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Uncle Pterano Returns</u>

The Great Valley's day had been ordinary so far, at least as "ordinary" as it could get. There wasn't a natural disaster or enemy threatening them, so all was fine. The children gathered at Petrie's old home to sit at the rocks below and tell stories. Petrie sat in front of the others, telling them a story about a valiant Crested Flier that had been threatened by a herd of ten sharpteeth. "And then the flier scared all the sharpteeth away!" Petrie finished his story. Cera's eyes drooped blandly. "Wait, you're SURE this happened?" Cera asked. "Well, my Uncle Pterano knows a flier--"
"ENOUGH with the Pterano Tall-Tales!" Cera shouted angrily. Petrie lurched backwards. "How about something ELSE for a change?" Cera demanded. "Well, those stories are kind of interesting." Littlefoot said. "I mean, even the old Longneck stories seem a little odd." He continued. "And 'Pterano Tall Tales' sounds kinda nice." Guido, who sat on Cera's back, blinked with confusion. "Uh, who's Pterano?" He asked. "He my uncle!" Petrie said gleefully. "How come you haven't mentioned him to me before?" Guido asked. "We don't LIKE to talk about him." Cera scoffed. "Why do you not like somebody you do not like?" Ruby asked. "He...did some bad things." Littlefoot said.

Guido sat up eagerly. "What happened?" He asked. "Well..." Littlefoot stood up from where he sat. "On the way to the Great Valley, he led some of the herd away from the others and accidentally brought them to their deaths. He was sent away because of that. Later, he came to the Valley with some farwalkers and he did worse." Littlefoot explained. "What did he do?" Chomper gasped. "On the night the Far Walkers came, I saw a strange falling rock-it was blue and it flew real low to the ground."
"It flew real low?" Guido asked.
"It flew real low!" Littlefoot nodded. "It turned out that the falling rock I saw could have been a Stone of Cold Fire-something that could have great power! Pterano tried to go after the Stone of Cold Fire because he thought it was magic." Littlefoot continued. "I overheard his plan to take over the Valley and he took me away. But he saved-ed me when I fell later, he did, he did." Ducky nodded. "He helped to save all of us." Littlefoot agreed. "That reduced his  punishment to five cold times in the Mysterious Beyond." Cera added. "And he be back once the Great Night Circle shrinks and grows just a few more times!" Petrie giggled excitedly. "I hope he's okay." He said. Tricia, who had been sitting behind the gang, noticed a large butterfly. She giggled and pattered after it as it flew in the flower patch.

Guido winced. "Jeez, five cold times for that?" He asked. "Well, he did do many more things." Ducky said. "It was a 'reduced' cold times. My dad said that they almost banished him for ten cold times until Pterano returned with us." Cera explained. Guido tensed. "That's pretty rough." He said. Petrie nodded. "Me haven't seen him at all in Mysterious Beyond when we go. But it is big place." Cera rolled her eyes. "Or maybe he won't come back." She said. Petrie jumped up defensively. "No! He WILL COME BACK!" He hollered angrily. Cera jerked back, startled at Petrie's outburst. "Calm down, Petrie, we don't know for sure." She flinched as Petrie crossed his arms. Ruby stepped between them. "Please, do not fight." She said. "Let's get back to telling stories." She looked at her friends serenely.

Petrie leaned to look behind Cera's leg. "How about a real story?" He asked. "Like what?" Cera asked. "Like when Uncle Pterano lost my mama." Petrie replied. "Why would I want to hear about that?"
Petrie pointed behind her. "That why." Cera turned around. Tricia was was gone. "Hey, where'd Tricia go?" Cera asked. "She go that way." Petrie pointed in the direction of tiny tracks. Cera screamed. "TRICIA!" She raced beside the tracks. "They go right into the Mysterious Beyond!" She gasped. Petrie jumped into the air and followed the tracks from above. "We gotta hurry!" He shouted. The rest of the group followed Cera and Petrie.

Later
The Gang tirelessly followed Tricia's tracks. By the time they found her, it was nearly sunset. They led up a steep rock hill, where Tricia trembled with fear and confusion at the top. "Tricia!" Cera shouted. Tricia snapped out of her terrified state and looked in the direction of Cera's voice. She babbled gleefully and began to climb down the wall. "Here she comes!" Cera ran over to the bottom. Trica's foot slipped on a rock, sending her sliding backwards off the wall.

