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The Land Before Time XVII: The Threehorn Gathering

TheLandBeforeTime.org Forums The Land Before Time Fanart & Fanfiction The Land Before Time XVII: The Threehorn Gathering

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    • Topics Started: 257
    • Total Posts: 603

    Characters
    ____________________
    Littlefoot Male Apatosaurus (Longneck/Flattooth) Alignment: Good
    Cera Female Triceratops (Threehorn/Flattooth) Alignment: Good
    Ducky Female Sauralophus (Swimmer/Flattooth) Alignment: Good
    Petrie Male Pteranodon (Flyer/Flattooth) Alignment: Good
    Spike Male Stegosauurs (Spiketail/Flattooth) Alignment: Good
    Topps Male Triceratops (Threehorn/Flattooth) Alignment: Good
    Tria Female Triceratops (Threehorn/Flattooth) Alignment: Good
    Tricia Female Triceratops (Threehorn/Flattooth) Alignment: Good
    Olivia (OC) Female Triceratops (Therehorn/Flattooth) Alignment: Good
    Charger (OC) Male Triceratops (Threehorn/Flattooth) Alignment: Good
    Dana Male Triceratops (Threehorn/Flattooth) Alignment: Good but annoying
    Dinah Female Triceratops (Threehorn/Flattooth) Alignment: Good but annoying
    Bambo (OC) Male Triceratops (Threehorn/Flattooth) Alignment: Good
    Tryus (OC) Male Triceratops (Threehorn/Flattooth) Alignment: A piece of work but ultimately good
    Grandpa Longneck Male Apatosaurus (Longneck/Flattooth) Alignment: Good
    Grandma Longneck Female Apatosaurus (Longneck/Flattooth) Alignment: Good
    Pentella (OC) Female Pentaceratops (Threehorn/Flattooth) Alignment: Good
    Toro (OC) Male Torosaurus (Threehorn/Flattooth) Alignment: Good
    Angus (OC) Male Triceratops (Threehorn/Flattooth) Alignment: Bad
    Banger (OC) Male Triceratops (Threehorn/Flattooth) Alignment: Bad
    Prong (OC) Male Triceratops (Threehorn/Flattooth) Alignment: Bad
    Chas (OC) Male Chasmosaurus (Threehorn/Flattooth) Alignment: Bad

    Opening
    _______________________
    Topps was with his wife and children. They were in a valley, and the food source was starting to run low. Being the hothead that he was, it didn’t take long for an argument to break out. “We need to share. There’s no way around it. My father has taught me that you have to act tough when the times are tough.” said Topps.
    “Well, be that as it may, we were here first.” said one of the Threehorns. “Well, we need to share if we hope to survive.” said Topps defiantly. “I suggest you leave.” said another one of the Threehorns.
    Topps held his ground. Then, it happened. The Threehorns charged. Topps charged as well. The groups collided, their horns banging against each other. “Stop it Topps!” said his wife. Topps, however, was too hot-headed to give up. He had always been taught to never back down and to stand tough. His father had taught him that. In the fight, they collided with the edge of a canyon wall, their heads butting together, forcing each other forward and backwards. There were large grey rocks perched on top near the edge.
    It happened really fast. The rocks came loose and landed on his wife and kids. “NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!” yelled Topps. Topps charged forward and there was a fight. When all was done, the attackers had scampered off, wounded. Topps looked around. His wife and kids were all dead. He turned and saw Angus, Banger, and Prong. Angus was a longtime rival of his father Tryus and Banger and Prong were his two sons. Also, there was Chas. He was friends with Angus, Banger, and Prong. The three younger ones had been bullies of him when he was younger. “You didn’t help!” said Topps angrily.
    “You have to be tough Topsy! You needed to stand your ground! You’ll always be weak!” said Angus. The three left. Topps went searching, for his older daughter Olivia wasn’t there and was still alive. He eventually found her. She was devastated when she heard about her mother and siblings. They held out hope that Cera, Topps’s daughter, who had been lost recently after the Great Earthshake, was still around.
    Topps was in grief. He was so saddened that he didn’t even bother to yell too much at Grandpa and Grandma Longneck when he’d met them for the first time. He had always believed in the separation of the kinds. However, he needed company and would even take Longnecks at this point.
    And, in a strange twist of fate, they too were sad. Their daughter had vanished as had their grandson Littlefoot. Topps felt that he could get along with them as they had something in common. Well, get along enough to get by anyway. It wouldn’t do to pick any more fights at the moment.
    Topps had been delighted when he saw his daughter Cera come to the Great Valley. She had changed herself and was now more tolerant of other kinds and was best friends with a Longneck, a Swimmer, a Flyer, and a Spiketail. Though Topps had disapproved of friendships with other kinds, he would let this slide…for now. He himself realized that Threehorns weren’t as great as he’d always believed. He’d always believed that they were the best. That they were superior. Yet, they had taken his wife and kids from him.
    He decided not to tell Cera just yet what had happened. She had always believed that Threehorns were so great. Why spoil it for her? She knew that her mother and siblings, other than Olivia, had died. She didn’t know the how of it, but, of course, the journey to the Great Valley had so many dangers that she had believed that Sharpteeth or something had done it.
    Eventually, Olivia had married and had two children, Dana and Dina. Topps was a grandfather. Topps was really protective of Cera now, for Olivia had a family of her own now and Cera was all he had left to raise. Some may have thought him harsh and overprotective, but, when asked, he always said that he was just being a dad.
