"Quite frankly, Pterano, your behavior has been inexcusable, but, in light of the fact that you helped save the children, your punishment will be reduced," Grandpa Longneck informed Pterano after the latter had helped save Ducky from falling to her death after seeing a mirror image of what had once happened in his dark past.
Upon hearing those words, Pterano perked up towards Grandpa Longneck with a sense of relief and hope, "It will?"
"Yes," replied Grandpa Longneck, "We have decided that you should be banished to the Mysterious Beyond until five of the Cold Times have passed."
"Five cold times!?" Petrie thought to himself as he heard those words that seemed to seal his uncle's fate … for now, "Five cold times!? Me no think me can go that long without seeing me uncle! Me no think Uncle Pterano could last five Cold Times in Mysterious Beyond!"
Sure, there may have been very good reason for Pterano's banishment. Aside from the fact that he had led some of the other families' relatives astray during their journey to the Great Valley, he had kidnapped Petrie's closest friend, Ducky. However, Petrie knew deep down that his uncle's heartless sidekicks, Rinkus and Sierra were never hesitant to cause harm upon the children, which was considered one of the worst crimes any dinosaur could commit in the Great Valley. Pterano, himself, had no true intention to bring any harm to the children, but his sidekicks decided to turn against him, and as would have been imagined, the Great Valley put the blame on him.
Only mere moments ago, Pterano watched as Ducky began falling off a cliff, and he saw it as a mirror image of his dark past, when he once watched another older Swimmer fall to her doom during their trek. Therefore, he swooped down and rescued Ducky from falling to certain death, and he was beginning to reform by the time the children were reunited with their families. However, one good deed would not be enough to redeem this Flyer from a lifetime of wickedness.
Not hesitating to admit that he would be disappointed, Petrie spoke up in defense of his uncle.
"Five Cold Times!?" he said, "That so long!"
"Yes!" Topps growled furiously, being a longtime enemy of the young Flyer's uncle and wishing he would never have to see him again, "And some of us think it should be a lot longer!"
Pterano seemed rather worried about what he would face during his banishment, "Oh, now please. None of the Far Walkers want anything to do with me. I'll be alone and defenseless in the Mysterious Beyond. Is that really fair?"
"YES!" roared everyone, except a reluctant Petrie, who refused to let his uncle suffer such a fate.
"Oh! Let him stay!" he begged to the other Great Valley dinosaurs, "He very sorry!"
At that moment, his mother came down and gave him a sympathetic look.
"That may be," she began before her look turned to a more serious one, "But that doesn't change what he did, and he must be responsible for that!"
"But, …-" Petrie began before his uncle cut him off.
"Petrie, … she's right."
The young Flyer turned to look at his uncle, and he almost couldn't bear the fact that he was about to lose him.
"We must all be accountable for our actions," he paused and crouched down towards his nephew, "I'll be fine."
Petrie didn't feel convinced that his uncle would be fine. He was sure that this was the last time he may ever see him. Tears leaked from his eyes as he struggled to contain his emotions in front of everyone in the Great Valley.
"I will miss you, Uncle," he sniffled.
"And someday I shall return to the herd and prove that I can be trustworthy," Pterano continued, "I know there's much I can contribute if given the chance."
Petrie couldn't contain himself any longer, and, feeling more tears welling up in his eyes, he jumped into his uncle's arm and hugged him for possibly the last time. He could feel his other arm wrapping around his back to return the embrace.
"I will miss you, too, Petrie," the Flyer said gently to his nephew.
The two Flyers stood there as Petrie refused to let go of his uncle. He buried his face into his wing to hide the inevitable stream of tears.
The other children watched the scene with mixed emotions. Although they knew that Pterano had been a traitor towards their families, they couldn't help but feel sorry for Petrie for losing his uncle.
Some of the adults also felt bad for the little Flyer, but one certain adult felt absolutely no remorse whatsoever …
"Go on, you!" Topps shouted at Pterano, "You, scoot!"
Pterano turned towards the Threehorn whom had lost nearly his entire family because of his own actions, and he began to put Petrie down, when Topps started to turn a little more aggressive towards the Flyer.
"Go on! Scoot!" he growled.
Finally, Pterano had no choice but to place his saddened nephew back down, and just as he did so, Topps came charging towards them with an intimidating growl. The Flyer turned his back and ran off before taking to the skies.
"Then again," Pterano stated as he glared at Topps, "There are others I shan't miss at all!"
Petrie watched as Topps chased off his uncle, and he refused to break eye contact with Pterano until he was no longer within their sight.
Finally, he looked down toward the ground and felt the tears begin to fall. He was sure that that was the last time he would ever see his dear old uncle. Who knew if he would be able to survive the Mysterious Beyond for five Cold Times? It all felt too much to bear. He could faintly hear the voices of his friends as they expressed their doubt over the existence of a so-called Stone of Cold Fire.
"Do you think there ever really was a Stone of Cold Fire?" Ducky asked Littlefoot.
"Well, … it was cold, and there was fire around it," the Longneck replied.
"Oh, please!" Cera retorted, "Like I said, that was just a dumb old flying rock! There wasn't anything magic about it!"
"Besides, what do we need with magic, when we have each other?" agreed Ducky, "Right, Petrie?"
Petrie didn't reply, nor did he even look towards his friends. He continued to stare at the ground and shield his teary-eyed face from the others.
"Petrie?" came Ducky's voice again.
