This story is also available in hardcover. Head this way to but The One Green Dinosaur.
(This dinosaur bedtime story is inspired by my own different dinosaurs. No two kids are alike, let them be their own colour of dinosaur).
Ten dinosaurs stood in a line ready to go into their classroom.
Their front feet were all lined up straight and their back legs were too.
This is how the dinosaurs started every school day.
Each dinosaur was blue.
Each dinosaur was 35-feet-tall.
Each dinosaur had a yellow horn protruding from its forehead.
That was how all dinosaurs looked: blue, tall, and yellow horned.
Except for Rock.
Rock was blue, tall, and yellow horned but you’d not know that to look at him.
Because Rock didn’t want to be like all the other dinosaurs.
He wanted to look like Rock, and that looked very different.
So before school, Rock painted himself green.
And he set himself up on a set of stilts.
And covered his yellow horn with a black wig.
When Rock showed up at school, he was green, 42-feet-tall, and black haired.
And he wasn’t standing perfectly in line.
“Rock, you need to go clean up,” his blue, 35-foot-tall, yellow horned teacher told him. “And then come get in line.”
“I’d like to look like this today sir,” Rock said, getting in line with the other dinosaurs.
“I’m afraid that is not possible. I will be too confused with your appearance to teach you what you need to learn. Please clean up and then come back. We will wait.”
“With all due respect sir, I think it might be easier to tell me apart this way. I promise it won’t hurt anyone.”
“But,” the blue teacher started. “You’re green.”
Rock was now in line with the other dinosaurs but was still greener, taller and less yellow-horned than they were.
He was also now more vocal than any of them had ever been.
But he was feeling no different than how the other dinosaurs had always felt.
“Yes, but my insides are still the same as they were yesterday.”
The 10 other dinosaurs had started flinching in line.
The talk of being different was exciting them.
“Be that as it may, we have rules that we should all be the same,” the teacher dinosaur continued shakily.
“Actually, I wouldn’t mind being more pink and a little less blue,” a blue dinosaur spoke up, taking a step forward.
And then another dinosaur stepped backwards.
And another one stepped to the side.
And another one sat down on the ground.
“I assume you would all like to be dinosaurs you aren’t then?” the teacher dinosaur asked.
And it was Rock who answered for the group.
“We want to be the dinosaurs we are sir.”
“So blue, 35-feet-tall and yellow-horned?”
“No sir. We’re all different even if we look the same.”
It was true.
Some dinosaurs liked to smash rocks.
Others liked to juggle them.
Some liked to swim in the blue water.
Others liked to use that water in balloons.
“Even you sir,” Rock started, “must have something you prefer doing to standing in a line and being blue, 35-feet-tall and yellow horned.”
The teacher dinosaur stood and thought.
“Well I’ve always wanted a patch of brown on my nose.”
“Then you should have one.”
Rock walked into the classroom, fetched a brown marker and brought it out.
He held it out to his teacher.
And the teacher drew a brown mark on his nose.
And then he smiled.
And the dinosaurs never made it into the classroom that day.
Except to pick out their favourite colour of marker.
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