    Years went by. Eventually Topps married Tria, an old friend of his from years ago. Cera had taken some time to get used to Tria but had eventually assented to their marriage. Topps and Tria had had a daughter, Tricia. Over time, Tricia got older, as did Dana, Dina, and Cera.
    Topps sat awake at night thinking of all of this. He thought that he would never have to think of those dark days in the past again. That nothing would bring back the old hurt. He was wrong.

    • Topics Started: 257
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    CHAPTER ONE: THE RETURN OF TRYUS
    ________________________________________
    Cera ran along with Littlefoot. Both of them had something in common, as much as she thought that Threehorns and Longnecks were still pretty different. They both had lost their mothers. She had actually seen the attack on Littlefoot’s mother. She hadn’t been there when his mother had died. She hadn’t been there when her own mother had died. She assumed that her mother and most of her siblings had been killed by those pesky Sharpteeth. It had been her and her dad for a while, with occasionally her sister Olivia visiting with her kids Dana and Dinah. Dana and Dinah had been a royal pain in the tush, but, now as they were getting older, they were more tolerable.
    Cera had been most reluctant to allow Tria to marry her father. However, in the end she had given in. Cera now had a cute half-sister named Tricia who seemed to sometimes get all the attention of her dad and stepmother. Still, Cera loved Tricia. Tricia had learned quite a few words. Cera had been teaching her to smash rocks with her head. Tricia liked to do this, though sometimes she hurt herself.
    Cera had never seen her grandfather Tryus since she was little. She knew that her grandmother had died during the Leaf Famine. She knew there was some kind of trouble between her dad and her grandfather. She didn’t know what though, and Topps absolutely refused to talk about it. He apparently hadn’t told Tria either, or else Tria had agreed to keep it a secret, for naturally she had asked Tria if she had known.
    Cera acted all brave and tough. However, she could be afraid. It had happened from trauma in her life. First of all, her Grandmother’s death had been hard. Worse still, had been Sharptooth’s attack on Littlefoot’s mother right in front of them. And then, of course, she had heard from her dad that her mother, Cerata, had died along with most of her siblings. Indeed, she was the only one of her hatch group left.
    She had acted all tough as a coping mechanism for all she had been through. She was afraid to shown a sign of weakness. She had to keep up her facade and always not walk away from a fight. It was the only way. Her dad, and even grandpa Tryus, had told her that you always have to be tough and not back down from a fight. You always have to keep brave. She assumed it was the proper thing to do for being a Threehorn, yet Tria and Tricia didn’t seem to be that way. Some Threehorns were bull-headed too, though none, except Grandpa Tryus, like her dad. She knew that something had to have bothered him in his childhood, but she didn’t know what it was. And it seemed that her dad was as likely to say Longnecks were better than Threehorns as to tell her or the others in his family about it. She knew that Tria had to have known, but her dad must have gotten Tria to keep silent too.
    She had no idea still how Tria had even known her father. And, as her dad was all hush hush on his past, she wasn’t likely to find out. It really saddened her.
    “Look Cera! Farwalkers coming!” said Petrie. Indeed it was true. A group of Threehorns were coming. Threehorns often didn’t come to the Great Valley. They tended to be more pro-herd separation and hence found the Combined Herd of the Great Valley to be wrong.
    “Look Cera, there’s some of your own kind.” said Littlefoot. Cera went to go look with the others.
    She gasped as she saw one of them. “Who is it?” Ducky asked.
    “It’s my Grandpa Tryus!” she said.
    Tryus was wrinkly, but still around. He was as tough as ever. And he didn’t look happy. He approached Cera and the others.
    “Is that my granddaughter Cera? And playing with Longnecks, Spiketails, Swimmers, and Flyers too! Disgraceful! I can’t believe it!” he said in disgust. The others gasped as he said this. Cera turned bright red with embarrassment. Her dad may have been a bit on the prejudiced side. Her grandfather was far worse.
    “Threehorns don’t play with Longnecks, Spiketails, Swimminers, or Flyers! Get away from her!” snapped Tryus at Littlefoot.
    “Mr. Threehorn used to be like that, but now he’s gotten better.” Littlefoot said.
    “Used to? We’ll see about that!” snapped Tryus.
    “Stop it Grandpa, you’re embarrassing me!” grumbled Cera.
    “You should be embarrassed for playing with Flatheads and Big Mouths!” snapped Tryus. Cera shook her head. This really irked Tryus.
    “I’ll have to talk to that son of mine! This is totally unacceptable! TOPPS! TOPPS!” he called out. Topps came forward. Cera saw something strange in him. Something she had never seen in her father before. He was afraid!
    Topps was hesitant. “Get over here Topsy!” said Topps’s father.
    “Dad, don’t call me that. I let Tria call me that but it was my childhood name.” said Topps, turning bright red.
    “I don’t care! I’ll call you more than that. How dare you let your daughter play with other kinds!” said Tryus, fuming.

    • Topics Started: 257
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    CHAPTER TWO: OLD FOES
    ________________________________________
    “I’m not a kid anymore!” said Topps gruffly. He wasn’t going to take it anymore. “You yourself told me to be tough.” said Topps.
    “Yes, but not to consort and fraternize with other kinds.” said Tryus.
    “Topsy, who are you talking to?” said a voice. It was Tria. She came forward. “Oh, it’s…er…you Tryus.” she said, a bit annoyed.
    Cera was shocked. She’d never seen her stepmother look at anyone like that, other than the time before Tria had married her father, when her father had overdone it with the Tinysaurus issue.
    “I live here now. Things are different here. We must all change.” said Topps.
