Congratulations to the winners! Be looking for my e-mail. You have until Monday morning to reply so I can get those books off to you soon! (If I don't here from you by then, I'll pick another winner.)
I also told you I would share our completed story (from the night game around the campfire Wednesday night), so here it is for your reading enjoyment:
Separating from the group in order to take a picture of an adorable bunny was not Ruth's best idea. She had been thrilled to join a hiking club for the summer, but the thought of getting lost had never crossed her mind. With the sun already falling rapidly down the western half of the sky like an autumn leaf being detached from its high place, a shiver of nervous, not-quite-complete fear ran through her. Too bad she had such a horrible sense of direction. Back at home she couldn't even find the store she had worked at for months on her own--she needed to follow her neighbor (who happened to be one of her co-workers) to work every morning. But the only creature she could follow right now was the bunny, so when it hopped into some bushes she set off after it.
She hadn't planned on coming face-to-face with a giant blue horse! He had the most beautiful silver mane. He stood staring at her like he was expecting something. She reached out to touch him, and he turned, and walked to a nearby tree stump, which was rotten with age. He seemed to be asking her to get on his back, so she jumped onto the stump, praying it didn't crumble beneath her, grabbed onto his neck and jumped on.
Just then, he took off at a lighting speed. Ruth held on with all her might, thankful she knew how to ride a horse. As the horse galloped through the woods Ruth realized it was headed straight for a huge tree. Bracing herself for the impact Ruth clung to the horse and closed her eyes.
Ruth heard a whoosh and opened her eyes to see the horse gliding up along a rainbow! Ruth gasped as she realized the ground was falling beneath them. The rainbow sparkled and glittered, and the horse began to change rainbow colors with it.
She watched as the rainbow led them straight to the land of Oz! But after meeting the scarecrow, the tinman, and the cowardly lion, she decided that enough was enough. Ruth desperately tried to click her heels together, wishing she had a pair of ruby shoes.
"Ruth! Wake up!" Startled, Ruth sat straight up to find herself in a tent, surrounded by a few of the concerned girls from her hiking group. "That must have been some dream!"
As Ruth nodded, she thought she saw a rainbow-colored horse gallop past the tent. She simply smiled and said, "Where are we going today?"
Thank you to all my fellow contributors: Bluerose, Angie, and Ariel! It turned out to be quite an interesting story!