The Case of the Missing Dinosaur Egg by June Whyte



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Chiana Ryan, PI (sort of) is deep in the middle of an exciting mystery, and everything is coming up eggs. First there’s the 120-million-year-old dinosaur egg that disappears from its stand at the museum. Then there’s the shed full of eggs she stumbles across while investigating crazy Professor T. Goodenough’s scary signs.

What do these eggs have in common? What are the strange creatures hatching from the eggs in Professor Goodenough’s shed? And how can Chiana find time to follow clues when the owner of Treehaven Riding School keeps her busy riding and looking after the horses?

Chiana and her friends are determined to crack the case, even when the clues bring them to the egg thieves themselves. Suddenly, it’s horses against motor bikes in a desperate race for survival…

Excerpt:

It was in all the papers.

‘Valuable fossilized dinosaur egg disappears from State Museum.’

There was even a blurry picture of me standing beside the giant Addyman Plesiosaur. I looked stiff and dorky. Like something from the museum displays. Like something that had been dead and stuffed for a couple of centuries.

The caption underneath read: ‘Schoolgirl stands and watches while valuable egg disappears.’

Holy catfish! What did they expect me to do? Throw on my Super-Cha cape and fly through the air to save the egg?

At least with the disappearance of the dinosaur egg I had another mystery to solve. Now I could write a second true crime story about the amazing but fictitious Private Investigator, Rebecca Turnbull and her vicious Doberman, Fang.

Earlier this year I’d won a true-crime writing competition for children under fourteen and now the online Kidlit magazine wanted to publish more of my work.

Okay. All I had to do was solve the egg-mystery and I could write another story.

Unfortunately, a couple of things stopped me from putting on my P.I. sunnies and trench-coat.

One—there was very little in the way of clues. The police said the burglars must have lassoed the egg with a near-invisible wire then hauled it up through a small hole they’d cut in the roof. After that, both egg and thieves had disappeared without a trace.

But what really got me spitting was the second problem. As we private investigators say—I couldn’t follow up on my investigations. How could I follow up on anything? For the next two weeks I’d be spending every minute of every day either shoveling food into one end of a horse or shoveling what came out the other end.

But I’m getting ahead of myself.

On arriving home from the museum, Mum was out front waiting for me. Which was unusual. Normally she’s in the kitchen getting dinner ready. Wonder what’s up? I thought as I shut the gate and walked up the path. Deep wrinkles ran up each side of Mum’s nose, jumped over her eyes and burrowed into her forehead. Hmm…guess she wasn’t waiting to give me a banana and fudge flavored ice-cream cone.

“Chiana Elizabeth Ryan!”

Uh! Oh! Definitely no ice-cream cone.

“What’s this about you getting involved in a burglary at the museum?”

“Hardly,” I protested as I walked past Mum and threw my back-pack on the hall table before zeroing in on the kitchen and the huge cottage-shaped biscuit jar. “I just saw the dinosaur egg disappear. That’s all.”

A delta cream biscuit half-way to my mouth, I stopped, puzzled. “Anyway, how did you know so soon? Did Ms Winters ring?”

And then I spotted my step-sister, Sarah, perched on a kitchen stool, glass of milk in one hand, vegemite sandwich in the other.

Of course!

Blabbermouth!

“Couldn’t wait, could you?”

“Nope!”

“Why didn’t you let me tell Mum what happened?”

Sarah shrugged—all couldn’t care less. “More fun this way,” she said then grinned this real crocodile grin and I swear her pearly white teeth looked like they’d been sharpened to vampire points.

Recently Sarah and I made a sort of truce. We’d agreed to try to get along. Try to live in the same house without blowing each other up. But six months of arguing and getting up each other’s nose made it a shaky truce.

Although the same age—almost thirteen—Sarah and I were way different. Sarah was chocolate. I was licorice-allsorts. Sarah’s fair hair hung smugly down her back like silvery silk. My thick reddish coppery hair, although long, often frizzed and stood on end like it had been plugged into an electric socket then turned up to high. Sarah dressed like Miss Teen Australia. I wore knee-less jeans and whatever T-shirt jumped out of the drawer into my hand each morning.

Ever since Sarah found out we were spending the holidays at her Aunt Kate’s, she’d been rabbiting on—talking big. You know, about what a mega horse-rider she was. Before the age of ten—which is when she’d discovered nail-polish and Sherpa fashion statements—she’d evidently spent every holiday at her Aunt Kate’s riding school.

Probably jumping her horse over sky-scrapers and leaping swollen rivers in one bound.

All I could say was: Huh! If Sarah was a whiz at this stupid horse-riding stuff—it must be dead easy.

Mum followed me into the kitchen. She stood by the door, hands on hips, one toe tapping rhythmically on the multi-colored linoleum floor.

“Chiana, I don’t want you getting involved in any more mysteries. Last time you worried me so much I ended up with a dozen new grey hairs.”

“Muuum,” I began, hooking a second delta cream from the biscuit barrel then fixing her with my best imitation of a sensible grown-up daughter. “I’m not involved in anything! All I did was stand there and watch while a dinosaur egg disappeared through the ceiling.”

  • Published by: Untreed Reads


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