"Look!" called Littlefoot as he looked up at the sky, "The Far Walkers are about to leave! Let's watch them go!"
Ducky cast one last worried glance at her best friend, and the four children kept their eyes on the Far Walkers as they slowly followed them. Petrie, meanwhile, stayed where he was, refusing to look up at any of the adults still surrounding him.
Mama Flyer watched as the other children left to watch the Far Walkers leave. Once they were out of her sight, she turned towards her son and slowly approached him.
"Petrie?" she said gently.
The young Flyer made virtually no indication that he had heard his mother's call.
"Petrie?" Mama Flyer repeated, "Do you want to watch the Far Walkers leave?"
Still no response.
Mama Flyer stepped in front of her son and crouched down so she could look closely at him.
"Petrie, … I know you're going to miss your uncle, … but he can't change what he did, and neither can we," she explained.
"Me may never see him again," Petrie whispered faintly, only just enough for his mother to hear him.
"You will see him again, sweetheart," Mama Flyer reassured him, "Once the next five Cold Times have passed, he'll be back."
"Me not sure Uncle can survive Mysterious Beyond for five Cold Times," sniffled Petrie.
"Petrie, my little one, … remember what he just said: we all have to be accountable for our actions," Mama Flyer reminded him.
"Me know," said Petrie a little more loudly.
"Petrie, … my son, … please look at me," said Mama Flyer kindly.
Petrie hesitated, not wanting to show anyone, not even his mother, how heartbroken he truly was about potentially losing his uncle forever. He truly felt as if he would miss him so much, even despite his wrongdoings.
Eventually, the little Flyer uncovered his face and looked up at his mother. Mama Flyer was quite shocked to see her son's face and beak all wet with tears forming waterfalls down his cheeks.
"Aw, now, now, Petrie," she soothed him as she pulled him in for a gentle hug, "Someday, once your uncle has proven himself worthy, he will be back, … and he can be a part of our family again."
Petrie buried his face underneath his mother's chin as she stood back up and cradled him for a few moments.
Some of the adults took a brief glance at the scene, and, although they were afraid to admit it because of Pterano's former antics, they felt rather sorry for the little heartbroken Flyer.
"Is he alright?" Grandma Longneck spoke up.
"He will be in due time," replied Mama Flyer sadly as she continued to cuddle her son.
"Define 'due time'!" growled Topps sternly, "Five Cold Times!?"
"No," said Mama Flyer, glancing sternly at Topps, "I'm sure that by 'due time', I mean a few days."
"A few days!?" the Threehorn snorted, "He'd best get over it quickly, because if I had my way, it would have been a lot longer than five Cold Times!"
"Yes, we know that," reminded Mama Flyer.
"I lost my entire family because of that good-for-nothing Flyer, except for Cera!" ranted Topps.
"We all know that, Mr. Threehorn!" Grandpa Longneck stepped in to stop Topps' ranting.
"If he won't miss me, then I most certainly won't miss him, either!" Topps went on, "I definitely won't be happy the day his punishment is over!"
Petrie overheard this and perked up towards Topps with a shocked look on his face.
"What you mean, you no be happy!?" he shouted as tears continued to pour down his face, while his mother tried to calm him down.
"Mr. Threehorn!" Mama Flyer retorted, "If you don't mind, I would refrain from saying things like that in front of my son! It would crush his spirits!"
"Let's at least allow Petrie to keep some hope within himself," agreed Mama Swimmer.
"Why would you agree with her!?" Topps snorted at the others, "Need I remind you that almost all of our families were torn apart because of Pterano!?"
"So!?" said a Spiketail, "That doesn't mean the kid isn't allowed to have feelings towards him! He is a relative, for crying out loud!"
"I definitely wouldn't keep my spirits up if I were you!" Topps glared at Petrie.
"Why that!?" Petrie retorted as his mother kept him in a tight hug.
"Mr. Threehorn!" Mama Flyer said sternly, "I will ask you again, please don't say stuff like that to my son while he's enduring such a difficult time!"
Topps ignored Mama Flyer's warning and went on …
"If I were the one to make the decision, that evil beak brain would have been banished to the Mysterious Beyond for the rest of all time!" Topps declared firmly, "I never want to see Pterano again, and I would have gladly let him burn in fire!"
Everyone gasped in sheer horror after hearing those cold, heartless words. Never could anyone have imagined him saying such words like that in a valley like this, even if Pterano had been a serious troublemaker.
For Petrie, that was the last straw …
Upon hearing those cold words from Topps that made his heart explode, the little Flyer did something that surprised every adult in the group …
He broke free of his mother's hug, and he began to charge towards Topps with a terrifying glare.
"PETRIE! NO!" Mama Flyer screamed in horror.
"Don't do it, Petrie!" Grandma Longneck yelled.
"Petrie, stop!" Mama Swimmer shouted.
"YOU WOULD HAVE LET ME UNCLE TURN TO BONES!?" Petrie screamed at Topps with a death glare accompanied by angry tears.
Topps stared at the Flyer in horror as he charged towards him. He shut his eyes, expecting to receive a smack in the face from him, but just as Petrie reached his horn and was about to throw a punch, Mama Flyer stepped in and grabbed him.
"Petrie! Don't!" she shouted as she pulled him back.
"No!" Petrie shot back as he tried to break free of his mother's grasp, to no avail, "Mr. Threehorn would have let me uncle burn in fire and rot!"