    “Henh!” grumbled Tryus. “Olivia didn’t change. She still stays in the Mysterious Beyond.” said Tryus.
    Topps said nothing. He felt bad that Olivia had stood up for the separation of the kinds and had lived in the Mysterious Beyond as a result of it, as she didn’t like the Combined Herd. It was ironic, but, then again, she didn’t see what he had. Threehorns doing the unthinkable. All of these cold times he had tried to tell Cera that Threehorns could do anything. What he’d never told her was that that included bad things. She had truly no idea and thought that Threehorns were truly the best. Topps was sure that she still had some bias in her. He was glad, though, that it hadn’t gotten like Olivia’s. He’d had Tria go over and talk to her. He himself tended to argue and get in arguments, and Tria had a magic touch. She’d had some effect on Olivia. Olivia had been here, at least for a few weeks, though she was still grumpy. Topps was worried about his grandkids, Dana and Dinah, and how the things he’s put into Olivia were now, no doubt, going into them. Just as Tryus had put it into him. Would this chain ever break?
    “Listen here Dad, I’m a grown man now! I can do what I want! You have no idea what I went through!” said Topps.
    “Perhaps I don’t. But you need to toughen up.” said Tryus.
    “Dad’s tougher than anyone here!” said Cera. “And he taught me too.” said Cera. She went and rammed a fair sized boulder, and smashed it into tiny pebbles.
    “Impressive. Perhaps there’s hope for you yet Topps.” said Tryus.
    “I doubt it.” came a voice.
    It was Angus. “YOU!” said Tryus. Tryus himself looked slightly alarmed.
    “Ah, with your boy I see. What a disappointment he is. It’s such a pity he can’t be more like my boys.” said Angus.
    Banger and Prong came forward, as did their friend Chas. “Hello Topsy!” they said.
    “YOU!” said Topps.
    “Scared?” said Banger.
    “Of what?” said Topps defiantly.
    “You used to be afraid of us all the time Topsy. We got you and pushed you into the mud and splashed water in your face when you were a kid.” said Prong.
    “Yes, and we ate your Tree Stars.” said Chas.
    “Leave my Dad alone!” said Cera. She was shocked that anyone could have bullied her dad as a kid and even more that they’d have the nerve to bully him now.
    “Oh, what you gonna do missy? Poke me with that little horn of yours?” taunted Angus.
    Cera rammed him with her horn, for she had a temper. “Yes, I am.” said Cera defiantly.
    WHACK! Cera was knocked flying. Luckily, she landed in the tall grass or else she’d have been hurt a lot worse. As it was, she only got the wind knocked out of her.
    Topps was in a rage of fury. “How…dare…you…hurt…my…daughter!” he bellowed. He rammed Angus. Nor had he been the only one to do so. Tryus had joined in. It was now Topps and Tryus versus Angus, Chas, Banger, and Prong.
    “Hey, cut it out!” said Tria, coming to join in.
    “Ah, you need the missus to help out?” laughed Banger.
    “Tria, stay out of this. I can kick their tushes without your help!” said Topps. The groups continued to fight.
    WHAM! Topps and Tryus were knocked backward. WHAM! WHAM! Angus, Banger, Prong, and Chas were knocked backward. Grandpa Longneck had moved Topps and Tryus away with his tail. Both he and Grandma Longneck had moved away the four others with their tails combining to push away them.
    “Break it up gents!” said Grandpa Longneck.
    “Ahhhhh, you’ve brought in Longnecks! Have you no shame?” laughed Angus, getting up and dusting himself off. He moved toward Topps and Tryus again. Grandpa Longneck blocked his way.
    “You want to fight, you can go do it in the Mysterious Beyond!” he snapped threateningly.
    “Come on Topsy, wanna take me on out there?” laughed Banger.
    Topps looked ready to consider it. However, Tria shook her head at him. “No, not now.” he said.
    “What, are you a coward?” laughed Prong.
    Topps moved to go forward. It took Tria, and Mama and Papa Swimmer to restrain him.
    “We’ll be back!” said Angus. He, his two sons, and Chas left.
    Tryus moved to go after him. Grandma Longneck, however, blocked his path. “They’re not worth it. Trust me.” she said.
    Things soon cooled down. “I’m sorry you had to see that.” said Grandpa Longneck to the kids.
    “How long are you going to stay?” Grandma Longneck asked Tryus.
    “For a while. I need to toughen up Topps. He’s gone soft in the Great Valley. And I need to settle that Angus personally. He’s picked on me when I was a kid and it’s time I got him for it!” said Tryus.
    The two Longnecks shook their heads. They had a feeling that the fight wasn’t over. And they were right.

    • Topics Started: 257
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    CHAPTER THREE: BAMBO
    ________________________________________
    “Are you all right Cera?” Tria asked her.
    “Yeah, I’m fine. That creep hurt me.” she grumbled.
    “Yes, he’s been a bully since he was a kid. He always picked on me. It never stopped.” said Tryus.
    “So, er, Papa, what bring you to the Great Valley? You’re not fond of the kinds being together, so I find this rather surprising.” said Tria.
    “Ah, yes, should have mentioned that sooner. They’re having the Threehorn Gathering here this cold time.” said Tryus.
    “The what?” asked Cera.
    “The Threehorn Gathering is a toughness contest for Threehorns. They come from all around to be compete to be known as the toughest.” said Topps.
    “Yes, I still find it annoying that you lost to Prong in the Threehorn Gathering many cold times ago.” said Tryus.
    “I won’t this time!” said Topps boldly.
