The thirsty birds

The sun was scorching and Din Din couldn’t even muster up the strength to venture out to his garden for gardening as he did every afternoon in summer. Just the thought of weeding and digging was making him feel woozy and drained.

“Let’s go to the lake to cool off,” he suggested to his brothers, Derek, Dave and Don.

The brothers thought it was an excellent plan and the four of them set off towards the lake after lunch.

“Here, give these chocolates to Delma, your dolphin friend. They are mint ones; she’ll love them,” Mrs. Dee said to Din Din just as they were departing.

“Ma, they’ll melt by the time we get there,” Din Din protested. “And I have to stop by my garden just to check up on Kit,” he added.

His brothers moaned. “But you said we were going to the lake?” Don complained.

“It’s on the way and it’ll just take a minute,” Din Din cajoled.

Sweating and panting, the sun blazing on the backs, the four reached Din Din’s garden.

“Thank heavens the plants and flowers haven’t withered. I had watered them a day ago.

“Oh Kit,” Din Din called out to his pet cat who also looked after his garden. “What’s the matter?” he asked bending down looking at the kitten’s concerned tiny face.

Kit mewed pitifully and told Din Din, “There are a few blue birds who have made their nests in the trees here in your garden. But the heat is unbearable for them. Just flying out to the water hole from where you get the water for the garden is very tiring for them. Din Din, we must do something!”

“Where are they?” Din Din inquired.

Kit led him to a clump of elm trees at the border of Din Din’s garden. In a small nest was a family of three bluebirds. The young offspring was weak and sickly.

“It’s the heat,” explained the parent blue birds. “She’s just hatched a week ago right in the middle of the terrible heat spell we have been having. She can’t even fly!”

“She needs a lot of water,” the mother urged. “We can only collect a few droplets at a time in our beaks to help quench her thirst but I’m afraid it’s not enough. We also need to bathe her in cold water to make her feel cooler but her father and I can’t carry her.”

“Maybe I can help you with that,” Din Din offered. “If you allow me I’ll carry the young one to the water hole.” Carefully peeling a large banana leaf off a tree and placing it in his front paw, Din Din gently put the tiny bluebird on it and carried it to the water hole. The water hole was under the shade of some tall coconut trees. Letting the banana leaf float on the surface of the water, Din Din tenderly sprinkled some water on the blue bird. The bird opened its parched beak and drank in a few droplets thirstily. The cool water seemed to rejuvenate her.

“Why don’t you make your nest here in the bushes near the water hole,” suggested Din Din. “That way you can let little Blue here float in the water and drink to her heart’s content.”

“We are afraid of animals attacking us. We build nests high up in trees to protect ourselves,” explained the mother blue bird.

“In my garden, there’s no need to worry about other creatures attacking you. Kit, my trusty apprentice, is caretaker here and will make sure nothing happens to you and your family,” smiled Din Din.

“We are so grateful,” said the father bird.

“Wow, Big Brother!” exclaimed Derek.

The three brothers had been watching the events which had been unfolding before them. “We are so proud of you!”

Din Din blushed and they finally reached the lakeside for a fun-filled evening of water sports.

Early the next day, when Din Din reached his garden, a strange sight lay before him. A host of blue birds surrounded the water hole. Kit seemed to be delighted and scampered about playing with them. Most of the bluebirds were bathing themselves.

When they saw Din Din, abandoning everything they were doing, they came together in an organized flock, and carried something from the bushes, laying it on Din Din’s head. Din Din peered up to see that it was a tiara of carefully entwined daisies.

“News of your generosity has spread quickly,” explained the father blue bird, “All our relatives and acquaintances have begun to come here to seek refuge from the sweltering heat and stay near your cool water hole.”

“You are most welcome,” replied Din Din grinning. “In fact, I have had an idea. We can hang water feeders on all the trees in D’Land in summer. We can make these feeders from halved coconuts. These coconuts have water which is excellent for hydrating in summer. When that water finishes we can use the cups to fill fresh water so that birds don’t have to fly to far off water bodies in this summer heat.”

Din Din discussed this project with his friends Delma and Dazel that evening at the lakeside and they were thrilled to have such a productive project to work on in summer. Soon they had a team of twenty volunteers and they spent all their evenings harvesting coconuts from trees, breaking them open and then hanging them on tree branches with twines.

“It was a tedious work but the sight of these thirsty birds being able to drink heartily to quench their thirst is worth all the effort!” said Dazel. And the others agreed!

The Adventures of D'Land
Animated Series

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