"Now, Petrie!" Mama Flyer reassured, "I'm sure Mr. Threehorn didn't mean that! Please stop!"
Everyone simply stared on in shock and disbelief. Never had anyone in the Great Valley seen Petrie attack someone that way, let alone attack somebody within their own herd. This was a completely new side to the little Flyer.
"P-Petrie?" Grandma Longneck stuttered, "Are you feeling alright?"
"Me feel alright when Mr. Three- …" Petrie began, but his mother cut him off.
"That's enough, Petrie!" she said sternly, "Please don't attack Mr. Threehorn! He didn't mean what he said! This is not you, son! Please stop!"
It took several seconds for Petrie to settle down, but he continued to glare at Topps for the cold words he had used against his uncle. He couldn't find the heart to forgive him for those heartless words, especially the racial slur he had added.
"I think someone needs to have a nice, long nap," suggested Mama Swimmer.
"I would agree," added Grandpa Longneck.
"Petrie," Mama Flyer attempted to soothe her son, "Please calm down."
The teary-eyed Flyer once again broke free of his mother's hug and flew away from the adults as quickly as he could, crying hysterically as he left. However, this didn't come without flying right up to Topps' face and shooting him a deadly glare, throwing a scream at him while cursing under his breath.
"Petrie!?" his mother called, but fell on deaf ears, "Petrie!?"
All of the adults looked at each other in confusion, except for Topps, who glared at Mama Flyer. They all knew it wasn't like Petrie to act this way around them. He was always a very kind-hearted, friendly Flyer, but losing his uncle had likely taken a toll on him.
"I guess this has really affected him very badly," sighed Grandpa Longneck sympathetically.
"He may understand why we had to do what we did, and that it was for the best, but it just might take him a while to accept it," Grandma Longneck.
"Oh, I'll see to it that it'll take even longer!" growled Topps, "I think that a certain punishment is in order!"
"Mr. Threehorn!" shouted Mama Flyer, glaring at Topps, "Two things! Firstly, if anyone has the right to punish my son, that would be me, since Petrie is my child, not yours, … and he didn't do anything to deserve punishment! Secondly, how could you say those terrible things about my brother right in front of Petrie's face while he was struggling to accept the facts!? He needs time to get over the fact that we had to banish his uncle, and you just made it a lot worse for him than it needs to be! It's no wonder he retaliated!"
"She's right, you know!" Mama Swimmer agreed, "You must have just torn the poor child's little heart to pieces! There's a reason why we call these 'adult' conversations!"
"You really should be ashamed of yourself for tearing his spirits apart like that! Those are not the kind of words that our children should be exposed to!" Grandpa Longneck put in, "Now, it could be ages before he heals from this!"
"I'd still like to see some punishment put in place, though!" Topps argued, "Any kid that attacks me is a bad influence!"
"Excuse me!" Mama Flyer retorted in fury at the way Topps was insulting Petrie, while everyone else gasped in horror, "Are you criticizing my son!?"
Grandpa Longneck had finally had enough, and he put his foot down between the Threehorn and Flyer.
"Alright, everyone! That is quite enough!" he shouted, making everyone silent, "For now, we will gather the children once they've finished watching the Far Walkers leave, then we can discuss this further tomorrow!"
"Agreed!" said Mama Swimmer.
Without another word, Mama Flyer took to the skies and flew towards the direction her son had flown. Topps continued to glare at her as she flew away. He felt as if he didn't want to be anywhere near a Flyer at this moment.
Littlefoot, Cera, Ducky and Spike had just seen the Far Walkers leave, when suddenly, they heard the sound of crying. They recognized the source as Petrie.
"Is that Petrie crying?" asked Ducky.
"Is he really that upset about his uncle?" said Cera in annoyance.
Sure enough, they looked to their right and saw their good Flyer friend crying as he flew past them, not taking any notice of his four friends.
"Petrie!?" Littlefoot called, only to get no response.
Within a few seconds, Petrie had disappeared, and a moment later, Mama Flyer also went flying past them, obviously going after her son.
"Ms. Flyer!? Is Petrie okay!?" Littlefoot called, but once again there was no answer as Mama Flyer disappeared.
"Gosh, I hope Petrie is okay," sighed Ducky worryingly, "I do, I do."
Petrie had flown back home, crying the whole way he flew. He had hidden himself in a secluded spot in the back of the cave he and his family lived in, and now he was bawling his eyes out as Topps' words burned in his head. He felt as if he had lost all hope of seeing his uncle again during his lifetime after hearing those words. He felt completely lost in his thoughts as he wept hysterically. Although he understood why his uncle had to be banished, he desperately wanted to see him again at some point before he would eventually have to make his trip to the Great Beyond. Topps' cold words had left him with plenty of doubt that Pterano would ever return, even after the five Cold Times had passed.
"Me miss you so much already, Uncle," the poor Flyer sobbed as he took heavy breaths due to his excessive crying, "What if me never see you again?"
Suddenly, he looked and saw a shadow on a nearby wall, and he knew that another Flyer had entered the cave. He secretly hoped that it would be his dear uncle, … but, to his dismay, it wasn't.
It was his mother.
Upon seeing his mother enter the secluded spot, Petrie sank his head and kept on weeping, spilling tears on the ground he was sitting on.
"Petrie, … are you alright?" she said in a gentle whisper.
