Our living room transformed into a landscape of destruction. In one corner laid the carcasses of dog toys. In another, the trucks that had been sent in as a rescue team. Mountains of Legos blocked the main path, and from the side of the couch to under its crevices ran a stream of unidentified liquid, murky like milk.
This was the age of the mordors, a spectacular creature that moved in herds, usually five species at a time if we could find all of them. Sometimes, they split up for a hunt. They loved leaving their footprints in Playdough and cookie dough, equally, and would regularly migrate from the living room to the car. They didn’t go into day care for fear of scaring the other kids, but their legend traveled far. Even the carinivorous T-Rex occassionally attempted watching a blueberry or a kid’s finger, but with a hard plastic exterior, it couldn’t chomp very hard.
They also had a language of their own, based on various roars. Their collective name came from the phrase “More Dinosoaurs” – a colloquial term that morphed into mordors.
“Big mordors,” their two-year old keeper would say as he searched the house. The day he discovered we owned a copy of Jurassic Park he insisted on watching it. We waited several months, substituting in animated favorites of The Land Before Time and The Good Dinosaur. Each survived one sitting, but apparently lacked the realistic take he was looking for. Dinosaurs were real in his mind, just like the creatures the came into our yard.
We visited the science museum uncovering replicated bones in the sand and admiring the reconstructed skeleton, life-size but hollow.
Then on a night the boys had time at home, alone, they decided to watch the start of Jurassic Park – not the whole movie, and certainly not the scarier scenes, but from the beginning came the birth of the dinosaurs. The mordors lived on, at least for another time in our household, until the idea will inevitably and eventually become extinct.