The eccentric eye doctor

Grandmamma was squinting at the basket she was weaving. Finally she sighed.

“I think my vision is failing,” she said with resignation.

“What?” Din Din exclaimed in alarm. “Are you going blind?” he asked anxiously. He couldn’t imagine his beloved grandmother going blind.

“No, my dear child,” Grandmamma chuckled, “But it happens with old age.”

“There must be something we can do. Let’s go to Dr. Trish,” Din Din insisted. So, upon Din Din’s persuasion, Grandmamma was accompanied to the cave where Dr. Trish, the triceratops dinosaur, ran her clinic. The clinic was crowded with dinosaurs of all sizes and Din Din waited patiently with his matriarch in the waiting area. Finally, when their turn came, Din Din explained to the stoic-faced doctor, “My grandmother is having trouble seeing.”

“Let me examine her eyes,” said Dr. Trish. “Its old age I guess,” she finally remarked.

“That’s what I told him,” Grandmamma commented serenely.

“But what can we do?” Din Din asked in exasperation.

“Nothing,” said Grandmamma. “Come on my dear, let’s go home. There are some things we have to accept.”

“Maybe not,” pronounced Dr. Trish thoughtfully. “There might be a way.” “What? Please tell us doctor,” Din Din asked eagerly.

“There is an eye doctor in D’Land,” continued Dr. Trish. “But he is eccentric.”

“Eccentric?” asked Din Din in puzzlement.

“Yes, his treatments are a bit strange,” the doctor explained. “I have heard he has invented some kind of contraption which can aid people in improving their vision.”

“Where is this doctor?” probed Din Din.

“He lives on the eastern side of the lake in a burrow. He is a rabbit; they call him Dr. Madderick. No one knows his real name,” Dr. Trish elaborated. “He has been working on several inventions to improve vision for years. He hid himself in the cave mines up north for a long time. Last year he finally came out of his seclusion claiming that he had finally invented something which would help creatures with weak eye sight.”

“I must take Grandmamma to him,” Din Din said with conviction.

Despite Grandmamma’s protests and objections from the rest of his family members, Din Din took his grandmother to the eastern part of the lakeside.

“I’m not comfortable with mother going to a mad doctor,” Mrs. Dee, Din Din’s mother said doubtfully. “I’ve never heard of this eye doctor.”

“Ma, I know all of you are hesitant but there is a chance Grandmamma could see properly. There is no harm in simply paying a visit to this Dr. Madderick,” Din Din said with determination.

So on a Saturday morning, following Dr. Trish’s directions, Din Din reached the burrow where Dr. Madderick was supposed to live.

“Hello? Is anyone here? Dr. Madderick?” called out Din Din.

Suddenly, a head popped out from under the ground. “Hey, what brings you here?” asked a rabbit with pink fur. His eyes were round and pink too and he sniffed his running nose.

“I am Din Din and this is my Grandmamma. She is having trouble seeing,” Din Din blurted out.

“Oh! Yes I have a solution to your problem. But you will have to come to my clinic,” the rabbit exclaimed. He scampered out of the hole and sprinted towards a cave. Din Din followed him, “Come on Gran,” he urged. Inside the cave were eerie looking stones which gave off light.

“Come have a seat, Madam,” said the rabbit motioning Grandmamma to a flat rock.

“Close your right eye and read the alphabets written on that wall using the left eye.” He indicated to a wall of the cave on which alphabets varying in sizes were printed in a neat script. Grandmamma could only read the top two lines of the alphabets.

“Now read using your right eye,” the doctor said. Grandmamma could read all the alphabets easily.

“Hmmmm…” murmured Dr. Madderick. “The sight is weak in the left eye. I cannot promise that you will have the vision of an eagle but there will be improvement.” The rabbit rummaged on some shelves and came up with a round, flat crystal. It had a string tied to it. He placed the circular object on Grandmamma’s left eye and tucked the string behind her ear.

“Now read the alphabets,” he encouraged her. This time Grandmamma could read four lines of the alphabets inscribed on the cave wall.

“Ah! There you go,” the rabbit rejoiced in triumph. “Gran, can you really see,” asked Din Din in amazement.

“I can see better than before,” admitted Grandmamma with a delighted giggle.

“How did you do that? What is that crystal? Is it magic?” Din Din asked Dr. Madderick.

The doctor seemed quite pleased with Din Din’s reaction and was keen to explain how the crystal worked. “For years I experimented using objects that magnified things. Gems and crystals are such objects. In the course of my research, I discovered a quartz crystal mine and saw that things seemed magnified when you looked through a clear crystal. I started polishing and cutting crystals and tried them on creatures who said they had trouble seeing.”

“That is incredible,” praised Din Din.

“Some creatures call me a quack. Others say that it’s not convenient to wear this eye glass all the time. But it is hope for those who can’t see properly,” Madderick explained.

“I don’t think you are mad at all. I think you are a genius,” said Din Din in admiration.

Madderick grinned from ear to ear. “I’m glad you think so. There is a very thin line between madness and ingenuity.”

“What do I have to pay you for this eye glass? I have brought you a basket laden with the choicest fruits from Fruit Park,” Din Din offered.

“Oh, how charming! I will accept gladly. But if you really wish to pay me just tell the creatures of D’Land that I’m not mad. Maybe just misunderstood,” the rabbit said with a wistful look in his bulging eyes.

“You can count on me, Dr. Madderick,” Din Din promised.

“And I will refer you to all my elderly dinosaur friends,” vowed Grandmamma. And she trudged to Fruit Park with her eye piece glinting in the afternoon sun.

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