    “Let’s hope not.” said Tryus with a hint of “or else I’ll be disappointed again” in his tone of voice.
    “I hope you get Angus this time. He got you last time.” said Topps.
    Tryus was still embarrassed about that. “This time round, I’m gonna knock him a few cold times into the future, where, of course, I’ll beat him there too.” said Tryus boldly.
    “I’ll bet I can kick tush in this Threehorn Gathering!” said Cera, smirking.
    “I doubt a girl can win!” came a voice.
    Cera looked around, trying to find who dared to say such a thing. She saw a silver Threehorn boy of about her age. He had brown eyes. Like her, he was cocky and had a “better than thou” attitude, except, in his case, it was five times as bad as hers. “Oh yeah!” she said, air angrily coming out of her nostrils. She began to run in place, digging in her heels, about to charge.
    “Bring it girly!” he said, sticking his tongue out at her in defiance. He too began to run in place, as if to charge. This only further infuriated Cera.
    “What’s your name wise guy?” asked Cera, a tone of fury in her voice.
    “Bambo. What’s yours tough girl?” he asked, a tone of superiority in his voice.
    “Cera.” she said, a tone of defiance in her voice. She began to move faster.
    “Ut oh. This going to get ugly!” said Petrie, covering his eyes.
    The two charged. Topps and Tryus gazed at the confrontation eagerly. “Get him Cera.” said Topps. “Kick his tush!” said Tryus. Tria shook her head. Cera got her personality from her father, that was for sure.
    WHAM! The two collided. It seemed to be a stalemate. “You’re tougher than I thought girly!” said Bambo, impressed.
    Cera was furious. “Stop calling me ‘girly’!” she fumed. She began to push Bambo forward.
    “Not bad. For a girl.” said Bambo.
    “Now he do it!” said Petrie, who knew how much trouble Bambo was going to be in. Petrie still had his eyes covered.
    WHAMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM! Cera rammed him right over. He fell to the ground.
    “Yeah, not bad for a girl.” said Cera, walking off, a tone of triumph in her voice. Bambo slowly got up. He tried to sneak up on her.
    “Cera, look out!” yelled Littlefoot.
    Cera turned around, bared her horns, and stood her ground. He ran right into her. He fell, as she had firmly rooted herself. “Hmmpppph!’ she said, thumbing her nose up in the air.
    “That’s my granddaughter.” said Tryus admiringly. Tria shook her head.
    “I’d like to be in this cold time’s Threehorn Gathering.” said Cera. She had grand images in her head of being known as the toughest Threehorn of her age group. “And here’s Cera, the winner of this cold time’s Threehorn Gathering.” said an imaginary Threehorn. Cera smirked at Littlefoot. Many Threehorns were chanting “Cera! Cera! Cera! Cera!” Bambo spoke and her thoughts were brought back suddenly to reality.
    “Yes, I’m in it too. I’m going to get you there. We cannot have a girl win after all.” said Bambo.
    “I wouldn’t doubt Cera if I were you.” said Littlefoot warningly.
    “Nobody asked your input, Flathead!” snapped Bambo.
    Though Cera had called Littlefoot a Flathead on a few occasions herself, she now glared at Bambo. “Take it back!” she said angrily, again blowing air out of her nostrils.
    “No!” shouted Bambo defiantly. Cera rammed him. However, this time he was ready and got her down. “Told you that a girl cannot win!’ said Bambo, this time smirking with a look of triumph.
    “We’ll see about that!” said Cera defiantly.
    “Come along Bambo.” said Bambo’s mother.
    Bambo stuck his tongue out at Cera as he left. Cera retaliated by blowing a raspberry at him as he left.
    “I’ll show him!” Cera vowed angrily.
    “Can me open me eyes now?” Petrie asked.

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    CHAPTER FOUR: PREPARATIONS
    ________________________________________
    “The Threehorn Gathering is taking place here this cold time?” asked Grandpa Longneck.
    “Yes Ignatius. They put it here so that pesky Sharpteeth won’t crash the party like last time.” said Topps.
    “Just what we need around here: a gathering of hotheads.” said Grandma Longneck, shaking her head.
    “It was Dad’s idea Irene!” complained Topps.
    “When will it be held?” asked Cera.
    “Two days from now. That’s when it starts.” said Topps.
    “And I look forward to it.” said a voice.
    Angus was back, followed by his sons and Chas.
    “You again!” said Cera angrily, glaring at them with strong dislike.
    “No violence gentlemen, I’m warning you!” said Grandpa Longneck sternly.
    “I don’t take orders from a Flathead!” said Angus stubbornly.
    Grandma Longneck, normally reserved, snarled at him. “How dare you?!”
    SPLAT! Angus got hit in the head with a Tree Sweet. “And there’s plenty more where that came from.” said Topps angrily.
    “I cannot wait to kick your tush right in front of your daughter!” said Prong to Topps.
    “In your Sleep Stories pal!” said Topps angrily.
    “Daddy’s been waiting to kick your tush for a long time Prong!” came a voice.
    “Olivia?” said Cera in shock. It was her older sister Olivia, a black Threehorn.
    “Yes Cera sweetie.” said her older sister, smiling at Cera.
    “Please don’t call me ‘sweetie’ Oli, I’m nearly to the Time of Great Growing for goodness sake.” grumbled Cera.
    “Sorry Cer-bear.” said Olivia. Cera put her left foreleg to her head in annoyance. Littlefoot and the others chuckled at “Cer-bear”.
    “Stop it!” Cera snapped at them. They stopped laughing at once.
