All that glitters …! - Part 2

Early Monday morning, as Dazel prepared to go to School, Dell the beaver paid her a visit at the pond.

"Hello, Dazel! Why did you run away last evening? I hope all my talk of the gold wars didn't scare you?" the beaver said with a grin.

"Uh, no. Why are you here so early? Don't you have to go to school?" Dazel tried to change the subject.

"Yes, I do. But do tell me, where did you find those pieces of gold?" Dell probed.

"I don't recall exactly. I was just exploring the valley and I stumbled across them," the duck answered hastily. "I'm getting late for school," and with those words, Dazel flew off.

Even in school, the excitement of a new week with her peers and teachers could not distract Dazel from her disturbed train of thoughts. "I have found gold!" her mind kept saying.

"Gold — the cause of war in D'Land!" her conscience nudged.

"What's the matter with you," whispered Candy the canary, her classmate and rival. "I would have thought you would give me a tough time in the pop quiz this morning. Dazel just nodded.

Candy frowned. Dazel was competitive by nature and as the two top students in class, the duck and canary both enjoyed healthy competition. Today, Dazel had not volunteered to answer even one question in their Monday morning quiz. Usually, it would always be a close tie between them while the other students would be amused by their verbal sparring.

After school, Dazel read up on gold in the Aviary School Library. Luckily, the library parchments and books had not suffered from the tornado's fury as it was housed in an underground cellar.

In the solitude of the library she read: " gets its name from the word "geolo" for yellow. It's an extremely rare element on Earth. Because it doesn't react with very many other elements, it is often found in its native form in the Earth's crust or mixed with other metals like silver. It can be found in veins underground or in small fragments in sandy riverbeds. Gold is also found in ocean water.

In a yellowed parchment she read, "Like everything else in nature, gold too was found in abundance in the river beds and mines of D'Land. Its luster had lure and it was desired for its beauty and soon became a symbol of power. The creatures began to spend all their time in hunting for this element. Fights broke out as many claimed a particular area for gold digging and some even got hurt in the hostilities.

The elders were alarmed when the animals began to steal gold from each other. In an emergency convention of all the animals, birds and dinosaurs it was decided, after two long days of debate, that all the gold which every creature had was to be given up to the elders and gold hunting was then banned. Rumours say that the elders melted all the gold and hid it where no one could find it." There was even a copy of the document of the elder's decision.

Dazel's head reeled with all the information. "It has been nearly two decades since the gold ban. Delma and Dell know about the gold I have found. I can trust Delma to not say a word to anyone, but I saw the glint in Dell's eyes. What was it? Curiosity or greed?"

The voices in her head were making Dazel go mad. She needed someone to advise her.

"I have to tell Wiz Rooster. His advice is the only thing I can trust," Dazel said. "I know he has a lot on his mind with rebuilding D'Land after the tornado, but I have to confide in him."

So, like all the other uncountable times when Dazel had been in trouble, distress or confusion, she sought out her teacher, mentor and guide, Wiz Rooster.

The wise bird had just finished addressing an after-school meeting of the teachers of Aviary School. "Good day, Sir! Can I help you carry all those parchments?" "Thank you, dear Dazel," Wiz Rooster smiled.

After they reached Wiz Rooster's newly constructed home, Dazel took a deep breath. "Sir, I have found gold," she blurted out.

For a moment Wiz Rooster stood motionless. "Gold!" the rooster finally repeated softly.

Dazel shared the entire story of her trip to the valley and finding the small, yellow nuggets. She revealed how it was Dell who had informed her that it was gold she had found.

"The gold wars — I remember it like it was yesterday," said Wiz Rooster. "But Dazel those were different times. Today, things are different. Over these two decades we have made laws, educated our young, built councils of elders to help foster peace. When the elders at that time had decided to confiscate all the gold, melt it and hide it, it was meant as a punishment.

But, gold would have been discovered in D'Land someday — the elders knew that. If you hadn't found it, someone else would have stumbled across it. We can't hide precious things for the fear that they might lead to fights. What we can do is educate the creatures as to how to behave with correctness and follow laws."

"So, I need not worry about my find?" asked Dazel, relieved beyond words.

"I know it will remain safe in your collected items. As far as Dell is concerned, tell him to come to me if he wants to know where to find gold," said the rooster with a twinkle in his eyes. "He will never have the nerve to ask me."



(The End)

The Adventures of D'Land
Animated Series

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