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Paxton Peace Bunny’s Great Ideas

Actually, they are TREMENDOUS, SUPER-DUPER GREAT ideas!!

Sending hugs for the Community of Newtown, Connecticut USA and all families who have an empty seat at the dinner table.

Paxton Peace Bunny was a Kinderbunny who lived in a tiny little home in a very big tree in Old Town. He lived with his Momma, his Daddy, his brother and two sisters. It was a simple home filled with the smell of yummy ginger carrots and filled with lots of love and kisses.

Each night the family ate dinner together and because he was the youngest, it was Paxton Peace Bunny’s job to ring the bell to let the family know when the meal was ready.

One night before they ate, Momma Bunny told the family that some Kinderbunnies and Firsties who lived in New Town had been hurt. Some of the little bunnies were hurt so badly that they had gone to heaven. As the Peace Bunny family bowed their heads to give thanks for the food, they also prayed for all bunny families everywhere who had an empty seat at their dinner table that night. Later, as she tucked in the children, Momma Bunny gave each of them super long hugs and even snuggled in their beds awhile. She kissed their ears and nuzzled their necks a little longer. She read an extra bed time story to them. She kissed and kissed them until Paxton Peace Bunny rolled his eyes and said “Momma Bunny, good night already!�

Momma Bunny sang as she turned off the light and left the room, “I love you forever. I like you for always…” “Did you brush your teeth?” Daddy Bunny asked as he kissed Paxton Peace Bunny’s cheeks and gave tickle hugs. Momma Bunny called from the other room, “Settle down in there. I just got Paxton tucked in bed.” Daddy Bunny gave Paxton Peace Bunny another tight hug then he left the room. “Love you kiddo,” he said over his shoulder as he wiped an eye. “Love you more,” Paxton said with a big yawn. “Love you the most-est!” giggled his big sisters from their bedroom because that was how Paxton Peace Bunny said goodnight when he was a baby bunny.

The next day as the little bunnies got ready for school, Paxton Peace Bunny went into his parents’ room to get a clean shirt out of the laundry basket. He saw their big, soft, squishy waterbed. He couldn’t seem to stop himself as he climbed up on the quilt and started jumping on their bed. Momma Bunny called from the kitchen, “Paxton stop hopping on the bed.” “Why Momma?”

Paxton Peace Bunny asked as he continued jumping and twirling and landing every which way. “Stop hopping on the bed.” “Why Momma?” She poked her head in the room and said, “Stop hopping on the bed.” “Why Momma?” Paxton Peace Bunny asked as he looked at her with his big, beautiful eyes.

“Because your sweet little paws have sharp nails. You might pop the waterbed which would cause a huge flood in our little home,” Momma Bunny said. “I just want to keep our family safe.” “Ok Momma,” Paxton Peace Bunny said as he slid off the bed and went to go help pack his lunch. On his way to the kitchen, he had an idea – a GREAT idea. He smiled really big just thinking about it. He went back to their bedroom and dug through the laundry basket until he found the pile of socks, enough for each of his four paws to be covered with three socks each. Paxton Peace Bunny started bouncing and playing on Momma and Daddy Bunny’s bed with his paws covered knowing that he would not pop the water bed. Now the family would be safe.

Momma Bunny called from the kitchen. “Paxton Peace Bunny stop hopping on the bed.”

“Why Momma?”

“Stop hopping on the bed.” “Why Momma?” “STOP hopping on the bed!” “Why Momma?” Paxton Peace Bunny asked as he looked at her with his big beautiful eyes. “Because you might jump so high you will bonk your sweet little ears,” Momma Bunny said. “I just want to keep you safe.” “Ok Momma,” Paxton Peace Bunny said as he slid off the bed and went to comb his fur and get his backpack. On the way to the school bus, he had an idea - A SUPER GREAT idea. He smiled really big just thinking about it. He stopped next door and quickly talked with Mr. Duck who had just the right supplies in his garage.

Paxton Peace Bunny said thank you as he put the big roll of sticky gray tape in his backpack and hurried to catch the school bus. All day he could hardly wait for school to end to try out his idea. As soon as he got home and finished his carrot cake snack, he took Mr. Duck’s tape and strapped his ears beneath his chin.

