It's Just a Diplodocus

by Jenny Barnard

diplodocus eating tomatoes

“Jaamiee,” called his mum up the stairs. “Are you getting dressed?”

“Yesss,” replied Jamie.

But he wasn’t, not at all. He was far more interested in the ferocious looking Ty-ranno-saurus-Rex staring at him from his big picture book of dinosaurs.

“Wow Ted!” said Jamie. “Look at its teeth!”

I was looking at its teeth and I shuddered at the thought of what they could do to a small bear like me.

“JA-MIE!” called his mum again. “BREAKFASTS READY”

“Oh crumbs, better get your skates on mate” I said, and he was up and dressed before either of us could say Pachy-ceph-al-oh-saur-us.

He charged out of his bedroom with me held fast in his grip by my poor leg. Slid down the bannisters, skidded along the hallway and scre-e-e-e-ched to a halt in the kitchen doorway.

Jamie drew out his sword.

“On guard Mr T-Rex! Prepare to battle!”

'Oh cripes', I thought, 'hold on tight Ted old boy, here we go again, more play fighting with imaginary dinosaurs'.

Jamie thrashed his sword around, ducking and dodging the razor sharp teeth and claws of the T.Rex.

Finally, to my relief, he threw down his sword, declared himself the winner and sat us both down to a well-earned breakfast.

Then propping up his dinosaur book against the milk jug, opened it up to a page all about the dip-lo-do-cus.

“Wow Ted!” he said. “The Diplodocus lived around one hundred and fifty million years ago! That’s even older than my Gran!”

“Cor!” I replied, truly amazed.

“And Ted, it could grow up to twenty seven … … "

"WOOOAAHHH! We both cried suddenly.

As Goliath, Jamies little dog, bulldozed into our stools and sent us crashing to the floor.

“Wh, what’s the matter with him Ted?” said Jamie, now sitting on the floor in a puddle of milk with a slice of toast and strawberry jam stuck to his head.

“Anybody would think he’d seen a real dinosaur.”

He had come racing into the kitchen from the back garden at nnety miles an hour and then dived headlng into his basket. Where he now was, trembling and shaking like a leaf underneath his blanket. The suddenly...

... the sunny kitchen was plunged into darkness and a thunderous noise shook the house until it rattled.

For there, standing in the garden, like an oversized garden gnome, was a… .real live dip-lo-doc-us!

Jamies mum’s washing was strewn around its neck and it was munching it’s way contentedly through her neat row of cabbages.

“W O W!” mouthed Jamie. “How cool is that?” he breathed.

“Of course…” he went on. “it’s probably only a baby one Ted because I don’t think an adult one would have been able to fit into our garden. Do you?”

Just a baby? I didn’t care if it was sucking its dummy and playing with its rattle, it was still the biggest and scariest thing I had ever seen in my life. Terrified, I scrambled to my feet and jumped into Goliaths basket with him.

As we huddled together we heard Jamies mum coming, singing happily to herself as she came into the kitchen.

Dancing queen, feel the beat from the tambourine…oh yeah! You can dance, you can jive, having the time of your……JAMIEEE! What on earth are you doing on the floor? Go and get yourself cleaned up, quick sharp. You’re going to be late for school, and I’ve got to get the washing in yet before we go because it looks like a storms on it’s way, and what the devil is that dinosaur doing in our... back... garden?”

She dropped the washing basket and screamed. “WOOOAH!”

“Shhh mum.” whispered Jamie “You’ll frighten it away.”

“WOOOOAH!” she screamed again.

Goliath and I covered our ears.

“It’s OK mum.” said Jamie “It’s just a di-plo-doc-us. It’s not going to eat you or anything. Its a her-bi-vore and they only like plants and things. Like your cabbages. Look. He loves them.”

“Yes…yes…er…I can see that Jamie.” She croaked.

“ But, Wha,wha,whats it doing here? In…in our garden? ”

Her skin had turned a ghostly white and all her hair had stood on end. Just like Jamies had that time he’d emptied a whole pot of his dad’s hair gel onto his head.

“Just visiting.” replied Jamie, quite matter of fact.

“Oh.” squeaked his mum, whilst she watched in horror as the dinosaur ate the last of her cabbages and then with one swift movement of it’s great thumping tail accidentally demolished her precious greenhouse before stomping it's way out of the garden. Leaving behind it as it went footprints the size of fishponds.

“Oh but Jamie !” she cried out frantically. “We have to stop him! He’s running away with my washing !”

“Hey! Hey! Mr Diplodocus!” called out Jamie, jumping to his feet and running out into the garden. “Don’t go yet. My dad’s got some lovely Brussels sprouts in his allotment.”

But the dinosaur, obviously feeling quite satisfied with his little snack, strode away quite happily down the next street.

Jamie’s mum raced past him with the washing basket in her hands in hot pursuit of the dinosaur. With Jamie following closely at her heels.

Goliath and I crept cautiously out of his basket and peeped outside.

“Good gracious Goliath. Look!” I cried. “Jamie’s mum is climbing up the dinosaur’s neck and unpegging her washing!”

We watched in amazement and held our breaths until at last they came strolling back into the garden, laughing and joking and swinging the basket full of washing between them.

We ran outside cheering. “Hip, hip hurray! Hip, hip …”

But, suddenly, our cheers turned to shouts of terror as a terrifying roar filled the air. The house shook to it’s very foundations and the chimney pots wobbled.

Petrified Goliath and I jumped straight into the washing basket and buried ourselves under the clothes. The pong of dinosaur on them was even worse than that of Goliaths blanket. So I quickly found a peg for my nose.

“Don’t panic everyone!” Came my muffled cry. “It’s just a…just a.........T REX!"

The End

copyright Jenny Barnard 2011

The author lives in Picardie, France. (She is an illustrator as well. See her terrifying T.Rex!)

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