I know I"m going to be writing and illustrating a number of stories about Bunny and Boar (with occasional visits from Mike and others). But I wanted to figure out who Bunny was and I realized that he is actually very shy. Last week he and Boar came to New York with me because he had always wanted to go on an adventure but was too scared. Boar helped him be a little bolder as they rode the ferry, visited the Cloisters and, later, Manhattan.
This is more of a getting to know Bunny as a character study than a story really. But it is another 780 words in the books (so to speak).
Bunny sat in the tin bucket with all the other small animals.
He was a shy creature by nature, so whenever someone came by to look through the bucket at the stuffed animals, they tended to go for the bolder animals.
The pigs with wings - sold out.
The big bunnies with a little carrot sewn to their paws. Flying out of the bucket like there was no tomorrow.
The ducks with squeakers inside. Gone.
Then there were the hand puppets. They were soft and cuddly and could hold a full conversation with someone and then snuggle up like a stuffed animal. The best of both worlds. They took longer to sell as they were a bit pricey.
Some of the animals left with men, some left with woman. Most left with children in various states of behavior.
Some children were screaming, “But I WANT it!!!” and a tired adult sighing with a “Whatever,” response.
Some of the children were quiet and had an animal forced on them by an adult.
It didn’t matter as he watched as the other animals disappeared one by one while he just moved deeper down into the tin bucket wondering if anyone would ever want a shy, yellow bunny.
Then he felt a hand on him. The man who grabbed him put his nose up against a woman’s nose. She had kind eyes.
“Hello,” the man said, “wouldn’t you like to take home a bunny.”
“It’s a yellow bunny,” she replied.
Bunny liked her smile.
“You know you can’t ask me if I want to take home a bunny and then not let me take him home.”
“Not me Lord,” he said with a long exasperated sigh, “the woman you gave me.”
“Yeah! I have a bunny! I have a yellow bunny!” she exclaimed.
He enjoyed riding around with the vegetables and fruit as they moved up and down the aisles. Every so often she would smile and talk to him before putting him back to add something else to the cart. At the check out she looked at him.
“You’re going to come home with me and meet Boar and Mike. They need a someone to play with when I’m at work.”
Bunny began to worry. He was, after all, a timid bunny. The other animals had pretty much ignored him in the bucket, even the other bunnies. He wasn’t sure about how other animals would receive him.
At home he met Boar. Boar was a bit bigger than him. He was tough and had two tusks that pointed in slightly different directions. Mike was a red dragon with golden wings, about the same size as Boar.
“Who are you?”
“Now Boar, don’t be a boor!” Mike said as Bunny joined them on the table.
Boar looked at Mike.
“Pardon me,” he said sarcastically, “might I inquire as to who you are?”
Bunny trembled a little.
“You poor thing, don’t be frightened. I’m Michael and I normally live in the car. I like feeling the wind against my wings and going to new places. Boar may look and act a bit gruff, but he’s really rather nice once you get to know him.”
“So who are you little one?”
“Well Bunny, why are you here?”
“I don’t know. I’m kind of... well, you know... I’m a bit shy really.”
Boar laughed. It was a hearty, friendly laugh.
“If you are here, then that means she saw something special in you. I am Boar. She found me in Tuscany. Boars are hunted there, I don’t know why as we are actually rather nice critters. No one wanted me because my tusks aren’t even. That’s why she wanted me to come home with her, because she said they gave me character.”
Bunny looked at Mike questioningly.
“So why am I here you wonder? Correct?”
“I suppose lots of reasons. There are many thing that aren’t quite perfect on me. Mostly because I am a car dragon. I help protect her as she drives around, but sometimes I like to come inside and play because it can get a bit lonely out there. I like Tek, he’s a good car but, well, he is a car. He is full of good stories about his travels. He has been to a lot of places and has many stories to tell. Sometimes he prefers talking to the other cars when we’re parked in a lot, and forgets I’m there. I think I hate those moments the most.”
They sat in silence for a moment.
“What’s your story?”
“I don’t have a good story. I’m just a little bunny. All the other animals found homes long before me and now I’m here. But I’m really just too little for most everything.”
“You’re just the right size,” Mike smiled, “to be a friend.”
Bunny began to relax.
“It will be good to have someone when Mike is in the car. It can get a bit lonely in here too.”
The three sat together for a moment.
“So this is what it feels like,” Bunny said.
“Feels like what?”
“Why wanted of course,” Bunny replied.