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Christina meets a new friend in the Sahara Desert

 Christina Sand Viper lived in the windblown dunes of the Sahara Desert. It was a barren wasteland of sand, sand and more sand. Only the toughest of creatures lived in this area and they mostly kept to themselves.

 Sometimes it was long periods before Christina would eat. She existed on mostly lizards and an occasional mouse. She had never seen standing water and only knew of moisture under rocks and shrubs.

 It was a lonely existence, but Christina had grown used to it over the many years. The extreme heat of day kept her in under rocks and overhangs, and the extreme cold of night made her seek whatever warmth she could from the top of rocks that had been warmed by the sun all day.

 Over the years, Christina had moved slowly across the desert and had arrived at the edge about a week ago. She tried to imagine what it would be like to live in such lush surroundings, but could not. She would stay, she decided, for a couple days and then she would start back again.

 "One would think I was on vacation, or something," chuckled Christina.

 She slept through the night, conserving energy for her trip back. The early light of morning brought a sound that Christina was not used to. It was a grunt, she decided. No, it was a moan, she decided again.

 She slithered out from under a rock and looked to the edge of the desert where there was a large animal. It seemed in extreme pain and was trying to get on to its feet, but couldn't. Christina slithered over to take a look.

 The rhinoceros saw the snake in the corner of his eye. Bob tried desperately to get to his feet, but the thorns in his feet sent shafts of pain up his leg.

 "Stop! Right there or I will finish you with one stamp of my hoof," warned Bob.

 "I'm not going to cause you harm. I wondered what was the problem, I heard you moaning," said Christina.

 "My feet are full of thorns," said Bob.

 Christina slithered closer to look. The rhinoceros' feet were a mess of thorns.

 Suddenly a deadly snake slithered from a nearby rock and arched to strike. Christina quickly stood in the way with a warning look in her eyes.

 "I wouldn't try that if I were you," she said.

 The deadly snake looked at the rhino once more, but he knew of Christina's strength. He crawled away.

 Christina slithered back to the rhino's feet. She eased the thorns from the hoofs and rubbed aloe over the wounds. The rhino tried to get up.

 "No, wait until morning," she warned.

 Through the night, Christina protected Bob from bugs and snakes that came to harm the rhino. In the morning, the rhino rose to his feet. "I will never be able to thank you enough," he said.

 "That you are okay is fine by me," said Christina.

 "I don't suppose you would want to leave this desert and come live in the forest?" inquired the rhino.

 "Thanks, but my desert is my home. I am used to those that live in its harshness. I wouldn't know how to survive in your forest even though it looks lovely. How about we meet here again from time to time to renew our acquaintance?" asked the snake.

 "Sounds good to me," said the rhino, and they set a time a few months away.

 The two remained good friends, each living in their own environment.

 Question about the story: What had happened to the rhino's feet?

 Winner: Sawyer of New Germany Elementary School received his prize through his school.

 Send answers to: Storytime, c/o Verna Dunlop, RR#1 Moser River, NS BOJ 2KO or e-mail the answer to Prizes will be sent to all sending in answers. State age.

  September 7, 2005  
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