Gently does it.
Soft, quiet, feet are the ‘Foundations of what makes a rabbit, a bunny‘ Mother rabbit would always say.
You see, being a rabbit is so much more than what meets the eye. They may be fluffy and ever so cute with their long ears that reach up into the sky, but in reality rabbits are the minority. Being a Bunny is what it truly is all about.
Bunny’s are like the cooler older brother you always wished to have, their fur seemed to shine brighter in the sun than those rabbits and they certainly knew a thing or two when it came to Humans. More importantly, they looked out for one another; if you are not a Bunny, you are not anyone.
First rule of being a Bunny: quiet is key. Delicate feet land even the biggest of jumps, without letting out a whisper of sound.
The squeaky giggles coming from the brand new ducklings radiate from the pond over the hill. Their fluffy yellows heads bob up and down as they try to navigate their way back to their parents, each one emitting the sweetest sounds when they inevitably bump into one another.
Using his most Bunny-Like tactics, Snuggles figures sliding down the dewy hill on his behind would be the most sound efficient. He wants to get as close to the ducklings as he can, their sweetness just makes him so happy and whenever he hears the first egg has hatched we know Spring is truly here. After all, it is his most favourite season.
After checking the coast is clear, Snuggles closes his eyes and begins to slide. Down, down he goes picking up more and more speed until… crash. With the shock of the abrupt stop he opens his eyes wide as the pain radiates across his little cotton tail, it appears Snuggles somehow missed the huge rock embedded in the hills side!
‘OW!’ Snuggles yells, gasping for breath.
With an almighty squeak the ducklings below scarper to their angry looking Mother, who is staring right up at Snuggles shaking her feathered head. He raise’s his paw in apology but she has already turned away, brow furrowed.
‘I could have made it to the waters edge, without even the worms noticing’ A sarcastic voice muses. ‘all with my eyes closed!’
Snuggles rolls his eyes and spins around, wincing, to be greeted by two of the most ghastly Bunny’s he had have ever met.
Ok, maybe ghastly is a bit too strong of a word but they certainly are not his friends. Remember how I said Bunny’s look out for one another?
‘Is that a bow-tie around your neck?’ giggles Clover, probably the prettiest Bunny with the ugliest personality you’d ever meet.
Trev, a great brown Bunny with a nose the same colour as the sky, hops forward. He looks Snuggles up and down, although squinted as if he is irritated; humour lingers in his eyes.
‘Just because you dress like a Bunny, does not make it so.” Trev smiles at Clover, who has begun nibbling on a couple of daisies. ‘Top marks for effort, Snuggles, but you can pass that on to me now.”
Trev starts hopping, soundlessly, towards Snuggles with his eyes firmly on his neck. Ignoring the lingering pain in his tail Snuggles clambers up and runs like he has never ran before, up over a wooden fence back at the top of the hill. Trev and Clovers laughter falters off behind him, getting further and further away.
‘Elsie, look!’ calls a booming voice. ‘A rabbit! A rabbit!’
Only now do we see why they cut the chase short. He has unknowingly hopped into a Humans garden! A little blond boy waddles over to where Snuggles stands, closely followed by an older girl with hair so long and wild it hides most of her body.
‘Blue and yellow!’ screeches the boy, his grabbing hand stretched out in front of him. ‘Me blue and yellow!’.
The girl, Elsie, smiles a gappy smile. Her hand, almost the size of Snuggles entire body, swoops down and swipes his spotted blue and yellow bow-tie clean over his head! The boy swoons with joy and runs off with Snuggles bow-tie clasped in his chubby little hand.
Why is everyone so interested in what Snuggles is wearing today?
‘HEY!’ Snuggles shouts, causing both himself and Elsie to jump. He tuts at under his breath, he has just broken Bunny rule number two.
‘You.. you can talk?’ stammers Elsie, taking a step back.
‘Well, yes. Yes I can.’ Snuggles whispers. ‘And I would very muchly appreciate it if I could have my neck wear back!’
Elsie settles herself and begins to take baby steps towards the trembling rabbit, all of what she thought she knew about rabbits forgotten. Snuggles, who is much too ashamed with himself, seems to be rooted to the spot.
‘What is in it for me?’ muses the curious girl. ‘It must be ever so special for you to ask me for it back.” Elsie smiles, pleased with herself.
Snuggles wiggles his ears, his whiskers twitching an almighty amount. ‘What could I possibly provide for you?’
Elsie looks around at the garden which is already speckled with cars, balls, dolls, books. The flowers that have bloomed so beautifully are no doubt hiding a wide array of hidden gems. Suddenly, Elsie’s eyes light up.
”I want you to fetch me an egg.”
