by George E. Marsh
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–
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
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.
Day,” I said. He heeded me not and kept on digging.
vented, and he turned in my direction. “Good day, Professor
Tweedledee” I uttered, somewhat confused.
Day, young man,” and he went on digging.
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.
am I,” fired the learned one. That mixed me greatly.
Professor, where do you expect to find him?” I ventured.
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?”
burrow? Burrow!” blurted he. “Your ignorance is
profound, stupendous, abyssal, all-comprehensive!”
may be”, I faintly admitted.
doubt about it,” he replied.
should be. Who are you?”
am Quietus Dumbbunny of the L.L.L.,” I said.
of Lazy Louts. Sufficient. That accounts for everything,”
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?”
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!”
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?”
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.