The Velociraptor matriarch's rumbling stomach reminded her of how desperately she needed food. Her flock had been stealing through the forest all night, meticulously searching the shadows and undergrowth with their glowing eyes, but they had found nothing that would slake their hunger. Nor could they smell anything but the forest's usual musty odor. The matriarch considered giving up the hunt and bedding down for the day, but she knew that starving raptors could not sleep. Nor could they get along, for hungry raptors were quick to turn on each other. For the sake of her flock's cohesion, they had to find food before the sun came out.
The forest's chorus of chirping crickets and croaking frogs was shattered by a shrill whine followed by a reverberating thud. These sounds excited the matriarch. She knew the cry had been the death call of an Edmontosaurus and the thud had been its collapse. Wherever a large dinosaur died, there was a mountain of meat, more food than her flock had ever needed for one meal. The very thought of that melted her mouth's inside.
The raptors scurried through the palmettoes and ferns towards where the matriarch was sure the noises had come from. Eventually the matriarch could smell the appetizing aroma of spilled entrails. The stronger the scent grew, the faster she and her flock ran.
Then they halted.
A freshly killed edmontosaur did indeed lie before the raptors, but they were not alone. A Tyrannosaurus was gorging on the carcass, crunching through bone and tearing off huge mouthfuls of flesh.
The raptor matriarch's first impulse was to turn and flee back, but then her stomach rumbled again. She didn't want to avoid a big opportunity to kill her hunger once and for all, but her whole flock had to get around the tyrannosaur somehow. There were too many raptors for them to all successfully sneak towards the carcass and steal bites of meat while the big predator wasn't looking, so the stealthy option wouldn't work. Only a direct confrontation would.
Wait, had she lost her mind? The tyrannosaur could swallow her in one gulp. She may have had a whole flock behind her, but never before had they tackled a fully-grown dinosaur that was so massive. No, they to leave him alone. They had to bed with an empty stomach in the upcoming morning. And they had to tear each other to pieces in their desperation.
The matriarch would rather be swallowed whole than let that happen to her flock.
She strutted out of the underbrush towards the tyrannosaur and squawked at him. When he raised his blood-soaked muzzle from his kill to glare down at her, the raptor stamped her feet on the forest floor and flapped her feathered wings as a threat display. The tyrannosaur puffed out a gust of air through his nostrils to show his contempt. The raptor persisted, stamping and flapping at more furious rates and screeching shrilly. Opening his cavernous mouth, the tyrannosaur responded with a deafening roar that almost blew the raptor away. Yet she still would not flee.
The raptor knew that the tyrannosaur would not willingly yield to her. She had no choice but to force him away. She bit him on the snout.
Another roar escaped the tyrannosaur's gaping jaws. Flapping her wings, the raptor leapt onto his snout and slashed at it with her foreclaws. The rest of her flock erupted from the bushes screeching and joined her in pouncing onto the giant beast.
The tyrannosaur thrashed his head side to side. The raptor matriarch clung on, her claws plunging deeper into his flesh. He thrust his snout upward so that her back crashed into an overhanging bough. Pain burned her spine. She released her foreclaws.
Another sideward thrash of the tyrannosaur's head sent her flying off. She collided with a tree trunk and slid down it. The rough bark grazed her back, reddening her feathers. Her strength and wrath bled out as she descended to the ground. Were she to make another attack, she would be killed. All the matriarch could do was watch her flock fare better in savaging him.
The rest of the raptors had striped the tyrannosaur's hide with scars, yet he did not relent. He stomped and shook his body. He flung off raptors. He tore them off with his jaws and chomped down on them. And he crushed them underfoot. Raptor after raptor died until there were none left. The tyrannosaur, though coated with blood now, had triumphed, and he declared this with a great roar.
The matriarch was horrified that her whole flock had been killed. She was all alone now, and it was all her fault. A few puny Velociraptors were not enough to take down or even intimidate Tyrannosaurus, the gargantuan king of the forest. What a stupid idea she had come up with! And how tragically ironic it was that, in her zeal to help her flock survive, she had caused its destruction.
The raptor disappeared into the forest in shame while the tyrannosaur continued his meal.