The Crookadillary leaned back upon her knobby elbows, reclining on the narrow banks of Lagoon DeChagrin. The searing afternoon sun was sweet respite to her aching joints. The distant roar of Twennysevendoller Falls could be heard in the background. She’d finally put the previous year’s dust-up with the Tyrumposaurus behind her. Still, she found herself in a state of melancholy, akin to the Lewinsky-Dresse Blues. She sighed, made a feeble attempt at a smile and flexed her claws in the sand. The Sands of Time now sifting her golden years as a retired Donkeykongrus dino. She’d come so far since her humble beginnings as just another anxious ankylosaurid stepping out from behind a little rock in the Arkansas Whitewater Development. It seemed like epochs ago.
She slowly opened the wide slits of her eyes, her lazy gaze finding a large form before her. She frowned.
“Excuse me. You’re blocking my sun.”
“As you blocked me.”
Confrontation. The bane of all herbivores. She closed her eyes and shuddered at the memories of the T-Rump stalking her. Shut it out. Just shut it out. She found the center of her happy place and once more opened her eyes. Blinking once, twice, she focused on the aging dinosaur glaring down at her. It was the Berniesaurus.
“Bernie? What are you doing here?”
“I live here, remember?”
“Oh, yes. Twennysevendoller Falls. Such a quaint, modest address.”
The Berniesaurus was a Newdeelio Vermontindytitan whose main diet usually consisted of grass roots and straw poles. He was now, however, hungry for something else.
“I was speaking with the Donnabrazilla,” he hissed through clenched teeth.
The Donnabrazilla was a Nawlins Sauropod from the Raisincain-Anfunds Formation, part of the well-known Dixiewhistlin Superpax Group.
“Oh, how is she?”
“How could you, Hillary!?”
“How could I what?”
“You threw me under the Busabusarus.”
The Busabusarus was a large, yellow theropod famous for running back and forth over dinosaur eggs left unattended.
“That’s old news,” said the Crookadillary. “The T-Rump and the Putinodon stole my secrets and I’m sorry, I’m sorry and — good grief, get over it — I’m sorry again that I told the Donkeykongrus your grass roots were simply too soggy for the rest of us. There, are you happy? I told you What Happened. Now leave me alone. I’m retired, dammit.”
But the Berniesaurus had only begun. Spittle flew from his jowls as he shook his head, working himself into a feverish frenzy — not to be confused with the mating habits of the Arizonasaurus.
“You rigged the Donkeykongrus! Rigged it, you did!”
“Stop it, Bernie. Settle down. We’re all in this together.”
“I am not!” He waggled a claw in the air. “I am independent of your gross dereliction of duty. The Donnabrazilla told me the Donkeykongrus was starving. Starving! … You gave them the green, leafy moolah-moolah they needed and they gave you …” he gasped and heaved, clutching his chest. “Everything.” He sank back on his haunches, winded and struggling for air.
The Crookadillary looked within. Uh-oh. Cover up. Cover it up. She instinctively clawed the ground with her feet. Old habits died hard. The sand had lost its heat, her vision turned cold.
“I gave you my dinosaurs!” roared the Berniesaurus. “My scaly flesh and my old, cold blood. Honest reptiles. The lot of them. And what did you do, Hillary? What did you do?!”
She closed her eyes to the ground-shaking thunder. Her happy place inside was in tatters. The melancholy now a barrage from the brow-beating Berniesaurus. My god, where does he get the energy? It was like she was back on the Donkeykongrus Trail. Had she stepped on too many feet … or not enough? She felt dizzy and reminded herself that heat stroke was the second highest cause of death for dinosaurs after STD (Senseless Territorial Disputes).
“We are the meek, the many, the malnourished!” the Berniesaurus went on. “All thanks to you!”
His blaring blinded her oasis, blocking out the sounds of the falls. The Crookadillary dipped her cheek horn into the cool, shallow waters of Lagoon DeChagrin. Her golden years would not be easy. Dinosaurs would hunt her. Haunt her. She wondered how long she could hold her breath under water.