Bobby, a Rising Star Scout of 7 years old, sat the floor of the living room looking through a book of dinosaurs. His mouth opened into a wide “O” as he looked at picture of the amazing animals and learned facts, such as the T-Rex could grow to 40 feet long, 20 feet tall, and could weigh seven tons!
“Time for bed, Bobby!” Bobby looked up to see his mother standing in the doorway.
“One more page, please Mom?” he asked.
She smiled, seeing him reading the book he was so fascinated by. “One more page.” she answered. “You love dinosaurs as much I did growing up.”
“You loved dinosaurs too?” he asked. “My Scout Team loves dinosaurs too. We wish we could see a real dinosaur bone.”
That night, lying in bed, Bobby dreamt of dinosaurs: of tall growling T-Rex’s chasing down small bird-like dinosaurs, of the Triceratops grazing along the shore of a lake, with his great horns and bony collar for protection, of the Brontosaurus, and herds of slow moving 90 feet long animals grazing on tree leaves like ancient cows.
The next morning, Bobby awoke with a smile. He was determined to learn more about dinosaurs. He called his Crew on the telephone and his friends Sarah, Malcolm, Jessica, Michael, Jacob, and Annie came by, each with a small sand bucket and shovel and headed out into the backyard.
“We’re going to dig for dinosaur bones!” he said.
“Bobby, there aren’t any dinosaur bones around here”, his mother said. Bobby looked saddened.
“But my friends and I really wanted to see a real dinosaur bone.” The Crew looked deflated.
But his Mom knew just what to do and made a special phone call.
Bobby and his friends looked at his dinosaur book. “I know there has to be some way to see a dinosaur bone!” he said.
His dog Biscuit came over to be patted on the head.
Next door, his neighbors were in the backyard and a boy and a girl came over to the fence and watched the Crew looking through the book.
“What are you doing?” Wendy called.
“We’re looking at pictures of dinosaurs”, Bobby said.
“Can we come over?” Dennis asked.
“Sure, everyone is welcome!” Bobby said.
Wendy and Dennis asked their parents and then came over to Bobby’s house.
“This is my Crew: Sarah, Malcolm, Jessica, Michael, Jacob, and Annie”, Bobby said.
Dennis and Wendy introduced themselves.
“Dinosaurs are really cool!” Dennis said.
“We want to see a dinosaur bone”, Bobby said.
The doorbell rang and his mother answered it. “There’s someone here to see you,” his mother said and Bobby and his friends looked up. Bobby stood up and saw a tall man wearing a suit.
“I’m Mr. Taylor, and I’m an old friend of your Mom. When your Mom and I were your age, we loved dinosaurs just as much as you do. Now I work at the Natural History Museum. Would you like to go see dinosaur exhibits?”
“Would I?!” Bobby said with excitement.
“Your Crew can all go together and complete a Challenge”, his mother said. Bobby and his friends jumped up and down with glee. They were going to see a real dinosaur bone!
Bobby, his Crew, his Mom, and Mr. Taylor drove to the Museum.
The Museum was enormous and as they walked up some stairs leading to the Museum, Bobby could hardly believe his eyes. “Mr. Taylor, is this whole big place filled with dinosaur bones?”
“Some of it is”, Mr. Taylor answered, “Let’s go inside.”
“I want to see the T-Rex”, Malcolm said and growled.
“I want to know what they ate. They were so big; they must have eaten a lot!” Jessica said.
“They did eat a lot”, Mr. Taylor offered.
“How come they disappeared?” Jacob asked.
“Let’s go in and see”, Mr. Taylor said.
As they entered, Bobby saw places to buy tickets, a vast rotunda for a roof, and shiny marble beneath his feet. Mr. Taylor waved to the guards, who smiled in return, and allowed them through.
They saw many people coming into the museum, such as school children, a blind woman with a seeing-eye dog, young people and grandparents alike.
They stepped into a giant room and at the center was a great stuffed polar bear! “How old is that bear?” Bobby asked.
“About 100 years old, Bobby, but the dinosaurs we will see are much older, about 65 million years old.”
“Wow!” Bobby said.
“Let’s turn right”, Mr. Taylor said and led them toward the dinosaur exhibits. Bobby jumped up and down with pleasure.
