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The fog comes on little Tarbosaurus bataar feet

I posed a deep philosophical question to the kids today as we drove to school: Would you rather fight 100 cat-sized t-rexes or 1 t-rex-sized cat?

One of the greatest things about a question like this is it brings out each child’s personality and reveals their unique outlook on the world. They all chuckled at the mental picture and then dug in.

Most of them said—without hesitation—it would be better to fight a giant dinosaur-sized cat. I balked at that. Clearly, it would be easier to defeat 100 t-rexes the size of cats. You could trap them! Grab them and put them in boxes. Mow them down somehow. Really, there’s no pretty way to do this loathsome job. Wear tall leather boots and carry a cattle prod?

No! No! They protested. With the giant cat, you can shoot it once if you aim well. These poor children o’ mine haven’t been around many cats in their lives. Most of us are allergic, reacting with swelling and leaking faces, itching beyond comprehension. They have no idea how vicious a cornered cat can be. Soft little cat paws turn into Elm Street slasher death hooks. Fangs are bared. They are spry and sneaky and stalk. A cat that big could cause anaphylaxis faster than you can say “Imagine the size of the litter box!”

Sam was quiet. I glanced in the rear-view mirror. He was scowling. “Arg!”

“What’s wrong?”

“T-rex is technically incorrect. There are multiple types and a lot of controversy about the classifications.”

“Uh. So pick your favorite and imagine that?”

Sam easily settled on Tarbosaurus aka Tarbosaurus bataar after where it was discovered.

But before I could get Sam’s answer regarding 100 cat-sized Tarbosaurus bataars and 1 cat the size of a Tarbosaurus bataar, we were at school and it was time to leap wildly from the van as if escaping the lead vehicle in a convoy of post-apolytic road warriors. I’ll have to wait for his answer. But Joel.

He got out of the van and headed toward the playground when he abruptly turned around. “I changed my mind about the dinosaurs and cats!”

The line in front of us was gone. Teachers were motioning me forward. “Hurry!” I prodded.

“I’d choose the 100 Tarbosaurus bataars! They’d fight each other.” With that, he slammed the door. I was left impressed. Good thinking. When trying to vanquish an enemy, why not let the enemy defeat itself?

I’ve changed my mind, too. It’s okay to do that when posed difficult questions. Mental debate is healthy. I would rather defeat the Tarbosaurus bataar-sized cat. Give me Benedryl, an epipen on standby, and a blue whale-sized perpetually warm windowsill.

I think I’ll tell the kids after school.

Boys being an unspecified dinosaur species, Dinosaur Valley, Fruita, CO, 2010

3 comments to The fog comes on little Tarbosaurus bataar feet

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