Chapter9 - Out of the Frying Pan

"Barry, here's a ladder!" Their car had come to a stop next to one of the tall cable towers, and a repair ladder was within arm's reach.

Barry knew what his sister had in mind. "Mimi! You can't..." But Mimi did.

In a flash she was out of the car and down the ladder, running across the field toward the sabertooth kitten. Barry sighed and climbed down after her. What kind of brother would let his sister wander around alone in Prehistoria?

Mimi was relieved to see the kitten was breathing. Maybe he's only unconscious, she thought. He was larger than she had thought—at ten weeks old he already weighed thirty pounds and was almost two feet long. Very carefully she picked him up, gently supporting his body. Walking back toward the tower she talked softly to the kitten, "You're going to be fine. I just know you are."

"Uh oh," Barry said quietly, "more trouble." A ponderous ungulate with legs like tree trunks and a head dominated by two monstrous horns was grazing directly between them and the tower.

Kitten rescue

Mimi looked up. "A giant rhinoceros!"

"It's not like any rhinoceros I ever saw," Barry exclaimed. "They don't have horns like that." The curving horns, at least two feet long and fused together at the base, rose from the center of the herbivore's face. The Arsinotheriuminfo —a relative of the rhinoceros from the Oligocene Epoch—looked up at the children, blinking its small eyes and wiggling its ears. Then, as it caught the scent of the sabertooth, it snorted nervously and backed up closer to the base of the tower, watching them intently.

"Well, we're not going to get back that way," Barry said. "Maybe if we follow the trolley cable we'll find a way out." With that, they gave the jittery herbivore a wide berth, and began walking toward the next cable tower, visible in the distance at the edge of the river. From the dim forest behind them came a loud roar. Barry turned around and thought for a moment he saw several pairs of eyes watching them.

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