"Tricia!" Cera screamed as Tricia fell squealing. She charged to get under her, but something caught Tricia out of the air. "Huh?" Cera asked. Tricia's rescuer hovered above the ground with Tricia between its feet. Littlefoot, Cera and Petrie gasped. "Oh my." Ruby said. Spike and Ducky looking up with their mouths gaping in astonishment. Chomper ran behind a nearby rock, fearing he would be noticed among leaf-eaters by a stranger. Guido sighed with relief, as he was about to save Tricia himself, but would have to struggle to lower her to the ground safely.
Tricia's savior was a flier-a male with a long brown crest, scarlet body, and pale belly. Despite the fact that this flier had a more acute body and looked stronger than the first time they met him, they knew who he was. "There you go, little one." The flier said as he gently set the trembling Tricia to her feet.. He had a deep and mellow British  accent. "Tricia!" Cera ran over and nuzzled her sister. "Thank you, thank you so much--" She was interrupted by Petrie, who let out a joyful shriek and flew over Cera's head. Tricia's rescuer stood as Petrie embraced his arm. "UNCLE PTERANO!" He screeched. Pterano put his hand on Petrie's back with a smile. "Hello there, Petrie." He said as Petrie sobbed with happiness. "You okay!" Petrie cried. "I told you I would." Pterano replied with a laugh. Cera nudged him. "You saved my sister." She said. "Thank you." Pterano smiled and put his hand on her back. "I'm glad to make an easy second start." He said as Tricia cooed at him and nuzzled his leg. "And someone's just as eager to make a first impression." Petrie climbed onto Pterano's shoulder as Pterano patted Trica's back. "So, Old Threehorn has a new wife, does he?" Pterano smiled with amusement. Cera nodded. "Tria." She said. "Then I won't guess who the baby takes after."

Ducky jumped off Spike's neck and hugged Pterano's wing. "Oh yes, you saved-ed-ed Tricia like you saved-ed-ed me!" She said. "Thank you for saving Cera's baby sister, Uncle Pterano! If you hadn't, we would all be very sad and Cera would be in big, big trouble!" Pterano sighed heavily and crossed his arms.. "Yes, I would have to agree." He said. Littlefoot, Spike, and Ruby joined them as Pterano stood up. Spike murmured happily. "Um...Likewise." Pterano patted Spike's head, pretending to understand what Spike said. Pterano was about to face Littlefoot, and his beak bumped the side of Littlefoot's neck. "Goodness!" He exclaimed. "You've grown a lot in three cold times!" Pterano put his hand at about the size Littlefoot had been when they had first met. "Longnecks grow fast." Littlefoot said modestly "Is it the Time of the Great Growing?" Pterano asked. Littlefoot nodded. "Yes." Littlefoot chuckled. Ruby extended her hand. "My name is Ruby. You did not meet me before, but you are meeting me now." She said. Pterano clasped her hand tightly. "And I'm obliged to." He said. Guido landed on Cera's back. "Um...I'm Guido." He chuckled nervously. "Uh, Petrie's told me about you." He said. "I'm...glad to meet you." Pterano put a hand on Guido's back. "Any friend of my nephew's is a friend of mine." He grinned. "Um...yeah." Guido returned the smile. "Where is Chomper?" Ducky asked. Petrie flew off Pterano's shoulder. "Yoo-hoo! Chomper!" He called. "I don't want him to meet me!" Chomper shouted. "Oh, it's okay, Chomper!" Petrie shouted. Pterano tapped his beak thoughtfully. "Uncle Pterano will like you if you make a good impression!"

Chomper peered from behind a rock just enough for his eyes to be seen. "HI!" And he ducked back down. "Aww, come on, Chomper! It okay!" Petrie edged Chomper out from behind the rock and into the open. Pterano staggered back, looking startled. "I know, I know, I'm a Sharptooth, I've been through it lots of times." Chomper said blandly. "I'm not surprised with a name like yours." Pterano smiled nervously. Ducky smiled encouragingly. "Chomper is good, Uncle Pterano." She said. "I helped hatch him, oh yes! Petrie did too! And Littlefoot, Cera, and Spike."

"I'm in the Great Valley to hide from Red Claw." Chomper said. "And I am taking care of Chomper while he is in the Great Valley, while Red Claw is still a danger." Ruby explained. "Red Claw?!" Pterano laughed. "He's nothing more than a possessive ruffian!" He crossed his arms proudly. "I'm not afraid of him!" Cera looked at him with a raised brow. "Are you pretending?" She asked. Pterano patted her frill. "Maybe I am...maybe I'm not." Cera frowned with suspicion. "Three cold times has given me a chance to look into how Red Claw thinks." Pterano said. "I'm sure Chomper would know too." He said. "Well, I'm too busy trying to hide from Red Claw, so..." Chomper tapped his fingers together. "Oh." Pterano put his hands together. "But you see, Red Claw might be a big and frightening Sharptooth, but he's nothing more than a scourge." Pterano waved his hand with boredom. "It got boring having to run from him all the time and I came to realize that he just does it because he wants to be all-powerful." Cera rolled her eyes. "I know someone like that!" She glared in Pterano's direction. "Ever heard of reform?" Pterano tested. "So, ever since I decided to stop running from Red Claw, I've followed him around." He went on.

