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The Magic Years
Disney through the eyes of teens
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Adrienne Krock, editor
The Dark Rider Chronicles - Chapter V

The Dark Rider Chronicles - Chapter V

Dark Rider and I sat down at the nearby restaurant. It was two hours past our lunchtime, and we had only split a bagel for breakfast we were starved! I salted our fries while the young hero opened my ketchup packet for me. Smiling as we put the straws in our apple juice boxes, we toasted a long-awaited lunch. As we lifted the drinks to our lips, a familiar buzzing sound brought a look of dread to our faces. Dark Rider checked his pager, stood, and bravely pushed his tray away from him. I reluctantly did the same.

The Dark Rider Chronicles - Chapter V

I followed the boy to a building behind the castle, with turrets topped with iron crocodiles and pirate ships. Through an upper window, we could see into a children's nursery. Dolls sat gazing out the window, and books waited until bedtime to be read. As we stepped into the winding queue, we heard the menacing beat of Indian drums. "What brings us here?" I wondered aloud.

"There's been a kidnapping!" Dark Rider gasped for air as he informed me of our mission. Indian Princess Tiger Lilly had been taken captive by Captain Hook, and was left, tied in the lagoon, near Skull Rock. Tide was rising, and the Lost Boys, not stopping to worry about their own fate, were concerned that Hook would occupy Pan for too long, and Tiger Lilly might be lost forever. The music changed to, "Never Smile at a Crocodile," as we hopped into a flying pirate ship and I noticed for the first time a huge mural. Like the one in Toad Hall, it portrayed our adventure in vivid colors. Gem colors, I noticed: Emerald, sapphire, amethyst, ruby.

The Dark Rider Chronicles - Chapter V

We flew over the rooftops of London townsfolk, and right through the Darling children's nursery. "Off we go!" Peter Pan's was encouragement to us as we flew out the other window and caught a glimpse of his shadow. We rose above the neighborhood, and flew high above London, over the busy streets, London Bridge and around Big Ben, as the clock ticked off the hour. We flew at the moon and took a quick left into an unfathomable ocean depth of stars.

Swooping down over Neverland, we saw the Indian village, a volcano ready to erupt, the rainbow waterfalls, and the pools the mermaids call home. We flew over Skull Rock and knew that we'd be returning shortly. We swooped through the stars and down to Skull Rock.

Suddenly, we spotted her Princess Tiger Lilly! There she was, chin-high in water, helplessly watching the tide rise. Dark Rider felt he needed to come around from a different angle to rescue her. We moved on past the pirate ship, where Wendy was being forced to walk the plank by Mr. Smee, while Captain Hook engaged Peter Pan in an avid sword fight on the bow of the ship. Nearby the Indians beat their drums with solemn faces and our hearts began beating to the tempo.

As we took in the scene and Dark Rider dictated his plans for navigating the rocks, Peter Pan won the sword fight, snatched Wendy from the plank and flew down to rescue the princess. Peter called to us from the ship where he had taken command, and thanked us for the help. Dark Rider was certain that he had offered moral support through the whole thing and was responsible for Pan's will to go on.

Leaving Neverland, we looked down and saw Captain Hook struggling with the crocodile and Mr. Smee in the rowboat, quite unsure what to do about it. Dark Rider and I waved goodbye to Peter's pixie-powered pirate ship as he flew the Darling children back home to London.

The Dark Rider Chronicles - Chapter V

Back in our own world, we jumped off our enchanted ship and stood looking at each other. "I think." Dark Rider said happily, "that this was our best rescue yet."

"I agree," I answered. "The scenery was nice, too." Again we looked at each other. "Now that everything's all right, do you think we could, you know, get back to business?"

"If you mean lunch..."

"Let's go." For once I was the one pulling my partner along. We sped past all the people and right back to the restaurant. To my dismay, our food had been picked up.

"Now what do we do?" Dark Rider sobbed.

"Let's stay calm, stay cool..." I tried to appear reassuring, but I could hardly keep from weeping myself. Just then a waitress came up to us and asked if we were the ones who ordered two cheeseburgers and fries an hour ago. We nodded eagerly. "Your food got cold," she explained, "so I had the cook make you up another meal."

We looked at her gratefully and Dark Rider couldn't help but run up and hug her. When we had finally gotten our fresh burgers and fries, with cold apple juice, we sat and took it all in. Just as I was about to sink my teeth into the juicy American delicacy, Dark Rider said, "Wait." I moaned as he reached down in his sock and pulled out his pager, but was greatly relieved when he popped out the batteries. "Now we can eat!"



Jewel's FastFact: On June 9th, 1934, Donald Duck's egg hatched in the animated short, "The Wise Little Hen." This year, the temperamental duck celebrates his 68th birthday.

Questions, comments, or suggestions? E-mail me at Maybe you even have a cruise experience of your own to share!

The Dark Rider Chronicles - Chapter V


My name is Jewel.

I am 13 years old, and a typical junior high student. I live with my mom, dad, and little brother. My family and I have annual passes to Disneyland so we go quite often. I love school, and science has always been a favorite subject of mine. I am in band and hope to be involved in music for the rest of my life.

Right now, my career goal is to become a deejay. In my mind, that is the coolest job in the world! My hobbies include: listening to and playing music, reading, writing, messing around on the computer and hanging out at Disneyland. We have seven cats (four of them found us), a black Labrador, and I have a goldfish.

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