Friday, 27 December 2013

Tuesday, 24 December 2013

The Night Before Christmas

T'was the night before Christmas
When all through the house
Not a creature was stirring
Except for that man-eating lion!
It's coming to eat me!
Someone save me.

Saturday, 7 December 2013


I was going to barf. Not because I was nervous about spending the summer at camp, but because Dad was driving like a man possessed. The speed was excessive as we drove down the motorway, but now we had hit the country roads, it was terrifying. The roads were narrow, lined with trees, and he took the bends like a Formula One driver chasing a victory.

Dad was normally a very cautious driver and always obeyed the speed limits. If he didn’t, Mum would insist in her most insistent voice, which always worked. It was chilling to the bone. Yet no noise came from the passenger seat. Mum just stared out the window, silently willing Dad to go faster.

At least that’s how it appeared. If I were a suspicious kid, I’d think they were overly keen on getting rid of me for six weeks.

Dad yanked the steering wheel to the right. The car veered around the corner and, for a moment, I really thought we had lifted onto two wheels.

“Dad, can you take it easy. I’m feeling--”

“We have to get to the camp before the registration ends,” Mum snapped. “Don’t distract your father.”

“Yes, Mum.”

Ten minutes later, we turned off the road and passed through large, iron gates and down a straight, gravel driveway. Mum and Dad both drew in a deep breath and released it slowly. I joined in. To say I was glad the journey was almost over was an understatement. The camp would be a doddle compared to the ride here.

Dad slammed his foot on the brakes and the car skidded to a halt in a cloud of dust. The seatbelt stopped me from flying through the windscreen, but the sudden jarring forced all the air from my lungs, and my breakfast from my stomach. I managed to catch it in my mouth and swallow it back down. Not pleasant.

“We’re here,” Dad shouted, a little too eagerly. “You’re going to have so much fun. Let’s get your stuff out the boot and see where you’ve got to go.”

Within seconds, Mum and Dad had bolted from the car, opened the boot and retrieved my suitcase. They were halfway to the house before they realised I wasn’t with them. My gaze had found Parson’s Retreat.

It looked more like a castle than a house; three stories high, grey, stone walls, and the windows were just small slits. There was even a tower rising from the left hand side of the building. A chill raced up my spine; my heart thumped inside my chest; my breathing quickened. This was wrong. I couldn’t stay here. The house was old. Way too old.

“Mum, Dad,” I begged, “I’ve changed my mind. Summer camp isn’t a good idea. We need to leave.”

Dad rushed back to me and knelt down on one knee. “It’ll be fine. You’ll meet new friends and have an adventure.”

My head yanked to the left. A breeze filled my ear. The Whispers were calling. They wanted me to listen.

No ... No, I had to concentrate. I had to stop them. Ignore them. Don’t listen.

“But, Dad, you don’t understand.”

The Whispers pushed harder, trying to force themselves through the void.

“We do understand. You’re nervous about being away from home for the first time.”

“No, Dad, that’s not it.”

“Of course it is. Look, when we were eleven, both your mother and I went on summer camps. And although we were both scared to start with, we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves in the end.”

A single Whisper forced its way through: three men wearing grey trousers and blood-soaked shirts. All carried muskets. They ran across the front of the house. One raised his musket to his shoulder, paused, and pulled the trigger. A bright flash and a cloud of smoke erupted in silence from the barrel. The man then ran to catch up with the other two.

Mum knelt beside me and ran her hand through my hair. “And you’ll enjoy camp, too. Trust us. It’ll be good for you. Help you with your problem.”


She gave me a kiss, as did Dad, and before I had time to realise how embarrassing that was, they were dragging me and the suitcase towards the ancient house.

“Is there something you’re not tell--”

My head yanked to the right. An ice-cold breeze filled my ear. The Whispers called again. One overlapped with another. Five of them. Ten of them. A thousand souls crying out: This is what happened here.

Two men dressed in Royal Air Force uniforms ran down the steps of the house. They were followed by a third man dressed in army green. The taller air force officer pulled a gun from his holster, turned back, and squeezed the trigger over and over again. Flash after flash spewed from the barrel. The man in army green stumbled backwards and collapsed on the steps.

