The Bunny That Said, "WOOF!"
Today after work (Starbucks), I was getting my usual Lemonade when a young girl of about two or three walked into the store with her family. I have never seen them in my life. They looked like a nice little family. The little girl held in her hand a stuffed bunny rabbit. (I can only assume a recent gift from the ever generous Easter Bunny) The little girl was holding the bunny before her and saying out loud "Woof, woof!" as if the stuffed bunny were a dog.
I smiled at her and said "Well that has got to be the first bunny I've ever seen that sounds like a dog."
The little girl looked at the bunny and then looked at me. She quickly walked the few paces of space between us and proceeded to hand me the bunny. I politely accepted the bunny and then began moving his arms and legs. Then I did the unthinkable. I made the bunny woof at the little girl.
"Woof, woof!" said the voice of the rabbit I had chosen to use. The little girls eyes widened. She stared at me and then the rabbit. There was no fear to be found on her face. Complete innocence was seen suspended on her pink cheeks and her eyes twinkled at the sound of her very own bunny rabbit "woofing" back at her.
The bunny rabbit being voiced by me asked her how her day was going. It was at this point that I realized maybe all the little girl knew was how to "Woof". So I had the bunny rabbit wave and then gently handed the stuffed "woofing" rabbit back to its owner. She accepted him with open arms.
I told her to hug him and never let him go. A huge smile splashed across her face and she hugged her dear rabbit very close. I told my new friend goodbye and began to leave.
The little girls father, who had been watching the entire time, looked at me, smiled and said, "thank you so much for that moment."
I smiled back and told him "make sure she takes care of the "woofing" rabbit" and walked out the store.
While I was driving home, I was thinking on the episode that had just written itself before me. One of the things that struck me about the scene was the fact that the little girl had enough trust to hand over her prized stuffed "woofing" rabbit over to me. In a matter of seconds she had made up her mind that this strange man standing before her was okay to share her beloved rabbit with.
Now I have always been a big proprietor of children having more faith in people than actual adults do. I believe that children and youth see this world differently than you or I. The trust they have in their parents is mesmerizing. Their ability to start conversations with anyone and everyone is a gift from God above. Children may be the biggest boundary crusher in the world today. You may be able to speak eloquent words and may have the wisdom of Solomon, but the smallest smile or shortest giggle of a child can melt almost anyone.
A few thoughts began to form in my mind after the few moments with the little girl. Can children see straight into the heart of adults? Can they sum up in a matter of seconds whether the person before them means them good or harm? Can they see deeper than those of us who have been scarred by the troubling things of this world that cause us to isolate ourselves and trust no-one?
One theory that I have on this, though flawed it may be, is that perhaps it is because these children have just come from the heart of God. In their innocence they understand who we are supposed to be and who we are. They have faith that people are good. Or they can actually see that someone is not good. (on many occasions I have seen this go either way with children around adults)
Maybe I am not making this read right. As children are just coming into their lives on this planet perhaps a bit of Heaven comes with them, and as we grow older, we seem to forget what that Heaven was. And those on the other end of the spectrum may understand this as well, they may have this gleam in their eye of a bit of understanding as they are on their way out of this world. Perhaps these "older" folk can see the life well lived. I have met many a grandfatherly figure in my life who can sum me up in a few moments time. Almost always these moments are awesome. It comes from wisdom and living and learning and falling and believing and Faith.
There have been a many times where I have seen grandparents and their grandchildren experiencing this thing we call life together. Watch it sometime. There is sort of magical dance that happens there. And those of us in-between and watching from a distance feel like we missed the joke or the moment. We just don't get it.
The truth is I am grateful for children and for those who have come before me and are a little further down the road. They teach me things I have forgotten and yet someday soon I hope to re-capture.
Today was a blessing. I don't think I will quickly forget the "Little Girl and The Bunny That Said, 'Woof!'"