    “It’s aunt Cera!” Cera turned and saw her annoying niece and nephew, Dana and Dinah. They had bothered the Gang and Chomper and Ruby the last time they had come. In fact, she had privately asked Chomper to eat them, but he’d refused, saying “That’s not a very nice thing to do!”.
    “Oh joy of joys!” moaned Cera.
    “Yes it is going to be fun.” said Dinah happily. Cera groaned. They didn’t understand sarcasm and figures of speech yet. She recalled that she had once told them to “Get lost!” and they had wandered off to Saurus Rock.
    “I meant that I wasn’t thrilled about you coming.” said Cera bluntly.
    Dana and Dinah started to pout. “Oh poor kids.” said Olivia’s mate Charger, a golden-colored Threehorn. He frowned at Cera.
    “What? It’s true!” grumbled Cera at her brother-in-law.
    “You don’t like us Aunt Cera?” asked Dana.
    “Well, it’s not that I don’t like you. It’s just that I’d rather meet Sharpteeth than you.” replied Cera.
    “You mean Chomper?” asked Dana.
    “No, like the kind that we met at Saurus Rock.” said Cera.
    “Why would you want to do that? You might get eaten?” asked Dinah, who didn’t get the point of Cera’s comment.
    Cera had an idea. “Why don’t we go and talk about my fun with Sharpteeth?” said Cera, grinning devilishly.
    “Oh boy. That will be fun!” said Dana and Dinah, skipping happily.
    She told them about her encounter with Sharptooth. She was kind enough not to go into detail about the attack on Littlefoot’s mother, for that would make the two freak out. She’d had trouble not wetting herself at about their age when she’d seen it happen personally. She just mentioned it briefly. It still made them shake.
    “So, there I was in the canyon. He seemed dead. So I rammed him over and over.” said Cera dramatically. Dana and Dianh listened eagerly. “But then, one eye opened and he woke up!” she said even more dramatically. Dana and Dinah gasped. “He went after me, but I’m so awesome that I was able to get away of course!” said Cera, grinning. The two listened eagerly.
    Cera continued, telling them about the rest of her encounters with Sharptooth. The two listened eagerly, shaking. Cera hoped they wouldn’t freak out. They, however, were tougher than they looked and were able to listen to it. She continued with the story of Chomper’s parents, then the Fast Biters before the first Time of Great Giving, then Dil and Ichy in the Land of Mists, then the story of the Plated Sharptooth.
    “So, you see, I had plenty of fun with Sharpteeth before you came to meet us that time we went to Saurus Rock. So that dumb ole Sharptooth that we met there didn’t bother me that much. I’m not afraid of anything.” said Cera. Her niece and nephew were quite impressed with her.
    She then told of the Mountain Sharptooth, the Swimming Sharptooth, all the Sharpteeth she’d encountered on her travels to the Crater and the three she’d met there, the ones that came into the Great Valley later, the Spinosaurus that they’d met, the ones that they’d met with the Yellow Bellies, Red Claw, Screech, and Thud, Ptero’s mother Agatha and her pack, and the ones that they’d met when Dayo had come and that had been after her.
    “And you aren’t afraid?” asked Dinah.
    “Nothing scares me.” said Cera.
    Littlefoot poked her in the back. She jumped. She turned around. “What?!” she snapped.
    “I know you’re having fun with story-time, but it’s time for bed.” said Littlefoot. The sun had gone down some time ago and they had sat around glowing vents as she had told the twins her adventurous, and, at times, boastful, stories.
    Cera was almost asleep when she heard Tryus and Tria talking nearby. “What are they up to?” she whispered. She got her friends up, wondering what the two grownups would be doing at this time of night. They followed them. They hid behind a bush and stayed out of sight.
    “So, Tria, how did you and my boy meet up. I mean, what brought you to the Great Valley?” asked Tryus.
    “Just wandering. I’d been single all these cold times. Thought Topsy was happy with Cerata. Her tragic death should never have happened. I don’t blame Topsy for it. Still, I think he could have handled it better and that maybe it wouldn’t have happened. His hot head always gets him into trouble.” said Tria.
    Cera gasped silently. She’d always assumed that her mother and siblings had been gotten by Sharpteeth and that her Dad, who could take on even Tyrannosaurus Rex and a pack of Belly Draggers, just couldn’t save them. So, maybe there had been a way to save them after all? Cera was totally stunned. Littlefoot and the others were also shocked.
    “Could you help me clear this grass. We cannot have it this long for the Threehorn Gathering.” came a voice.
    “Grandpa!” Littlefoot whispered.
    The grownups were clearing away the grass. Kosh (Mr. Clubtail) was helping a lot by eating a lot of the grass. He belched.
    “You’re nasty!” said Olivia.
    The grownups cleared the place. “The first task will be to smash all of these rocks. They will get progressively more difficult.” said Grandma Longneck. The kids noticed rocks, some quite small that even Tricia could smash. However, near the other side were some that Cera thought might even possibly give her dad and grandpa problems.
    Spike stepped on a pinecone. “What was that?” asked Mama Swimmer.
    The kids, meanwhile, had taken off. They went to bed. Cera, however, thought before falling asleep that there was something that her dad and stepmother weren’t telling her about what happened to her mother and her siblings. But what was it?

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    CHAPTER FIVE: THE THREEHORN GATHERING
    ________________________________________
    “Cera, what’s bothering you?”
    Littlefoot noticed that Cera seemed down. “What they said last night. That Dad could have saved Mom and the others.” said Cera gloomily.
