POEMS FOR PEANUT™

Mrs James’ home is overrun with rabbits! There’s Peanut and her friend Sweetpea (a.k.a. “Superbunny”), Carolina, Benjamin, Lulu and wild bunnies Buttercup and Dandelion (“the Wonderbunnies”). The rabbits are free-range and have enormous fun playing in the garden and nibbling on Mrs James’ flowers, sofa, blankets and delicious food. Poems for Peanut is a celebration of their lives that rabbit caregivers will recognise, as charming, bold and affectionate as the rabbits themselves.

“I remember everything”
André Aciman, Call Me by Your Name

For Peanut

B&D
Peanut (R) and Dandelion

Benjamin, Carolina
Sweetpea, Lulu
Buttercup and Dandelion
the birds and the squirrels
and Mrs James
are sending this book to Peanut
so our little brown friend
can hear the poems again
and rub her teeth softly
to her heart’s content.

Benjamin Bunny

When Benjamin arrived
in Winter 1998
he brought a ray of sunshine
and love into our lives.
Benjamin was six years old
and full of hope for a new life
he skipped like a young bunny down the corridor
and ran to greet me when I came home.
I fell in love with his little pink eyes
sticky-up ears and the grey patch on his nose,
but most of all his sweet personality.
Benjamin was very fond of geraniums
and sleeping on the grass in the sunshine.
I remember him nudging my feet while I was at my desk
and cuddling up on the bed for an hour in the mornings
– the best way to start the day.
Benjamin was only with us for a year
but left us with some wonderful memories
and inspired me to write poetry.

Superbunny’s Girlfriend

Is it an otter?
Is it a brown furry slipper?
No! It’s Superbunny’s girlfriend
the beautiful Peanut
this sweet cottontail
Is the Lois Lane
of the rabbit world.

There’s no greater bunny love than this:
he licks her soft brown ears
and shares his dinner
she keeps him warm in winter.
Where Peanut goes
Sweetpea always follows
even Superbunny
needs somebody to love.

Peanut and her action bunny
spend most of the day
helping Mrs James
feed the foster bunnies
and run the house
keeping everybody safe and sound
and making Mrs James proud.

And after many good deeds
and countless little gifts*
the bunny superheroes fall asleep
In front of the TV.

* droppings

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The Sandwich Thieves

Benjamin has trained Carolina
to drag my sandwich out of my handbag
before I leave for work.
So if I find myself with nothing to eat at lunchtime
it wasn’t the sandwich fairy who took my food
it was a long-eared thief (or two).

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Carolina’s Breakfast

Mrs James was late getting up today:
Carolina had to circle her bed three times
jump up and down on it like a trampoline
and bite her toes before she hurried to the kitchen.
And while she was making breakfast
Carolina buzzed so loudly
in anticipation for the delicious food
she woke the foster bunnies too!

Easter Bunnies

This Easter I have not one but two chocolate bunnies
two cheeky twins who are almost good enough to eat.
Buttercup and Dandelion were born in a burrow
but now they like their home comforts!
After begging for a treat
they sink their teeth in the settee
and eat their dinner in front of the TV.

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Superbunny’s New Cushion

Sweetpea has a fantastic new cushion
a big blue fleecy one
perfect for superhero naps
and any cheeky wild rabbit
who dares put his paw on it
is immediately asked to leave.
Sweetpea sits on his cushion
to be cuddled and be seen
and eat delicious snacks
reports have reached us
that Peanut was spotted
lounging on his cushion
but Sweetpea doesn’t mind
he loves her with all his might!

Peanut

As the name suggests
Peanut is small and brown
and popular with squirrels.
And like peanuts, she’s crunchy:
when you cuddle her she rubs her teeth
to show she’s happy.
Peanut is well read
she sits on magazines and books
and loves to hear Mrs James
read out her poems,
that’s why this book
is dedicated to her.

Follow Me!

Carolina may seem to be sleeping under the desk
but the moment I get up, she’s hot on my heels!
She’s always trotting behind me or other bunnies
when we move around the flat
and if she fancies a willow twig or an early breakfast
she runs towards me
then flips round to lead the way
to the garden or the kitchen –
she’s lovely and amazing!

Peanut Loves Superbunny

When Peanut first met Sweetpea
she loved to be kissed by him
but forgot to lick in return
and then would hide under the sofa
leaving Superbunny feeling a little unloved.
But after a year or so
she thought she’d give a few licks
to a very expectant Sweetpea
(which were enthusiastically received)
and from that day on she hasn’t stopped.
Now she kisses Sweetpea every day
on the feet, back and the top of the head
and once or twice even Mrs James by mistake
when her hand is in the way.

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Superhero on the Pillow

Mrs James feels lucky there’s a superhero
sleeping on her pillow.
Sweetpea Superbunny
of the softest ears and white booties
(with yellow undersoles)
is having a nap by the bedside table,
home of the treat box.
In the middle of the night his eyes like pools
are glowing in the dark
and when she wakes up
they’re staring back
ready for breakfast!
There’s a little dent in the pillow
where Superbunny likes to sleep
and Mrs James always saves a space for him.

Buttercup is Magic!

Buttercup is super fun:
he’s playing frisbee with his paper plate
nibbling and tossing it.
But his favourite game is The Magic Carpet:
he sneaks under a fleece rug
makes a tunnel
and pops up at the other end – hooray!

Home Help

Carolina loves to help:
whenever I clean, tidy up or sort out the washing
she comes running
to make housework fun
with her leaps and bumps.

Peanut’s Gurgly Tummy

Peanut has a gurgly tummy
it gurgles when she sleeps
it gurgles when she’s happy
it gurgles all the time
especially when she’s hungry
it grumbles very sweetly
when she begs for treats
it rumbles loud and clear
for everyone to hear
and it gurgles when we play hide and seek
so she’s easily spotted.

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Superbunny’s Giant Leaps

Like all superheroes
Superbunny has a weak spot or two.
For example instead of hopping around something
– say a basket with giant Lego bricks –
he’ll jump on top of it
making a huge din.
And when he needs to go down the steps in the corridor
he stares worryingly down the bottom
until he finally plucks up the courage
to take a leap forward.
What a hero!

Carolina Opens Doors

Carolina knows how to make an entrance!
She can nudge a door open
push it with her paws
(leaving a few marks in the paintwork)
or grab it with her teeth, step back a little
then pull and pull.
And when she’s in the garden
all she has to do is stare
and I immediately get off my chair
to open the door for her.
That’s when Carolina flips back and runs like the wind
among the roses and the apple trees
– she wants to stay outside after all
and was just testing
the door would open on command
if she fancies to pop in for a snack.

Everybunny Needs Love

When Peanut was little
she didn’t care much for cuddles or kisses
she would run away when she saw Mrs James
and spent all her time under sofas.

But now that she is seven years old
she likes to be stroked from her ears to her toes
when you kiss her belly her legs turn to jelly
she leaps in delight, she nudges for more
she wants to be loved and kissed all over!

Now when Mrs James gives hugs
Peanut comes right up to the front
(before the other buns)
and flattens herself like a pancake
which is the best shape for cuddles.

Which just goes to show
you are never too big or too small
too young or too old
too furry or too bald
for love.

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Lulu

This is Lulu’s summer
her new chance to be loved.
She hops elegantly
in her patterned coat
of different browns
pointing her ears around the flat
glad to be here!
She was taken to a shelter
after a bad start as a classroom pet
nipping children who picked her up roughly.
Now she’s learning to love
with her friend Sweetpea
they’re running like rockets around the garden!
Welcome home, sweet Lulu.

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Superbunny’s Snoring

Superbunny’s snoring
he’s making so much noise
the whole house is shaking!
His feet are running
and his whiskers are twitching
he’s dreaming of amazing feats
chasing bandits in his sleep!

Little Smoothie

Peanut’s a smoothie
she flattens blankets and pillows
towels and tablecloths
I don’t need an ironing board.
She smoothes lumps and bumps
as big as an elephant
she smoothes king-size duvets
and extra large blankets
and when I go to sleep
I have Peanut to wish me sweet dreams.