Paxton Peace Bunny started bouncing and playing on the top of his bunk bed knowing that he would not bonk his ears. Now he would be safe.

Momma appeared in the doorway and said, “Paxton Peace Bunny, stop hopping on the bed.” “Why Momma?” “Stop hopping on the bed.” “Why Momma?” “STOP hopping on the bed!” “Why Momma?” Paxton Peace Bunny asked as he looked at her with his big beautiful eyes. “Because you might bonk your sweet little head on the ceiling,” Momma Bunny said. “I just want to keep you safe.”

“Ok Momma,� Paxton Peace Bunny said sadly as he climbed down the ladder and went to see what his sisters were doing.

His sisters were busy playing checkers and they told him to come back later. On the way out of the room, he had an idea - a SUPER-DUPER GREAT idea. He smiled really big just thinking about it. So Paxton Peace Bunny went back into their room and asked to borrow his sisters’ pillows and a scarf. When he got back to his room, he strapped those two pillows to the top of his head. He could hardly wait to try out his idea. As soon as he was back to his bed, Paxton Peace Bunny started bouncing and playing on his bed knowing that he would not bonk his head on the ceiling. Now he would be safe.

Momma came quickly when she heard the ruckus in Paxton’s room. She said even louder, “Paxton Peace Bunny, stop hopping on the bed.” “Why Momma?” “Stop hopping on the bed.” “Why Momma?” “STOP hopping on the bed!” “Why Momma?” Paxton Peace Bunny asked as he looked at her with his big beautiful eyes. “Because you might fall off and land on your toys and hurt yourself,” Momma Bunny said with a sigh. “I just want to keep you safe.” “Ok Momma,” Paxton Peace Bunny said more sadly as he slid off the bed and went to see what his brother was doing.

His brother was busy painting a car for the scout Pinewood Derby and he told Paxton to come back later. So Paxton Peace Bunny got permission from Momma Bunny to visit Grandpa Bunny at his shop which was only a few doors down. On the way to visit his Grandpa, Paxton had an idea a TREMENDOUSLY SUPERDUPER GREAT idea. He smiled really big just thinking about it.

When he got to the shop, Grandpa Bunny was really busy with lots of customers and told Paxton to come back later. While Grandpa Bunny was helping Mr. Raccoon, Paxton Peace Bunny twirled and twirled around, wrapping himself up tight in bubble wrap from the shop. Somehow Paxton poked his feet out enough that he could still hop back to his house. He could hardly wait to try out his idea. First he tried his parents’ bed. Then he went to his room and climbed up top. As soon as he got to the top of his bed, Paxton Peace Bunny started bouncing and playing on his bunk bed knowing that he would not fall off and land on his toys and hurt himself. Now he would be safe.

Momma came quickly when she heard the familiar playful sound coming from Paxton Peace Bunny’s room. She put her paws on her hips and tried to remain calm, “Paxton Peace Bunny, stop hopping on the bed.” “Why Momma?”

STOP HOPPING ON THE BED!!!! “But why Momma?” Paxton Peace Bunny asked as he looked at her with his big beautiful eyes.

Momma Bunny stopped and in that moment realized that she did not have an answer. She realized that she did not even know what she was thinking or feeling. Momma Bunny did not know if she was mad, or hurt, or sad, or scared. She was happy to see her little bunny laughing and smiling. She felt relieved because Paxton was home with her and her whole family was safe. Then she started to chuckle because of how silly he looked with the pillows, the bubble wrap and the socks. Her little boy bunny was so creative. She sat on the edge of the bed. After a long pause, she sighed as she tried to come up with an answer. Momma Bunny said with her voice quivering just a little. “I just want to keep you safe.” Paxton Peace Bunny had tried so hard to obey Momma Bunny, but all he really wanted to do was play and do what Kinderbunnies do best – hop and jump and yell “whee!”

He asked his Momma, “But where can a little Kinderbunny like me hop anymore and still be safe?” Just then Daddy Bunny came inside the simple home in Old Town that was always filled with the smell of yummy ginger carrots. Momma Bunny heard the front door open. The sisters must have jumped on Daddy Bunny’s lap as soon as he plopped down into the big, soft, blue chair. Momma Bunny and Paxton could hear them laughing and giving welcome home kisses. Paxton Peace Bunny jumped up on her lap and asked her again, “Where can I play Momma? Where can a little Kinderbunny like me hop and still be safe?” Momma Bunny said with a wink, “I have an idea. Let’s go ask your Daddy.” Paxton jumped to the floor and then together they hopped down to the living room to join the fun.

