The Land Before Time Retold
We all know the beloved stories of the Land Before Time. How five young dinosaurs forged a friendship and braved the wilderness back to the ones they love. After that, they had many other adventures, made new friends, and learned life lessons. But what if someone from our world managed to travel to theirs? How would a human interact in this world? And how would this story unfold if this human were with the Gang since day one? As a fan of the series, I decided to see how the outcome of the story would be if that really did happen.
DISCLAIMER: I do not own the Land Before Time Series; I am merely exploring an alternate story.
With that said, let's begin!
The rumble of the car on the gravel road jostled Aylene a little as she read her dinosaur guidebook. The page she was currently reading was on a sauropod dinosaur called an Apatosaurus. For the longest time she thought it was called a Brontosaurus, until she learned that Brontosaurus was a synonym for Apatosaurus, but not it's scientific term.
"That's interesting," she thought.
Feeling a rather harsh nudge on her shoulder, the fourteen year old turn in the direction of the one pushing her with annoyance. She looked at her brother who had a rather smug expression on his face.
"What is it, Derek?" she said, irritated.
"Just wondering how your book was coming," he replied impishly.
"Being the "Dino Nerd" you are I was just curious," he answered, still grinning.
Aylene looked even more annoyed and hit her older brother slightly on the shoulder.
"Hey, no fighting back there you two," their dad said sternly from the driver's seat.
"Derek started it!" Aylene protested.
"Just get along until we get to your grandparents' house, okay," their mother frowned. "It's not that long now."
Aylene glared at her brother for a moment and then went back to reading her book. Only the enjoyment out of reading it was gone after that rather nasty comment from Derek.
What made it even worse was that it wasn't just her brother who gave Aylene grief; nearly everyone at her school called her the "Dino Nerd" due to the fact she could spout out information on various species of dinosaurs. Sure, it may impress the teachers, but it did nothing for her when it came to impressing others.
Why couldn't she just be allowed to be herself without anyone making fun of her? So what if she had a fascination of dinosaurs? They were interesting creatures. What's so bad about liking them?
Fortunately for Aylene, it was Summer Vacation. All she was hoping for to spend a nice week at her grandparents' house: practicing archery with grandpa, learning how to play the ocarina with grandma, and just relax.
Meanwhile, in a world that was very different, a rainstorm struck the land.
An egg-stealer crept silently in the reeds near the resting herd of three longnecks.
In the nest near the tail of the youngest member were four eggs: three that were broken and only that one remained intact. It slowly began to jiggle as the little creature inside struggled to break free.
The egg-stealer licked its chops with hungry anticipation. If the egg was about to hatch, then he would have a fully developed hatching to feast on.
Leaping from its place, the egg-stealer quickly grabbed the egg and attempted to escape.
But its attack on the egg had been noticed.
The young female longneck knocked the creature senseless with her own head. The egg flew out of the egg-stealer's hands and fell down the skeleton of a bigmouth.
It continued to roll down the decayed spine of another dead dinosaur until it flew off into a river raging with violent rapids. It continued to flow down the river and over a short waterfall.
As the rain gradually began to cease, the egg hit the ground and bounced for several feet before falling into a group of other small dinosaurs, causing them to scatter away in surprise.
Suddenly, the egg cracked open. A small tail appeared, then a leg kick out from the side, followed by the other. Soon the rest of the shell broke apart to reveal a baby longneck.
The infant rolled over onto its rump and took in a breath of the new air. He smiled innocently and squeaked as it took in its new surroundings.
"Here I am." a loving voice said.
The hatchling looked up and saw three larger longnecks. The one in the middle lowered its head and smiled at him.
Suddenly becoming frightened, the baby longneck fell backwards and tried to scramble away. He didn't get far before feeling a lick on his back. He curled up into a ball, hiding his face under his forepaws. When he felt another lick, though, it wasn't threatening at all. Instead, it had a feeling of love.
He lifted his face and smiled as he instinctively realized that this massive form was his mother. More and more tender licks came as he turned and looked up at this female longneck. Soon, he returned it with a lick on her nose.
As he reached up to hug this longneck's face, various other types of creatures came out of their places to see the new life that had just hatched. The baby longneck turned and saw the strange creatures. Immediately, he began to feel overwhelmed by the number of how many of them there were.
The creatures all looked so peculiar. Some had strange flabs of skin coming from their arms and very long pointed mouths. When they walked, they seem to waddle on two legs. Others crawled along the ground on all fours and had two very big eyes.
Frightened by the new faces, the little dinosaur retreated to behind his mother's leg.
"Oh, don't be frightened," the female longneck said gently. "Come out."