"You've been following Red Claw?" Chomper gasped. "Yes. I've been trying to find out what his real motive is, based on what he does." Pterano crossed his arms. "I'm still not sure what the brute's up to." He said. "But he loves to make his presence known!" He said. "And each time I see him, he is near the Great Valley." He said. "So I have to lure him away." The children gasped. "How?!" Cera demanded. "I don't usually bait myself. Once I threw rocks at him." He said. "I eventually nailed him in the eye and he ran." Pterano chuckled. "For the 'biggest, meanest Sharptooth ever', he certainly is a coward! I heard strange noises in a cavern one day and he ran from that." Ducky looked at her friends with a raised brow. "I wonder what it could have been." She had a hint of sarcasm in her tone. "You?" Pterano asked. "All of us! We were in the Cave of Many Voices!" Ducky said. "We made lots of talkbacks to scare Red Claw!" She giggled. "We tricked him good, we did!" Pterano laughed. "I'll say, he hasn't been in that area since!" The Gang laughed. "So you're saying he's a big coward?" Chomper asked. "That's what I think. To put it the best way, he's nothing but a glorified bully." Pterano said. "Now." He looked at all of them. "You should ALL be getting back home! Just look at the sky! It's almost bright fall!" The children looked up. "Yeah...we should be going."

*Later Still*

"I still wish you see my Great Day of the Fliers!" Petrie lamented. The sky was starting to turn dark purple and a few stars shown in the sky. The Bright Circle was almost completely shrunken, except for a small sliver "Oh, I saw it!" Pterano said. He flew very low to the ground above the children. "That was quite a show you put on." Petrie grinned proudly. "Yes it was! Petrie change Great Day of the Fliers forever and ever!" He puffed out his chest enough that his collar ruffled. "Indeed you did!" Pterano laughed as Petrie hugged his wrist. "I am happy you are here." Petrie said warmly. Pterano blinked at Petrie's sudden change in speech. "I don't think my horns will grow in time for MY big ceremony!" Cera grumbled. "And what's that?" Pterano asked. "It's a fighting contest. We're judged by how strong we are and by how big and tough our horns are. Mine haven't even come up, except the one on my nose." Cera sighed with melancholy. Pterano landed beside Cera. The group halted as he  stood beside Cera. He crossed his arms thoughtfully, then pressed his finger above her eye ridge. "Ow!" Cera shouted. "You feel that?" Pterano asked. "Yeah, it feels like your claw's inside my head!" Cera gritted her teeth. "In that case, your horns will be coming in very soon." Pterano nodded. Cera blinked. "You think so?" She asked. Pterano nodded reassuringly.

Suddenly, there was a loud roar. Petrie and Pterano looked in its direction with alarm. "IT'S RED CLAW!" Chomper screamed, running to Pterano and hiding his head under his wing."Red Claw has come since he is here!" Ruby gasped with shock. The others looked from where Red Claw's roar came. came. Ducky, Petrie, and Tricia all joined Chomper under Pterano's wing.  "And we're in the canyon too." Pterano grumbled as Red Claw roared again. Guido shrieked, jumping off Cera's frill and hugging Pterano's leg. "And while we're in the canyon, we have nowhere to go but straight away from Red Claw until we reach a hiding place of mine." Pterano said. "Is it far?" Littlefoot asked. "No, thankfully." Pterano replied. "But I'm usually alone when Red Claw is approaching and I have..." He looked at each face present. "NINE of you here!" Pterano looked down at Guido. "Oh, let go." He said. "That goes for the rest of you." He said to the four hiding beneath his wings. "Now, let's do this in an orderly way, I don't want you all scattered across the Mysterious Beyond and getting all of us in trouble." Petrie clutched Ducky and shrieked, "RED CLAW!!!" The big Sharptooth was now storming down the canyon floor. "Get out of here!" Pterano shouted at the youngsters as Screech and Claw appeared from behind Red Claw. Guido continued to cling to Pterano. "I don't want to die!" He wailed. "Then let go!" He gently pulled Guido off him and set him on Littlefoot's back. "Run, child!" Pterano took to the air, exposing the Chomper, Ducky, Petrie and Tricia. "Pterano!" Littlefoot gasped.