The little Flyer made no reply, and he continued to bawl his eyes out. Mama Flyer couldn't bear the sad sound of his sobs and sniffles, as it just about tore her up inside, so she promptly sat next to him and gently rubbed his back to get his attention.
"Petrie, … my dear," she said soothingly.
"Ma-Mama?" Petrie wept, "Me … so so-sorry me attack Mr. Threehorn!"
"No, it's okay, son," Mama Flyer reassured him as she picked him up and placed him on her lap. "I will agree, … it was very wrong of Mr. Threehorn to say those words."
"Me never forgive him for that," sobbed Petrie, "He so mean to Uncle Pterano!"
"Now, now, sweetheart, … you will have to forgive him, eventually," admitted Mama Flyer, "How would Cera feel if you never forgave her father? She wouldn't want to be friends with you anymore."
"Me know, Mama," sniffled Petrie, "But how could Petrie get over those terrible things he say about him?"
"I can assure you, dear, that what Mr. Threehorn said was completely untrue. Pterano won't be banished from the Great Valley forever. One day, … he will be back," said Mama Flyer.
"What if Mr. Threehorn try to stop Pterano from coming back?" sobbed Petrie, "He let him burn in fire!"
Mama Flyer looked down at her son. She could tell that Topps' words had torn his spirits up, and he was beginning to doubt even more that he and his uncle would ever get reunited.
"He won't," she whispered to him, "Grandpa Longneck was very sincere when he said 'five Cold Times'."
"Five Cold Times feel way too long for Petrie to wait!" cried Petrie, "Me wish he could stay!"
"I know how you feel, dear," said Mama Flyer, "But he has to face the consequences for what he did, just like the rest of us whenever we do something wrong."
"Me feel so lonely without him, though," Petrie admitted.
"Petrie, … just because you don't have your uncle, doesn't make you lonely," assured Mama Flyer, "You have me, a caring and loving mother, … some brothers and sisters, … and you have four great friends. As long as we're all still around, Petrie, … you are never alone."
Petrie listened carefully to his mother's words, and he knew she was right. The loss of one relative didn't mean that he would lose everything. As long as those who knew him stuck by his side, there would always be happy days ahead.
"You right, … Mama," he sniffled as he tried to stop his crying.
Mama Flyer gently lifted her son so that he could hug her, and she wiped the tears off his face as she returned the hug.
"Of course I'm right, son," she said gently.
"Me love you, Mama," said Petrie as his sniffles gradually turned to hiccups leftover from his crying.
"I love you, too, dear," replied Mama Flyer, "That's my little Petrie."
Petrie faintly grinned at his mother, and he let a few happy tears slip from his eyes as he and his mother kept each other in a warm hug for several minutes.
"One day, Petrie, … your uncle will prove himself worthy of returning to the Great Valley, … and when he does, … he will be returning to you," Mama Flyer spoke gently, "You just wait, my little one."
Petrie still didn't feel so sure, but he wanted to believe his mother was right, so he hesitantly nodded his head before she set him back down.
"Now then, I think someone needs to get some sleep," said Mama Flyer.
Petrie sighed in disappointment. He couldn't possibly feel like sleeping after what he had just been through, plus he was anticipating that he would start having bad sleep stories about Pterano.
"Me no feel sleepy, Mama," he complained.
"I think you do, sweetheart," teased Mama Flyer playfully, and she grabbed her son and walked back to their nest where his siblings were sleeping.
"Me can't possibly sleep," sighed Petrie as her mother lied down and held him tightly.
"You could at least try, Petrie," said Mama Flyer as Petrie grabbed his so-called 'snuggling stick' to comfort himself, "Try thinking happy thoughts about having fun with your friends. First thing tomorrow morning, you can go back to playing with them, just like you do every day."
That was enough to get Petrie to yawn, and within a few moments he began to feel tired out.
"Maybe … me could think about me friends," he yawned as he began to close his eyes.
Mama Flyer felt proud of herself for applying that magic touch that always seemed to get her son to go to sleep. She watched intently as Petrie slowly closed his eyes and steadily fell asleep, holding his beloved snuggling stick tightly in his wings to help him sleep comfortably.
"Goodnight, Petrie," she said with a grin as she stroked his head in a soothing fashion.
"Goodnight, Mama," whispered Petrie weakly, and before long, he began snoring, an indicator that he had fallen fast asleep.
Mama Flyer continued to watch her son sleep for a few minutes as she thought about how he had reacted to his uncle's banishment, which led to his rough moment with Topps moments later. She hoped that Petrie would eventually be able to come to terms with losing his uncle so he could put this day behind him and start off fresh again.
But how could either of them have known that their troubles weren't quite over yet …
The next morning, Petrie and his mother had their breakfast next to a river so that she could continue to give him some comforting words to ensure that he would feel better. This managed to brighten up the little Flyer's mood a little more as his mother's kind and gentle words sank into his heart.
A few minutes later, Littlefoot, Cera, Ducky and Spike arrived. They all had worried looks on their faces as they found Petrie having breakfast with his mother. They had seen him crying last night as he flew home, and they were sure that he hadn't gotten over his uncle's punishment yet.
"Petrie?" Littlefoot spoke up to gain the Flyer's attention.
Petrie and his mother turned and saw Littlefoot and the others walking towards them.
"Oh, good morning, kids," greeted Mama Flyer.
"Good morning, Ms. Flyer," Ducky greeted in return, "Is Petrie feeling okay?"
