A glance into the past

Din Din and his brothers had set off towards the Dark Forest early one Sunday morning.

“It has been ages since we visited the forest,” remarked Din Din. “Mom needs berries to make filling for her new batch of chocolates and I wished to meet my friends there too,” he continued.

“And we wanted to tag along,” chimed in Derek, Dave and Don in unison. Din Din looked at his brothers and grinned. “You guys can be annoying but you’re still adorable,” he teased, pushing them playfully.

As they entered the forest, the sun’s bright rays were blocked out by a thick canopy of trees. Inside, the air was damp and cool; the soil moist and musky.

“Ah! What a relief from the searing sun,” said Derek.

“I think it’s spooky,” said Don as he huddled next to Din Din.

“It’s perfectly safe. The animals here just don’t like anyone to intrude on their privacy. As long as we don’t disturb them, we will be fine. Now let’s pick those berries first, then we can explore and I can introduce you all to my friends,” Din Din suggested.

“Here’s the lake where the anacondas live,” pointed Din Din and his brothers shuddered.

“This place is spooky,” repeated Don. They finally reached the vast plantation of berry bushes and began picking the perfectly ripe ones.

“Don’t squash them,” warned Din Din. Their wicker baskets were soon laden with ruby like fruits.

“Let’s sit somewhere to eat these berries. They look scrumptious,” said Don.

“Let’s go meet the butterflies; they’re such wonderful company,” urged Din Din. “We can snack there.”

So the four made their way with their wicker baskets heaped with berries of assorted kinds near a grove of willow trees. A profusion of wild flowers grew in the area and vibrant butterflies flitted to and fro.

Din Din introduced his brothers to the charming butterflies. They spoke kindly to the dinosaurs and soon fluttered away to derive nectar from the flowers.

Don and Dave, bored with just nibbling on berries, found a mound of soil to play with.

“Let’s build a fort,” said Don.

“Yes, my fort will be bigger than yours,” challenged Dave. The two brothers used fallen branches of trees, gnarled twigs and pointed rocks to dig the moist soil.

Din Din leaned back against the bark of the willow and dozed off while Derek continued to munch on the juicy berries.

Suddenly, a scream shattered the stillness of the afternoon and startled Din Din out of his slumber. “Wha..what?” he cried jumping up. Derek, Dave and Don were staring at something which lay before them, their eyes wide in horror.

Din Din scampered over. He saw a pile of dusty bones.

“We… we were digging the soil when suddenly we felt something hard,” explained Dave, his voice shaking. “We uncovered these bones.”

“Who could have been killed here?” mumbled Derek.

“Maybe it’s a graveyard,” wailed Don. “There might even be ghosts.”

“Will you three be quiet and stop creating such a chaos!” hissed Din Din.

Just then, Grizzly the bear sauntered out of one of the nearby caves.

“Oh Din Din! Hello!” growled the bear in greeting.

Din Din’s brothers sprang up at the sight of the huge, hairy creature. “Don’t worry” consoled Din Din. “Grizzly is a good friend. Grizzly, these are my brothers.”

“What’s the reason for all this noise you all are making?” inquired Grizzly. Din Din took him to where the bones lay.

“My brothers just found these,” he explained.

“Oh!” smiled Grizzly. “Don’t let that startle you. Let me explain.”

He gathered the bones and said nonchalantly, “Come into my cave for some fresh honey.”

The dinosaurs accepted readily and followed him. Grizzly’s cave which seemed small from outside was wide and spacious from within. There were soft beds of sweet hay arranged in the corners and Din Din and his brothers sat down. Grizzly’s wife served them sweet, golden honey in tiny blue bell cups.

“This is heavenly!” said Din Din as he licked the golden syrup and his brothers nodded fervently in agreement.

“The Dark Forest is the oldest part of D’Land. Legend has it that the oldest creatures in D’Land lived here. When the animals here increased in population they began moving out of the forest. Even the dinosaurs lived here originally,” Grizzly explained. The four dinosaurs were enthralled. Seeing that his guests were hanging onto every word, the bear said, “Come I’ll show you something.” He led them out of the cave and took them to a huge secluded cave some distance away.

Inside, the walls were decorated with well-lit torches which cast an orange glow in the huge rocky interior. What the brothers saw next caused them to gasp. There were skeletons of large dinosaurs in the cave.

This is a tyrannosaurus,“ said Grizzly pointing to one huge skeleton. “And that is an oviraptor’s skeleton. We find many bones of several old creatures in the Dark Forest. That is one of the reasons other creatures believe the forest is eerie and haunted.”

“Wanting to preserve these fossils we arrange the bones back in order,” said Grizzly. “These bones which you found are also probably of an old creature.”

“This is quite fascinating,” said Din Din.

“Yet spooky,” Dave added in a small voice.

“It comes under the study of archeology,” explained Grizzly. “Nothing to be afraid of.”

As the sun began to set, Din Din led his brothers out of the Dark Forest. “What an interesting day,” said Derek. “But we forgot the basket of berries inside,” yelped Din Din. “Let’s go get them.”

“I’m not going back inside that forest at night,” said Dave scampering away. “Neither am I,” seconded Don.

“Maybe some other day,” suggested Derek hopefully.

“Okay then,” sighed Din Din. “But you three will explain to Mom why we didn’t get the berries we had promised.”

And with that agreement the four brothers trudged home, leaving the bones of the past behind them.

The Adventures of D'Land
Animated Series

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