When I was about nine, one of my younger brother Andy’s nursery school teachers gave us a duckling. I don’t know why, but I fell in love with this creature and wanted him to be mine. Andy didn’t object. In fact, I don’t think he was interested. So, the duckling’s cage was placed in my room, and I named him David. Why I gave him that name I don’t know.
As the months went by, I regretted claiming David. The only place we could find to put his cage in my room was over my baby doll Anabella’s crib. I soon discovered that David was no substitute for Anabella. All he wanted to do was quack. Naturally, he didn’t take to being snuggled. I could have asked someone to move the cage temporarily while I took Anabella out of her crib, then kept her on the bed. But I probably figured she’d roll off, like Andy did when he was a baby.
David stank, despite Mother’s attempts to bathe him. At the time, because of my visual impairment, I was wearing a Braille watch. When I took it off to take my own bath, the place on my wrist where it was smelled like David. When I told Mother, she joked about David somehow getting to that spot.
We were living in Tucson, Arizona. Several months after David arrived, Mother, perhaps sensing I disliked him, suggested we take him to a local park, where there was a pond, and release him. That was one of the best times of my life, standing on the shore with Mother and Andy, watching David swim away, as another child cried, “Wow! Look at that duck.”
Relieved, I was only too glad to turn and walk away, leaving David behind and never seeing him again. After we got home, I lifted Anabella out of her crib and held her as if she were my long-lost daughter.
How about you? Did you have any pets you didn’t like when you were growing up?
Thanks to beetleypete for inspiring my Life’s Alphabet series with a similar one he posted last December. Every day, he wrote about an aspect of his life, using a word starting with a consecutive letter of the alphabet. You can check out his blog here.
Photo Courtesy of Tess Anderson Photography
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New! Why Grandma Doesn’t Know Me
Copyright 2021 by Abbie Johnson Taylor.
Independently published with the help of DLD Books.
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Sixteen-year-old Natalie’s grandmother, suffering from dementia and confined to a wheelchair, lives in a nursing home and rarely recognizes Natalie. But one Halloween night, she tells her a shocking secret that only she and Natalie’s mother know. Natalie is the product of a one-night stand between her mother, who is a college English teacher, and another professor.
After some research, Natalie learns that people with dementia often have vivid memories of past events. Still not wanting to believe what her grandmother has told her, she finds her biological father online. The resemblance between them is undeniable. Not knowing what else to do, she shows his photo and website to her parents.
Natalie realizes she has some growing up to do. Scared and confused, she reaches out to her biological father, and they start corresponding.
Her younger sister, Sarah, senses their parents’ marital difficulties. At Thanksgiving, when she has an opportunity to see Santa Claus, she asks him to bring them together again. Can the jolly old elf grant her request?