Petrie and Ducky sat petrified, then ran to the shelter of a rock. Tricia remained still. "Hurry, Tricia, you've got to move!" Chomper gave her a gentle push as Ruby, Spike, Littlefoot, and Cera started running. They were suddenly cornered by Screech and Claw, who backed them against the wall, snarling aggressively. "You!" Pterano shouted as he hovered ten feet above Red Claw's head. "The son of a tarpit with the brain of a rock!" Red Claw's lips curled up with an annoyed snarl. "Uncle, get away!" Petrie shouted as Red Claw snapped at Pterano. Pterano flew under Red Claw's head, forcing the big Sharptooth to stoop in order to snap (Petrie wailed with terror as he did so); and so Pterano flew lower and lower until he could fly around Red Claw's ankle and force him to fall over. While Red Claw was on the ground, Pterano swooped over Screech and Claw. "Get away!" Pterano shouted to the five that were trapped. As Littlefoot ran between the big Fastbiters, Screech snarled and seized Guido by the wing. Guido yelled as he was pulled off Littlefoot's back. "Guido!" Littlefoot shouted. Cera circled back and rammed Screech's leg repeatedly. "Let him go!" She bellowed, eventually jabbing her nose horn into him hard enough that Screech let go of Guido. Littlefoot swatted Claw with his tail to distract him. Cera gave the same force to another area of Screech's leg, sending him howling backwards. Pterano picked the paralyzed Tricia off the ground and escaped into a crevice in the canyon wall a short distance away. "Follow me!" He called to Spike and Ruby. "Red  Claw!" Chomper stopped in front of Red Claw as he tried to stand back up. He started speaking in Sharptooth. Whatever he said, it made Red Claw snarl angrily. "Run! Run!" Chomper shouted to Petrie and Ducky. "Get to the cave!" Petrie flapped above Ducky and lifted her by the shoulders. Her heavy weight slowed him greatly, but he dropped onto  Littlefoot's back as he ran after the group. He had successfully forced Thud to fall over after making him run in circles to chase him. "They always fall for that trick." He said jokingly to the exhausted Petrie.. Cera flipped the wounded Guido onto her back and charged past Littlefoot. "NOT SO FAST!" Guido squealed, clutching his injured arm. Chomper at last joined the rest of the group.

Petrie and Ducky looked down at him as he joined Littlefoot at his side. "What did you say to him?" Ducky asked. "Some very bad things." Chomper said guiltily. Petrie crossed his arms defiantly. "Like what?" He asked. "I said he was a buzzing stinger who smelled like ten Stinky Places." Petrie screeched at Chomper loudly. "I shall punish you later!" He shouted. Cera barged between the Littlefoot and Chomper.. "Out of the way, my sister's in there!" She shouted. Guido groaned weakly on her back. "My wi-ing." He moaned, dangling his wing over Cera's side. The crevice got narrower and narrower until they came to a space where it widened, like a bottleneck. It seemed as though the end of the thin passage had just been widened. The chamber was enormous and filled with glistening crystals. There was a small light at the very high ceiling and each stone glistened brightly, adding more light to the dim cave. "Nice hiding place." Petrie smiled. "There you are!" Ruby pranced over to them. "Pterano was going to see if you were okay, but Spike got stuck in the hole just before you came in!" Ducky giggled. "I am not surprised that Spike got stuck, no, no, no!" Cera sighed. "So he wasn't just saving what he grabbed?" She asked. Ruby shook her head. "Of course not. And Tricia is very, very scared." Ruby added. Cera gasped. "Tricia! Where is she?" She demanded. "She is with Pterano and Spike in another Shiny Stone cavern." Ruby said. "Come with me because I know where it is."
She led them to another cavern, which was very close to the one they had arrived in.

As Ruby had said, Spike and Tricia were safe with Pterano. The old flier was crouched against the wall, with Spike resting next to him. Pterano cradled Tricia consolingly. "There, there, that mean old Sharptooth won't find us here. He doesn't even know about this pretty place." He crooned altruisticly. "Cewa." Tricia sniffled. "Oh, don't you worry, I'll find your sister soon, you'll see." Cera blinked as she took in what she was watching. "Okay, that's one thing I never thought I'd see." She said with befuddlement. Spike  jumped up with such great excitement that Pterano nearly tipped onto his side. Tricia let out a loud scream as Pterano gasped with surprise. After recovering from his near fall, he held Tricia more comfortingly as she cried more from being startled. Spike let out a loud, gleeful shout and ran over to Littlefoot, where Ducky was preparing to slide off and hug Spike. "Look, Tricia!" Pterano turned the distressed Tricia toward Cera. "There she is." Tricia looked over Pterano's arm toward her sister and started babbling desperately. "Cewa!" Pterano set her to the ground and allowed Tricia to run over to Cera. "Poor baby was so frightened." Pterano said with sympathy. Cera nuzzled Tricia happily. "You're okay!" She exclaimed. "Cewa!" Tricia squealed. Guido weakly slid off Cera's back, clutching his injured wing, stumbling as he set foot on the ground. "Owww," He clutched his wounded arm. "It hurts." He squeaked. Pterano stood up and counted each youngster as Petrie perched on his shoulder. "Well, we are all here." They could hear Red Claw's distant roar. "And safe from Red Claw." Pterano said,  leaning against the wall and put his hands over his eyes with exhaustion.
"If I have to go face-to-face with him one more time..."  
"You ARE scared of Redclaw!" Cera shouted. "I KNEW IT!" Pterano shook his head. "I wasn't scared personally." He said. "I was scared that he would kill you all." Pterano put his hand on her back. "Yeah, right!" Cera rolled her eyes. She looked up and saw Pterano's look of apprehension. "Never mind." Cera mumbled. "Just because he's not afraid of Red Claw, it no mean he's not afraid for us." Petrie perched on Cera's horn. Pterano nodded in agreement. "That's exactly the way it is." He said. Guido climbed onto the rock beside Pterano. "Well, I was scared out of my WITS!" He gasped. "And that STUPID Fastbiter hurt my wing!" He lifted his arm. "LOOK AT THAT!" He shouted, almost tearfully. "Let me see." Pterano observed Guido's wing. There were a several feathers missing and there was an enormous bloody gash on both sides of the wing. The feathers surrounding the bleeding wound were splotched with blood. "Hm." Pterano tapped his beak. "Well, if you were like me and Petrie, you'd be done for." He said. "But you're a glider. And your missing feathers can grow back in time." Pterano said. "LIKE MY TEETH!" Chomper shouted, pointing at his mouth. "Yes, like the little Sharptooth said." Pterano agreed blandly. "Feathers?" He asked. "They're called feathers?"
Outside, Red Claw and his lackeys roared with irritation. "We'll make a break for it." Pterano said. "There are several more caverns we can hide in. Since it's getting dark, I know one where we can stay overnight." He glanced at the nine. "With those three so close, I absolutely won't allow you to go back to the Valley until it is safe to do so."

