How fantastic is fruit park

Din Din seemed forlorn as he splashed in the cool lake water.

“Come on, Din Din,” said Dazel, as she flitted onto the water surface and splashed the dinosaur with her bright wings. “Stop sulking and looking so downcast. I know you are worried about what might have happened to Filip the fox, but it was his decision to surrender to the foxes.” Din Din nodded.

He had been worrying about his friend, Filip the fox, who had got caught in a brawl between the foxes and given himself up to a band of hostile rival foxes to save his family.

“I just hope Filip’s family is safe with the jackals,” Din Din mused.

“Yes, we can hope and pray for him,” said Delma kindly.

That evening at the dinner table, Din Din was gazing into his earthenware bowl of mango puree, a meal that he usually loved. His parents and grandparents observed him in worry. They knew he was concerned about Filip.

Suddenly, Mr D broke the silence, “You know, we are having a Fruit Fest!” he declared with forced joviality. Din Din looked up from the depths of his bowl.

“What’s that?” asked Derek.

“Well, Tazzo and his counsel of dinosaurs are trying their best to promote Fruit Park. They wish to prove that Fruit Park is the best place in D’Land and under the dinosaurs it has flourished. As Fruit Park has an abundance of fruits, Tazzo has decided to hold a fair of sorts. The dinosaurs will sell the fruits and other specialties of Fruit Park and barter them for the items that are grown or made in other parts of D’Land,” explained father, shooting looks at Din Din hoping to catch his attention.

“All those who wish to book stalls have to attend a meeting tonight at the Orange Orchard,” Mr. D continued. “Your mother and I have decided to book a stall for her chocolates.”

“Yes, I will prepare a variety of chocolates with fruity fillings,” Mrs. Dee joined in.

“We all would love to help,” said Grandfather. “I’ll come with you to the meeting tonight.”

“Din Din,” said Mr. D clearing his throat. “Would you like to join us?”

“I’m really not in the mood,” Din Din replied.

“I will need your help. You know I have trouble walking. I’ll have to lean on you, Din Din,” said Grandfather persisting. “Your father is unable to bear my weight now.” Din Din wished to suggest that he take Derek along but he held his tongue and nodded reluctantly.

As the three generations of dinosaurs made their way towards the Orange Orchard, Grandfather leaned heavily on Din Din’s shoulder. His legs and joints had been aching for quite some time now. The Orange Orchard was alight with the glow of fireflies which flitted in groups among the sweet scented trees. Tazzo and his strong coterie of dinosaurs were surrounded by a crowd of dinosaurs of all shapes and sizes. The meeting had already begun.

“We have to make the creatures realise that dinosaurs are superior — bigger, stronger and more civilised. Let us invite the creatures of D’Land to visit Fruit Park and see our bounties. The fair will be held next Sunday. A week is enough time to prepare. The venue will be the Orange Orchard as it is big enough to accommodate several guests,” Tazzo was speaking in his loud, throaty voice.

“But we have always tried to keep our distance from others,” argued old Fredrick. “We dinosaurs are private creatures. I personally don’t like the idea of opening up Fruit Park and letting everyone see how comfortably we live. It might instigate some other creatures to want to make this their home. We have learnt this lesson from the jackal invasion.”

“Times have changed now,” said Tazzo brushing aside old Fredrick’s concerns. “We need to project our area, yet make it secure and prosperous. The trade that the fair will bring will allow us to live even more comfortably as well as showcase our talent. It is time for all of us to be creative and aim higher. Nothing comes from being complacent.” Din Din’s ears perked up.

“I could make baskets of fruits and flowers from my garden and sell them,” he mused.

“Father,” he began as the dinosaurs started lining up to book their stalls. “I’d like to take a stall to sell my flowers. I will make baskets out of dried grass and fill them with fruits from Fruit Park as well as the flowers from my garden.”

Mr. D’s face broke into a smile, “That’s my son,” he whispered as he hugged his son. Grandfather smiled at the two of them.

The next day was a Sunday and Din Din set off for his garden with the awakening of the sun. Kit, his garden caretaker, loved the idea of the baskets. “My young kittens and I will help you weave the baskets, Din Din. Just show us how one is done.”

Din Din spent the entire morning collecting rushes which grew at the lake’s edge. Delma helped him and by afternoon Din Din had collected enough for two dozen baskets. Kit and her kittens were fast learners and by evening they had assembled ten baskets.

“We will continue this work tomorrow while you are at school, Din Din,” Kit assured him.

Next, Din Din took his brothers’ help to collect fruits from trees growing in abundance in Fruit Park. “I’ll collect mangoes,” Derek agreed.

“I’ll collect oranges,” volunteered Dave. “I’ll do the cherries for you and for Ma. She needs them for her chocolate-dipped cherry balls too,” Don piped in.

“This will be an opportunity for our entire family to prosper,” remarked Grandmamma as they sat for dinner on Friday night. “Chocolates and flower baskets — both products are great gift items.”

“Derek, I need your help in packing the chocolates,” said Mrs. Dee.

“I will take Dave and Don to my garden to help me decorate the baskets,” added Din Din.

The entire Saturday was spent in decorating the baskets with fruits and then entwining the marigolds, snapdragons, pansies and tiny white alyssum. Green feathery fronds made the baskets perfect.

“This is breathtaking,” gasped Dazel who came to help the three brothers.

“The actual task will be to carry these baskets home. There are two dozen,” said Din Din frowning.

“We will have to make two rounds. We can balance four baskets at a time on our backs,” said Dave.

By nightfall the baskets were safely lined up inside Din Din’s cave home. “Your baskets look so much better than my chocolates,” said Mrs. Dee as she hugged Din Din.

But your chocolates taste much better, Ma,“ replied Din Din kindly.

“I can’t wait for tomorrow,” said Mr. D.

And Din Din smiled to himself. It promised to be a special Sunday.


End of Part 1

The Adventures of D'Land
Animated Series

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