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Ferdinand and the Dinosaurs: A YA Sci-Fi Short Story - Chapter 6

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 6

Ferdinand and Snarl followed the Parasaurolophus pair through the forest. They were careful to keep a safe distance from the pair and stayed far enough away that they could no longer see them, following only the movement in the trees and shrubbery ahead of them. After running for what felt like hours, the Parasaurolophuses finally stopped. They seemed to have disappeared from the forest altogether. Perhaps they had finally reached their destination or had stopped moving to throw their off their pursuers.

The Triceratops cautiously moved forward. Ferdinand noticed that the trees had come to an end and that they were coming upon an open space. Once they got closer, Ferdinand realized that they had reached the edge of the forest, which was situated atop a cliff overlooking the lake. There was a steep incline directly in front of them that went down to the right side of the cliff. The incline formed a path to the lake and a lower level of the forest. The Parasaurolophuses must have taken the path.

"We should see where this leads to," Ferdinand suggested. Snarl began to make his way down the path with Ferdinand still riding on his back.

Ferdinand saw one of the Parasaurolophuses leaving the incline as he and his Triceratops began their descent to the lower level of the forest. It turned right and disappeared into the trees. When they reached the bottom, Ferdinand realized that they were now near the edge of the wetlands that he had seen from on top the volcano. The forest trees continued for about two hundred feet from the bottom of the incline before the swamp began.

"Let's see where the Parasaurolophuses went," Ferdinand said. They continued to follow the dinosaur pair. A few hundred feet to the right was a clearing in the trees that ran into the swamp. In the clearing, there appeared to be about twenty Parasaurolophus adults, and many nests of eggs and newly hatched young. They had found a Parasaurolophus nesting ground.

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Ferdinand jumped off Snarl's back and began to walk closer to the nesting ground, but stopped after remembering his last encounter with a new mother dinosaur and her babies. Even though these dinosaurs were herbivores, it still might be best to not take chances here. If dinosaurs were anything like the animals from his time, they may not appreciate strangers getting near their young.

Ferdinand simply stood by the edge of the forest and watched the dinosaurs tend to their young. He watched as one of the adults jumped into the swampy water. There was an eerie misty fog over the swamp. The dinosaur waded in the swamp for several minutes before returning to the nesting ground. It returned to its nest and laid down next to its babies.

He saw the pair that they had been following earlier standing near their nest. They had three baby Parasaurolophuses sitting in a nest that they had dug into the ground. The baby dinosaurs were all moving about and making small noises. The male then laid down next to the nest to take a nap. The female started walking toward Ferdinand and Snarl. Though she didn't make eye contact, Ferdinand was afraid that she was about to attack, but she simply walked on past them and continued in the direction of the lake. Ferdinand began to follow her, and Snarl stayed close behind.

The lake was also overshadowed by the same fog as the swamp. The Parasaurolophus jumped into the lake and began to swim. Ferdinand watched her as she swam through the water of the lake, occasionally disappearing into the misty fog.

Ferdinand looked around at the scenery. The fog made the place seem a little eerie, but in a peaceful sort of way. He noticed that there was a mountain near the right side of the lake, which was surrounded by the fog and trees. There was a variety of plant species, including ferns, prehistoric trees, and a number of plants that Ferdinand had never seen before surrounding the lake.

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Ferdinand looked back at Snarl, who was busy enjoying a snack of fern leaves. Apparently the ferns that he had eaten earlier hadn't been enough. Ferdinand found a boulder near the shore of the lake and sat down on it. For the first time since he had arrived in this time, and really, for the first time since he moved to the new town and started high school, Ferdinand felt completely relaxed. He knew that he could stay here for the rest of his life. Not that he really had a choice, as the portal home had closed before he had even had a chance to make that decision for himself. But still, he wondered what he would choose if he had the choice; to go back home, or to remain in this prehistoric land with his Triceratops friend Snarl, the only real friend he had ever had. Perhaps this world was his true home. Maybe this was where he belonged after all.

Ferdinand looked back over at the Parasaruolophus. She was still swimming around happily in the peaceful lake. How much simpler life must be for dinosaurs. They didn't have to go to school and deal with grades or bullies or anything. The only thing they really had to worry about was predator dinosaurs, and perhaps extinction.

Ferdinand looked back to the mountain in the distance. There was something shiny on a ledge about halfway up the mountain. It was kind of difficult to see, as the mountain was so far away and the mist was obstructing his view. Ferdinand stood up on the boulder and squinted his eyes to try to get a clearer look at the object. It was circular and was swirling around in an all too familiar fashion. Could that possibly be a portal back to his time?

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"Snarl!" Ferdinand cried out. "Look over there! On that mountain! I think it's a portal!" Ferdinand jumped off the boulder. Snarl stopped eating and walked closer to Ferdinand. "We should go check out that mountain, and the portal!" Ferdinand jumped off the boulder. He felt a certain sense of excitement and relief, though he still wasn't sure what decision he would make if he could make it to the portal. He looked at Snarl and wondered if he would be able to leave his only true friend behind to go back home. No, he was determined to stay here, where he knew he truly belonged. But still, it didn't hurt to investigate this portal. Perhaps he could even use it to visit other prehistoric eras if he could learn how exactly it worked. He climbed back onto Snarl's back and they began their journey along the coast of the prehistoric lake.

Read Chapter 7

  • Ferdinand and the Dinosaurs: Chapter 7
    On his way to investigate a portal that has just appeared in the distance, Ferdinand encounters a plesiosaur stranded on the shore and is forced to confront his own feelings about his past. Will he change his mind about staying in this prehistoric wo

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

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