Dazel and the storytellers

Ever since the troupe, who called themselves the Storytellers of D’Land, had arrived, Dazel was spending more and more time with them. Dazel hadn’t missed a single show they had put on. She tried to introduce herself to the ostrich, peacock, nightingale, sparrows and owl who made up the odd little troupe. Their storytelling sessions accompanied by mime and music had become an instant hit among the creatures.

“I saw two shows at the lakeside, one at the Fruit Park and one in the Dark Forest,” Dazel told her friends Din Din and Delma excitedly.

“And how many things did you barter in exchange for the tickets?” asked Delma solemnly.

“Two sacks of seeds, two baskets of berries, a bag of mangoes, a clump of bananas…,” she counted.

“And is it worth spending so much?” asked Din Din, stunned at his friend’s extravagance.

“It’s as if I can’t have enough of them,” Dazel said with a helpless shrug. “Their words are magical…they transport me to lands I dare only imagine. It’s an escape for me from the boring routine of everyday life.”

“I like routine,” Din Din said.

“So do I. There is something comforting about knowing what to expect,” Delma agreed with a nod of her snout.

“I can’t explain it to you,” said Dazel.

A few days later, Dazel swooped down at the lake’s bank where Delma and Din Din were waiting for her.

“I have heard that the Storytellers have space for one more creature in their troupe!” she squawked animatedly. The duck’s face was flushed with pleasure and she could barely contain her exhilaration.

“Dazel, you can’t be thinking of joining them?” asked Delma, stunned.

“They are nomads, Dazel,” argued Din Din. “They don’t stay in one place. They are wanderers!”

“Yes, and that’s what thrills me,” breathed Dazel.

“Dazel, you have a home here, friends…you have your education,” said Delma.

“You guys are talking as if they have already invited me to join their troupe,” said Dazel with a giggle. “They have auditions this weekend. Whoever composes and recites the best story or poetry will be the lucky one to join their troupe.”

Delma and Din Din exchanged a relieved glance. Both of them hoped Dazel would not be selected.

“I have to go to the Aviary School library to find a book on how to polish my elocution skills,” she said. “Goodbye my friends!” she chirped as she flew off in a flutter of bright feathers.

“What’s gotten into her,” said Delma as she watched Dazel fly away.

“It’s one of her adventurous phases again,” replied Din Din shaking his head. “You know she gets restless every now and then and wants to experience an adventure.”

That week, Dazel made her friends listen to her recite a long, sorrowful poem which she had penned herself. “It’s about a phoenix when he is about to burn to ashes.” As she began her recital Din Din and Delma were entranced.

“You are very good, Dazel,” Delma admitted ruefully when the tale ended.

“So, you think I have a chance to be part of the Storytellers?” she asked grinning from ear to ear.

“I think you most certainly do,” said Din Din but his heart was sinking.

“Does this mean Dazel will not be with us anymore? Is she destined to become part of the roaming Storytellers?” the dinosaur thought in dismay.

When Dazel had bid them goodnight as the sun set, Din Din lingered at the lakeside with Delma. “Delma, we have to discourage her from joining the troupe,” the dinosaur said, breaking the uncomfortable silence between the two friends.

“Isn’t that being selfish?” asked Delma. “I don’t want her to leave us either but look at her; she seems so happy, so full of life. Maybe this is what is right for her?”

“No! She is being impulsive,” debated Din Din. “We know her, Delma. A month from now and she’ll have some other craze to occupy her with. But if she leaves with the troupe, it will be a commitment she can’t get out of.”

“Why don’t you talk to Wiz Rooster? He is the only one Dazel will take seriously,” said Delma.

Din Din decided to consult with Wiz Rooster at once. But the rooster had his own philosophy, “I do not believe in imposing my beliefs on others. I have noticed that Dazel is very inclined towards the Storytellers. Let her figure out what is best for her.” Din Din was frustrated as he trudged towards his home in Fruit Park.

“How can I convince Dazel not to go off with the troupe? I can only hope that she will not be selected in the auditions,” Din Din thought as he finally fell asleep that night. Sunday dawned bright and sunny. “Come on, Din Din,” he heard someone shake him from slumber. It was Dazel, bright-eyed and eager. “It’s the day for the auditions, you promised you’d come with me,” the duck squealed impatiently.

And so Din Din found himself walking towards the edge of the Dark Forest where the Storytellers had planned to take their auditions. He watched as several creatures told their stories in an animated style while the troupe watched. Some sang, others mimed. Some performers even put up puppet shows. When it was Dazel’s turn, she used her voice and expressions to bring her stirring story to life. Din Din clapped half-heartedly when her performance ended.

“How was I?” The duck asked while they waited for the results of the auditions.

“Very impressive,” Din Din replied but before he could continue, the ostrich from the Storytellers troupe walked up to the platform.

“All your stories were very inspiring but we do have space for only one performer,” she said in her throaty voice. “We would like to welcome into our group… Alexis the antelope.”

Dazel’s face fell as Alexis accepted congratulations from everyone. Alexis had used her ability to change her voice to put up a humorous dialogue. “Humour is a very tough genre of storytelling,” the ostrich appreciated the antelope.

As Dazel and Din Din walked away from the Dark Forest, Din Din tried to comfort his friend, “It’s okay, dear. Everything happens for the best. Que sera sera.

“What does that mean?” asked Dazel.

“My Grandmamma says Que sera sera means ’whatever will be, will be!” Din Din replied.

And Dazel smiled at her friend.

The Adventures of D'Land
Animated Series

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