In Brave Bitsy And The Bear, Bitsy is a small toy rabbit who falls out of her girl’s pocket in the woods. Lost and all alone, she finds her way home with the help of a big, sleepy bear. (Ah, but will bear make it back to his cave before he falls into hibernation?)
In real life, Pink Rabbit – pictured above – is a small toy rabbit who got left behind somewhere in Gloucester and hasn’t been seen since. He didn’t have much chance of finding a bear to help him, and he hasn’t found his way home.
Ariel’s grief was overwhelming and palpable. Once she realised that after retracing our steps unsuccessfully we were going to stop looking and head home, she cried his name over and over. His loss changed everything. It was so hard: mothers are supposed to be able to fix anything, yet there was nothing I could do but help her through her grief and her guilt and her loss. What do you say? To her, Pink Rabbit was a real person with hopes and dreams and fears, a person who had his own rich life but who nevertheless had been there for her always, whenever she needed him.
Perhaps this is why we make up stories for our children. We pretend that what is, isn’t. Because what is, is hard to take.
Right now, all we can do is to hope that Pink Rabbit is having an adventure. We couldn’t find him, so he must have gone somewhere. Perhaps he is in the jungle, perhaps he has gone to the South Pole to look at the penguins, or to the North Pole to make friends with a polar bear. Maybe he will send us a letter or call us on the phone.
When she got home today she said – Where’s pink rabbit, has he come home yet? I gave him to you, mummy, and you lost him, didn’t you.
Ah, love, he escaped to be a wild free travelling rabbit. He might come back when he’s been all around the world. Bitsy found her way home. In real life, we’ll just have to wait and see. Rabbits don’t always come back.
If anyone sees this rabbit: please ask him to come home, or at least to send a postcard.