A Wonderful Lesson of Easter

A Wonderful Lesson of Easter

A Story by Tom Heeren
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A lesson about compassion at Easter and how to apply it to life

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A WONDERFUL LESSON OF EASTER

                          

    “Spring is here at last!” DeeDee Marrads hooted as she flapped her wings out of her school doors.

  Her thoughts about her old Great Uncle Kyle who lived in a nursing home helped DeeDee realize that he needed companionship.   

    At age 8, DeeDee was a lovely little duck. She went to St. Dawlad’s Primary School in the second grade. She had wonderful parents, Daddy and Mum Marrads who were proud of her accomplishments.              

     Wills was an obnoxious older brother whose interests were online skating, duck rock music, DMTV and flirting with teenage girls swans at Duondon College, a secondary school.  Michelle was a cute duckling who played with toys and books.

  The Marrad family loved to pour happy songs of quackful into the poultry Qondoners’ lives.

    Earlier in school, DeeDee learned an important lesson: compassion for all ducks, swans, robins, woodpeckers, eagles and other fowl.

   Upon arriving her neat row house in Qaton Square, DeeDee waddled in the front hall.  Inside there were the family pictures and the official portrait of Queen Emma II, a swan who ruled Great Dritain for the past 26 years. She was loved and respected by ducks and non-poultry animals alike.

   DeeDee flapped her wings into the kitchen where Mum prepared tea for the family.

   “Hello, Mum,” DeeDee greeted. “What’re you doing?”

   “I’m making tea for Dad, Wills, you and Michelle,” Mum replied as she placed five cups on the small china saucers. “How are you, dear? Isn’t today a beautiful day?”

    “Yes, it’s a lovely day. I’m fine, thank you. I have a question. I learned the importance of volunteering. Why do we volunteer?”

    “Because we give our lives to make others’ lives a little better, you know, dear,” Mum said.

   “But volunteering is like any job, right?”

    “Yes, of course! Qucd wants us to carry on His love for all ducks. Maybe we can change the world for better, dear."

    “What about Uncle Kyle? Why is he staying in the home?” DeeDee asked.

    “Well, he has been lonely and is getting old. Uncle Kyle needs someone to sit with him for a few minutes. Would you like to cheer him up?”

   “Sure! I’ll help Great Uncle Kyle feel better. Where’s he living at?”

   “At St. Duckwina Home for Distinguished Ducks on Wellington Street. Why don’t you ring your best friend Jan to go with you?”

   “Cool idea! Thanks a lot!” DeeDee waved her wings with enthusiasm and hugged Mother.

   The school duck waddled to the telephone stand and dialed Jan’s number. She fanned her left wing to relax while waiting for her best friend to answer the phone.

  “Hello, who is speaking, please?” Jan asked.

   “Hi Jan! It’s DeeDee.” DeeDee replied, “My mommy says we can go to St. Duckwina Home for Distinguished Ducks. Do you want to go?”

   “Yes! I’ll see you there, okay?”

   “Good. I’ll see you in a few minutes.  Goodbye!”

   The two ducks hung up their phones.

   DeeDee waddled back to the kitchen. She kissed her mom on her right cheek.

   “I’m off. Can I get my allowance from my bedroom before leaving?”

   “But of course, dear. Please be careful.  All right?” Mother reminded DeeDee lovingly.

   “Sure, I’ll be fine, don’t worry!” DeeDee said as she waddled up the stairs. “Goodbye, Mom!”

  “Goodye, dear. Have fun at the home!” Mother said with a loving smile.

   DeeDee flew upstairs to the second floor. She started to go to her bedroom when she heard her big brother ducapping aloud from his room. Curious to find out, DeeDee tiptoed slowly to the door. Opening the door, she was frozen when she saw Wills dancing in his towel, dry from his recent bath.

   “WHAT ARE YOU DOING, DORF?” DeeDee yelled in an annoyed voice.

   Wills turned to see his impatient sister stamping her webby feet on the grassy carpet. He flushed red and giggled nervously.

