My daughter, Jenny came home from school and told me that she had a dinosaur in her backpack. She also said that if I were to go near it, it would bite.
“A dinosaur!” I exclaimed. “Jenny, for goodness sake. What are you doing with a dinosaur in your backpack?”
I wasn’t worried about the dinosaur biting me. That was the least of my worries. I was more concerned about the soaring grocery bill.
“Jenny,” I said as calmly as I could. “What kind of dinosaur do you have?”
“It’s a Tyrannosaurus Rex,” said Jenny.
“Oh,” was all that I could say.
I had been afraid that it was a Tyrannosaurus Rex. It could only have happened in my house.
“They eat meat, don’t they?” I asked, already knowing the answer to that question, but hoping that by some slim chance that I was wrong.
“Yes,” said Jenny. “They eat meat alright and lots of it.”
“Why does this have to happen to me?” I sighed to myself, out loud.
“Did you say something, Mom?” Jenny asked.
“No,” I lied.
“Look, Mom,” said Jenny seriously. “I heard you say something and if you were saying bad things about my dinosaur, I must warn you that he can hear every word you say.”
At those sweet words, I saw Jenny’s backpack stamp up and down on the floor.
“Oh Mom!” said Jenny. “You’ve hurt his feelings.”
The dinosaur’s foot-stomping got louder and louder. The walls of the house were beginning to shake.
“Alright!” I snapped angrily. “Dinosaur, I’m sorry. I won’t say anything about you ever again. I just hope you don’t expect me to feed you. Can’t you eat green stuff? Don’t you know that a lot of meat is bad for you?”
After that, Jenny’s dinosaur became very angry. The window behind me started to shake.
“Mom!” shouted Jenny over the dinosaur. “Stop teasing him.”
“I want food,” the dinosaur roared. “My stomach is growling.”
“Oh yeah,” I said. “Well, so is mine!”
“Mom!” Jenny shouted again. “You’ve got to stop. This is my dinosaur. You have to be nice to him!”
“Nice to a dinosaur!” I said loudly. “Are you kidding?”
This time, the whole house started to shake.
“Is there an earthquake outside?” I asked.
“No!” said Jenny. “It’s my dinosaur! You have made him very angry this time.”
“Well,” I said. “I’m sorry. I’m not used to having a dinosaur in my house. Can I meet him?”
“I don’t know,” said Jenny. “I’ll have to ask him.”
Jenny opened up her backpack and whispered something to her dinosaur.
“I’m sorry, Mom,” said Jenny. “He doesn’t want to meet you, because you hurt his feelings. He says that he is too tired right now and that maybe he’ll meet you later. All he wants to do right now is sleep.”
“That’s alright,” I said. “Because I didn’t want to meet him anyway.”
“Mother!” exclaimed Jenny.
“Yes, I know,” I said, running out of excuses. “I forgot.”
“Mom,” said Jenny. “My dinosaur is very tired. Is it alright if I put him in the freezer to sleep?”
“Yeah right!” I sneered, finally blowing my cool. “I won’t have him in the freezer! He just wants to eat all our meat!”
“I don’t think so,” replied Jenny. “Dinosaurs won’t grow when they are frozen! You don’t want him to get any bigger, do you?”
As soon as I heard that last bit, I went over to Jenny’s backpack and I carried it downstairs. I opened up my freezer to make room in it especially for him. There was no way that I was going to allow that dinosaur to grow at all.
It wasn’t so bad having a dinosaur in the house. As a matter of fact, it was a little entertaining. I grew to love and respect Jenny’s dinosaur because he never did touch any of the meat that was in the freezer. He was actually very well behaved.