Tyrannosaurus Rex, or “T,” as he was called, and his bodaciously beautiful bride Rexina returned home from their final visit to Dr. “Cory” Corythosaurus’ infirmary with two perfect, sturdy eggs. They placed the eggs in the middle of the sprawling nest T had built with the help of his father, in the middle of an ideally situated grove of dense trees just above the valley floor. It was a proud moment for T; a very proud moment.
Rexina squatted as gracefully as she could manage on top of the eggs, still a bit self-conscious about her appearance, then turned to her handsome husband and beamed.
“All comfy?” T asked.
“All comfy,” Rexina cooed.
T leaned in and gave Rexina a big bite on the shoulder. She squealed.
“Not so hard, T!”
A steady stream of blood poured down her side. T sidled up next to her, and using the entire breadth of his shoulder and ribs, rubbed clean the spot where he’d given his wife a giant hickey.
“Sorry, babe,” and winked at her.
Rexina dismissively flicked her tiny claw and gave T a big, toothy smile.
“I’m good,” Rexina declared. “More than good, in fact, I want you to go away while I figure all this out.”
T hesitated a moment. “You sure?”
“I’m sure,” Rexina said. “My folks are just a single, short loud roar away, and if not them, my sister said she’d be just on the other side of the valley. It’s all good.”
“But Doc Cory said it won’t be long now.”
“And Quetzia said she’s available to fly a message to whomever when the time comes. So, don’t worry. It will still be a while yet. Quetzia will be here shortly. She and I will hang out in the meantime. Catch up. I haven’t seen her since our wedding. So, go! Go, go, go!”
T leaned in again with his mouth wide open, bearing all his magnificent rows of teeth, teasing another hickey. He stopped just shy of Rexina when she let out an ear-piercing squeal that made the nearby vines and shrubs recoil.
“OK, then. I’m off,” T announced. The couple rubbed snouts, and T lumbered away.
“Still all good, honey?” Quetzia LaCoatlus asked her friend when she saw her wince.
“I think so,” Rexia lied.
“It’s time, isn’t it,” Quetzia stated matter-of-factly.
“Yes,” Rexina said, standing up to observe the activity that was at last happening. “It looks like, for one of our little ones, it’s time.”
A well-defined, jagged crack had made its way all along the breadth of one egg and it was rocking from side to side.
“Oh, yeah,” Quetzia squawked, “it’s most definitely time,” and with that, she spread her wings and headed in the direction of T’s favorite watering hole.
Rexina gently rolled the other egg to one side of the nest and resumed her squatted position over it. She let out one loud roar to notify her parents, and then another prolonged one, just because she was so excited and so very, very happy.
It was the most horrible and frightening sight any of them had ever seen. T’s mother was sobbing uncontrollably, her face buried in his father’s neck. Rexina’s parents stared at the weird thing in utter shock, dismay and disgust. Quetzia had a wing protectively wrapped around Rexina’s torso.
T took a step forward and slowly bent down toward his deformed infant curled up in the egg. Its eyes were open and it seemed to be…smiling.
“I’m afraid, my dear friends,” Dr. Cory said, “that it won’t be long for this world. I am so, so sorry.”
T’s father nodded an acknowledgement. “T, son…I’m going to take mother home.”
T did not respond. His parents lumbered off toward the valley; his mother’s uncontrollable, wailing sobs echoing so violently against the valley walls, it sent waves of small creatures flying and running in all directions.
“It won’t live?” Rexina gasped.
“HE!!” roared T. “He’s a HE!”
Dr. Cory looked nervously from T to Rexina. “I don’t…it’s just a guess. I’ve not seen anything like this before. I’m sorry.”
“How about Quetzia see Dr. C back to the infirmary,” Rexina’s mother suggested, “and Dad and I take the other egg and head on home for a bit.”
Rexina started to protest, but her mother stopped her. “I’m happy to sit on it for as long as necessary, honey. You kids need to take some quiet, alone-time to be with your newborn son.”
T & Rexina nodded.
When everyone was gone, T stepped forward again and leaned into the tiny, deformed figure still huddled in the egg. His snout was just about level with the wee thing and only inches away. T let out a little sigh. The air from his lungs blew the fibers of the infant’s epidermis backward and the bit of mucus from T’s nostrils showered it from head to foot. It hollered such a teeny-tiny, almost delicate sound, it made Rexina suddenly jump up, push T aside and scoop the baby into her useless but at once sure and safe arms.
“Mama?” the little thing asked. Rexina started to cry, and let out a roar so loud and so long, it would be talked about for centuries to come.
“That’s my boy,” T finally announced.
“How do you even know?” asked Rexina.
“Oh, he’s all boy. He’s my boy. I know.”
Rexina held out their son as far as she could in her short arms to her husband. The little thing looked at T and smiled a wide, happy smile.
The baby grabbed onto T’s snout. Using his useless, frail legs and hopelessly underdeveloped arms, the infant climbed up the bridge of his father’s nose and onto the crown of his head.
“roar!” the little thing tried to emulate. “roar, roar, roar!”
“Oh, God…look, babe,” T choked out through his tears. “He has the same weak-ass arms!”