The next cavern over was the same as the others, but this one had heat vents along the wall and there were a few fractures extending it. "Ahh, it's nice and warm in here." Ruby stretched her arms contentedly. "And most importantly, it's safe, if you stay away from the hot places." Pterano cleared his throat. "Let me see your wing again, Guido." Guido extended his arm painfully. "It's starting to hurt more and it feels a little hot." Pterano put his hand on the back of the wing. "It's a nasty wound. Then again, a big Fastbiter did it and their mouths are quite filthy." Pterano looked around, as if he was counting the youngsters. "I'm going to get something for Guido. You all stay put. You hear me? Stay right where you are! Cera, keep your sister AWAY from the vents" As Pterano left through another chamber, Spike licked Guido's face. "Aww, I'm okay, Spike." Guido laughed modestly. Cera noticed Tricia galloping toward the vents with curious coos. "Tricia! No!" She ran over and scooped Tricia up with her nose horn. Tricia squealed and giggled with delight. "Did you hear Mr. Pterano? Stay away from the hot spots! Dangerous!" Tricia made a little babble as Cera set her to the ground. Pterano came back carrying some ferns. "Here," He set some of them on Guido's wing. "Hold those there." He instructed. "Make sure they cover the damage as much as possible." He looked at Ruby. "Would you put these on the back of his wing, my dear?" He asked. Ruby nodded. "I will help my friend so that he may be helped." Ruby took the ferns from Pterano and gently pressed them on the back of Guido's wing. "It's helping a little bit. But it stings. Not like painful stings-although they do hurt-but it's not TOO painful." Guido shuddered. "The night circle is almost out.." Pterano said. "The sky was dark when I was getting the plants." He gave warning looks to the group. "This is the best place to stay overnight. In the morning, there's a grove I can take you to so you can eat before your journey back home." Pterano looked down and saw Tricia yawning widely. "Speaking of staying overnight." He said.  "We should all be getting to sleep."

Petrie stretched and made a squawky yawn. "He right." He said. "I tired." Pterano laid down against a rock. Petrie yawned again, then nestled under Pterano's wing. "Night, everyone." He said. Pterano chuckled. "Goodnight, Petrie." He said. "Spike do you mind if I sleep with Uncle Pterano tonight?" Ducky asked. Spike shook his head. "Uh-uh." He mumbled. Ducky jumped off his neck walked over to Pterano. "You have kept us all safe. Yep-yep-yep." She said as she curled into a fetal position beside Petrie, blanketing herself under Pterano's wing. Pterano replied as Petrie nestled up beside Ducky under his wing. Cera paused thoughtfully, then began to walk toward Pterano. "Come on, Tricia." She beckoned her sister. Cera laid down close to Pterano, near the end of his wing. Pterano watched Tricia patter over to her sister and cuddle up beside her. Spike lumbered beside Tricia, making a warmth barrier between him and Cera. Littlefoot laid down on Cera's other side, and was almost laying on Pterano's wing. Ruby trotted beside Pterano. "Thank you for keeping us safe so that we may be safe." She smiled gratefully. "I hope that you will come back to the Great Valley safely someday." She stepped back a little bit, then curled on the ground. "Come, Chomper." She patted the ground lazily. "Let us get some sleep." Chomper yawned and laid beside her. "Good night, Ruby." He said. Guido climbed onto Littlefoot's back and put the ferns between Cera and Littlefoot, then putting his damaged wing over them. "That's better." He yawned. "To make it better, I'm right next to Pterano in case I need something for my wing." He mumbled to himself before falling asleep.

Pterano looked at the youngsters beside him and sighed. It was rare for him to have company in the Mysterious Beyond. He would only stay with some groups for so long before splitting off from them. Sometimes it was disheartening to leave. He missed having youngsters to tell tall-tales to at night, or watching eggs hatch at the break of dawn or the setting of the sun. But...in a few months, he would have the chance back more than ever. The prospect of having someone to be with made time pass so much faster. He felt more hopeful and less alone. Remembering what he had and what he once was before the Great Earthshake helped. He looked at Petrie and Ducky. They looked so darling snuggled up together under his wing. He'd never forget that precious sight. Ducky shifted and pulled Pterano's wing closer around her before hugging Petrie's beak. Pterano chuckled. "Good night." He whispered.