    “We don’t know what happened.” said Littlefoot.
    “I wish they’d tell me.” said Cera, shaking her head.
    “Look, it’s our Aunt Cera, the great Sharptooth fighter!” said Dana and Dinah to a Club Tail of about their age.
    “What did you tell them?” asked Littlefoot incredulously.
    “About our adventures with Sharpteeth.” said Cera, grinning.
    Olivia came to Cera. “What stories are you filling their heads with?” she asked.
    “Stories about my adventures with Sharpteeth.” said Cera.
    Olivia shook her head. “You’re going to give them bad Sleep Stories.” she said in a scolding tone.
    Cera decided to ask her older sister about her mother and siblings. “What happened with Mom and my siblings?” Cera asked Olivia.
    Olivia said nothing. Her father had wanted to keep it a secret. She knew it was a matter of deepest shame to him. Topps had asked her not to tell Cera.
    Olivia left crying. “Come back here!” said Cera angrily. Cera followed her. “Tell me the truth!” demanded Cera.
    “I can’t. I promised.” said Olivia.
    Cera fumed all that morning. What were they hiding from her? She’d seen the attack on Littlefoot’s mother. It wasn’t like she couldn’t handle it.
    “Still going to be in the Threehorn Gathering?” Cera turned. It was Bambo.
    “Did I hear something?” asked Cera to Littlefoot.
    “Very funny.” said Bambo, scowling.
    “What do you want?” grumbled Cera, giving him the stink-eye.
    “I wanna know why you want to be in the Threehorn Gathering. You’re a girl. There’s never been a girl in the Threehorn Gathering before.” said Bambo.
    “There hasn’t?” gasped Cera.
    “Nope. You gotta be tough to be in it.” said Bambo smugly.
    “OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOHHH!” fumed Cera. “I am tough!” she growled. She began to sing:
    “I’m really tough.
    Even if I’m a girl I’m really rough.
    Look around and you will see.
    There is no Threehorn here tougher than me.
    Give it up Bambo you cannot dissuade.
    For there is nothing that makes me afraid.
    Guess what Bambo I’ve got news for you.
    There ain’t nothing in the Threehorn Gathering that a guy can do that a girl can’t do too.” sang Cera.
    “Go on ignore what I say.
    You won’t last through the first day.” sang Bambo.
    “Is that true?
    Says who?” sang Cera. She rammed her horns against Bambo, who quickly had moved to block her. The two started to struggle, pushing each other back and forth.
    “Oh I’ve really had enough!
    I tell you that a girl can be tough!” sang Cera again, moving Bambo forward, air coming out of her nostrils angrily.
    “This contest is only for the strong.
    Having a girl in it is just plain wrong!” sang Bambo, starting to move Cera forward, though with a lot of effort.
    “I’m as tough as you can get.
    And the truth of that is something upon which you can bet!” sang Cera, knocking over Bambo.
    “The only one that can win is a guy.
    That’s a fact and I’m not going to lie!” sang Bambo grumpily. He went and rammed her, sending her flying a short distance.
    “You’d hit a girl?” said Cera in mock sweetness. Bambo nodded. “Very well then.” said Cera in a threateningly calm voice. She got up and rammed Bambo, sending him flying even further than he had sent her.
    “I will do what I have to to get through to you.
    Winning this contest is something that a girl can do!” sang Cera defiantly. Bambo shook his head. “YES!” sang Cera.
    “NO!” sang Bambo.
    “Let me face you and you’ll know!” they both sang, finishing their song.
    “See you tomorrow, if you’re tough enough.” said Bambo, starting to storm off.
    “I hope your mommy doesn’t get all sad when I’m done with you.” snapped Cera. The two stuck out their tongues at each other. Bambo left.
    “HMMMMMMMPPPPPH!” said Cera, thumbing her nose in the air.
    Cera went off sulking. “Says a girl can’t be tough. What does he know?” she grumbled.
    “Cera, what’s bothering you?” asked Tria.
    There was a lot bothering her. First of all, her dad and sister were keeping what had happened to her mother a secret from her. Second, there was Bambo and his sexism.
    “It’s Bambo. He says that a girl cannot possibly do well in the Threehorn Gathering.” said Cera.
    “It’s true enough.” It was Chas. “They’ve never had a girl in there before. Why change things now?” he said, smirking.
    “Oh really?” said Tria in a calm, yet dangerous tone.
    “Yep. Always been that way. Why let a girl in?” he said.
    “Well, things are going to be different this cold time! I’m joining!” said Tria. Cera’s mouth fell open in shock.
    A while later, Topps was also shocked. “You’re what?!” he said in utter shock, his mouth also open in shock.
    “That’s right. I’m in.” said Tria smugly.
    “But you don’t seem the type to do this.” said Topps.
    “True, I’m usually not. But this is personal.” said Tria.
    Topps was wise enough not to challenge her. He knew she was tougher than she looked.
    They went to bed that night. Cera was thinking about her mother and her siblings as well as Bambo and his sexism. Also, she wondered what had happened in the past between her father and grandfather and Angus, Banger, Prong, and Chas.
    The next day, they woke up early. The contest began. “You can do it Cera.” said Littlefoot. Cera smiled at him.
    They began. Cera plowed through the rocks. Cera noticed that Bambo was pretty tough. Cera started to encounter harder rocks. Bambo seemed to be getting ahead of her. “Told you a girl can’t do it.” he said smugly.
    This infuriated her. She let out a Threehorn screech and charged forward. SMASH! SMASH! SMASH! SMASH! SMASH! SMASH! SMASSSSSH! She charged through the rocks, heading ahead of Bambo. Bambo stared at her, dumbfounded. “Hee!” she said, smirking.