   “Umm, I was dancing rock and roll because I’m excited about Easter, sis,” Wills panicked in a sweat.

   “I see. Well, I’m off to see Great Uncle Kyle at the rest home with Jan. He needs some company. Would you like to come with us?”

   “No, thank you. I have to play soccer with my friends in 30 minutes. But I will see Uncle Kyle later. Sorry I can’t come, sis,” Wills apologized.

   “That’s O.K. See you later! Ta-ta!” DeeDee said as she left Wills’ bedroom.

   “Goodbye, DeeDee!” Wills shouted.

    DeeDee went to her bedroom next door. She opened her night stand and took her £5.00. After putting the banknote in her blue sweater pocket, DeeDee dashed down the stairs to the front door.

   “Goodbye, Mum!” DeeDee shouted again for the second time as she opened the front door.

   “Bye, dear!” Mother said.

   DeeDee flew up to the broad sky. She looked at the famous sights of the Greater Quondon area: Houses of Parliament, Quackminister Abbey, St. Qual Cathedral, Duckingham Palace, the official residence of the Queen Hen and her family, 10 Quacking Street and other places of importance.

  A few minutes later, DeeDee landed down on Wellington Street where the rest home was located. The building was painted a pure white with fluted columns between the black iron doors. She met her best friend, Jan who was standing near the five stairs.

DeeDee walked up the long stairs to meet Jan.

    “Hello, Jan. How are you?” DeeDee asked as she opened the door and entered it.

   “I’m doing well, thank you,” Jan replied as she followed DeeDee. “And you?”

   “I’m fine, thank you. Shall we go in?”

     The two little ducks walked into the front hall where nurses in navy blue uniforms with crisp white aprons and huge white veils walked fro and back, carrying charts and important things. Several doctors in white coats ran to catch the elevators in the right wing of the building. Several visitors were at the information desk asking the two owl receptionists where to go, rooms their aged relatives lived in and the like.

   When one of the owl receptionists was free, DeeDee and Jan walked to the desk. The receptionist wore a red smock with a name badge on it and was typing something on the computer. She rose from the computer to look at the two ducks.

   “Yes?” the owl receptionist asked rather impatiently.

    “I’m here to see my Great Uncle Kyle. May I have his room number, please?” DeeDee asked politely.

     The owl typed something on the computer and the screen hummed while it researched the room numbers. A beep signaled the correct room key. The receptionist wrote the room number on a pad and tore the note and gave it to DeeDee.

    “There you go, young woman,” the owl receptionist smiled.

     Jan and DeeDee looked at the note, Room 127 and were puzzled by it.

    “Excuse me, where is Room 127, ma’am?” DeeDee asked.

    “Room 127 is in the west wing on this same floor. Anything else?”

    “No, thank you and Happy Easter!”

    Touched, the owl said, “Thank you very much. Happy Easter and have a good time!”

    DeeDee and Jan left the information desk and went to the left wing, walking past a few closed doors. Finally they came to Room 127.

    DeeDee knocked on the door. An elderly male voice answered on the other one.

   “Come in,” Uncle Kyle’s voice boomed.

    The two little ducks opened the door and entered Uncle Kyle’s room. The room was neatly furnished with a small table for eating, writing and reading; a comfortable bed with a blue comforter, and two armchairs on the left and right sides of the bed. A closet was on the left wall. The right window faced the small park reserved for the rest home residents to relax and talk. Uncle Kyle was sitting in one of the armchair reading the Quaondon Times when he saw his great niece and her best friend.

   “Hey, DeeDee! How are you?” Uncle Kyle asked with a broad grin.

  “Great! I’d like you to meet my best friend, Jan,” DeeDee said as she brought Jan to meet her great uncle. “Jan, this is my uncle, Kyle Duckald. He’s from Dcuactland.”

   Jan shook wings with Uncle Kyle.

   “Pleased to meet you, sir,” Jan politely said.

   “How nice of you to visit me, Jan." Uncle Kyle smiled. “It’s a beautiful day, isn’t it?”

  The two girls yelled enthusiastically, “Yes!”

