Thursday, March 29, 2012

Buninja Birthday!

Melinda was an english lop with long, silken ears. They were finely veined, and Melinda was always careful when grooming them to never leave a mark. 

Melinda was never the biggest bunny. Sometimes, in fact, she was the littlest rabbit, but she was always careful to eat healthy foods, and exercise regularly. She would tie her ears back, and make experimental runs in her little part of the forest.

Melinda had a little sister that she loved to visit. They liked to talk about different ways to spruce up their burrows, or different ways to prepare their meals of Italian parsley, with Cheerio croutons, and garnished with small triangles of banana.

One day Melinda heard about a new way to make a banana pie. She wanted to share this with her sister. As she hopped towards her sister's burrow, she began to worry. Something seemed off. Maybe there was too much quiet, or maybe some of the undergrowth wasn't where she remembered it. By the time she got to her sister's burrow, she was creeping forward on her belly. 

She sat just inside a hawthorn bush and watched and listened, waiting, almost paralyzed. Finally she heard scuffling, and a group of chinchillas were backing out of her sisters burrow. Dragged behind them, kicking powerfully, and swearing as only she could, was her sister.

Melinda's first instinct was to charge. She always imagined herself as hardcore. She knew she was in shape. She knew she had an aggressive streak. She knew... that in reality, she was the littlest rabbit. And littlest rabbits don't win by charging. Littlest rabbits observe from the shadows. They look for advantages. They find leverage, and they are patient. So she squashed her instinct, opened her eyes, and watched, disapproving, as the chinchillas did their slow, nefarious work.
She saw their darting gazes, alert for dangers from every dark crevice. Melinda saw her angle. She darted from bush to bush, pausing only long enough to rustle a branch, or to leave stones skittering behind her. When the chinchillas, obviously out of their element, began to look all around them in alarm, Melinda leaped, with a prodigious thump, high into the air.

Later practitioners of the buninja arts would call what she did then, "death from above".

Her work done, Melinda licked her ear. Her sister stepped away from the chinchilla she had disposed of in the chaos of the fray, and invited her back for a cup of mint tea. Melinda and her sister enjoyed a beautiful banana pie.


John really outdid himself this year! The amazing pictures above are my birthday present! Let me explain. I love rabbits and I've missed our pet bunny Bella since she died a few years ago. Sometimes I'll sit and talk about her funny mannerisms or even look up youtube videos of English lops late on Sunday nights.  Yes, I'm the cat lady of rabbits.

A couple of months ago, John wrote a story about me as a rabbit to pass the time during church. He then contacted our friend Jed, who is a super talented and creative illustrator, and commissioned him to create pictures to go along with the story. These are the results of the collaboration.  I was so overwhelmed when I saw these that I couldn't speak and started tearing up.  Thank you Jed for being willing to do a project for us! These will become family heirlooms. And I love you so much John! You know me so well and this was the sweetest and most thoughtful gift ever.


Emily said...

These illustrations are awesome! What a perfect birthday present! Hope you're enjoying your day. :)

Amanda said...

this made me cry. long live bunny love! happy birthday dearest sister. hope it is wonderful.

Branden said...

Wow! John, you really hit a home run this year. I look forward to publication so we can share this inspiring story in our family.

holtkamp said...

i love this! way to go john :)

Anne said...

Holy cow this is amazing! I love it!

angie said...

SO SO SO awesome. Nice work John and Jed!

molly said...

Jed is so talented. John so thoughtful. And you so delightful!

beckie said...

job well done John. Happy Birthday Melinda!

Tara said...

Love it. I just made my husband come see these. Do you think he got the hint?

Kristen said...

That is just the sweetest thing I have ever heard, I love that he did that for you. I was away over your birthday, I hope it was magical. John is one lucky fellow to have you.