First, I would like to dedicate this to a young lady named Kaylee. I hope you enjoy the story and that you keep being yourself.
“Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter, and those who matter don’t mind.” -Bernard M. Baruch
Kaylee, the Great and Terrible Dinosaur Princess
Kaylee’s stomach clenched as the girls of the neighborhood went around the circle saying what kind of princess they were. They were gathered in Anna’s backyard, the pool glinting with sun coins, all dressed in their princess dresses and clutching their dolls with sweaty hands. Kaylee hid Tildie behind her dress. When it was her turn Kaylee bit her lip.
“I want to be the dinosaur princess.” She said, bringing Tildie, her plastic Carcharodontosaurus, out from behind the folds of her green dress. “And this is my pet, Tildie the Carcharodontosaurus.”
The other girls shifted in their poofy, tool dresses.
“Don’t you want to be the flower princess like you were last time? And where is Hannah?” Tabitha asked. Her plastic crown glinted in the sun.
Kaylee had been the flower princess before but, frankly, she was sick of being a flower princess. “No.” she said firmly. “I want to be the dinosaur princess. I can even speak dinosaur,” she added, “See, watch. I’ll say your name in dinosaur.” She growled Tabitha’s name.
The other girls watched Tabitha as she glared at Kaylee.
“There is no such thing as a dinosaur princess.” She said in dark tones, hinting at the destructive power of her plastic scepter.
“Yes there is.” Kaylee said, clutching Tildie so tight his claws dug into her palms, her smile fading.
Tabitha folded her arms across her sequined dress. “Dinosaur princesses don’t exist. Even if they did, they wouldn’t have a T-Rex as a pet.”
“It’s a Carcharodontosaurus.”
The girls twittered with laughter.
“I think it’s time to go home.” Tabitha said, eyeing Tildie with utter dislike. “Let’s go put our stuff away.”
Kaylee was confused. They all had their swimming suits on underneath their dresses. She shrugged and put Tildie into her dinosaur back-pack and headed out the door. “See you later, Anna!” She waved but Anna did not wave back.
Kaylee lived next door to Anna but the walk to her front door seemed to go on forever. Maybe they just had to warm up to the idea of a dinosaur princess. Maybe tomorrow they would all be speaking dinosaur to each other. Maybe they would want to see her dinosaur encyclopedia: Dinos from A-Z. She went up to her room and as she placed Tildie next to Rocky the Iguanodon, a gale of laughter came from Anna’s backyard. Kaylee stumbled on her dress and ran to the window.
The neighbor girls were jumping into Anna’s pool, splashing each other and laughing.
Kaylee stepped away from the window and slumped onto her bed. I should have been a stupid flower princess. Kaylee thought bitterly to herself, burying herself beneath her pillows.
The next day Kaylee rummaged in her closet to find a pink dress to wear over her dinosaur shirt and green shorts. In the closet she found Hannah, the doll that Anna had given to her for her birthday. It was still in its box. She shoved her into a plastic bag and strolled over to Anna’s house.
She knocked on Anna’s door. It opened a crack and Anna peeked through.
“Oh. Hi, Kaylee.” Anna said, not looking entirely pleased to see her.
“Hi, Anna!” Kaylee said, trying to sound cheery, “Are you guys playing princesses today? I was thinking I could be the flower princess this time. I even brought Hannah!” Kaylee brought Hannah out of the plastic bag, her static hair writhing like snakes.
Anna grimaced. “Let me go check with my mom.” Anna shut the door with a snap.
Kaylee peered into the window beside the door and saw Anna whispering with the neighborhood girls who were all dressed in their princess gowns. Tabitha was shaking her head with her arms folded. She was wearing another gown, a purple and pink gown exploding with sequins.
Anna returned, opening the door just wide enough for Kaylee to see her lips and one of her eyes. She coughed. “I think I’m getting sick. And…” she thought hard, furrowing her brow. Someone behind her whispered something. “Oh, yea,” Anna said, “And my mom wants me to do my chores. Sorry. Maybe next week.” She slammed the door and engaged the lock as if she were afraid Kaylee would go into a rage and break down the door.
Truth be told, Kaylee wanted to bestow upon the girls a fury fit for a dinosaur princess. She growled to herself and stomped back home. At the top of the stairs she ripped off the flower princess gown and threw it down the stairs.
As Kaylee watched the dress float down like a pink flower, the ground began to shake as a deep rumble passed through the house. Kaylee clutched the banister. The rumbling stopped and Kaylee went downstairs to find her mother in case it was an earthquake. The house rumbled again, but this time Kaylee noticed that it sounded more like a roar than the rumble of an earthquake.