Soon Daddy Bunny and the whole family were squished on together, laughing and giving kisses. “Group hug!” yelled Daddy Bunny as he squeezed everyone tight. That is when Momma Bunny asked Daddy Bunny where he thought a little Kinderbunny like Paxton could hop and still be safe.

Daddy Bunny touched his lips with his paw while he thought. “Hmmm…” he said. Momma Bunny whispered something into Daddy Bunny’s ear.

Then Daddy Bunny put his arm around Momma Bunny and said, “We think that the best way for all of us to feel safe is that we need a new rule, for just awhile anyway. Starting right now, there will be no more hopping on the bed, period…unless Momma and Daddy get to jump on the bed WITH their little bunnies.

“YEAH!” yelled the children as they all headed for the parents’ bed. Paxton handed out the socks to cover their paws. Paxton Peace Bunny thought that his Momma and Daddy had the most AMAZING, TREMENDOUS SUPER-DUPER GREAT idea ever. As he crawled into bed, he pictured God welcoming His bunnies to the feast in heaven with the most special hugs and kisses ever. Somehow he knew that God would answer his prayers for the New Town bunny families and all the bunny families everywhere that had an empty seat at the dinner table that night. Paxton knew that someday all the bunny families who were hurting would start to feel safe and start to laugh again. Somehow he just knew that they would be together again in heaven and live hoppily ever after. Paxton Peace Bunny smiled really big just thinking about it.

History of the American Blue and American White Rabbit

This breed was developed and introduced by Lewis H. Salisbury in 1917 in Pasadena California, USA. Like many American people, the American rabbit breed is a combination of many immigrant genes. The color of the American Blue is known to be the bluest of all the blue rabbits and it is known for its mandolin shaped body. The white rabbit is actually an albino (genetically the same as the blue rabbit but appears white and has pink/red eyes). Like all rabbits, their teeth grow longer their entire life, so they need plenty of fiber to chew on to keep their teeth and body healthy.

(File Photo: Blue litter, March 2005, MFO Rabbitry, Sacramento, CA)

The American Livestock Breeds Conservancy has rated this breed as "critical" for potential extinction. The Blue Imperial is already extinct. The Vienna Blue is gone from the U.S. and hard to find in Europe. There are currently less than 500 of these rabbits left according to the recent American Rabbit Survey (300 Blues, 146 Whites). The number is slowly increasing each year because more families are choosing this breed for a pet. And that is how the Peace Bunny family became part of the Smith family this fall when Caleb’s bunny Snickers died and went to heaven.

About Caleb’s Rabbits:

Paxton Peace Bunny was born in July 2012 and he is already full grown and able to be a daddy bunny. We bought him from a local rabbit breeder when he was a few months old. He now weighs approximately nine pounds & I’m glad they live at our house. His two sisters (same parents from a different litter months apart) are named Creampuff Aurora Peace Bunny and Star Peace Bunny. They are albino rabbits, so their fur is white and their eyes are pink. We trained all three rabbits to use a litter box so they are neat when we go on field trips and visit schools. Our rabbits are also trained to come running when we call them. (From the time they were little, we made kissing noises when we were going to feed them, so now they are easy to catch).