Noisy!

Dandelion and Buttercup
love thumping and banging the baby gate
to make Mrs James shake!
They bang loudly to get out when they’re in
and to get in when they’re out
she’s totally worn out!
Mrs James, Superbunny and Peanut
can’t watch TV with that noise in the background
and lose the plot of many good films.
And when she gets up and says, “What’s up?”
Buttercup hides under the bed
while Dandelion boldly stares back!
Mrs James says, “Noisy!”
but the bunnies take no notice
or, “Give peace a chance”
and the bunnies just thump!
but when she opens the treat box
you couldn’t hear a pin drop.

Benjamin’s Geraniums

The pink geraniums outside the French windows
that flower in late Spring
have been here since 1998
and whenever I see them
they remind me of my Benjamin Bunny
a small white rabbit with grey ears
and soft shiny fur
loving and easy-going
who hopped on my bed for a cuddle every morning.
Benjamin only stayed for a year
but left wonderful memories
and the geraniums he loved to eat
are now nibbled enthusiastically by Peanut, Lulu,
Buttercup and Dandelion
even Sweetpea, though he has no front teeth.

Missing Peanut

Today was Peanut’s last day
and Sweetpea is wandering around the flat
looking for her.
How will Mrs James sleep tonight
without Peanut smoothing the duvet
or get up tomorrow
without her on the bed
waiting for breakfast.
She was a summer bunny
because she arrived with the warm weather
and Mrs James hoped for another summer together.
She’s thinking of the brave and funny things Peanut did
like begging for apple pie, playing ball
and starring in home movies
or the time Peanut spotted a cat burglar
and thumped to warn her.
When Mrs James was typing
Peanut would jump on her laptop
or sit behind her to be petted
and buzz loudly when she read out her poems.
Mrs James kissed her nose and velvety ears
and Sweetpea loved to sleep with his head
on Peanut’s back like a pillow.
During the day the bunnies hopped in the garden
to eat Mrs James’ geraniums
and at night they watched television on her bed
but now Peanut is sleeping with the stars
in the bed we made under the sweet grass
for this brown cottontail
who will always be loved.

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Lulu is Noisy

Cover your ears, everyone!
Lulu is the noisiest rabbit
especially at night
she’s always banging into things
like a small bull in a china shop
she charges and stampedes
that’s why Mrs James can’t get any sleep.
Then in the daytime when everybody’s up
(but very sleepy)
Lulu is as quiet as a mouse
we can’t figure out
what her noisiness is all about!

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Meal for One

When Mrs James had her meals
Peanut would stop all other bunny activities
and come running like a rocket
jumping up and down on her lap
to beg for bread
there was no holding back
the little dinner guest.
And if Mrs James was eating some fruit
Peanut would do happy loops
and even sip her pineapple juice.
Needless to say Mrs James was very popular at mealtimes
and lunch was a lot of fun with Peanut around
although she had to eat as fast as she could
before Peanut took all her food.
But now that Peanut’s no longer here
meals are awfully quiet
Mrs James has lost her appetite
without that small bunny by her side
and has to eat all the food by herself
wishing she could have Peanut back.

Summer Bunny

Peanut will forever be our summer bunny
she arrived at our home on 6th July 2000
shy and small and with a toothache.
Our sunshine bunny was beautiful and strong
kept Sweetpea warm all year round
and was loved for three years
before she passed away on another summer’s day.

Lulu’s Love

On 4/4/04 Lulu woke up
and decided she wanted to love:
she nuzzled up to Sweetpea
and washed his ears and feet
which made him enormously pleased.
Something clicked in her sweet bunny mind
and the following day
to Mrs James’ and Sweetpea’s delight
she was even more loving!
Mrs James is glad she never lost hope
it took Lulu 10 months
to learn to trust
but now she’s making up for lost time
her eyes shine
she’s confident, wonderful
and even more beautiful in Mrs James’ eyes.

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Night of a Thousand Kisses

It was 10 o’clock in the evening
and Mrs James was about to watch TV
when Superbunny ran to her bed to give her a thousand kisses
one after the other in sweet succession.
All she could see in front of the screen
was Sweetpea’s muzzle, two ears and a little tongue licking
so she forgot all about late night films
and after an hour they both fell asleep.

Buttercup is Lovely

Some rabbits show they love you
by licking your hand
and letting you give them a friendly pat,
others like to follow you everywhere
or sleep under your chair.
Then there’s Buttercup
who hides in his box and runs away
whenever he sees Mrs James.
The sweet guy is extremely shy
but he loves life
and shows he likes her
by dancing on her bed
and taking some banana from her hand.
He may not be super cuddly
but Mrs James thinks he’s lovely
and being brave he will not hesitate
to run to greet her when a banana is being peeled
or leave his dinner to save a ladybird and other garden critter.
This bunny is a winner!

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Mrs James Returns from the Supermarket

Dandelion is delightful to come home to
he always gives Mrs James a warm welcome
and checks out her shopping.
And Buttercup, who’s very shy
is doing his best to greet Mrs James too
by nudging her leg
and chinning her handbag.
He may not be very cuddly yet
but he’s happy to see she’s back
(especially if she bought a baguette).

For Rabbit

This is a poem to celebrate the life
of a little grey Rabbit with a great personality
who died today leaving a big gap in our lives.

This sweet Rabbit had wonderful qualities:
he was warm, happy and friendly to everybody
you couldn’t help loving him.
And these were some of his delightful habits:
keeping his fur shiny and clean
watching TV in the evenings
taking food from your hand
and dancing on the carpet to entertain guests!

China, Chervil, Ted the tortoise and all the sweet cats
Harry, Carolina and Anne
were sad to see him go and miss their bunny friend
here’s a Rabbit they’ll never forget!

So Goodbye dear Rabbit
wherever you are
we are sending you this poem
with love.

Buttercup and Dandelion Are Strong!

Buttercup and Dandelion love to box!
They paw at the French windows with full force
to be let in the garden.
Dandelion has the heart of a lion:
once he saved his little brother
when Mrs James left him outside by mistake.
And Buttercup headbutts!
He can knock you out
when he nudges you to get past.
So watch out people and cats,
these bunnies are tough!

At Home with Buttercup and Dandelion

The more time Mrs James spends at home
writing, painting and watering the garden
the more Buttercup and Dandelion pluck up the courage
to come out of their boxes
to keep an eye on all the activities.
At last the bunnies are following her around
running up and down the corridor
and showing off to her.
Now they’ve got to know her better
they want to spend more time together.
Every day they become friendlier
and more lovely in her eyes –
it’s a virtuous circle.

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Easter 2006

On Easter Day 2006
after his breakfast and a nap
Buttercup Wonderbunny
finally decided
to hop on the grass.
Yes, it takes a lot of courage
for a bunny to forage
in the great outdoors
while Mrs James stands guard
against the neighbourhood cats.
But Buttercup the Brave
doesn’t hesitate
he’s leading the way
and making hay
while the sun shines.

Memorable Dates

On 12 April 2006 Dandelion didn’t mind having his ears kissed
he didn’t run off when I petted his nose and cheeks
it’s funny, how for the first time he’s cuddly!
Now soft-headed Dandelion sits in the corridor
expecting a friendly pat whenever I walk past
and if I give him a back rub
he gets up to lick my hand.
And for the first time ever on 26 November 2009
sweet Buttercup let me stroke the top of his head
these are dates I’ll never forget.

Rabbits Open Doors

In 1994 Mrs James’ first rabbit Carolina
left her sweet little toothmarks all over the kitchen door
from bunny level down to the floor.
That’s when Mrs James learnt
that rabbits can open and close doors
pushing and pulling them ten times a day or more
(and train other bunnies too)!
Now that her wonderful Carolina’s gone
Mrs James is glad those sweet marks were never painted on
and once in a while
she runs her hand over the door
remembering the first bunny she loved.

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Happy Birthday!

