If you were going to listen to a bed-time story about Peacebunny Island, who would you want to be the narrator? I'd pick Stephen Lyons. With a rich, warm voice, I'm thrilled that he agreed to be the celebrity who tells the fictional story that was inspired by our real 22 acre oasis for rabbits on the Mississippi River. Of course as a piece of storytelling, not everything is true (like talking rabbits and how calm the water is on this impressive river) but I was very pleased to work with CALM in the creation of this tale. The rabbit characters in the story are real, all of which are Comfort Animals trained to engage with people in calming, caring ways. They ride in wagons, sit atop blanketed tables, and seem to thoroughly enjoy extended time being stroked and cuddled. I train young rabbits that I call "Kinderbunnies" out on the island -- it's perfect because I don't need to worry about them hopping away or getting hurt. Likewise, last summer's pilot project proved that land predators stay away too. So my plan is to bring up to 24 rabbits in training at a time when we have volunteers out there on the island. The island isn't generally open to guests, but we are having a contest to win a trip to go island hopping with us
Huckleberry Peacebunny (Flemish Giant blue buck) traveled 100 miles with me on the maiden voyage of our newly purchased 43 foot houseboat last summer; I still picture his enormous ears and lanky paws that you knew he'd eventually grow into. And he has. He's fully mature and muscular now, and his face has lost the baby look. He still loves running on the dock, playing along the shoreline with the gentle waves, and snuggling in his captain's blanket box on the houseboat. If you ever wondered if rabbits are smart and have memories I have proof: even with the extended winter and spring stay at the Peacebunny Cottage, he remembered exactly where places were from so many months ago. Anyone can see his joy as he "binked" high into the air and darted around bonking familiar places with his nose. Where he was more ginger-footed and playful last year, he is strong and confident but still silly at times. NEW VIDEOS ON TUESDAYS We spent so much time together on the boat from June-September 2018 as we explored the river and lived on the island together. Last year at the Minnesota State Fair as a young buck, he beat out his twin brother Twain to win the blue ribbon for his breed & gender; his mom Feisty (whose name says it all) was Best of Breed and I was so proud to see her displayed on Champions Row. Huckleberry is a wonderful companion all year long, going to lots of events to bring others joy. I'm so thrilled to have this 18 pound boating pal on the next phase of our island hopping journey again this year. Come see him at the Minnesota State Fair over Labor Day weekend.