The Tortoise and the Unicorn

Written as part of of the Brand and Blazer Writer Challenge

Author: Lisa Dawn

Title: The Tortoise and the Unicorn

In a new take on the classic story of “The Tortoise and the Hare,” the Jewel Riders trace a missing wizard jewel to an underground canyon obstacle course that’s too narrow for Sunstar to fly across. Brand and Fallon, the two most athletic members of the group, argue over which of them should attempt to go through the course. Brand wants to ride Blazer along a safe path that loops around the cavern multiple times before reaching the jewel, while Fallon insists on riding Moondance over some dangerous canyons to reach it faster. To settle their argument, Princess Gwenevere suggests that they turn it into a race. Whoever reaches the jewel first can keep it.

Brand and Blazer make their way along the safe and boring path while Moondance shows off for her friends and leaps over a series of dangerous canyons. However, she underestimates the last jump and injures her hoof. Fallon refuses to leave Moondance’s side, even if it means losing the race. She uses her Moon Stone to summon Tamara to help Moondance, but Shadowsong is away, and Sunstar’s wings are too big to fit in the chamber, so she has no way of reaching them safely.

Brand considers backtracking to reach Fallon and Moondance, but Fallon insists that he won fair and square, so he should claim the enchanted jewel, which is shaped like a turtle shell. When he activates it, a glass floor appears over all the canyons in the cavern. Now, Gwenevere and Tamara are able to walk safely through to reach Fallon and Moondance. Tamara heals Moondance with her Heart Stone, and Fallon learns a lesson about risk-taking. Brand offers to race her again after Moondance is feeling better because he doesn’t want to count his win after her injury. Fallon smiles and tells him “Anytime, anywhere!”

At the end of the episode, Fallon has a rematch with Brand. The Pack cheers for Brand while the girls cheer for Fallon. Brand passes Fallon near a large bounder. Moondance suggests they leap over it to pick up speed. “Just go around it,” Fallon tells her. “It’s not worth the risk.” Moondance runs around the bounder, and Brand gains speed on her. Moondance builds up stamina and zooms past him just in time to reach the finish line. Brand congratulates Fallon on her win and offers her the enchanted jewel as a reward. Fallon turns it down, so Brand asks her for a date instead. Fallon is taken aback, and the episode ends before we find out her answer.

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