March 31, 2012 When I was about nine years old, my parents bought a baby duck for my brother and me for Easter. For some reason we named him Oswald. He was fuzzy and yellow, and oh, so soft, and we took turns holding him.
My mother bought some food for Oswald, and my Dad built him a little pen in the basement, because he was too young to live outdoors.
Not that we had an ideal place to keep him in the yard. It was pretty much a city place, with neighbors all around and a busy street out front - and not a pond or stream anywhere in sight.
You see, we didn't get Oswald because we had always wanted a duck as a pet; we got him because it was Easter and he was little and fuzzy and cute - and we didn't give much thought to what we would do with him when he grew up.
Pretty soon he did begin to grow, and it wasn't long before we realized we hadn't made the best choice in pets.
My dad checked around for a place that would take Oswald. A man who tended the ducks at a city park finally agreed to let us bring ours over to see if he would get along with the rest of the flock.
For a long time after that, I thought we were very smart to have found such a great place for Oswald. Then later I began to think we were really lucky.
Now I realize that we just wanted very much to believe that Oswald lived happily ever after.
We had bought a pet for the wrong reasons, and the man at the park gave us a way out.
Before you find yourself facing the dilemma of dealing with an unwanted Easter pet, consider the special needs and long-term commitment of buying a live animal in conjunction with a holiday - or you could find yourself raising chickens or rabbits or ducks.
You may decide a furry, cuddly, stuffed toy Easter pet would serve just as well for that temporary huggable playmate.
If you really want a more permanent playmate, visit your local animal shelter – where there are lots of lovable dogs, cats, puppies and kittens just waiting for the chance to be someone's year-round friend - when you're speaking of pets.