Tuesday, December 24, 2013

The Fluffy Bunny Story

Once upon a time in a large forest there lived a very furry bunny.

He had one lop ear, a tiny black nose, and unusually shiny eyes. His name was Barrington.

Barrington was not really a very handsome bunny. He was brown and speckled and his ears didn't stand up right. But he could hop, and he was, as I have said, very furry.

In a way winter is fun for bunnies. After all, it gives them an opportunity to hop in the snow and then turn around and see where they have hopped. So, in a way, winter was fun for Barrington.

But in another way winter made Barrington sad. For, you see, winter marked the time when all of the animal families got together in their cozy homes to celebrate Christmas. He could hop, and he was very furry. But as far as Barrington knew, he was the only bunny in the forest.

When Christmas Eve finally came, Barrington did not feel like going home all by himself. So he decided that he would hop for a while in the clearing in the center of the forest.

Hop. Hop. Hippity-hop. Barrington made tracks in the fresh snow.

Hop. Hop. Hippity-hop. The he cocked his head and looked back at the wonderful designs he had made.

"Bunnies," he thought to himself, "can hop. And they are very warm, too, because of how furry they are."  (But Barrington didn't really know whether or not this was true of all bunnies, since he had never met another bunny.)

When it got too dark to see the tracks he was making, Barrington made up his mind to go home.

On his way, however, he passed a large oak tree. High in the branches there was a great deal of excited chattering going on.

Barrington looked up. It was a squirrel family! What a marvelous time they seemed to be having.

"Hello, up there," called Barrington.

"Hello, down there," came the reply.

"Having a Christmas party?" asked Barrington.

"Oh, yes!" answered the squirrels. "It's Christmas Eve. Everybody is having a Christmas party!"

"May I come to your party?" said Barrington softly.

"Are you a squirrel?"


"What are you then?"

"A bunny."

"A bunny?"


"Well, how can you come to the party if you're a bunny? Bunnies can't climb trees."

"That's true," said Barrington thoughtfully. "But I can hop and I'm very furry and warm."

"We're sorry," called the squirrels. "We don't know anything about hopping and being furry, but we do know that in order to come to our house you have to be able to climb trees."

"Oh, well," said Barrington. "Merry Christmas."

"Merry Christmas," chattered the squirrels.

And the unfortunate bunny hopped off towards his tiny house. It was beginning to snow when Barrington reached the river. Near the river bank was a wonderfully constructed house of sticks and mud.

Inside there was singing.

"It's the beavers," thought Barrington. "Maybe they will let me come to their party."

And so he knocked on the door.

"Who's out there?" called a voice.

"Barrington Bunny," he replied.

There was a long pause and then a shiny beaver head broke the water.

"Hello, Barrington," said the beaver.

"May I come to your Christmas party?" asked Barrington.

The beaver thought for a while and then he said, "I suppose so. Do you know how to swim?"

"No," said Barrington, "but I can hop and I am very furry and warm."

"Sorry," said the beaver. "I don't know anything about hopping and being furry, but I do know that in order to come to our house you have to be able to swim."

"Oh, well," Barrington muttered, his eyes filling with tears. "I suppose that's true- Merry Christmas."

"Merry Christmas," called the beaver. And he disappeared beneath the surface of the water.

Even being furry as he was, Barrington was beginning to get cold. And the snow was falling so hard that his tiny, bunny eyes could scarcely see what was ahead of him.

He was almost home, however, when he heard the excited squeaking of field mice beneath the ground.

"It's a party," thought Barrington. And suddenly he blurted out through his tears, "Hello, field mice. This is Barrington Bunny. May I come to your party?"

But the wind was howling so loudly and Barrington was sobbing so much that no one heard him.

And when there was no response at all, Barrington just sat down in the snow and began to cry with all his might.

"Bunnies," he thought, "aren't any good to anyone. What good is it to be furry and to be able to hop if you don't have and family on Christmas Eve?"

Barrington cried and cried. When he stopped crying he began to bite on his bunny's foot, but he did not move from where he was sitting in the snow.

