A fruitful experience

“I have an idea!” hissed Derek as he shook Din Din from his slumber. “Derek, go away…it’s Saturday! Let me sleep!” mumbled Din Din as he turned over in his huge rock shelf which served as his bed.

“I have a fantastic idea, but we can’t nodo it alone!” insisted Derek.

“We?” asked Din Din groggily. “Who’s ‘we’?”

“Us,” chimed Dave and Don his youngest brothers. Despite himself and the temptation to give in to a few more hours of sleep, Din Din opened his eyes. His three brothers were gathered around his bunk. Sighing he relented, “What is it?”

Derek’s eyes lit up, “We are going to start a lemonade business!”

“Right next to Mom’s chocolate shop,” added Dave.

“It’s sure to be popular because of the heat. We will earn ourselves and have more items to barter,” finished Don triumphantly.

“And where will we get the lemons from?” asked Din Din, sitting up.

“From the trees beyond our backyard,” quipped Derek.

“Those trees fall in our neighbour, the oviraptors’ backyard,” reminded Din Din.

“We have already taken permission and have promised a box of mom’s chocolates in exchange of a bagful of lemons,” replied Dave smugly.

“You guys seem to have thought of everything,” remarked Din Din. “I’m impressed. Then why do you need me if you have everything sorted out?”

“We brothers have to stick together,” explained Derek defensively. “And I know if the four of us do something it is sure to be successful.” After a pause he added sheepishly, “Also, we need you to take permission from Mom and Dad.”

Din Din grinned, now fully awake. The next day, the four brothers woke up early to cook a Sunday breakfast for their parents and grandparents.

“Oh my!” cried Mrs. Dee in delight as she saw the dining table laid out neatly with steaming bowls of hot barley porridge and coconut shells filled with lemonade. After the family had enjoyed a hearty breakfast, Din Din cleared his throat. “Mom, Dad? Grandmamma, Grandfather? How did you like the lemonade?” he inquired politely.

“Very nice!” answered Mrs. Dee heartily. “Refreshing!”

“Well, do you think it is good enough to be sold?” asked Derek. The four elders at the table looked at each other.

“We wish to start selling lemonade,” explained Din Din.

“Why?” asked Mr. D in his solemn manner.

“It’s very hot and a cool drink would be the ideal thing to help creatures beat the heat,” elaborated Derek.

“I don’t think you would have time to devote to this because of school. Din Din, you also have your garden to occupy yourself…” began Mrs. Dee.

“We will do it on the weekends,” conceded Din Din. “It will be a great learning experience.”

“I think we should let them,” said Grandfather who had quietly been watching the conversation unfold. “It won’t do any harm. In fact, it will teach them how to work hard and become organized.”

Now that Grandfather had spoken, the four brothers knew that no one else would argue. They surrounded Grandfather and enveloped him in hugs.

“Thank you, thank you,” they cried in unison jumping up and down with joy! “So when do you start?” asked Grand-mamma.

“Next Saturday!” replied Din Din. The week passed in collecting the lemons as well as empty coconut shells in which they were to serve the drink. They decided to charge a piece of fruit in exchange for a drink of lemonade. “It should be affordable,” maintained Din Din.

Their parents agreed to give them half of the counter of Mrs. Dee’s Chocolate Shop kiosk which was just outside their cave home.

On Friday night, the lemons were squeezed and stored in ice baskets which Mrs. Dee used to store her chocolates. Mr. D used to travel up to the Northern Mountains every week to get blocks of ice. This ice was kept in the furthest part of the cave which was very cool, to prevent Mrs. Dee’s chocolates from melting. He had to make two more trips each week now that the weather was getting warmer because the ice melted faster.

On Saturday morning, Din Din, Derek, Dave and Don were up at day break and before long they had set up their earthenware jugs of lemonade on the kiosk counter.

“What do we have here?” asked their trio of stegosaurus neighbours. “Look’s tempting. Can we have one each?”

The brothers busied themselves and very soon three coconut shells with chilled lemonade were served.

“This is delicious!” exclaimed one stegosaurus. “We are having a gathering of friends this afternoon. I would like to order fifteen shells of lemonade please. Here’s the advance payment,” he added giving Derek a bag of a dozen oranges.

By evening, the brothers had served fifty coconut shells of lemonade and their stock was sold out.

“Whew! This is hard work!” wheezed Derek.

“I want to sleep for a week,” exclaimed Dave as he lay sprawled on the lawn near the kiosk.

“Not yet boys! We need to sort out all the goods we have got in exchange for the lemonade,” said Din Din indicating to the pile of fruits in the corner. “Otherwise it will all rot!”

“I will request Mom to make jam out of these fruits,” suggested Derek.

“So all set for another day of business tomorrow?” asked Grandfather at the dinner table that night.

The four brothers glanced at each other. “Errr…maybe next week, Grandfather,” Derek finally answered.

“Why?” asked Mrs. Dee as she served them all mango puree for dessert.

“It was very tiring,” whined Dave.

“It’s hard work!” quipped Don.

“I don’t know how you do it every day, Mom and Dad,” remarked Din Din. “My legs were aching from standing at the counter.”

“This is not your age for doing this,” explained Mr. D kindly. “But I do believe it was a fruitful experience.”

“Fruitful!’ That it most certainly was!” joked Derek and the family laughed as they looked at the pile of fruit lying in the corner of their cave.

The Adventures of D'Land
Animated Series

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