The longneck hatchling peeked out from behind his mother's leg as the creatures began to crowd around. Some of them smiled at the little infant, as if feeling a sense of happiness as the new life nuzzled its mother's foot.
The infant longneck opened his mouth wide and yawned. As it looked at the creatures surrounding him, he jolted in surprise.
He retreated away from the group and stumbled over his feet. Apparently, moving around on all fours still wasn't easy for the hatchling.
The female longneck giggled and gently grabbed her baby but the scruff, lifting him onto her back.
He delightfully stomped around on his mother's back before sliding down into the base of her neck.
"Now, you be careful, my Littlefoot." she smiled gently.
Littlefoot yawned again as the two elder longnecks gazed down at their new grandson. The little hatchling looked up at his grandfather and squeaked in delight. The elder nuzzled his daughter's lovingly as her child nestled into the folds of her skin.
"Beautiful Littlefoot." she whispered as the hatchling longneck drifted off to sleep in the safety of his loving family.
Half an hour later, Aylene and her family reached her grandparents' house, where the two elders were waiting outside in the front yard. Their grandpa welcome his grandchildren with firm but loving hugs while their grandma kissed them on the forehead.
"Well, Aylene," the said girl's grandma smiled, "you look prettier every time I see you."
"Thanks, Grandma," Aylene said, blushing slightly as she ran her fingers through her short brown hair.
"And look at you, Derek," the said boy's grandpa said, "I see you put some more muscle on you."
"Ah, just been working out at the gym is all." Derek answered with a grin.
"Great to see you, mom and dad." Aylene's mother said as she hugged the elder man.
"Glad you could come and visit, Elinor." Aylene's grandfather said as he hugged his daughter.
"And how have you been, Jonathan?" Aylene's grandmother asked her father.
"I've been well, Elaine." Jonathan replied, smiling at his in-law.
"Well, I expect your all tired from your journey," Elaine said kindly, "but first, Richard and I would like to present you with your gifts."
"Oh mom, you didn't have to get us anything." Elinor replied, shaking her head slightly at the older woman.
"That's what I said." Richard laughed. "But your mother insisted on it."
Elaine gave her husband as small playful glare before gesturing toward the front door of the house: "Please, this way."
Elaine guided the family into house and into the living room.
Once everyone had seated, the elder woman passed out four individual gifts.
Aylene was given a small golden colored box with a green ribbon around it. She undid the ribbon and opened the box. Inside was a dark green stone on a metal neck chain that looked rather worn, but still intact.
She took it and held it in her hand for a while. It was such a simple thing, but Aylene loved it.
"Thanks, Grandma and Grandpa." She smiled, slipping the necklace around her neck.
"Glad you like it Aylene." Richard answered, nodding.
Aylene looked up and saw what the rest of her family had received.
Her mother was given a set of small gold rings. Her father had received a watch and chain. And Derek got a hunting knife.
"Thank you for the gifts." Elinor gratefully nodded.
"You're welcome, my dear." Elaine answered, smiling.
After the gift exchange, Aylene and her family took their suitcases up to their rooms.
Aylene smiled as she opened the door to her room. It was still the familiar bluish beige color with a twin bed against the wall. In one corner was a dresser with a mirror on it and there were two sliding doors on the far side of the room that led into the closet.
The girl took a moment to look around the room, before lugging the heavy suitcase inside it.
When Aylene finally got the suitcase shoved into the corner of the room, she flopped down on the bed, letting out a huge sigh, staring up at the ceiling.
After a long road trip with her brother teasing her most of the time, it was nice to finally have some space to herself. Subconsciously, she touched the stone around her neck and stroked it with her thumb.
It had a very smooth texture, yet it wasn't completely flat. It had a few ridges that were pretty subtle, but she could defiantly see small shapes when she tilted it in the light. Its primary color was dark olive green, but it also had small black specks coating it.
"I'm glad you like your present."
Aylene looked over when she heard a voice and saw her grandmother standing in the doorway.
"Yeah," Aylene said. "Thanks again."
"And actually, it was mine when I was your age." Elaine went on to explain.
"Really?" Aylene asked.
"Yes," her grandma nodded, "it was…my treasure for a long time but I felt…let's just say that it may benefit you in some way."
Aylene sat up and stared at her grandmother with subtle curiosity.
"Dinner will be served soon." Elaine immediately turned away. "I'm making tilapia with rice."
As Elaine left to go back downstairs, Aylene was left with the ponder question of what her grandmother could've meant by the stone "benefiting" her in some way.
Although speaking in riddles wasn't uncommon for her grandma to do, this one for some reason stood out to Aylene.