Cera, certain that Pterano was asleep, gave Littlefoot a small jab in the leg with her horn. "Ooch! Cera!" Littlefoot scolded silently. "What's the big deal?" He demanded. "Shh. It's about Pterano." Cera hissed. "What about him?" Littlefoot leaned close to Cera's head. "Do you think he's up to something?" Cera asked. Littlefoot shook his head. "Not really. Do you?" He asked. "He's so...nice...all of the sudden. It's certainly not the Pterano I remember." Cera said. Littlefoot sighed. "Cera...he's been in isolation for five cold times. This is the first time he's seen Petrie since he was banished." He said. "And...five cold times alone gives you a lot of time to think...to change. He knows that every time he's tried to help others, it just got him in big trouble because he did it wrong...like the Stone of Cold Fire and leading that herd." Cera winced as Littlefoot mention the herd that Pterano had accidentally killed.  Littlefoot looked over at Pterano. "And maybe he's a little lonely." He said with empathy.  "Any of us would act like he is if we were alone for a long time." He said. Cera looked at the ground painfully. "I guess you're right. So you're saying that he's trying to do something good...the right way?" She asked softly. She looked remorseful. "Now that I think about it...I guess I would act the same way he is...like you said." Cera looked at Tricia, who was snuggling against the side of Spike's belly. "But I think he also really cares about us." Littlefoot said. "You saw him with Petrie when he was banished." Cera nodded. "Yeah." She whispered, yawning. "Good night, Littlefoot,"


Meanwhile, in the Great Valley, the parents of the children stood at the Meeting Place. "We could never find them in the Mysterious Beyond!" Mr. Threehorn exclaimed. "I could." Skip lifted his paw. "But I really can't go at night. It's too dark...too dangerous." He shook his head. "Oh..." Ducky's mother covered her eyes. "I hope they're alright." She said with a sob. Mr. Longneck lowered his head. "They are alright. They've been in the Mysterious Beyond more times than we ever had." He sighed. "But never this long." He said heavily. Mrs. Flier looked up and stared into the sky. "You'll keep them safe...won't you? You saved them last time." She whispered. "I don't know what drove them into the Mysterious Beyond this time!" Mr. Threehorn shouted. "And if they don't come back, we'll never know!" Tria sighed at her husband. "I wish there was someone we could count on to be sure they're safe." She said. Mrs. Flier put her hand on Tria's face consolingly. "There is. I just hope he found them."

In the morning
The sun began to rise. Ducky woke clutching Petrie's arm. "Good morning, Uncle Pterano." She yawned. As she felt around her back to pull Pterano's wing over her, she noticed that Pterano was not there."Huh?" She mumbled. No one else was either, except Guido, who dozed on the rock where Pterano had slept. Guido opened his eyes. "Oh, you're up." He smiled. "Where is everyone else?" Ducky asked. "Breakfast." Guido said, stretching his arms. "There's a nice grove near here." Guido rolled on his back and rubbed his belly. "Those were the best ground crawlers I've EVER eaten." He said. "And Littlefoot says that the Groundstars are really good too."  Ducky gasped and shook Petrie. "Petrie! Wake up, there are some very yummy Groundstars nearby!" She said. Petrie pushed her away groggily. "No, Mama, I had a bath yesterday." He mumbled. Ducky giggled. "Let's go have something to eat, Petrie!" She scooped him over her shoulder and carried him to the exit of the cave. Guido slid off and went after them. "Follow me!"

Guido led them to a nearby grove through yet another cavern, where there was a large bush full of Groundstars. A skylight filtered into the cave, filtering light on top of the bush. The others had gathered around it, and each had a pile of leaves in front of them. "About time you got up." Littlefoot said. "These Groundstars are really good." He pulled some off the tree and made a pile for each Ducky and Petrie. "Thank you, Littlefoot!" Ducky and Petrie said at the same time, and dashed to the piles that Littlefoot had made. "Hey, where Pterano and Chomper?" Petrie asked with a beakful of Groundstars. "'Scavenging'," Cera shuddered. "It sounds completely disgusting!" She squinted with repulsion. "What's that?" Ducky asked. "Apparently, it's eating something that's already dead." Cera explained. "At least, that's how Pterano put it." She said through a mouthful of Groundstars. Tricia giggled as she pawed a small pile. "Tricia! Don't play with your food!" Cera shouted as Petrie and Ducky looked at each other with disgust. "They eating dead things?" Petrie asked. "I was there for a little while." Guido said. "Pterano said that sometimes Gliders scavenge. Wasn't too bad for me-I mean for a 'scavenger' it was pretty good-but I like Crawlers better, so I came back here once I had 'scavenged' enough." Guido grimaced. "He was wondering if Petrie should go along too." He said. Just as Petrie made a squeal of disgust, Guido said, "But he didn't think he'd like it."
"Hi, guys!" Chomper came running into the cavern. "Guess what I ate!?" He grinned widely. His teeth were slightly red. The others grimaced. "I ate a dead Bellydragger! It wasn't a full grown Bellydragger, but it was still HUGE! I could see lots of bones and it was really good! Pterano even broke open some of the bones and we ate the bone-meat! IT WAS SO GOOD!" Cera dropped some of her tree-stars. "I think I lost my appetite."
Pterano landed on a rock by the others. "I apologize for the enthusiastic carnivore." He said. "I thought it would be best if he experienced something he'd need later in life. It's not like he's going to eat ground crawlers forever." Chomper grinned at him. "Thanks, Pterano! I like your uncle, Petrie! He's really nice!" Petrie lifted his beak with pride as Chomper babbled. "He is good." He said proudly. Spike trudged beside Ducky once he had devoured his stack of leaves. "You ate-ed all your Groundstars already, Spike?" Ducky giggled. "I have barely started!" She munched on her leaves. "When you're all finished, I'll show you a shortcut to the Valley." Pterano said. "It's not far from here and I think your parents are extremely worried about you." Littlefoot nodded in agreement. "They probably are." Pterano glanced at Tricia, who continued to prance in her leaves and giggle gleefully. "Now, Tricia, enough of that." He called.

