue house. I went up to a black and white horse that was nearby in the fenced area.

“What’s your name?” I asked.

“Hershey,” said the horse with a toss of her mane. “What’s yours?”

“Joe. Where am I?”

“You’re on a ranch, silly,” said Hershey.

When she wasn’t able to point me in the direction that was home, I started leaving, but something caught my eye. I saw some people hoisting themselves up onto some of the other horses.

“What are they doing? I asked.

“This is where you come to ride horses.”

“You mean people ride you?”

“Yea, they do. It’s not hard,” said Hershey. “See this thing on my back? It’s called a saddle. They sit on it and put their feet in the stirrups by my side. Then they have to balance or else they’ll fall off.”

“Can I try?”

“Sure! Fly on up and try to stay on.”

I flew up and landed on the saddle; it was slippery and hard. I stood in the middle, and Hershey started walking. I felt myself slipping off, so I flew into the air and landed on the ground. I decided to try again and made it for ten minutes but wound up falling off again and landed in a mud puddle.

“That is harder than it looks,” I said. “I don’t know how humans do it. Thanks for letting me try it though.”

“You’re welcome,” said Hershey. “Come back again.”

I started heading back the way I came, but realized I didn’t know where I was supposed to go after that. I have no idea how to get home, I thought. Which way did I go to get here? I tried to remember but nothing looked familiar. All of a sudden I saw some geese in the air. I let out a loud crow. One of the geese slowed and came down by me.

“Joe?” she asked.

The voice sounded very familiar, but the geese all looked similar to one another.

“Lola?” I asked.

“Yeah. What are you doing over here?”

“I went off exploring, but now I’m lost. Do you know how to get home?”

“Yeah, I do. Can you fly?”

“No, I’m still tired from getting here.”

“Okay, just let me say goodbye to my friends.”

Lola said goodbye and headed toward me.

“We have to go right, and let’s stick to the fields. It’s safer that way,” she told me.

“I trust you,” I said.

We headed in the direction that I came from and came across that same cornfield with the paths cut out of it.

“I was here before,” I said. “I had to follow this weird path because it was lined with a fence and these weird bags.”

“Oh, you found a corn maze. The point is to find your way out,” Lola said. “This is what humans do for fun this time of year. The fence and sand bags are to make the humans figure out the path, otherwise it’s too easy.”

“So we have to go through it again?” I asked.

“If you want to get home you have to,” she said.

We started taking a pathway but wound up at a dead end. We backtracked and tried another way. I was scared that we’d never make it out.

“Lola, there’s no way out! We’re trapped!”

Lola shook her head and pushed me into a different path with a scarecrow by it. We followed the path and came out into the open pasture.

“Oh, thank goodness,” I said with relief.

As we were walking, something brown jumped in front of us and over us. We turned around and saw an animal standing there.

“What’s that?” I whispered.

“It’s a deer,” said Lola. “We must have startled her.”

“Wow, she’s really neat. Will she hurt us?”

“No, she’s more scared of us than anything. She’ll run off pretty soon.”

“Can you fly the rest of the way?” Lola asked.

“Yeah, I can try. We should get going; it’s starting to get cold out.”

We were almost home when my wings got very tired. I can make it, I thought. I gave it everything I had and ended up landing in the ditch. My feathers were muddy, but I was just relieved to be home where I could go somewhere warm and get food from Dr. Grandillo and his family.

“Thanks for the fun day and for rescuing me,” I said to Lola.

“You’re welcome. See you tomorrow,” she said.

I headed home feeling tired but happy, after a fun-filled day.