“No,” I shouted, “Stop. I can’t....”

I closed my eyes and sucked in a slow, deep breath, held it for a moment, then released it. I repeated this twice more, concentrating on a single thought: Silence.

I raised my left hand and touched my ear. It was warm. The Whispers were gone.

I opened my eyes.

And so were my parents! They were in the car and speeding down the driveway, back towards the main road, and home.

A rotund woman, who looked as old as the house, stood at the bottom of the steps leading up to the front doors. “Ah, you’re back,” she said, grinning. “You were in a world of your own there for a minute.”


“I said my name is Mrs. Bamber. Welcome to Parson’s Retreat, where history comes alive.”


Thursday, 5 December 2013

A slight re-design

After some advice from a sharky-toothed literary agent, I decided to redesign my blog. Since I have no idea about design, colour schemes and whatnot, it's up to you guys who read this to tell me if it's okay or not.

Now I'm going to have to come up with some stuff to blog about over Christmas. Hmm, that can't be too hard, can it?

Monday, 25 November 2013

Story written for competition

It is rare I enter writing competitions on blogs or forums. But I decided to do so this weekend. Janet Reid (find her blog here: ) runs writing contests. This weekend the rules were simple: write a story in 100 words or less, but you must include the following words - lot, heroic, caring, alert, flammable.

It really isn't easy to write a 100 word story and I struggled like crazy getting my word count under the limit. I finally managed it in 99 words and, although I didn't win, I did get a special mention from Janet on her blog, which was awesome.

The version below, though, is not the one I posted. This is one with 123 words before I cut it to pieces.

Sam stared at the old woman as she hobbled towards him. Each tap of her walking stick echoed around the hut. His mouth went dry. She was going to turn him into a frog, he knew it. That’s what witches did, after all. He had to keep alert. Not fall for her sneaky witchy-ness.

Her right eye bulged out of her socket as she leaned forwards. Sam gagged. Her breath stank. A lot.

“Here’s a cookie for being so heroic.”

Sam loved cookies. He grabbed it and gobbled it down, not caring if it did turn him into a frog. A tingling sensation filled his belly. A moment later, he exploded in a cloud of purple smoke.

“Hmm, they really are slightly flammable."

Monday, 14 October 2013

Diary of a Time Traveller

Diary of a Time Traveller

Out of Time

Five seconds left.

In five seconds I’m dead. No getting out of it this time. In the middle of the road, sprawled on my side after tripping on a pole, a car hurtling towards me. Yep, dead. Dead as a doornail. That’s what I’m gonna be in five seconds.

Now comes my life flashing in front of my eyes. Bare with me, it’s normal.

Born eleven years ago, have a Mum, Dad, and little brother, blah blah, all very boring. Grew up in a stupid little village with nothing to do. Totally boring. Went to school where I met Milo, my best friend. He’s great, not boring at all. Although this is all his fault. Yep, for sure. My upcoming death is all his fault. Must remember to come back and haunt him.

Four seconds left.

School was boring. Learnt, or is it learned? Never paid attention in English. I’ll go with learnt even if it doesn’t sound right. But who cares? I don’t. So, I learnt normal stuff--maths, English, history, geography, science, all boring. Except history, I actually enjoyed that, especially the prehistoric lessons. Dinosaurs roaming the Earth. Totally cool. Although they’re as dead as I’m about to be.

Three seconds left.

What else? Nothing! Wow, my life sucked big time.

Okay, next come the don’ts. It’s normal.

Two seconds left.

Don’t number one: When your grandfather gives you a skeleton key on his death bed and tells you it has been in the family for a thousand years and to learn its secret, don’t take it into school to show your best friend. Wow, that was a mistake and a half.

Don’t number two: When you’re cornered by the school bully, and all he wants is some stupid key, don’t tell him no and then call him names.

