It was back-to-school-time at D'Land again. The creatures in D'Land had fallen back into a routine of going to school early and returning by afternoon. Then homework and hobby sessions followed, completed by going to bed early.

Din Din, Dazel and Delma also relished going back to their respective schools.

Delma sighed, "Ah! To be back in D'Land! It's such a relief; such a blessing!"

"So true," agreed Dazel. "So much that we take for granted — good friends, neighbours, schools, food, a clean environ! Everyone doesn't have that! The river outside D'Land was so contaminated; the weather was so harsh and the creatures were so aloof."

The friends soon bid farewell to each other as it was a Sunday night and they wanted to be fresh for the next morning and the new week at school.

As Dazel flew towards her pond, in the fading evening hue, a flare of light amidst a grove of chestnut trees caught her attention.

Dazel swooped down and landed on the damp ground to see a few thorny bushes rustling with flames. "Oh my! A fire! How did that happen? It must have been caused by the heat. I must rush to get some help to put the flames out." She was trying to waddle away when a twisted branch of the bush broke off and landed on Dazel.

"Ow!" the duck yelped. She was trapped under the branch. She tried to shake off the thorny branch but the more she struggled, the more the thorns became ensnared in her feathers. The thorns pricked her and drew blood. She tried to roll over to let herself free but she trundled in the direction of the bushes and fell in a hole, further trapping herself.

"Help! Somebody help!" cried Dazel in fear. She was afraid for her safety but she was also more afraid that the fire may spread and harm countless lives and homes of birds and animals in D'Land.

But there seemed to be no one about who could hear her voice.

At her pond home, Swain the swan was waiting for Dazel to return. "It is a school day tomorrow and Dazel still hasn't done her homework. It's strange that she still hasn't returned. She is very particular about going to bed early," the swan shared with Grandfather Frog.

"She will be back soon! You know she spends every evening with Delma and Din Din at the lake. She's probably just lost track of time talking to them," said Grandfather Frog.

"But its way past sunset now," argued Swain. "I don't's not like Dazel to do this on a school night. I will just go and check at the lake."

So Swain flew towards the lake. Delma who was preparing to fall asleep was surprised to see the black swan. "Hello Swain. What brings you here at this hour?"

"I came in search of Dazel. She isn't here. Has she gone with Din Din to Fruit Park?" asked Swain.

"No, she went towards the pond. It's a school night so we dispersed at sunset," said Delma concerned.

"Where could she be? I had a bad feeling that's why I came to investigate," said Swain. "I'll fly back slowly and low towards the pond again and look for her. Something must have happened." The swan flew off leaving a flustered Delma behind.

Swain flew slowly above the clumps of trees but the dark made it difficult for him to see anything. Suddenly, Swain saw smoke rising from below. His heart racing, he flew down. He was greeted by a rush of heat and smoke.

"Fire!" Swain screamed! Could Dazel be here?

Swain was in a dilemma. Should he go to get help to put out the fire or should he first see if Dazel was trapped in this blazing inferno?

His concern for his friend made him rush into the flames.

"Dazel! Dazel!" Swain screeched. "Are you here?"

"Swain..." came a faint cry.

"Oh no! Dazel! Where are you? I can't see you through these flames and smoke!" screamed Swain.

"Swain...Swain," coughed Dazel.

Swain followed the sound of Dazel's voice. The clump of bushes surrounding the grove of chestnut trees was now completely ablaze with flames and the night breeze threatened to carry the flames forward and eat up the rest of vegetation.

The swan finally spotted Dazel trapped in a hole, caught in a bundle of thorns. The edges of her feathers had been burned by the flames, exposing part of her flesh and the thorns had made her bleed.

"Oh no! Dazel..." sobbed Swain as he used his beak to free Dazel from the thorns. He finally dragged Dazel out of the hole and away from the flames.

"Please Swain...listen...go get help to put out the flames otherwise this fire will devour so many more trees," coughed Dazel weakly. "Please, leave me here! I..I'm fine!"

Swain was concerned about his friend but he knew he should go get help. The lake was nearer and he flew to where Delma was waiting. He quickly told the dolphin what had happened. "We need to get water to put out the fire," the swan panted.

"The beavers can help. They have baskets and containers of wood which can help carry water from the lake," suggested Delma quickly./p>

"Also putting sand over the flames will help douse the fire."

Within minutes Delma had woken up the beavers of the lake and they were already alerting the rabbits nearby who filled the baskets and containers with water from the lake to carry to the place where the fire roared.

Swain had also alerted the creatures of the pond. The insects who lived there couldn't do much but the birds who lived around flew to the site of the fire and dug up the sand nearby to dump on the flames. Wiz Rooster was awoken and he rushed to tend to Dazel and her wounds.

It was sunrise by the time the fire had been controlled. Dazel was lying on a bed of grass drowsy with pain near her pond when Swain and the other birds finally returned.

"Is the fire out?" she asked.

"Yes! Thank goodness! All the creatures worked together to battle the fire. How are you?" asked Swain.

"I'm fine!" she whispered. "Dr. Owl has applied ointments to my wounds and burns."

"If Swain hadn't gone out looking for you Dazel, the fire would have spread wildly all night while we would have slept. God knows how much devastation would have occurred." said Wiz Rooster. "You and Swain are responsible for preventing a lot of destruction."

The Adventures of D'Land
Animated Series

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