TROODON - Chapter 3: TROO and Sly
Twenty big eggs formed a spiral inside the duckbill’s nest. But now six smaller eggs were jammed in among them.
The duckbill took no notice of the newcomers in the nest. It tended a layer of chewed plants that lay over the eggs like a warm blank. The duckbill stuck its long snout into the rotting leaves often to check on the temperature. When the heat produced by the decaying plants rose to hot, the duckbill pushed aside most of the leaves to keep the chicks from overheating in their nest.
In a matter of just days, the eggs began to tremble with the movements of the chicks they contained. Peeps from within the shells great louder and steadier. The high-pitched squeaks of the egg-bound Troodons mingled with the louder cries of the duckbill embryos.
One sunny morning, the eggs began to crack. Using egg teeth they would soon lose, the Troodons and their big nestmates all chipped away at their shell houses until they could free themselves.
Six wet Troodons with matted yellow feathers peeped excitedly from their shell. Even in their first few hours they felt fear. They were right to be scared. Raptor packs wandered along the outskirts of the duckbill colony.
The wobbly Troodons stood up, fell, and stood up again. Within an hour they were steadier on their feet. But the tiny chicks could not have climbed the steep walls of the nest – even the much larger duckbill chicks that surrounded them were held in by the mud walls of the nest circle.
Troo looked around and focused his clearing gaze on the other Troodons in the nest. His brothers and sisters. Next to him stood a hatchling Troodon who dwarfed him in size. (We’ll call his brother Root).
The mother duckbill poked her head into the nest. She noisily burped up some well-check plants, directly into the mouths of her hungry hatchlings. And she fed the baby Troodons just as she did her own young.
The hatchling Troodons battled to get the attention, and the food, of the duckbill mother.
Root pecked aggressively at Troo whenever Troo reached up with his mouth agape, awaiting a pre-chewed morsel. If Root kept Troo from the food, Troo knew he would starve. But how could he fight off a brother far stronger and larger than himself?
Troo found a way.
TO BE CONTINUED….