Don’t number three: Don’t, if you’re fast enough to get away by running across a car park and along an alleyway, don’t, and I mean don’t, under any circumstances, turn around and give the bully the finger. You’ll end up tripping on a rock and falling into the road.

But, hey, you live and learn.

Or not.

Oh, I’m Jacob, by the way. Eleven-years-old and soon to be splattered across the front of a car.

One second left.

One second: the difference between being squished by a car or, if you’re a time traveller like me, being eaten by a dinosaur.

Sunday, 13 October 2013

The Old Woman

Detective Bell stood outside the interrogation room thumbing through the folder. He had seen some sick things in his time, but nothing compared to this. How could anyone do such a thing? He heard approaching footsteps and glanced up. His partner, detective Roger End, was strolling down the corridor.

“Have you read this?” Detective Bell asked.

“Nope,” answered End. “Just heard the uniformed officers who brought her in bumped it over to us for some reason.”

Bell held out the file. “You should read this before we go in.”

End shook his head. “No time. I’ll read it when you start. Gotta wrap this one up quick. We’ve had a sighting of that Goldy Girl. SWAT is gearing up as we speak.”

“I really think you should look at the file first.”

“Oh, come on. It’s probably nothing we haven’t seen before.”

Bell sighed. End was too stubborn for his own good and he’d suffer for it before the morning was over. Bell opened the door and they both entered the interrogation room. An old woman sat behind a long, metal table. She was cuffed and chained to a hook in the centre. This normally made perps nervous. But this old woman seemed more amused than afraid. She reminded him of his grandmother, small and chubby, rosy-red cheeks and a smell of cookies.

Bell sat on a chair opposite her. Even though there were two chairs on this side of the table, his partner chose to stand, leaning against the wall next to the two-way glass mirror. Bell cleared his throat. He had to ask some standard formal questions first. But there was only one question on his mind: why would someone do such a thing?

“State your name?”

She smiled. “My name is Patricia Farm.”

Bell felt his blood boil. How could she be so calm? She knew what she had done. There was a witness who had seen it. Yet here she was, acting as if what she had done was normal.

Bell took a deep breath and continued. “And for the record, where do you live?”

“Oh, I live at 4333 Turnpike Drive, my dear. Yes, that’s where I live. It’s a lovely house, so warm and cosy. I take good care of it. You should come and visit some ti--”

Bell jumped up with such force the chair he was sitting on shot across the room and crashed into the wall behind him. “How can you act so normal after what you’ve done?”

“I don’t understand,” she said. Her face looked so innocent it deserved to be punched.

“You understand me perfectly. Do you deny what you did?” Bell slammed his hand on the table. “Don’t you dare. We have a witness. He saw everything. We’ve got you. We’ve got you real good.”

End coughed. “Bell, don’t you think you’re being a bit too hard on her. You can see she probably didn’t mean to do it. It was more than likely just a mistake. A mix-up. There’s probably a very reasonable explanation.”

Bell glared at his partner. “Oh, a reasonable explanation? You think there’s a reasonable explanation?” He turned back to the old woman. “Well, is there?”

“Well I just ....”

“Just what?” Bell shouted. “Come on, tell us? Admit what you did."

“Detective Bell,” End said, raising his voice. “Calm down, she’s just an old woman. Look how sweet and frail she is.”

“Well,” said the old woman all sweet and frail like, “it felt right.”

Detective Bell’s eyes widened. He had her. She couldn’t get out of it now. “So you admit what you did?”

“I just wanted to....”

Bell slammed both hands onto the table and leaned in towards her. “Go on, say it. Tell us what you did.”

The old woman looked up at Bell and smiled. “Well, my dear, I swallowed a fly.”

End dropped the file he’d been holding. “You did what?”

The woman looked at End. “I swallowed a fly.”

All the blood drained from End’s face. Then, without warning, he doubled over and vomited all over the interrogation room floor. Bell ran over and grabbed his arm to stop him from falling. End pushed Bell away so he could look the old woman in the eyes. “You sick, disgusting old woman. How could you?”

The woman chuckled. “I don’t know why I swallowed the fly. But I was sure I’d die.”

