Do You Do With a Dinosaur?
was a loud crackling noise. "Watch out, Dad!" Mark Burns yelled
to his father. Their camp was next to a glacier. Now part
of the glacier was breaking apart in the summer sun. Chunks
of ice were tumbling down, heading right for them.
Professor Burns and his son scrambled up a nearby hill and
watched while their camp was buried under the falling ice.
Soon it was all over. Mark and his father started digging
out their campsite. "Hey Dad!" Mark yelled suddenly. "Look
at this giant egg." An egg, much larger than a football, was
frozen solid in a chunk of ice.
looks like a dinosaur egg," said Professor Burns. "It must
be millions of years old." They packed the egg carefully in
an insulated bag.
A few days later they flew home from their camping trip up
North. In his basement laboratory, Professor Burns rapidly
thawed out the egg. He placed it in a special box at just
the right temperature.
For weeks nothing happened. Then one day Mark heard a funny
noise coming from inside the egg. Suddenly there was a tiny
hole in the egg shell. The hole got larger and larger. Finally
the whole egg cracked open. A baby dinosaur wriggled out.
Mark raced up the stairs and called his father.
looks like a Brontosaurus," said Professor Burns. "This is
the first time humans have ever seen a live dinosaur. We must
be careful. No one must find out about him. If they did, they
would take him away to a museum. I want to study him myself."
They named the baby dinosaur Bronty and made a comfortable
bed for him in a laundry basket. They fed him plenty of leafy
vegetables. Sometimes, when there was no one around, they
let him out to eat some grass in the yard.
One day, Miss Pritchett, who lived across the street, was
visiting. When she opened the bathroom door, she screamed.
Bronty was swimming in the bathtub. Miss Pritchett raced out
By that night, the neighbors were buzzing about the "monster"
in the Burns house. The next day, when Mark got home from
school, he found a five dollar bill and a note on the kitchen
table. "Dear Mark, I'll be home later. Please pick up a loaf
of bread and a dozen eggs in the supermarket. Love, Mom."
Mark felt sorry for Bronty. He would be all alone in the house.
And he never got to go anywhere. So he put a dog collar and
leash on the dinosaur and led him to the supermarket. People
stared at the two of them as they walked down the street.
At the supermarket, Bronty barely fit into the cart. His tail
hung over the side. He stretched his long neck and looked
There was a big display of cans piled up in the middle of
the store. Before Mark could stop him, Bronty swished his
tail and knocked them down. Then he stuck out his neck and
started to chomp on the heads of lettuce across the aisle.
The manager rushed over. "Didn't you see that sign, 'No pets
allowed'?'' he shouted.
Mark hurried out without the bread and eggs. When he got home,
there was a crowd of neighbors outside his house.
don't want that Thing in the neighborhood," someone shouted.
"It might eat the children!"
Just then Professor Burns came home, and after some more angry
words, the neighbors left. "You'd better have that thing out
of here by tomorrow night! Or else we'll call the police."
By the time they went to bed, Professor Burns had decided
to give Bronty up. He would take him away the next morning.
Mark did not want to lose Bronty. He could not sleep at all
that night. Early the next morning, before anyone was up,
Mark sneaked out of the house. He took Bronty with him. They
hid in the thick bushes next to the lake.
A few hours later, they heard some shouts coming from the
middle of the lake. Mark peeked out through the bushes. Two
boys in a rowboat were fooling around. They were pushing and
shoving each other. Suddenly the boat tipped and quickly filled
with water. Then the boat sank.
Help! I can't swim!" the boys screamed. People on the shore
were just standing and watching.
Mark pushed Bronty into the water and jumped on his back.
He pointed to the drowning boys. Bronty was a good swimmer.
In no time he was there. The two boys grabbed Bronty's tail,
and he towed them back to shore.
Now Bronty was a hero. All the neighbors were proud to have
him living there.
2013 The Silversteins