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Ferdinand and the Dinosaurs: A YA Sci-Fi Short Story - Chapter 5

Jennifer Wilber works as an ESL instructor, substitute teacher, and freelance writer. She holds a B.A. in Creative Writing and English.

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Ferdinand and the Dinosaurs - Chapter 5

Ferdinand and Snarl continued through the woods until they reached the edge of the trees. There was a bare strip for about half a mile or so separating the woods from a much taller, and most likely older forest. They had been traveling all day, and Ferdinand was sure that the pterosaur had given up her search for him by now.

"We're almost there now," Ferdinand said to the Triceratops. "Let's just get to the forest as quickly as possible." Snarl, who was still carrying Ferdinand on his back, began to exit the safety of the trees as Ferdinand scanned the sky. It appeared that they would be safe, as the pterosaur was nowhere to be seen.

An Ankylosaurus was eating a fern nearby. Snarl decided that he, too, was hungry, and walked up next to the Ankylosaurus to eat a fern as well. Ferdinand was still sitting on the dinosaur's back. The human boy studied the armadillo-like dinosaur for a few minutes before growing bored. He was on a mission to get to the lake that he had seen from the volcano, and he didn't want to stop until they got there.

"Come on," Ferdinand said impatiently, forgetting that they had not stopped to eat during the entire duration of their journey. "I want to get to the lake today, and maybe see the wetlands." The Triceratops simply looked back at Ferdinand with annoyance. Ferdinand then realized that he too was hungry. With all of this excitement, he had forgotten to eat since he had arrived in the Cretaceous period. He realized that he still had his backpack on from school. Perhaps he still had some snacks in there.

Ferdinand found some cheesy crackers and a can of Mountain Dew in his backpack. He was amazed that the Mountain Dew survived in his bag for so long without the can exploding. Ferdinand ate the crackers while Snarl and the Ankylosaurus ate their prehistoric plants. When he was finished with the crackers, he tapped on the top of the can to prevent the Mountain Dew from fizzing everywhere. He knew he would have to find some other food source in this prehistoric world if he wanted to survive, as fast food hadn't been invented yet. For now, he enjoyed his last remaining link to the time from which he came.

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Ferdinand briefly considered throwing the wrapper from the cheesy crackers and the empty Mountain Dew can on the ground, but he realized the dangers of allowing some paleontologist in the future to find a fossilized soda can and put his garbage in his backpack.

Of course, he would most likely die here someday, and his remains could become fossilized. Perhaps scientists would simply think that he was the missing link or something. Of course, that would mean that they would have to have miscalculated the date on which he had died, as he still existed long before anything resembling a human had evolved. Perhaps his being here had already disrupted the very fabric of the space-time continuum, and maybe because of him, there were no humans at all in the future now. Cool, he thought, as the complete lack of human beings meant that the jocks at his high school would never have existed. Too bad he would never find out if his actions ever had an effect.

Ferdinand put his backpack back on and looked down at Snarl. "Are you done eating yet?" he asked the Triceratops. Snarl looked back at him and then returned to the ferns. He took a couple more bites and then turned back toward the forest. The Ankylosaurus finished eating as well and sauntered away in the opposite direction with its club-like tail moving from side to side behind it. Ferdinand admired the Ankylosarus's armor plating and briefly thought about throwing something at it to see if the dinosaur would notice but decided against it. He didn't want to have yet another dinosaur mad at him, especially one that could probably kill him with one swipe of its tail.

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Ferdinand and Snarl continued toward the forest. The Triceratops began to run at a steady pace to reach the destination. Even from this distance, Ferdinand could see movement within the trees. He hoped that it would be some kind of awesome dinosaur that he hadn't seen yet, preferably an herbivore after the recent encounters with the Tyrannosaurus and the Quetzalcoatlus. But whatever it was, Ferdinand was sure that he would be able to escape from any danger that may present itself. He had been lucky so far and was sure that his luck wasn't about to run out just yet.

It only took a few minutes for Ferdinand and Snarl to reach the forest. Just as they were approaching the forest, Ferdinand noticed the pterosaur flying high in the sky above them. Though he didn't think that she had noticed them, he thought that they should get to the safety of the forest as soon as possible. "Hurry up," Ferdinand said impatiently. "That pterosaur is back." Ferdinand pointed to the sky, though Snarl didn't look back. He did seem to pick up the pace slightly, however.

Once under the cover of the forest canopy, Snarl stopped and Ferdinand looked back through the tree branches. He saw the Quetzalcoatlus beginning to fly lower, as though she was looking for something, but after a few minutes, she gave up and flew back in the direction of the volcano. She probably didn't want to be away from her young for too long, even if she did have a personal vendetta against Ferdinand.

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"Okay," Ferdinand began. "If we keep walking in that direction, we should be able to reach the lake and the wetlands." He pointed in the direction of where the forest would most likely meet with the lake and the wetland area that he had seen from the volcano if his calculations were correct.

Snarl turned toward where Ferdinand was pointing and began to walk slowly, being careful not to destroy any plant life. "You can go a little faster if you'd like," Ferdinand suggested, sounding a little impatient and annoyed, though the dinosaur most likely didn't understand what he was saying. There didn't seem to be anything of interest here in the forest, and he wanted to see some new dinosaurs and some new terrain.

Just then, Ferdinand saw something moving somewhere behind the trees in front of him and Snarl. The Triceratops slowly moved forward to bring them closer to whatever it was. When they got closer, Ferdinand saw that it was a pair of Parasaurolophuses. It appeared to be a male and a female. The male had a brightly colored crest, whereas the female's coloring was more subdued. Just like modern-day birds, Ferdinand thought. They seemed to be foraging for food.

The female Parasaurolophus noticed Ferdinand and Snarl first and let out a loud bellow from her crest. The male then looked toward them. Both of the Parasaurolophuses turned in the opposite direction and started to run toward the lake, the same direction that Ferdinand and his Triceratops were already headed. The pair of dinosaurs both leaned forward to run on all fours and began to pick up speed.

"Let's follow them!" Ferdinand exclaimed. Snarl began to chase after them, while still keeping a distance. Ferdinand wondered where they were going. Perhaps there would be an entire herd of Parasaurolophuses when they got to wherever it was that they were going.

Read Chapter 6:

  • Ferdinand and the Dinosaurs: Chapter 6
    Ferdinand and Snarl find a Parasaurolophus nesting ground, which gives them a much-needed chance to relax. While looking out across the lake, Ferdinand notices something in the distance that makes him want to continue the journey.

If you missed the beginning:

  • 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