Thursday, 10 October 2013

Murray Walker

Image result for murray walker
Murray Walker was born on this day in 1923. Yep, he is 90 years old today. Anyone who follows motorsport, and especially Formula One, will be familiar with the name. He was the voice of F1 for decades and is much loved by fans and professionals alike. For me, he made F1 better, and watching the races hasn't been the same since he retired 14 years ago.

He was also famous for his "Murrayisms", and here are a few of the best:

"Only a few more laps to go and then the action will begin. Unless this is the action, which it is!"

"I can't imagine what kind of problem Senna has. I imagine it must be some sort of grip problem."

"And the first three cars are all Escorts, which isn't surprising as this is an all Escort race."

"He is exactly 10 seconds ahead, or more approximately, 9.86 seconds."

"Look up there! That's the sky!"

"There's nothing wrong with his car except that it's on fire."

"I don't want to tempt fate but Damon Hill is now only half a lap from his first Grand Prix win and… and HE'S SLOWING DOWN, DAMON HILL IS SLOWING DOWN… HE'S... HE'S STOPPED!"

The guy is a hero and the passion he had for the sport he loved was infectious. Earlier in the year he fell down and broke his pelvis. Whilst at the hospital the doctor discovered he had lymphoma. Thankfully he is on the mend. Let's hope he has many more years to enjoy his Formula One.

I'll leave you with this last quote, which made me as emotional as him. It was in 1996 and Damon Hill had just won both the Japanese Grand Prix and the World Championship: "I've got to stop now, because I've got a lump in my throat." The only time he was ever speechless as a commentator on Formula One.

The guy was brilliant.

Happy Birthday, Murray.

Wednesday, 9 October 2013

She Swallowed A Fly!

We knew this day would come. It was the only logical progression. This old woman started by swallowing the fly. I don't know why she swallowed the fly. I was sure she'd die. But she didn't. She decided the only way forward was to swallow a spider. It wriggled and jiggled and tickled inside her. She swallowed the spider to catch the fly, why oh why did she swallow that fly? How did she not die?

Of course from there it gets weird. She swallowed a bird, which sounds absurd, but she did nonetheless. She saw a bat, and said, "Not that." And instead swallowed a cat. Fancy that, yes, she swallowed a cat. She did this to catch the bird, which was absurd, and swallowed the bird to catch the spider. Such a stupid woman to swallow a spider, as it wriggled and jiggled and tickled inside her. She swallowed the spider to catch the fly. She must've been high when she swallowed the fly. She didn't die.

Oh my god, she swallowed a dog. What a hog, she swallowed a dog. Not a small one either. She swallowed the dog to catch the cat. She swallowed the cat to catch the bird and swallowed the bird to catch the spider. It wriggled and jiggled and tickled inside her. And the spider was swallowed, according to reports by a witness, to catch the fly. How sick have you got to be to swallow a fly? Why did she not die?

She swallowed a goat! It went straight down her throat. It wasn't enough, though. Which is why she swallowed a cow. Wow! She swallowed a cow!

She swallowed a cow, wow, a cow, to catch the goat, which went down her throat, to catch the dog, not a hog, to catch the cat, fancy that, she swallowed a cat. She swallowed the cat to catch the spider, which wriggled and jiggled and tickled inside her. She swallowed the spider to catch the fly.

Why? Why did she swallow that fly?

Then, after some considerable consideration she swallowed a horse.

She died, of course.