Buttercup and Dandelion are 5 years old!
On 6th May we’re having a party
to celebrate their birthday,
Mrs James will bake a carrot cake
and buy treats for the bunnies to munch on
– it’s going to be an important day in the rabbit world!
Almost 5 years ago
Buttercup and Dandelion arrived at her home
3 months old and very small
and made themselves comfortable
chewing the flat from top to bottom.

Their friends Sweetpea, Peanut and Lulu,
Scooter, Clover and Snowball
are joining us all
in saying “We love you!”
and wishing the bunnies Many Happy Returns!

Lulu of Love

These are some wonderful memories of Lulu:
the charming way she stood up to look around
and sneaked in the hallway to inspect the supermarket shopping
how she loved the garden and guarded the house
and made Sweetpea happy,
or napped under the sofa before she got to know us.
Lulu of love
with the softest ears
couldn’t hear but she always knew
we loved her
and we’d never forget her.

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Lulu’s Dandelions

When I see dandelions in a field
bright yellow dancing at my feet
it reminds me of Lulu
because of all the flowers in the world
she loved them best of all.

Cheeky Squirrels

Some squirrels think it’s funny to eat their peanuts in front of Buttercup and Dandelion
making their little mouths water, and when they’re stuffed
they lift the bunnies’ blanket to bury the rest
then pat it back down and skip over the fence.

Sweetpea’s Sunbeam

Sweetpea Superbunny liked to saves energy:
as the sun moved across the room
he’d follow it and fall asleep in its sunbeams.
Now everybody follows his lead
including Mrs James, who loves nothing more
than to sit where Sweepea used to sleep
on a sunny patch on the floor
and sunbathe in the winter sunshine.

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Mrs James’ Dressing Robe

When Mrs James feels cold in winter
she puts on her blue dressing robe with the white trim
the one loved by Sweetpea.
When she draped it over a chair
all the bunnies ran through it
or slept under it
or chewed a few holes to decorate it.
The dressing robe is faded and worn
but has still some of Sweetpea’s fur stuck to it
to remind her of the happy years together.
Mrs James wears it in the garden and in the flat
when she reads or watches TV
when she paints and when she sleeps
dreaming of Sweetpea.

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For Daffodil

Daffodil arrived in the spring
you could fit her in the palm of your hand
this little scrap of a bunny on Hampstead Heath.
She was a people rabbit:
she would paw at your leg for apple and peanuts
go through your handbag
and sit on your lap to be stroked.
I remember her bouncing out of the ferns
and running up the path to greet me
with her shy little brother behind
hiding in the blackberries.
Nobody felt sad around Daffodil
it made you smile just watching her eat broccoli from your hand
or climb on a tree stump to wash her face,
she lived life to the full
and trusted people to be good.
For six months she delighted everyone who met her
and we all wished her a long life
like the other wild rabbit who survived
nine years on the sandbanks.
But it wasn’t to be
Daffodil never knew the snow and winter cold
in her wood on the hill
her soft eyes swelled and
in the golden autumn
she quietly left.

Wet Paws

Most rabbits don’t like getting their feet wet
but Buttercup and Dandelion are too brave for that.
Every day they play in the garden from 7am
leaping like little brown frogs
on the dew-wet lawn
while Mrs James cheers them on!

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Buttercup’s Wake-up Call

Since Mrs James’ alarm clock stopped working
Buttercup has taken it upon himself
to wake her up in the mornings.
Buttercup only weighs 2lbs
and is very shy
but when he wants a treat
there’s no stopping him.
So every morning he jumps on Mrs James’s bed
to tickle her with his whiskers
and if she doesn’t get up
he bounces up and down like a small elephant.
Sometimes Mrs James pretends to be sleeping
but Buttercup won’t give up
and just when she thinks she might have a lie-in
he runs to the other side of the room then races back like a rocket!
At last she gets the treat box from her bedside table
– the one with the lid chewed by many hungry bunnies –
and gives Buttercup and Dandelion
a well-deserved peanut.
Mrs James can’t help noticing that every day Buttercup
wakes her up a little earlier
(this morning it was still dark outside).

Click!

The reason why Dandelion
is always a blur in photos
is that as soon as Mrs James is about to click
he comes running to be kissed.

Dandelion’s Whiskers

Dandelion’s lost his whiskers
they were there in 2003
for all the world to see
now he doesn’t tickle when he kisses
and we miss them!
At first it felt a little strange
Dandelion looked a little cold without them
but now we’re used to it
we think it’s quite charming.
Maybe one day they’ll grow back
in the meantime it might help
to eat some banana and peanuts every day.
Without whiskers it’s awfully hard
for a bunny to find his way in the dark
so Buttercup leads the way
for Dandelion’s sake
and Dandelion follows
and doesn’t bump into walls.
Two little brothers like peas in a pod
one has whiskers, one not.

Beauty Sleep

Mrs James can’t get her beauty sleep
because every morning at around 6
Buttercup tickles her
with his super long whiskers.
As if that wasn’t enough
he digs in her pillow
and jumps up and down
like a sack of potatoes
while Dandelion
thumps like a drummer.
Finally Mrs James gets up
(with her eyes half-closed)
to give the bunnies their breakfast
and open the French doors.
But as soon as Buttercup and Dandelion step outside
– their bellies now full –
they decide that actually
it’s a little too sunny today
they’d rather take Mrs James out in the rain.
So they go back to sleep
while Mrs James (now fully awake)
sits in the garden with a cup of tea
dreaming of a lie-in.

The Apple Tree

When Carolina was small
she would hop on the terracotta pot
stand up on her back feet
and try to climb up the apple tree
to eat the delicious leaves and twigs.
Then three years ago I planted the tree in the garden
and since then it’s grown big and strong,
supplying other bunnies with scrumptious branches
and bearing sweet little Golden Delicious
that delight the blackbirds.

Buttercup’s New Sofa

Mrs James is having a bad dream:
it’s 5 o’clock in the morning
and Buttercup is chewing and digging in her new sofa
the one she hasn’t even sat on.
Being very sleepy she’s begging,
”Stop!” and “NOOOOO!”
hoping the sofa won’t be in shreds
by the time she gets up,
but Buttercup loves his new sofa
and he’s never had so much fun!

To Buttercup, a Fast and Noisy Bunny

Buttercup rabbit has two wonderful qualities:
as soon as Mrs James picks up the peanut box
he runs from the other end of the flat
(where he was busy nibbling on a door)
to his treat station in under one second!

And there’s never a quiet moment with him around:
if there’s no noise, he makes some!
– by chewing and shredding anything he can find.
They say that noise is one of the reasons
why Mrs James can’t write better poems.

Afternoon Siesta

On this hot afternoon
– more like July than September –
Buttercup and Dandelion
are enjoying a siesta
after a slice of melon.

Beach Bunnies

Buttercup and Dandelion like nothing better
than to dig and roll in the sandpit.
Every morning Dandelion hops right in
jumping on all fours
leaping left and right
and making amazing U-turns.
Then he rolls in the sand
to show off his white belly and soles.
Buttercup is more timid
but he too loves the sandpit
and sometimes he plays with his big brother
– two wild bunnies squashed together in the bed
sand on their feet and backs.

Buttercup is Chasing Dandelion

For the past two or three weeks
you’ve been chasing your brother, Buttercup
running after him on and off the bed
in and out of boxes
Dandelion isn’t as agile as you are
and hasn’t been well lately
all the crashing and noisy landings
are making me worry
about my Dandelion.
You are chasing him away
from his favourite spot on the sofa
so he’s moving closer to my bed
sitting quietly where the TV used to stand
maybe hoping for an extra peanut.
And like the sweetheart he is
he never bears a grudge
and can often be seen licking your furry head in the corridor
after your spat.
But it worries me, Buttercup
please be nice from now on
don’t fight with your big brother.

Artist’s Bunny

Dandelion’s in his cardboard box in the living room
keeping an eye on me
while I cut out shapes like Matisse.
From time to time he goes for a run in the garden
or if he’s sleepy I bring him some scrumptious leaves.
My artist’s bunny is getting lovelier and friendlier by the day
and now licks my hand when I bend down to pet him.
It’s wonderful that at 5 years old
he loves me more and more.
I wish I could spend every day
painting and writing
and listening to old CDs
with my Dandelion
(and not forgetting Buttercup
who comes to see us from time to time
to enjoy the sunshine).

