Din Din, Delma and Dazel were hard at work.
They had gathered at the lake where Delma lived and were busy working on a gift they wanted to present to their friend, Wiz Rooster, on his birthday.
Wiz Rooster lived in a house near the pond where Dazel lived.
All the animals in D'Land had planned a wonderful birthday party and everyone wanted to give a special gift to Wiz Rooster because he had always been a helpful and sensible friend to them.
Wiz Rooster's advice and decisions always helped the animals in D'Land lead happy lives.
So, after a lot of thought and discussion, Din Din, Dazel and Delma had decided to make a boat for Wiz Rooster so that he would be able to tour the lake in D'Land, and enjoy the sights.
Since Wiz Rooster loved to travel it would be an ideal gift for him.
That morning the three friends built a small, canoe-like boat with pieces of wood, bamboo and thick branches that they had been collecting for the past few days.
As the sun beat down on them, they only took a rest to have fruit which Din Din had brought from the Fruit Park and drink water from the crystal-clear lake to quench their thirst.
Towards evening, the boat was complete and the friends watched in satisfaction as it bobbed up and down on the lake's bank.
"Don't forget to tie the boat to one of the rocks, Delma," said Din Din as he and Dazel left the lake to go home as it was late and the sun was beginning to set.
Delma was tired from the day's hard work and quickly fell asleep. She woke up the next day just as the sun was about to rise.
The first thing she remembered was the boat and that she had forgotten to tie it. She looked around in panic but there was no sign of the boat they had so lovingly made.
She swam around the lake frantically in circles but couldn't see anything. "Maybe the strong wind blew it far away; maybe it crashed against some rocks near the lake's edge and got destroyed."
Such dismal thoughts crowded Delma’s mind and her heart began to sink.
Tears fell as she thought about what her friends would say.
"They'll hate me! It's been so long since I've had such true friends and I can't imagine living without them. If I tell them that I forgot to tie the boat to a secure rock, they will hate me and never speak to me again. We worked so hard to make the boat for Wiz Rooster and now, just because of my irresponsibility, all our efforts have been wasted."
Just then, Dazel and Din Din appeared. The two friends at once asked about the boat.
"Where's the boat, Delma," quacked Dazel anxiously.
"I don't know," blurted out Delma.
"Did you tie it securely?" asked Din Din in a concerned voice.
Now Delma did not know what to say. She knew that if she told the truth, her friends would be very disappointed in her and maybe never speak to her again. If she lied they would not blame her and she would be spared their hatred.
But her conscience did not let her tell a lie. Delma remained silent. Tears flowed from her eyes and her body shook.
"What happened, Delma?" Din Din and Dazel asked earnestly as they climbed down into the lake water to console her.
"I'm so sorry," Delma sobbed. "I fell asleep and forgot to tie the boat. It's all my fault. Please don't hate me," she pleaded. "I should have completed my task before going to sleep. Please forgive me!" she repeated.
"Don't worry Delma," said Din Din. "Maybe it just floated away. We'll find it!"
"I'll fly around to see if I can spot it," said Dazel hastily, and flapping her wings she flew away.
Delma and Din Din continued to look up at Dazel circling above the lake repeatedly. Din Din also walked around the edge of the lake to see if the boat had drifted ashore, but nobody seemed to have any luck.
Suddenly, they heard Dazel screeching high in the sky. "I can see it, I can see it! It's near the cove at the far side of the lake." Dazel exclaimed.
"I'll swim to it and push it back till here," said Delma quickly, her tears forgotten.
It took a while for Delma to push and guide the boat back to the lake's edge where her friends were waiting for her.
The boat had been broken from one side. The three friends reviewed the damage in silence and quickly began to collect branches and bamboo they would need to rebuild the boat.
However, Din Din and Dazel did not say anything which would make Delma feel bad.
It was late evening when the boat was finally ready.
"Thank you, my friends, for forgiving me," said Delma.
"It's okay," replied Din Din, with a smile. "I admire you for telling the truth, Delma."
"Yes," replied Dazel, "It requires a lot of strength and a clean heart to tell the truth. It was the power of this truth which helped us work together and remake the boat just in time."
And guess which gift was liked the best by Wiz Rooster?
It was the boat presented by Delma, Din Din and Dazel, and Wiz Rooster spent many happy days relaxing on the lake in the boat as Delma pushed it around with her snout.
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