   “Do you know what Easter means to us?” Uncle Kyle asked. 

   Dee Dee said, “Easter is when we get Easter eggs and go to church.” 

    Uncle Kyle nodded in approval.

   Uncle Kyle gave a short lecture. “We need compassion to spread joy among our fellow ducks and non-poultry animals in our world. It’s a way of feeling compassionate for all animals, like ducks. You see, Qucd loves each of us because we’re special to ourselves. Compassion is good for our souls to flow with music. In the home, we’re compassionate to each other because we need to help solve our problems through understanding of our failures and successes. Compassion is essential in changing our world for the better. If we get mad at ourselves, the world will fall on itself. Do you understand what I mean?”

   The girls looked at each other and agreed that compassion was a valuable lesson in the Easter season.

   But DeeDee was confused with the lecture and cleared her throat before speaking.

  “I have a question, Uncle Kyle. Can we practice compassion all year, if we don’t get along with people we can’t get along with?”

   “Yes, we should be more kind to some who hates us because they use hate in politics, sports and work to belittle ourselves. You must learn to use compassion to help make others’ lives happy and content.”

   DeeDee slowly nodded to indicate she agreed with his advice. She mouthed “thank you” and ran to hug her elderly Uncle Kyle.

   Uncle Kyle smiled and took his pocket watch out of his cardigan sweater. He opened the watch’s door and looked at the time, 3:45 p.m.
    “I must take a nap now. Remember what I told you about compassion, okay? Keep this in mind!” Uncle Kyle reproached firmly.

   Both DeeDee and Jan nodded. Jan shook wings with Uncle Kyle and DeeDee gave him a farewell hug.

   “Thanks for the great lecture and goodbye! I love you a lot!” DeeDee shouted as she waddled out of the room.

   “Thank you very much and goodbye, sir,” Jan said as she followed her best friend.

    “Adieu!” Uncle Kyle yelled after them.

   The two ducks giggled as they walked to the exit of the rest home. Several sisters smiled at the duo as they passed them. DeeDee and Jan flew from the front entrance, soaring to Quents Park.

    The two little ducks looked at the enormous landscape, marveling at the serene sight.The Serpentine was filled with blue dancing water. As the ducks lowered to the pond, they noticed an old distinguished St. Bernard dog trying to get out of the water after he accidentally fell into it. He wore a traditional black bowler hat and a brown suit with a bright blue bow tie on top. He couldn’t succeed in getting out of the Serpentine. The dog hysterically waved to get attention.

   “Look, the old dog is in trouble. He cannot swim himself. Better go down and help the gentledog,” DeeDee said to Jan.

    Jan nodded and the ducks flew to the other side of the pond to rescue the shaken old dog.

  “Sir, are you okay? Shall we get an ambulance for you?” DeeDee asked the dog.

    “No, thank you. I don’t know what happened. I must have been distracted by something and I didn't see where I was going until I fell into the pond.”

    “Would you like me to get you a glass of water?” Jan suggested.

    The gentledog smiled at the idea.

   “That’ll be fine. Do please get me a glass of water, will you?”

    Jan waddled to a Victorian-looking water fountain. There was a cherub angel with a water tap symbolized like a little chalice. Its color was gold and had a wooden lever on the right side of the water fountain. Near the water fountain was a cup stand with cone-shaped cups. Jan took one from the cup stand and poured some water into it. She returned the water to the gentledog who was sitting on a bench, recovering from the shock and handed the water to him. DeeDee was sitting beside him, comforting him.

   “There you go, sir,” Jan reassured the shaken dog.

   “How nice of you to bring the water. Thank you very much, young ladies,” the gentledog said as he sipped from the cup. “You’ve learned to be nice to older animals in a world where rudeness and disrespect are the law of the land.”

    “Aww, thanks for the nice compliment, sir,” DeeDee blushed.

  “No, this is a way of showing compassion to all of us, despite our differences and customs. We live in a changing world where we often keep our respect in our house. But we can learn a lot to offer others the opportunity to show compassion for older animals and animals with disabilities. Well, I’d better go now. Thank you for helping me feel good about myself and you made my day a bright one.”

