Tony the Good T. Rex
When Jack was a little guy he was dinosaur crazy. Well, truth be known, his mama was (is) dinosaur crazy and she decided it would be a good thing for Jack to be crazy about them, too, so she made sure he knew about dinosaurs.
One of the main things I did was tell him stories. We told lots of stories, but his favorite ones were a series of stories about dinosaurs. The main character in all of the dinosaur stories was Tony the Good T. Rex, a vegetarian carnivore. We took The Tony Show on the road when he started school. I would bring his plastic dinos to school and tell his class stories. Each kid would get a dino and would act out the part that dino had in the story.
I continued this through fourth grade, when Jack’s teacher turned his class over to me for two hours every Thursday afternoon all year long. We had a great time. At the end of the year, I got some of my lawyer buddies together and we put on a trial for the class. I want to post that trial, because it was so much fun, but I have to work my way up to it. You need to have the same background as the kids did so the story makes the most sense.
Here is the very first story that introduces Tony.
Tony the Good T. Rex
Many, many years ago there lived a young Tyrannosaurus Rex named Tony. Tony lived with his family in the deep caves high in the mountains.
Tony did not like the food his family liked to eat. They liked hamburgers, steaks, and any other kind of meat they could find to eat. Tony preferred sweet fruits and vegetables, fluffy bread, salads, and berries from all sorts of plants. He hated meat.
In the mountains where Tony lived no plants could grow. The ground was much too rocky and steep. Tony had to wander very far from home to find the kinds of foods he liked.
Tony’s brothers and sisters laughed at him for eating fruits and vegetables. “What kind of T-Rex are you, anyway, Tony?” teased his older brother.
“Yes,” added his younger sister. “You eat the weirdest things. Yuck.”
None of the other young dinosaurs in the neighborhood would play with Tony either, and Tony was very lonely. He decided to go look for friends in other places. Surely there was someplace in the world where dinosaurs ate fruit and vegetables.
Tony’s mother was sorry to see him go, but she understood. Tony’s father was a big, tough, brawny T-Rex, was disgusted, because he always hoped Tony would develop a taste for meat. Tony’s brothers and sisters just laughed at him.
“Yeah, right! You think you’re going to find plant eaters to be friends with!” the other dinosaur kids taunted. Tony turned his back on them and headed down toward the lush green forest below his mountain home.
The further he walked, the greener the land became. Tony snagged a mouthful of pine needles. “Mmmmm, crunchy!” he thought as he munched happily. He dipped his head and took a bite of the broad leaves of a plant growing near water. What a wonderful taste! He came upon a bush that had lots of plump, juicy fruit. He picked the fruit with the claws on his hands and ate until he was stuffed. Yes! This was the place for him!
Tony spent his first night away from home lying in the lush green grass looking up at the stars. Somehow the stars seemed closer here, even though he knew the mountains where he was born were higher than the plains were he found himself now. He fell asleep thinking happy thoughts.
The next day Tony decided to look for friends. The food was wonderful, but everyone should have friends to share dinner with. He was very happy and began humming a little song and dancing just a little bit as he wandered along.
Before long, he came to the edge of a lake. Across the lake he saw two dinosaurs with incredibly long, thin necks and very. He decided to try to make friends with them.
“Hallloooo!” he called, and jumped and waved so the other two dinosaurs would be sure to see him. The strange dinosaurs turned their long, graceful necks to look at him, and almost before he realized what was happening, the both had walked into the lake and began moving away from him.
“Come back! Come back!” Tony called. “Let’s be friends!” But the two long dinosaurs swam away from him a little faster. Tony might have followed them, but he did not know how to swim.
Tony was disappointed that the two dinosaurs were not interested in making new friends, but he did not let it bother him. He knew he would find friends soon. Sure enough, as he continued wandering through the green land, he came upon two other dinosaurs.
These two dinosaurs were even stranger looking than the two with the really long necks and tails. They had little, bitty heads that were low to the ground, high arching backs, and spikes at the ends of their tails. And all along their tops they had funny looking rocks.
Tony knew how to make friends, though. “He walked straight toward them with a big grin and said, “Hi! My name is Tony and I want to be your friend!”
He was startled at the reaction these two dinosaurs had. The bigger one immediately turned his back and waved the spiky end of its tail at Tony in a threatening manner. The smaller one got into the same position right behind the first.
“Don’t come any closer or we’ll poke you full of holes!” shouted the bigger of the two.
“But I just want to be your friend!” Tony protested.
“Forget it!” yelled the smaller one. “Go away!”
This made Tony sad, but if the two strange looking dinosaurs didn’t want to be friends Tony knew he could not force them. He wandered on through the green places. He wasn’t humming his happy song, and he wasn’t dancing any more. He had no idea that making friends would be so hard!
