My brother Neil is only seven. Like all small kids he’s got lots of interests and hobbies which never last long. Neil may get overexcited about cartoon characters and ask mum to buy him the toys, books about them, or even pyjamas with his favourite pictures of them. In a couple of weeks, however, his interest usually shifts to another character and everything starts again from the beginning.
A few weeks ago, Neil got crazy about dinosaurs. Actually, it came like the chicken pox – all of a sudden, all the kids in his class became obsessed with the ancient reptiles and started to collect anything and everything connected with them. Surprisingly, their interest was not shallow. They researched the topic and were very surprised to find out that the descendants of the dinosaurs still live around us. One day, when Neil and a bunch of his friends were studying pictures of the prehistoric monsters, one of the boys said that the deinonychus from their book reminded him of our parrot Bibi.
Neil was struck by these words. It was not easy for him to accept the idea that the deinonychus and our cheerful and sociable pet may have something in common.
At home Neil watched the parrot for a while, comparing the form of the body, the claws on the feet, and the beak with the picture in his book. Obviously feeling impressed by some unexpected discoveries, Neil decided to dig deeper.
Later in the evening my little brother presented us with a lot of information about that type of dinosaurs which, I have to admit it, was absolutely new to me. Thanks to Neil, I learnt that deinonychuses lived more than 100 million years ago and were relatively small dinosaurs – they could grow up to 3.5 metres long. The scientific name deinonychus means terrible claw. The claws on their feet looked really terrifying, as well as their teeth. Those dinosaurs were cruel and very skilled hunters. No animal in the prehistoric forest could escape the awful predators. They attacked even the dinosaurs that were much larger in size.
With their huge and sharp claws, deinonychuses were able to climb trees. They also had a long tail that helped them to keep balance and was flexible enough to bend from side to side.
‘And how about the feathers?’ asked dad, definitely intrigued by Neil’s passionate presentation. ‘Did that dinosaur have any feathers, like a bird?’
‘I don’t know yet,’ Neil answered earnestly. ‘I think the feathers appeared later and it learnt to fly. But I’m not sure and want to search the internet. Can I use your computer tomorrow, Daddy?’
Dad hesitated and then said: ‘Well, I’m not sure…’
‘Please…’ added Neil in a quiet, polite voice.
‘Please!’ repeated Bibi in a husky and demanding voice.