“Me? Save the world?” she scoffed.
Joe tilted his head, his bi-pupiled eyes watched her intently.
“Don’t you think you could save the world?”
“What, like Superman?” She couldn’t believe she was having this conversation. “Honey, I can’t even walk.”
He looked down at his hooves and then back at her, smirking.
“You should try it.”
“Try saving the world?”
He held out his hands to her and she shook her head. After a moment, she put her hands in his.
“I’m hallucinating. Might as well go big.”
She tried wiggling to the edge of the log, to get her feet in position. His strong yet gentle grip gave her leverage.
She took a deep breath, “Here’ goes,” and leaned forward, letting gravity help her stand.
She stumbled at little, but Joe’s hands kept her upright. She stood upright.
She was actually standing upright.
“Holy cow.”
The centaur smiled and backed slowly away, pulling her to take a step.
One step, another.
He let go of her hands and stepped back quickly.
She took a step by herself and didn’t fall on her face. She wiggled her toes in her brand-new yet two-year old tennis shoes.
He shrugged. “The world works in mysterious ways. Do you want to try riding?”
She looked around at the mossy trees and tall grass, and not thinking said, “What? There are no bike paths.”
“Hello,” he said, shaking his backside at her. “Horseman here.”
She laughed and scrambled up on the log again. He moved close to her and she climbed on his back.
“I used to ride when I was a child.” She marveled at the wide brown, hairy back between her formerly useless legs. His coat was soft and that distinct horse smell tickled her nose. His hair blended into his mane, which ran down the center of his human back. She put her hands on his shoulders. He moved them to around his waist.
“Better not take chances,” he said, looking over his shoulder at her. He started off at a walk and then increased to a smooth canter.
“No trotting please, I don’t think I could handle it.”
He chuckled.
The forest passed by them rapidly.
“Why do I need to save the world. Can’t you do it?”
He glanced back and shrugged. “I’m just following orders. The mother said you’d save the world, so I went to get you. My brothers,”
“The other three horsemen?”
“Yes. They’re off getting their own candidates.”
“Are they as crippled as I am?”
He didn’t answer but increased his speed. She felt his haunches bunch and then they were airborne. He landed without jarring her. She looked back and saw an enormous log.
“Are you crippled?”