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banner - piffle and jottings from the dessicated west during 1934

by George E. Marsh


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skeleton of tyrannosaurusQuietus Dumbbunny and Tyrannosaurus Rex

An interesting fellow is Quietus Dumbbunny. I pass on a story as told me by him, and as nearly as I can remember it. He said–

“From my esteemed friend, the renowned paleontologist, Dr. Chalmondly Chelmsford, of Kiboshian University, knowing that I was in these parts, came a letter asking me to send him one Tyrannosaurus Rex. I was dumbfounded to think that the honored scientist should desire that I turn gangster and kidnap one of the inhabitants. No, that can’t be, as I reflected. No, no; what he wants is information on the fellow. That’s surely what he wants– he is so absent-minded. Maybe, I cogitated, a lost lost uncle that came West with the Gold Rushers. The great Doctor’s request must not be ignored. I will send him information about his uncle.

Knowing that ‘Rex’ is the same as ‘King’ ( the doctor is so preoccupied at times. ) I looked in the directory for possible clues and much to my delight I found listed ‘Bill King, Ignatius King, and Allowishus King. I was hot already for I could see the family tie thru the given names. I called on Bill first. “Have you a relative named Tyrannosaurus?” I asked. “Naw, never heard of him.” That was that.

Ignatius too showed lamentable ignorance about the King clan. With weakening spirit I next dropt in on Allowishus, only to learn that he had been committed to the asylum the day before. However, things were not so bad as his wife told me that his eldest brother lived some hundred miles to the south in Gooferton and that he would undoubtedly be able to supply me with the information I sought. The Doctor’s wish must be met. I would go to Gooferton, hitch hike my way if need be.

The next morning I started. Progress was slow. As I sat on the roadside waiting for a lift, cars passed but few saw me and very few stopped. When I did receive aid, it was for only a short ways as the drivers left the highway to reach their destinations. As the forenoon wore away, I had hardly made twenty miles. I sat some more. At length a farmer let me ride with him on his hayrack. He was a good, old fellow, and I enjoyed his talk that rambled over many subjects that concerned him. As we went along we saw a man digging in the face of a bluff some distance from the road. The farmer remarked– “That is the famous Professor Reginald Tweedledee; he comes here every summer to dig.” “What does he dig for?” I asked. “Bones”, said the farmer. Five minutes later he turned off the highway and I sat on the road-side once more. But no cars passed. With the lapsing of an hour, I strolled back to where the professor was at work, thinking to kill some time.

“Good Day,” I said. He heeded me not and kept on digging.

“Ahem,”I vented, and he turned in my direction. “Good day, Professor Tweedledee” I uttered, somewhat confused.

“Good Day, young man,” and he went on digging.

“Professor, I understand you come to this region every summer. I wonder if in your sojurnings here you have ever come across Tyrannosaurus Rex; I am trying to locate him.” I said.

“So am I,” fired the learned one. That mixed me greatly.

“But, Professor, where do you expect to find him?” I ventured.

“Right here”, he answered and continued picking away. I was now completely befuddled. His brusque manner upset my poise and I feared to speak. I sat again. After some minutes, with a reviving courage, I asked meekly- “But, Professor, do you expect to find him in a burrow?”

“A burrow? Burrow!” blurted he. “Your ignorance is profound, stupendous, abyssal, all-comprehensive!”

“It may be”, I faintly admitted.

“No doubt about it,” he replied.

“I’m sorry,”I gasped.

“You should be. Who are you?”

“I am Quietus Dumbbunny of the L.L.L.,” I said.

“Legion of Lazy Louts. Sufficient. That accounts for everything,” he retorted.

The exploration continued; I sat on, to better gather together my assaulted spirits, and to pave the way for an intelligent remark that would lead the professor into furnishing some information that I felt sure he possessed. But never before had I realized that I was a ‘null and void’. I had the feeling that I was thru but was not ready to admit it. I strove to think. My cerebrum seemed not to function. I sat in woe. Time passed. At length, ah, a glimmer, yes, a ray; no, a beam. Hurray, I have it. There was my friend, the eminent Doctor Chalmondly Chelmsford; I would use his name. So promptly I asked– “Professor, do you know Doctor Chalmondly Chelmsford?”

“What!”, he exploded,”know Chalmondly Chelmsford?, I should say not! That upstart and ignoramus? No! Just let me tell you, young man, what an arrogant, pusillanimous counterfeit he is. He presents that he is a paleontologist like myself, but bah, bah and bah ad infinitum. Why last year he found a bone that he identified as a piece of the scarebelum from which he reconstructed the whole animal and named it erectopunyiferous tempestosaurus. Can you imagine it?” he squealed, “Now can you?” I couldn’t tho he gave me no time to say so, and continued- “When his paper was issued, I recognized the picture of the bone as that of the oppidium of the Oligocene paralleleopipidon polyimbecilus that I discovered three years ago. And did I expose him? Well, I am telling you, I did. You bet I did!”

“And now, young man, ( I had clearly approached him form the right angle ) I am working on my masterpiece of exploration- the greatest event in the entire history of paleontology. I am going to unearth right here a complete skeleton of the most gigantic, prehistoric, antediluvian monster that the world ever saw. See, see! Sticking out here is the occipitus, and here is the amphiphlexus, and here the tibiaferum. You see, I have it; just a little digging and I’ll have all the bones and then I’ll assemble them and have the entire animal; it will stand 15 ft. high at the shoulder, 25 ft. high to the top of his head and have a longitudinal length of 75 ft, the largest, fiercest dinosaurian reptile that ever trod the terrestrial terra firma, and that lived 100,000,000 million years ago.” And while he hesitated for breath, I weakly asked- “Professor Tweedledee, what do you call it?”

“Tyrannosaurus Rex,” he replied. And I fainted.”

Mr. Q. Dumbbunny is one of the rock-pickers, of the hundred or more, that are gathering the field boulders in the region for miles around the Ft. Peck dam now under construction twelve miles from Glasgow.







Publication of the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), NOAA Central Library.

Last Updated: June 8, 2006 9:24 AM

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