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Odes

Ode to Raptors (Yes, that kind)

Post Script: I am ecstatic that the Jurassic Park/World now features a returning, named dinosaur character that is a raptor (Blue). And Magic: the Gathering has raptors that are legitimately, and much more accurately, feathered!

            Raptors of the dinosaur variety are the ultimate predators: smart, fast, sharp teeth, claws, extra-bonus-killing claw on each foot, pack hunters. In my mind each is a whirling frenzy of natural weapons. As we have learned more, they even have feathers, which at least gives a chance that they were pretty too. They captivated my mind from a young age. Deinonychus was the first of the raptors to lure me away from the sauropods. Its largest claw to body size ration and ability to presumably kick above its head got into my head of fascination with wickedly sharp talons and the acrobatics of gymnastics. From there, came books and facts about the raptor family. One day, my dad started reading Raptor Red aloud to me without asking if I was interested. I started out distracted but was drawn in my the story of drama of the raptor and the world that was painted by the author. I have never been so engrossed by a book with zero dialogue.

Then came Jurassic Park (the movie). After getting through the pause-play advancement frame by frame through the entire move to avoid the jumpy parts scaring us, raptors were again on top. The ultimate predators that were hinted at but never seen for most of the movie. The last to appear and apparently hardest to escape, they showed all of the intelligence and ferocity to rival even the brute strength of the Tyrannosaurus Rex. They remained central through the movies in this series, and are the most anticipated set of bad guys for me throughout.

            Raptors remain one of the most idolized parts of my childhood. I used to pretend I was one of these keen predators stalking the jungles of the Jurassic and Cretaceous. I keep a few of the Jurassic Park raptor toys along with my dragons as a reminder of who I was as a kid. They contributed to a large extent to the amalgamation that are the dracs. The remarkable abilities of raptors are combined with some magic to create the cyclone raptors that stalk the ultimate storms of the planet Zy. I lend an ear to dinosaur news now mostly in the hopes of hearing something more of the raptors as they evolve from my youth and imagination.