*Later*

By the time Pterano coaxed Tricia to eat, all the others had finished their breakfast. It was high noon by the time Tricia's leaves were gone. "Now that's over with." Pterano said, glancing at the giggling baby Threehorn. She was prancing around Cera, alive with energy. "Well, time to get you back home. Your elders should be worried sick at this point."

*Later*
The sun was high in the sky when Pterano brought the children to a passage into the Great Valley. "This is the way I got here." Pterano said. "Just go down the path, take a left, and you'll be back in the Valley. There won't be any slopes to climb down. It's just a smooth walk." Pterano stooped down to Guido, who was on Littlefoot's back. "You remember what those ferns look like?" He asked. Guido nodded. "You can find them in the Great Valley. Use them on your wing until your feathers start growing back." He said. "Thanks." Guido smiled. Tricia squealed and ran up to him. "You could be talking a bit more when I see you again." Pterano rubbed her head. Tricia gurgled happily and wagged her tail. "Cera, you take good care of your little sister." He leaned close to Cera's ear. "I was a protective older sibling myself." He whispered. "I still am." He chuckled. "Really?" Cera asked, looking surprised. "Oh yes. I worry about Petrie's mother all the time." He said. Cera shrugged. "Maybe we have more in common than I thought." She said. Ruby tapped his shoulder. "If you ever find my family, will you tell them that I'm alright?" She asked. "Certainly." Pterano crossed his heart. "Um...thanks for watching us." Littlefoot cleared his throat. "It was my pleasure to do so," Pterano replied. Spike lumbered over Pterano. "Goodbye, Spike." Pterano said. Spike smiled and licked Pterano across the face. "Um..." Pterano patted Spike's neck. "I'll...miss you too." Spike giggled lightly. Chomper slowly approached. "I...guess I'll see you later?" Pterano put his hand on Chomper's back. "Yes, young lad." He said. "When I get back, I'll try to tell you as much as I can about what I found out about Red Claw. The Valley will need it." Petrie jumped off Ruby's shoulder and hugged Pterano tightly. "I love you, Uncle," He sniffled. "As do I, dear nephew." Pterano covered Petrie with his wing and embraced him. "I shall miss you very, very much!" Ducky nestled up to Pterano's wing.. Ruby nuzzled his shoulder. "I just don't want to leave you alone." She said. "You must be very lonely sometimes." She said. Pterano sighed. "Indeed so, my dear child." He said. "But you see, I've only got a few Night Circle cycles left. The fourth time the Night Circle is full, I'll be back to haunt Mr. Threehorn." The youngsters-even Cera-laughed at his comment. Petrie reluctantly let go of Pterano and flew onto Cera's frill. "I'll keep an  eye out from high up." He said, taking final glances at each of the children. "Farewell." The children watched him fly off. "Well. There he goes. Let's get going." Cera marched forward.

*Later still*

Pterano watched their arrival back home from a safe distance. For him, a "safe distance" meant the very top of a cliff where hardly anyone could see him. The children had taken his directions as he expected. Within a few minutes, they were back in the Valley and running to their elders.

The parents and gaurdians of the children heard them calling them wildly. They had gathered in the Great Arch, trying to devise a plan to rescue the children. "Littlefoot! Where were you!? We were so worried!" Grandma Longneck exclaimed as Littlefoot ran up to her and Grandpa Longneck, with Guido on his back. The others split off to their parents, and Ruby and Chomper stood with Littlefoot. "We've been in the Mysterious Beyond with Petrie's uncle!" Chomper exclaimed. "WHAT?!" Mr. Threehorn shouted. "What do you mean by that?!" He demanded. "Exactly what Chomper said." Littlefoot stuttered. "What were you doing in the Mysterious Beyond?!" Mr. Threehorn shouted. "Saving Tricia." Cera replied quickly. "WHAT!?" Mr. Threehorn's tone got loudly. Tricia made a squeaky wail, which caused Mr. Threehorn to flinch and soften his voice. "So...how did you find Pterano?"

