Jurassic Lark

Velociraptor mongoliensis by Fred Wierum

Jurassic Lark

My nephew is into his dinosaurs,
And he’s digging up mem’ries lain buried since school,
(But still neatly sorted in synaptic drawers),
With all of those crazy-long names by their scores,
Though actu’ly some of them sounded so cool !
How should we say it ?  The textbooks display it
Phonetic’ly – tie-ran-oh-sore-us – of course !
So easy to get it, with no need to sweat it !
But sometime’s a wrong ’un would lodge in all twisty –
And once it gets in there, it’s part of our hist’ry.

For instance, how much we all loved Diplodocus,
And gave that third syllable all of our focus.
So never Diplodocus, that sounded odd-i-cus,
Plodding along with no hocus or pocus.
And don’t get me started on cow-pat-a-saurus –
Your patsy falls flat, see – just hear how we chorus
This heavyweight’s name is – by god – Brontosaurus !
As known in the bones of all schoolyards before us.
So pronto, restore us our sauropod’s nommus –
Don’t think you can plunder our thunderbeast from us !

Which brings us around to the Puh-terodactyls –
To eight-year old boys they were neater than fractals !
Doubt they could flap much, but bet they soared high –
Though not dinosauruses…saur-iss-eez…saur-eye..?
Brackies and Plessies and Tritops abounded –
Though from diff’rent eras, so not all together –
They’re non-chronologicus, just to be clever.
We’d all have our favourites up for discussion
Like Dimetrodon, cos he sounded so Russian,
Or Archaeopt’ryx, with the bestest name ever.

And then there were the Trillobites !
That’s how we called ’em in our local playground.
That’s how we called ’em, so that’s how they were –
And given a choice, then I’ll always prefer
Our primary version to t’other way round –
Brill-o-bites, thrill-o-bites, silly old Trillobites,
Nobbly or spiky, or all armadillo-like !
From Cambrian glamour to Permian quitters,
Those three-lobal, pan-global, crystal-eyed critters –
Heroic, and stoic, and Palaeozoic !

My nephew is into his dinosaurs,
But the toys have come on some since I was a lad
With the latest researching reflected, of course,
But the loss of those classic mistakes makes we sad –
Take Stegosaurus, in Lego or plastic,
It now looks fantastic, with tail held high –
But I’m far too used to its droopy behind,
With a second brain (that we no longer find).
I guess I cannot complain that we’re wiser –
And hey, it still has a thagomizer !

But what of the T-rex, the king of the chompers ?
I see that he still bears his stubby front arms,
But no longer pronate – fergeddaboutit !
My nephew informs me their bones will not fit,
So they turn-in their palms, like they’re waiting to clap.
And vegan Iguanodon, slowest of stompers,
A ponderous chap with a Godzilla-stance ?
Forever a thumbs-up, the dude dinosaurs !
But now at a glance, he’s a boring old square,
Reduced to all-fours with his arse in the air !

If only we’d known of Velociraptor !
If only we’d known of the feathers and fuzz !
Ah well, I guess that we’ve moved on a chapter,
And I must adapt or I’ll end up extinct –
But I feel that old buzz, and I swear it’s because
Of the grin on my inner-twin child as he winked.
And I see Brontosaurus is back with a bang,
So that ought to learn ’em, don’t mess with this gang !
It’s time to return, but I’d best not get preachy –
I’ve much to catch up, but my nephew can teach me.

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