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The Most Beautiful Sound in the World

When I pat Dandelion’s muzzle
or kiss his soft brown ears
all I can hear is buzzing:
he rubs his teeth gently
or sometimes very loudly
to show he’s happy.
It’s the loveliest sound I know
a simple, wonderful thing
the sound of happiness.
Just a few weeks ago
Dandelion didn’t want me to cuddle him
but now he’s so content
there’s no stopping him
he loves my company
and even lies down in the middle of the hallway
so I have to stop and pet him
every time I go past him.

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Dandelion’s Supersonic Hearing

I thought I’d been very quiet
creeping into the bedroom
to get the treat box
and give the pigeon some peanuts and sunflower seeds.
But nothing escapes Dandelion Wonderbunny’s supersonic hearing:
although he was sleeping on the living room chair
he’s up in a flash, twitching his nose!
In a second he’s leapt off the chair and followed the pigeon around the garden
to get some extra treats
before the squirrels arrive.

Duvet Games

Buttercup Wonderbunny has a new game:
he hops inside duvet covers!
He bumped into the opening by chance
and now every morning (and nights too)
he sneaks inside the duvet
and chews a few holes.
Or he runs across the bed
nudging me to lift the duvet
so he can pop under it at one end
and out the other.
It’s lovely to watch him playing peepo!
When he’s done this at least ten times
Buttercup finally lets me go to sleep
(after I give him a treat).

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10 out of 10 for Effort

The second Dandelion Wonderbunny
heard Mrs James shell a peanut
he woke up in a flash and
ran like lightning to her lap.
Unfortunately he didn’t jump high enough
and landed on the rug like a sack of potatoes
but he immediately picked himself up
(the mark of a true superhero)
and grabbed not one but two peanuts!

For Benjamin

This poem is for Benjamin
who liked to sleep in the sunshine
and hopped on my bed to be loved
who was graceful, gentle and kind to everyone
and who loved Carolina.
Benjamin Bunny was the first rabbit I lost
and on this sunny winter’s day
I’m celebrating his life and wonderful qualities.

Dear Benjamin, 9 years ago this was our last night
but I’ll never forget you.
Sleep peacefully, little one.

Buttercup Bites!

You’ve done it again, Buttercup!
You hop on my bed
earlier each morning
and if you don’t get your treats within five seconds
you nip!
and dig in my pyjama sleeve
(there are holes in the new duvet cover too).
That’s no way to beg for banana and peanuts
you little toothy monster!

Happy Easter!

Buttercup is on his best behaviour today
he’s not noisy and bossy about treats like he was yesterday
the little guy is a reformed character
instead of hopping about energetically
and tickling me with his whiskers
he’s sitting quietly on the bed next to my face
guarding the treat box on the bedside table
and waiting patiently for his morning peanut.
So of course I have to reward my Easter Bunny
and as I reach out for the goody box
he stands up in a flash
following the movement of my arm with his almond eyes.
It’s treat time! Dandelion’s on his way too
it’s cold and blustery outside
snowflakes are falling in the garden
but we’re warm and well fed on the bed.
Happy Easter everyone!

Artist’s Bunnies

What a wonderful surprise!
Today somebunny snuggled down
on the chair under the desk in the living room,
which I use as my art studio.
Dozing comfortably on a double layer of blankets
he’s enjoying his down time
and dipping into his bowl when he fancies a snack.

But this wasn’t my usual artist’s bunny Dandelion
– he was still in bed! –
it was his brother Buttercup Wonderbunny
who today plucked up the courage
to hop to the living room for his morning siesta.

Dandelion wasn’t around, so Buttercup
made himself at home on his brother’s chair and dozed off.
At first I didn’t realise there’d been a bunny swap,
then I spotted Buttercup’s long whiskers
(Dandelion lost his)
when I bent down to pat his head.

I loved having Buttercup to myself
and he was happy and relaxed on his brother’s chair
listening to the radio
and getting used to new sounds.

Dandelion wasn’t far behind
he arrived a little late at his daytime hangout
and didn’t seem to mind Buttercup was already there
taking up all the space!

Now the two brothers are a little squashed
but they love sitting on their chair
and making art’s fantastic when we’re all together.

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Little Moody

Dandelion Wonderbunny can be wonderfully charming
he greets me when I come home
entertains me with his binkies
and licks my hand to say, “Thank You!”
But when he’s moody
or he’d rather take a nap
he will sulk or even thump!
He doesn’t want a back rub
and runs off when I walk past his sofa
if I pet him he wriggles and hides in his box
only peeping out if he wants a peanut.
Sometimes it’s hard to tell which mood Dandelion’s in
happy or snappy
but I’ve noticed the more time I spend with him
the more loving he is.

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Chestnut Twig is a Big Success

Buttercup is munching on his new twig while I’m reading
– it’s very crunchy.
When I gave him a branch from the sweet chestnut tree
I didn’t know it would be such a great success!
It’s nice to hear Buttercup enjoying himself
and making sweet noise
so early in the morning.

Gym Bunny

Dandelion Wonderbunny is very athletic in the mornings:
first he digs a tunnel under Buttercup’s duvet,
not an easy start
and sometimes Dandy gets lost inside the duvet cover
but finally he’s in! and out the other end
in and out like an Olympic sprinter
stopping from time to time to check I’m still watching.
After a five-minute break
in which Dandelion begs for another peanut
he’s ready for his binkies!
He’s twirling and spinning
leaping on all fours and wiggling his ears
while I give him lots of praise
(he likes to be told he’s great!).

Bunny Talk

Buttercup likes to be talked to:
in the mornings he sits on the duvet
in front of his hay box
and listens while I praise him.
He also keeps an eye on me
in case my hand touches the treat box accidentally
then he’s up on the bed in two giant leaps
as what he likes most of all
is to have a treat while he’s being talked to.

Headbutting

Some rabbits push your hand away
when they don’t want to be disturbed
but Buttercup headbutts Mrs James
to wake her up at 6 in the morning
when he fancies peanuts and raisins.
Mrs James doesn’t stand a chance
the little guy is far too strong
he’s nudging her with full force!
And his whiskers are ticklish
so after a minute
Mrs James gives in and opens the treat box.
After he’s eaten Buttercup hovers around the bed
he quite likes being petted
on a full belly.

Heaps of Fun!

Buttercup Wonderbunny is very shy
when it comes to hopping in the garden
so I’ve brought the outside in
in the shape of a large tray filled with soil.
Buttercup loved it from the start
and he often sits on his heap of soil
playing King of the Castle
or digs it all over the floor.
When he’s totally relaxed
he bounces up and down, shaking his ears
and doing his binkies.
– it’s wonderful how a heap of soil can bring so much joy!

Buttercup’s Burrow

Buttercup likes nothing better
than to dig a tunnel
between the sofa and the duvet
(bits of padding are flying all over Mrs James).
From time to time he pops out of his tunnel
ears first
to check she’s still looking
then runs in and out at full speed
or jumps on the back of the sofa
to whoops of delight.
“It’s nice to know that a sofa and a duvet can be so entertaining,”
thinks Mrs James.
Other times all she can see is a little lump under the duvet
that’s when Buttercup is having a break.

Garden Fun

Carolina loved being outside:
I can still picture her running like the wind
to the bottom of the garden and back
then popping in her New Zealand Apples box
or digging under the roses to make a burrow;
when I cheered her on
her ears turned like a helicopter.

Being a smart bunny, she didn’t like getting wet
so the moment she felt a raindrop on her plush fur
she’d shake it off and shelter under the ivy.

Washing days were always fun with Carolina around
and if my clothes were draped
over a chair or the washing stand
she’d and play hide and seek with them!

Banana for Breakfast

It’s lovely to hear Buttercup and Dandelion
enjoy their banana.
They’re chewing it enthusiastically
making great slurping noises
and smacking their lips dreamily.