Ruby stepped up. "We were going into the Mysterious Beyond to save Tricia. But Pterano saved her when she fell off a high cliff." She explained. "And then he got us out of the open! And he saved us from Red Claw and took care of us at night!" Chomper blurted. "RED CLAW?!" The nine staggered back. Mrs. Flier looked up at the cliff. She saw Pterano at the top. "Yes, he kept them safe." She said. "Besides, Mr. Threehorn, he'll be coming back soon. I would suggest you come up with a proper way to thank him for saving your daughters." Grandpa Longneck said. Tria smiled. "Well, I will certainly thank him." She said. "Now children, I'm sure your all very tired and hungry." Grandma Longneck said. Littlefoot and the gang glanced at each other, unsure of what to say. "That's okay, Grandma. We've already eaten." Littlefoot said. Grandpa Longneck chuckled. "He did take good care of you." He said. "I should hope that Pterano has learned his lesson now and that he can be trustworthy." He said. "After what he just did for us, I would say so. If he hadn't been there, Tricia would have..." Cera gulped and shifted close to Tricia defensively. "We all wouldn't be here." She said.

"We are a little tired, though." Guido said. "And I need some ferns for my wing. Pterano said they'd help." Guido lifted his injured wing to show the grown ups what had happened. "Oh dear." Mrs. Flier examined his wing. "You'll have to ride on my back to get to the nest. Then I'll get you what you need."
And so the children went their separate ways with their families for well-needed rests.   

One Week Later
Cera yawned and rubbed her forehead. It felt funny and she had tight pains in her forehead. She stretched and drowsily walked over to the watering hole. Others looked at her with surprise. "G...good morning, Cera." Ducky's mother blinked. "What's everyone looking at me for?" Cera looked at her reflection in the water. Something was different. Small horns sprouted over her eye ridges. Cera gasped, then bucked on her back feet with a joyful whoop that could be heard from all over the Valley.
"HE WAS RIGHT!!!"
Here's my little fan episode depicting Uncle Pterano...um...coming back isn't really the right thing to say...protecting the kids in the Mysterious Beyond...yeah.

And there was much rejoycing from Pterano fans.
Pterano fans: Hurray :la: !!!

And from now on in my fanfictions, Cera has horns :XD: !

I'm so glad I did this in Openoffice instead of Microsoft. The grammar check will have fragmented everything that Ruby said.

Characters (C) Universal
Published:
© 2010 - 2021 Bat-Snake
Comments20
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LavaMan32's avatar
This was very well-written. I know this must have been asked several times but have you ever considered making a story about Pterano and Petrie's mom's past.
Bat-Snake's avatar
No, I really haven't. And I don't have any ideas at the moment. 
I'm rather focused on Doctor Who
jjp158's avatar
can you make more? if so when will next one come out?
Bat-Snake's avatar
I wrote this several years ago, so chances are there won't be another for a bit...
jjp158's avatar
oh ok, the story is very well written good job
TheBattyCrow's avatar
Epic rejoicing!! You made my day^^
One thing - it was a little hard to see what each character was saying as all the sentences were kinda jumbled together.
But I love this episode!! Thye need to make another LBT where Pterano comes back! then will I be truly happy :D
The-Wild-Soul's avatar
Is this a real episode? Cause it would sure make a good one
The-Wild-Soul's avatar
Do you kept writing screech
And claw when it's supposed to be screech and thud
TITANICSGIRL's avatar
Say it's been a while since you did any Pterano work. Are you still a fan of his? Or did you move on?
Bat-Snake's avatar
I'm still a Pterano fan :) . I've just been giving him some space and sticking my nose around the business of some new fellers.

Discord, Grendel, that means you two.
TITANICSGIRL's avatar
Oh! Sorry for the late PINGAS-I mean reply. :P Either I was busy, or I was lazy. So anyway, just checking curiously. Glad you're still a Pteranobot. :P
TITANICSGIRL's avatar
u should write a sequel to this.
Bat-Snake's avatar
Nothing's really struck me. Besides, I'm doing other work right now.
cartoon-girl-2010's avatar
I agree to a sequel...perhaps pick up a few days later when Pterano finally does come back...how would everyone receive him?....either way I loved this story and Pterano is one of my faves

Thanks a bunch for the story :)
TITANICSGIRL's avatar
Yeah, that's what I thought. But...oh wellz. And yes, Pterano is the coolest, thank ya very much. XD
TITANICSGIRL's avatar
okay, just a suggestion.
ladyofthewilds's avatar
Wow brilliant story, i love Pterano
DarthWill3's avatar
Nice story.

You ever thought of doing another fanfic? I've got some suggestions, if you like to hear them.
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