EXPLORERS IN DINOSAUR WORLD

Chapter 3 - Just Another Morning in Dinosaur World

Mornings in Dinosaur World usually start out quietly. Little hisses and squeaks come from the Nursery where baby dinosaurs wake up, crying for something to eat; there are distant squeals from the pteranodons in their cliff-top nests; in the forest the ringing call of a big duckbill can be heard. But this Saturday morning was different.

There was already a line of people waiting to buy tickets when a long, low limousine pulled up to the entrance. The crowd buzzed with excitement. As the uniformed chauffeur opened the back door people stood on their toes trying to see over each other. Who was in the car?

It wasn't a movie star. It wasn't a rock group. And it wasn't the President. It was a little girl.

Someone whispered, "It's her!"

Another voice yelled, "It's Wendy Wynne. The girl who won the drawing. Way to go, Wendy!" Wendy smiled a little self-consciously.

A man walked up to the limousine. He was dressed in boots, blue pants, a khaki shirt and tie and a lightweight jacket with a Dinosaur World patch on the sleeve. He smiled at the girl, "Welcome to Dinosaur World. My name's Jake DuMel. I'm your..."

He was interrupted by a piercing shriek. There was a loud flapping sound and a rush of wind as a huge shadow soared over the crowd. A few people screamed and ducked down.

../Low flying pterodactyls

"The pterodactyls seem to be flying a little low today," Jake observed. "As I was saying, welcome to Dinosaur World. I'll be your guide to Pangaea"

Wendy was still looking at the enormous creature in astonishment, "I thought pterodactyls were little. Like...like ducks or chickens," she said.

Just then, a voice came from inside the limousine, "Some pterodactyls, namely the quetzalcoatlus of the late Cretaceous, had wingspans of over forty feet. You're probably thinking of the little model hanging up in my room. As you've probably guessed by now, it was Peter.

Not winning the drawing had disappointed him, but he'd finally convinced his sister to bring him along as her guest. It hadn't taken much. Just a promise to set the table, wash the dishes and help her with her math homework every night for the next year, that's all.

"This is my brother, Pete. He knows everything about dinosaurs," she explained matter-of-factly as they unloaded their camping gear.

Jake smiled, "Well, he sure knows about pterodactyls. Except they aren't really dinosaurs. They're flying reptiles.

"I know. Pete told me," she boasted.

Jake smiled. It was obvious Wendy adored her brother.

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