Hiding behind trees: a bedtime story about furless dinosaurs

Wednesday, December 4th, 2013

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(This was an out of nowhere dinosaur bedtime story that The Eldest contributed to pretty much more than she had with any other story. I’d say this one is hers with help from me as opposed to the usual other way around.)

It was dawn on a cold winter day. And at dawn on any day, but particularly a cold winter one, the dinosaurs with no fur on their bellies always looked for a tree to hide behind.

They looked for as wide a tree as they could find because dinosaurs, as you might know, are fairly wide themselves. The wider the tree, the more of themselves they could keep warm.

Every day at dawn, as the dinosaurs searched for trees, a little girl watched from her living room window as they scurried about. She was warm because she was near a fireplace in which there was always a roaring fire.

“I want to warm the dinosaurs,” she said. “Like they were covered in a warm fire that didn’t hurt them.”

So she sat beside her dad and together they started knitting what she called Dinosaur Christmas sweaters.

“You know dad, most dinosaurs do not have fur all over them. Some have fur on their feet and others on their shoulders, but their bellies are so often cold. I’m going to give them their fur.”

Some of the sweaters had Christmas trees on them. Other sweaters had Santa and his fuzzy beard. More sweaters had dinosaurs with reindeer antlers.

For three straight dawns the little girl and her dad knitted sweaters of all sizes while also keeping a watchful eye on the dinosaurs behind trees. Like you, they knew that a cold dinosaur could get very cranky very fast. The fear of a yard-full of cold, angry dinosaurs was enough to keep their fingers working fast even when the flames from their warm fire started to dwindle.

On the fourth dawn, when it looked like the dinosaurs were on the verge of getting too cold and then too angry, the little girl and her dad walked outside with a bundle of sweaters. It was very cold away from the fire but the job had to be done.

The little girl walked from tree to tree and handed out a Christmas sweater to each dinosaur.

“Merry Christmas,” she told each of them as they tried their sweaters on and stepped out from behind the tree.

She repeated this 37 times that dawn and left 10 more shirts by the tallest tree in the yard in case more dinosaurs without fur showed up later because their watches were broken.

Then, even though it was still dawn and maybe even a couple minutes past dawn, there were no dinosaurs behind any trees in the front yard. They were all throwing snowballs or singing Christmas carols or admiring the needlework of their sweaters.

It was beautiful. And the little girl and her dad watched from the window as the fire warmed them.

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