Jennifer Wilber works as an ESL instructor, substitute teacher, and freelance writer. She holds a B.A. in Creative Writing and English.
Ferdinand and the Dinosaurs - Chapter 4
"Help me!" Ferdinand cried out as the Quetzalcoatlus flew higher and higher into the sky, though he didn't know what a Triceratops, who didn't even have opposable thumbs, could possibly do to save him as he rose higher and higher into the sky. He watched below as Snarl tried to chase after him and the pterosaur. The Triceratops tried to run up the side of the volcano, but it was of no use. His legs just weren't built for climbing.
The Quetzalcoatlus circled around the volcano, never loosening its grip on Ferdinand's arms. It circled several times before flying inward toward the center of the volcano. He looked down and saw Snarl running around to the other side of the volcano, after giving up on climbing to save him. Perhaps he was looking for a less steep slope.
The pterosaur darted downward toward the center of the volcano. Ferdinand saw what appeared to be a nest in the rocks inside the opening of the volcano. There were several massive leathery eggs sitting in a giant nest on a ledge just inside the volcano's opening. The pterosaur flew toward the nest and landed, letting go of Ferdinand once it reached the nest.
The Quetzalocoatlus stared at Ferdinand, who was too frightened to move. He simply stood at the edge of the nest looking back at the pterosaur. He was scared to look down, as it was a long way to the bottom of the volcano and he was afraid of heights. The Quetzalocoatlus continued to make herself comfortable in the nest.
"Why did she bring me here?" Ferdinand thought to himself. Perhaps he was to be food for her soon-to-hatch young.
Suddenly, one of the eggs began to move slightly. The mother pterosaur looked down at it with anticipation. A two more of the eggs started to move. It wouldn't be long now before Ferdinand was up to his neck in baby pterosaurs who would think of him as nothing more than a quick breakfast. He tried to look around to see if there was a way out. This was it. He would die at the hand, or rather, beak, of a hungry baby Quetzalcoatlus. It was all over now.
A tiny beak emerged from one of the eggs, followed by a tiny claw. After several moments, the other eggs began to move as well. Before long, the nest was filled with six baby pterosaurs sitting amongst eggshells and squawking like the most annoying of baby birds of the present day as their mother looked over them. It was like a scene from a cliché science fiction movie. But if this was a movie, that meant that there had to be some way out, Ferdinand thought. The main character never dies, at least not so early in the story. Ferdinand noticed that the wall of the volcano was rocky enough that he just might be able to climb up. It was about twenty feet or so to the top, but he was sure that he would be able to make it out if he could only keep the mother distracted long enough.
Ferdinand noticed that the mother was busy looking over her newly-hatched babies. He slowly began to move toward the wall of the volcano. It took him several minutes, but he managed to get to the wall without the Quetzalcoatlus mother noticing. He then turned to the wall and began climbing up slowly and deliberately, hoping that she would not turn around and catch him.
After what seemed like an eternity, Ferdinand reached up for the top ledge of the volcano. Just as he pulled himself up out of the opening, he heard the pterosaur shriek below him. He quickly got himself out of the volcano and ducked behind a boulder near the volcano's vent. Just after he ducked, the pterosaur flew up from the center of the volcano. Luckily, it flew off in the opposite direction.
Once Ferdinand was certain that the coast was clear, he stood up and looked around. He noticed a body of water not too far from the volcano. It seemed to be surrounded by forests and wetlands. There was a patch of smaller trees that ran from several miles away from the volcano to the forest near the water. Ferdinand knew instantly where his adventures would take him next, as soon as he could get down from the volcano and find his Triceratops friend. The woods seemed like a safe route to take, but a journey across the open terrain would prove to be much quicker, and he had already seen a Cretaceous woodland environment. He looked down to the base of the volcano and saw that Snarl was walking around just below. That's convenient, Ferdinand thought, as he wouldn't have to look for Snarl before heading off to the coast.
Before he could do anything else, however, Ferdinand had to get to the bottom of the volcano. He looked over his shoulder to make sure that he wasn't being watched. The Quetzalcoatlus was flying near the ground on the other side of the volcano. He would be safe, for now at least. He could probably climb down the side of the volcano to where Snarl was walking around before the pterosaur got back.
"Hey! Snarl!" Ferdinand called out. "I'm up here!" The Triceratops looked up at him. "Wait for me! I'm coming down there!" He turned around and got his footing on the side of the volcano. He leaned forward and lowered himself down with his hands. He slowly climbed downward for about fifteen minutes or so when he lost his footing and began to slide down the volcano on his stomach.
He slid slowly at first and tried desperately to grab onto the rocks that stuck out from the volcano's surface, but he couldn't get a grip on them. He quickly picked up speed as he slid toward the ground. At least he would get to the base of the volcano. He just hoped that it would be in one piece.
Finally, Ferdinand reached the base. He landed with his back on the ground. "Oww," he exclaimed as he laid on the ground looking up into the sky. Suddenly, the Triceratops' head obstructed his view. "Hi Snarl," Ferdinand said, still on his back and covered in dirt and scratches from his trip down the side of the volcano. He winced in pain while trying to brush prehistoric dirt and volcanic stones off his stomach and arms as he sat up. Ferdinand looked around for several moments before attempting to stand. Next to him, he noticed a piece of basalt that was shaped like a crescent moon. “Whoa!” Ferdinand said, picking up the rock and still in pain. “This is kinda cool!” Snarl just stared at the human boy. Ferdinand put the rock in his backpack before trying to stand. If he got stuck going back to his own time, he would have a souvenir. Ferdinand had to hold onto Snarl's head to keep his balance as he stood up.
Though his entire body ached, Ferdinand knew that they had to continue their journey. "I have seen our next destination," Ferdinand told Snarl, though he was sure that the Triceratops couldn't understand a word he said. “There is a body of water, and a forest, way over there." He pointed in the direction of the water he had seen when he was standing on top of the volcano.
With some struggle, Ferdinand climbed up onto Snarl's back. There was no way that he was walking on his own now. The Triceratops began walking in the direction that Ferdinand had pointed out. Ferdinand could almost see the reflection of the water in the distance, and the outline of the forest that stood in front of one side of the body of water. With any luck, they could reach their destination the following day.
Suddenly, Ferdinand heard a familiar swoop from above. He looked into the sky and saw the Quetzalcoatlus circling above. Ferdinand tightly held onto Snarl's neck as he drove his foot into his side indicating that he wanted the Triceratops to run. Snarl ran as fast as he could until he reached a patch of trees that stood several miles from the volcano.
"I think that we had better stay here for a while," Ferdinand said once Snarl stopped running after they had reached the safety of the trees.
"I think that this patch of trees runs pretty close to the forest I saw," Ferdinand said. "It might take a bit longer, but we should follow this line of trees until we get to the forest." Snarl made no complaints as he continued walking through the trees. Perhaps this detour would allow for even more prehistoric fun and adventure.
Read Chapter 5
- Ferdinand and the Dinosaurs: Chapter 5
Ferdinand and Snarl encounter two new dinosaur species on their adventure.
If you missed the beginning of Ferdinand's adventure:
- Ferdinand and the Dinosaurs: Chapter 1
A lonely teenager named Ferdinand wishes that he could escape the torment of high school and just be able to pursue his favorite interest, but what would happen if he actually got his wish?
© 2018 Jennifer Wilber