“The Runaway Bunny”
by Margaret Wise Brown
“Once there was a little bunny who wanted to run away. So he said to his mother, “I am running away.” “If you run away,” said his mother, “I will run after you. For you are my little bunny.”
“If you run after me,” said the little bunny, “I will become a fish in a trout stream and I will swim away from you.” “If you become a fish in a trout stream,” said his mother, “I will become a fisherman and I will fish for you.”
“If you become a fisherman,” said the little bunny, “I will become a rock on the mountain, high above you.” “If you become a rock on the mountain high above me,” said his mother, “I will be a mountain climber, and I will climb to where you are.”
“If you become a mountain climber,” said the little bunny, “I will be a crocus in a hidden garden.” “If you become a crocus in a hidden garden,” said his mother,” I will be a gardener. And I will find you.”
“If you are a gardener and find me,” said the little bunny, “I will be a bird and fly away from you.” “If you become a bird and fly away from me,” said his mother, “I will be a tree that you can come home to.”
“If you become a tree,” said the little bunny, “I will become a little sailboat, and I will sail away from you.” “If you become a sailboat and sail away from me,” said his mother, “I will become the wind and blow you where I want you to go.”
“If you become the wind and blow me,” said the little bunny, “I will join a circus and fly away on a flying trapeze.” “If you go flying on a flying trapeze,” said his mother, “I will be a tightrope walker, and I will walk across the air to you.”
“If you become a tightrope walker and walk across the air,” said the bunny, “I will become a little boy and run into a house.” “If you become a little boy and run into a house,” said the mother bunny, “I will become your mother and catch you in my arms and hug you.”
“Shucks,” said the bunny, “I might just as well stay where I am and be your little bunny.” And so he did. “Have a carrot,” said the mother bunny.
We’ve read hundreds of books as a family, and this is a favorite that I read to my kids even when they far beyond “bunny” age. (I think at the last reading at least one of them was nearing 18!) In “The Runaway Bunny”, Wise Brown paints with the simplest of palettes to create a story of pure longing, commitment, dedication and deep love. Not the kind of love that lasts only until pushed away, but the only kind of true love – the love that remains always and forever, regardless of time, place or circumstance.
It’s easy for a mom to relate to the mother bunny in this story…there’s a fierce, protective love that we embody for our children that would truly make us do anything and go anywhere to find them!
Now indulge me a bit, and take another pass at this little story, but in the second reading, every place the mother speaks, I would like for you to insert God’s voice……
Are you surprised at the intimacy that’s created? Why is it so easy for us to imagine the love of a mother for her child, and yet harder to embrace the same care, passion and devotion that God has for us? If God created this bond between parents and children, how much more must God connect with us, His children in the same way?
As we continue along this journey through Lent, I hope you know how fiercely loved by God you are. God would not only do anything and go anywhere to find us, but He already has, and He’s not just in an unseen place waiting for us to come home. He’s here….with us right here and right now, loving us more perfectly than we could ever imagine love could be. He’s passionate about us and desires to be as close as we’ll allow. Sometimes we need the tight embrace of a mother….it’s the only thing that brings the comfort we need. So, run into the arms of the One who designed love itself…..and be loved. <3
“But I have calmed and quieted myself,
I am like a weaned child with its mother;
like a weaned child I am content.”