The peafowl festival

The animals in D'Land were desperately looking forward to the weekend.

"What is all the excitement about?" Delma inquired.

"It's the Peafowl Festival," cried Dazel in excitement.

"What's that?" asked Delma.

"Have you ever seen peafowls?" asked Din Din who had just joined them. "They are beautiful birds. The male is called a peacock, the female a peahen, and the offspring peachicks. The peacock has iridescent blue-green or green colored plumage which is absolutely gorgeous. The adult female peafowl is grey or brown. Peachicks can be between yellow and a tawny colour with darker brown patches."

"So where is this festival held?" asked the curious Delma.

"The peacocks of D'Land live in one of the deepest jungles here called the Far Away Forest—that's because it's far away from the most populated part of D'Land where we live. This is the time all the peafowls come out and put up an elaborate dance. It's a sight to behold," replied Dazel.

"Most of the birds go because they can fly to the Far Away Forest, but a lot of dinosaurs and other terrestrial animals who are strong and young enough also trek to the Far Away Forest to see this peafowl display," explained Din Din.

"I wish I could also go," said Delma wistfully.

"I wish you could too," said

Dazel, "But worry not! We'll tell you all about it in detail."

"Thanks Dazel. You all always do," said Delma with a smile.

The weekend dawned bright and pleasant. From day break there was a steady stream of animals making their way to the Far Away Forest. Dazel flew with her aviary friends, while Din Din promised to meet her there. "Save me a good place," cried Din Din as he spotted Dazel's bright form flying up in the sky as he huffed and puffed towards Far Away Forest.

"Come one, Derek!" Din Din urged his younger brother. "The festival starts in the evening and we still have a long way to go.

Finally as the sky grew mellow, Far Away Forest was buzzing with animals of all kinds. A hush enveloped the clearing where the creatures had gathered as a beautiful peacock strutted into the clearing and let out a loud shrill cry. Dazel caught her breath, "Look at those eyes," she remarked to Din Din as she was perched on her dinosaur friend's head.

"The 'eyes' are the eye-like spots on the tail. There are supposed to be a hundred."

"Yes, they are breath-taking," whispered Din Din.

Soon an entourage of peacocks and Peahens came out from all directions and formed a circle. With perfect unison they fanned out their tails and strutted in perfect coordination as if they had been rehearsing for weeks.

All the creatures looked on in amazement.

"Look at their crests atop their heads," said Dazel excitedly. "They look like royalty."

"So true. Every year the peafowls put up a different performance," said Dazel, "And every year is better than the previous one.”

"I wonder what they eat that they are so beautiful and graceful?" asked Din Din in awe.

"I have heard that peafowl are omnivorous and eat most plant parts, flower petals, seed heads. Sometimes even insects and other arthropods, reptiles, and amphibians," replied Wiz Rooster who was sitting on a tall beech tree.

"And where do they live here?" asked Burrow the rabbit who was seated nearby.

"Peafowl are forest birds that nest on the ground but roost in trees," replied Wiz Rooster. "They also travel in hunting packs between ten and ninety."

After the meticulous performance was over, the clearing echoed with the thunderous sound of applause. The performers even got a standing ovation.

The pack of peacocks bowed their crowned heads in acknowledgement and strutted out of their formation and interacted with all those assembled there.

"These birds are highly sociable and require companionship," explained Wiz Rooster.

"Then why do they only welcome us during the festival," questioned Dazel.

"It is just rumour that these birds are proud. They are quite hospitable if you come to them, but maybe they are simply reserved or their proud walk and their beauty gives them the impression of being vain," said Wiz with a shake of his head.

"I wish Delma could see even one of these exotic creatures," mused Din Din aloud.

"Your wish just might come true," said Wiz Rooster with a secretive smile. Just then the eldest peacock who had opened the performance came upto Wiz Rooster and greeted him.

"Hope you enjoyed our performance," said the peacock solemnly.

"Peaso, every year you all outdo yourselves! Bravo!" complimented Wiz Rooster. "Did you give thought to the invitation we extended to you last year?" asked the rooster.

Peaso, the peacock smiled, "Yes, I did." "And I hope you and your team will be coming to our side of D'Land so we can return your annual hospitality?" said Wiz Rooster.

There was a collective gasp of pleasure from the guest animals who were listening to this interesting conversation.

"Yes, we will be visiting you next weekend," replied Peaso.

A cheer went up in the crowd. And sure enough, the next weekend, the lakeside where Delma lived was a hum drum of activity. On special request of the aquatic animals, the Peafowl performance had been arranged near the lakeside. Garlands of colourful flowers hung from tree to tree exuding a sweet perfume and lanterns flickering with fireflies shone in the evening ambiance. The peafowls who had arrived the night before were getting ready for the performance in the nearby clump of magnolia trees.

Delma seemed the most excited as she floated near the edge of the lake counting minutes for the performance to begin.

The crowd of gathered creatures grew quiet in anticipation as Peaso strutted out letting out his cry to signal the beginning of the performance. The peaowls followed.

And this time too the peafowls outdid themselves.

At the end of the magnificent show, Delma had tears of joy and gratitude in her eyes.

"If you wish for something hard enough, your prayers are sure to be answered," she whispered to her best friends Dazel and Din Din who were watching the show with her.

"You deserve it, my friend," replied her two friends.

The Adventures of D'Land
Animated Series

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