Just like a parent with a child, we need to make sure we buy and provide good healthy food choices to make sure they have enough energy to play. Each rabbit eats about 6 ounces of dry rabbit food a day, a lot of Timothy Hay. Paxton loves veggies like celery and broccoli leaves. For special treats they also gets carrot tops, and little slices of apples or banana which is funny to watch them eat. We also need to give only as much food as they need to eat for the amount of exercise they will get. If we feed them as much as they want, they would eat all day long, hog only treats and could get rabbit Diabetes. We follow the rabbit food pyramid like kids need to follow theirs! We make sure that rabbits get plenty of exercise, including several hours of outdoor play time each day. Sometimes we got old boxes from the grocery store and cut holes to make fun obstacle courses. Paxton means Peace –and that’s how we feel when he sits on our laps and just rests. We are planning to have baby bunnies this spring to give to the schools that have requested bunnies as part of the elementary STEM curriculum (science, technology, engineering and math) and for the Adventures with Paxton Peace Bunny. I’m excited that some people in Newtown want some of our bunnies too. The two girl bunnies can have a litter of 8 to 14 babies EVERY MONTH, so we will only let them play in Paxton’s cage when we have a good home for all babies that would be born. It is important to have a long term plan for all pets because they don’t stay little for very long, they eat a lot, and cages need to be cleaned often. We also needed a plan to pay for expenses (food, water, hay) and a plan for when we go on a vacation. Paxton enjoys hopping all around our fenced yard and he is so precious when he sits to clean his paws and ears. Now that it is winter, he stays more inside his “green” hutch that we built out of a wood desk, a door, recycled wood and plastic tarp. This winter Paxton likes to dig in the snow and to get a running start to slide on the ice in our backyard over and over. He is hilarious! When it is dark we bring them into the garage cages where it is a little warmer and the water won’t freeze as easily. If it’s lower than negative 10 degrees (F) we bring them inside for the night and let them stay in a special indoor cage. It IS Minnesota, doncha know. Thanks for reading about my bunnies!!

Caleb’s Ideas for Your Finger Puppets Theatre 1) For the E-Book, print the book including the background pages either in color or in black and white. 2) Draw eyes, triangle nose and whiskers on five fingers ( ideally on multiple people) with blue, green, purple and red/pink markers 3) Use bread ties / twisty ties / craft pipe cleaners to make your bunny ears.

OR Cut out five sets of “ears” and color them green, purple, blue and two pink. Use small rubber bands to attach ears to fingers 4) While you read the story, move the bunny that is talking (blue=Paxton, green=Daddy Bunny, purple=Momma Bunny, 2 pink=sisters) 5) Cut out additional pictures and add them to your scenery. Add props. Use different voices. HAVE FUN!

Paxton’s Fruits and Veggies Necklace Help your children turn favorite fruits and vegetables into a tasty edible necklace for them (or for your bunny!) 1) 2) 3) 4)

Gather fruits and vegetables that are firm. Slice them into chunks. Use a potato peeler or chopstick to poke a hole in each piece of fruit or vegetable. Thread dental floss through the hole in the fruit/veggie chunks. Tie the string around your children’s necks and enjoy a special treat. Be sure to lead by example.

NEWTOWN CT, USA Thank you for your gift to the Newtown Rotary Foundation Sandy HookSchool Fund! www.newtownctrotary.org Story and photos by Caleb Smith (8) and his mom, Stephanie Hope Smith (Bloomington Daymakers Rotary Club, MN) who wrote this story on their flight home from Newtown 12/21/12. Special thanks to the Bachman family for helping with our bunnies when we are out of town, our family for help editing, & Little Enchantments in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Contact us: hopefulpeacemaker@gmail.com More copies: hopefulpeacemaker.com

CALEB’S PRAYER

January 2013

Dear God, Hi it’s me again, Caleb. I just want to tell you that I love You. Thank You for loving me even when I make mistakes or get really busy. Thank You that I can talk to You like I can talk to my Dad. I want to ask You this morning for your help. You are a God of miracles and I ask You to do one in the world. We need You to remind us of what is important and to heal our families and our world, starting right here. Thanks for taking care of the children and adults who recently went to heaven. Thank You that You have a special place for them and for my bunny Snickers. I miss him. Help everyone who is sad or hurt or sick or alone. Please give Your special hugs from heaven to all the families who have an empty seat at the dinner table tonight. Help us to say nice things to each other. Help us to say I’m sorry. Help us to see people how YOU see them. Help us to love people how YOU love us. Help us to stop hurting each other. Help us to serve people who need extra love right now, especially my friends in Newtown. Please help children show all the grown ups that we are all neighbors. Help us to take care of the earth and to take care of each other. Help President Obama and all our leaders make wise and caring choices. Help Congress to get along and do good things that will make You proud. Help us know You more and give us courage to do things Your way. Help us to feel Your love when we feel alone. Help all children everywhere to be safe and well. One more thing: Please bring Your peace. Bless and heal Newtown and make it even greater than it was already. Please bless the United States of America. Please help our country do good things and help me to do my part. AMEN.


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