Land Before Time is © Universal

It was a time of big changes in the great valley.

The current residents were in a period of transition. The older residents were starting to pass through to the great beyond, the younger residents were reaching the age when it was appropriate for them to find mates, and a population growth was occurring. Of all the new relationships that were being formed at this time, one of them was very unique: the union of Littlefoot the longneck and Cera the threehorn. It was unique because it was the first cross-species union to ever occur in the valley. It also presented unheard-of obstacles as well, for when Littlefoot and Cera had declared their union, they had to deal with both the same issues all newly-mated couples faced and the negative opinions from some of the older residents, not the least of all being her father's opinion of their relationship. That had led to a journey into the mysterious beyond that ended up bringing more good than ill, for during their adventure, they had found Cera's long-lost mother. She had convinced them to go back to the great valley, and had even managed to convince Cera's father to bless their union himself. After that happened, it had seemed that there couldn't be any more dramatic changes to their lives. Little did they realize that something new was coming, and it would change both their lives in an even greater way.

One day, a couple of months after their union ceremony, Cera was off looking for something to eat. As she went towards a thickly wooded part of the valley, she passed several couples setting up nests, or even watching over eggs. It was getting towards the cold time, a time when all newly mated couples start pondering their futures, and it seemed that several of them had decided to have a hatchling. In the back of her mind, she was always having fleeting thoughts as to what it might be like to be a mother. She knew, though, that it probably wouldn't happen, due to her mate being a longneck instead of a threehorn. Right now, though, all she could thing about was searching for a few good treestars. She had come to this part of the valley both because of the abundance of vegetation and also because it was a quiet place to rest. She needed somewhere peaceful to eat because recently she had started to feel very odd. She noticed that her sleep patterns were a little off, and she was eating a lot more than she usually did. Littlefoot, being the attentive mate he was, asked her how she was feeling, to which she responded that she was alright. He had his doubts that she was telling him everything, but decided not to push it. He just figured that if something was going on, she'd let him know.

"I probably just need some more sleep." she thought as she started nibbling on a small bush. She immediately regretted it however, because her stomach started doing so many twists that she almost couldn't keep her meal down. It took her a while before she felt good enough to eat a pile of treestars that she rammed off a nearby tree. After her meal, she laid down to try and get a nap. It turned out to be impossible because every time she started to fall asleep, another thought of what having a hatchling would be like came to her mind. She finally just got up and started looking for something to drink. It wasn't long before she found a nearby pond with a group of swimmers splashing around. It took her a moment before she recognized this group. It was her old friend Ducky's family. This was confirmed for her when she looked at the far bank and recognized Spike nibbling on some vegetation. Having nothing else to do at the moment, she decided to go over and catch up with her friend. It was only a few moments later that Ducky looked up and spotted Cera as well. When Cera got closer, she saw that Ducky's face seemed to reflect a lot more happiness than had ever been shown before. After they had made a nice greeting, Cera decided to start off the conversation with asking "Did you happen to hear about my union with Littlefoot?"

"Oh, yep, yep, yep. I did, I did." she replied. Cera caught a hint of something else when Ducky answered this question, so she asked "And how about you? Are you mated with anyone?"

"Oh, yes yes yes. I am mated as well."

"To whom?" Cera asked.

"Petrie" she answered in a very joyful tone.

This gave Cera a moment of internal joy. It seems that, while she was the first, she wasn't the only one in the valley to join in a mixed-herd union. The fact that Petrie and Ducky had gotten together didn't surprise her in the least. Those two had always been close, and after Cera had chosen Littlefoot as her mate, it seemed that cross species unions were starting to become acceptable among the herds. A few minutes later in their conversation, another question occurred to her. "Have you guys thought about a hatchling yet?

"Oh, yes. We are actually trying for one right now, but until he or she comes, I am just happy being with my Petrie."

"But what if it turns out that flyers and swimmers can't make eggs?"

"If that happens, we can always adopt. After growing up with Chomper, it wouldn't matter to us what herd the egg had originally came from. We'd just be happy to provide it with a home. But how about you two? What are your thoughts about this?"

