Friday, July 01, 2016

Tauy Creek Digest #1: The Crate

The doorbell rang. A constant ring-a-ding-a-ding like when a child is ringing it. It took awhile for me to wake up and figure out what was going on. I got out of bed, throwing on clothes, and angrily stomped down the stairs. Who was ringing the doorbell? I don't even have a doorbell. The sun has also barely cracked the horizon so it's way too early for someone to be visiting. I don't even have any friends. I look out the window in the door, pulling back the curtain. No one was there. I glanced down and saw the edge of a box. A delivery? Who's delivering packages before daybreak?

I opened the door and the screen door and knelt down to look at the decent sized box. It was more of a crate than a box, really. I pulled the box in and closed the doors. There was no markings on it. No addresses, no stamps from the post office, or mailing labels from the UPS or FedEx, nothing. But something was inside. I could hear it moving and scratching on the wood. How was I supposed to open this? What was it?

I gruffly sighed and went to get a screwdriver and hammer. I began hammering the screwdriver into the crate where it was nailed shut and prying the nails out and the lid off. I was finally able to get the lid off and when the heavy wood thudded against the floor, I saw what was inside.

Inside the crate, filled with hay, were two dinosaurs. Juvenile ones, obviously. One looked like a young brontosaurus but it was probably an Apatosaurus. The other was a small, winged dinosaur who was chirping at me. I noticed that they both had collars on. The collars had what species they were--the lizard-looking dinosaur was, indeed, an Apatosaurus. The winged one was a Zephyrosaurus. I lifted them both out of the crate and placed them on the floor. I looked back in the crate for any thing that would tell what I was supposed to do with these things, how to take care of them, or who sent them.

Under all the hay was a booklet and a note. 'Dear Sir, enclosed in this crate, if you haven't already noticed, are two long-extinct dinosaurs. The one in the blue collar is an Apatosaurus and the one in the red collar is a Zephyrosaurus. Their genus are on the tag on the collar. Genetically created to grow no bigger than these sizes, these are an effort to bring back extinct creatures and help ensure their survival by making them domesticated. I've done this with numerous extinct animals and sent the results to trustworthy recipients. I did this in hopes of being able to save our own species when the time comes--and it will be here quicker than we think. An owner's manual is enclosed on how to care for your new friends. If, for any reason, you do not wish to care for these animals, please pack them back up, seal the crate, and return them to your doorstep after midnight tonight and they will be picked back up. Your friend, Dr. Tiberius Matlock.'

Pet dinosaurs? Created to help save humanity? This was a lot to take in before the sun has barely shown its face. The Zephyrosaurus began flying around the room--it was so majestic but I figured that I would have to buy a large cage for it. Lord only knew how much that Apatosaurus ate. How would I handle them going to the bathroom? I pulled out the manual, a small book, like a mass-market paperback, but with nearly one hundred pages. I flipped through it, scanning the pictures and instructions for care. It was pretty in depth and, of course, overwhelming.

The Apatosaurus made some sort of noise, almost like a cat purring and butted me with his nose. I reached over and patted his head. It was like touching the skin of a lizard. A lizard the size of a large dog. The Zephyrosaurus landed on the top of a bookcase and looked out over its new home. I looked in the manual about food. 'Herbivore. Swallowed stones to help digest food. Did not chew. Zephyrosaurus, also herbivore.' I thought about how much my salad purchasing was going to skyrocket. I got up and grabbed the one bag of salad I had in the refrigerator and dumped it into a bowl. The Apatosaurus sniffed it then reluctantly started eating while the Zephyrosaurus preened itself.