Kaylee stood beside the basement door and pressed her ear to it when another roar shook the house, the windows rattling and the cups in the cupboard clinking together. She opened the door and stepped down into the dark and closed the door behind her. The air was rich and earthy, as if she were standing in a jungle. She flicked on the light to see that it was not her basement at all, but the tops of tress in a sprawling jungle.
Kaylee walked down the steps. The trees had leaves bigger than the basement door and bugs bigger than her head. When she reached the lush jungle floor Kaylee was on the edge of a cliff. Off in the distance there was a large, smoking volcano rising out of the thick jungle. Pterodactyls flew through thick gray clouds. Other strange dinosaurs Kaylee had never seen before jumped from branch to branch in the treetops below.
Then, from behind her something roared so fierce and powerful that it rattled Kaylee’s bones. She turned slowly to face a great dinosaur with silver blue eyes and black scaly skin. It was a great Carcharodontosaraus, so horrifying yet so majestic that Kaylee wanted nothing more than to hug it around hits thick legs.
The Carcharodontosaurus roared again, exposing his sharp pointed teeth and the dark tunnel of his throat. Suddenly, crashing through the jungle, dinosaurs from everywhere came and circled Kaylee. There was a black and white striped Achelousaurus, a bright blue Stegosaurus with yellow spots, a Maiasaura with her babies peering from behind her legs, a blue Iguanodon, two yellow and green Colepiocephales, and a black and brown spotted Velociraptor.
They all stood still watching Kaylee. She felt fear boiling up inside her telling her to run away, but instead she swallowed a lungful of air and with all her might she roared a great and terrible roar that shook the ground, the trees, and the leaves. The dinosaurs all bowed, then raised up on their hind legs and gave a great bellow. With the air still ringing, the dinosaurs fell silent and the great carchardontosaurus turned around to let her climb up his tail and she sat upon his head.
“What is your name, great and terrible dinosaur?” Kaylee growled in dinosaur language.
“Tildie, your majesty.” He growled. His words rumbled through her legs. “And what may we call you, oh great princess?”
“Kaylee, the terrible dinosaur princess.” Kaylee growled.
“All hail Kaylee the terrible!” Roared Tildie.
The dinosaurs roared a proud roar for their new princess. Tildie led Kaylee through the jungle to meet all her loyal subjects until the yellow sun sunk behind the volcano.
“You cannot be late for supper, your majesty.” Growled Tildie, ever so devoted to his princess.
He took her to the bottom of the stairs. Kaylee hugged him swiftly, then ran up the basement stairs, flicked off the light, and went into the kitchen just as her mother was removing a steaming dish of lasagna from the oven.
When Kaylee and her mom and dad sat down at the dinner table her dad cleared his throat. “Kaylee, we have something to tell you.” He said, folding his fingers together and leaning on the table. He looked to her mother then said, “We have decided to move.”
Kaylee dropped her fork and it clattered against her plate. “Move?” She asked, not trusting her ears.
“Yes, sweetheart.” Said her mother, “We have to leave soon, so we are going to need your help packing. We are moving to a nice place called Appleton. It’s out in the country so there will be lots of forest for you to explore.”
“But I don’t want to move!” Kaylee shouted, thinking of the injustice of it all. Princesses did not move and abandon their people. Princesses were reliable and took care of her subjects. Her face grew hot and her eyes prickled. She ran to her bedroom and slammed the door behind her and did not come out the entire evening.
Weeks went by and the house was empty, except for a small dinosaur suitcase, some wadded up pieces of trash, and a pizza box. A moving truck was parked outside the house filled to the brim with heavy, brown boxes.
As her parents picked up the last pieces of trash and her father threw the pizza box in a big trash bag, Kaylee went down into the basement and entered her kingdom where she gathered her subjects.
“Great and terrible dinosaurs,” she growled, “It is the time of the great migration. Hold onto your moving buddy and follow my lead. You will all arrive at our new home safely. Mother says there will be plenty room in our new home for you all. Now, up the stairs one at a time.”
The dinosaurs followed her one by one up the stairs and squeezed through the basement door. Her parents were sitting at the table eating the last of the pizza and did not seem to notice the train of dinosaurs marching out of the basement.
Kaylee tied the stegosaurs to the top of the truck, stuffed the Maiasaura and her babies into the moving truck, tied a leash to the Achelousaurus and the Iguanodon, stuffed the Velociraptor into the car, and tied the two Colepiocephales to the back of the moving truck. Tildie, however, needed no leash and decided to follow the moving truck.
