He moved across the fence to the lush grass that overlooked the stream. The day was still young, and he knew he had some time to uncover the mystery of what lay before him.
His dog rushed before him, barking as it disappeared into the tall foliage. He called after it, following with care as his feet sunk into the wet riverbank. What they’d find would leave them dumbfounded.
Luis Hernandez was your typical forty-year-old farmer from Buenos Aires, Argentina. He lived with his family away in one of the beautiful villages away from the city, enjoying all life had given him.
Luis’s life was almost perfect. Aside from having the most beautiful and supportive family one could as for, Luis had the job of his dreams. But one thing was missing.
Although every aspect of Luis’s life had fallen into place, one thing threatened to bring down what he’d worked so hard to build. His house was too small for his family, mainly after his wife delivered twins a few months past.
With everything within him, Luis scoured all available sources for an affordable house he could raise his family in. It wasn’t long before his wish was granted.
Luis managed to find the perfect fixer-upper home on the other side of their village. The neighborhood was cleaner, safer, and spacious, with gated backyards and driveways.
Luis couldn’t believe his luck when his realtor told him the house needed just a handful of repairs before his family could move in. A month later, the Hernandez family moved into their new home. They had no idea what was hiding in their backyard.
The day it all began was as typical as any other. Luis and his wife were finalizing their move into the house. They’d already brought in all the essentials they’d need to make the place a home and were expecting the last of their furniture to arrive that morning.
But although the day had been quite beautiful and quiet, something happened that immediately tore down the peace.
The family dog, Toto, fell into a frenzy as he began barking on the backyard porch. At first, Luis paid him no mind, but when the barking intensified, and the dog began jumping around, Luis knew he had to investigate.
His wife had leashed Toto to one of the porch’s poles, and Luis quickly untied him. Toto shot forward, barking as he disappeared beyond a patch of grasses. What was he chasing?
Luis gestured to his wife to hand him a baseball bat and quickly rushed after Toto. There was a stream beyond the grasses, and Luis feared the dog might’ve sensed a predator.
Living in Argentina’s evergreen hills and mountain ranges, Luis had seen several types of predators that enjoyed lurking in water bodies. His heart began thumping as he followed Toto. He didn’t know what he would find in the stream.
Luis followed Toto through the lush grass. His fingers flexed around his bat as he reached the peaceful stream cutting through his property.
Toto had jumped into the stream, which was too shallow to submerge him. He crossed to a notch on the other bank, and Luis followed. His brows knitted as he saw what his dog was barking at.
Before Toto stood an egg-shaped boulder with a tiny hole on its face. The dog barked again and charged, and out of the hole came a small rabbit that hopped away.
Of course, Toto followed, prompting Luis to call him back with a laugh. But then his sight landed back on the boulder, and he quickly realized it wasn’t what he thought it was.
Luis’s smile faded as he took note of what stood over the other side of the river. He slowly waded across to have a closer look. His breath caught as he noticed scale-like patterns on the boulder’s surface.
As any curious person would, Luis tapped the boulder with his bat. When he was confident it was not alive, he neared, his brows drawing up as he realized what he was looking at.
Luis always loved reading as a child. Among his most beloved subjects was biology, evolution to be precise. He’d read about dinosaurs and how big their eggs were.
Looking at the object before him, the only thing that seemed to make sense was that it was one of those mighty beasts’ eggs. Excited by the news, Luis turned on his knees to tell his family. If only he knew how wrong he was.
Luis called his wife and kids to look at what he and Toto had found. But he found that some family friends had visited to help with unpacking. He didn’t hesitate, quickly explaining that a dinosaur egg lay in their backyard, and he would dig it out.
Luis fetched a shovel and ran back to the stream. He quickly set to work on the egg. But as the hours passed by, something remarkable happened.
Luis had been digging for two hours when his neighbors and passers-by flocked around him. Word had gotten around that he’d found a dinosaur’s egg, and everyone wanted to see it. But the buzz attracted a different kind of audience that Luis hadn’t thought would show up.
The police soon came to the site. Most of them were curious to see what a dinosaur egg looked like. But it wasn’t until a local archeologist showed up that the truth about the object finally came to light.
Havier, a local archaeologist working on a site in the Sierra de la Ventana mountain range, was taken aback by Luis’s find. He revealed that what everyone was gawking at wasn’t a dinosaur egg but something just as impressive.
But before saying anything else, Havier asked if it was okay if he could call some associates to come and assess the credibility of the find before excitement took over.
Of course, Luis agreed. A van full of archeologists came in the next hour, and by evening, the place was swarming with government officials. What Luis had uncovered was the shell of a glyptodont, an extinct animal that lived more than 10,000 years ago.
A close cousin to the armadillo, the glyptodont had made its home in South America and parts of North America. The shell was carried off to be studied, and although the government rewarded Luis handsomely, the knowledge that he’d discovered a 10,000-year-old shell was enough reward for him.