Once upon a time there was a little girl named Maddie. Maddie was five years old and had light brown hair and beautiful blue eyes. She lived with her mommy, daddy and her very best friend, Pink Bunny in a yellow house with green shutters on the windows. Pink Bunny was not a real live bunny, but a stuffed bunny that Maddie's grandma had given her as a gift. Pink bunny was pink of course, with little round black eyes, soft pink fur and a pretty pink bow around her neck.
One summer's day Maddie's mommy took Maddie and Pink Bunny to the library. Maddie loved going to the library because she loved being read to and she was even starting to learn to read some words herself. Maddie carried Pink Bunny into the library and went directly to the children's section, with it's little tables, pretty murals on the walls and of course books, books, books! She laid Pink Bunny on the table and started choosing some books to take home. After a little while Maddie found a book that she particularly liked and sat down on the floor to read it. She was so absorbed in the story she forgot all about Pink Bunny and when her mommy said it was time to go she jumped up, taking her books to the checkout counter, so excited to have new stories to hear that night at home.
It wasn't until Mommy and Maddie were almost all the way home in the car that poor Maddie realized she did not have Pink Bunny with her! She let out a wail that almost made Mommy drive off the road! "Goodness Maddie!" Mommy exclaimed. "What is wrong?"
"I forgot Pink Bunny!" Maddie burst into tears, sobbing her heart out. Mommy told her to calm down, that they would call daddy at work and have him pick Pink Bunny up that night on his way home. Maddie tried to stop crying but she just couldn't stand the thought of her poor bunny sitting alone on that library table. What if another little child came along and stole Pink Bunny?? What if they took her home and Maddie never saw her again??
As soon as they got home from the library Mommy called Nancy, the librarian and spoke to her for a moment. Maddie tried to hear what was being said but all she noticed was the slight frown on Mommy's face. Mommy looked worried and that made Maddie worried!
"Maddie," Mommy said gently. "I'm afraid the library is getting ready to close for the day. Daddy won't be able to get there in time to pick up Pink Bunny. She will have to wait to be picked up until tomorrow. I'm so sorry."
Maddie burst into fresh tears at this horrible news!! How in the world would she ever get to sleep that night without her precious Pink Bunny?? And what must poor Pink Bunny be thinking??? Maddie was sure her bunny must think she had been abandoned. She threw herself into her mommy's arms and sobbed.
Meanwhile, at the library Pink Bunny WAS wondering what was going on! Where is Maddie? she thought, looking around from her place on the table. And where was Maddie's mommy? Then she felt gentle hands pick her up. "Hello Pink Bunny," said a soft voice. She looked up into the kind eyes of Nancy, the librarian. "Looks like you're spending the night at the library tonight. You're in for a treat, because this just happens to be our special pizza party night!" Nancy placed Pink Bunny down on a shelf next to several other stuffed animals. There was a green elephant, a purple giraffe, a black and white penguin and several teddy bears. Before Pink Bunny's eyes those stuffed animals came alive and started to chatter all at once.
"Hello there chum!" said the green elephant. "My name's Brian, and these are my friends, Roy the giraffe, Topsy the penguin and those bears are Papa, Mama and Baby Bear. And you are?"
Pink Bunny stared for a minute then realized she was being rude. "Oh sorry! My name is Pink Bunny. I am just here for the night then my Maddie is coming to get me."
"Well you came on the right night!" said Brian. "Pizza party!!!" As Nancy reappeared carrying a big box of steaming hot pizza the other animals began to bounce up and down with excitement. What Pink Bunny didn't know, and what you probably didn't know either, was that at night in the library when the doors were locked and the building closed to the public the stuffed animals all came to life and had the grandest of times. Most nights they passed the time reading all of the wonderful books that surrounded them, but once a month Nancy planned a special pizza party for them and this was that night.
Pink Bunny had never had pizza before but she'd always wanted to try it. She helped herself to a slice of pizza while Nancy poured everyone a nice cold cup of lemonade. In no time flat the pizza was gone and then Nancy put on some lively dance music. "It's dance time!" shouted Brian, hopping about. So everybody danced, including Pink Bunny. She was having so much fun she almost forgot to be sad that she wasn't with Maddie.
After they'd danced themselves silly Nancy turned off the music and turned down the lights. "Story time," she said softly. Pink Bunny sat down in a circle with the others and quietly listened as Nancy read the story of the Three Little Pigs. All too soon the story was over and it was time to go to bed. That was when all those sad feelings that had quieted down in Pink Bunny came back out. Little tears welled up in her black eyes and spilled down her pink cheeks. She missed Maddie so!!!
"Poor Pink Bunny," Nancy soothed, picking her up and giving her a little cuddle. Then Nancy laid Pink Bunny in a little bed she had made for her on the floor next to Brian. "It will soon be morning and you will be back with your Maddie," she promised. "Now everyone fall asleep, I will see you in the morning." Leaving a little light on so they wouldn't get scared, Nancy locked up the building and went home for the night.
That night was a restless one for both Pink Bunny and Maddie. At home in her bed Maddie tossed and turned and cried in her sleep. And at the library in her little bed, Pink Bunny did the same. Neither thought morning would ever come but finally the sun rose and it was day.
In the morning when Nancy opened the library she put Pink Bunny safely on a shelf behind her desk and gave her a book to read while she waited for Maddie's daddy. The book was called "The Runaway Bunny" and Pink Bunny liked it very much indeed. The time seemed to drag though, even with a good book to read, but finally Pink Bunny heard a familiar voice and looked up to see Maddie's Daddy standing before the desk.
Daddy carried Pink Bunny out to his car and placed her on the dashboard so she could see out for the journey home. Pink Bunny was so happy when Daddy pulled into the driveway and there standing in front of the little yellow house was Maddie! Oh what joy there was when the two best friends were reunited! Maddie hugged Pink Bunny to her chest as tight as she could and covered her pink face with kisses.
"Oh Pink Bunny," Maddie whispered. "I will never lose you again, I promise!"
Pink Bunny snuggled herself beneath Maddie's chin. She had had lots of fun at the library, but she was so happy to be back home in Maddie's arms, right where she belonged.
And she's been there, ever since.
***The Story Behind The Story***
As Maddie mentioned earlier this is a true story, we really did leave Pink Bunny at the library and I had one distraught little girl on my hands! What could I do to calm her fears that her poor bunny was miserable without her? Why make up a story about what was going on that night at the library of course! I decided it was best if Pink Bunny had a fun party at the library so Maddie wouldn't worry too much about her being alone. I think it did the trick! By the way, Pink Bunny was later joined by Purple Bunny who we found at the Salvation Army thrift store! You never know where you'll find a new friend! :)