“Whatcha think, Teddy?”
A charmed smile radiated beyond the little boy’s lips; eyes full of a hunger to meddle with his curiosities. His imagination was ablaze and Teddy remained silent. He pressed buttons as fast as he could. The box spun and lurched, tossing him and Teddy across the box. The box spun out of control and he had no idea where they were going. Without him at the controls, they were flying blind through time and space.
“We’re gonna crash!”
Unsteady feet tried to regain their balance while being thrown about like a towel. Out of nowhere, they felt a loud thud and were the hurled towards the door. The boy was slow to his feet. He brushed himself off and tucked Teddy under his arm.
“Looks like we’re here!” He exclaimed, excitement churning. “Where ever ‘here’ might be.”
He fiddled with their bow-ties, and plastered a cheeky grin on his face, just in case. Together, they opened the door. What they saw, was not what they expected to find. It was a lush and green landscape with the sun high overhead. There was nothing else in their immediate line of sight. The little boy was curious and confused.
“Teddy, where do you think we are?” He gave Teddy a quizzical look.
“Good enough for me!” He exclaimed as he made Teddy shrug.
The boy opened the door to the box and lifted one foot high into the air. He held Teddy close as they were about to start their exploration. As his foot touched the ground, the earth shook.
“Was that…me?” The boy asked Teddy.
Again, he lifted his food into the air. The ground trembled once more and he toppled over, having lost his balance. Branches groaned and cracked as the tremors continued.
“Definitely not me!” He shouted, scrambling to his feet.
The words had barely left his lips when the culprit came into view. He could not believe his eyes and tried to pinch himself to make sure he wasn’t dreaming. A large creature slowly passed in front of them. A Brachiosaurus, with its long neck extended high, paid him no heed.
“Look, Teddy! A real, live DINOSAUR!” He squealed, nearly leaping out of his shoes with excitement.
The creature stopped walking, and turned its head towards the shrill sounds coming from the strange little boy. He clapped his hands over his mouth, regretting his blurt of excitement and hoping he was not about to be a new addition to the lunch menu. The dinosaur didn’t eat meat, but he didn’t want to risk them testing him out as a ‘just curious’.
He turned on his heel and was about ready to bolt towards the box when he felt himself being lifted off the ground. He tried to free himself from his jacket, but the dinosaur’s grip was stronger than he thought. As he hung in the air with Teddy, he looked around to see if anything else came into his view. The coast was clear. As gently as a giant creature could, he was set down on the dinosaur’s back.
“Oh, little one, you have nothing to fear here.” The soft voice of the Brachiosaurus echoed in his ears.
“You can TALK?!” He exclaimed.
“Of course, little dreamer. It is not like you know everything about us,” it replied with a chuckle.
“Oh, wow! This…this changes everything! So many questions; so many ideas...” He rambled.
“And so little time,” it said with a quiet sigh. “What is pressing on your mind, dear one?”
“I...I don’t know,” he replied. “My mind just went blank.”
“Well then, just enjoy yourself on this little adventure,” it smiled, continuing on its way.
The little adventurer took the time to take in the scenery. It was so beautiful and memorable, and so much to take in all at once.
“What do you call this place?” He asked absently.
“Earth,” the creature answered.
“That is what we call it too.”
“Interesting indeed. Perhaps we told you when you came along.”
“I don’t know, but I guess it’s possible. Where we going?”
“In a circle. You cannot stay long, little one. But please do enjoy your short stay.”
The dinosaur walked at a steady pace, making what appeared to be a big circle around the clearing not too far from his box. At least he would be able to make it home, not being taken too far from his ride. Various creatures started to scatter around them, running all different directions at the sound of their footsteps. Different little dinosaurs he couldn’t remember the names of and birds, rodents, and other animals he did not recognize, darted beneath the large legs of the Brachiosaurus.
As they continued their circle, he took note of the plant life as well. Massive flowers and trees, of all different colors, decorated the greenery.
“Do you have names for all the plants and animals?” The little boy asked.
“We do, but only the ones in our area. The plant and animal life varies from place to place,” the creature replied. “As I am sure it does where you come from.”
“So many things I’ve never seen before. So exciting!” He laughed.
Suddenly, in the distance, there was a loud roar. Even from far away, it sent chills down his spine. He tried to see where it came from, but the source remained hidden from his sight.
“What…was that?” He asked, worried.
“We must get you back, now.” The creature’s footsteps picked up their pace.
“What was that,” he asked again.
“The enemy; the apex predator.”
“A T-Rex…” he mumbled, trailing off.
“I believe it’s what we call a T-Rex.”
“What an interesting name for an animal,” the dinosaur smirked. “But come, we are almost to your ride.”
When they got close enough, his new friend lifted him off its back and carefully set him down by the beat–up cardboard box. Placing a hand on the side, the little boy sighed with a mild disappointment.
“I wish I could’ve stayed longer,” he admitted.
“I wish you could’ve as well, dear one, but perhaps another time,” the creature smiled, trying to urge the boy into the box.
They heard the roar again, but this time, it was much closer and the ground was starting to tremble again.
“Hurry! You don’t have much time!” The dinosaur hurried.
“Good-bye, my friend. Until we meet again,” the little traveler bowed.
“Good-bye, little one,” the dinosaur mimicked his action, bowing its head in his general direction.
As if it was an action film, he had no sooner opened the door when the T-Rex made its appearance in the clearing.
“Go! Now!” The Brachiosaurus urged.
Shuffling himself into the box, he set Teddy down by the control box and closed the door tight behind him. Outside, he could hear the sounds of battle. He cringed, hoping his new friend would be okay. With a sigh, he stood by the controls, thinking of what he had just experienced. It was something no one had ever had the chance to do and he had done the impossible.
“Teddy… let’s go home,” he said.
Pushing some buttons and pulling the lever, they took off, jerking in all different directions He once again tried to keep his footing as they flew through time and space. After several moments, they landed with a slight thud. Lowering his hand off the lever, he stood – unmoving – for several minutes.
“I hope our friend is okay, Teddy,” he whispered.
Tucking Teddy under his arm, he opened the door of the box. They were back in their room.
“Welcome home, Teddy,” the little boy grinned, setting Teddy on the bed.
As he walked, he was careful to step around his toys that littered the floor; dinosaurs, cars, and blocks were scattered about. He noticed his T-Rex and his Brachiosaurus were engaged in an epic battle in front of the box. A smile crept across his lips as he went to separate them.
“Not today, my friend. Not today.”