Indiana Bones twitched his ears for the thousandth time, trying to rid himself of the cloud of flying insects swarming around his head as he used his machete to clear branches and vines in his path. He was on a narrow trail coursing his way through a dense jungle. He hadn’t seen his guide Roger, a mean little Chihuahua with squinty eyes, for the past half hour.
Suddenly he yelped in alarm and jumped back. His last swipe with the machete had revealed a large and vicious face with an open mouth bristling with saber-like teeth. Indiana chuckled at himself when he realized that the face was actually a statue cut out of the local rock. Closer inspection of the statue confirmed Indiana’s suspicion that he was close to his goal—-a pyramid temple complex of the ancient Puptec civilization.
After years of study and research as a Barkeologist (one who studies canine history and prehistory through the excavation of sites and the analysis of artifacts and other physical remains), Indiana was certain that he was close to finding the lost Bark.
The Bark was mentioned frequently in the hieroglyphics found at Puptec excavation sites. Indiana had come to the conclusion that the Bark was the thigh bone of an extinct Wooly Mammoth which had been covered in pure gold and encrusted with precious jewels, and which was imbued with magical powers. He was convinced that the Bark was to be found deep within the main temple pyramid buried in vegetation somewhere ahead.
Roger had been hired as a guide in Mexico City (the ancient capital of the Puptecs) where Indiana was doing intense research. Roger claimed to have secret knowledge of a great treasure of the Puptecs. Indiana contacted his old friend Duke, a Saint Bernard who was a master at flying a float plane, to transport Indiana and Roger deep into Chiapas State on the Yucatan peninsula near its border with Guatemala.
Duke was staying with the plane on the river about five miles back. Roger had become progressively more surly and disrespectful as he and Indiana moved deeper into the jungle, and now Roger had disappeared.
Indiana cautiously moved forward, every hair on his body standing erect due to the sense of danger. He slipped past the statue and soon realized that he was walking on a stone-paved path. As he proceeded, he passed under a stone arch and within 20 yards came to a small hill.
He turned left along the base of the hill and soon came to a corner where he turned to the right. The realization dawned on Indiana that the small hill was actually the pyramid (covered with vines and foliage) for which he’d been searching.
Continuing forward, Indiana soon came to a large opening in the wall. He entered the opening and found himself in a walled tunnel, with hieroglyphic figures covering every surface. Knowing that he must proceed very carefully, Indiana retrieved his field notebook from the pack harnessed over his back and began to decipher the symbols on the wall.
He quickly came to the conclusion that the hieroglyphics were a warning of extreme danger if anyone was to proceed down the tunnel, and within the message were a series of clues to aid a bold traveler. The clues were three in number, and were as follows:
1) A dog who stays and a dog who prays is a good dog.
2) As a bird dances on the breeze must one move over the field of stones.
3) Slow and steady wins the race.
Indiana closed his notebook and replaced it in his pack. He moved slowly into the tunnel, every sense heightened beyond anything he’d ever experienced before. One step, two steps, a pause, another step … Indiana pulled a flashlight out of his pack and snapped it on, revealing a large stone altar in the center of the tunnel about twenty feet ahead.
He took another step … Indiana began playing the first clue over and over in his head, “A dog who stays and a dog who prays is a good dog,” “A dog who stays and a dog who prays is a good dog.” He was now within five feet of the altar and heard a slight whisper above and to his right.
He immediately dropped to a praying position on his knees, placed his head on the floor, and remained still as a stone. He heard a whirring sound over his head and then sharp pings on either side. After what seemed an eternity of silence, he slowly lifted his head and saw a row of arrows embedded in the floor to each side, and additional rows of these arrows embedded in both walls at the level of his body if he’d been standing.