Basil & Annabelle: The Saddest Bunnies in the Entire World

bunnies
illustration via my friend jody’s dad

Once upon a time, Basil and Annabelle, the saddest bunnies in the entire world, were playing tag with their friends at the park.

.

They were laughing, jumping, yelling, swinging, bumping, running, and climbing!

.

Annabelle was having fun, but Basil soon started to notice something.

.

His heart was going

thump, thump, thump, thump, thump!

.

.

laughing jumping yelling swinging bumping running climbing

     thump thump thump thump thump

.

.

JUMPING RUNNING YELLING BUMPING CLIMBING LAUGHING

THUMP THUMP THUMP THUMP THUMP

.

.

BUMPING LAUGHING CLIMBING YELLING RUNNING JUMPING

   THUMP THUMP THUMP THUMP THUMP

.

.

The park was so noisy Basil thought his heart was going to explode!

.

So he bunny-hopped away to the sandbox for some quiet time.

.

.

Basil liked the way the sand felt cool beneath his paws…

         thump thump thump thump

.

.

And the way it felt when he moved it around

           thump thump      thump thump

.

.

He liked picking it up and watching it fall down

        thump thump

          thump thump

.

.

He liked adding water so he could build his very own sandcastle

thump thump

thump thump

.

.

His heart had slowed down to normal.

.

He liked the sandbox a lot.

.

Back at the park, Annabelle was worried.

.

She didn’t know where Basil went!

.

She started to feel sad her friend had left her.

.

Did he not like playing with her anymore?

.

Her heart went

thump thump THUMP thump

.

and she didn’t feel much like laughing, jumping, yelling, swinging, bumping, running or climbing at all.

.

Then she saw the sandbox! Basil was playing quietly by himself.

.

She hop hop hopped over to him.

.

“Basil!” she said, “I missed you! Why did you leave? Don’t you like playing with me?”

.

Basil didn’t mean to hurt Annabelle’s feelings. He had to tell her it wasn’t her fault that he left the park.

.

He took a deep breath in…

.

and a deep breath out…

.

and then told her how he was feeling.

.

“It was too loud, Annabelle. My heart started thumping really fast. I like playing with you, but sometimes I need to play in the quiet sandbox instead of the noisy park.”

.

Annabelle listened to him, and thought quietly for a moment before responding.

.

“Oh, I didn’t know that,” she said. “Thank you for telling me, Basil. It’s okay if you need to have quiet time alone, but I feel sad when you leave without telling me.”

.

Basil’s ears went all droopy. He didn’t know what to do.

.

“I don’t mean to make you sad, Annabelle. Sometimes it’s so loud and there are so many others around, I just don’t know what to say!”

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Annabelle thought for a second more. She looked at Basil’s droopy ears and had an idea.

.

“That’s it! Maybe we could have a signal!” she exclaimed.

.

Basil’s ears perked back up.

.

“What kind of signal?” he asked.

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Well, if you don’t feel comfortable saying how you are feeling, you could twitch your ears! That could be our signal for when you need some quiet time.”

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Basil practiced twitching his ears.

.

“Like this?” he said.

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“Sure!” replied Annabelle. “Then I will know not to worry.”

.

“Okay!” Basil said, “I will try to give you the signal next time, Annabelle.”

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He twitched his ears back and forth really fast, it looked like they were dancing a silly dance!

.

Annabelle made her ears dance a silly dance too and they both started laughing.

.

“Want to build a sandcastle with me?” Basil asked. “I like quiet time alone, but quiet time together is just as nice.”

.

Annabelle felt the sand beneath her paws. It was soft and cool.

.

She noticed that after talking and laughing, her heart was thumping back to normal too!

.

Annabelle’s heart went

thump thump

thump thump

.

And Basil’s heart went

thump thump

thump thump

.

And Basil and Annabelle, the two saddest bunnies in the entire world, felt a little less alone playing quietly together in the sandbox – with their hearts thumping quietly together too.

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