By Jodd Foxfire

“Ring…” Recess time!

Sean and his two best friends, Max and Clara dashed out of the class like lightning. One moment listening to the teacher talk, the next moment at the far end of the playground! Sean and his friends decided to play a game of hide-and-seek. Clara closed her eyes and started counting. “1,2,3….” Sean spied a heavy long metal pipe a few meters away and crouched down and crawled in. As Sean slithered further in, Clara’s voice grew softer and softer until it was not audible.

When Sean dragged himself out of the tube, he was not at the school playground anymore.

“Wow! Where are you, Max? Clara?”

The sand was like burning hot coal, and the air was humid. The surrounding trees were alive with the sound of birds. In the distance, a long, low moaning sound could be heard. Sean realized that he was at the top of a valley and as he looked down into the ravine, he saw hundreds of dinosaur nests, and lots of mother dinosaurs.

“Oh my! Where am I?” Though he took a while to realize it, the truth was obvious. Sean had been transported to the age of the dinosaurs!

Meanwhile, Clara finished counting. “…19, 20. Ready or not, here I come!” She found Max stooping behind an old refrigerator box. Max and Clara then went on to find Sean. Max recalled, “I remember that Sean went into the ancient rusty pipe at the end of the playground.” Max and Clara scrambled in and started calling, “Sean… oh, Sean… Where are you?”

As they hauled themselves out of the tube, Clara shouted to Sean.

Hello, Sean. We’ve been looking for you for ages. What are you doing…” She stopped short and gasped as she peered into the valley.

“Dinosaurs!”

“What happens if we are discovered?” Max asked.

Not sure. Just keep your cool.” Sean replied. Just then, Clara bumped a piece of rock, which startled the boulder that they were squatting on, sending the three young adventurers tumbling headlong into the valley!

Landing with a loud “thud!”, the trio was sprawled face-down in the sand for a minute. Sean got up and dusted himself and said optimistically, “Not too bad, only a few scratches and bruises.”

A few scratches and bruises! I feel like a hundred kilogram sack just fell on me.” Clara whined, expressing her emotions. “You should not be the one complaining, I should. After all, it is your fault you brought us into this valley. Now how are we to get out?” grumbled Max.

“Enough, enough,” Sean held up his hands.

“Fighting won’t get us out of the valley. Look, I think that mother and baby dinosaur needs our help.” Sean was pointing to a baby dinosaur that was in danger of being eaten by an enormous three-horned dinosaur. The mother was trying to stop the dinosaur from getting closer the baby, but to no avail.

        Sean bent down to pick up a stick and flew forward at the dinosaur’s legs with amazing ferocity. Sean’s two friends followed suit meekly. Driven by this impulsive attack, the bigger dinosaur was forced to retreat. Eyes of gratitude looked at them as the mother dinosaur seemed to thank them. Max tried to signal that they wanted to get out. Surprisingly, the mother seemed to understand and gently lifted the kids out of the valley. Sean studied the landscape for a second before stating, “I think we are now on the opposite side of the place where the pipe is. We will have to trek through this forest to go back.

Abruptly, birds and animals started heading away from the forest, and the ground started trembling. Had the threesome got into a clearing, they would have seen what had frightened the animals. The ultimate killing machine and terror of the dinosaur era, the Tyrannosaurus Rex!

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        “Crash!” With a resounding stamp of its foot, the Tyrannosaurus Rex charged into the clearing. Sean, Clara and Max were dumbstruck; Sean eyes were as big as saucers, Max stood rooted to the spot and Clara’s legs were trembling like jelly. Never had they seen a creature so humongous or wrathful. Its head alone was already taller than Sean, the oldest and tallest of the three. The predator’s razor-sharp teeth were each the size of a butcher’s biggest knife, with saliva drooling from the corner of its mouth. Its dark green skin was bristling with anger. The nostrils were red from flaring hot air and blazing eyes glared down on the three children as it towered over them. The Tyrannosaurus Rex bent down and used one of its relatively puny hands to grab Max, who was too terrified to move. Sean, realizing the danger, pushed Max out of reach.

        “C’mon guys, let’s get out of here! This monster is serious about devouring us, let’s go!” Sean cried out in desperation. As soon as he said these words, the Tyrannosaurus Rex started pounding after them. The trio found themselves running for their lives, but the bloodthirsty monster was hard on their heels.

        Just then, a shadow hovered over them for a moment before landing just ahead of them.

That’s a Pteranodon!” Max exclaimed excitedly, “I know that they can fly!”

        “Hey Clara, you’re the best with animals, try and soothe him and get him to fly us out of here. While you’re doing that, Sean and I will create a diversion with that horrible monster.” Max shouted hastily, his mind racing for ideas.

        Clara rolled her eyes and grumbled, “Why me again, it’s always Clara this, Clara that. Why can’t Sean or you do it?”

        “It’s because you are the best with animals. This is our only hope, or do you prefer the monster crunching you?” Max threatened in a menacing tone. “Oh, alright Max Stoppard, but you owe me one.” Clara crept silently on her hands and feet to the Pteranodon, her heart pounding. She took a deep breath to steady her racing heart and stretched out her hands in fear and trepidation. The Pteranodon seemed calm and unafraid. Clara heaved a sigh of relief. She clambered on to its silky body and yelled to the boys, “Let’s fly away!”

Clara gritted her teeth in suspense. It looked like the Tyrannosaurus Rex would surely eat the two boys before they reached the Pteranodon. No! They had put on an extra spurt and pulled away a bit, now they were on the final stretch and, calling up stamina from some deep reserve, they actually broke into a headlong sprint. They pounded the final few steps to the flying dinosaur and vaulted onto the dinosaur as it slowly and majestically rose up into the sky.

        The threesome was now enjoying the ride over the dinosaurs land as the danger had passed. Very soon, Clara managed to guide the Pteranodon through the air to the pipe they had first emerged into this strange and wonderful land. From the back of the Pteranodon, they were treated to a panoramic view of chiseled, snowy peaks stretching into the distance as far as the eye could see. Below them nestled an emerald green forest. Sparkling streams fed into a broad river that wound lazily through a verdant and fertile valley, teeming with mother dinosaurs and their nests. The forest rang with melodic birdsong and the shrill, piercing sounds of insects. The air smelled fresh and fragrant in the spring sunshine.

        As they passed the valley, they swooped low and landed outside the pipe. Clara hugged the dinosaur one last time before reluctantly letting it fly away. Sean announced to the others, “I’m going to take some pictures with my digital camera before we leave.”

        Clambering out of the pipe, the trio found that not a second had passed since the time they had left. Sean and his friends bolted into the classroom and showed his teacher the pictures they had taken. She looked through the pictures for a long time, staring at every picture carefully as if they were gold. Finally, they could not wait any longer.

Well?” they said in unison. “What do you think? Do you like them?”

        “I’m…I’m amazed,” She exclaimed. “These pictures are incredible. They’re so realistic, you’d think the three of you had actually gone into the time of dinosaurs. But, of course that’s impossible.”

        “Of course,” Sean said with a grin. Sean winked at Max and Clara. It had been a great day. After school, Sean cautioned them, “I don’t think we will ever get back again, I’ve tried it. I went through the pipe and I only came out the other side. But I have the feeling that we will go back by other means somehow.”

        “What other means?” Max asked querying.

        “I don’t know. It was just a feeling.” Sean answered carelessly. “The Pteranodon sort of winked at me, you know. Someday, when we are together again, you never know, just wait, and wait.

        And that is the very end of our adventure, dear reader. But don’t worry, Sean was right, it is only the beginning of the adventures in the Land of the Dinosaurs!