Suddenly, Barrington was aware that he was not alone. He looked up and strained his shiny eyes to see who was there.

To his surprise he saw a great silver wolf. The wolf was large and strong and his eyes flashed fire. He was the most beautiful animal Barrington had ever seen.

For a long time the silver wolf didn't say anything at all. He just stood there and looked at Barrington with those terrible eyes.

Then slowly and deliberately the wolf spoke. "Barrington," he asked in a gentle voice, "why are you sitting in the snow?"

"Because it's Christmas Eve," said Barrington, "and I don't have any family, and bunnies aren't any good to anyone."

"Bunnies are good," said the wolf. "Bunnies can hop and they are very warm."

"What good is that?" Barrington sniffed.

"It is very good indeed," the wolf went on, "because it is a gift that bunnies are given, a free gift with no strings attached. And every gift that is given to anyone is given for a reason. Someday you will see why it is good to hop and to be warm and furry."

"But it's Christmas," moaned Barrington, "and I'm all alone. I don't have any family at all."

"Of course you do," replied the great silver wolf. "All of the animals in the forest are your family."

And then the wolf disappeared. He simply wasn't there. Barrington had only blinked his eyes, and when he looked the wolf was gone.

"All of the animals in the forest are my family," thought Barrington. "It's good to be a bunny. Bunnies can hop. That's a gift."

And then he said it again. "A gift. A free gift."

On into the night Barrington worked. First he found the best stick that he could. (And that was difficult because of the snow.) Then hop. Hop. Hippity-hop. To beaver's house.

He left the stick just outside the door. With a note on it that read: "Here is a good stick for your house. It is a gift. A free gift. No strings attached. Signed, a member of your family."

"It is a good thing that I can hop," he thought, "because the snow is very deep."

Then Barrington dug and dug. Soon he had gathered together enough dead leaves and grass to make the squirrels' nest warmer. Hop. Hop. Hippity-hop.

He laid the grass and the leaves just under the large oak tree and attached this message: "A gift. A free gift. From a member of your family."

It was late when Barrington finally started home. And what made things worse was that he knew a blizzard was beginning. Hop. Hop. Hippity-hop.

Soon poor Barrington was lost. The wind howled furiously, and it was very, very cold. "It certainly is cold," he said out loud. "It's a good thing I'm so furry. But if I don't find my way home pretty soon even I might freeze!"

Squeak. Squeak....

And then he saw it- a baby field mouse lost in the snow. And the little mouse was crying.

"Hello, little mouse," Barrington called.

"Don't cry. I'll be right there." Hippity-hop, and Barrington was beside the tiny mouse.

"I'm lost," sobbed the little fellow. "I'll never find my way home, and I know I'm going to freeze."

"You won't freeze," said Barrington. "I'm a bunny and bunnies are very furry and warm. You stay right where you are and I'll cover you up."

Barrington lay on top of the little mouse and hugged him tight.

The tiny little fellow felt himself surrounded by warm fur. He cried for a while but soon, snug and warm, he fell asleep.

Barrington had only two thoughts that long, cold night. First he thought, "It's good to be a bunny. Bunnies are very furry and warm."

And then, when he felt the heart of the tiny mouse beneath him beating regularly, he thought, "All of the animals in the forest are my family."

Next morning, the field mice found their little boy, asleep in the snow, warm and snug beneath the carcass of a dead bunny. Their relief and excitement was so great that they didn't even think to question where the bunny had come from.

And as for the beavers and the squirrels, they still wonder which member of their family left the little gifts for them that Christmas Eve.

After the field mice had left, Barrington's frozen body simply lay in the snow. There was no sound except that of the howling wind. And no one anywhere noticed the great silver wolf who came to stand beside that brown, lop-eared carcass.

But the wolf did come.

And he stood there.

Without moving or saying a word.

All Christmas Day.

Until it was night.

And then he disappeared into the forest.