This actually gave Cera a little pause. She turned back to her thoughts a few minutes ago on how she might want an egg, as well as the few conversations she and Littlefoot had had on the subject. In the end, she responded by saying that they'd be happy whether a hatchling came along or not. It was then that Ducky heard her mom give a high call, and saw the rest of her siblings start to gather together by Spike. "I must be going. I told Petrie that I want to fix up our nest as soon as I got back from this outing."

"Okay. I hope to hear from you soon."

"Me, too."

And with that, Ducky went back to her family to start the walk to swimmer cove, after which she herself would return to her nest in the secret caverns. Cera watched her until she could no longer make out her friend from the rest of her herd.

After she could no longer see Ducky, Cera went over to the shade of a big tree and laid down. She was grateful to hear the news of her friends, and also glad that her talk had helped her sort her feelings about wanting an egg, but she was still feeling physically off. As much as she had wanted it to be nothing, Cera was finally figuring that something must be up with her, and had just made up her mind to go talk to her mother when she spotted her parents and sister coming towards her. Her family had apparently decided to also do an outing to this part of the valley. She felt a little calmer as they approached her. It always made her feel happy when she saw her mother and father together again. After Ann had returned, Tria had initially felt scared that Topsy would go back to his first mate, but both she and Cera were surprised when Ann didn't try to rekindle her relationship with Topsy. It seemed that enough time had passed that Ann had no problem with Topsy moving on and finding another mate. Ann felt that just being around Cera was enough for her, and had started looking for a spot in the valley to call her own when Tria offered to let Ann stay with her and Topsy. It actually worked out pretty well for all of them.

"Cera." her step-mother called. "How are you today?"

Cera looked up to answer, but felt a sudden wave of exhaustion overwhelm her, and she fell asleep right where she was standing. It took quite a few minutes before Ann and Tria managed to rouse her.

"Are you alright?" Ann asked, after Cera finally woke up.

"I'm okay. I've just been feeling a bit odd lately." Cera replied.

"Is it something we can help you with?"

"I hope so, but what's going on with me is kind of…"

It took Topsy and Tria only a second to declare "Come on, Tricia, I think there's some hard-water sweets down by the river." They had been around long enough to know when Cera wanted a private conversation.

"But dad, I'm waiting for my friends." Tricia complained. "They're supposed to meet me here for a game of pass the seed."

"I'm sure Ann will send them after us." Topsy retorted. Seeing that she had no choice, she reluctantly followed her parents towards the water. It was only after they had disappeared completely from sight that Ann turned to Cera and asked "Well, what seems to be the problem?"

"I've just been feeling a bit off the past few days. I just didn't want to worry Littlefoot unnecessarily."

"Well, you just tell me what's wrong, and I'll see if I can help you."

"Well, besides feeling tired all the time, I've had a very upset stomach, I have a bigger appetite then Spike, and I've started becoming disoriented in the mornings."

Hearing these symptoms seemed to recall a memory for Ann, but just to be sure, she asked "Is there anything else?"

"I think it's nothing, but I also keep feeling obsessed in making sure our sleeping area is perfect, even when I know we won't be using it for a while."

When Ann heard this, something clicked inside and her face changed from one of concern to one that seemed so happy, it radiated the bright circle. In a voice that seemed to radiate joy, she said "Nothing's wrong with you, sweetie. In fact, something wonderful has happened."

"What? What is it, mom?" Cera asked in a concerned tone.

"Cera," she answered. "You're going to have a hatchling."

At this declaration, Cera was really taken aback. "Are you sure?

"I'm sure. You've described exactly how I felt when I was heavy with your egg."

This news seemed to give Cera the second biggest surprise of her life. Nothing could ever top how she had felt when she had found Ann, but this was pretty close. After a few seconds, she realized that what Ann had said was the truth. It dawned on her that she must have known internally that the egg was coming, but didn't recognize the signs because she never thought that a longneck and a threehorn could actually have a hatchling. Thought she was starting to feel excited at the thought of having an egg, a sudden question came to her forethoughts. She was wondering what would eventually hatch from the egg. Would it be a longneck like Littlefoot, a threehorn like her, or would it end up being a mix of them both? And what would it be like when it grew up? Would it be strong and smart? Would it be happy and healthy? Or would it not even be able to live at all? She had no way to tell. She was finally broken out of her thoughts when she heard the sound of someone calling for Tricia. She looked back and saw a purple threehorn and a black flyer coming up towards them. They stopped and looked at Ann.