But some days Buttercup and Dandelion
only eat half their banana or none at all
which alerts Mrs James to offer some peanuts and raisins
to restore their appetite.

Then as soon as they’ve finished their treats
Buttercup and Dandelion wolf down their banana too
as if nothing had happened
and wash their face in front of Mrs James.

Top Bunnies

The Wonderbunnies love to snuggle up together
but each bunny has his territory:
Buttercup under the duvet on the right-hand side of the sofa
and Dandelion on the left-hand side and on the TV cupboard.
Because Buttercup is shy and small
and Dandelion is bigger and friendlier
you would think Dandelion is top bunny.
But Buttercup is bright and determined
a world-class explorer and very protective of his part of the sofa.
A few months ago he chased Dandelion down the corridor at night
and I worried about their scrapes
but luckily they’ve almost stopped,
and now sometimes I see Dandelion chase Buttercup off the TV cupboard.
I love seeing them nuzzle each other
(Dandelion does most of the grooming)
and when Dandelion is not around
it’s funny to see Buttercup sit on the TV cupboard
looking very pleased with himself.

Just Looking

Buttercup and Dandelion love watching me while I have breakfast in bed
Buttercup from the duvet in front of the hay box
and Dandelion from his spot on the sofa
the bunnies look sleepy
but they’re waiting to see if I accidentally bump into their treat box
when I pick up my cup of coffee from the bedside table.
Then they leap into action!
They’re up on the bed as fast as they can
and before I can say, “I was only getting my cup”
they are standing up, whiskers quivering
and looking so hopeful
that I don’t have the heart to let them down
so I open the treat box
for an extra peanut.

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Happy Day

I don’t know what made me think of the day
when I was standing in the kitchen
and Carolina and Sweetpea were at my feet
munching greedily on a peach or nectarine.
It was Summer 1999
Sweetpea could only eat small pieces
because his front teeth were missing
and they took them from my hand
that afternoon or evening.
I didn’t know then I would remember this
almost ten years on.
Maybe it’s because I was so happy
to live in that sweet moment
content with the small things
and grateful for my wonderful rabbits.

Jingle Bells

This morning Dandelion grabbed the Christmas bells I’d tied to the chair
and rattled them as loudly as possible
to wake everybody up!
He was having such fun
the whole flat was filled with the sound of bells
clink! clonk! clank!
Dandelion kept tossing them with full force
it cheered everybody up
and was very entertaining
the little guy made our day!

Peanut Loves Dancing

Dandelion’s binkies remind me of my sweet Peanut
skipping on the lawn
shaking her ears, tail and booty
jumping up and down
eating a geranium
then stopping to take a bow
no longer shy
just happy to be a rabbit.

The Wonderbunnies Love Banana

The bunnies are having banana for breakfast!
Buttercup’s leaping and twirling on the spot
and Dandelion’s skipping in mid-air, landing with a bump
wiggling his ears and feet: they can’t wait to eat!

Happy Birthday Buttercup & Dandelion!

Today’s the 6th May, Buttercup & Dandelion’s birthday!
The six year olds woke up nice and early
and immediately begged for treats
Buttercup even put his feet inside the treat box
and when I made myself Nutella and bread for breakfast
I saved them a little piece of wholemeal bread
then I sang them Happy Birthday!
It’s been a warm sunny day
the first day of summer
Dandelion followed me to the garden to feed the birds and the squirrels
while Buttercup had a great nap under his duvet.
It was lovely to sit on the living room step
sunbathing for the first time this year
and cuddling Dandelion while he nibbled on willow twigs until lunchtime.
I was sorry to leave the bunnies to go to college
but when I came home Dandelion gave me a fantastic welcome
and he and Buttercup didn’t waste any time begging for more treats.
What a lovely end to the day
Buttercup and Dandelion’s birthday’s been a great happy one
filled with sunshine and love.

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Peanuts Make Dandelion’s Day

This morning when I was feeding the squirrels
I shelled a peanut and Dandelion immediately grabbed it
and munched it happily under the sun lounger
and later in the afternoon when I topped up the squirrels’ store
there was a small peanut left on the table
so I gave it to Dandelion
who got very excited when he heard the shell crack
he couldn’t believe his luck
that today he was getting two extra peanuts
so he rolled on his side and buzzed very loudly to say,
“Life’s great!”

You’re Lovely, Dandelion

You are lovely when you roll on your back
with your eyes half-closed, making buzzing noises!
You’ve done this a lot lately
on your bed, on the duvet, even in the sand tray,
it’s wonderful to see you so happy and relaxed
enjoying life to the full.
You make me happy too
and I love you, Dandelion!

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The Daffodil

After the snowdrops
the daffodils are the first flower to blossom in our garden
like bright sunshine
they announce the warm weather.
One daffodil blooming on its own
is leaning over the place
where Sweetpea used to play
and greeting Dandelion who’s leaping around
doing his binkies.
It will only flower for a short time
in the pea-green grass
but it’s lovely and full of life
brings happiness and sweet thoughts
and the best thing is,
it returns every spring.

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The Wonderbunnies Are Funny!

The Wonderbunnies love a look-out:
they climb on my desk or on top of their boxes
and they leap off like Tarzan!
And a nice neighbour tells me
she likes seeing them in the bay window
at the front of the flat –
these bunnies are great fun!

Lovely Lulu

Lovely Lulu
the summer weather reminds me
of when you were here in 2004
enjoying the sunshine.
You were a charming rabbit
with your motley coat and brown spot on the nose,
and a great friend to Sweetpea after he lost his Peanut
I hope your stay was a happy one
even though it was only for a year.
I miss your gentle company
the way you ran to say hello
and sharing the sunny step outside our bedroom.
You are unforgettable.

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Catch!

Buttercup would make an excellent netball player
because he catches his treats like a pro!
Some days he doesn’t feel like hopping on the bed
to beg for peanuts, raisins and sunflower seeds,
so he waits for me to toss them at his feet
and he catches them!
Yes, Buttercup Wonderbunny
with his sweet nose and superlong whiskers
always finds his treats in a heartbeat
but it would be lovely if he came on the bed
(not at 5am).

Dandelion’s Summer Coat

When you grow your summer coat
a brownier patch of fur
remains around your nose
until the end of the molt
and you are even more handsome.
A few weeks later you look lovely in your new coat
and the fur on your muzzle has grown back lighter
to welcome the summer.

Nudge, Nudge!

When I say hello to Buttercup
or pet him on the back
he nudges my hand
not once, but twice!
It’s the sweetest gesture
a token of friendship.
He is too shy to stay very long
but he will nudge me to let me know
that life is good
and he loves me too.

The Treat Box

I still have the small treat box I bought
when I moved into my flat.
Carolina left her toothmarks all over it
and many bunnies after her
pushed their sweet muzzles in
to feast on peanuts, raisins and sunflower seeds.
Buttercup and Dandelion think it’s the best thing in the world
and nibble on the lid if I’m late opening it
or to protest if I put it away it too soon!
The box is old and worn
but it’s made so many rabbits happy
I will always treasure it.

Benjamin Bunny

Benjamin Bunny
was all white
with pink eyes and grey ears and nose
this bunny was magic
he’d hide in a box
and pop up from nowhere
to say hello.
Benjamin loved Carolina and
sleeping in a sunbeam
but when offered a biscuit
he ran like a rocket.
At six years old
he lived life to the full
and never complained
he lived peacefully with all other rabbits
what a wonderful habit!

For Dandelion, Who Liked a Good View

Sweet Dandelion, who liked strawberry leaves and a good view
left us yesterday morning.
My bright, friendly Dandelion seemed so strong
but lately a little older too.
I’ll miss him begging for treats with Buttercup
and keeping me company while I read or had breakfast in bed
and Buttercup too will mourn his brother’s love.
From now on there won’t be two cheeky rabbits
climbing on the bedside table
to get a peanut in the mornings
no Dandelion sleeping on the TV cupboard
or sitting on his chair while I draw in the living room.
Thank you for your life, Dandelion
for nuzzling up with me when I sunbathed in May
summer came early this year because it knew
you wouldn’t be here.

