at the Creationist Museum
by Derrick Lin
“Dude, I know your brain is about the size of a pea, but this is beneath even you,” Tyrannosaurus Rex said. He spoke in a jocular tone so as not to overtly offend Ankylosaurus, but the truth was he had never cared for the bone-headed herbivore.
T. Rex had been in complete disbelief when he heard that Ankylo had accepted a position with the new Creationist Museum promoting young-earth theories. It was unthinkable for a late Cretaceous-period dinosaur and something T. Rex needed to see for himself.
Ankylo was standing in the background of a display marked Garden of Eden, a fern frond dangling in his mouth. Adam posed in the foreground by a sign that claimed he, Ankylo and all the apes shared the same birthday 6,000 years ago.
“Check that out,” T. Rex said, pointing to another sign by the exhibit. “It says I ate grass like a cow and cracked coconuts until Adam and Eve unleashed original sin. Have these people seen my teeth? Coconuts, my scaly, green butt. These are predator teeth!”
Ankylo spat his fern to the ground. He had learned about turning the other cheek and ignored the baiting from the most pompous of dinosaurs. The important thing was T. had come, and this was his chance to spread the gospel.
“Hey T., I’m glad you’ve decided to check out the museum. Let me show you around,” he said.
The two dinos walked by the Noah’s Ark exhibit. The animal promenade here had actually been Ankylo’s first choice of placement. Sadly, the curator couldn’t find a female to pair with him, and the biblical historian couldn’t be sure that he hadn’t drowned in the flood with all the other reptilian sinners.
“You know, these exhibits are pretty slick, but how can you be here?” T. Rex said. “We’re dinosaurs. We’re the biggest, baddest things ever to walk the planet. We’ve known each other for 6,000 years 10,000 times over. I mean, don’t you remember?”
Ankylo tapped his thick club tail on the tiled floor and the thuds echoed throughout the room. What he remembered was being completely alone until he found his unshakable faith in God and accepted Jesus Christ as his personal savior. He had studied The Word of God and understood that these were the truths that He wanted His people to know.
“What I know is what the Good Book tells me,” he answered. “The details there are a bit sketchy about our kind, though. That’s why I took this job. The children need to know about us.”
“Yeah, but not like this,” T. Rex countered. “These are fables that aren’t historically accurate. We never lived with humans. If we did, I would have eaten them all.”
Ankylo could picture T. Rex picking at carrion. They both knew T. Rex wasn’t really the hunter he claimed to be, but to point that out might be mean. He made a mental note to be more charitable. Instead, he said, “T., you shouldn’t listen so much to the scientists at the Natural History Museum. The Bible is really quite accurate about geology and biology. I wish you could accept that. Even your lack of faith is just part of His greater plan. You could be saved, too, if you just had a little faith.”
“This doesn’t have anything to do with faith or science. This is simply our experience, what we’ve suffered,” T. Rex said. “Look, I know it didn’t end great for us, but that’s no reason to let yourself be used like this.”
They walked past a large interactive exhibit, a sandbox filled with sand, stone, and occasional fossils. The display indicated there was an unresolved controversy over the age of the bones. Some scientists were using faulty, unbiblical assumptions. T. Rex got an idea. He kicked a small pebble that hit Ankylo in the forehead.
“Look out, meteor!” he shouted.
Ankylo cringed and tried to retreat into his armor like a turtle into its shell. He had a sudden memory of a giant ball of flame cleaving the sky before crashing with an explosion that deafened every living thing on the planet. Earth and sky mixed so he could no longer tell where one ended and the other began. Scorching hot debris fell all around, causing fires everywhere. Tsunamis and endless storms followed. The sun disappeared for years behind layers of unbreathable gray ash.
The lucky ones died quickly, without too much suffering. Many had languished until cold or starvation took them. Ankylo had watched every dinosaur he had ever known die. Then he had forgotten himself, forgotten everything — but forgetting was okay, anything was okay, so long as he didn’t have to accept that a large rock from Heaven had destroyed the world. He didn’t remember another thing until the day he wandered into a church and found a new life in Christ.
“Hey, are you okay?” T. Rex asked. He hadn’t kicked the pebble very hard, and was surprised by Ankylo’s reaction. “Sorry about the rock. It was just a joke.”
“I’m okay, but I should get back to my post,” Ankylo said. He really didn’t want to spend another moment with T. Rex. He longed to be back in the Garden.
“Sure, I should be getting back, myself,” T. Rex said. “Come visit at the Natural History Museum if you get the chance.”
Ankylo turned to walk away. He couldn’t bring himself to look T. Rex in the eye.
“Okay. Thanks,” he said, although it was clear to both of them he was unlikely ever to leave this place.
Copyright © 2008 by Derrick Lin