The Georgehazel squatted atop Prudent Perch, a judicial weigh station on the side of Principled Peak, overlooking the Sane Plain. It was a small region growing smaller due to the encroaching swamp waters of the Puhl-DePlugg Reservoir, eerily coinciding with the Tyrumposaurus’ rise to power.
The dino district judge glared down at the legal dinos he’d hastily summoned before him. There was the Joshgardner from the DOJ (Dinos Open Jawed) and his boss, the Jodyhunt, who was just one dino ambush away from replacing the Williambarr as the attorney dino general, the loftiest legal dino in the land. The plaintiffs were represented by the Shankarduraiswamy and the Denisehulett. At stake was indeed the law of the land. This was a bona fide Continental Divide crisis.
The Tyvankanatrix sauntered into the group, her carefree, gleaming smile leading the way. The judge looked up.
“What are you doing here?”
“The narrator said it was a Continental Divide crisis. Here I am,” she said, with a quick pirouette.
“To help solve it?”
“No. Just to be here.”
She batted her eyelids at the legal dinos and gave them a look of mock seriousness, trying to blend in. But still stick out of course. It was a delicate balance, like her leather skin maintaining that soft, puckered look.
“Get out of my court!” roared the Georgehazel.
“Hmph,” she sniffed. “Wait til I tell daddy. He calls me his princess and says I can go anywhere I want. By the way, there’s only one female dino here.”
She strode off, head held high. The dino judge calmed himself and turned to the Joshgardner.
“First off, Josh, I want to apologize for interrupting your vacation. I understand you were in the Yellow Buslands dining on Desegregators.” The judge smacked his lips. “White or Black-Striped?”
The Joshgardner shrugged.
“Whatever I could separate from the pack. Tastes like chicken, both of’em”
“I won’t keep you long. Now then, I was cooling my arthritic joints in the calming waters of Creaky Creek this morning when I heard T-Rump’s Trollertweety flying overhead. I’m sure you all heard it as well. The T-Rump’s, ahem … message from his throne directly contradicted what you told me yesterday. Is he playing some game? You told me the citizenship question will not be on next year’s dino census. I made myself perfectly clear. And now this. Short of biting your head off, Josh, what’s it going to be?”
“Uh, I just want to say, your Honor, that I’ve been with the DOJ for 16 years and … well, this is just bat-poop crazy. I watched the Wilburross put his footprint in the sand. Saw it with my own two eyes. No citizenship question. Honest. And if I may say, let me assure you, I am doing my absolute best to figure out what the hell is going on.”
“Your turn, Shankar.”
“Your Honor. This calls for a stipulated order …”
The Joshgardner cringed.
“N-o-o-o-o! Not a stipulated order!”
“Oh, yes,” continued the Shankarduraiswamy. “A stipulated order telling the T-Rump to stop his campaign of misinformation. And to tell the dinos that he’s very sorry and that he should never have sent that Trollertweety out in the first place.”
The dino judge frowned.
“You do know who we’re talking about here? … Okay, let’s just say for the sake of argument … what am I saying? You don’t have to be a three-eyed raven. We know this is going to happen. The T-Rump will refuse to listen and he will double down per usual. What’s the basis for me to order him not to? Is this what we’ve come to? The T-Rump not respecting my authority? To run amok throughout the land. What then?”
“Um … that little thing called justice?” Shankar said in a tiny voice. “You can issue an injunction barring further inquiry. It’s appropriate and within your power. You can do it, judge.”
“Your Honor.” It was the Denisehulett. “If I may add something.”
“Please do. Our dino democracy stands at the very precipice.”
“It is nonsensical how the T-Rump continues to endanger the Latinonachos. He is driving them away as we speak. It doesn’t stop. It never ends. The T-Rump is violating our census and our senses. He’s a monster! Please, your Honor. DO something before he takes over the Milkanhoney Preservation!”
“Thank you. I’m well aware of our basic rights and needs as dinos. In the south and the north. Dare I say, winter’s coming for all of us. As for stopping the T-Rump’s Trollertweeties on this matter, I may as well ask him to stop lying.”
“Aren’t they one and the same?” asked Shankar.
The dino judge turned to the Joshgardner.
“Be that as it may, you’re the only dino here who appears to be more confused than I am. What say you to the plaintiff’s legal dino’s concerns?”
“Well, ahem … we have a very fluid situation here that we’re trying to wrap our short arms around. You know the T-Rump. I can’t possibly predict what he’s going to do next. But I do promise to keep an eye and an ear on the sky for his next Trollertweety and to get right back to you.”
“An eye and an ear to the sky? That’s where we’re at?”
“Your Honor.” It was the Jodyhunt. “I’d just like to remind everyone, I worked under the Sessionsopossum when the T-Rump called him beleaguered, when the T-Rump threw him under the Priebusunderbus daily, when the T-Rump fired him …”
“One case at a time,” said the judge.
“No, what I’m getting at here, your Honor, is that I’ve seen the carnage the T-Rump leaves behind. The stark fear and devastation.” He looked with pleading eyes up to the grizzled Georgehazel. “What we desperately need here is … is a path forward.”
“A path forward?”
“Yes, a near-term option, something viable, something possible — that’s consistent of course with the Supreme Dino Court’s decision, that would allow us to put the citizenship question on the census.”
“Dino dung!” snapped the judge. “I’m giving you two days to come up with a better response than this, this pathetic, poetic ‘path forward’ drivel.”
“But tomorrow’s the Fourth of T-Rump,” whined the Joshgardner.
The Jodyhunt quieted his colleague and turned to the dino judge.
“Your Honor,” he said slowly. “We don’t need two days.”
The assistant attorney dino general eyed the dino judge gravely in the still mountain air.
“Bend the knee.”