I am Herbie the Herbivore. You may know all about me, if you have read HERBIE AND THE T. REX, (it’s lovely having a book called after me!), — – but I am going to remind you all the same. My Dad is a good jumper, but he mostly jumps the wrong way. He is not very clever. Most dinosaurs aren’t clever. Dippy isn’t clever, either. He’s enormous, and very gentle, but he spends so much time sending messages to his tail that he hasn’t time for anything else. Once he defeated a T. Rex (with my help), so he is now called Dippy the Herborific! Then there’s my Mum, who sits on her eggs all day. And there’s Spiky and Stegs: they aren’t clever at all. Spiky has spikes along his crest, and his best friend, Stegs, is the size of a bus. He does what Spiky tells him.
And now you must meet Spiny: she is my favourite herbivore. She is clever like me.
One day, Spiky said “We’ve got something special to show you.”
“Yes, we have,” said Stegs, who always repeated everything.
“Do come and see,” they said.
So they took me off to see something special. Spiny wanted to come, so I took her too. Stegs and Spiky had found something special. It was on the mountain. It was a big cave with a small entrance! The entrance was so small that Stegs could hardly squeeze himself into it…. The cave was very dark, and the air was stale. But it would undoubtedly make a really good and herborific hiding place.
“That could be useful!” I thought. “The T Rex and the other monster carnivores couldn’t get in and we would be quite safe…”
“Thanks for bringing me here,” I said. “It’s good to know about such places,” and we squeezed out again. It was nice to be outside in the fresh air. Stegs stretched, and Spiky began to jump about and then looked over towards a tree.
“What’s that?” he said. It was a large egg. Spiky jumped off towards it. “No,” I shouted. “Don’t touch it! NO, Spiky.”
But it was too late. Spiky could not resist the temptation to kick the egg. It broke. There was a little creature in it with a beak. All of a sudden, there was a shadow in the sky. I looked up. A dreadful pterodactyl was swooping towards us!
“Quick,” I shouted. “Back to the cave!” Stegs, who couldn’t run very fast, curled up into a ball and rattled his armour plates. He always did this when he was frightened. Spiny and I ran back inside the cave, then Spiky ran in. Just in time too. There was a frightful screech. A terrible long beak poked right in after us: the three of us backed away down the cave. That beak was after one thing, and one thing only: eating us for lunch!
We squeezed back against the far wall of the cave. The terrible beak thrust and struggled to come in. But it couldn’t…. “Herbie,” said Spiny, “what shall we do if it gets stuck?”
“Hm,” I said. I had thought about this too. I paused, “we will have to hope it gets unstuck.” Luckily for us, we were out of reach of the terrible beak, and in the end the pterodactyl was able to wriggle free. It flew off, screeching with disappointment.
We were quiet for a moment, with relief.
“You can’t really blame it,” said Spiny. “It just wanted to protect its egg. We girls love our eggs.”
“OK,” said Spiky. “But all Mum does is cry. She never attacks anyone. How was I to know what kind of egg it was?”
“You could have thought,” I said.
“Think?” said Spiky. “What’s that?” Spiny and I looked at each other. We didn’t have to say anything. Spiky was going to be just like Dad…
Good health and good luck to us all…. Charlotte Sebag-Montefiore