The dinosaur

El dinosaurio (The dinosaur) is a flash fiction written by the guatemalteco writer of Honduran origin Augusto Monterroso, published as a part of the book Obras completas (y otros cuentos), in 1959. It is considered one of shortest stories in Spanish,[1] and its whole text is the following:

The Dinosaur
by Augusto Monterroso
Original titleEl Dinosaurio
Genre(s)Short story
Published inObras completas (Y otros cuentos)
Publication date1959

Cuando despertó, el dinosaurio todavía estaba allí.

Meaning: When he woke, the dinosaur was still there.

It is a simple sentence that forms a flash story, probably the most famous of all those published by Monterroso throughout his career. It was considered the shortest conte in the Spanish language, until the publication of another three works while the 21st century: one in 2005, El emigrante, by Luis Felipe Lomelí;[2] other, in 2006, Luis XIV, by Juan Pedro Aparicio, and in 2015, Epitafio para un microrrelatista, by Marcelo Gobbo.[3]

Impact in the Mexican popular cultureEdit

In the history of Mexico, the Institutional Revolutionary Party remained in power for more than seven decades. It was compared to a "Dinosaur" by commentators due to the length of its time in power; and as such the El dinosaurio poem was often used to mock them.[4]


  1. ^ "Augusto Monterroso. Biografía". Centro Virtual Cervantes. Instituto Cervantes. Retrieved 20 October 2013.
  2. ^ "Escriben cuento más corto que "El dinosaurio"". Universia (in Spanish). Retrieved 20 May 2015.
  3. ^ Gobbo, Marcelo (2015). Mini. Vela al Viento Ediciones Patagónicas. ISBN 978-9871638-76-5.
  4. ^ "Sobre el regreso de los dinosaurios". Archived from the original on 28 February 2014. Retrieved 18 July 2012.


  • Varios (2009). Cuentos breves para leer en la cama [Short stories to read in bed.] (in Spanish). Madrid: Santillana Ediciones Generales SL. ISBN 978-84-663-2340-6.