“You get all your stuff out of the house?” she asked, handing Kaylee’s dinosaur suitcase to her.
Kaylee counted her dinosaurs and nodded.
As they drove down to Appleton people screamed in fright when they saw a great Carcharodontosaraus following a moving van filled with other frightful looking dinosaurs. But Kaylee’s parents did not seem to notice the stegosaurus, the Velociraptor (even though he was making a terrible fuss), or the Iguanodon who kept tugging at his leash.
They finally reached Appleton. Her parents drove to the middle of town and parked outside a tall apartment building. They climbed three flights of stairs to number 301. It was much smaller than they had described it. There were only two rooms, with a small living room and a matchbox sized kitchen. There was no basement.
Kaylee’s heart sank. “Where will all my dinosaurs go?” She asked her mother.
Her mother patted her on the head. “There will be plenty of room for you toys, sweetie.” She said, surveying the living room with her hands on her hips.
Kaylee returned to the dinosaurs and untied them, not knowing how to tell them there was no room for a great dinosaur kingdom. They had to be squished together in the small fenced in backyard. But soon they grew cranky and growled so loud that the neighbors complained about the noise.
At the first day of school Kaylee hardly paid attention to the lessons. Her mind was on her royal subjects growing more and more miserable as the days went on. All they wanted was a nice jungle to roam and roar as loud as they wanted. What was a princess to do?
At recess Kaylee walked on her own, kicking rocks in the grass, her mind on her kingdom. She kicked something hard and plastic and something growled in the bushes.
“Who goes there?” someone growled in dinosaur.
Kaylee froze. “It is I, the dinosaur princess.” She growled back in dinosaur.
A small girl Kaylee’s age popped out of the bushes. There were branches stuck in her bright blonde hair, a smile beaming on her face. “You speak dinosaur too?” she asked brightly in English.
“I am the dinosaur princess, so of course I speak dinosaur.”
The girl gasped. “You are? That’s amazing!” she cried, throwing her arms up into the air. “I am a dinosaur princess too!” She bent down and picked up the plastic object Kaylee had kicked. “This is Blossom, my best pal in the whole world.” She showed Kaylee a brown plastic stegosaurus with hearts and flowers drawn on it with bright permanent markers. “She likes hearts and flowers.” She said, as Kaylee studied the elaborate designs.
Kaylee smiled a real smile, one she hadn’t used in a long time.
“Do you wanna come over to my house after school and play dinosaurs with me? I have a limited edition Giganotosaurus that I got on my birthday. Would you like to see him?”
Kaylee thought hard. “Could I bring my dinosaurs? They are pretty big…”
“I would love it!” the girl cried, leaping from one foot to another. “My name is Ginger by the way, Ginger Stegosaurus Ray, what’s yours?”
“Kaylee, the great and terrible dinosaur princess.”
After school Kaylee went home and gathered her dinosaurs and put leashes on them all, tied them to her bike, and pedaled over to Ginger’s house. Ginger’s house was bigger than she had described with trees bigger than buildings and the house several stories tall. The back yard seemed to go on forever before it was swallowed up in a sea of large trees. It was perfect.
Ginger was on the front porch when Kaylee drove up. Her mouth dropped open when she saw the dinosaurs. She ran up to Kaylee and shyly touched Blossom, the stegosaurus, on the nose. Blossom nudged her gently on the arm.
“I think she likes you.” Kaylee said, pushing out the kickstand on her bike. “I think your backyard will be perfect. They are going to love it.”
Ginger grew quiet, her eyes squinting. “What if…” she hesitated. “What if they lived here and it could be our kingdom and we could be the great and terrible dinosaur princesses together?”
Kaylee hugged Ginger and lept for joy. “That is a wonderful idea!”
The dinosaurs roared their agreement. The girls dressed in their dinosaur princess dresses and led the dinosaurs to the backyard, Kaylee riding Tildie and Ginger riding Blossom. When the dinosaurs went running into the forest Kaylee and Ginger roared great and terrible roars shaking the leaves from the trees and making the ground tremble with fright. There never were better, more terrifying dinosaur princesses in all the land.
This is a Carcharodontosaurus, one of the largest known predatory dinosaurs.
Here is the PDF: The great and terrible Kaylee
Here is a neat website that has tons and tons of dinosaurs and facts about them.
Have a fantastic Wednesday and keep Climbing the Story Tree!