"We, uh, … saw him crying last night while we were watching the Far Walkers leave," informed Littlefoot.
Petrie sighed sadly while his mother gently rubbed his back.
"He's still upset about his uncle's banishment," sighed Mama Flyer.
"I would have guessed," replied Cera, unsurprised.
"Me sad me uncle had to leave me," admitted Petrie, "But, … me happy that me at least have me friends here so that me not alone."
"We are happy to be with you, Petrie. Yep, yep, yep!" said Ducky cheerfully.
"Some of us may have lost family members before, but we still have each other, and that's what's most important," said Littlefoot.
Both of the Flyers smiled at Littlefoot's words. They both knew he was right. Sure, he may have lost his mother in such a tragic way, and Cera may have lost her mother and siblings due to Pterano's antics, but as long as they stayed together, there would be plenty of happy times in the Great Valley.
Suddenly, they were interrupted by a stern growl …
The kids looked in shock as they watched Topps suddenly appear with a furious glare. Mama Flyer gulped nervously, knowing that Petrie wouldn't be taking very kindly to Topps being in their presence after what had happened last night. Sure enough, as she looked down, she saw that Petrie was glaring at Topps. The two obviously hadn't forgiven each other just yet.
Topps then shifted his gaze over to his daughter.
"Cera, come with me at once!" he said sternly, "I'm not letting you go anywhere near Petrie!"
The kids were all startled to hear that. Why would Topps suddenly not let Cera and Petrie be anywhere near each other?
"Daddy! What are you talking about!? Petrie didn't do anything wrong!" argued Cera with shock written all over her face.
"What did Petrie do to make you suddenly dislike him?" Ducky added in agreement, "Is this just because of what his uncle did-ed?"
"Oh, I'll tell you kids what Petrie did last night!" growled Topps, "After you left to watch the Far Walkers leave, he attacked me!"
"What!?" Littlefoot, Cera and Ducky shouted in disbelief.
"Petrie would never do that!" said Littlefoot, "He's always been a very kind Flyer!"
"Well, that wasn't the case last night!" argued Topps.
"And why would he do such a thing!?" asked Cera, "He's never done that to us, even if he gets very angry sometimes!"
"Because he say bad things about Uncle Pterano!" yelled Petrie furiously, causing his friends to look at him in shock, "He call Uncle Pterano beak brain and say he wanted him banished forever! He even say he would let Pterano burn in fire!"
Littlefoot, Cera and Ducky looked at each other, not knowing how to comprehend such a thing like this. One thing was for certain, though. Pterano did not deserve to be banished forever, given that he had reformed by saving Ducky before serving his punishment, and he especially did not deserve to burn in a fire and turn into charred bones.
"Daddy! How could you say that!?" Cera shot towards her father.
"Pterano may have done bad things, but you shouldn't have to say such terrible things like that right in front of Petrie!" agreed Littlefoot, "He's our good friend, and he doesn't deserve so much pain from losing his uncle that way!"
"After all, his uncle saved-ed me from falling to my death, and he has since gained a big change of heart! There is no reason to banish him forever! No, no, no!" finished Ducky.
"Silence!" growled Topps, and the children fell silent instantly, "If I hear the word, Pterano, one more time, I swear I will impose an even bigger punishment than the one I already plan to throw!"
"Already plan to throw?" replied a confused Cera.
"Now, Mr. Threehorn!" Mama Flyer stepped in, "I already told you last night! There's no need for any such punishment just because Petrie attacked you! He is my child, and only I have the right to punish him whenever he falls out of line!"
"Unless it's one that involves someone else's family!" Topps argued.
"So!?" Mama Flyer went on, "Perhaps if you hadn't said those vulgar words about my brother last night, Petrie wouldn't have attacked you! He misses his uncle dearly, and you've crushed his spirits! My poor child is suffering partially because of you!"
"That's not the point!" Topps retorted, "The point is that I find it distasteful for any child to attack someone else's family members, especially to families of their closest friends! It makes them a bad influence in the Great Valley!"
The kids all gasped just as Petrie stood up and glared at Topps threateningly. Littlefoot could tell they were all in a bad situation. He could remember accidentally splashing Topps with water all because Hyp had bullied them, and Topps had subsequently banned Cera from being anywhere near her friends. Now, they were sure that history was about to repeat itself.
Everyone turned to Petrie, who was gritting his teeth at Topps as he walked towards him.
"You think me bad influence!?" the little Flyer screamed.
"My son is not a bad influence!" Mama Flyer shouted at Topps, "Just because he made one simple mistake, doesn't make him a bad influence! He is usually not like this!"
"Your point!?" argued Topps.
"You are triggering a bad side of him that is normally never let out!" finished Mama Flyer.
Topps looked towards Petrie again and saw that he was still glaring hatefully at him.
"The way I see it, punishment is most definitely in order!" the Threehorn declared.
"For the last time, Mr. Threehorn, I am the only one who can punish him! He is not your child!" Mama Flyer reminded Topps once more.
"I would take big delight in banning Petrie from being anywhere near any of you children for a whole month!" shouted Topps.
All of the children, even Petrie, along with Mama Flyer, gasped in horror. None of them could have seen this coming. They knew Topps would often give them quite harsh punishments, but never had they heard of one this harsh. It seemed that any hope Petrie had of feeling happy again had been thrown away by the same Threehorn whom had discredited his uncle and insulted him last night.
