The statues which spoke - Part 2
Delma was waiting anxiously for Din Din and Dazel to come to the lakeside that Sunday. When she saw the bright feathered duck approach, she nearly wept in relief.
“Dazel!” she cried.
“Delma!“Dazel replied cheerfully unaware of her friend’s distress. “Look, our statues look so real!” the duck continued.
“Dazel…they are real!” Delma said miserably. “I mean they spoke to me last night.”
“What in the world are you saying?” Dazel said frowning.
“Yes, please believe me. Olly thinks I was dreaming, but I know what I saw. These statues spoke to me. They asked me for food. I even gave them oranges and when I returned with Olly, the oranges had disappeared. If I had been dreaming the oranges would still be here,” Delma explained. “You believe me don’t you, Dazel?”
“Yes, ofcourse I do,” Dazel replied with conviction. She knew Delma would never make up such a story and she was too sensible to have dreamt up all this. Delma hugged her best friend in gratitude, her eyes welling up.
Quietly, Dazel waddled up to the statues. She peered at them carefully. She even poked them with her wing.
“Maybe they are made of some kind of magical clay which brings them to life in the moonlight,“Dazel wondered aloud, her imagination firing her thoughts.
“It’s possible,” Delma agreed. “Let’s talk to Bea the beaver. She was the one who gave us the clay.”
When Din Din joined them and was told the story about the talking statues, the three friends returned to the beaver’s lodge to find Bea preparing food for her children.
“Bea, may we speak to you. Something strange has happened,” Dazel began. The beaver listened quietly.
“This is a remarkable story. If you’re asking me if this clay is magical then I must say I don’t know. I have used this clay for years for my pottery — I get it from the cliffs near the seashore.”
Finding no answer or comfort from the beaver, the three friends returned to the lake. It was evening by then and Delma was afraid to spend the night alone.
“I can stay here with you,” Dazel comforted Delma.
“I would have stayed too, but I haven’t told my parents and they will worry if I don’t return by nightfall. If you wish I can go to Fruit Park, take permission from them and return to the lake,” Din Din suggested.
“No, Din Din. It’s fine. It’s a school day tomorrow. You must go back to your family. Dazel will keep me company,” Delma reassured her dinosaur friend.
When darkness fell, Delma kept glancing at the statues which stood unmoving on the rock. She was in a dilemma. On one hand she wanted the statues to talk so that Dazel could believe her and on the other she was spooked by the memory of the statues’ eerie voices.
“They spoke after midnight,” Delma informed Dazel.
“It’s okay, Delma. Let’s just try to sleep. We both have to go to school tomorrow. If the statues do decide to talk we will wake up anyways,” Dazel consoled her.
Dazel was soon snoozing, her body bobbing up and down on the lake water. Delma was utterly exhausted because she had been unable to sleep the previous night, yet, the memory of the statues voices kept her awake.
She swam nearer to the statues. The moonlight reflected on them — the rabbit, the eagle, the octopus and the dinosaur. Suddenly, a whisper came from the statues. “Why did you tell everyone about us? It was our little secret.”
With a start, Delma let out a blood curling scream and dashed towards Dazel.
“Wha..what happened Delma?” Dazel yelled, jumping up in fright.
“The statues spoke to me. Again!” the terrified dolphin cried.
“Where? I didn’t hear them,” Dazel replied, puzzled.
“That’s because you were fast asleep. They whispered to me. They said that I shouldn’t have told anyone that they could talk,” Delma said desperately.
“Wait,” said Dazel. She waddled out of the water and went around the rock on which the statues stood. The statues remained motionless. Behind the rock were some brambles. Dazel peered into them to see some orange peels.
“These are the peels of the oranges that Delma gave the statues last night!” Dazel thought to herself. Dazel also noticed footprints which lead from these brambles behind the rock away from the lakeside.
“Someone’s been here,” she mused. Without another word, she followed the footsteps. “I’ll be right back, Delma,” the duck reassured her friend. The footprints went along the lake’s edge and led to Bea the beaver’s lodge. Dazel was stunned. She peered inside the piles of wood which had been used to make the lodge. All the beavers were asleep. Except one. Dell — Bea’s mischievous son was awake and munching on an orange.
Dazel was delirious with anger. It was Dell who had played a prank on poor Delma. Without paying heed to the fact that it was past midnight, Dazel knocked on the beavers’ door.
Dell opened the door cautiously. “Dazel? What are you doing here at this hour?”
“Actually, I’m spying on you, Dell. I know all about how you have been playing a prank on Delma. Wait till I tell your mother. You will be grounded for life,” Dazel retorted furiously.
Dell quickly closed the door behind him and motioned for Dazel to come with him. “Dazel, listen. It was just a harmless joke. Please don’t involve any elders”.
“A joke!? Delma is frightened out of her skin. She has begun to doubt her sanity — thanks to your ‘harmless’ prank,” Dazel lashed out.
“I had no idea she would be so upset,” Dell grumbled.
“Come with me at once and explain your actions to her,” Dazel ordered.
So the sulking beaver went up to Delma’s lakeside home and apologized. “It was me who was hiding behind the rock and pretending to be the statues voice,” Dell said, his head bowed.
Delma looked at Dazel who could not help grinning.
“Dell! How could you?” Delma replied in shock.
Suddenly, the dolphin burst out laughing. “How could I have been so silly!” the dolphin laughed good-naturedly.
Dazel also giggled helplessly. Dell grinned impishly.
And behind them the statues grinned in the moonlight too.
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