Prankster on the loose – Part 2

Delma was on a mission. She was supposed to go to the reefs with Dell the beaver and Waldo the wicked weasel.

“I have to make Dell realize that Waldo is nasty. I will use today’s outing to make sure Dell sees Waldo’s true colours,” the dolphin vowed to herself.

After her early morning swim laps and a hasty breakfast, she made her way to Dell’s dam where the beavers of D’Land lived together.

“Hello, Delma,” greeted Bea, Dell’s mother. She was busy making her famed clay pottery at the lake bank. “It’s been ages since I have seen you.”

“Yes, it’s wonderful to see you too!” smiled Delma politely. “Dell and I are planning to visit the reefs today.”

Bea’s face lit up, “Really! I wish Dell had more sensible friends like you. He’s a good chap, my son. But he doesn’t know what’s good for him,” she finished shaking her head in despair.

Delma glanced around, “Bea, I’m so glad you brought this up. I’ve been meaning to discuss Waldo with you. He’s not a good influence on Dell. They have been playing cruel pranks around D’Land…”

Bea’s face crumpled into a worried frown. Just then they heard a voice behind them.

“Hey Delma! There you are. Always on time! Let’s go!” It was Dell! And close behind him was the glib weasel.

“The delightful dolphin! Hello, Delma dearest! Good morning, beautiful Mama Beaver Bea!” Waldo said smoothly, appearing from the den and bowing to Bea.

Bea gave him a weak smile.

“Well then! Let’s be off to the reefs!” declared Dell.

Delma, however, hardly noticed the breathtaking reef formations and flora on the lake floor. She was racking her brains for any way to get Dell to see Waldo’s true intentions.

Finally, she tried to make conversation, “I’ve read that these rock formations on the lake bed are ideal for fish to lay their eggs. That’s because these rocks vary in size and have a slope and currents flow over the reefs to let the eggs get oxygen.”

“Oooh! Delma’s a brainiac, I see!” remarked Waldo snidely. Dell giggled.

“Hey look! Fish eggs! Let’s pop them out of the holes in the reef,” said Waldo as he put in one furry finger into the reef and pushed some eggs out, cackling as they floated away. Dell joined in too.

“Wha…what are you doing!” spluttered Delma. “These are unhatched fish! Stop it!”

“What a stuffy friend you have, Dell,” retorted Waldo shaking his head in disgust. Dell frowned at Delma, “Delma! We’re just having some fun!”

“Fun?!” spat out the usually calm Delma. “Fun at the cost of others?” But the other two had paddled ahead.

They encountered the sponges which lay on the lake bed in all their colorful glory.

“Oooh! What do we have here?” exclaimed Waldo. “See how soft and squishy they are.” And with those words the weasel began jumping on the sponges.

Delma was stupefied. “Waldo! Stop it! They are animals. These aren’t non-living things!” the dolphin cried urgently.

Dell looked uncomfortable.

“Ummm… Waldo. Maybe you shouldn’t do that! Sponges are immobile creatures.”

“Oh! I didn’t know that! I thought they were cute, soft plants!” replied Waldo, scampering off the sponges.

“Even if they were plants, Waldo, one must respect all flora and fauna,” shot back Delma, infuriated.

“Let’s go to the Aquatic School,” suggested Dell squirming, attempting to change the subject.

Delma was seething and she wanted to strangle the weasel but with utmost self-control she followed Dell and Waldo to the Aquatic School. The school lay silent in the summer break.

“See how special this school is, Waldo. It’s made around these coves. Even though I study at the Terrestrial School, but I love visiting the Aquatic School,”

Dell said as he showed Waldo around. The weasel peered around the premises with his beady eyes.

“Oh wow, Delma!” Dell exclaimed as he spotted the rocky walls of the coves painted in patterns of sea weeds. “Did you and Olly paint this during summer.”

“Yes, we did,” Delma nodded.

“Look! There are pots of paint and dye lying around the rocks,” came Waldo’s nasal voice.

“Let’s improvise on these murals.”

“These paints belong to Olly, the school principal,” Delma hollered as she swam towards the weasel. “And don’t you dare mess up these patterns. We have worked for weeks on this.”

Dell shot an uneasy glance at the weasel, “She’s right you know. Infact, the paint is still wet.”

Waldo shook his head in exasperation, “Dell! We’re just having a bit of fun! It’s not a matter of life or death! What’s gotten into you?”

Just then Olly the octopus, the Aquatic School principal, swam along, his eight legs trailing behind him. “Hello! I wasn’t expecting company today. And who is your new friend?” he asked narrowing his eyes.

“This is Waldo, the weasel,” Dell introduced his friend.

“What an honour it is…” began Waldo in his superficial manner.

“Weasel! I thought weasels had been exiled to the southern part of D’Land,” interrupted Olly, taken aback. “I’m sorry Waldo, but you really shouldn’t be here. Your ancestors have caused a lot of trouble in D’Land and the only reason they have been allowed to remain here is because they promised to remain in the Southern parts. I’m telling you this because I don’t want you to get into trouble.”

The charming Waldo suddenly seemed to transform right before their very eyes. His sleazy grin evaporated and a malevolent look entered his eyes. “I’ll do as I wish. My ancestors might have been cowardly fools to have agreed to the exile but no one tells me what to do and where to go!”

With those spiteful words Waldo looked at Dell pointedly. “Do you want to stay here with these losers or have adventures with me?” the weasel sneered.

Delma held her breath. Finally, Dell said, “They are not losers. You are!”

Waldo looked disgusted and scampered off, “Coward!” he hollered.

“Dell, you did the right thing!” Delma said. “He was bad news!”

Dell shook his head, “Thank you Olly, sir! If we hadn’t met you here, I would never have realized what Waldo was like.”

“Come along. I have a tasty snack of seaweed salad prepared,” the octopus said with a smile.

And the three creatures swam off together in thoughtful silence.

The Adventures of D'Land
Animated Series

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