It’s that time of year again! Hoppity, Boppity and Toppity were off to meet Koko the Chocolate Pixie, Mr Hare and Zorean the Wizard, to make chocolate. They were extra excited as Happy the Hen had promised to be there as well and they hadn’t seen her since last year’s adventure.
‘I hope Herbert the Peacock will be there’, said Toppity.
‘Having one of his feathers to tickle the Chocolate tree is so helpful in getting the Cacao pods to drop’.
‘I love seeing the tree laugh,’ said Hoppity, ‘It’s my most favourite part of the day, alongside eating the chocolate we make of course!’
Off they bounced full of excitement, each Bunny wondering if this year they would have a chocolate adventure because every year since they met Koko they have had the most wonderful adventures!
Last year they were on a treasure island and met Happy the Hen, who helped Zorean the Wizard find the magic wand that he had been searching for, for years..
They had just left the Hollow when they heard crying. Sitting by a big oak tree was Mme Lapin, whom they knew; she lived in the Hollow with her baby bunnies. She had escaped from a ship that had come from a far away country called France; her French accent sounded funny.
‘What’s the matter?' asked Toppity gently.
‘Zhey have taken my babies,’ she sobbed. ‘Zhey have taken Bouncest and Jacque.’
‘Who have?’ asked Bobbity, looking around.
‘Zee Humans,’ she sobbed. Zhey were hiding in the bushes when we came out to play and threw nets over us all. Zhey let me go but bundled my babies up and threw them into zhe back of a white monster. Then zhey climbed in and it ran away extremely fast. I tried to follow, but could not keep up. I don’t know vhat to do,’ she cried.
The Bunnies looked at each other – they knew exactly what the human monster was as they had ridden in one before. They instantly realised this was a job for Hilary the Eagle.
They closed their eyes as Hilary had taught them and felt her in their hearts. Within seconds she was swooping through the sky.
‘Hello my friends,’ she said, ‘I thought you might be needing me today; I am at your service.’
(If you would like to find out more about Hilary the Eagle, read the second bunny story, well actually read all of the past stories to understand the adventures the bunnies have been on and all the friends they have met).
The bunnies quickly explained to Hilary what had happened and she said, ‘climb up and let’s find that Human monster quickly.’
‘Don’t worry Mme Lapin, we will find Jacque and Bouncest for you,’ said Toppity gently and confidently.
Within moments they were soaring through the sky on Hilary’s back, holding tight. The wind through their fur was the most amazing feeling. ‘Look, there is Zorean the Wizard’s Tower, he will be on his way to Koko’s,’ said Toppity.‘They will be wondering where we are,’ said Hoppity.
‘We don’t have time to stop’, said Boppity, ‘we have to find that Monster.’
‘Look look’, shouted Hilary – her eagle eyes had spotted something – they swooped closer to the white Monster and could clearly see on its back a net with the baby bunnies inside.
‘Oh no,’ said Hilary, ‘the humans are heading to their forest.’
‘They have a forest’? said the three bunnies together in amazement.
‘It's where they live together,’ said Hilary. ‘It’s not like our forest at all. Their trees do not grow and breathe; it’s very different. They are like big blocks of wood. My uncle lives at the top of one; he said they were made by humans, not appearing by magic as our forest does. They call them buildings.
At first the three bunnies could not understand at all but as they flew over they could see what Hilary meant. There were very large and small buildings, and they were nothing like the trees they knew andhad no leaves or flowers. The smell coming from this human forest was strange. It was all extremely confusing, new and frightening.
But suddenly the three bunnies saw the monster stop outside a low, long building. Two men climbed out of the monster and went into the building carrying the net with the baby bunnies.
Hilary swooped to a safe spot by the side of the building. Be very careful she warned. In the human forest they speak a different language, not just from their mouths but from their hearts. My uncle said that some are super kind and others do not understand us. He said that they have forgotten how to listen and so they don’t always move in tune with each other or their forest, as we do.
The bunnies nodded, their hearts beating loudly, and looked around.
Luckily the door had been left open so they bounced in. It felt nothing like the trees they knew, the homes their friends lived in or Koko the chocolate Pixies Cacao tree, but they had no time to reflect. They had to find Jacque and Bouncest.
They were bouncing fast and suddenly Hoppity said ‘stop’ and they tried but couldn’t as the floor had no grip and they all slipped and skidded. Hoppity was stopped by bumping into something solid, followed by Bobbity and Toppity. There were bunny paws everywhere.
