The Mystery of the T-Rex Fossil

Welcome to Story Quest, a weekly podcast where we bring your stories to life!

In this episode we bring Albert’s story The Mystery of the T-Rex Fossil – to life.

If you have a story idea, you could be like Hari and have it turned into a Story Quest. All you have to do is send us your story idea here. We know you have the best imaginations and together we can create the most brilliant stories!

That’s just what Hari did. You can watch the story they suggested come to life below, plus they tell us all about the inspiration behind the story at the end.

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Read along to The Mystery of The T-Rex Fossil

You can read along to the story while you listen. Just follow the text below. Don’t worry if you find a word tricky – you can pause the video whenever to give yourself more time.

The Mystery of the T Rex Fossil 

In the ethereal light of the museum’s tall windows a rumble SHOOK through the walls making the glass shake – HOWLS could be heard, SHRIEKS on the wind and an icy CHILL – this was no ordinary museum it was haunted.  VERY haunted.   

We’ll be back there in a moment but right now we’re in the quieter surroundings of an antiques shop with Tipo.  He’s just a kid who likes old things, so he loved a good mooch about in Den’s Antiques.   

There was an area of the shop for the most precious things of all under lock and key but Topi didn’t care about those – he just liked to rummage through the old books, and trinkets and chat to the owner, Terry.  Terry didn’t mind visitors as long as they didn’t overstay their welcome and get in the way of his naps. 

One of his other favourite places was the local museum.  Maddening Museum was a great place to visit – as long as you didn’t mind the small fact that it was haunted.  And I mean REALLY haunted. 

You didn’t even have to wait for the dead of night for the strange happpenings to start.  The halls echoed with moans and shrieks, lumbering vibrations which ran through the corridors and halls…  There were strange flickering shadows as if something had darted past you…  

I mean it didn’t stop people visiting because hey, a haunted museum sounds pretty cool, right?  I’d go. Well.  I’d probably go.  As long as it wasn’t dark.  Anyway. 

But the head curator a very clever scientist called Dawkings was TIRED of it all.  I mean he had to work there every day and it was enough to drive you BONKERS. But there wasn’t much he could do and hey, people still came to visit and learn about the past so that was something. 

The largest dinosaur skeleton in the museum was of course the T Rex.  Who doesn’t love a T Rex?  It was considered to be one of the best most perfect specimens in the world – except for one small thing.  Well.  One big thing actually.  It was missing one sharp pointy bit.  Inside his jaws the largest of the fossil incisors was missing, thought to have been stolen many years before but hey it was still a T Rex and people would come from far and wide, all across the country to come and see it.  I say “it” but people called him Toothy. 

Topi was visiting the museum for the bajillioth time.  He felt like he had a lot in common with Toothy on this particular day because he too had lost a tooth.  As you do when you’re about 8 or 9. 

He thought about this as the Curator joined him.  They were pretty good mates as Topi was always at the museum.  They got on so well that the Curator even gave him the code for the special door of the rooms where the most precious fossils were kept.  As well as a bunch of offices and boring stuff. 

Topi had teeth on his mind.  “I don’t think dinosaurs get money under their pillows for losing teeth do they?” he said to the curator 

“Doubt it.  There’s no evidence of pillows in the Late Cretacous.  Or at least no credible evidence.” 

“So if he lost his tooth he’d be pretty sad right?  I mean it would have been a really big important tooth and how are you meant to be a proper T Rex without it?  It would proper put you on the rampage?” 

The curator looked at Topi curiously. 

“So… and this is just an idea… What if all the noise and thundering, all the haunted shenanegans is  because some sort of ghost of Toothy IS on the rampage?” said the little boy. 

“The ghost of Toothy?” The curator looked as if a dinosaur ghost was a ridiculous idea and then remembered he worked in a haunted museum and anything was possible. 

“But we don’t know where the fossil tooth went – it’s been a mystery for years now.  But hang on – I wonder when THE HAUNTING STARTED?” he said looking as if not just a penny was dropping but a whole bag of coins. 