"Hello, Mrs. Threehorn. Is Tricia around?" the flyer asked.

"You just missed her. She's down by the river." Ann replied.

The two dinosaurs thanked her and moved off, following the direction Tricia and her parents had gone. Cera then looked up and saw that the bright circle was starting to drop out of the sky.

"I need to get going." She told Ann. "I got to go tell Littlefoot the good news."

"Okay. I'll see you soon."

"See you, mom."

It was only a minute later that Ann and Cera went their separate ways. After Ann had disappeared from sight, heading towards the river, Cera started heading towards her own nest. She was feeling very excited by what she had just found out. She couldn't wait to tell her mate the good news. She made good time on her way back, only stopping for a drink of water, which took a little longer when she notice the slightest of bumps in her midsection, another source of confirmation for her that this was actually happening. After she got going again, It seemed only a few moments later that she was back home and looking at her beloved. After they acknowledged each other, they started talking about how their mornings had gone. Littlefoot, for his part, didn't have much to say, other than a report that a few sharpteeth were spotted running away from the shadow of a giant flyer. He just dismissed it as a tale probably cooked up by a couple of bored sentries. It was only after Cera started talking about her morning that things got real interesting. She started off by saying "I heard something very good while I was out. It seems that Petrie and Ducky have decided to follow our example and have become mated."

At this news, Littlefoot a little sense of relief. He had actually been expecting this news ever since the gang had had their rights of adulthood.

Cera then mentioned that she ran into her family

"How'd that meeting go?' he asked.

"It was fine."

"Anything interesting come up?"

"Why, yes. In fact," she said in a tone that was getting more and more excited with every word "I have something very exciting to tell you."

"Yes." said Littlefoot. From the way she was speaking, she must have heard something very important.

"I'm heavy." she said.

When he heard this, he was a little confused. He was wondering how a little weight gain could be such important news to her. Maybe she was actually looking for another compliment on how attractive she was. Yeah, that had to be it. "What do you mean? You look beautiful." he answered. Littlefoot obviously didn't understand what she was referring to.

"No" she said, seeing that he wasn't getting it. "I'm heavy." she repeated, giving move invocation to the phrase, while at the same time moving her leg aside to show him the slight bump protruding from her midsection. It was then that he understood what she was saying. Seeing the look on his face, she declared "We're going to have a hatchling."

When he realized this, he felt quite a bit of shock. In his mind, he had pretty much written off the possibility of ever having a hatchling when he became Cera's mate, due to their being two different types of dinosaurs. Obviously, he had just been proven wrong in a big way. He was so surprised at the news that after a few seconds, he fainted clean away.

Several months later, at the end of the cold time

It was in the late evening, and Littlefoot and Cera were starting to get a little impatient. It had been so long since Cera had laid the egg that it seemed that it would never hatch. When it was first laid, they were worried that the egg hadn't survived, but it always felt warm to the touch.

They had just gone through another long day of watching over the egg and had curled up on either side of it and were just starting to drift into sleep when they were awakened by a sound that resembled a treestar being ripped apart. They immediately sprang up, looking for anything that might try to harm the egg. After a second, the sound repeated, and that was all it took for them to realize that they were hearing what they had been waiting for. They looked down at the egg and watched as a small crack developed on its surface. Another crack soon appeared, and was quickly followed by another and another until the whole surface seemed ready to fall apart on its own. It was only a few seconds later that the whole shell did fall off, and they got their first look at the hatchling. It was a boy, but he was like none they had ever seen. He had the body of a longneck, but the head of a threehorn. He was a light orange color everywhere except for his back, where there were stripes of both brown and black, and his eyes were a mix of brown and green. And judging from how long he had been in the egg, it seemed that inside, he was mostly threehorn. In short, he was perfect.

A sudden question occurred to Littlefoot "What shall we call him?" he asked, looking from his new hatchling to his mate.

Cera thought for a few moments before replying. "How about Bambo?" she suggested.

