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|Charlie MacDuff and the Test of Time|
by I. MacPenn
Charlie climbed back up to the Brachiosaurus' shoulders and it started drinking again, not afraid of an irritated Stegosaurus one third its size. Charlie was beginning to enjoy his adventure, and he looked at the scene around him. There were dozens of dinosaurs around him, drinking from the river or eating nearby plants. Suddenly, the Brachiosaurus started jerking its body. Its head was still in the water, but there was splashing all around it. "Whoa, boy," yelled Charlie, but it couldn't hear him.
The dinosaur slowly lifted its head up out of the water, dragging a giant crocodile with it - the dinosaur's tiny head was in the crocodile's mouth and the crocodile was not letting go. The Brachiosaurus pulled the thrashing crocodile about halfway out of the water, then the dinosaur shuddered and the neck collapsed back into the churning river.
The Brachiosaurus made a few more feeble attempts to pull its neck out of the water, but it soon gave up. The water was now bright red.
As Charlie watched in horror, the Brachiosaurus' neck popped out of the water, writhing like a snake. The neck was swinging around wildly in the air, spraying streams of blood, looking like an out-of-control fire hose. The crocodile was gone, but so was the Brachiosaurus' head - the crocodile had won the tug-of-war. It was now raining blood. Charlie was still sitting on the shoulders of the unfortunate animal - Charile was drenched and completely disgusted.
He slid down the bloody body of the Brachiosaurus and pushed off onto the Stegosaurus next to them - it had just realized that there was something danger in the water and was beginning to back away from the river. Charlie landed between the two rows of triangular plates on its back. As it was backing away, the Brachiosaurus toppled over and just missed crushing them. When the Brachiosaurus' body slammed into the ground, it was as though an earthquake had hit. The Stegosaurus staggered for a second as the ground shook. It then galloped away with Charlie on its back. Charlie was hanging onto the dinosaur's triangular plates with all his strength. It was especially hard because the Brachiosaurus' blood had made everything sticky. Charlie looked behind him and saw dozens of crocodiles crawl out of the water and tear the Brachiosaurus into bloody morsels.
The Stegosaurus was heading towards a clump of tall, strange-looking trees in the distance. As it came to the plants, it reared up on its hind legs to reach the leaves, which were about 20 feet off the ground. Charlie hung onto the dinosaur with both hands and jammed his feet between plates to keep from falling off. The Stegosaurus started eating, and with each bite there was a ripping noise as leaves and bark were stripped from the branches. Charlie yelled, "Down boy, down!" but this Stegosaurus had obviously not been trained properly.
Charlie heard a strange sound behind him. He looked around, knowing that this noise could not be good news. An Allosaurus was creeping up behind the Stegosaurus; it had been stalking it. The Stegosaurus had also heard something. It turned its head, saw the Allosaurus behind it, and sprinted away qiuckly. Charlie struggled to keep from falling off the fast-moving Stegosaurus.
The Stegosaurus was not, however, fast enough. The Allosaurus caught up with it and gouged a huge hole in its side with its claw. The Stegosaurus looked around, and it swung its tail wildly, hitting the Allosaurus with its tail spikes. The wounded Allosaurus' high-pitched roar was deafening and blood spurted from its side, but it continued its attack. The Allosaurus eyed an ashen Charlie. It opened its mouth wide, almost grinning, and lunged at Charlie. Charlie just stared at it - everything seemed to be happening in slow motion. There was nothing he could do - he was trapped.
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