An allergic reaction

Din Din rushed into his cave home grinning from ear to ear and out of breath! “Look Ma!” he hollered to his mother who was busy heating melted chocolate in a huge pot in their stone kitchen.

“Yes dear! I have a huge order of chocolates for tomorrow for Wiz Rooster’s birthday. Can you help me?” she said wiping her forehead. The saccharine scent of the cooking chocolate was a heady aroma and Din Din adored it!

“Of course! Infact, I have a surprise for you!” he pulled out a plant with its roots from a jute bag. “Look what I have here. They are peanuts! Burrow the rabbit is growing the most magnificent nuts and legumes in his garden. He had planted peanuts and has just harvested them. Why don’t you use them for the chocolates you’re making for Wiz Rooster’s birthday? The Aviary School birds are throwing a grand party.”

“That is a fine idea, Din Din!” Mrs. Dee said fondly. She hugged her eldest son, “Oh, what would I do without you! It was you who got the cocoa beans for me and because of the chocolate mixture from the beans I started my chocolate business.”

Din Din blushed at the praise and adoration. He watched as his mother sprinkled the ground peanuts into the thick chocolate batter.

“You will also have to go deliver these chocolates tomorrow morning to the Aviary School,” Mrs. Dee reminded him.

“Will do, Ma!” Din Din said licking the remains of the tempered chocolate from the earthenware bowl and smacking his lips.

“What are you giving Wiz Rooster, Din Din? Please make sure it is on behalf of our whole family,” Mrs. Dee added.

“Wiz Rooster had asked me to get him the lavender in a pot. Dazel was telling me that he wants lavender to make oil from it. It’s supposed to have many healing properties,” Din Din shared.

So the next morning, Din Din made sure he bathed till he was squeaky clean. His mother helped tie the basket on his back and placed the three boxes of chocolates and the lavender potted plant.

When Din Din reached the Aviary School, the first creature he saw was his best friend Dazel, the duck. The school premises was buzzing with activity.

Din Din hollered, “Help me untie the ropes of the basket, Dazel. I want to unload these boxes.”

“Let’s take them to the main arena where the celebration is planned,” Dazel suggested.

“Is this party a surprise for Wiz Rooster?” asked Din Din.

“Not at all! Infact we took permission from him to celebrate his birthday,” quipped Dazel with a chuckle.

Soon, Wiz Rooster flew from his home to the School arena where the Aviary School assembly was usually held. The guests were all seated around the raised platform and welcomed him with cheers and applause. A choir of birds sang ‘Happy Birthday to you’ and Wiz Rooster was asked to make a speech.

The humongous birthday seed cake was brought forward which had been baked by all the Aviary School teachers. The two friends fetched the chocolates and offered them.

“Oh! These are scrumptious,” remarked Wiz Rooster as he bit into one. “What’s inside them, Din Din? The taste is simply marvelous!”

“It’s peanuts, Sir,” Din Din grinned.

“Mom and I wanted these to be extra-special for your celebration.”

“My compliments to Mrs. Dee! Please serve all the guests so they may relish this delicacy!” Wiz Rooster said with a wave of his white wing.

Din Din went around offering all the guests and each one praised his mom’s chocolates profusely.

The party was about to end and most of the birds had flown home when suddenly there was a cry. “It’s Candy the canary! She’s vomiting!” cried Swain, the black swan. Wiz Rooster rushed to Candy’s side followed by the others.

Din Din and Dazel also scampered to the table where Candy had been sitting with a few other birds clearing up the remains of the food.

“She was eating the last few remaining chocolates when suddenly she became red and started itching and then throwing up,” Swain exclaimed aghast.

“Din Din, please carry her to my house,” Wiz Rooster said. “Dazel, go and fetch Dr. Owl. He left the party a while ago.”

Din Din gently lifted the yellow canary with his paw and placed her on his back. When the bird was settled in Wiz Rooster’s home, Dr. Owl arrived.

Wiz Rooster asked all the other creatures to leave. “Please, let the doctor examine Candy.”

Some fifteen minutes later, Dr. Owl came out and said, “It’s nothing to worry about. Thank you all for your concern. Candy will be fine in a while.”

Everyone dispersed. Din Din let out a sigh of relief. Just as he was turning away to go, Wiz Rooster called him, “I’d like a word with you, Din Din.”

Puzzled Din Din followed the rooster and Dr. Owl behind Wiz Rooster’s house. “Din Din, Candy has had an allergic reaction to peanuts,” Dr. Owl said gently.

Din Din’s mouth dropped open. “You mean it’s my fault that Candy is unwell?” he whispered.

“Not at all,” Wiz Rooster said. “A peanut allergy is a common food allergy. It occurs when your immune system mistakenly identifies peanut proteins as something harmful. You couldn’t have known that Candy would react like this to it. Some creatures are allergic to the most common things like wheat or milk also. It’s not the fault of the food. It’s how different bodies react to certain things.”

Din Din nodded. In a daze he returned home.

“Din Din, how was the party, dear?” Mrs. Dee asked her son as he entered their cave home. Din Din did not reply and went to his bed.

Mrs. Dee followed him. “Din Din, what happened?” she asked stroking his broad back.

“Ma,” Din Din whispered, “The peanuts caused an allergic reaction. Candy the canary fell ill. I was the one who suggested you use peanuts; it’s all my fault,” Din Din said shaking his head.

“Food allergies are not something we can know about in advance,” Mrs. Dee said soothingly. “I am sorry for the sick creature but all the other birds ate them too. No one else reacted to the chocolates. So it’s not the peanuts, it’s the canary’s immune system. She must just avoid those substances she is allergic to.”

Suddenly Din Din felt better. “Things like this happen, Din Din. We will just be careful next time we use peanuts,” Mrs. Dee said as she hugged her son. And Din Din smiled.

The Adventures of D'Land
Animated Series

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