“We’re going to see a real dinosaur bone!” Bobby exclaimed.
A museum guard smiled at his enthusiasm.
As they entered the exhibit, Bobby could hardly believe his eyes. In front of them was a giant Triceratops skeleton.
“Wow!” Sarah exclaimed. They rushed over to the Triceratops.
“Those horns are two feet long!” Annie signed.
“Yes, they are”, Mr. Taylor answered. “Triceratops was very good at defending himself. Though the predators who hunted him were much taller, with giant teeth, the Triceratops was like a tank. He had long, sharp horns and a bony collar around his neck no other dinosaur could bite through. T-Rex would try to knock him onto his back where his soft underbelly was vulnerable. But if he could not, the Triceratops was a bad choice for a quick meal.”
“I like him”, Jessica said.
“He’s really cool.” Michael offered.
“T-Rex, T-Rex!” shouted Malcolm with excitement. They moved on see a giant T-Rex skull. “He was the baddest, he ate everybody!” Malcolm pronounced.
Mr. Taylor smiled. “He certainly tried.”
“This is why they died out!” Jacob called and everyone ran over to the display. “Says here the climate changed and there may have been a giant asteroid that hit the Earth!”
The Scouts read about what dinosaurs ate, how they lived, and in what era they lived.
As they walked to the exit, the Scouts were still bouncing up and down with glee. “Thank you, Mr. Taylor”, they answered in unison.
“You are very welcome,” he said.
“I cannot thank you enough. The Scouts had a great time”, Bobby’s Mom said.
Suddenly an alarm sounded and doors around the exhibit and the museum slammed closed.
“What’s going on?” the Scouts asked.
The museum guard was talking on a walkie-talkie and Mr. Taylor walked over to him.
“What’s going on Ralph?”, he asked.
“Oh Mr. Taylor, hello. It’s a dinosaur bone. It’s missing. No one is allowed to leave until we find it.”
Ralph came over to the Scouts. “I heard you guys say how badly you wanted to see a dinosaur bone. You wouldn’t have decided to take it home would you?”
“Of course not!”, Bobby cried.
All the Scouts and Wendy and Dennis shook their heads.
“They’re Rising Star Scouts in the Adventure Scouts USA Scout Program. Honesty is in their Scout Code. I don’t think they would have stolen from the museum”, Mr. Taylor said.
Ralph headed off with his flashlight while the patrons waited.
Suddenly Bobby sat upright. “I’ll bet I know who took that bone!”
“Who?”, Annie signed.
The Scouts huddled together talking.
Jessica took some candy out of her pocket and set it on the floor.
“You sure this is going to work?” she asked.
“I think so”, Bobby said.
He took a pen from his mother, screwed the top off and poured ink onto the floor by the candy.
The Scouts walked away and joined Bobby’s mother and Mr. Taylor. They waited and then went back to check the candy.
“Sure enough!” Bobby cried.
Telltale inky paw print marks led from a chewed up candy wrapper into the hall. The Scouts followed the prints. There in the hallway was the seeing-dye dog chewing on the bone!
The dog picked up the bone and began walking away as if annoyed to be discovered.
“Mr. Taylor!”, the Scouts shouted.
Mr. Taylor came into the hallway and watched the dog walking away with bone leaving prints behind. “What a great idea, Scouts! How did you ever think of that?”
“We’re Rising Star Scouts!”, they cried.
They all laughed as the museum guard struggled with the dog to free the bone. “Give it here, Rover!”, he said as the Scouts laughed hysterically.
“Snowball, come here”, the dog’s mistress called and he instantly dropped the bone and went over to her side.
The security gates up went and everyone cheered. Mr. Taylor said he wanted to go to his office a moment and then returned with a smile on his face.
“I’ve spoken to my boss and as a reward, the Scouts can return to the museum free for the rest of the year”, he said.
“Yea!”, they cried.
“This is the most exciting thing I’ve ever done, can I become a Rising Star Scout?”, Dennis asked.
“Me too!”, Wendy added.
“Of course you can”, Malcolm said.
They left the museum smiling.
“Next time I come, I think I’ll bring Biscuit”, Bobby said. His Mom and Mr. Taylor looked at each and then Bobby, who burst out laughing.
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