Runaway! - Part 2

Din Din and Derek paced outside their cave home as the sounds of their mother and grandmother sobbing from inside reached them.

“Oh where are my babies?” Mrs. Dee could be heard tearfully. “Please come back Dave and Don!”

“Wherever could they be?” Din Din fretted.

“Father and Grandfather have gone to find them,” Derek comforted his elder brother. But in Derek’s heart too, the feeling of dread grew. It had been since evening that Don, their youngest brother, had stomped out of their cave home in fury and Dave had followed him. It was nearly midnight and the younger brothers had never stayed out for so long.

“Maybe there has been an accident. Maybe they have lost their way,” Din Din mused aloud, frowning with worry.

At that moment, they saw their father and Grandfather approaching with lanterns of fireflies in their hands but there was no sign of their siblings.

“Is there any news, father?” Din Din and Derek asked in unison.

“I’m afraid it doesn’t look good. We could trace their footsteps to the part of D’Land where the jackals live. One of the owls in that area has informed me that two young dinosaurs were taken prisoners by some jackals,” said Mr. D. He was trying to sound courageous but Din Din could see the lines of worry on his forehead. Grandfather had seemed to age in a few hours.

“We have come back to confer with Old Rex, the dinosaur. We cannot enter the jackal’s area without permission, otherwise there will be war. I don’t wish to be responsible for unrest in D’Land,” Mr. D said.

So the night was spent in Old Rex’s cave as the elders discussed anxiously what the next course of action should be.

“I can’t sit around waiting,” cried Din Din desperately. “Why are we wasting the night? Heaven knows what the jackals must be doing to Dave and Don. We should do something at once. We are bigger and stronger than the jackals; what are we afraid of?”

The elders turned to look at him.

Old Rex gazed at Din Din with his piercing eyes, “We are not afraid. We are just trying to avoid conflict. It would be simple to just storm into the jackal’s premises and battle with them, but imagine the number of lives which could be lost.”

“Then let us ask Wiz Rooster to help,” Din Din suggested frantically. “He was the one who had arranged for an amicable treaty between the dinosaurs and jackals. He is the only one Jacko the jackal will listen to.”

“Fine,” agreed Old Rex. “We will call the wise rooster for help first thing tomorrow morning.”

“It is morning already and I seek your permission to go and fetch Wiz Rooster,” Din Din said squaring his shoulders.

Sure enough, the dark sky was beginning to brighten and the cockerels’ raucous call to awaken could be heard. Old Rex nodded.

Like lightening, Din Din and Derek set off for Wiz Rooster’s home near the Aviary School for Birds. The rooster was awake and when he spotted the two dinosaurs at this hour, he sensed at once that something was amiss.

When he heard the tale Din Din and Derek told him, Wiz Rooster shook his head regretfully, “Why did Dave and Don make such a dreadful mistake? The jackals are unforgiving. They agreed to living in peace in Fruit Park because Jacko respects me. But it was primarily because they knew they had to compromise if they wished to live in a prosperous place like Fruit Park because it is originally home to the dinosaurs. But now they have an upper hand — it is the dinosaurs who have broken the treaty.”

At Old Rex’s cave, Wiz Rooster made things very clear, “Of course, I will go talk to Jacko at once. But I know the jackals — they will want something in return of releasing Dave and Don,” Wiz Rooster said. “What will the dinosaurs be willing to concede?”

“What do you think they will desire?” questioned Old Rex, his eyes narrowing.

“More area of Fruit Park, ofcourse,” Wiz Rooster answered without hesitation.

Old Rex looked at Din Din’s father with a withering glance, “Your children are responsible for bringing us into this predicament.”

Mr. D. could only lower his head in shame.

“Very well! What choice do I have,” Old Rex answered crossly. “Give them what they want and get those two young scamps back.”

Soon, Wiz Rooster, Mr. D, Din Din and Derek reached the jackal’s portion of Fruit Park.

“Ah! We were waiting for you,” came a voice. At the edge of the jackal’s territory stood Jacko, his golden eyes glinting roguishly.

“Where are the young dinosaurs?” Wiz Rooster enquired.

“They are our prisoners,” Jacko replied smoothly. He pointed to a grove of orange trees. Tied to one trunk were Dave and Don. “You have no right to treat them this way,” Wiz Rooster said severely. “This is against the code of conduct of D’Land. Release them at once.”

“The jackals follow no code,” Jacko spat out with finality.

“Very well! Keep them!”

Wiz Rooster suddenly said. “Come along, Din Din and Derek.”

Din Din’s mouth dropped open. What was the rooster saying? But Din Din trusted the Rooster blindly. He motioned to Derek to follow Wiz.

“Wait a minute! What do you mean `keep them’,” Jacko snarled.

“They are a bothersome duo; young and careless. The dinosaurs don’t need them,” Wiz Rooster called over his shoulder.

“Well, we don’t need them either,” roared Jacko. Behind him the other jackals also muttered amongst themselves. “They have been whining and wailing all night.

“They have let none of us sleep. They eat so much. They are pests!”

“Do whatever you wish with them,” Wiz Rooster shrugged.

“Bah! Untie them,” Jacko commanded the jackals.

The jackals shoved Dave and Don towards Wiz Rooster. “Take them!”

“If they wish to come with us, let them,” Wiz Rooster replied nonchalantly.

Dave and Don scampered to Din Din. Din Din showed no reaction but his heart was beating furiously.

He turned around to see the jackals turning away and receding into the trees.

“Oh! Thank heavens,” Din Din cried when they were out of sight.

“My bluff worked,” Wiz Rooster smiled. “Thank you for trusting me.”

“We are eternally grateful,” Din Din replied.

“Please take me home,” Don sobbed and Dave sniffed. Din Din and Derek carried their younger runaway brothers home to safety.

The Adventures of D'Land
Animated Series

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