"Bambo. I like it." he said. "And what do you thing?" he asked, looking at the hatchling. It gave a little squeak, which seemed to indicate that it was acceptable. It was not long before he indicated, quite clearly, that he wanted to be fed. Due to their good location, it only took a few minutes to gather up enough green food for all three of them. After the meal, they tried to get Bambo to settle down and take a little nap. He would have fallen asleep very quickly, but something in the sky caught his attention. Not recognizing it, he looked up at his parents and gave a little squeak. It was only a moment later that they saw why he had reacted. A shadow was descending towards them. They got into a protective stance over Bambo, not trusting the approaching stranger. They relaxed, however, when they saw that it was their old friend Petrie. They called out to him in greeting. He landed and got into a sitting position before acknowledging them.

"Hello Littlefoot. Hello Cera." he replied. A few seconds later, he asked "How you two?". It seemed that he still talked in his own unique way, even after all these years.

"We're fine. In fact, we're better than fine. And how are you?" they answered.

"Me fine, me fine." he said. He then looked down and spotted Bambo "And who this?" he asked.

"This is our new son, Bambo." Cera answered, absolutely beaming with pride. She then turned and said "Bambo, this is your uncle Petrie. Can you come say hi?"

Of course, Bambo was still a little nervous, being around a very big flyer. His curiosity quickly won out, however, for he moved up until he was very close to Petrie. He then displayed a dominant trait of a threehorn by suddenly charging at the right wing. Petrie saw what he was doing and lifted his arm up so that Bambo passed right underneath the wing and kept going. A few steps later he realized that he'd missed his target and quickly turned around. This quickly developed into a game with Bambo charging and Petrie moving his wings around so that Bambo never hit him, but was always close enough to make him want to try again. This went on for several minutes until Bambo, after a very near hit, turned around and chose a different target for his next charge. Petrie suddenly realized what he was doing, but he wasn't fast enough to get out of the way in time, and he felt a strong impact on his back. Bambo, being just a hatchling, didn't have enough strength to actually harm Petrie, but the impact was enough to knock the flyer forward onto his stomach. Bambo then gave a little laugh and a big smile. He felt proud that he'd taken down the big scary flyer. He then went back to the nest to catch a quick nap. Petrie watched him go until he was safely in the center of the nest before he turned back to his old friends.

"He a cute hatchling." was his first comment.

"Thanks." said Littlefoot. After a few seconds, he asked "So, how are things going with you and Ducky?"

"Well, about that" Petrie responded. "Me come over to share something exciting with you two." He then looked up and smiled, like the news was something that filled him with joy.

"Well, what is it? Don't leave us in the dark." Cera said after a few moments.

"Ducky laid an egg." he cried. This got a little surprise from Littlefoot and Cera. They knew that Petrie and Ducky had wanted a hatchling, but they hadn't heard that Ducky had become heavy over the cold time.

"Congratulations" they both replied, moving forward to embrace the flyer. It was then that Petrie looked up and saw how high the night circle had become.

"Well, me got to go now. Ducky need me back soon to look over nest while she rests." He said as he took off. He then started flying in the direction of his nest and his new egg, looking back only to get another glimpse of Bambo. After he departed, Littlefoot and Cera felt a continued sense of joy fill them. Indeed, the moment felt perfect, like nothing they'd ever experienced before. They had just had their first hatchling, and their friends were expecting one as well, hopefully in the not too distant future. They then felt a little tired, so they curled up together in the nest and tried to fall asleep again. This proved to be impossible, due to the fact that they were so excited for their friends. Eventually, Cera gave up on trying to get back to sleep and got up. She turned and saw her mate just looking down at Bambo, admiring him. He looked over and saw that she was awake.

"Couldn't sleep?" he asked.

"I just feel so happy that I can't possibly get back to sleep anytime soon." she replied.

"Me neither." he added. After a moment, he turned to her and suggested "Do you want to go over and introduce Bambo to your parents?"

"Okay." She answered. She then looked at Bambo and, seeing that he was awake as well, asked in a sweet voice "How about it? Do you want to go meet grandma and grandpa?" to which he cooed his acceptance.

And with that, the new family started walking in the direction of threehorn glade, all the while reflecting on the fact that Bambo wasn't going to be the only unique kid around for very long.

It was indeed a time of big changes in the great valley.

The end

Thank you for reading the story. I hope you liked it, and may you all have your own perfect moment to celebrate.