As they unravelled themselves, they could hear something go clink.
They managed to stand up again rubbing their sore bruised parts and peeped around the wall that had kindly, even if not softly stopped them.
In the next room were all sorts of animals: ducks, mice, birds and more. They were all behind some sort of door made in lines going up and across so they could not get out. And there at the end were the baby bunnies,
‘Ok,’ said Hoppity, ‘I have a plan.’ I will get the human’s attention and get him to chase me; Bobbity and Toppity you hide and when he is chasing me release the babies’.
The plan worked with the human chasing Hoppity but Toppity couldn’t open the door where the baby bunnies were (she was balancing on Bobbity’s shoulders). The other human came into the room and let out a yell. Bobbity got such a fright he jumped and poor Toppity on his shoulders wobbled wildly and grabbed hold of the door. As the human ran for them Bobbity in confusion ran into his legs, entangling him.
The human stumbled, yelled and banged into the wall falling against a shiny red button. There was a terrifying noise and suddenly what was keeping the animals locked up, opened . The human, shouting wildly, was suddenly surrounded by all kinds of animals running for the door. He tried but couldn’t stop them.. Boppity and Toppity ran extra fast with the two baby bunnies on their backs. In all the chaos Toppity had made sure the babies had escaped.
Just as they arrived outside, Hilary swooped down with Hoppity on her back (rescued from the other human chasing him). ‘Quick jump up,’ she shouted to Toppity and Bobbity, ‘and hold on to those baby bunnies.’
‘But what can we do about the other animals,’ Toppity called. ‘We can’t just leave them here running around the human forest.’
‘That’s where I come in,’ said a familiar voice. They turned and saw Zorean. ‘Hilary sent her uncle to warn me that you might be needing me, but it seems you have done well on your own’, he chuckled. ‘Now I shall create a vortex that all the animals can run into. On the other side will be their true homes. Boppity, I need you to allow me to do the bunny chocolate poo spell again so we can create a trail for the animals to follow. All animals love the smell of chocolate.’
Boppity started to giggle.
‘No time Boppity,’ Hoppity called, ‘we need to move fast before the human comes out.’
(Read in the 2017 story about the Bunny chocolate poo.)
Zorean called out the magic spell and in no time there was a trail of bunny poo under Boppity and all along towards the spinning vortex Zorean had created. ‘Keep going Boppity,’he called, ‘in no time you will be back home.’
Boppity left a trail of bunny chocolate poo behind. As soon as the animals sniffed they immediately followed Boppity through the vortex. The remaining bunnies heard a yell and saw the human running out of the building. He was too late as the last little mouse was disappearing through the vortex.
‘Let’s follow Boppity,’ called Toppity with Jacques and Bouncest, ‘thank you Hilary’ and with a whoosh they disappeared through the vortex and so did Zorean. Of course Hilary simple flew into the sky looking back at the human scratching his sore head not sure what had just happened.
Koko the Pixie was amazed to suddenly see a spinning hole out of which tumbled Boppity, shortly followed by Toppity and Hoppity, two baby bunnies and finally Zorean. Again there was a pile of bunny paws plus human hands and legs and lots of whooping and laughing. The baby bunnies were very confused but were beginning to relax. They were not fully happy until Zorean called Mme Lapin to the Cacao tree. She was as happy to see her babies as they were to see her.
The Bunnies told Koko of their adventure in between Mme Lapin hugging them and saying ‘Zee are wonderfully Bunnies…wonderful. I am so so happy.’
‘Right’, said Boppity escaping another hug, ‘let’s make chocolate’.
‘I have had an idea’, said Koko. ‘The human forest sounds like it needs our help. How about with Zorean’s magic we make lots of extra chocolate and tonight Hilary can help us deliver as much as we can, as a surprise for them?’. ‘My uncle would help,’ said Hilary, who had just swooped down. ‘He is always wondering how to help the humans connect more to what they have forgotten,’ ‘Yes,’ said Mme Lapin, ‘and lets leave some for zhe humans who took my babies; it might help them to be kinder and remember not to take what does not belong to zhem’.
All the animals in the forest who normally enjoyed the chocolate agreed that the Human forest needed the chocolate more this year. Everyone joined in to make heaps of chocolate. There was lots of laughter and fun and chocolate making….
Story by Rumi Browne Scott
Illustrations by Shakara Johnson Prior