A Tale of Two Bunnies

Bunnies One and Two! Can you guess which one is "real?"

Don’t ask me to read Margery WilliamsVelveteen Rabbit in a clear voice. I can more than guarantee you that before I reach the end of the opening sentence, there will be a catch in my voice accompanied by the inevitable welling of tears in my eyes. Stuffed rabbits, or bunnies as we like to say at my house, hold a dear place in my heart. This is a tale of two such bunnies. The first is old and worn, and frankly hardly recognizable as a 1988 Fischer-Price Puffalump Special Edition. The second has yet to complete his mission.

Bunny Number One was an Easter gift to my four month old daughter, Kalah. I clearly remember purchasing him on the Thursday before that holiday, my payday. Money was tight and I wavered between buying her one gift, a lavender bunny nearly half her size, or several small rattles and a chunky board book. Perhaps it was his soft brown eyes, or the “magic” that still resides in his egg that called to me, but I ignored my usual philosophy that more is more and I chose the rabbit. Right from the start Kalah latched on to him. From four months of age through toddlerhood

A thumb and a bunny; a winning combination!

she could be found with the thumb of her right hand planted steadfastly in her mouth and the fingers of her left hand firmly clutched to Bunny.

As Kalah’s perpetual pal, Bunny experienced life with her and regularly bequeathed his vast wisdom as they navigating the world. He was an expert on sharing, on taking turns, and on table manners. He always picked up after himself, said excuse me when he burped, and, like all good rabbits, ate his vegetables. Bunny, like Kalah, loved to play. He built block towers and put together puzzles. He soared to the moon on the swings and climbed Mount Everest on the monkey bars. He was a lover of nature and was always the first to sniff a flower or spy a toad. He liked to travel and soaked up knowledge as Kalah did when we visited the library, the zoo, or the Smithsonian museums. Perhaps one of his best attributes was his expertise in all things associated with bedtime. It could be counted on that Bunny always became incredibly sleepy exactly thirty minutes before lights-out time. He would insist on telling stories that more than often detailed adventures that he’d had long before he’d been chosen to be Kalah’s constant companion. Often these tales featured times when he’d slept all by himself without waking up Mother Bunny before 8 a.m.

Bunny was darned near perfect friend, yet he had two clear downfalls; he had very poor hygiene and a propensity to get lost. Because prying him out of my daughter’s clutching paws was often a trick, Bunny only got washed about once a month. Kalah would lovingly place him in a pillowcase, watch me knot the top, and then stand by the washer as it whirred through its gentlest cycle

Look past the dirt and see the love!

until Bunny was once again sanitary for human use. She held vigil at the dryer, as well. Clean or not, Bunny was a wily critter who would often seek his own path. The phrase, “Where’s Bunny?” accompanied by a frantic glance from my tiny daughter would strike fear in my heart. Many is the time I  combed through a toy box, searched through cabinets, and dived into dumpsters in search of Bunny gone rogue. And somehow, no matter how bizarre his journey, he always found his way back home.

Though Kalah gave up the thumb, and the constant need to carry her rabbit to every destination, Bunny was still there for her. He saw her through becoming a big sister and through our divorce. He waited patiently for her on her first day of school. He’s slept with her through every peaceful, fevered, or sleepless night. He’s been sneezed on, confided in and has soaked up tears. There is no doubt that he has long been “real” according to Velveteen Rabbit standards.

Bunny turned 23 this past March, which has to be something like 161 in rabbit years. He no longer tags along on my daughter’s every mission. He mostly spends his days in an honored sunny spot on Kalah’s bed, often with a purring kitty nestled near him. On the chance that he’s feeling spry he fills the role of sagacious Jedi Master to his young Padawan, Bunny Number Two; a recent EBay find. There is not much to tell about my daughter’s second Bunny. He’s spent most of his time in a plastic container atop her closet. Although he’s 23 years old, he looks as good as new. He’s never been clutched, or loved, or sneezed on. He’s never helped to build block towers, or been the keeper of great secrets. For now, he’s a stuffed rabbit in a box, lacking wisdom, and hoping for the day that a little boy or girl will love him and make him real.

You have much to learn, young Padawan.

Did you or your child have a special stuffed animal?  Tell me about it!

