©John Bindon 2019
He had to get out. There was no more room for him inside his egg. The top of the shell had a small crack, so he pushed his snout against it and made a large enough opening to finally poke his head free. He stopped to catch his breath, but his feathers were wet, and the air made him shiver. As soon as possible, he needed to get into the sun to warm up. He quickly smashed the bottom of the egg by scratching at it with his back claws, then he wiggled all the way out. What a relief it was to uncurl his legs and stretch out his tail.
Dark green eggs, just like his, filled the nest. So far, he was the only little dinosaur to hatch. But maybe there were others beyond the wall of his nest. He had to take a look. By reaching high with his hands, he was able to hook his fingers into the dried mud of the rim. His arms were so skinny he could see the shape of his bones under the skin, but he found the strength to pull himself up. His legs wobbled a bit, then they settled, and he stood for the very first time.
“Anybody there?” he called out. No one answered. He was alone.
©John Bindon 2019
Alta set off on her own to the border of the plain. Her broken back foot dragged to the side, but she made good progress until she arrived at the ridge that overlooked the lake. She leaned over the cliff to search for a path, but suddenly the sandy edge gave way beneath her. She fell on her haunches into the wet, slippery clay of the underlying bank. With a giggle, she lifted her feet in the air and slid all the way to the bottom where she splash-landed in the marshy border of the lake. It felt wonderful.
Alta spied the young Troödon right away. He was strutting along with a frog dangling from his jaws and paying no attention to what was around him. If she had to, she could easily give the skinny little thing a good shove. His claws looked vicious, but she still didn’t think he was much of a danger to her. So when he reached her stand of flowers, she waited for him to swallow his frog, then she poked her head through the leaves and honked at him, just for fun.