"I shall be informing the other grownups about this immediately!" Topps continued, and he turned to his daughter, "Cera, come with me at once!"
But before the Threehorns could leave, Grandma and Grandpa Longneck suddenly appeared.
"Alright! What's all this fuss about!?" called Grandpa Longneck, "Are you trying to separate the group of children again, Mr. Threehorn!?"
"What!? Wouldn't you agree with me that all of these children deserve to spend some time away from Petrie for a while!?" Topps growled, "You saw what he did to me last night!"
"He did it because … YOU … offended him!" argued Grandma Longneck, "Just because you two got into a heated argument, doesn't mean that … ALL … of the children should be punished!"
"Just look at those innocent children!" added Grandpa Longneck sympathetically, "None of them did anything wrong!"
"Except for Petrie!" roared Topps, "I want to see him banished to his little Flyer cave!"
"I do not agree!" came another voice.
The dinosaurs looked and saw Mama Swimmer soaking in some water from the river.
"My daughter can always find a way to calm Petrie down in times of need, and if they were split apart for a long enough period, things would get way out of hand!" she spoke in defense of her daughter's best friend, "He needs her! She needs to be able to provide him comfort at a time like this! Don't you understand that!?"
"Petrie does not deserve to be separated from all of his friends for a whole month!" Mama Flyer agreed, "As long as he has his friends around, he's always his kind, good-natured self! I will not allow you to punish my son in such a cruel way!"
Seeing that everyone had valid points to make, Topps knew he had lost, but he did NOT want to allow Petrie to escape red-handed.
"Fine!" he finally spoke, "I will spare Petrie from my original punishment."
The children cheered, but it was cut short by Topps' next word …
"However," he began, and the kids fell silent again, "I will not let him go unpunished for attacking me last night!"
Petrie felt his heart shatter as he heard those words, and he sniffled as his beak shook, indicating that he felt ready to cry, regardless of whatever punishment Topps would give him. He knew he would have to accept it, whatever it was.
"I will not allow Cera and Petrie to be anywhere near each other for the next three weeks!" Topps spoke firmly.
"But Daddy!?" Cera began to argue, but her father shut her up.
"No buts, young lady!" growled Topps sternly, "You and Petrie are not allowed to see each other for the next three weeks, effective immediately, and that's final!"
Cera looked at Petrie, and she saw the sad, guilty expression on his face. She couldn't help but feel sorry for him, even though he had attacked her father.
"Well now, I think everyone can settle down, knowing that at least some of the children can provide Petrie with comfort in a time of need," said Grandpa Longneck.
"Definitely," agreed Mama Swimmer, "The poor kid's gonna need it."
"We are all sorry, Petrie, for what you've had to go through lately," sympathized Grandma Longneck, "We want you to know that, despite what your uncle has done, we are all wishing you the best, just as much as our children are. We all want to help you get over this rough time so you can start fresh again."
Petrie felt rather speechless as he looked into the eyes of Littlefoot's grandparents and Ducky's mother. Their expressions looked so sincere, and he couldn't help but shed a few tears from his eyes. He was happy to have gained the support of most of his friends' families after what he had been through over the past twelve hours.
The Flyer then turned to his mother, and she winked at him while lifting him for a hug.
Littlefoot, Ducky and Spike walked up to their emotionally hurt Flyer friend and smiled at him.
"We will always be by your side, Petrie," Littlefoot spoke kindly, "We would hate for you to feel so alone after everything we've been through."
"You do not deserve to be left alone, Petrie," added Ducky, "We will keep you company during this hard time for you. Yep, yep, yep."
The grownups smiled down at the children, except for Topps, who was once again eyeing Petrie angrily. He wouldn't forgive him for quite a while after what he had done last night, even if he, himself, was the one who had started the argument.
"Come, Cera," he said to his daughter.
Cera was about to say something to Petrie, but her father pulled her away before she could say a word. Topps then turned back to Petrie one more time.
"And you!" he growled, "Stay away from me and my daughter! Three weeks ought to be enough for you to learn some manners! If you EVER attack me again, I'll banish you and your entire family to the Mysterious Beyond so you can join your good-for-nothing uncle! Is that clear!?"
"Whatever," Petrie murmured as he glared at Topps one last time before turning away, cursing under his breath.
Topps gasped in disbelief after hearing that, and he felt ready to snap at Petrie again for his unfriendly attitude.
"Why, you, insolent, little b-," he began roaring at Petrie, just about scaring the other children into thinking that he was going to lunge an attack on him.
"AHEM!" the other adults all intervened as they eyed the Threehorn with stern looks on their faces.
"That's enough yelling at Petrie, Mr. Threehorn!" scolded Grandpa Longneck just before Topps caught yet another glance of Petrie glaring at him hatefully as the fingers on his left hand had closed into a fist, looking as if the Flyer was ready to knock him out for the insults he had thrown at him and his uncle last night.
That was enough to convince Topps that enough was enough, and, unable to bear being anywhere near Petrie any longer, the grumpy Threehorn turned away and left, dragging Cera with him, while Mama Flyer gently soothed Petrie to get him to calm down.
"Don't listen to him, Petrie," Grandma Longneck assured the young Flyer, "We may not agree that you should have attacked him, but you do have every right to be bitter towards him after what he said last night."
"It was completely wrong of him to say those things about your uncle," agreed Grandpa Longneck, "Don't you worry about him, though. My wife and I will try to put some sense into his head one day real soon."
