Baxter The Thumb Sucking Easter Bunny



Once upon a time, in a beautiful flower-filled meadow, there lived a little brown bunny named Baxter. Baxter looked just like all the other bunnies you might have seen. He was extremely cute and wonderfully fluffy.  However, there were two things about Baxter that made him very different from most other bunnies: The first thing was that Baxter wasn’t an ordinary bunny, Baxter was an Easter Bunny. The second thing was that he had a habit of sucking his thumb.


Baxter sucked on his thumb when he was tired. He sucked on his thumb when he was hungry and he sucked on his thumb when he had nothing else to do. But most of all, he sucked his thumb whenever he felt nervous or scared.

Now anyone who has ever met a wild rabbit knows that they are timid, jumpy little fellows who might run away from their own shadows before they say hello. This meant that poor Baxter felt nervous many times each day and his little thumb was hardly ever out of his mouth. The truth was that sucking his thumb made him feel safe and comfortable. That was until his very first Easter.



One day, Baxter was hopping around the meadow, when he saw his friends, the Easter chickens, loading eggs into baskets ready for painting. Easter was just around the corner, and this was to be Baxter’s very first time decorating those special Easter treats.  He was so excited to help his Easter Bunny friends with the egg painting, his mother had even given him a brand new dandelion paintbrush to use.


Unfortunately, as soon as he saw the chickens busily preparing their baskets, he began to feel a little bit nervous again. What if he dropped one of the eggs? What if he wasn't very good at painting them?  Baxter popped his thumb into his mouth and began to suck.


Then the chickens, who had been hard at work, noticed Baxter sucking his thumb and they began to giggle and cluck as chickens often do.


“Did you ever see such a sight as an Easter bunny sucking his thumb?” they asked each other.

“How will he even hold his paint brush?” squawked Henrietta Hen.

“The eggs will be horribly smudged” they laughed.


Poor Baxter felt so embarrassed. It was not very nice of the chickens to laugh at him like that.  They had hurt his feelings and made him cry.  He was so sad he couldn't think of anything else all afternoon. But then the more he thought about it, the more he  realised that the chickens were also a little bit right. How was he going to paint and hide eggs for the children, if he could not stop sucking his thumb?  How would he hold his paint brush? He couldn't use his other paw because he needed that one to hold the egg steady. What if he had to miss out on the Easter fun altogether? Or worse, what if his bunny friends laughed at him too?


That night as his mother tucked him in to sleep, Baxter took a deep breath and told her how the chickens made fun of him because of his habit. Mrs Rabbit was a kind and thoughtful mother. She listened to Baxter patiently and she did not laugh even once. She told him that because he was still a young bunny, it was okay to have a habit that made him feel reassured. She also agreed that sometimes habits can get in the way of fun activities like egg painting. Then she told Baxter something he did not know.


Mother rabbit cuddled him close so her whiskers tickled his cheek and then she gently explained that If he continued to suck his thumb, as he got bigger, the habit might make his front teeth stick out too far. Now as we all know, bunnies have very big front teeth indeed. Baxter knew  that if his front teeth stuck out it would not be a very good look at all. Worse still it might make it very difficult for him to enjoy eating his favourite, crunchy carrots. Baxter decided that maybe it was time to stop sucking his thumb after all.


Baxter listened to his mother's advice and decided to try his best. He practiced not sucking his thumb whenever he felt a bit anxious. He also found other ways to feel comfortable when he was nervous, like holding his favourite fluffy toy or playing games that would keep his paws busy.


Mother Rabbit even gave him a reward chart. Every day that he did not suck on his thumb, a beautiful shiny star sticker was added to his chart. Then, at the end of the week, because he had collected so many of those wonderful stars, Mother let him choose a special treat for tea.


His mother also gave him a colourful fabric glove he could wear at night. The glove was called a thumb guard and it helped make sure he didn't suck his thumb by accident when he was sleeping. He liked his thumb guard very much because it had pictures of his favourite beetles and bugs all over it.



Finally, a couple of days before Easter, Baxter joined all his bunny friends for the egg decorating ceremony. What a wonderful time they had too. In fact, Baxter had so much fun that he completely forgot about sucking his thumb that day. Mother Rabbit said she was so proud of him. Not just because he had stopped thumb sucking but because he had painted the most beautiful eggs his friends had ever seen. Even the chickens  were delighted and they did not make fun of him ever again. Instead, they praised him for all his hard work and for being such a clever artist bunny.


From that day on, Baxter never did suck his thumb again. He had learned that although it was okay to have a habit, sometimes it is important to try and overcome it, especially if the habit makes it harder to have fun with your friends and family.

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