The Prehistoric Christmas Present – Competition Winner

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cave boy with dinosaur on lead

The Prehistoric Christmas present by Andrea Meneghini, aged 9, from Italy.

Read by Richard.
Proofread & audio edited by Jana Elizabeth.
Illustrated by Bertie

Hello this is Richard,
And I’m here with another winner from our writing competition about the best or worst present ever. As you will hear, this has a rather unusual setting.
About 68 million years ago, somewhere in the north of America, in the prehistoric age, a nice human family live in a cold cavern. The family was made up of Mummy, Daddy and 11 children, one of whom was Andrea.

None of them had ever seen or heard of Santa Claus, but the wise old man of the village cavern, told the children, about a new and magic creature that, for next Christmas, would arrive with gifts for every child.

That was the first time that the prehistoric people spoke about Santa Claus. All were excited, especially me, Andrea, the prehistoric kid.

All Andrea’s friends and his brothers and sisters, wished for gifts like… a house on the tree, a tool for the garden, a weapon to hunt the animals more easily with. Something to heat and light the cavern, but none wished for a pet!
Only Andrea wanted a pet for Christmas.

The night before Christmas, when everyone was sleeping, Andrea woke up and he went to the toilet, which was, of course, made of stones! When he went back to his hay bed, he heard some noise from outside, and there, he watched a magic creature! Santa dressed with buffalo skin red painted, big
boots and a gigantic hat. He was putting something under the tree near the cavern, but at that moment Andrea fell asleep again.

The next morning Andrea found a special big surprise under the tree. His new friend - a little dinosaur cub! It had a large head, with three little horns, a big mouth with white teeth, two cute eyes, enormous feet, and a baby tail. Andrea gave him a name: Roofless. Roofless was a wonderful triceratops !

It was very hungry for leaves and so, in a hurry, Andrea searched something green to give it to eat.
That day, Andrea played with his brothers and sisters together with Roofless until the sunlight was over.
When they were all tired and it was sleeping time, Mum told him: “Dear Andrea you can not keep this pet because it will grow up very fast and become huge.”

Andrea cried very loudly all night.

Next day, Mum went to the river to wash the clothes. Roofless followed her because the baby triceratops was thirsty. Suddenly, Mum slipped into the river and she could not escape from whirlpools. Roofless heard Mummy’s yells:
“Help, help, someone, anyone help

Roofless ran, as fast as he could, toward Andrea‘s cave. When he found Daddy and Andrea, Roofless did everything he could to communicate the danger that Mummy was in.
At last, Andrea and his daddy understood that it wanted to be followed and so that’s what they did.

The triceratops cub led them to the river where Andrea’s mummy was. They rescued Mummy just in time, before she drowned.
After that, when Mummy was drinking a hot prehistoric herbal tea, she said: “Andrea, your new pet saved my life. It is the first and I am sure it will be the best Christmas present ever. The triceratops can live with us !”
Andrea was very happy and played hide and seek all day long with his new prehistoric Christmas present pet friend.

And that was ‘The Prehistoric Christmas Present’, by Andrea Meneghini from Italy.

Well done Andrea for writing such a lively and exciting story - and especially as it is not in your native language.
Richard - Hi Bertie, did the language matter?
Bertie - I was happy to edit one or two little English slips.. so I do encourage people in future competitions to send us stories even if English isn’t your first language. It’s the imagination and storytelling that matter most.

Richard - So Bertie, what did you like about this story?
Bertie - Well it had a very unusual setting, and when as a judge of a competition, you’re reading through loads of stories, there is definitely a tendency to remember the ones that are different from the others. So that is my first tip for future competitions - make your story unusual. But I have to say in this case, I just think Andrea has a really, really good imagination because it's a very good story isn't it.
Richard - Well done Andrea! For now, from me Richard, and from me Bertie, Goodbye.