Wednesday, April 30, 2008

In The Beginning

The first time Tall Husband and I saw our bungalow, there were toads everywhere we looked; not genuine, live toads, but artistic (here I use artistic quite carelessly) likenesses, images made from every material imaginable. Toads greeted us on the front porch and in every room. They sat atop sink stoppers and peeked from behind doors. We inquired as to the toads. The real estate agent mistook our puzzled curiosity for interest in the collection and immediately whipped out her cell phone. When she concluded her conversation, she turned back to us and said, "I'm so terribly sorry but the toads do not stay with the house." "Thank God!" Tall Husband blurted. Upon leaving the bungalow, we noticed a house plaque that announced the place to be "Toad Hall."

The next day, Tall Husband telephoned to inform me that per his Google search, there was a play, "Toad of Toad Hall," written by A.A. Milne. It was an adaptation of Kenneth Grahame's "The Wind in the Willows."

"Why didn't you know that right off," I asked. "Your Grandmother was British and read to you all the time."

"She only read Peter Rabbit books to me. You claim to be a fan of A.A. Milne's; you even have a Pooh costume." (True: I wear the furry Pooh outfit, drive around in my red convertible, waving at everyone.)

"I only know about Pooh and Peter Rabbit," I said, feeling like a literary lightweight.

We were eating breakfast at the old pharmacy a couple of blocks from the Bungalow a day after we had closed on the house. "You know, with all the Toads gone, we have to come up with our own house theme," I teasingly said. I have learned that when a woman reaches a certain age, there two things she can do that she did when she was six: she can wear pink and she can be silly. I think Tall Husband was the one who came up with "Bunny Bungalow" and I do remember he found the first pair of antique bunnies that now guard the old church pew in our living room. Even third-generation Brits retain that wonderful British sense of whimsy.

The bunnies have multiplied. Our granddaughters, the twins, delight in hunting down recent additions to the collection, taking photos of each with their digital cameras and informing us when the number of bunnies is a "prime number."

1 comment:

  1. A magical place it is, of that I am so sure. With each and every visit, I grow to love it more. Bunnies, bunnies everywhere; not a carrot to be found. But in this happy hutch, there is friendship and love for all the bunnies that end up there. I'm not a bunny, but a friend; so blessed to know the lovely keepers of Bunny Bungalow!