He ran as fast as he could to his office, rushed to the bookshelf and started thumbing through the pages of an old book – the History of Maddening Museum… “Here we go…. The hauntings started…” 


It suddenly seemed as if Topi had hit the nail on the head.  Or hit the tooth on the… actually never mind.   

“If we find the tooth the hauntings will finally stop!” He said to no one in particular, euphoric at the thought that he might finally get some peace and quiet. 

“That won’t be good for business you do realise?” said his boss the next day. 

“Yes but Toothy’s not happy – I’d be a rubbish curator if I didn’t look after my dinosaurs!” 

His boss thought perhaps he was taking the job a bit too seriously but agreed that it was worth a try. 

So they started the campaign to find the fossil and offered a massive reward to anyone who could track down the elusive claw. 

They offered so much money that palentologists, – and even normal people – from all over the world started the search – rummaging through old collections, hunting through police records of thefts, and even looking down the back of the sofa (palentologists lose stuff too) 

One very grand explorer declared that HE had found the tooth – and everyone got very excited but then when they ran a DNA test on it it turned out it was actually just an old tooth from an unusually large puma.   

Someone else tried to pass off a tooth which turned out to be made of play doh. I mean THAT didn’t fool anyone for a moment.  The search continued to no avail and then shrieks and thundering roars and rumbling steps continued at the haunted museum. 

Topi didn’t have anywhere to look – or so he thought.  On one particular day he was doing what he liked to do, thumbing through a book with all the latin names for dinosaurs.  He was kind of a dino nerd.  Nothing wrong with that. 

Then he read something very interesting.  Very interesting indeed. 

He ran as fast as he could to Den’s Antiques shop bursting through the door and making the bell almost fall of its hinges. 

“Why is the shop called Den’s Antiques – your name’s not Den!” he exclaimed. 

“No it’s not.  I don’t know – My grandfather chose it – Grandad Bob.” 

But DENS means tooth in Latin!  Why would you call a shop after a TOOTH? Could it be a clue?” 

Well, my father’s father opened the shop over a hundred years ago.  He was certainly an… ahem INTERESTING character.  Full of mischief!” 

Topi started to search around the shop, “The tooth!  It must be here!” 

But nothing could be found – “Unless – the locked cabinet!” 

“Well bless my soul no one’s asked to see inside that for years” and probably because of this it took a VERY long time for Mr to find a key.  Topi hopped excitedly from foot to foot until a large chain with jangling keys was located in the fifteenth place Mr had looked. 

With tremnbling hands he opened the cabinet.  Dust plumed out as the door creaked open…. Terry tried to hide the contents but Topi could glimpse glittering rings and silver medals was one very large fossil claw.  LIKE YOU’D FIND ON A T-REX!!! 

“We’ve solved the mystery!” Topi exclaimed in glee! 

But then Topi felt a bit sad.  “But if they found it was here – you might get into all sorts of trouble.  After all your grandfather must have stolen it…” 

Terry nodded quickly. 

“That’s certainly true, and I don’t want the fuss.  I quite like having a quiet life.  Too much interest in me and I’d have er… no time for naps.” 

Topi thought Terry looked a tiny bit shifty but together they hatched a plan.   

Back at the museum, Topi tiptoed into the corridor – using the code that Dawkings had shared he smuggled himself along the corridor…. Into the office. 

The tooth was heavy in his bag and he lifted it onto the curator’s desk and then ran as faast as he could out of the museum. 

Well.  NO ONE was more surprised than Dawkings at the tooth magically appearing.  He delightedly installed it back in Toothy’s chops and almost at once a sense of calm descended, a golden shimmering light suffusing every corner.  And the hauntings stopped that very day. 

And whilst some people missed the excitement the curator was delighted – and after all, it was his job to keep his dinosaurs happy wasn’t it?   

And Topi kept Terry’s secret – and although he begged to have a look in the locked cabinet once again, Terry kept it locked.  I wonder what ELSE might have been inside?! 

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