I was a ‘Dinosaur kid’

Tyler Murphy

I was a dinosaur kid. I could name any plastic figure in the class room since kindergarten. My favorite was Triceratops. (Three horns, plated skull and walked on all fours)

My silly childhood story.

When I was young, maybe 10, I remember being in the yard chasing one of our puppies. I playfully crawled on top of the dog house to tease him when I caught a glimpse of a large shape above me. So large and unlike anything I’d ever seen that it startled me. It was a pterodactyl. (Giant flying dinosaur, beak, crest in the back of its head and a long deviled tail.)

It flew right above me, only 30 or 40 feet from the ground. I remember wondering if maybe I should seek shelter or risk being carrier off, but I just couldn’t pull myself away.

It had the largest wing span I’d even seen and what I thought was a long tail. I was paralyzed with amazement and imagination as I watched it pass out of sight. I ran shouting and crawling with excitement into the house.

I found my mother and after expending every last gasp of breath in my little body in telling my mother about seeing a live dinosaur I finally paused to breathe.

That’s when she explained to me that what I saw was a blue heron. With a lean body, large wing span and long stocky feet that when in flight drags behind the bird, giving it an appearance of a tail. My mind slowed down to ponder the reasonable explanation while my heart instantly collapsed into denial. After a moment, I converted back over to reality and laughed at myself.

Nearly two decades later I still remember those few minutes I truly believed I saw a real dinosaur. At that instance in time, dinosaurs really existed (again). I wouldn’t trade the foolish experience for anything in the world because it’s helped to keep my imagination young.