Saturday, June 28, 2008

Say Hello to the Bunnyman!

It has come to my attention that some of my readers are not familiar with Daddy Bunny, who recently guest posted on this blog. This is a problem.

I met Daddy Bunny when I was 10 years old, our first Easter at the new house. Mommy had taken us to Jo-Ann Fabrics, probably for something to do with Easter dresses. And there he was, just sitting there in a metal rack, the cutest thing I'd ever seen. A green shirt and yellow overalls with a little green handkerchief poking out of the back pocket. Two of my favorite colors. And he was, after all, a bunny. I love bunnies. I picked him up and sat down hugging him tight. I wouldn't leave the store without him. This is the only time that ever worked.

He is named Daddy Bunny because he is a bunny, and he is the Daddy. Wendy and Katrina each got bunnies, too, but there's were much smaller, fit-in-the-palm-of-your-hand sized. Therefore, they were the baby bunnies and mine was the daddy. Wendy's bunny had a yellow shirt and light blue overalls. Katrina's bunny matched Daddy Bunny. I don't know if either of them had names. All three bunnies were made out of the same parachute-type material. The silky stuff you can rub like the edge of a blankey. My little cousin Katie had a bunny like mine as well. I think it was purple and pink or something.

Daddy Bunny and the baby bunnies came home with us that day, and Daddy Bunny's been an important part of the family ever since. He started accompanying us on all the vacations and all the holidays. I would make him outfits for Christmas and Easter, sometimes they would even match mine. He'd usually get a hat, often a tie, once he even got shoes. They were black with yellow, brown and black plaid on top, and little buttons on the sides. He had a plaid hat and tie to match. My aunties would pick on me for having Daddy Bunny at Grandma and Grandpa's house. I would point out that Katie had her bunny, too. To which they would respond, "yes, but she's two." As if that matters! Somewhere there's a great picture of Suse, Daddy Bunny and me from Christmas senior year. Mommy made Suse and me similar Christmas dresses and I made Daddy Bunny a hat to match my dress.

In the past decade and a half, I've done a lot of traveling around the world. Daddy Bunny's always been right there by my side. I hate flying; he helps make it better. In fact, I'm in an airplane right now, and he's on my lap. He's been to Canada, England, Scotland, Germany, France, South Africa, Italy, and, of course, Zambia. I think maybe Gibby's been more places, but then his mom is a real scuttle-bug. She goes everywhere! In a few months, Daddy Bunny will also be going to Nigeria.

All this travel and love have been a little rough on Daddy Bunny. He gets dirty, as all bunnies do, but it's hard to get him a bath. We put him in the bathing machine a few times. It was not pretty.

Daddy Bunny after a bath!

The parachute material he was made out of isn't the most durable stuff. Daddy Bunny's had lots of surgeries and several skin graphs, and he's been restuffed a few times. He's also lost an eye. But that's ok, then he matched Mazoka, my little brother in Zambia who also only had one eye. That's why Daddy Bunny's eye has never been replaced. He's ok without it. Other than his one eye, only three other things are original on his head: his pink nose, which now has a hole in the middle, his little pink tongue, and the pink insides of his ears, one of which is currently shredded. Most of his overalls have been replaced, a lot by cotton, some by satin, 3 different shades of yellow, with green and yellow stitching. His hands and feet are completely new, and some of that is even tearing now. His shirt is all still original, but it's starting to develop holes. But his little green handkerchief is still completely in tact. Poor Daddy Bunny is definitely due for a trip to the operating room. Don't worry, it doesn't scare him. He grew up there, back when it was my room, before Mommy turned it into hers.

Daddy Bunny is very very special. He has many purposes. He's a good pillow. He's a good companion for scary things like airplanes, buses, movies and the dark. He's wonderful to hug, always hugs back. He listens really well. And most of all, he's a great litmus test. For friends or guys, if they don't respect the bunny, out they go. Here is something that is obviously very loved, and very important to me. If a person is going to just toss him away as if it's nothing, or worse, maliciously try to hurt him, then that person does not deserve my friendship. Katie gets a pass for hanging him from the roof of the bus only because she's been my best friend for so long. Even when she did that, she'd been my best friend for nearly half my life. But everyone else, no freebies. How can someone respect you if they don't respect what matters to you?

Just to clarify, playing games with family doesn't count. When Auntie Katrina throws Daddy Bunny down the laundry chute because Auntie Aurelia hid Gibby in the shower. That's ok. We're all just playing. Or when Auntie Wendy takes Daddy Bunny and runs away because Timmy Bear missed the Arctic and was hanging out in the fridge, that's ok. We're all just playing. But when new potential friend picks up Daddy Bunny and throws him across the room. That's not ok, because that's a stranger.

Daddy Bunny is very loved. He is not going to go away to become real. He is real. When I leave, he plays with his brothers and sisters, or his cousins, or, as he mentions, sits at home bored. In fact, he's so loved, I can't decide if I want to put him in my will for someone to take care of him, or ask for him to go with me.

You can read more about Daddy Bunny at his guest post and Ode to Daddy Bunny.

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