This is Oscar. He is 25 years old and lives at the side of the garden shed, or sometimes on the steps which lead up from the patio. Oscar was recently treated to his annual coat of paint as I like to ensure that he stays looking nice and well cared for. I’m not generally given to filling my garden with concrete animals but Oscar is a very special exception.
We used to live just a few doors away from the local shop and I had just started allowing my then six year old daughter to walk there by herself. Desperate to be as grown up as her elder brothers, this was one small freedom that could be allowed. I would stand at the garden gate and watch until she returned.
One day she was adamant that Daddy, rather than Mummy, should watch for her because she was going to buy ‘a secret’. Realising that this might well have something to do with my forthcoming birthday, I understood her insistence.
Minutes later she returned from the shop in tears.
“Whatever’s happened,” we both asked.
“I’m only telling daddy,” she sobbed.
Shortly after the two of them returned to the shop together and I was told that all would become clear later.
It transpired that on an earlier visit to the shop daughter had seen the rabbit and, on her return, asked her father if she could have 55p ‘to buy mummy a lovely birthday surprise’. The ensuing tears were her reaction to being told in the shop that she hadn’t got enough money. The rabbit was £5.50. Needless to say Daddy felt under pressure to pay up.
So that’s the story of Oscar. Since he is exceptionally heavy there is no way she could have lifted him let alone carried him back by herself even if he had cost only 55p.