In Loving Memory Of Boo Boo Hubbard
Written by Consta Jenkins
Reprinted by permission of the author
Eatbugs was standing in the middle of the grassy field. His tail twitched with anticipation and his eyes darted from side to side. Then he saw her. Puff, the bunny, stuck her nose up above the grass, twitched it a few times and then took off at full tilt. Eatbugs sprang after her, the muscles along his back quivering gracefully as he ran. Around the willow tree, through the catnip patch and back into the tall grass they ran, puffing happily in exileration. Finally, Eatbugs leapt to the left and came down in front of Puff. He tapped her gently on the head and laughed, "You're it!".
She chuckled, "A good run, my friend. Same time next week?". Eatbugs nodded and gave her a head butt in parting.
Panting slightly from his run, he padded his way towards the shady, cool grass under his beloved willow tree. He purred his greeting to Grace, who was lounging, chin on paw, beneath it. "'Morning, Eatbugs", he said, "did you have fun?".
Eatbugs nodded, "Sure did. Puff said she'd bring a friend next week if you want to join us". Grace nodded and smiled, the comraderie between all the animals took a little getting used to, but he was settling in. He'd nipped the tail feather off a chirp when he got here..but Fluffy explained things to him and he'd been very eloquent in his apology.
The two furiends had settled quietly side by side, when Tinky came padding solemnly up to them. "Oh Eatbugs, please can you help?", she said, a tear trickling down her cheek.
"Tinky, what's wrong? Of course I'll help you", he said licking her ear. "It's Boo Boo. He's coming here soon and Imbri is easing his way....but he's getting so tired. I don't know how! Please show me how. I have to help Boo Boo. I have to!".
As Eatbugs rose to go with Tinky, Grace stood up too, "Can I help? I've never done this, but....". His eyes were filled with compassion.
"Of course, come on". The three friends made their way to the Quiet Place, where kiddens could spend their time in contemplation. Imbri was lying on the ground, his face drawn and his eyes closed tight. Isolde and Virginia stood silently behind him, their tails linked and their faces a study in concentration. Eatbugs motioned for Tinky to go forward, "Go link tails with him and close your eyes. You'll feel Boo Boo then..and you'll know what to do. Grace and I will help you." Tinky settled herself beside her brother and wrapped her tail tightly around his. She closed her eyes and thought of Boo Boo and suddenly she could feel him. He felt so weak and so frightened. Her heart ached and she longed to reach out to him.
"Go ahead, reach for him" came Eatbugs' voice...but the voice didn't come through her ears! She felt his words in her heart. "Go ahead...reach out". She turned her thoughts back to Boo Boo and in her heart she reached out a paw paw to touch him. Boo Boo raised his head and purred. "He FELT ME!"
"Of course he did...now send him comfort and strength....and most of all, send him love.". Tinky reached once more for her beloved brother and sent him all the love in her heart. She sent him thoughts of warm days under the Rainbow sky and of the companionship he'd know here. She sent him gentle ear licks and purred sweetly.
Tinky and Imbri sat motionless, each shielding their brother from the pain until at last Tinky let out a slight cry and Imbri bowed his head. "It is time", he said. As the kiddens gently helped Tinky and Imbri to their paws, and turned to make their way to the Gate, the Welcoming Song began it's bittersweet refrain. As they walked, they were joined by all the Company of Kiddens. Rocky carried Nickie on his shoulders and Max walked, tails linked, with Katie. Beethoven walked with Spunkie and Ebony. Dino and Skunk, heads bowed, came quietly to sit with Pris and Beauty. All the kiddens bound by the love of their humans gathered once more, to welcome another furriend.
The familiar blue flash danced across the Gate, and in it's wake sat Boo Boo. He looked up at the Company of Kiddens and his eyes scanned their faces. At last his eyes found what they sought and his face lit up with Joy. Tinky came running and threw her paws around her brother, smothering his face with daintly licks. Imbri lumbered behind her. He wrapped his tail around Boo Boo and purred. "Welcome home, my brother". They stood for a moment lost in their love, and then Imbri gently turned his brother to meet his new family and led him to his new home.
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