WHO SAYS PREHISTORICS ARE A THING OF THE PAST?A Story by Shari Vaudo
When I hear the screeching of a huge bird day after day, I decide it's time for The Frontiersman and me to take a hike to find it.
There’s a pterodactyl in our forest. Ok, I admit I haven’t actually seen it, but I hear it every day. It flies over the forest that surrounds our cottage, screaming like…well, like a pterodactyl.
There you go again, thinking I’m nuts. Well, if I had all the answers, I’d still be a teenager.
I have seen and heard pterodactyls on one of those serious TV channels. You know the ones I mean; Discovery Channel or History Channel, the ones that only show true things.
My dogs know it’s there too. When it starts screaming as it’s flying around, my dogs go crazy, running all over our yard, barking and kicking their feet.
I heard it screaming early one morning and sent The Frontiersman out to look for it. He came back in after a short time and told me it sounded like a hawk to him…a hawk! He obviously fell asleep when those TV shows were on. I somehow have to get a photograph of it.
Whenever someone talks about a subject, my thought is that they should know something about what you’re talking about, or at least have someone with you that can carry the conversation, but that’s just me.
Short of knowing anything myself about prehistorics and certainly not knowing anyone who knows anything about prehistorics, I decided to approach The Frontiersman about going with me to look for this monster.
Of course I did my Internet research on prehistoric birds and bird watching…and by the way, I watched a video on YouTube that depicts a huge bird that the videographer claims is a pterodactyl so I’m even more certain of my suspicion now.
Armed with the results of my research, I decided to approach Dan with my desire to have him help me hunt for ‘big bird’.
It was early evening and The Frontiersman was relaxing in ‘his chair’ in the living room.
“Dan…you know that pterodactyl that I’ve been hearing around here lately?”
“Hawk”, he corrected.
“The big bird I’ve been hearing.”
“What about it?” He inquired.
“I was thinking we should go looking for it tomorrow”, I told him.
“We who?” He asked, sounding suspicious.
I didn’t understand the suspicious tone in his voice. We’ve gone on many ‘adventures’ together and not too many of them have gone wrong.
“You and I”, I responded.
“Oh, for heavens sake”, he said, “If I hear it again, I can take you right to it unless it flies away”, he said, now sounding annoyed.
“Ok”, I agreed. “Let’s go tomorrow morning. It’s supposed to be a beautiful day; not too hot, not too cool.”
“Ok”, he responded. I got the feeling he was going to try to prove a point.
We started off at five-thirty a.m. I usually hear the pre-historic monster early in the morning in the forest to the north west of our cottage, so we headed up our farm road, through the forest and up to the clearing at the top of the hill. We listened. After about ten minutes of listening, we heard it; the distinctive piercing screech of the ‘Hidey Hole Hollow Monster’. This morning it had chosen the forest to the west of the cottage to start its day, so we were going to have some hiking to do.
I decided to lag slightly behind The Frontiersman since there might be snakes or other scary things along the way.
“Snakes? Naw…don’t worry…I’ve never seen any up here”, he said confidently.
We hiked on through the field and finally made it to the west woods. There it was…the telltale screaming of the pterodactyl or as The Frontiersman prefers to call it, a hawk.
As the sun rose higher in the sky, I noticed that ‘it’ was watching us; I could feel it. The sky was beautiful. It was summertime blue with big, puffy marshmallow clouds. It was the kind of day that’s perfect for lying in the hammock and day dreaming, but no, here we are trekking through the fields and forests, looking for this prehistoric bird that didn’t know enough to die when the rest of the species did.
“Just one more cliff to climb down and then we can walk the ‘crick’ from there”, The Frontiersman advised.
“I wish there was one of those waterslides here like they have at Busch Gardens”, I remarked, “at least that would make it fun to get down to the creek bed. Is that poison Ivy?”
I should know better than that; I’ve always told my kids be careful what you wish for.
“Would you stop whining…and no, I don’t think it’s poison ivy. You’re the one who wanted to go looking for this hawk, remember?”
“Pterodactyl”, I corrected. I hate it when he says I don’t think… something or other. That usually means he doesn’t know and that usually means my guess is correct.
“It’s a hawk and watch out for those…loose rocks”, he warned.
“Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh…”, I yelled as I slid almost all the way to the creek bed. Good thing I have enough senior citizen padding!
The Frontiersman came down the cliff almost as quickly as I did, although not as painfully. I don’t know how he did that without getting hurt.
As I sat there whimpering about my sore behind, The Frontiersman looked me over to make sure nothing was broken or cut too deeply. He said I had a cut on my back. I said I knew it was worse than just a sore rump. I asked how bad the cut was and of course he replied, “You’ll be ok…it doesn’t look that bad. I knew I must be close to death.
We sat for a few minutes until I could pretend to be able to walk again and then we started out again. We had only walked for about ten minutes (he walked, I limped), when suddenly there was something that blocked the sunlight. I looked up and there it was!
“Look, look!” I yelled, excitedly, “there it is; the pterodactyl!”
“Pterodactyl, my great aunt Fanny’s a*s, that’s a hawk”, he replied, trying to deflate my enthusiasm.
I was so excited! “Where’s the camera?” I asked.
“What camera?” He questioned.
“You did bring the camera, didn’t you, Dan?”
“You didn’t say anything about bringing the camera”, he replied, sounding annoyed.
“Never mind, I’ll use the cell phone.”
I listened for the screaming and as it got louder, I readied my cell phone camera. Click, click, click, click, click, click, click. I got about six or seven pictures as it flew over looking like a body builder with wings.
“Are you happy now?” He asked, sarcastically. “We went through all this just to get pictures of an ordinary hawk.”
“Were you looking at the same thing I was looking at?” I asked, noticing that my arms and legs were beginning to get very itchy. It must be from walking through all those high weeds. I should’ve worn long pants. “Here, look again”, I advised, offering him the cell phone.
“I don’t know how to use that thing”, he croaked.
I pushed the button on the cell phone, showing him one photo after the other. “Is that the biggest bird you’ve ever seen or what?” My arms and legs were really itchy now and my face was beginning to itch. I was also getting hungry.
“Want to head back now?” I asked. “I’m hungry and itchy; I think I need to get home and take a shower to stop the itching” and have some breakfast, I told him.
We hiked back to the cottage which didn’t seem as far as I expected it to. Once back home, I took a cool shower while Dan heated up some soup for us. When I came out of the bathroom, Dan took one look at me and said, “Your face is really red. Come over by the patio door. Your face is kinda blotchy”.
“Oh really”, I replied, “you think it might be from that patch of ‘not-poison ivy?”
During a week or so of scratching myself raw, I thought of a quote I had heard somewhere, ‘The only cure for misery is action’. Well, I had enough scratching action going on to cure lots of miseries…oh, and by the way, it was a pterodactyl!
© 2012 Shari Vaudo
AboutI am retired and live in Virginia with my husband, also retired. We have two grown children, both married and a beautiful granddaughter, born June 26, 2012. She is the apple of my eye; I just love h.. more..
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