Piggyback

When Buttercup and Dandelion were young
they’d jump on my back
and we’d go for a ride around the flat
they hopped on and off all evening
I never thought they’d grow tired of it.
But as the months passed
and my life got busier
I didn’t have time to play
and they kept themselves entertained.
Funny how some things become a habit
and you think they’ll last forever
then one day they end without you realising it.
Even when I spent more time at home afterwards
Buttercup and Dandelion never played piggyback again
as in their younger days
they seemed to have forgotten their favourite game.
Now my sweet Dandelion’s gone forever
and his little brother is too shy to come up to me on his own
I wish I could turn the years back
and make time to play with my friends.

Dandelion & Buttercup’s Wonderful Welcome

Every day when I returned from my walk
it was lovely to come home to you, Dandelion!
You’d be waiting on your fleece on the sofa
and the moment I unlocked the door
you’d run to greet me
and I would stroke you behind the ears
and give you a back rub.
Now Buttercup is trying his best to do the same
and sometimes I find him on top of the cupboard
or even in your place on the sofa
waiting for me and his treats
– he’s following in his big brother’s footsteps.

Dandelion is Greatly Missed

I miss you, Dandelion
and Buttercup misses you too
he woke me up extra early this morning
begging for his treats half-heartedly
and didn’t play in the sandpit.
The flat looks neater since you left
and I wish it was messy again
with my Dandelion in his favourite places
making it warm and friendly
and the two of us into a family.

Room with a View

Being very bright, Dandelion
loved to snuggle down in front of a great view.
I often found him on his living room chair or a cupboard
on his bed, in a box
or in front of the French windows
looking out to the garden.
So I’d leave him a twig or a straw mat to chew on
and a fleece to make him comfortable
I’d give him all the mod-cons
in his favourite spots.
He wanted to see what the world was up to
watch the birds and the squirrels
and if a cat dared sneak up to the patio doors
it was thump! thump! thump! to let me know
something was wrong.
How I miss my clever guard bunny
and lover of views!

Dandelion’s Morning Show

Dandelion never failed to do his binkies in the morning
even when he didn’t get an extra peanut.
He dashed all over the bedroom
shaking his ears and bottom
kicking up his feet
and leaping back and forth at full speed!
– it was wonderful to see how energetic
my little couch potato could be.
His playfulness and love of life
were lovely to watch
and made everybody happy
that’s why we’ll never forget him.

White Easter

This year we didn’t have a white Christmas
but it snowed in April.
I woke up early one day
and big flakes were falling on our muffled garden
making everything soft around the edges
and the trees look like they were sleeping.
I can’t remember if Dandelion played in the snow
all I know is that within a few days the daffodils blossomed
and Dandelion posed next to them for photos,
and just a month later
my Dandelion and I were sunbathing in the living room
stretched out on a blanket by the open doors.
It’s as if the skies knew Dandelion wouldn’t be here much longer
and packed all the year’s seasons in a short time
so he wouldn’t miss out before he left.

Dandelion’s Scent

I remember your lovely scent, Dandelion
your dear bunny smell
that still clings to your blankets
and all around the flat.
I think back to how it felt
to cuddle you and kiss your ears
and hope your scent won’t fade away
so I can dream you’re still here.

Willows

There was a time not long ago
when our willow trees
couldn’t grow quickly enough
for Dandelion and Buttercup
they loved the tender leaves and buds
and ate the twigs like spaghetti!
And just last month I thought I’d have to buy
more trees from the Sunshine Garden Centre.
But now that Dandelion’s gone
Buttercup can’t keep up
the willows are growing too fast
for a single bunny
and their branches are hanging on the patio
waiting for Dandelion.

Goodbye Dandelion

Goodbye Dandelion,
I see you running into the distance
in a field or a meadow
like a proper wild bunny
looking back for a short while
then running on without a care in the world
away from me and Buttercup.
You are well again
but you are leaving all the same
and I wish you could stay.

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Buttercup’s Birthday

Happy Birthday, dear Buttercup!
On 6th November you will be six and a half years old
while your big twin Dandelion will forever be 6.
Two little brothers sharing a birthday
living together for over six years
but one will never grow older
he’s sleeping with the stars.
When your birthday comes we’ll celebrate, Buttercup
we’ll be happy and make the best of your day.
I’m so glad you’re here so Happy Birthday, dear Buttercup
and Many Happy Returns!

The Christmas Present

Last Christmas I saw a fantastic cardboard house
in a shop window in Muswell Hill
so I bought it for Buttercup and Dandelion
and as I carried it home after work
my head was full of happy thoughts
of how the bunnies would love to play in it
hop on the first floor and in and out of windows and doors.
Dandelion immediately jumped from his cupboard
through the skylight in the roof
while Buttercup raced round and round it
then fell asleep behind it.
I’m so glad I gave the bunnies the best Christmas present
while I still could
it was well worth the money
and made them enormously happy!

Fridge Magnet

Buttercup Wonderbunny loves to hop behind fridges
when he gets the chance
and chew on the thick cable.
Minifridges are his favourite
and just the right size
for our intrepid explorer
to climb on the top
and parachute down the back
to begin his nibbling attack.
There’s nothing to be done
except barricade the fridge on all sides
and wrap the cable in plastic piping
but even then no fridge is 100% safe
from my long-eared friend.

Buttercup and Mrs James Will Be OK

Good Morning, Buttercup Wonderbunny!
After yesterday’s rain
the sun is shining today
so let’s smell the flowers
dance on the lawn
meet the birds and the squirrels.
We’ll be fine
think happy thoughts
eat banana on toast
while we listen to the radio.
Life’s great
so let’s make up for sad days
it’s blue skies from now on
stars and rainbows
it’s going to be wonderful
dear bunny, I love you!

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Rabbits Everywhere

There’s a book in my bookcase
with the nibbled spine
called “Rabbits Everywhere”,
I used to keep it on a low shelf in the office
six years ago or more
and some bunny got to work on it
leaving his little toothmarks on the cover.
I can’t remember which rabbit it was
maybe Peanut or Barney or Snowdrop
but it’s nice to remember
there was a time when a cheeky rabbit
hopped into my office
and chewed on “Rabbits Everywhere”
to leave a sweet reminder he was there.

Buttercup’s Christmas Card

Buttercup Wonderbunny is at the top of my Christmas card list:
a beautiful card with a squirrel in the snow
and red berries has taken pride of place on his sofa,
next to his hay basket and organic pear twigs.
He was even photographed behind it (as if he was reading it)
but this may have proved a bit too much for our rabbit superhero
who’s now snoozing with a twig under his duvet.

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Happy New Year Buttercup!

2009 is going to be a very good year
Buttercup hopped on my bed twice this New Year’s Eve
to be petted and get his treats
which is a good sign of happiness to come.
Then he explored the freshly made bed in the front room (his playroom)
before hopping straight back for seconds.
He chewed contentedly on his pear twig at the end of my bed
and is now having a late dinner of parsley, dill, sweetcorn, carrot and broccoli.
Fresh hay and straw are waiting for him
in the newly-filled dog bed.
Now the little hare is grooming after dinner
and I can hear the fireworks in the distance.
At 11.53 he’s falling asleep under the sofa
Goodnight and Happy New Year, dear Buttercup!

Buttercup’s Twigs

Bunnies need to keep their teeth in trim
so every few days Buttercup
gets a fresh supply of twigs:
willow and hazelnut
pear and two variety of apple
(Golden Delicious and Bramley)
with tender buds to feast on.
The little guy has twigs on his bed, sofa,
in his boxes and under my desk,
and just this morning he was spotted
eating a pear twig like spaghetti.

Buttercup the Friendly

It wasn’t long ago that I called Dandelion my friendly rabbit
and Buttercup the shy one,
but at six and a half years old
Buttercup’s had a transformation!
At last he’s having fun, enjoying his carrot tops and pear twigs
dashing in and out of his new cardboard boxes
and begging for peanuts.
The little guy leaps and dances all over the flat
shaking his ears and running up and down the corridor
the way Dandelion used to do.
Buttercup the Friendly waits for me to come home
and doesn’t mind to be petted or have his back rubbed
he even lets me kiss the top of his head.
It’s wonderful the way a senior bunny can still surprise you:
now Buttercup spends less time under his duvet
sits on the sofa to get a good view
and loves to be talked to!