The End

Thursday, December 12, 2013

A Quick, Book-y Update

2013 Book Challenge

My Booky Wook - Russell Brand
I Shouldn't Even Be Doing This - Bob Newhart
The Body in the Library - Agatha Christie
A Princess of Mars - Edgar Rice Burroughs
The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel - Deborah Moggach
Shakespeare's Landlord - Charlaine Harris
Hero at Large - Janet Evanovich
Cat Among the Pigeons - Agatha Christie
Devil in the Smoke - Justin Richards
Murder on Monday - Ann Punser
Nightwoods - Charles Frazier
The Casual Vacancy - JK Rowling
The Regatta Mystery - Agatha Christie
The Underdog - Agatha Christie
Three Blind Mice - Agatha Christie
Baby Out of the Blue - Rebecca Winters
Their Miracle Twins - Nikki Logan
Sweet Home Colorado - C C Coburn
My Cowboy Valentine - Jane Porter and Tanya Michaels
Behind Palace Doors - Michael Fraquhar
Booky Wook 2 - Russell Brand
The Nemonite Invasion - David Roden
The Rising Night - Scott Handcock
The Forever Trap - Dan Abnett
The Day of the Troll - Simon Messingham
Pest Control - Peter Anghelides
Dead Air - James Goss
The Last Voyage - Dan Abnett
Is It Just Me? - Miranda Hart
Below Stairs - Margaret Powell
Then Again - Diane Keaton
A Grown Up Kind of Pretty - Joshlyn Jackson
New Europe - Michael Palin
Thinning the Herd - Cynthia Ceilan
The Restaurant at the End of the Universe - Douglas Adams
A Big Hand for the Doctor - Eoin Colfer
The Nameless City - Michael Scott
The Spear of Destiny - Marcus Sedgwick
Life, the Universe, and Everything - Douglas Adams
Pendragon: Merchant of Death - D J MacHale
Promises to Keep - Jane Green
Dear Fatty - Dawn French
Summer Falls - Amelia Williams
In the Sanctuary of Outcasts - Neil White
Pittsburgh's Rivers - Daniel J Burns
Emma - Jane Austen
Ten Little Aliens - Stephen Cole
The Roots of Evil - Philip Reeve
The Convenient Marriage - Georgette Heyer
Reawakened - Odette Beane
The Forgotten Army - Brian Minchin
Tip of the Tongue – Patrick Ness
His Good Opinion – Nancy Kelly
Sylvester – Georgette Heyer
So Long,  and Thanks for All the Fish – Douglas Adams
Himalaya – Michael Palin
River Monsters – Jeremy Wade
Nuclear Time – Oli Smith
The Dovekeepers – Alice Hoffman
The Ghost and Mrs. McClure – Alice Kimberly
Last Bus to Woodstock – Colin Dexter
Last Seen Wearing – Colin Dexter

The Silent World of Nicholas Quinn – Colin Dexter
Dreams of Empire – Justin Richards
How to Marry a Highlander – Katharine Ashe
The Horsemaster’s Daughter – Susan Wiggs
The Silver Linings Playbook – Matthew Quick
Something Borrowed – Richelle Mead
The Ripple Effect – Malorie Blackman
Spore – Alex Scarrow
The Beast of Babylon – Charlie Higson
Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me – Mindy Kaling
Nemesis – Agatha Christie
Conjure Wife – Fritz Leiber
Bossypants – Tina Fey
The Mystery of the Haunted Cottage – Derek Landy
At Bertram’s Hotel – Agatha Christie
Dear Cary – Dyan Cannon
Official Book Club Selection – Kathy Griffin
Nothing O’Clock – Neil Gaiman
In Bed With a Highlander – Maya Banks
Seduction of a Highland Lass – Maya Banks
Never Love a Highlander – Maya Banks
Never Seduce a Scot – Maya Banks
Hyperbole and a Half – Allie Brosh
Well…that’s 85, which matches my total from last year.
But since there are still almost 3 weeks left in this year, I’m still going…
Currently Reading
The Book Thief – Markus Zusak
Highland Destiny – Hannah Howell
The Lake of Dead Languages – Carol Goodman
- HistoryDiva