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20 thoughts on “A Tale of Two Bunnies

    • Aww, Thoughtsy, that’s so sweet. Do you still have them? I had a yellow blanket that I called my silky. It had satiny trim that I would rub against my face while I sucked my finger! I still have it–but I promise I no longer use it! 🙂

      • One of my bestest friends, since we were 12 years old, did that; snapped the satin trim of a blanket between her fingers all night long. Like, even when we were teens living down at the shore for the summer. Me right next to her. Sayin: “WHAT?” she is now 50, and still bys her blankets with a satin 3″ trim to pick. Go figure.

        The older Bunnie is by now a Zombie, just so ya know. AMy at “Fix it or Die” would know how to “retire” him…just sayin’

  1. Ack! What happened to my comment? Forgive me if I repeat myself in case the original comments shows up as unexpectedly as it disappeared!

    I had Holly Hobby dolls (and still do). I had Holly and some of her various friends, and at some point a second Holly showed up. By that time, though, the original Holly and I had established a connection and I didn’t like the new Holly as much. I had that doll with me all the time, and in fact, she became an expat with me! I have pictures of her reading in bed in Portugal and even sunning herself topless after a bath! I need to darn a few spots where she got a little too worn out from washings, but the scar will be her fond memories of being a world traveler 😉

    • Your other comment came in as anonymous!

      It sounds like Holly was a very good buddy who was with you through many adventures. I can appreciate the fact that she wasn’t too self-conscious to topless sunbathe! I’m sure you’ll always keep her, just like I’ve kept my silky! I don’t know how long Kalah’s bunny will last–he’s in pretty rough shape from all of the love he’s received!

  2. My son had a yellow buddy, a blanket that was purple. No, no wait, not purple, it must have been yellow. He would suck his right thumb and hold the buddy in the same hand, sniffing and worrying the satin trim on it until it just wore right off. I still have that tattered, yellow buddy and plan on using what’s left to make something for my now 26-year-old boy. It holds so much love even if it’s only about a fifth of its original size. I love yellow buddy too. It was a real comfort for both of us. Thanks, Sprinkles, for writing this post. It bought back many fond memories. xoxo

    • It seems like nearly all kids have some sort of lovey that they latch onto and when the kids are happy and content, so are the parents! I know someone who took her son’s ragged blanket and cut the usable pieces from it, along with squares of other fabric, to make a quilt for her son’s new baby. I think repurposing your son’s buddy is a great idea!

    • Why thank you, Tori. I didn’t mean to make you cry. 😦 Your posts usually have me crying with laughter! It made Kalah cry, too, when she read it. I’ve promised her that I’ll attempt to be funny in my next post! 🙂

      • Aw, don’t try to be ANYTHING, just keep being you. That is clearly, to all of us, quite wonderful enough. This was a beautiful, emotion-provoking post. I loved it. Thanks 🙂

      • I’m always telling Ba.D., “My buddy Sprinkles–have I mentioned I love her?–just said . . .” Until now, I haven’t actually forwarded him any of the actual entry links, but that stops here.

        Li’l D sleeps with four separate stuffed animals, but none has yet fully won him over. I’m rooting for Murky the murloc, but that contest is still out. 😉

        Like Tori, I’m crying like a baby now. Like Spectra, I’d urge you to take the “just keep being you” approach. This was a perfect entry, and though I’m crying, I also laughed at many points, and conclude this entry with a smile on face and heart together with the tears on my cheek. That’s perfection.

        I’ve been feeling a bit like Bunny this week. Thanks for making me see the good in that this Friday morning.

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  4. A very sweet post, Sprinkles! Found it through Deborah. I like the comparison to a Jedi Master. One can definitely see the power and love behind that ravaged-with-time appearance.

    • Thank you Chris! When I started this post, I knew I had to get a Star Wars reference of some kind into it! I can’t even begin to calculate how many times Bunny sat in Kalah’s lap and watched the three original SWs films! Thank you for stopping by. I’m always glad to see new faces/gravatars! 🙂

  5. Deb, you know I love you, too! There is something pristinely sacred about a child’s chosen toys. Who knows what adventures Li’l D. has with his four friends before he falls asleep and when he first wakes up? 🙂
    I’m glad this post brightened your day. You’ve had a very eventful week. Hopefully, there will be some good rest and recovery for you this weekend. Thank you so much for all of your kind words and for your pingback! 🙂

  6. This is just lovely!

    My own daughter is a little older than yours, and she was never into the ‘lovey’ sort of thing. When she was around fifteen, I did get her a little bear in a devil suit for Halloween- just because. She named her Bee, short for Beelzebub. Wearing a horned headband for the occasion, my daughter took the bear to a Halloween party and carried her around. She told anyone who asked about her devilish companion, that her parents made her bring her little sister with her.

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