"Hope you don't mean it in such a serious way," Mama Swimmer replied.
"Lecturing him, to be specific, Mrs. Swimmer," Grandma Longneck pointed out, "None of our children should have to have bad things about any of their relatives being shoved right at their faces like what poor Petrie had to go through last night."
"I agree with you completely," said Mama Flyer, "My poor son is worried that he may never see his uncle again, and Mr. Threehorn should not have broken his spirits the way he did."
"As much as we may agree that what many of the things Pterano did was wrong, it was very absurd of Mr. Threehorn to crush Petrie's little heart," said Mama Swimmer.
"Anyways," said Grandma Longneck, "We must be going. We hadn't quite been able to start eating our breakfast when we heard Mr. Threehorn ranting over here."
"Well, children, we'll leave you to it, then," added Grandpa Longneck.
"Bye, Grandma! Bye, Grandpa!" Littlefoot called as his grandparents turned to leave.
"See you later, Littlefoot!" the two elderly Longnecks replied before they slowly disappeared back to their breakfast spot.
"Petrie," said Mama Swimmer, gaining the young Flyer's attention, "We just want you to know that despite what your uncle did in the past, we will do our best to support you during this difficult time. We are all very fond of you, little one, and we want you to remember that you don't have just friends, but you have us to turn to, too, if you ever need to ask us anything."
Petrie smiled at Mama Swimmer just as Ducky pulled him in for a tight hug. The Flyer blushed as his best friend hugged him.
Mama Swimmer smiled as she watched her daughter hugging Petrie. She knew how close the two were to each other.
She winked at the Flyer before turning away, "I'd best be going now. I'll see you this afternoon, Ducky and Spike!"
"Okay, Mama!" Ducky called back as her mother left.
After what felt like a long time, the young Swimmer finally released her grip on Petrie, and the Flyer gasped several times to regain his breath.
"Me almost … couldn't breathe, Ducky," he panted.
"Sorry, Petrie," the Swimmer apologized, "But how else could I express that I care deeply about you? After all, you are my best friend! Yep, yep, yep! And we will stay by your side so that you will not have to be alone. Right, Spike?"
Spike nodded and murmured in agreement.
"Will you be okay if I let you run off with your friends for a little while?" Mama Flyer asked her son.
Petrie looked at his mother, and he nodded his head. He felt so eager to play with his friends again.
"Okay, dear," smiled Mama Flyer, "I'll call for you when it's time for lunch, okay?"
"Okay, Mama," agreed Petrie.
"Have fun, kids!" Mama Flyer said happily, and she took to the skies and flew back to her cave.
Once his mother was gone, Petrie turned to his three friends who could keep him company. Littlefoot looked a little sad that Cera had to be excluded, but Petrie gave him a reassuring look. It told them that as long as he had at least one friend to be with him, he would feel as happy as he could be during a time like this.
"So, Petrie, wanna play 'Catch the Tree Star'?" offered Littlefoot.
"I am in!" Ducky answered immediately, with Spike letting out some simple moans that couldn't be understood by anyone but his foster sister, "I guess Spike doesn't want to play. Do you wanna play, Petrie?"
Petrie could see that Littlefoot and Ducky couldn't possibly play a game without him, so he nodded his head and replied, "Count me in!"
Littlefoot grabbed a tree star from a nearby tree, and he, along with Ducky and Petrie, began playing their fun game of "Catch the Tree Star," while Spike drew his attention to a line of grass by the river and began eating it.
Before long, Petrie found that he was enjoying himself tremendously by having some of his closest friends by his side. The company they provided him seemed to be enough for him to get his long-lost uncle out of his mind for the time, being. He even started to forget what Topps had coldly said to him last night, although the fact that Cera wasn't with them seemed to almost remind him of the argument that had ensued after Pterano left the Great Valley.
That very night, once he had returned home, Petrie sat out in the open space in front of his family's cave to look up at the night sky. A short while later, he heard a certain voice echoing in his head, … one that he knew very well …
"Someday, I shall return to the Great Valley, and we'll get to be together again, Petrie."
"Pterano?" Petrie whispered as he stared up at the sky, hearing his uncle's voice within himself.
"Once I have proven myself worthy of returning to the Great Valley, I shall return to you, young Petrie," Pterano's voice echoed in his head.
"Me will miss you so much, Uncle Pterano," the little Flyer spoke softly as he gazed down at his feet, tears streaming from his eyes as he thought of his uncle.
"Until then, … please … cherish the time you spend with your dear old friends," came Pterano's voice in Petrie's head, "As long as you do that, … you will never truly be alone."
Petrie sat still for a moment and thought deeply about the words he had just imagined his uncle saying to him. While it may have seemed as if having just friends and only part of a family didn't feel enough when compared to having his uncle around, even given Pterano's unacceptable antics, he realized that friends could always make his life feel complete as long as they stayed together in the Great Valley. A family could only make up part of a kid's life, but having his friends around to keep him company would guarantee to fill the empty space in his heart that had been left vacant by his uncle's banishment. He still didn't feel sure if he could wait for five Cold Times to see his uncle again, nor was he sure that Pterano could survive five Cold Times in the Mysterious Beyond, but there was nothing that could be done to change the other grownups' minds, especially Topps', whom had wanted Pterano banished for life.
"Uncle Pterano, … me will cherish every moment me share with me friends … until you return," the child spoke towards the sky, "Wherever you are, … me hope you okay."