    Tria was able to beat out many contenders. Topps and she were neck and neck. Several Threehorns were shocked that Tria could be so tough.
    Meanwhile, Ducky had gotten some ferns and was waving them around like pom-poms. “Go Cera! You can do it! Yep yep yep! You can! Go Cera! You can do it! You can! You can!” she chanted.
    “Cera going to win! Cera going to win!” chanted Petrie.
    Spike, meanwhile, was distracted, eating green food. Ducky whacked him. “Spike, you are supposed to be watching Cera. You are. You are!” scolded Ducky.
    Spike watched Cera. However, a while later, he started to eat one of Ducky’s ferns. She waved it, only to find part of it was missing. “Huh?” she said. She saw Spike eating it. He went and took another bite of it. “SPIKE!” she shouted angrily.
    At last, Cera and Bambo were defeated. They both couldn’t get past another rock. The rocks were quite big. They were the best in their group.
    Topps and Tria, along with Angus, Chas, Banger, and Prong, had also made it to the next round.
    “Say Bambo, how did that part about me losing go?” said Cera smugly.
    “Beginner’s luck.” said Bambo, though he couldn’t help but smile weakly at Cera. Cera smiled weakly back.
    That night, Cera was worn out, but proud of herself. “Nice job Cera.” said Littlefoot. The others concurred with him.
    “Well, I’ll admit, for a girl, you’re not that bad.” said Bambo, approaching her.
    “Funny, I was going to say the same thing about you too.” said Cera, smirking.
    “Real cute.” said Bambo in annoyance.
    “When are you going to admit that a girl can do it?” asked Cera.
    “I’m coming around.” said Bambo. “After all, your stepmother surprised me too.”
    He went off to go retire. Cera and her friends, however, heard arguing voices and crept toward them to investigate.
    “Daddy, why can’t we tell her?” came Olivia’s voice.
    “Cera thinks that Threehorns are wonderful. Why take that from her?” came Topps’s voice.
    “She still should know.” came Tria’s voice.
    “She trusts Dad. If she knew that his hotheadedness caused that fight that led those rocks to fall and kill her mother and siblings, she’d be devastated.” came Olivia’s voice.
    The whole world seemed to shift around Cera. She couldn’t believe what she’d just heard. She let out a loud yell. “NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!”

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    CHAPTER SIX: HIDDEN SECRETS
    ________________________________________
    “CERA!” came Topps’s voice.
    “Why didn’t you tell me?” sobbed Cera.
    “Tell you what?” asked her father, concerned.
    “About Mom and my siblings? I thought Sharpteeth did it all of these cold times! I even held that against poor Chomper and Ptero!” she continued to sob.
    The moonlight cast an eerie white glow on Topps. Cera saw that her father looked suddenly older in the glow of the Night Circle. “It’s all my fault. I won’t deny it.” said Topps, starting to cry.
    “There wasn’t enough food. They told me to leave. But I wanted to stay. I wasn’t going to let them just hog it all when we could share. I wasn’t tough enough. I was afraid of what Chas, Banger, and Prong would think of me if I just left.” said her father.
    “But you I thought you weren’t afraid of anything.” said Cera, totally shocked as if she’d just heard that Ozzy had given up eggs.
    “There were many things that I’m afraid of. I just don’t show them because I’m tough.” said Topps.
    “I’m tough, yet I can show my fears and worries.” said Tria. Topps and Cera said nothing.
    Cera stood there, her mouth open, hesitant, but wanting to admit something she’d mostly kept in for a long time. Finally, after making many pained expressions, she said “I’m afraid of things too. I’d been afraid of Sky Fire for a long time. I’ve been terrified when Sharptooth attacked Littlefoot’s mother. I’d been so mean to Longnecks when I’d encountered them. She saved me though.” said Cera.
    “It’s my fault Cera. I’ve done you wrong. You too Olivia.” said Topps, a lot of painful expressions on his face. It was a rare moment indeed when Topps had admitted that he’d done wrong and even more so that he and Cera would admit that they were afraid of things. Everyone was dead silent.
    Tryus, who was also there, had his mouth open. “A Longneck saved you?” he said to Cera.
    “Yes. She didn’t make it though.” said Cera.
    “And Ignatius here saved me from Fast Biters and also a fire.” said Topps.
    “I guess I’ve been wrong about Longnecks. Perhaps you were right about having the kinds together.” said Tryus.
    The other grownups were there looking utterly dumbfounded. They looked at each other and silently agreed that it had to be a dinosaur world first for Topps and Cera to admit that they were afraid of things and for Topps and Tryus to admit that they were wrong, all in one night.
    Cera looked at her father. There was a look of betrayal on her face. “Why didn’t you tell me what happened?” she asked.
    “I didn’t want you to hate me. There wasn’t enough food. I asked them to share, and they said no. They were being stubborn. It wasn’t right. I told them I wasn’t going. They came forward to fight. I wasn’t going to back down, for I NEVER do, and so I charged back at them. We tussled and in the confusion, we hit rocks. They fell on your mother and your siblings.” said Topps, tears streaming down his face.
    Littlefoot and his friends were there, feeling very sorry for Topps and his family. They didn’t know what to say. They didn’t feel that they should be there and turned to go.
    “No, stay guys!” said Cera.
    They stared at her. “I need you. I’m really hurting right now.” said Cera. She was no longer proud and haughty, as usual, but very scared and sad.