Tuesday, 8 October 2013

How now brown cow

Yes, she went and did it. This old woman swallowed a cow. Wow! She swallowed a cow! Now, a cow, I can understand. Cows are tasty. Who wouldn’t want to swallow a cow? Well, a whole one? Yes, I’ve been that hungry before. And slightly roasted they are very nice.
She swallowed the cow to catch the goat, straight down her throat went the goat. I wasn’t wearing a coat when I observed the goat slipping down her throat, safe on my boat, afloat. She swallowed the goat to catch the dog, yes, it’s obvious to anyone she was a hog for swallowing that dog. She swallowed the dog to catch the cat, fancy that, she swallowed a cat as it sat on a mat watching a fat rat called Pat sleeping in a hat.
She swallowed the cat to catch the bird, which was absurd, but she still did it. That’s one batty old biddy. She swallowed the bird, no matter how absurd, to catch the spider. And if there is one thing we’ve learned about spiders, it’s they wriggle and jiggle and tickle inside you. A good reason not to swallow a spider, if you ask me. But, as we’ve all ready established, this old woman, who didn’t live in a shoe, isn’t like you, she’s crazy through and through. I think she lives in a zoo.
She swallowed the spider, which tickled and jiggled and wriggled inside her, to catch the fly. Now, I know what you’re thinking, as I’ve been thinking the same. Why, when she swallowed that fly, did she not die?

Monday, 7 October 2013

I'm not wearing a coat.

She swallowed a goat? Oh my god, this old woman is out of control. Someone stop her. I don’t care what anyone says, swallowing a goat is wrong. I don’t care if it slipped right down her throat, it’s a goat. However, she did it to catch the dog, as she was a hog for swallowing the dog and needed to rectify the situation. Of course, she swallowed the dog to catch the cat, fancy that, yes, she swallowed the cat. The cat was needed to catch the bird, no matter how absurd it sounds, as the cat is the only thing that can catch the bird.

The bird was required to catch the spider. Oh my oh my, that frigging spider caused some discomfort. It wriggled and jiggled and tickled inside her. But, then again, it had to, as the purpose of its trip was to catch the fly, which was flying around pretty wildly, as it had just been swallowed by a batty old biddy.

Why she didn’t die for swallowing that fly, I’ll never know.  

Sunday, 6 October 2013

I knew an old woman who...

What the heck? Are you kidding me? How could she? This has to be the strangest and most mental old woman in the history of the planet. You may ask why? Why, I say? Well, she went and swallowed a dog. Yes, a dog! What a hog, she swallowed a dog.

But, then it's understandable really.

As she swallowed the dog to catch the cat, fancy that, she swallowed a cat. The reason, you may ask, that she swallowed that cat was to catch the bird. Absurd? Yes, a little, but the bird was necked so as to catch the spider. Oh, boy, the spider. It was crazy. The spider wriggled and jiggled and tickled inside her. However, she had no choice but to swallow the spider, no matter how it tickled, jiggled and wriggled inside her. Because, how else are you going to catch the fly? Yes, I know, she swallowed a freaking fly!

A fly. Yes, a fly. I thought she'd die.

Saturday, 5 October 2013

There was an old woman....(part two)

Okay, just found out this old biddy didn't stop at the bird, which was absurd. She swallowed a cat, yep, I know, fancy that, she swallowed a cat. For, it was told to her, that the cat would catch the bird, which really was quite absurd. She swallowed the bird to catch the spider, which, as we all know, as we've all swallowed a spider, wriggled and jiggled and tickled inside her. But, alas, she had no choice, as it was the only way to catch the fly. I couldn't, and still can't believe she didn't, as I was sure she would, die, for swallowing that fly.

There was an old woman...

Why would she swallow that fly? It doesn't make sense. Surely she knew she had to then swallow the spider, which, everyone knows, wriggles and jiggles and tickles inside her. After that you have no choice; you have to down the bird, which, I know, sounds absurd, but it's the only way to be certain. This is down to the simple fact that birds catch spiders, no matter how much they wriggle and jiggle and tickle inside you. And the spider catches the fly. Why, oh why, did she not die? I was almost certain she would.

Saturday, 21 September 2013

On this day...

For those who don’t follow me on twitter, today’s “On this day” was about Edward II, who was killed in 1327 on orders from his wife, Isabella. It is rumoured, yes rumoured and not confirmed, that he was killed by the insertion of a red hot poker into his *cough* special place. Which sounds rather painful.
But apart from his manner of death, Edward II is also remembered for being the first to have the title ‘The Prince of Wales’ and for being the first monarch to establish colleges at Oxford and Cambridge.
And on the subject of The Prince of Wales, this week Prince Charles (the current Prince of Wales) became the longest serving heir apparent in history, having been the heir to the British throne since 1952. And the Queen keeps on going.
Long live the Queen.

