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walk through time

Walk Through Time...from Stardust to Us
Six Winning Essays from the WTT at Singapore


Essay 2

Just Us Dinos

Jack Roswell yawned and stretched in the warm sunlight. Only one more day to the end of a pleasant holiday, he muttered to himself. Rising, he made himself a quick breakfast, admiring the landscape while eating. Soon, he was aiming his dart gun at a small rabbit, the whistling of the dart clear in the quiet of the forest.

By noontime, Jack had caught three rabbits and a small deer. He was about to return to the campsite when he caught a small movement from the corner of his eye. He turned and caught a glimpse of a chimpanzee-like animal, only bigger. Jack frowned. He had read something about this animal. If only he could remember! No matter, the primate looked sufficiently exotic enough to be added to his living room collection. He made up his mind and aimed his dart gun to the animal. In doing so, however, sunlight glinted off the smooth metal and the creature, eyes blinded, took off in fright.

Cursing, Jack followed, taking care not to lose the animal. He charged through the sparse undergrowth, primal instincts awakening in his mind. Thoughts of blood rushed through his mind, and his subconscious brought forth images of him pouncing upon the animal, tearing huge chunks of flesh from its helpless body, feeling its life’s blood spilling onto him... Jack sprinted on, ignoring vines and branches blocking his path, focusing wholeheartedly on the agile creature running and leaping through the forest. He got closer, closer, and then..., nothing

Slowing down, he looked around. Still nothing. Just the normal peace and quiet of the forest. Puzzled, he scanned his surroundings. Unfamiliar trees greeted him and he now saw that he had been too rash in trying to chase the creature. If he did not have an excellent sense of direction and good memory, he would have been hopelessly lost in the forest. Jack slowly retraced his steps, only to be stopped by the crack of a twig from behind him. He spun and caught a glimpse of his lost prize dashing away. This critter is smarter than it looks, he thought, as he sprinted in the direction of the animal. This is going to be one interesting chase.

Jack quickly caught up with the primate, due to his longer legs, but was hindered by the undergrowth, quickly turning denser with his every stride. He tried shooting a few times, but gave up as he could not aim his dart gun and manoeuvre his way through the vegetation at once. His bloodly fantasies were now interrupted by his rational mind. I, a civilised person, am thinking like an animal, he suddenly realised, horrified at his raw bloodlust and ferocity. However, his train of thought was interrupted by the sudden realisation that he was approaching a sheer cliff. The animal realised that too, and tried to turn back, but was stopped by a shot from Jack’s dart gun. Slumping, it whimpered and twitched a few times, obviously terrified by the steely glint of the dart gun. Jack grinned. This is the best part yet.

He walked towards the animal, which suddenly tried to make a dash for it. Aiming quickly, he shot at it a few times, finally hitting it on the back. He watched grimly as the poison took effect, and the animal collapsed onto the grass.

Looking at it, Jack felt a wave of pity for the dead creature. He now remembered about the article that he had read about it. It had an extraordinary brain complexity, and scientists suspected that it could think. A hand with four digits and an opposable thumb enabled it to make and use simple tools to find food. Had the Ancient Ones been extinct during the Ice Age, they most probably would have evolved into the dominant species in the world today.

Shrugging, Jack hoisted the dead body onto his shoulder and walked back to the campsite, tail rigid behind him. No matter, it’s us dinos that are in charge now.

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