Dazel - a trustworthy friend

“I wonder why Dazel isn't here today,” said Delma as she and Din Din splashed around near the lake's edge where Delma lived. The three friends always met near Delma’s lake in the evenings to play, talk and catch up on each other's lives.

"I wonder what the matter is?",said Din Din with a frown. "Let me go to the pond and see if she's well," added Din Din as he climbed out of the water and shook the drops of water off his green body.

"I hope Dazel’s okay," Din Din thought to himself anxiously as he made his way to the pond where Dazel lived. As the pond appeared, Din Din was relieved to see Dazel deep in conversation with Ribbit, one of the young frogs who also lived in the pond.

Dazel smiled at Din Din. "Hello, Din Din!" Dazel said excitedly, pleased to see her dear dinosaur friend. "Hello Dazel! Delma and I were just wondering where you were. You didn't come to the lake to play today? Is everything okay?" asked Din Din.

"I'm so sorry Din Din, my friend. Ribbit here had something to discuss with me and I had no idea so much time had passed. But we are done talking now. I'll come back to the lake with you," said Dazel flapping her bright yellow wings. Dazel bid goodbye to Ribbit who looked worried. Ribbit thanked Dazel and quickly jumped back onto a lily pad floating in the pond.

As Dazel perched on Din Din’s back, the two friends set off towards the lake where Delma was restless in anticipation.

"There you are Dazel! Where have you been?", exclaimed Delma! "I'm sorry to be late, Delma. Ribbit the frog wanted to talk to me about something," replied Dazel.

"What's that?" Delma asked curiously.

Dazel was silent for a moment and then replied solemnly, "I';m so sorry, my friends but I can't tell you. Young Ribbit has sworn me to secrecy."

Both Delma and Din Din looked at each other. They were stunned. The three friends had never kept secrets from each other.

The next day, too, Dazel was late. Delma and Din Din waited till sunset but she didn't come.

"I think she must be with Ribbit again", said Din Din softly. Delma was also gloomy.

They both missed their feathered friend.

On the third day, Dazel came late. She greeted her friends cheerfully but they did not respond with equal enthusiasm.

"Is everything okay, my friends?" Dazel asked in a confused state.

Din Din and Delma looked at each other. Finally, Din Din replied, "I'm sorry Dazel but we both don't feel comfortable with you hiding things from us."

"Who? Me? What did I hide, dears?" squawked Dazel puzzled.

"You are not telling us what's going on between you and Ribbit," exclaimed Delma.

"Nothing's going on! Ribbit's been having some problems. He's young and reckless and needed some advice. We live in the same pond so I'm just helping him out. But I'm sorry, I've promised him that I won't tell anyone about his problem. And I'm afraid I can't break his trust. I must keep his secret safe. You are my friends and I was hoping you would understand," said Dazel sadly.

Before anyone could say anything else, she flew away disappointed.

Delma and Din Din were miserable. Had they misunderstood Dazel? They wanted to know all about Dazel’s life but they did not want to upset her.

"Do you think we are wrong, Din Din? Dazel’s allowed to have other friends, isn't she?", said Delma softly. "I feel terrible for making Dazel so distressed. I can't leave my lake, but you must go to Dazel at once and apologise to her on our behalf." Din Din agreed. He trudged off as fast as he could to find Dazel. He found her floating alone in her pond, with her orange beak lowered, gazing at her yellow reflection dejectedly.

Din Din went up to her swiftly. "We are sorry, Dazel dear. You are right! A promise is a promise and we feel proud that you are such a reliable confidant to all your friends," said Din Din remorsefully as he stood beside her.

"In fact, you have proved that you are a trust worthy friend. Now we also know that whatever we tell you will always remain in your heart and that you will never betray our trust as well", added Din Din, nudging Dazel gently with his nose.

Dazel looked up and smiled.

Just then Ribbit appeared from the depths of the pond and said cheerily, "Dazel, guess what! I told my mom that I failed in my test. You were right, she didn't scold me as much as I thought she would! Infact, she was proud that I didn't hide the test papers from her like last time. She trusts me and I will not betray her trust again. I've promised her I'll work harder next time." Ribbit turned to Din Din. "Aren't we lucky to have a friend like Dazel! Her advice really helped me. I'm so relieved. Thank you for your listening ear and patience, Dazel," Ribbit finished excitedly. With a final goodbye Ribbit jumped back into the pond, causing ripples in the still blue water.

"Yes, we are certainly blessed to have such good friends!" Din Din smiled fondly at Dazel! So this was the promise Dazel had kept so closely guarded!

The Adventures of D'Land
Animated Series

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