The three friends, Din Din, Dazel and Delma were caught up in the throes of a heated discussion.
"I'm telling you mythological creatures do exist!" said Delma. "I remember Wiz Rooster telling us that such creatures exist in D'Land which are considered to be fantastical or legendary by others."
"But you do know what a phoenix is, don't you?" exclaimed Din Din.
"Of course, I do," cried Dazel in indignation. It's a beautiful bird and it is said that only one phoenix can exist at one time and that it can live for five hundred or even a thousand years. When it senses that its life is coming to an end, the phoenix builds itself a funeral pyre made of cinnamon or other aromatic material and allows itself to be consumed by the flames. Then, as the old phoenix is reduced to ashes, a new one rises to begin its life."
"And you think such a bird really exists?" Din Din said shaking his head. "How is it possible for a bird to live on for a thousand years?"
Delma who had been listening to her friends' animated debate asked softly, "But what does this bird look like?"
Dazel was quick to answer, "It is said that it looks like an eagle or heron and has a colorful plumage and a tail of gold and scarlet or purple, blue, and green."
"Wow! That does sound breathtaking!" breathed Delma.
"But has anyone ever seen it?" Din Din interrupted.
"If such a detailed description of the phoenix exists, then maybe someone has seen it," intoned Dazel. "And if there is only one of its kind, I'm sure it's hard to spot. But I tell you, if there is any place where it can exist, it's in D'Land."
Dell, the young beaver, surfaced near the three friends at the lake's edge. "You know, I think even mermaids and unicorns exist," he joined in, his mischievous eyes sparkling.
"Have you been eavesdropping on our conversation?" said Din Din irritably.
"No, no!" said Dell hastily. "You all were talking so loudly that I couldn't help but hear the discussion and I for one agree with Dazel."
"Wiz Rooster's the best creature to tell us," said Delma. "I guess he should help us get answers. After all, it was he who helped us solve the mystery of the lake monster and made us realize that it was an aquatic dinosaur who lived in a cave in the lake and not a monster at all." The others nodded in agreement. It was decided that Din Din would meet Dazel at the Aviary School building after school hours so that they could talk to Wiz Rooster who was the principal of the Aviary School for Birds.
The next afternoon Din Din trudged towards Aviary School where Dazel was waiting for him impatiently.
"Where have you been?" cried Dazel. "I had taken an appointment from Wiz Rooster and you have kept him waiting!"
"I'm so sorry," apologized a chastened Din Din. "I came directly from Terrestrial School but it's a long way."
"Yes, I understand" replied Dazel quickly, ashamed that she had burst out at her friend without realizing his situation.
Wiz Rooster appeared outside the school building and said with a flap of his wings. "Hello, Din Din. Let's all sit here under these shady oak trees and then you both can tell me what you wanted to see me for."
Once Wiz Rooster was perched comfortably atop a smooth boulder under an oak's shade, Dazel asked, "Do you think phoenix exist in D'Land."
If Wiz Rooster was surprised by this abrupt question, he hid his amazement well, and said with a smile, "Why are we discussing a phoenix all of a sudden?"
"We were just having a discussion on creatures that we have heard about but never seen — like mermaids and unicorns and dragons," explained Din Din.
Wiz Rooster looked at the two friends thoughtfully, "You all are very curious and curiosity is a good thing. It creates a desire to know and explore more; it is a sign of intelligence," he finished encouragingly.
Din Din and Dazel waited with bated breath for what he might say next. I believe that all legends and myths have some kind of basis. They cannot be complete fantasy," Wiz Rooster said with an enigmatic smile.
You are being secretive," pleaded Dazel impatiently. "Please, tell us. Do such creatures exist in D'Land?'
It was after a protracted pause that Wiz Rooster finally answered, "Yes, my dears. D'Land is home to all such creatures who are thought to be extinct and which are even thought of to be imaginary."
Dazel let out a sigh of wonder. Din Din looked at Wiz Rooster in incredulity.
"Where do such creatures live?" Din Din said in an amazed whisper. "D'Land is a huge place," replied Wiz Rooster sagely. "You all are young and have yet to explore this enigmatic land. But when you are older you should trek around this wonderful place and get to know all the kinds of glorious creatures it inhabits. You are sure to be stunned."
That evening, Din Din and Dazel went to the lake to tell Delma all about their fascinating talk with Wiz Rooster. As the sun cast a golden glow over D'Land, Delma whispered in awe. "There are so many creations out there which we don't even know about. And every creation is a fascinating piece of art and beauty."
"You are so right, Delma," replied Din Din thoughtfully. "There is so much to ponder over in this world."
And so much to be grateful for," quipped in Dazel.
And the three friends sighed in contentment as the diamond-like stars began pricking out in the evening sky.
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