Tag Archives: ichthyosaur

The Monster on the Beach

Charli Mills has challenged her fellow bloggers to write about monsters (details here) This is my contribution, based on a child’s holiday.

It was the teeth that caught his attention, black and shiny. He bent and picked it up, looking closer he could see the shape of the jawbone.
His aunt, seated beneath a parasol called out,
“What have you found Ronald?”
He ran across the beach to show her.
“Oh, a fossil. Do you know what it is?”
He knew, had visited the museum and seen the great skeletons, it was an ichthyosaur.
That night as he lay in bed, the jaw dark beside him, a word crept into his mind, Dragon, and a name, a name of fear – Smaug!

At the beginning of the twentieth century J R R Tolkien, then a schoolboy, came on holiday to Lyme Regis in Dorset, long famous for its fossil rich cliffs, and found the jaw of an ichthyosaur. Though he knew perfectly well what it was, he labelled it ‘Dragons Jaw’ and kept it for the rest of his life.

 

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