The summer camping trip

Let's find out what Dazel is up to this week.
Published August 6, 2022 Updated August 6, 2022 09:00am

Dazel the duck was awake even before the sun had risen. It would soon be dawn of the second day of their summer trip and Dazel was very upset.

Everything had started out so well. She had been so excited to go on this camping trip to the beach with her class mates and she had been even more ecstatic at being chosen group leader. But once they had reached the beach where they were supposed to camp, everything begun to go wrong.

Her group had fallen second in both the tasks on Day One and Candy the canary's team had won. Dazel also had Eva the sour-tempered eagle on her team who was very difficult to deal with.

Today was the second and final day of their camping trip.

Dazel looked at both the groups — the birds were still sleeping. Dazel knew they would be up with the first rays of the sun.

"I must wake up my team members before Candy's group, so that we are fresh to take on the first task for today," said Dazel.

She gently nudged Swain and Oti. They woke up immediately and started rousing Rita the robin, Teak the woodpecker, Davy the dove and Pie the pigeon. When Dazel tried to wake up Eva, the eagle let out a wild squawk.

"What is it now," grumbled the eagle. "It's not even morning yet!" "It's going to be dawn soon," whispered Dazel. "Freshen up so that we are able to have breakfast and be ready for our first task."

After a series of snorts Eva woke up but her noisy groans woke up Candy's team too.

Dazel's efforts to give her team a head start were in vain as now both the teams were up and about.

As the sun rose, Wiz Rooster announced that each team's task for the day was a treasure hunt. Each team was given a map. The team which followed the map and got to the treasure first would win.

Dazel and her team huddled around the map.

"The treasure area is marked with an `X'," said Dazel. "The 'X' seems to be very far from the beach near a set of hills," she discussed with her group.

"Come on, we have seen the map. Now let’s start finding the treasure," snapped Eva the eagle in her irritated voice.

"No Eva. The first thing to do is to fly over this area and find the hills which are shown in the map," said Dazel firmly.

Dazel's group flew over the beach. They could see a border of hills on the northern side of the beach. Dazel gestured to her team to fly down there. When they landed at the foot of the hills Eva complained, "There are so many hills. It will take ages for us to find the treasure."

"Please calm down, Eva," said Dazel. "I am familiar with these hills." "Really?" exclaimed Swain. "Yes, Swain! I have been here before. You all know I love to explore D'Land and this is a part of D'Land I have visited before. The area marked `X' is near the hills but also near a waterfall. That is the waterfall where I have picnicked with my best friends Din Din and Delma," replied Dazel. "Come on follow me."

Sure enough Dazel's team soon reached a waterfall.

"Here it is!" cried out Oti as he stretched his long neck to a shelf behind the waterfall. "There is an 'X' drawn here.”

All the birds from Dazel's team flew and hovered near the waterfall, getting drenched in the spray of the falling water.

A pearl sat in an oyster on the shelf where the 'X' was written. Eva the eagle tried to grab the pearl in her curved beak.

"Be careful," warned Teak the woodpecker, "Make sure you don't scratch it!"

"Let Dazel hold it," said Swain. "Her beak in smoother and she is the team leader. It was her know-how of the area which led us here.”

Reluctantly Eva let Dazel hold the gleaming pearl and the team flew to the campsite.

Wiz Rooster was waiting. "Dazel's team has found the treasure I see. Congratulations! I did not expect any team to find the pearl so quickly," said the rooster.

"It was Dazel's familiarity with the area which helped us locate the treasure so speedily," said Swain loyally. Dazel blushed with pride. "No, no," added Dazel, "It was team work!" Her team mates cheered.

Eva the eagle looked surprised at Dazel's words.

Soon Candy's team came back empty-handed.

"The major task for the day was won by Dazel and her team," declared Wiz Rooster. "Now for the final task — each team has to prepare a meal with as many ingredients that you found yesterday. You will be judged on the uniqueness and taste of your meal. The point is to work in harmony," explained Wiz Rooster.

Each team quickly prepared a bonfire. Dazel planned to make plum jam on banana leaves with sunflower seed salad and coconut water spiked with lemon and lime.

"Is everyone in agreement with this menu?" asked Dazel as she looked at her team members in anticipation. She desperately wanted to be a good leader whom everyone respected.

"I think it's a very simple and boring menu," quipped in Eva.

"Simple is good," said Rita the robin. "We will work hard at making these simple dishes tasty and presentable. If we try something too fancy, it might not work out well."

The rest of the team members nodded in agreement and they set about to prepare the meal in the allotted time. Eva grumbled while she worked but the other birds ignored her and got busy in helping each other complete their task.

Soon the meal was prepared by both teams and served to Wiz Rooster who was to judge them.

Candy's team had prepared a tower of fruits as a salad, a stew of dates and coconut water.

"Their food looks much better," hissed Eva to her team mates.

Teak the woodpecker looked at Eva angrily but before a fight could break out Dazel said hurriedly, "Look Wiz Rooster is tasting the dishes."

Both the teams looked on in silence as Wiz Rooster surveyed the dishes and sampled them. Finally he looked up and said, "Both the teams have done a great job. But there must be one winner and I believe Dazel and her team have prepared a tastier fare."

Dazel and her team mates jumped up and down in joy.

In the evening, when it was time to wind up their camps and set off home, Wiz Rooster summoned both the teams.

"There were four tasks. Candy's team won the two tasks yesterday while Dazel's team won the two tasks today. It seems like it's a tie," said Wiz Rooster. Both the teams began to clap.

As the two groups congratulated each other Eva the eagle came to Dazel.

"Congratulations," Eva said. "Congratulations to you too, Eva," replied Dazel with a smile.

"You proved to be a good leader after all," added Eva reluctantly.

"Thank you," said Dazel humbly.

As Eva flew away, Swain came upto Dazel and said, "Oh my my! Dazel, you won the approval of sour-tempered Eva! That is your actual victory!" And the two birds laughed together.


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