Tony came to a wide open field. He saw a family of dinosaurs in the field. There was a mother, a father, and a baby. The mother and father had three long horns that stuck out from their heads. The baby didn’t have the long horns yet, but he looked as though he was trying to grow them.
“Haaalllllooooo!” Tony called across the field. “My name is Tony and I want to be your friend and play with you!”
The dinosaur family looked up and the baby dinosaur immediately started running across the field toward Tony. “Okay!” the baby called in a squeaky baby voice.
But his parents had other ideas. The huge daddy started to run toward Tony, too, but he ran with his long sharp horns pointed right at Tony’s soft belly. The large mommy ran toward the baby and blocked his way so he couldn’t reach Tony.
“Go away, meat eater!” shouted the daddy as soon as he saw the mommy had stopped the baby. “We don’t want your kind around here!”
Tony was horrified. He took two steps back and ran toward the trees near the field. He didn’t stop running until he was deep in the jungle. His sides hurt from running so far and he was out of breath. He saw a big boulder and sat down on it.
He thought about the friends he had not made. The two dinosaurs with the long, long tails and long, slender necks hadn’t said anything mean, but they had run away from him as fast as they could. The two dinosaurs with the spiky tails and the funny rocks on their backs had threatened to poke him full of holes. The father of the baby who was willing to play with him said that Tony’s kind was not wanted. Tony felt very sad. In fact, he felt so sad he began to cry.
This part of the jungle had never heard a T. Rex cry. Tony cried very loudly because the more he thought about his day the more he felt sorry for himself. And the more he cried the louder he cried. Pretty soon all the leaves on the trees nearby had fallen off because of how loud Tony was crying.
The animals who lived in that part of the jungle had never heard a T. Rex cry, either. One by one, then in twos, they came to see what was making such a strange noise. They all stayed hidden in the jungle, though, when they saw it was a T. Rex.
All of them stayed hidden but one, that is. A young Iguanodon named Pete, who was about the same age as Tony, finally decided to find out what the problem was.
“Why are you crying?” asked Pete.
Tony looked up and saw Pete standing a little way away. He blinked away his tears. “I’m crying because no one will be my friend,” he said.
“Why are you looking for friends in this part of the world?” asked Pete. “Why aren’t you looking for friends in the part of the world that has other dinosaurs like you?”
“Because they make fun of me for eating fruits and vegetables,” explained Tony.
The dinosaurs hidden in the jungle began whispering to each other.
“It’s a trick!”
“How does a T. Rex know about fruits and vegetables?”
“Pete had better be careful or he’s going to be that T. Rex’s dinner!”
Pete heard what the other dinosaurs were saying, and he knew that dinosaurs like Tony were not usually very friendly.
“I think everyone is afraid you’re going to eat them,” Pete told Tony.
“I won’t! I only like green food and sweet food! I hate meat!” Tony declared.
There was more whispering.
“When Dip Diplodocus and I were at the lake, this T. Rex called to us and said he wanted to be our friend,” said one of the long dinosaurs.
“He said the same thing to us, didn’t he?” exclaimed the little stegosaurus to her brother.
“That’s exactly what he said to us, too!” piped up the baby triceratops.
There was more murmuring and whispering among the gathered dinosaurs.
“I have an idea,” said Pete. “Let’s gather leaves and fruits and see if he really does eat them. If he does, then we will know he’s telling the truth.”
“Good idea,” agreed the Daddy Triceratops. Everyone knows that meat-eaters like him don’t eat salads. If he does eat it, then we’ll know he’s not trying to fool us.”
So the dinosaurs gathered the leaves that had fallen from the trees and brought them to Tony. They placed all the fruits and vegetables and leaves in a big pile.
“I hope you’re hungry for this,” said Pete.
Tony grinned his big T. Rex grin and started eating. “Yum, yum!” he said as he gulped down a huge serving of fruit. “This is delicious!” he said, smacking his lips after a mouthful of leaves. Pretty soon he had eaten the entire pile of fruits and vegetables and leaves.
“Do you ever eat meat?” asked Pete.
“No,” said Tony. “I don’t like meat at all.”
Pete grinned. He looked at the rest of the dinosaurs gathered around.
“What do you say?” he asked Daddy Triceratops.
“I think he’s telling the truth,” said the big horned dinosaur. The mommy triceratops, standing next to him, nodded. The two dinosaurs with the long, long necks dipped their heads in agreement.
Pete stuck his hand out toward Tony. “My name is Pete and I’m an iguanodon,” he said. “See how my thumb sticks up?”
Tony grinned and put out his own two-fingered hand. “I’m Tony, and I’m a T. Rex who eats fruits and vegetables,” he said as he shook Pete’s hand.
And that’s how Tony found his first friends in the plant-eater part of the world, and how he met his very best friend, Pete.