An epidemic hits fruit park - Part 2
Din Din moaned as he lay on the stiff bunk in Dr. Trish's clinic. His stomach cramps were becoming intolerable. Beside him his brother Derek also fought waves of nausea which rolled over him.
Twenty other young ailing dinosaurs were crowded on the bunks in the cave which was Dr. Trish's clinic. The sign outside the clinic said 'Quarantine —Stay Out'. They had all been exposed to contaminated water in the springs of Fruit Park and Dr. Trish was afraid that their infection might be contagious.
Din Din saw his mother and father bathe the heads of some patients who were beginning to develop fever. They had volunteered to tend to the patients while Dr. Trish worked day and night to try and find out the kind of chemical which had infested the water.
Just then, an exhausted Dr. Trish, the triceratops doctor, stepped from her lab at the back of the cave into the area where the patients rested.
"Any luck?" Din Din heard his father ask the doctor anxiously.
The doctor just shook her head.
"Dr. Trish," whispered Din Din hoarsely. “You should talk to Wiz Rooster. He is a treasure trove of knowledge."
"I'll admit that I need help," sighed Dr. Trish.
"My younger brothers can go to the Aviary School and ask Wiz Rooster to come here," suggested Din Din softly.
So the next morning an extremely concerned Wiz Rooster came to Fruit Park, accompanied by Dazel the duck, Din Din's best friend.
"What has happened? Dazel asked Mr. D nervously.
"Din Din, Derek and twenty other dinosaurs have been infected," began Mr. D.
Dazel was desperate to see Din Din but Mrs. Dee replied tearfully, "He is quarantined. Oh Dazel! We must find a cure.”
"Don't worry, Mrs. Dee," comforted Dazel, "Wiz Rooster will know what to do."
The wise rooster and the dinosaur doctor were engrossed in a deep discussion. They also inspected the spring which held the infected water while the rest of the group also trailed behind them. Wiz Rooster sniffed at the edge of the lake. He peered inside the depths. After a long time, he finally said, "It's the salmonella."
"What's that?" everyone asked in unison.
Dr. Trish sighed, "Salmonella is a group of bacteria — there are 2500 types of salmonella. These germs can be life threatening."
"Luckily we have been treating the patients with herbs and tonics to control the infection so their condition is not that bad. The only natural way to treat this stomach flu caused by salmonella is to give patients a lot of clean water and fluids to drink and rest," the doctor continued. "We should also start applying hot compresses to their stomach."
"But have you thought about why there are so many salmonella bacteria in your spring water now all of a sudden?" said Wiz Rooster. The dinosaurs have always used this spring for all their drinking water needs. Something has changed that the water has become contaminated. And I think I know what it is."
"What?" cried Dazel, while the others looked at Wiz Rooster expectantly.
Wiz Rooster remained silent for a moment. Then he began carefully, "There are some other creatures who have been drinking from this water."
"The jackals!" answered Mr. and Mrs. D at once. They were referring to wolf-like creatures who had also made Fruit Park their home a few months ago.
Wiz Rooster nodded. "Even though the jackals are supposed to stay on their side of Fruit Park, I believe some of them may be breaking the pact we made for the dinosaurs and jackals to live separately. When I was inspecting the spring water I saw remains of rotting fruit and even...meat."
Mr. and Mrs. D gasped and Dr. Trish shook her head in disappointment.
"This has contaminated the spring water," concluded Wiz Rooster.
"It is only you, Wiz Rooster, who can speak to the jackals and make them realize that their dirty ways are now putting the health of other creatures at risk," demanded Dazel. "They respected your decision when you demarcated Fruit Park, they will listen to you now."
Wiz Rooster nodded and set off towards the area of Fruit Park inhabited by the jackals. Dazel waited outside Dr. Trish's clinic hoping for a glimpse of Din Din while Din Din's parents, brothers and Dr. Trish went back inside the clinic to attend to the restless patients.
It was midnight when Wiz Rooster returned. By then all the dinosaurs had discovered what had happened and had assembled outside Old Rex's cave to wait for the rooster.
"I have spoken to Jacko, the leader of the jackals," explained Wiz Rooster to the crowd. "Some young jackals seem to have broken the treaty and come into the dinosaur's area. Jacko has promised this will not happen again. But now the first thing to do is to clean the spring water thoroughly and boil it in your homes before you drink it."
The dinosaurs nodded.
A week later, the quarantine on the 22 dinosaurs had been removed and Din Din and Derek were well enough to return home. Dazel was the first creature to visit her dinosaur friend.
"This is a bouquet from Delma," chirped Dazel as she handed over a huge bunch of aquatic flowers to Din Din. She was desperate to know how you were feeling."
"Much better," smiled Din Din as he lay on his bunk in his home.
"I'm better too," claimed in Derek from his bed.
And the three of them laughed in joy and relief.
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