Snuggles stands himself up as high as he possibly can and attempts to square his shoulders, he pretends he didn’t see Elsie snigger. ‘Why an egg?’
Elsie’s smiles fades and her eye become dark. ‘You see little rabbit, our beloved chicken, Lora, no longer lays us the eggs she once did.’ she shuffles her feet and wrings her hands. ‘Daddy doesn’t see much use for her anymore…’
Snuggles eyes widen once again and he sits himself down, the pain in his tail a distant memory. This girl, this Human, the first he has ever come across in such a way, is asking for so much more than just an egg. Snuggles nods his head and scurries off, leaving Elsie looking more bewildered than she did when a rabbit spoke to her for the first time.
Meanwhile, hidden beneath the shelter of a maple leaf sits a little dormouse. This little dormouse has just witnessed what he believed to be the most peculiar of conversations, which is not something to be taken lightly. Of course he can go and inform the Bunny’s of the events which have just occurred, but he won’t be doing that. Smiling he hurries as fast as his little legs will allow; he has a plan.
Music thumps easily through the thin wooden slats of the hens house. Squawks upon clucks can be heard all the way on the other side of the field, as can the squeaky little voices that can only belong to the freshly hatched chicks.
‘Dorris don’t you peck your brother!’ screeches a hysterical voice. ‘No! You cannot go play with the piglets unless you finish all your corn!’ screams another.
The dormouse slides through the crack under the door and is faced with what can only be described as absolute carnage. Mother hens flapping their wings as they try to pull their offspring off one another, the music you could so readily hear outside is the workings of a four-piece mouse band using whittled match sticks as flutes and empty egg shells as drums.
‘Hello, ladies.’ smooths the Dormouse.
With a fright the chicks stop squabbling and the mice stop playing, annoyed by the sudden interruption. The flustered hens hurry to smooth down their ruffled feathers and simultaneously start fluttering their eyelashes.
‘What a nice surprise, Mal.’ clucks a rather plump white hen. ‘Very nice indeed.’ smiles another, her chicks trying to hide from the scary new stranger.
‘Sorry for the short notice, but this is a matter of urgency.’ states Mal, the hens lean in closer hungry for a bit of gossip. ‘Sooner rather than later, a rabbit,’ the hens recoil at the word. ‘will soon stop by to acquire one of your eggs.’
The hens erupt once again, this time with rage and bewilderment. ‘My children!’ ‘The cheek of it’ ‘What type of world have I brought my children in to?!’ they all yell.
‘Quiet now, ladies.’ Mal assures. ‘I have a plan.’ Reaching beside him and taking hold of a purple piece of foil he acquired from Elsie’s garden, he throws it in the direction of the closest bird. A chick hurries over to inspect the suspicious item, but his Mother quickly brushes him aside.
‘I want you all to eat this, then lay an egg.’ Mal chuckles. ‘Lets have some fun with this rabbit.’
Elsie had just returned from church when she spotted Snuggles sat in her garden, waiting. She made her excuses to her parents and hurried out, bare footed with her feet stamping down onto the muddied grass, all the way to where the rabbit sat.
With baited breath, Snuggles handed the inquisitive little girl the most bizarre egg he had ever seen. Sure he had been tricked, although the chuckling chickens had promised him he had not, he watched with amazement as Elsie’s eyes lit up.
‘Chocolate?’ she whispered, her eyes transfixed on the egg as Snuggles handed it her. Elsie shakes her head vigorously, suddenly full of adrenaline, she reaches down into her pocket and throws Snuggles his bow-tie and without another word she hurried back down the garden into her home.
Snuggles sighs a sigh of relief. What a strange day and what a strange egg, he pulls the blue and yellow spotted bow-tie over his now tired and drooping ears.
‘Hey you.’ whispers a little voice, it was Mal. Across the garden Elsie, her brother and her Father have galloped out the house, their faces smeared with deliciously gooey chocolate.
Snuggles, who is even more bewildered now than ever before, looks wearily at the little dormouse. Elsie’s Father is now cheering and running laps around the chicken hutch holding a startled chicken, Lora, above his head.
‘Hey you.’ Mal repeats. ‘You know what today is?’ Snuggles shakes his weary head.
‘It’s Easter Sunday, my friend.’ Snuggles shrugs his shoulders, just happy he is no longer naked. ‘That stunt you just pulled, with the chocolate egg, that is better than anything any of those other Bunny’s have ever done.’
Snuggles smiles, forgetting that it all may have been a prank to begin with. ‘You really think so?’
Mal smirks as he puts out a hand for Snuggles to shake. ‘How you like to go into business with me? You know, seeing as you’ll now forever be known as the chicken saving, chocolate egg giving Easter Bunny.’