Flight of the Bumble bee
After Itul and Itula finished telling their story, we were invited to a horse race. The event was a relatively new tradition, and there were many from the outside world here to compete.
The stadium for the races was built in a corner of the city. Although nowhere as big as the sports center located below the temple, it was indeed built to standards in an attempt to attract professional racers. Everything was tailor made so the participants and on-lookers would forget about their strange surroundings from finely grown turf all the way up to Kentucky bred spokespersons. For the natives attending, a strict dress code was enforced so that the people would feel a moment of familiarity in a strange place.
We soon took our seats right beside a megaphone. Many were placing bets, but having no knowledge on betting on horse race we decided it would be better just to watch. Soon the megaphone cracked on.
"Good afternoon ladies and gentlemen, welcome to Cloud Stadium. It's a beautiful day for horse racin', cloudless and sunny. My name is Frank."
"And my name is Paul."
"We'll be your commentators for today's race. Paul, take it away."
"This is a flat race sprint. The horses will be running five furlongs or one-thousand and six meters. This is a test of speed and stamina. The jockey will have to make serious decisions out on the track when to hold the horse back and when to work the horse harder to win this race. "
"Thanks Paul, and the last bets are now being placed. The booths close in ten minutes folks so if you want to make a last minute bet, now is your chance! Now, how about the horses?"
"Well Frank, the obvious favorite here is number seven in gray, Thunderbolt being ridden by veteran Thomas Gray all the way from Great Britain. If I was a betting man I would place my bets on him."
"Oh good choice. Thomas Gray is quite famous out there for setting a world record for this race back in Europe. Both the horse and the jockey look in good condition, you think they'll break their own record here?"
"Well, we can only watch and hope. What about you Frank? Who's your pick?"
"Hmm, well that's a tough pick from the remaining riders but I'm going to go with number thirteen in yellow, Bumble Bee ridden by rookie Salvatore Gomez."
"Ah Frank, you're always the one to pick the underdog."
"Ha ha, maybe, but I'm sure I'm not the only one out there rooting for Bumble Bee."
"Hey Frank, we should also mention Quick Silver."
"Right you are Paul. Number five in red is Quick Silver being ridden by Abel Becker who is often referred to as Gray's nemesis. Becker has actually beaten Gray in a few races but Becker retains the time record. Let's see if Becker can best Gray in this one."
"Well that's enough talk about the contenders, it seems like the horses are now lined up at the gate."
"Yes... And they're off! Thunderbolt quickly taking the lead followed by Quick Silver and Bumble Bee in close third. Looks like a good race."
"Certainly does, it looks like those three have already put some distance between them and the main group. Do you think that's a wise decision?"
"Well it's too early to tell Paul, but frankly I'm surprised that Bumble Bee is keeping up with those two."
"What are you talking about Frank?"
"Well, there are so many things wrong with that pair. The jockey is too big, the horse is too small, both are inexperienced. I don't believe that Gomez has a riding instructor, and yet they seem pretty confident that they can keep pace with the two top contenders from around the world."
"Maybe they know something we don't."
"Ha ha, maybe. You know Paul, I actually met Gomez once and I asked him why his horse is named Bumble Bee. You know what he said?"
"He said that a bumble bee should not be able to fly. The body of the insect is too big, the wings are too small and the entire structure of the insect is not at all aerodynamic. Scientists said it should have died out from natural selection centuries ago. But for one reason or another the bumble bee is still with us today flying around and making honey. We have here in our stadium one such Bumble Bee racing on the track."
"That's quite a story, but we should get back to reporting the race."
"Ah, quite right Paul. Well the three racers leading the pack have just rounded the first turn... and it looks like Quick Silver has taken the lead from Thunderbolt!"
"Wow, that was pretty early. Do you think Becker made the right move?"
"Can't be sure at the moment ... Oh! It seems like Thunderbolt has taken back his lead. That burst of effort may come back to haunt Becker and Quick Silver later."
"They're making their second lap now. It's Thunderbolt in front, Quick Silver shadowing, and Bumble Bee still managing to keep pace in a close third."
"About one more lap left around the track... what's this? Bumble Bee is making a move! He's passing Quick Silver... Oh my God, he's past Thunderbolt! The crowd are on their feet! Bumble Bee is making a break at the turn for the end! And Yes! He's passed the finish line! The crowd is going wild!
I can't believe it! The underdog has just won by six lengths and broken Thunderbolt's record!"
The next few moments were filled with wonder and confusion.
We had witnessed the flight of the Bumble Bee.