    “What happened to the other Threehorns?” asked Littlefoot.
    “I let them have it.” said Topps.
    “I thought that Threehorns were so great. How could this have happened?” asked Cera, totally stunned. She no longer thought that Threehorns were as good as she’d always thought.
    “And that Banger, Chas, Angus, and Prong. They could have helped out. But they did nothing. It’s all THEIR fault!” said Topps angrily.

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    CHAPTER SEVEN: THE VENDETTA
    ________________________________________
    “What did they do?” Cera asked.
    “A good many things.” said Tryus gruffly. “It all started when Angus started to bully me as a lad. Angus loved pushing around those who he thought were weaker than himself. He stole my food and beat me up. He was a real jerk. Finally, one day, I stood up to him and fought him. We’ve been fighting ever since. It’s always been one or the other of us trying to get even against whomever won the last fight.”
    “Yes, and his kids started picking on me.” said Topps. “They nicknamed me Topsy. Tria here happened to pick it up.” said Topps.
    “I thought they were being funny at first. It sounded like a cute nickname. I had no idea.” said Tria defensively.
    “I’m not blaming you.” said Topps.
    “They pushed him in mud and stole his food. They constantly beat up on him.” said Tryus.
    “And you never did anything about it?” grumbled Cera angrily.
    “He has to learn to be tough.” said Tryus.
    “Yes.” said Topps, nodding.
    “That is too much!” protested Cera.
    “No, you need to learn to stand tough and not back down!” said Tryus.
    “I know that, thank you. I stood up to Bambo and the others who didn’t think a girl should be in the Threehorn Gathering.” snapped Cera.
    “Well, I…” said Tryus.
    “You don’t think I can do it, do you?” asked Cera, thumbing her nose into the air in typical Cera fashion.
    “Well, I…” said Tryus again, sweating nervously.
    “What about me? I entered the Threehorn Gathering as well.” chimed in Tria.
    “Tria, well, I…” said Tryus, sweating nervously. “Well, I guess there is a first for everything.” said Tryus nervously, dripping sweat.
    “So, we are going to get those creeps for all the misery they’ve caused us all these cold times.” continued Topps.
    “Why don’t you just refuse to fight them?” asked Littlefoot. The Threehorns, minus Tria, who happened to agree with him, all stared at him in shock.
    “Are you kidding?! Then they’d have gotten the better of us!” retorted Topps.
    “I don’t see how Topsy. Littlefoot is right. If you stop playing their game, they won’t be able to get to you anyway.” said Tria.
    “No, I must make sure that they don’t get one up on me! They let my wife and kids die! They didn’t help!” snapped Topps.
    “It was an accident. While it’s true that they didn’t help, Cerata wouldn’t want you to be acting like this.” replied Tria.
    “No, I wasn’t tough enough then. I’ve got to stand tougher this time. Make them too afraid to show their sorry hides around the Great Valley again.” said Topps.
    “But all that will do is make sure that you just keep fighting till the day you die. Nobody will win.” replied Littlefoot.
    “No, we’ve got to stand tough enough so that they know we’re tough. Then they’ll never come back.” said Topps. Olivia nodded. Tria shook her head.
    “Yes, let’s kick their tushes at the next round!” said Cera. She and her family went off for the night.
    “I hope they can learn that fighting isn’t always the answer.” said Littlefoot to his grandparents.
    “That is something they will have to learn for themselves.” replied Grandpa Longneck.

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    CHAPTER EIGHT: THE SMOKING MOUNTAIN CHALLENGE
    ________________________________________
    They got up the next morning. Cera was still shocked from what she had learned the night before.
    “I’m so sorry Cera.” said Littlefoot. Cera said nothing. “You didn’t have to hold your fears in you all these cold times. It’s fine to be afraid.” he said again.
    “No it’s not! I’ve got to be tough!” replied Cera. “I’m going to do well in the Threehorn Gathering. I’m going to be so tough that everyone will talk of me for many cold times to come!”
    “You are tough. You don’t have to win a contest to prove that.” Littlefoot remarked.
    “Well, you won round one, and that’s pretty good, but only a dude can win the Smoking Mountain Challenge.” came Bambo’s voice.
    “You again!” groaned Cera.
    “Yes, here to say that you got lucky last time! The next one is going up the Smoking Mountains in the fastest time. No way a girl is going to win this one!” laughed Bambo.
    “You’re overinflated head helped you last time, but it will weigh you down this time!” Cera retorted angrily. Littlefoot’s group laughed hard.
    “Nobody around here mess with Cera! She really tough!” said Petrie.
    “Is that so Beak Brain?” asked Bambo.
    “I’m not in the mood Bambo.” snapped Cera, glaring at him with annoyance.
    “Why, too afraid?” laughed Bambo.
    WHAM! Cera rammed him right over! “No, I have personal issues right now. I once thought something, but I found out I was wrong.” Cera muttered, near tears.
    “What, that a girl cannot win the Threehorn Gathering?” taunted Bambo.
    “No, it’s about her mother and siblings.” Littlefoot countered, glaring at Bambo angrily.
    “What do you mean?” asked Bambo, his tone less cocky.
    After they were done explaining, Bambo was speechless.
    “I’m so sorry. You’re tougher than I thought to hold up after learning that. I know I’d have had trouble.” said Bambo consolingly.
    “Oh look, Topsy’s little girl has a boyfriend!” came a voice. It was Chas.
    “He’s not….” said Cera defensively.
    “She’s not…..” said Bambo at the same time as Cera.

    [To Be Continued]

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