Dazel's science fair project

Dazel the duck was a smart student. She was always recognized for her outstanding performance at The Aviary School for Birds.

The only competition in her class was Candy the canary but she enjoyed contending with her. One day Wiz Rooster announced in class, "The Annual Science Fair is coming up and I'm going to pair you all up so that you all can start working on your projects."

Dazel was excited. "I hope I'm paired up with someone smart," she thought to herself. When Wiz Rooster announced the pairs Dazel found out that she was supposed to work with Rita the robin.

"Rita!" Dazel blurted out in dismay. There was an awkward silence in class. "Is there a problem?" asked Wiz Rooster quietly.

"No...no," stammered Dazel. "I'm sorry, Sir. I didn't mean anything." But everyone knew the reason behind Dazel's reaction. Rita the robin was not an intelligent student. She always lagged behind in class and had a hard time understanding even the most basic things. Rita had flunked the year before and was repeating this grade.

After school Dazel went to the lake seeking her best friends Delma and Din Din.

"I can't believe I'm paired up with Rita. Of all the birds in my class, it had to be Rita I'm stuck with," she moaned to her friends.

"And I can't believe you're talking like this, Dazel," said Delma gently.

"Whatever do you mean?" came Dazel's stupefied reply.

You are treating Rita so badly. You are looking down upon her just because she's not as smart as you! That's not fair. We all can't be alike, you know," said Delma.

"Yes, Dazel," joined in Din Din, "I'm also not a very smart pupil and I feel terrible when someone ridicules me."

"Listen, you guys! It's the Science Fair. Making a fantastic project is very important to me. I have always won a prize at the Fair and I have always had smart, hardworking partners," said Dazel in exasperation.

"Why in the world did Wiz Rooster pair me up with Rita. I'm going to request him to change my partner."

So the next day an extremely agitated Dazel went to Wiz Rooster.

"Sir, I wanted to request you to change my partner. Can you pair me up with someone other than Rita, please?" Dazel pleaded.

"And why is that?" asked Wiz Rooster looking Dazel straight in the eye.

"I ...I think you know why, Sir," replied Dazel.

Wiz Rooster looked at Dazel thoughtfully and said, "Do you know this time I have deliberately paired up a smart student with a comparatively weak student to make the Science Fair groups. The same goes for your group. I know you are a bright pupil, Dazel and Rita will benefit tremendously if she works on the Science Fair project with you."

Dazel was dumb-struck. "I am honoured that you think that way Sir, but I need a strong, smart partner if I am to win in the Fair."

"Is winning that important, Dazel?" asked Wiz Rooster.

"What do you mean, Sir? Ofcourse, it's important! Isn't that what you all teach us at school?" asked Dazel, bewildered.

"No dear, education is to make us better creatures who are more compassionate and helpful to others," replied Wiz Rooster sternly.

But Dazel did not seem to understand.

"Okay Dazel. I will pair you up with Candy the canary. She is the smartest student in your class. Are you happy now?" said Wiz Rooster.

"Yes! I am happy. Thank you Sir," replied Dazel and flew off happily.

The following week Dazel and Candy began working on their project on the water cycle. At first Dazel was proud to be part of Candy's group but as she worked with the canary she realized how bossy and ruthless Candy was.

"Dazel you still haven't completed the charts for the project? How lazy of you. And the pitch you have prepared is sub-standard and weak. I'll have to write it again," yelled Candy at Dazel as the two birds sat after school to discuss their project. "Just leave it all to me Dazel. I'll have to do it myself if I expect our water cycle project to be perfect."

It was the day before the Annual Science Fair and it was a very morose Dazel who met Din Din and Delma at the lake.

"What's wrong Dazel. Are you upset about your Science Fair project?" asked Delma.

When Dazel did not reply, Din Din said, "Your project is sure to win as you and Candy are both so smart."

After a long silence Dazel replied, "You know, working with Candy has been a nightmare. She always criticizes me and nothing I do is good enough for her. She thinks she is perfect and no one can match her efforts. Her self-centered attitude is driving me crazy. But you know, the worst part is that Candy has made me realize that I was like her when I used to work with students who were not as bright as me. And I feel terrible."

"It's okay Dazel. As long as you have realized your mistake and are ready to mend your ways," said Delma kindly. And even though Dazel's project won that year, she wasn't as happy to be a winner.

After the Science Fair Dazel went to Wiz Rooster to apologize.

"Sir, you were right. It’s not important to win. It's more important to be a better creature at heart," said Dazel the Duck.

"Dazel, my dear, you have learnt a priceless lesson at this year's Science Fair," said Wiz Rooster with a smile.

The Adventures of D'Land
Animated Series

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