Enjoy the continuing saga of Animal Kingdom Adventures. If you missed the first installment, “The Lion and the Porcupine Declare the Day,” you can read it here. The second installment is “Daniel Gollimer Keeps a Record”, and the third, “Charity Turns Things Around.” may be read here, In “Daffney’s Secret, the animal friends try to find out what makes Daffney different.
When Daniel and Charity reached the creek, Judy, a giraffe, was leaning up against an acacia tree reading a book. I know that sounds strange, but that is what she was doing. She always kept a book with her. She looked up when Daniel and Charity approached, and her eyes were as big as elephant ears. “Fellows!” she called to the giraffes and beavers playing in the water. “Come here, quick it’s Charity and Mr. Doom and—, I mean Daniel Gollimer, and he’s smiling, well sort of smiling. Daniel, why are you smiling?”
As the beavers shook off water from the creek, and the giraffes stepped up out of the water, Daniel looked sheepishly down at the sharp claws on his front paws. “Well, I , well, you see, Miss Charity said that well, you all uh needed me.”
Judy looked at him suspiciously and said, “Needed you?” a sideways glance at Charity who was subtly nodding her head up and down, caused her to quickly add, “Oh, of course, of course we nnneeed you!”
Charity chimed in, “You see, just as I told you, we need you to help us fill the forest with joy, peace, and faith! You don’t have to call him Mr. Doom and Gloom any more!” As Charity was about to tell all of them about the adventure of getting Daniel turned around, the animals looked at one another.
“What was that?” Judy asked.
“I don’t know,” Charity remarked.
“It’s the rumbling.” Daniel commented rather calmly. Just as the rumbling stopped and the animals resumed their conversation, Miss Daffney, the graceful deer pranced by offering her pleasant greeting.
“Good afternoon, Judy, Jeremy, Daniel, Charity. How are you today, Belinda, Brenda, Barry. Jerry, you look taller today for some reason.” She didn’t stop to talk but continued on upstream toward the meadow.
The animals knew that Daffney liked a lot of time to herself. She often spent time talking and working alongside them, but every day she would make her way upstream for some unknown reason.
Daffney quietly hummed to herself as she pranced away and soon came to her special place beside of the stream. Folding her legs under her, she looked contentedly out over the stream, not hearing the chittering monkeys above her.
Three monkeys, Maggie, Millly, and Michael swung hand over hand from branch to branch high over the forest floor chattering among themselves.
“There she is again, ” Milly babbled. ” Daffney is at it again. Her lips are moving, but no one is around. She’s down there by the stream. Who is she talking to?”
“I think it is someone who is invisible.”
“That’s ridiculous, no one is invisible.”
“How do you know?”
“Because you can’t see them.”
“Well if you can’t see them, how do you know they aren’t there?”
“Okay, you two, cut it out.”
“Listen, she’s singing again. So what is your guess at what’s going on, Mikey?”
“I don’t know, I think we should go tell the otters what we found!” So the monkeys agilely made their way through the forest and then swung on down to the lowest stream where the otters worked and played.
“Oliver, where are the others? We wanted to let you know what we found out about Daffney.” Maggie proclaimed as the otters gathered around.
“She’s talking to somebody invisible!” Mikey blurted out. “That’s why she’s so smart and wise and peaceful. Somebody is feeding her information. She goes off by herself about the same time everyday, and she sits by the stream, and she just rests awhile, then she talks a while and rests some more and then she prances off to see what we all are doing. If somebody asks her a question, she often gives the best advice. You know that, remember when she told you where to find crayfish, back when there was a food shortage. I say she’s getting information from someone else, someone invisible.”
Oliver rubbed his chin against the waterslide he was preparing to use as entrance to the water. “Hmmm, Mikey. This sounds very interesting. We’ve been watching her for weeks. I think it’s time we ask her about it.”
Milly chattered back, “Oh, do you think we should? Do you think she would tell us? She’s a strange one, nice as she can be, but strange.”
Oscar, the older otter floated on the water’s surface. Up to this point he had been listening. Now he spoke, “I think it is in the best interest of the forest to find out what she is up to. If there is an invisible stranger in the forest, we all need to know it. She’s a fine example for us all. She’s always calm and peaceful, kind and loving. She’s productive. She contributes to the harmony and safety of the group. We need to know what or Who she knows.”
“Okay, okay, let’s go. I can’t wait. I hope she doesn’t get mad. She could get mad you know. She could say, it’s none of our business. Folks say that about us you know, monkey business, or something. What are they talking about? I think everything is our business. Let’s go. let’s go!” Maggie swung from one hanging vine to the next and Milly and Mikey followed.
The monkeys once again made their way back through the trees, and then swung down as the otters swam up until they finally saw Daffney, eyes half-closed and a hint of a smile on her face. “Excuse us, Miss Daffney, may we have a moment of your time?”
“Of course,” Daffney answered sweetly. “What can I do for you?”
“Well, uh, I don’t quite know how to say this,” Oscar spoke, his voice barely heard over the rippling water.
“I’ll ask her,” Mikey declared, “What are you doing here? Why do you come here? What is going on? Who are you talking to? Why do you have such calmness and why are you so smart?”
“Michael, you are being rude!” Oliver proclaimed. “What Mikey means is, we were just wondering if you would share your secret with us. What is the secret to why you are so contented and wise?”
What will Daffney’s answer be? Will she tell them what they want to know? And what is that rumbling they here in the distance? You can read about it in “Daffney’s Invisible Friend.”
Fun facts about otters:
- Otters appear to do some activities for sheer enjoyment like making a waterslide and then sliding on it to enter the water.
- They live near water, but enter mostly to travel or hunt.
- Otters live up to 16 years.
Fun Facts About Deer
- Deer have a keen senses of smell, sight, and hearing.
- Deer make different sounds like bleating, snorting, and grunting.
- Deer are extremely good swimmers.