26 September, 2022

LitStaff Pick:Supporting (or Secondary) Characters Who Deserve Their Own Book

Deborah Howe

I always wanted to know what was Bunnicula’s side of the story when I was a child. We got to hear the goofy antics of the cat and dog trying to solve the mystery and save their household– but what really is going on with the bunny? Why wasn’t part of the story told through his eyes, if other animals of the story could communicate with each other and the audience?

Was he truly evil? (Though I hardly believe draining the juice from vegetables is evil…)

Related side notes:

Wasting juice like that could be evil if a person is starving and needs the nutrients… or seen as murderous to other plants, if they had thoughts… or maybe the colorless veggies are poisonous? I just don’t see the danger in this mystery. Maybe that’s how my grown-up mind has come to terms with this childhood read.

It bothered me years later about the color-drained veggies as the “victims” of a vampire bunny.  I mean, traditional vampires which are ex-humans feed on humans. To keep with the pattern and more correlative to this, wouldn’t Bunnicula feed on living bunnies?  The thought is probably too horrifying for a children’s book, I know, but I’m just throwing that out there.
And talking about belief, what were the humans thinking?  I mean, how did they explain the drained, colorless vegetables to each other? There is a huge suspension of believe that people would brush off these incidents. (Then again, the book is anthropomorphizing animals to have cognitive thought, so I’m sure there really isn’t a concern about too much believability… it’s just fun kid stuff!)

I envision that Bunnicula is a lonely, little undead bunny who must drink fresh juice from the veins of vegetables to stay alive. He tries not to be vicious, but sometimes the little monster escapes. He’s brooding and fluffy, kind of like a fuzzier Spike from Buffy. All he wants is for someone to love him and to have a den of humans to be enslaved to his needs, such as growing him his very own garden every year, even in winter in a greenhouse. Yet there he is, stuck with the other two suspicious, unfriendly housepets and humans too ignorant to know his true nature. Poor guy.

As I write this, I am more convinced that this childhood favorite is one reason why I would love to have a basement full of bunnies. They’re just stinking cute, no matter if they might tear my face off (Oops. That’s the wrong rabbit!) I mean, drain my greens.

-Kyla Lucas

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