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by Abigail Van Buren

Playground Talk Turns Serious When Pushy Teacher Interferes

DEAR ABBY: Just before Easter, you printed a warning about giving baby animals to children as Easter gifts. Perhaps this will reinforce that message.

Last June, we were driving through a park when we found an abandoned young white rabbit. We stopped and picked her up. Needless to say, we kept her. We named her June.

Two months later, my husband brought home a small brown rabbit. The occupants of a house down the street had left her behind when they moved out. The cleaning crew found her there -- with no food or water -- and took her around the neighborhood trying to find a home for her. When they came to the door of my husband's business and asked if he would take her, he agree. We named this rabbit August.

Abby, these two helpless creatures were fortunate to have been rescued. I wonder how many other animals were "ditched" after the holiday was over. Thank you for reminding your readers that these animals are living creatures and need care. If anyone is unsure that an animal will receive the care it needs, I hope they will buy a stuffed toy animal (as you suggested) instead. -- KATHLEEN C. LINNENBRINK, WASHINGTON, MO.

DEAR KATHLEEN: I hope so, too. People who abandon pets sometimes do it in the mistaken belief that the animals will quickly adapt to being on their own. In far too many cases, that's not true, and the animal dies of starvation, disease or is struck by an automobile. Your long-eared furry friends were fortunate to have found their way to such caring people as you and your husband. Bless you.