Experiment #9


There wasn’t much to do in the middle of the late Jurassic period. Nobody had invented anything like wheels or houses or ice cream yet. They were stuck with squares and caves and broccoli.

Stanley Stegosaurus spent most of his time shaking his tail to music, which, luckily for him, had been invented already.

Stanley was not the most popular dinosaur at school (which, unfortunately, had also been invented already). Everyday he’d come home and his Mom would ask if he’d made any friends. His answer was always the same: “If you don’t count the leaves in my lunchbox, or… well… even if you do, since I ate them… No.”

For weeks and months this continued and his Mom started to worry. His Mom tried to organize play dates and practiced what she called “new friend” conversations with him, but she wasn’t much better at making friends than her son.

The Plateosaurus play date didn’t go well, particularly since they went extinct back in the Triassic and it’s probably best we don’t even mention the Allosaurus fiasco. Like the leaves in Stanley’s lunchbox, teeth and friends don’t mix. His Mom’s “new friend” conversations didn’t go any better as they only included gardening and rock bands that were extinct before anyone at Stanley’s school was born. For a few months longer the leaves remained Stanley’s only potential friends.

One day Stanley saw a flier for the school talent show: Fame, Fortune, and Friendship to the Dino with the Best Act. Stanley thought for a moment. His eyes brightened as a plan began to form.

Stanley practiced and practiced and practiced and practiced some more. I dare say he pretty much invented practicing.

The night of the big show Stanley arrived early. He practiced his heart out as he waited for his début.

Finally his turn arrived. He went out on stage and swung his tail to the music with all his heart. No one quite knew what to make of this. At the end a few dinosaurs clapped, but that was it. Stanley hung his head. He shuffled off stage.

Next up was Denny the Dryosaurus. He did more than shake his tail, he moved his feet, swung his head, and did flips and spins. That very night Denny invented what we now call dancing. Stanley felt even worse once he saw Denny. But before he could walk sadly away, Denny stopped him and said, “I really enjoyed your tail shaking. Your technique was marvelous. Would you teach me?”

Stanley raised an eyebrow (or at least what passes for an eyebrow on dinosaurs), but Denny was in earnest. Stanley said, “Sure… but only if you show me some of those awesome flips.”

“Deal,” Denny said.

They showed each other their moves.

From that day on Stanley could tell his mom, “Discounting the leaves in my lunchbox, yes, yes I do.”

The following year Denny and Stanley invented synchronized swimming.

Peer Review the Experiment

Tell the author how he did and how he could do better.
Be Honest. Be Specific. Be Constructive.