Dinosaur Seeds

Dawn Vogel has written for children, teens, and adults, spanning genres, places, and time periods. She lives in Seattle with her awesome husband and their cats. "Dinosaur Seeds" is in Short Circuit #12, Short Édition's quarterly review.

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I find Jackie in the garden, digging holes with a stick in a section of the flowerbed that's gone to weeds. "Whatcha doing, kiddo?"
"Planting dinosaur seeds," she says, beaming up at me. She uncurls her fist to show me five dull pebbles, each one slightly elongated so it bears a faint resemblance to an egg.
She's four, so I play along, crouching beside her. "Oh, yeah? What kind of dinosaurs are going to grow from those?"
She giggles. "It's a mystery!"
Jackie soaks up vocabulary like a sponge. "Mystery" is one of her new favorite words.
"Do you remember what we learned about plants?"
"They need lots of room to wiggle their toes. I mean roots."
"You've got it." I kiss the top of her head, no longer smelling sweet like it did when she was a baby. "And then, when you're done, bathtime."
I've forgotten about the dinosaur seeds by the next time I'm trying to make the garden look reasonable, rather than like I've given up on the whole thing.
"Don't throw away the dinosaur plants!" Jackie shrieks.
There are new weeds in the section where she planted the pebbles. Weeds are tenacious. There were probably seeds on the stick she used to dig or something. "Okay, kiddo, I won't."
She plops down on the grass beside her "dinosaur plants." 
"I think this one's going to be a T. rex." She can't quite manage tyrannosaurus, so she prefers the nickname.
"Oh yeah? How long do dinosaur plants take to bloom?"
Jackie shrugs. "Millenia."
The way she says it, so offhand, I almost believe her. "So, next Tuesday?"
"How many days is that?" she asks.
She nods. "Yeah, next Tuesday. Probably."
I wake on Tuesday to a rumble. It's not garbage day. It's not recycling day. Yard waste pickup? No.
A squeal, devolving into laughter, comes from Jackie's room. She's usually a heavy sleeper.
I haul myself out of bed and poke my head into her room.
The face of a T. rex is peering through her window.
I pinch myself, then rub my eyes.
Nope, still there.
"Look, Mama! I told you one of the plants was going to be a T. rex!"
I'm not sure what to say to that. No, sweetie, dinosaurs don't grow from pebbles seems disingenuous when presented with a freakin' T. rex at the window. Standing right around the spot where the garden full of weeds would be.
I'm going to have to figure out how to explain this to the HOA. But there's another thing that occurs to me first.
"Jackie, sweetie, when do you think those other dinosaur seeds are going to bloom?"

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