Argentinosaurus Poo

by Russ

Terri sat alone against the fence dabbing at her nose with the bloody ball of cotton wool and sighed for the umptieth time. She wasn’t a cheater, she was just really good at dinosaurs. Alfie had no right to say any different.

Alfie, meanwhile, was receiving the sort of overbearing medical attention normally reserved for Premier League footballers who’ve suffered an unexpected gust of wind to the elbow.

Nurse Higgins was holding an ice pack to his ear while Miss Berry knelt beside him telling him he was a brave strong boy as he stared directly down her blouse. Mr Carr was securing a ‘zone of safety’ around the scene, while occasionally glancing down over his shoulder to let his eyes also violate Miss Berry’s chest. The hamster faced headteacher was on the phone to… God knows - Alfie’s parents, the paramedics, the associated press, Downing Street, NASA?

The seemingly dying child had been hit on the side of the head with Terri’s Illustrated Book of Prehistoric Beasts. She’d lashed out in instinctive emotion after he called her a cheat for the third time and he’d immediately punched her in the nose with the cool focus of a bee who was also a boxer. He had a slightly reddened ear, she had blood gushing from her nose. He had Hunnyhill Primary School’s entire emergency response squad gathered about him, she had been barked at and left to slink away on her own. Nobody was paying any attention to Terri, she could be bleeding to death for all they cared.

Forty out of forty. It should have been the best day of Terri’s life. She was rubbish at reading and wretched at writing, she was even pitiful and painting, but she was bloody good at dinosaurs. Most people don’t even know there were forty dinosaurs, she knew them all by name and shape. She got full marks on the first test of her long seven-year life and it felt brilliant. She was so excited she started shaking slightly after Miss Berry read it out to the class. Then Alfie piped up.

‘Cheater,’ he coughed. Terri wasn’t sure she’d heard him but Henchman Harry’s giggling told her Alfie had definitely said something mean. Nobody else reacted, not even Terri or Miss Berry, so Alfie took another swing.

‘Cheat,’ he spat, this time slightly more word than cough. Everyone heard it and half the class tittered. Terri clenched her teeth, and her fists, and turned red. Miss Berry looked at the cougher and the clencher but clearly didn’t know how to handle it so pretended she hadn’t heard anything. Terri took a deep breath and decided to let it go, like her dad always told her to do.

Forty out of forty. Absolutely amazing.

That would have been the end of it had the playtime bell not rung giving Alfie one more opportunity to get the attention he wanted by yelling his accusation directly into Terri’s face at the deep end of the hopscotch markings.

Well, he’s certainly got attention now; Terri thought.

She wiped a stray spot of blood off the cover of her book and opened it up.

‘Argentinosaurus’ poo was the equivalent of 26 pints…’ she read, moving her lips as she did.