“Can we go feed the horses dad?”
Starbuck is anxious. The horses have been alone all day. The sun is setting, the brisk air is becoming cooler. The horses need to be fed.
We begin to step faster. A light snow begins to fall. We’re still in the field, making our way to the barn, but the light is fading and we’re not going to make it before dark.
“Hurry dad.” Starbuck urges. “Before the Creepers come.”
We’re playing Minecraft. It’s mesmerizing to my 4 year old. I’ve been playing for years, she, only a few weeks… and she’s hooked. She has proven to be a lovable creature. She’s the kind of friend an Enderman would like to have, if he could bear to look at anyone. She knows the creepers are… misunderstood, but she loves to keep them as pets… off the ranch, away from the horses of course.
We approach the gate. One of the horses has managed to climb over the pumpkin patch and jump the fence. “Get the lead, dad!” Starbuck cries. “Bring him home!”
We corral the stallion, but he’s a big boy and doesn’t fit through the gate. We arrange some wooden blocks and coax him back over the fence, safely into the light of our little ranch. Starbuck helps me make sure he’s okay and we tie him off on a post to rest his wandering spirit for the night.
We check on the bunnies, softly lamenting when we learn that Junior Bunny has fallen down a mine shaft. We’ll have to mount a rescue mission tomorrow (or more likely I’ll just toss eggs to spawn another white bunny when she’s not looking). Satisfied that he’ll be rescued in time, Starbuck turns her attention to the horses. We wander around out ranch, checking armor, making sure everyone has a chance to be ridden, and that their flower beds are healthy and bountiful.
Starbuck is adamant that all Minecraft horses eat the flowers, so we must maintain an ample supply. I’m not quite sure how they manage to bloom in the snow, but that’s part of the magic for my daughter. It doesn’t really have to make sense. It just is.
We water, we feed. We capture a Creeper by building a house around it. She wants to say good morning to him after we sleep, so we cover his little dirt hut to keep him safe and we hop into our little Minecraft bed.
At this point my sleepy eyed little girl is ready for real bed. Rubbing her eyes, she asks, “Dad, can we check on the horses again tomorrow?”
“Sure baby, we’ll see them again tomorrow.”
And off we go to sleep, looking forward again, to another greatest adventure of our lives.