'Dinosaur Dream'

Story Time

May 02, 1999|By Dennis Nolan

Editor's note: When a baby apatosaurus taps on his bedroom window, Wilbur decides he must lead his new friend, Gideon, home to his family in the Jurassic period.

It was not long before Wilbur and Gideon left the Ice Age far behind. Brightly colored birds sang and huge black butterflies fluttered overhead. The day was growing hotter as they climbed higher into the mountains. "We've been walking for hours," he said, "and we haven't found anything yet. This must be the wrong way." He was almost ready to turn back when a tiny horse-like animal scampered up the mountainside in front of him. "Look, Gideon," he cried, "a Mesohippus from fifty million years ago! We're in the Tertiary period at last! This is the right way!" Gideon squealed with delight and chased the Mesohippus up the rocks.

The sun beat down as they stood on the mountaintop and gazed out at the land below them. Mighty volcanoes rumbled, sending rivers of sizzling lava down their sides. Pools of hot mud bubbled angrily, and steam rose from cracks in the earth. Gideon paced about nervously. "Come here, Gideon. Look." Wilbur pointed to the giant-winged reptiles floating silently in the warm breeze. "Those are Pteranodons. That means we're in the Cretaceous period. It can't be far now," said Wilbur.

Gideon and Wilbur followed the winding path down the mountain. Far ahead lay a wide green valley dotted with shimmering lakes. "Maybe that's the Jurassic period down there," said Wilbur. Then he saw some Triceratops sleeping peacefully in the sun. "Oh, Gideon," he whispered, "I have to get a closer look." But Gideon would not leave the path. "They won't hurt you, they're asleep," said Wilbur.

All at once the earth shook and the mountains echoed with a terrifying roar. Gideon looked, and shuddered at the sight. A monstrous Tyrannosaurus rex was leaping across the rocks toward them. It swished its long tail in the air and chomped its heavy jaws. "Faster, Gideon," yelled Wilbur as they ran from the enormous dinosaur. The Tyrannosaurus was nearly upon them when they came to a swift river that bounced wildly around sharp boulders. There was nothing left to do. Wilbur grabbed Gideon and jumped into the cold water.

Wilbur kicked against the strong current. But it was no use. They were pulled to the edge of a high waterfall. They screamed as they fell through the crashing foam, just missing the slippery rocks below. The splashing water carried them down to a wide green valley. They collapsed on the warm bank and let the afternoon sun dry them off. Then the earth trembled, and they both jumped to their feet. A group of enormous long-necked dinosaurs ambled toward them with great plodding footsteps. Gideon sniffed the air and wagged his tail. "We've found it! We've found the Jurassic period," Wilbur cried out as they ran across the fields of ferns to meet the Apatosaur family.

Wilbur and Gideon spent the rest of the afternoon happily wandering across the valley with Gideon's family. Soft summer breezes circled about the great beasts as they nibbled the tops of the tall trees. Wilbur watched a Stegosaurus browsing among the ferns while Gideon splashed through shining creeks and chased giant dragonflies. The sun set behind the mountains, and all too soon the day was over.

Excerpted from the book DINOSAUR DREAM, by Dennis Nolan. Copyright c 1990, by Dennis Nolan. Reprinted by permission of Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Simon & Schuster Inc., Children's Publishing Division. All rights reserved.

Pub Date: 05/02/99

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