Mary Pope Osborne
Dinosaurs Before Dark (Magic Tree House #1)
Chapter 1 Into the Woods
"Help! A monster!" said Annie.
"Yeah, sure," said Jack. "A real monster in Frog Creek, Pennsylvania."
"Run, Jack!" said Annie. She ran up the road.
This is what he got for spending time with his seven-year-old sister.
Annie loved pretend stuff. But Jack was eight and a half. He liked real things.
'Watch out, Jack! The monster's coming! Race you!"
"No, thanks," said Jack.
Annie raced alone into the woods.
Jack looked at the sky. The sun was about to set.
"Come on Chapter 2 The Monster, Annie! It's time to go home!" But Annie had disappeared.
Jack waited. No Annie.
"Annie!" he shouted again. "Jack! Jack! Come here!"
Jack groaned. "This better be good," he said.
Jack left the road and headed into the woods. The trees were lit with a golden late-afternoon light.
"Come here!" called Annie.
There she was. Standing under a tall oak tree. "Look," she said. She was pointing at a rope ladder.
The longest rope ladder Jack had ever seen.
"Wow," he whispered.
The ladder went all the way up to the top of the tree.
There--at Chapter 2 The Monster the top--was a tree house. It was tucked between two branches.
"That must be the highest tree house in the world," said Annie.
"Who built it?" asked Jack. "I've never seen it before."
"I don't know. But I'm going up," said Annie.
"No. We don't know who it belongs to," said Jack.
"Just for a teeny minute," said Annie. She started up the ladder.
"Annie, come back!"
She kept climbing.
Jack sighed. "Annie, it's almost dark. We have to go home."
Annie disappeared inside the tree house. "An-nie!"
Jack waited a moment. He Chapter 2 The Monster was about to call again when Annie poked her head out of
The tree house window.
"Books!" she shouted.
"It's filled with books!"
Oh, man! Jack loved books.
He pushed his glasses into place. He gripped the sides of the rope ladder, and up he went.
Chapter 2 The Monster
Jack crawled through a hole in the tree house floor.
Wow. The tree house was filled with books. Books everywhere. Very old books with dusty covers. New books with shiny, bright covers.
"Look. You can see far, far away," said Annie. She was peering out the tree house window.
Jack looked Chapter 2 The Monster out the window with her. Down below were the tops of the other trees. In the distance he saw the Frog Creek library.
The elementary school. The park.
Annie pointed in the other direction.
"There's our house," she said.
Sure enough. There was their white wooden house with the green porch. Next door was their neighbor's black dog, Henry. He looked very tiny.
"Hi, Henry!" shouted Annie.
"Shush!" said Jack. "We're not supposed to be up here."
He glanced around the tree house again.
"I wonder who owns all these books, he said. He noticed bookmarks were Chapter 2 The Monster sticking out of many of them.
"I like this one," said Annie. She held up a book with a castle on the cover.
"Here's a book about Pennsylvania," said Jack. He turned to the page with the book-mark.
"Hey, there's a picture of Frog Creek in here," said Jack. "It's a picture of these woods!"
"Oh, here's a book for you," said Annie. She held up a book about dinosaurs. A blue silk bookmark was sticking out of it.
"Let me see it." Jack set down his back-pack and grabbed the Chapter 2 The Monster book from her.
"You look at that one, and I'll look at the one about castles," said Annie.
"No, we better not," said Jack. "We don't know who these books belong to."
But even as he said this, Jack opened the dinosaur book to where the bookmark was. He couldn't help himself.
He turned to a picture of an ancient flying reptile. A Pteranodon.
He touched the huge bat-like wings.
"Wow," whispered Jack. "I wish I could see a Pteranodon for real.
" Jack studied the picture of the creature soaring through the sky.
"Ahhh!" screamed Annie.
"What Chapter 2 The Monster?" said Jack.
"A monster!" Annie cried. She pointed to the tree house window.
"Stop pretending, Annie," said Jack.
"No, really!" said Annie.
Jack looked out the window.
A giant creature was gliding above the treetops! He had a long, weird crest on the back of his head. A skinny beak. And huge bat-like wings!
It was a real live Pteranodon!
The creature curved through the sky. He was coming straight toward the tree house. He looked like a glider plane!
The wind began to blow.
The leaves trembled.
Suddenly the creature soared up. High into the sky. Jack Chapter 2 The Monster nearly fell out the window trying to see it.
The wind picked up. It was whistling now.
The tree house started to spin.
"What's happening?" cried Jack.
"Get down!" shouted Annie.
She pulled him back from the window.
The tree house was spinning. Faster and faster.
Jack squeezed his eyes shut. He held on to Annie.
Then everything was still.
Jack opened his eyes. Sunlight slanted through the window.
There was Annie. The books. His backpack.
The tree house was still high up in an oak tree.
But it wasn't the same oak tree. in Chapter 2 The Monster an oak