Tuesday, 6 August 2013

On this day:

Over on twitter I post an ‘On this day’ in history post every day (catch me @ JedCullan). I thought I would expand on today’s post.

On this day in 1945, the Enola Gay, a Boeing B-29 Superfortress bomber piloted by Colonel Paul W. Tibbets, dropped the first atomic bomb on the Japanese city of Hiroshima.

The bomber took off from North Field airbase on Tinian, accompanied by two other B-29s, and made the historic journey to Japan in a little over six hours.

Although Japanese early warning radar did detect the approaching bombers, no fighters were despatched to intercept them, and Hiroshima’s anti-aircraft guns, although on alert, were ordered not to fire.

At 08:15am local time, the bomb, known as ‘Little Boy’, was released from a height of 31,060 feet. 43 seconds later it detonated at a pre-determined height of 600 meters, causing instant devastation. It is estimated that 70,000 people were killed within one second of the blast, with the number of casualties doubling soon after.

Three days later, on the 9th of August, a second bomb was dropped on Nagasaki.

Tuesday, 16 July 2013

Super Short Stories

For those interested in writing fiction, a good way to start is by writing Super Short Stories. These are also known as Drabble Fiction or Flash Fiction.

They are basically short stories with only one hundred words. Although this may sound easy, trust me, getting them right is tricky. However, they do have the advantage of being short, both for the writer and the reader.

As an example, I have posted one of mine below. Since it was first published, the paying markets for Super Short Stories (particularly in the UK) has diminished. But, if you do some research, you'll find there are still a few markets out there. Don't be discouraged if you can't find any that are suitable, though. It may be worth a punt if you wrote half a dozen Drabble fiction and sent them to a magazine on the chance they like them and would make a special acquisition as a job lot for a one page special. Fortune favours the bold. You get nothing if you don't try. Good luck.


His hand reaches for the handle. The backdoor is unlocked. He smiles and enters the house, gently easing the door shut behind. He tiptoes through the kitchen and then the dining room and into the hallway.

He stops to listen.

She's in the lounge.

He opens the door, just a fraction; enough to slip through. He sees her. She's sitting in a chair. Her eyes are closed; her breathing gentle.

He's almost upon her. She still hasn't heard him. He reaches out his hands and then ... she grabs him.

"Ah, Mom," he laughs, "How'd you know I was here?"

Sunday, 30 June 2013

Is the T-Rex a coward or the most terrifying predator to ever exist?

I seem to have dinosaurs on the brain at the moment. This is due in no small part to my love and fascination with them. Also, if you haven’t been following, I’m currently working on a novel which will feature these magnificent creatures.

It’s a lot of fun writing a novel with dinosaurs. But I do have a dilemma: Which dinosaurs to include?

I’ll be honest. The dinosaurs that make the cut are probably going to be my favourites. Most will be familiar to the reader, and at least a few will be terrifying. And you can’t get more terrifying than the Tyrannosaurus Rex, right?

Maybe not.

There’s a rumour going around that it’s not the greatest predator to walk the earth. Some scientists (You know, the ones that destroy childhood memories) are saying it’s not a predator at all. It is in fact a scavenger, very similar to the hyena. Its prey wasn’t other living dinosaurs (Hadrosaurs, Ceratopsians such as the Triceratops, and Sauropods like the Brontosaurus) which the T-Rex stalked, chased down and killed. Instead it fed on the left-over carcases that other predators had killed and left lying around.

What a load of ... err, rubbish. I was going to say rubbish.

Okay, let’s look at the facts.

The Tyrannosaurus Rex, otherwise known as the T-Rex, or Tyrant Lizard, is a very large dinosaur which lived in Jurassic Park. Err, hang on, that isn’t right; Jurassic Park is fiction.

Let’s try again. The T-Rex lived millions of years ago during the Jurassic Period, which is why Michael Crichton called the book Jurassic Park. Oh, crud. That isn’t right, either. The T-Rex actually lived during the Cretaceous period.

