Cottontailfriends – The Story Behind the Name

15 Jan, 2022 0 comments

An Imaginative Childhood

When I was nine years old I had a pet bunny named Rocky. He was a small but chubby little guy with a pure black coat and long ears. I remember him hopping around the living room as I did my homework. Rabbits have always had a special place in my heart, but the rabbits I read in children’s books were something very special.

My little rabbit named Rocky looked like the black rabbit pictured here.

As a child I would only ever read books about animals. Talking animals. I loathed reading books about people because animals resonated with me on a deeper level. (I grew up on a farm so that might’ve played a role in it).

“People” books were for adults, my younger self would say.

“Some day you will be old enough to start reading fairy tales again,”

C.S. Lewis

Some of my favourite books were by the late author, Brian Jacques, who penned the Redwall series. Redwall was like The Hobbit but for kids, and it was all about courageous little mice, rabbits, squirrels, moles, voles and badgers fighting against the evil in their world. Good always triumphed over evil in those books, and as a child I found that comforting to read and devoured so many of Mr. Jacques novels.

“Imagination is a gift given to us from God and each one of us uses it differently.”

-Brian Jacques

As a shy and quiet only child brought up by a single parent mother, reading was an escape and gave me new friends through the animal characters in Brian Jacques’ novels.

Knitting Little Cotton Rabbits

As an adult, my love for rabbits was still going strong. When I first saw the Little Cotton Rabbit patterns by Julie Williams, I instantly fell in love. I made it my goal to be able to knit them within a few months. When I made my first bunny – affectionately named Basil – I knew that I would be knitting these furry little friends for a very long time. Knitting them brings me so much joy and calms my often anxious heart.

More Than Just Toys

I know they are just inanimate knitted toys, but to me they’re more than that. They’re friends. They ignite a sense of nostalgia that reminds me of my childhood when I would eagerly look forward to coming home from school and playing with my rabbit plush toys, giving them names and imagining a life for them all their own. Fond memories of reading Brian Jacques’ Redwall novels of fighting hares who befriend brave mice are also all tied up within this name.

So cottontailfriends brings to mind all these things for me. I hope these toys become friends to you and your children, too, and are able to spark the creativity and imagination that comes so easily for children at play.

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