Rocks that glow - Part 2

Din Din was determined not to give up!

“Our troupe of actors has worked immensely hard to rehearse the pantomime,” said Din Din in despair, “But how can we hold a performance at night when there are no fireflies to give us light. Today is Tuesday; there are only four days left to the show.”

He was expressing his dejection in front of his best friends, Dazel and Delma, as they sat at the lakeside watching the sun set.

“The moonlight will also not be enough to illuminate the orange orchard where the pantomime is to be held,” agreed Dazel.

“What about lighting fires around the stage?” suggested Delma unconvincingly.

“It’s summer and it’ll just make the audience feel too hot and uncomfortable,” Din Din said shaking his head.

“It would be way too dangerous,” admitted Delma as she remembered the forest fire they had experienced the previous year.

“Maybe we should ask Wiz Rooster,” advised Dazel, “As always!” the duck finished her statement ruefully.

It was the truth. The wise rooster always succeeded in giving them good advice. They could hardly recall a time when the rooster had not given them a solution to their predicaments.

Din Din sighed, “Yes, I believe that’s our last resort!”

Wiz Rooster smiled at Din Din and Dazel when he saw them approaching at the Aviary School, “I heard the fireflies are not free this Saturday,” the rooster admitted. “Yesterday, I met Flo, the elderly firefly, and she was regretful that she could not help you. The festival of lights in the Dark Forest is an occasion which requires all the fireflies to give light.”

“But there must be another natural way of getting light,” insisted Din Din.

Wiz Rooster smiled,“Have you heard of fluorescence in minerals?”

The dinosaur and the duck looked at each other and then shook their heads.

“Florescence occurs when a specimen is illuminated with ultraviolet (UV) light. Light electrons in the atomic structure of the mineral get excited, giving off a small amount of energy in the form of light. This release of light is known as fluorescence,” finished Wiz Rooster patiently.

“Where can we find florescence?” Din Din asked eagerly.

“Minerals like Calcite, Scapolite, Dolmite, to mention a few have florescence,” Wiz Rooster said picking a large, leaf-paged book off his shelf of journals and peering into it. “However, it is the mineral Fluorite which has strong enough fluorescence that the observer can take the rocks outside, hold them in sunlight then move them into shade and see a color change. Fluorite typically glows with a blue-violet color in the dark.”

“That’s simply incredible!“Dazel said in awe.

“Is Fluorite found in D’Land?” asked Din Din breathlessly.

As a matter of fact,“ Wiz Rooster answered smiling at the dinosaur’s curiosity and zeal, “It is found in the limestone caves behind the coves of Aquatic School.”

Din Din wanted to rush to the caves immediately, but the usually hyper Dazel calmed him down.

“It’s already dark. Let’s wait for tomorrow morning,” Dazel urged him.

Wiz Rooster agreed, “Fluorite will appear to be like a clump of silver-white crystals,” he explained solemnly. “You might face a few difficulties in breaking them off the cave walls. You will require enough for the pantomime; you alone, Din Din, cannot carry the heavy pieces of rock back to your home in Fruit Park.”

“I will take my brothers with me,” Din Din said with a wave of his paw. He was just eager to get to the Fluorite.

Wiz Rooster continued, “The third thing to consider is that Fluorite will need to be placed in the sun and then after the sun sets it will glow for a period of time in the dark. The longer the exposure to the sun light, the longer it will glow.”

After thanking the wise rooster, the two friends set off. “I will ask Derek and Dave to come with me. Don is too young and he won’t be able to carry the load. Will you come too, Dazel? You know most of the areas of D’Land,” Din Din pleaded.

“Of course, I wouldn’t miss an adventure for anything,” Dazel quipped cheerily.

On Wednesday morning, Din Din and his two brothers were ready as the sun was energetically making its way up the sky. Jute baskets with hammers and chisels were tied onto their backs to help them carry the Fluorite.

Despite the early hours, not only their parents and grandparents but also the members of their acting troupe had gathered outside their cave home to see them off.

“Best of luck!” the gathering cried in unison.

With a determined set of his wide jaw, Din Din led his brothers towards the limestone caves. All this support had made him even more intent on getting the Fluoride rocks for the pantomime.

Dazel met the trio of dinosaurs outside the caves. Once the dinosaurs and Dazel stepped into the cool limestone caves, it took them a while to adjust to the dark.

“Wiz Rooster said the Fluorite will be found inside the mouth of the cave,” Din Din shared.

“Look, here are some silver clumps of crystal,” Dazel.

After an hour of whacking at the rock walls with hammers and chisels, they had a huge pile of rocks at their feet.

“Let’s hope this is Fluorite,” said Din Din as they loaded the basket. It was a tiring trek back to Fruit Park and it was nearly evening when they returned.

“Now we must put these rocks in the blazing sun the entire day tomorrow so that we can make sure it is Fluorite,” explained Din Din.

On Thursday morning, the rocks were unloaded and placed on a flat open surface under the sizzling summer sun. When the sun set, the troupe of actors waited with bated breath.

As darkness grew, the rocks began to emit a bright blue light. Recalling Wiz Rooster’s instructions, they timed the minutes till the rocks glowed.

“The rocks shone for more than an hour,” announced Din Din’s Grandma-ma. “That will give us enough time to hold our pantomime.”

A deafening cheer filled Fruit Park!

“We will be able to hold our pantomime on Saturday night after all! Thank you Din Din!” said the Mango Theater actors crowding around Din Din.

“See, Din Din! Where there is a will, there is a way!” said Grandmama, thumping Din Din on his broad back.


(The End)

The Adventures of D'Land
Animated Series

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