Hmm, now I'm wondering if any of those creatures featured in Jurassic Park were actually, you know, from the Jurassic period?

Anyway, getting back to the T-Rex. This is what you really need to know:

The Tyrannosaurus Rex had huge teeth and a massive jaw that could quite literally crush a car, if there had been any automobiles around back then. And despite some scientists thinking it was cowardly and timid, like the hyena, and a scavenger, not a predator, the T-Rex is a very fearsome monster of a dinosaur which was an apex predator, preying on other dinosaurs.

In short: It was one huge killing machine that scared the living daylights out of every other dinosaur around at the time. And scared the living daylights out of me when I was a kid. And still does, if I’m honest.

So, to put it bluntly, don’t let those nasty scientists and their made-up facts (they really can’t know for sure, they’re only guessing), tell you otherwise.

The Tyrannosaurus Rex was, and still is, the most terrifying predator to ever walk this planet.

Sunday, 23 June 2013

Is the mighty Brontosaurus really dead?

When I was a kid, I loved dinosaurs. I couldn't get enough of them. I had books, little dinosaur toys and even a poster or two. My love of dinosaurs hasn't diminished. This is probably why I decided to write a novel with dinosaurs. Don’t get your hopes up just yet, though. The completion of the novel is some way off. I will, however, update this blog from time to time with news and stuff about my Work In Progress, or WIP, as it’s called.

There you go. For anyone not familiar with writing or publishing, you've just learned a new term. WIP. The Work in Progress. I may give you more terminology as they come up. How lucky do you feel right now?

Anyways, getting back to today’s post. The Brontosaurus. Yep, the Brontosaurus. One of my favourite dinosaurs when I was a little nipper. I had the little green Brontosaurus toy and would play with it often. It had a huge majestic neck and dumpy face, great thick legs and massive flat feet. It was one monster giant of a dinosaur. Not many came anywhere near the size of the mighty Brontosaurus, not even my other favourite, the T-Rex.

However, and this is going to upset a few people, the Brontosaurus never existed. Nope, it never was. The Brontosaurus was entirely made up. A hoax. A cruel hoax that shattered my world and has probably now shattered yours.

Are you in tears yet?

I can hear you shouting at the scream, “Please, let it not be true.”

But, yes, it is true. I’m still in shock.

The Brontosaurus was discovered by palaeontologist O.C. Marsh in the late 1870s. It still is one of the most complete dinosaur skeletons ever found. However, thirty years later, scientists determined the skeleton Marsh found was not of a new species, but from one he had all ready discovered, the Apatosaurus.

But, although scientists and palaeontologists knew of the mistake, or as some have said, hoax, it took a hundred years for the name Brontosaurus to be removed from the records of palaeontology.

But why the mix up? I hear you ask.

Well, it may have been a mistake on Marsh’s part or a deliberate attempt at deception. He dug up a skeleton of a massive dinosaur which wasn't complete. It lacked a skull. This didn't put Marsh off. He decided to place the skull of another dinosaur he happened to have lying around (actually it was over 4 miles away), which turned out to be a Camarasaurus, to complete the skeleton. Either he thought the skull fit, or he just wanted to get one over on another dinosaur hunter, Edward Drinker Cope, who he was in competition with at the time to discover as many knew dinosaur skeletons as they could. Who knows?

What we do know is that the Brontosaurus and Apatosaurus are the same creature. But does this mean the Brontosaurus never existed? Some would say yes (those pesky scientists). Since the name Apatosaurus came first, that is the name used for these dinosaurs in the scientific community (What is wrong with you people and your facts? Pfft, I say. Pfft, and Pfft again).

However, who says a dinosaur can’t have two names?

There can be the scientific name and the popular name. And I choose to remember the popular name, the name I grew up with and grew to love. The Brontosaurus is the Apatosaurus. But the Apatosaurus is also the Brontosaurus. Hence, therefore, the Brontosaurus did exist.

Long live the extinct Brontosaurus.