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Friday November 3rd 2017Tim Candler9

 

     The bits and bobs of rubble that had been deemed dinosaur bones by Saeed and his enthusiastic team of fossil hunters, along with the paid assistance of young George Pudesduckle, had been safely gathered on the small plateau that would one day be dominated by Saint Barbara's very stylish and constantly changing Central Railway Station, or Glavni Kolodvar as it came to be called. Barbarians were inevitably curious around the idea of dinosaur bones and at the same time back in those days it was very much the same as the current era, no one really took the scientific community seriously, gave them derogatory names and went on a bit about fever swamps, political correctness and mumbo-jumbo. Those Barbarians who might have been tempted by the verity of scientific investigation soon lost their appetite when the fossil hunters started arranging the bits and bobs of rubble into what they announced were the skeletal remains of a prehistoric creature. First of all the creature seemed to be enormous and secondly the creature was obviously totally made up, it had a huge head with enormous teeth, tiny little hands, the hind legs of a giant rabbit and it had a long tail. The idea of such an impossible creature wandering around Saint Barbara was pretty terrifying and was quickly dismissed as a product of a Delirium Tremens, a not unpleasant experience that often followed consumption of improperly boiled fresh water whelks from the river Styx that wound a graceful arc through the north eastern region of the county. Of interest, this particular species of fresh water whelk might have become extinct had a pharmaceutical chemist not patented a synthetic and perfectly non-addictive, entirely safe version of the whelk's active ingredient. But for those who might be tempted, Saint Barbara's Annual Whelk Fest makes an excellent Halloween getaway, special group rates available from the locally owned Yellow Roof Hotel.

 

Past

     In many ways it was wonderful for Saeed bin Saeed, his spirit was high as he and his fossil hunters made their way back into the tunnel, his mind entirely engrossed by the possibility of finding one or maybe two more big claws, and there was something that looked like a possible eyelash, Pudesduckle insisted he'd seen. Had Saeed looked up at his hillside audience he might have noticed a small group of fashionably dressed Barbarians seated with Alejandra Pachis on an interesting collection of rustic chairs with cushions, enjoying the entertainment below, sampling local beverages, laughing and chatting, not a care in the world. But Saeed had a mission, he urged his fellow fossil hunters on, who as they disappeared into the tunnel yelled at Pudesduckle to hurry up. And too there was much discussion then and there has been since, but what with one thing and another it must have been some sort of lapse from the explosive engineers rather than an untoward activity from a local population who apparently wouldn't have known the difference between sticks of dynamite and a crate of cold beer. The explosion when it came was greeted with the traditional cheer from observers, and it took a little while for everyone to give up on the idea of going into the tunnel to check on the fossil hunters when it became very apparent that the explosion had caused the tunnel to lose its integrity. With a very impressive rumble it collapsed in on itself sending clouds of dust high into the air. Fortunately George Pudesduckle had been loitering in his employment, so he was saved. The Dutchman had been struggling with some kind Ladybird allergy and hadn't participated in fossil hunting that day, he'd gone fishing. Saeed's religious advisor, his hostler, his oaf and his cook had been engaged in the almost impossible work of trying to achieve an acceptable lifelike pen and ink drawing of their prince's find. However, there was absolutely no sign of Saeed's seamstresses, a detail that infuriated the Sultan of Oman.

 

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