"I will be just fine, my dear nephew," Pterano's voice echoed in his mind, "You have a good time with all of your good friends in the Great Valley, … and one day, we will be together again. You just wait, Petrie."
"Petrie?" another voice suddenly called, startling the little Flyer.
He jumped and looked into the cave, and there was his mother, calling him to come inside.
"Mama, … y-you scare me," he stammered.
"I'm sorry, dear," Mama Flyer apologized as she sat next to her son, "I didn't mean to startle you like that. You must have been thinking very deeply, I'd imagine."
"Me hear his voice in me head," said Petrie softly as his mother wrapped an arm around his back.
"Who's voice, Petrie?" asked Mama Flyer.
"Uncle Pterano," answered Petrie.
Mama Flyer sighed sympathetically and gently tapped her son's knees three times so he would look into her eyes.
"You really miss him that bad, don't you, sweetheart?" she said kindly, "Even despite what he did?"
"Yeah," sighed Petrie sadly, "Me know Pterano do bad things, but he have change of heart."
"We all know he regrets what he's done, Petrie," said Mama Flyer, "But you can't change the past. Many of us won't be able to forget what he did during our journey to find the Great Valley, and after he had kidnapped Ducky, none of us could let him go unpunished. After all, causing harm to any of you children is what we consider … one of the worst things any dinosaur could do."
"Me know, Mama," sniffled Petrie, "But me still wish he could stay. It not completely his fault, you know. Rinkus and Sierra wanted to harm Ducky, but Pterano never mean to harm her."
"I know, dear," Mama Flyer said in a slightly stern yet gentle tone, "But the fact that he participated in such a bad act has left a scar that cannot be removed."
Petrie sighed and looked down while tears leaked from his eyes. He had run out of arguments. Nothing would bring Pterano back to the Great Valley for at least the next five Cold Times.
Mama Flyer once again tapped Petrie's knees so they could make eye contact again.
"So, … what did you hear Pterano say to you?" she asked as she looked sympathetically into his sparkling eyes which indicated tears.
Petrie sat still for a moment and remembered what he had heard his uncle's echoing voice saying to him inside his head. There was something about those words that made him feel so warm inside.
"Well, … he tell me that me should cherish every moment me spend with me friends," he began, "He also tell me that he will return one day so we can be together again."
"Once he's proven himself worthy again?" asked Mama Flyer curiously.
"Yes," confirmed Petrie.
Mama Flyer smiled down at her son in understanding.
"I may not have trusted him, Petrie, but I know that there really is some good inside of him, even at times when it doesn't show," she said.
"Me definitely know there good inside Uncle Pterano," agreed Petrie.
"Oh, I know you do," chuckled Mama Flyer, "I could swear I could hear you and the other children singing about him not so long ago."
"Oh, Mama!" said Petrie sheepishly as his cheeks blushed red in embarrassment.
"He's already proven that he's good on the inside," said Mama Flyer, "He saved your best friend from falling to her death."
"Yeah," chuckled Petrie.
"In my personal opinion, … good things happen to those who wait patiently for the best to happen," explained Mama Flyer, "If you are patient enough to wait five Cold Times for Pterano to return, then you are a very patient Flyer, and the best things will happen."
Petrie felt lost for words after hearing those wise words from his mother. As much as he kept wishing Pterano would come back, it would not come true anytime soon, but as long as he stayed patient, then time would gradually tick by, and before he knew it, his uncle would return to be with him.
"I see you're thinking about what I told you," said Mama Flyer as she looked intently at her son.
"It very good lesson, Mama," Petrie smiled, "Me always remember that."
"That's my boy," chuckled Mama Flyer, and she gently poked at her son's beak a few times, earning a few giggles from the sensations that slightly tickled him.
"Hehe!" Petrie giggled, "That tickles, Mama!"
Mama Flyer grinned at her son and nuzzled his beak softly.
"That's because I want to see a cute smile from you, my dear," she chuckled.
Petrie blushed in embarrassment as he shook off the ticklishness, and the duo couldn't help but share a brief laugh.
"Now then, I think it's time we got some shuteye," said Mama Flyer.
Petrie sighed as he looked up at the night sky one more time. Although he knew his uncle wasn't up there, since he was still alive somewhere in the Mysterious Beyond, he could still somehow feel his presence whenever he looked up at the stars.
"Patience," Petrie heard his uncle's voice echoing in his head just before he looked up at his mother.
"Okay, Mama," he said softly.
The two Flyers stood up and walked back into their cave. In their nest, all of Petrie's brothers and sisters were fast asleep, and they left a nice, small space for the two to snuggle close together.
"I love you, Mama," whispered Petrie before yawning, and he reached for his snuggling stick and wrapped his wings around it.
"I love you, too, Petrie," Mama Flyer replied as she settled down into their nest and cuddled her son in her wings, "Goodnight, dear."
"Goodnight, Mama," said Petrie weakly as he closed his eyes and was asleep within minutes.
Mama Flyer watched as her son gradually fell into a deep sleep, and soon she also closed her eyes and fell asleep herself, continuing to cradle Petrie in her arms as she slept.
And so, that wraps up my first "Land Before Time" one-shot! I had spent several days watching clips from the seventh movie and looking over the relationship between Petrie and Pterano, and this idea just suddenly spiraled into my head, so I just had to put this up.
I hope you enjoyed this story, and if you did, please review and fave!
Until next time, goodnight and good luck.