   The gentledog rose from the bench and extended his paw to the ducks. They shook wings and paw and exchanged “goodbyes.”

    The gentledog tipped his bowler hat to them and walked away.

   “See how we showed compassion towards older animals? We’re able to brighten their dark days. We’ll tell our Mommies that we learned about compassion!” DeeDee echoed excitedly.

   “Yeah, that’s so COOL!” Jan reciprocated with a big grin.

    “Well, shall we fly and look around the Quondon area?” DeeDee suggested.

    “Yep, let’s go!” Jan shouted as she flapped her wings.

     DeeDee did the same thing. The two ducks went up in the air and flew away.

     The ducks looked at the small environment where quiet times ruled the day. St. Qual Cathedral sparkled with the gold dome that gave Quondon hope for the future. A few minutes later, the two ducks descended to Qaton Square.

   “Here we are at home, Jan,” DeeDee explained as she wiped her wet webbed feet on the soft grass. “Are you glad we saved a dog from falling into the water?”

   “Yep, it makes me proud of myself. And you?” Jan asked.

   “Yes, of course!”

   “Well….I’d better go home for tea. Happy Easter and take care!”

    “Happy Easter, pal!” DeeDee yelled.

   The ducks winged high-five and went their separate ways. DeeDee climbed the steps and walked into the hall.

   “Hello, Mum!” DeeDee shouted as she closed the door.

   “Is that you, DeeDee?” Mother Marrads asked from the kitchen.

   “Yes, it's me. Jan and I helped rescued an old St. Bernard dog from drowning in the Serpentine and before that we listened to Uncle Kyle tell us about the importance of compassion towards each other,” DeeDee said as she entered the kitchen.

   “Really? That’s great, dear! We’re proud of you and Jan for doing a heroic deed. Qucd would be so happy for you. Dads will be here in a few minutes to have tea with us. Can you please get some linen napkins for me from the bottom counter?”

   “Sure!”
    DeeDee skipped to the bottom counter near the refrigerator and took out five linen napkins. She went to the small table and folded them and put each napkin on the five plates around the table.

   “There you go, Mom,” DeeDee said.

    “Thanks, dear,” Mother Marrads replied as she poured the tea from the kettle into a beautiful china teapot. Then she carried it to the center of the table. Mother Marrads looked at the decorated table with a happy smile.

   “See how neat the table is?”
   “Yeah, it looks so cool. Shall I call Dad, Michelle and Wills to come downstairs?” DeeDee asked.

    Mother Marrads nodded to the offer and DeeDee waddled to the hall and cleared her throat before shouting.

    “Tea is ready!”

     Dad Marrads, Wills and Michelle came down the stairs, following DeeDee to the kitchen. Mother Marrads carried some crumpets, frosted small cakes and fresh cranberry scones piled on a three-cake stand shaped like a tree with three plates on each level. The other four ducks sat down and waited for Mother to pour the tea. She sat down next to her husband.

   “Well, here we are, ready to have our early Easter tea. Shall we dig into it?” Mother asked.

   “Yes, let’s eat!” the three young ducks shouted.

   “Happy Easter to all!” Dad and Mother Marrads toasted their tea cups to their three children. They did the same thing.

   “Happy Easter, Dad and Mum!” the young ducks returned the happy greeting.

     So that story is completed with of how DeeDee's lesson of compassion at Easter.

 


© 2012 Tom Heeren



Author's Note

Tom Heeren
I need honest opinions on the overall of the Easter picture book--grammar, plot, dialogue, structure, etc. I need to know if it is a possibility to be published traditionally or self-published but I need your frank comments. Thanks a lot!

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Added on June 14, 2012
Last Updated on June 14, 2012
Tags: Easter, children's picture books, ducks

Author

Tom Heeren
Tom Heeren

Wichita, KS



About
I live in Wichita, Kansas. I'm retired after working in the Volunteer Services office after 20 years (1996-2016). I enjoy reading historical fiction, British fiction, plays, American fiction, essays .. more..

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A Story by Tom Heeren