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Happy Valentine’s Day to Buttercup

Buttercup Wonderbunny is happy and loved
and today he’s received in the post
the biggest Valentine’s card in London!

Sweetpea’s Sandpit

If you look in the garden
you’ll see a swelling in the lawn
like a small molehill
that used to be Sweetpea’s sandpit.
It’s now covered with grass
you don’t see the sand anymore
and nobody would notice it,
but I remember the summer sunshine
and how happy it made him
to feel the sand under his feet
how he loved to dig and roll in it.
And today I ordered eight bags of sand for Buttercup
in good time for spring and summer
so he too will have happy days in the garden.

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Carolina’s Housekeeping

When Carolina was here
she loved to play with the dustpan and brush
while I cleaned the floor,
she would pick them up
and toss them around enthusiastically
while I cheered her on.
I’d forgotten all this until yesterday
when I was sweeping bits of hay near Buttercup’s bed
then the memories came flooding back.

Peepo!

When Buttercup’s ready for bed
he pushes his head under the duvet
then he pops out again
in and out at least ten times
he loves to play Peepo!

New Fruit

Like his brother, Buttercup has always been fond of bananas
but now he likes another fruit too:
white seedless grapes (from Mrs James’s plate)
large, round and juicy
which he slurps and rolls on his placemat every morning.

First Day with Carolina

16 years ago this was our first full day together
and our new life was beginning.
You’d spent your first night under the washing basket
and Juliet took a Polaroid of me holding you.
I can still see you hopping around the kitchen full of beans
and how I worried I wouldn’t look after you properly.
But most of all I remember the love I felt for you right away
and all the happy years ahead.

Buttercup Fruitbat

These days Buttercup Wonderbunny is like a fruitbat:
he only comes out to eat (and have his back rubbed) at night.
It’s lovely to cuddle in the dark with the radio on
my little fruitbat and I are listening to the late show.

Sweetpea’s Blankets

This summer Buttercup ran out of blankets
after he shredded big holes in the ones I bought
so I took some of Sweetpea’s out of the cupboard
and lined the floor and sofa for him.
Now Sweetpea’s fleeces with his bobbles of white fur
are making another bunny happy and comfortable
four years since I lost my Sweetpea
those little balls of fur are still clinging.

Buttercup Is on the Bed

This morning when I opened my eyes
Buttercup was bouncing on and off my duvet
and nuzzling the bedside table
waiting for his treat.
But after he munched on his raisins and peanut
he didn’t run off like he normally does
he snuggled up next to me for at least 10 minutes
while I gave him a back rub.
Sometime Buttercup sleeps at the end of the bed
and lets me cuddle him
if I lie top to tail
but never before has this little cottontail
gone to sleep near my pillow
and felt so happy and comfortable.

button a4   DSC05827

First Winter

A little grey squirrel has followed his friends
and discovered that nuts are dished out in our garden.
After the mild October sunshine
he’s getting used to the colder, windy weather
and putting on weight for a rainy day
– it’s going to be his first winter.

Buttercup Is Well Again

Buttercup wasn’t well this weekend
he had to be carried to the kitchen to be syringe-fed;
afterwards he seemed a little stronger
and snuggled down under my bed.

Last night at 1.30 the little trooper got up
and nibbled on some hay in his dog basket
then hopped on the cardboard box by my bed.

This morning when I woke up
it was lovely to hear him munching noisily on veggies
the peanut and the raisins I’d left near his bed
to tempt him to eat.

Then Buttercup stood on tiptoe by the French windows
and couldn’t wait to grab the willow twigs from my hand
he popped in his basket to nibble on dried herbs
and now he’s sleeping under the bed.

The little guy is definitely on the mend!

Buttercup on the Bed

These days when I stretch in the mornings
I have to take care not to send Buttercup flying
because the little guy loves to sleep at the end of my bed
on top of the electric blanket.

Buttercup’s Beauty Routine

It’s lovely to watch Buttercup
having a wash in the mornings.
After choosing a suitable spot on the duvet
he lifts one foot at a time
spreading his toes like a flower.
Then it’s the turn of the soles
padded with creamy fleece
– Buttercup makes sure they’re squeaky clean!
Finally he licks his front paws
and wipes his muzzle
while he’s standing up
smoothing his nose, eyes and cheeks
until they shine.
And now that he’s finished his beauty routine
Buttercup Wonderbunny
is even more handsome
and ready for action!

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Buttercup Cuddlebug

On 26th November 2009
Buttercup Wonderbunny
let me stroke his muzzle for the first time
just like his brother Dandelion used to do.
He didn’t run away when I reached out with my hand
and petted the top of his head
three or four times!
After he was poorly at the weekend
and had to be syringe fed
Buttercup is happily on the mend,
sleeping on my bed again
and cuddlier than ever!

Sweet Pitter Patter

Dear Pitter Patter,
this morning at Waterloo Station
I handed you over to the lady from the pigeon sanctuary
and was told because they have so many pigeons
and you all look quite similar
I won’t be able to find out how my Pitter Patter’s getting on.
After your breakfast at 7.30
you fluttered to my bedroom
and the moment I turned my back
you hopped on the bed
and snuggled down against my pillows.
I took a photograph, not knowing that half an hour later, at very little notice
my little Pitter Patter and I would be on our way to the station.
Buttercup and I will miss having you around
we don’t mind the mess
and Buttercup likes nibbling on your food.
We hope you’ll get well, start eating by yourself
and fly high again
meet new friends to make up for those you left behind
and we hope you’ll remember us sometimes.

Pitter Patter   garden pigeons

Buttercup’s Sofa

Buttercup is sitting on the sofa in our bedroom
looking through the French doors
at the squirrels and the pigeons.
The little guy feels safe and content,
turning his ears when I call him,
knowing he can run under his duvet at the far end
if he wants to hide.
It would be nice to be able to lounge on the sofa from time to time
and enjoy the view
while I read and I draw
but Buttercup is so happy on his sofa
it’s reserved for his personal use!

Mistletoe’s Friends and Relations

When Mistletoe arrived in the garden last year
her friends and relations immediately showed her
the peanut store on the breakfast table
and I was glad to meet this new squirrel,
smaller and skinnier than the others
with the bushiest tail.
And when she passed away this morning
Mistletoe was still the smallest one
she looked so sweet and young
with great things to come.

To Buttercup, Sleeping Under the Sofa

I like watching you sleep
under the sofa, Buttercup
while I paint and draw
and listen to the radio.
I see your sleepy muzzle
and from time to time I talk to you
and get a treat from the kitchen
or a pear twig you can nibble on
when you wake up.
You look snug and cuddly
but a little bit lonely on your fleece rug.
I like looking at you
and I think you like looking at me too.

Merkel Is the Best Budgie

Buttercup’s budgie friend Merkel is coming to stay!
This cheeky blue budgie
who likes sitting on an apple branch outside her cage and fluttering on picture frames
and tweets if you leave the room for just two seconds
is spending her holidays here for the fourth time
at the end of February.
Buttercup, who’s usually very shy
and Merkel, who is a little feathery thing
have become best friends
and sit together in the morning and evening
sharing millet seeds.
So hip hip, hooray!
Merkel is on her way!

DSC07891   dsc07879.jpg

Buttercup Eats a Geranium

Buttercup Wonderbunny is fast:
he wolfed down the biggest dandelion leaves
and now Mrs James’ prize geranium:
all she saw was a splash of pink
against his brown muzzle
and in a flash, it was gone!

Cupboard Love

There’s nothing Buttercup loves more
than to explore cupboards and wardrobes.
Whenever I open a cupboard door
he sneaks up behind me
and chins all the contents
and the moment I turn my back
he’s up on a shelf!

