Lessons from Brontosaurus


(Zachi Evenor [CC / Flickr])

“This is a brontosaurus,” said Miss Collinson. “Now, who can tell me what this is?”

Jasmin stuck her hand up. This was easy.

“Yes, Jasmin?”

“That’s a tyrannosaurus, Miss.”

“That’s right, Jasmin. They’re both di-no-saurs.” Miss Collinson pronounced the word slowly, emphasising every syllable. “Big, fierce dinosaurs. They lived a long time ago.”

Jasmin put her hand up again.

“If they were so big and fierce, how did people live with them?”

“That’s a very good question, Jasmin. You see, people didn’t live with dinosaurs. Dinosaurs came before there were any people. Now, let’s look at another…yes, Jasmin?”

“Miss, if there were no people when they were around, who called them Brontosaurus and Tyrannosaurus?”

“We did, Jasmin. Or at least, the people who discovered their fossils did.”

Jasmin put her hand up again.

“One more question, Jasmin.”

“If the dinosaurs were around before people, what was around before the dinosaurs?”

Miss Collinson frowned. “Well, I don’t know. Slime, probably. Maybe some fish…but we’re talking about dinosaurs today. Is that all your questions, Jasmin?”

“Yes, Miss.”

Because if Miss Collinson didn’t know something, nothing would ever be the same again.

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Posted in Saturday Hooptedoodle
2 comments on “Lessons from Brontosaurus
  1. Love that last line. As we grow and learn and realise the limits of knowledge, nothing is ever the same again.

    • DJ Cockburn says:

      Sometimes I think the single most important moment in growing up is realising that adults don’t know everything. The second most important comes a few years later, when we realuse we don’t know everything!

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