The Girl Who Liked Pteranodons


Title card for the 1964 episode of Jonny Quest, “Turu the Terrible”

“Grandpa, I want to color.” The almost three-year-old girl showed the new box of crayons to the old man.

“But I thought you said you wanted to go to the park after dinner.”

Her blue eyes brightened. “I go to the park.” She dropped the box on the floor and went hunting for her shoes.

“Hey, wait a minute, Danni. Can you put the crayons away?”

She stopped in mid-stride, anticipating her liberty, wheeled around and ran back. “Oh yeah.”

They left by the side door, and she spent several minutes examining the air conditioner before being escorted by her Grandpa out the gate and to the sidewalk.

As the luminous ball of gas lighting the world slid slowly toward the western horizon, he watched her play on slides, climb ladders, and try to imitate a much older girl who was hanging upside down from the bars. Danni didn’t get very far, but she had a lot of fun introducing Regan to her Grandpa.

That night, after the child had brushed her teeth and put on her pajamas, the old man and the little girl shared one of his fondest memories from childhood on DVD; a couple of episodes of Jonny Quest. She really liked the show with the Pteranodon.

I wrote this for the Saturday Mix writing challenge at Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie. The idea is to take five words and use their synonyms in the body of a story. The original words are:

  1. paint
  2. release
  3. fan
  4. light
  5. clothes

I’ve bolded the synonyms I used in my tale to make them easier to spot.

I thought about the angst I expressed yesterday over what has been perceived as bigotry and prejudice against politically and socially conservative writers by the mainstream science fiction and fantasy industry, and after a lot of thought, and then writing another piece fo flash fiction this morning called The Unknown Children, I realized the world had much bigger problems for me to be concerned about.

The story above is a compressed version of how I spent yesterday afternoon and evening with my granddaughter. Yes, she really likes the old 1964 animated TV series Jonny Quest, which I watched when I was young, and especially one called Turu the Terrible.

If anyone wants to judge me, fairly or otherwise, they can judge me by what I write and by my humanity and compassion, and if I’m still not good enough, then I’d say they have a much bigger problem than I’ll ever have.

6 thoughts on “The Girl Who Liked Pteranodons

  1. In considering the notion of “bigger problems … to be concerned about”, it occurs to me that evaluating the size or severity of one or another problem is not a trivial or obvious task. Don’t the big ones develop from some of the same fundamental attitudes as the supposedly small ones? Might it be that the ones which may appear small have wide-ranging repercussions that feed into the development of larger ones by spreading a faulty outlook or inhibiting the promulgation of views which could contribute to the reduction or elimination of supposedly-larger problems? Which, then, are truly “large” or “small”? I wouldn’t dismiss your angst as misplaced.


    • Not misplaced, but I can’t let myself continually ruminate about it, either. If this sort of bigotry really is dominant in the SF/F writing/publishing industry, then it is of deep concern to me, but at the same time, I also have many blessings in my wife, so I can’t lose sight of those because of angst or the world being inherently unfair and unjust.


    • Thanks. Watched three episodes of Jonny Quest with her last night at her Dad’s, but now my adventure partner and her brother (with whom I share a completely different set of adventure) have gone back to their Mom for a week.


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