40 Days

I can’t believe that 40 days ago my sweet Buttercup was still here,
hopping around the garden and washing his face to make himself beautiful.
It feels like a lifetime ago
when you sat on my bedside table, waiting for me to wake up
or jumped on the bed begging for treats.
Since then the flat has changed so much
I’ve had to put out your boxes and tidy your blankets away
because I’m moving home.

But I’m keeping the curtains you and Dandelion nibbled,
hoping they’ll bring good luck
and the watercolour paper you chewed
when I stored it behind the door.
I treasure these little traces you left behind
and won’t forget you, sweet Buttercup.

Bunnies November 2003 190   Bunnies November 2003 199

Goodbye Garden

Goodbye dear garden
bathed in sunshine
or lit by the moon and the snow
that I fell in love with
eighteen and a half years ago.

Goodbye sweet garden
where the rabbits played
the squirrels and the birds
came by for their breakfast
and I learnt to love insects and bugs.

Goodbye garden
where I planted the fruit trees and wildflower meadow
for the bunnies to feast on
but they’re long gone
so I’m leaving you with a heavy heart.

Wonderful Buttercup

Thank you Buttercup
for being such a wonderful rabbit
soft, cheeky and excellent company.
Although you were shy and small
you made me and Dandelion feel loved
and brought a lot happiness into our home.

photos 196   photos 210

Kisses for Sweetpea

I’d like to kiss you on the top of the head
between your soft ears, Sweetpea.
I’m sure you wouldn’t mind
if your fur got a bit flattened
with all that kissing.
I am dreaming of you
sitting on the sofa in the living room
on your blue and red fleece
waiting to be kissed.

Buttercup Chewed Much More Sofa Than I Thought

A year and three months after you passed away
we’ve moved the sofa out of the conservatory
while we renovate it,
and that’s when I see the upholstery in the back corner
has been thoroughly chewed.
“Buttercup!” is my first reaction,
followed by bittersweet thoughts
of when you spent your afternoons under the sofa
not sleeping – as I’d thought – but chewing!
You were shy, playful, clever and wonderful,
and that’s why I’ll never forget you, Buttercup.

Under the Floorboards

I don’t know why tonight
I’m thinking of the bunnies’ droppings
under the floor in our old flat.
The little raisins must still be there
with the hay and the straw
and the rabbits’ fur
the sofa padding and the blanket fringes they chewed,
they all slipped through the gaps in the floorboards
and are sleeping there in the dark
with other voices and footsteps above.

The Bay Window

The best thing about the bay window in my old flat
was that Buttercup and Dandelion
waited in front of it
for me to come home.
Sometimes I’d stop and say hello
from the garden path
before unlocking the front door
and running to greet them.
Buttercup would hide in his box as soon as he saw me
because he was very shy
but he still expected a treat when I got in.

Christmas Bells

The two silver bells
I bought one Christmas
are still hanging from the chair
the bunnies used to sit on.
Sweetpea, Buttercup and Dandelion
bumped them noisily
when they hopped past
making everybody jump!

Heatwave

They say it hasn’t been this hot since 2006
I remember that summer
as it was my first one without Sweetpea.
The sun had not shone so high
London had not felt so warm for seven years
and ever since then
I’ve tried my best
to live without my best friend.

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Go Softly

When the time comes
to leave this life
go softly, sweet rabbit
and don’t be afraid.
For I wish you peaceful dreams
while you are asleep
and hope you will remember:
all the happy years,
that you’ll be loved forever
and made the world better.

Looking at Carolina, Benjamin and Sweetpea

I remember one day
I stopped washing the dishes or tidying up the kitchen,
looked at Carolina, Benjamin and Sweetpea
and felt such happiness.
“It’s perfect,” I thought
“they’re friends, healthy and content,
I don’t wish for anything else.”
Yet so often I’m too busy to stand still
even for a minute
and be grateful for all I have
the wonderful everyday things
that can be taken away so easily.

3f2   3ce

Carolina’s First Summer

Fourteen years ago
it was the saddest day
when I lost my Carolina forever.
But twenty years ago
I was 27 years old
and we were happy.
I’d given you a dog bed to sleep on
and brought home a New Zealand Apples box
for you to hop in and out.
It was our first summer
and you loved digging under the roses until I was worried.
You made up your own games:
running through my dressing robe
climbing on flowerpots
and racing up and down the corridor.
I remember you pushing your muzzle inside the fridge
and cuddling up together at night
– our beds were side by side.
And today, dear rabbit
I wish I could travel in time
to January 1999, the beginning of a new year
with you, Benjamin and Sweetpea
the sunlight streaming through our kitchen.

Bunnies October 2003 371   CNV00177

Happy Birthday Dear Sweetpea

Happy Birthday Sweetpea!
Happy Birthday to you!
On this bright day
I’m having breakfast in bed
like we used to
– honeydew melon
tea and sunshine.
And while drawing and walking
and listening to the radio
writing this poem and reading my book
I’m thinking of you.
The doves and the pigeons
the sparrows and the starlings who arrived yesterday
the crows and the ducks in the park
and even the neighbourhood fox
all wish you a Very Happy Birthday
with love always.

Peanut & Sweetpea now 061   Peanut & Sweetpea now 060

Christmas Without Lola

Lola, the delightful cat
who shared my dinners
and followed me almost all the way to the station
and showed me the magic of Cherry Tree Wood
has passed away this Christmas
and will be greatly missed
by everyone who loved her.

IMAG0967   IMAG0969

Sweetpea Superbunny

Sonny
small
sometimes
sugar snap pea
soulful
swoon
swoop
spin
swipe
swag
snack
scarper
stay
satellite
space rabbit
starship
sleep
soft
sunrise
stretch
sooty
smudge
spot
spike
ear-shake
skip
squirrel
speedy
stamp!
shy
sketchbook
story
summer
sunbed
sunbathe
sand
sunbeam
show
Superbunny
soar!

Photos 135   Bunnies November 2003 089

Home Movie

Today I had an unexpected gift:
I picked up my old camcorder and found
a home movie of Sweetpea
when he was 8 years old.
It was 15 September 2004
and Sweetpea was playing in his tent and
pop-up tunnels in the garden
he was well and carefree
happy to pose and have his muzzle stroked
it’s so strange to see him again
my darling bunny that won’t return
the recording stops half-way through
a lucky find tinged with sadness.

Bunny photos 274   Bunny photos 216

Missing Buttercup and Dandelion

Buttercup and Dandelion
were fantastic bunnies,
smart and bold
and wonderful come home to!
I remember them speeding up and down the corridor
weaving in and out of flowerpots
and sniffing the daisies in the garden
– the same kind that grow in my new home.
The bushy-tailed brothers
would start the day jumping on my bed before dawn
to grab their peanuts and a slice of banana.
Afterwards they lounged by the bay window to welcome visitors
or on top of their three-seater sofa
on which they let me sit sometimes.
It’s two years since Buttercup died
and four since I lost my Dandelion,
my bright summer bunnies
have left a huge gap in my life.

Sweet Names

There was a time when the flat was filled
with dear rabbits
the happy noises of their feet padding on the floor
and the sweet sound of their names.
But it’s over six months since a bunny
perked up his ears
and came running when called
the moment I got home.
Now when I call their names
there’s no bunny racing up the corridor
or hopping on the bed for a peanut,
only the memories flashing back
of my rabbit friends playing hide and seek in their boxes
sleeping under the desk in our home office
the wonderful love they gave
and sunlit days in the garden.

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This lovely poem about Snoopy (one of our foster bunnies) was written by his adopter.

Prince Snoopy

Snoopy is a black and white Dutch rabbit.
His fur is as soft as silk.
His nose is as pink as candy floss.
He is a prince.
Our home is his kingdom.
He lies on velvet chairs and rests by the fire.
His eyes are as dark as coal.
And on his hands are a pair of white mittens.
Hop, hop, hop, up the stairs he goes.
Thump, thump, thump, down he flies.
To his hutch? NO! To his cage? NO!
For he is a house bunny, free as you and me.
Long live Snoopy! Our Dutch prince.

Melissa Roache

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