10th August 2010 - 2 years ago today.
Mopsy lifted her head and gently shook the sleep from her eyes. Pushing out her front paws into a huge stretch, she threw back her head and let out one last sleepy yawn before rising to tackle the day. Mopsy knew she was set for a long and tiring one as today was finally her turn to be the official "greeter". But remembering how much she appreciated the friendly welcoming face when she arrived, she was sort of looking forward to being that face for somebun else.
Arriving at the path just in time for the first of the new arrivals, Mopsy greeted them, told them about the place and listened to their tales. She was upbeat at first, but after she had welcomed a few into the meadow, Mopsy was actually starting to think it might make her sad to go through this over and over all day. But then she saw the effect the warm sunshine, luscious grass and brightly coloured flowers had on them as they moved past her, how the pain in their faces melted away as they ran happily about. After that Mopsy felt she "got it" more and all the following greetings started to go much better. By mid-morning Mopsy was settled in to the routine, and was feeling very positive again.
After a short break, there was again movement down the path. Sure enough, a little white figure came shuffling into view, moving uncomfortably towards her. As he came nearer, Mopsy recognised the owner of the sad little face, with his little pink eyes and the distinctive split up his right ear. She couldn't tell if Santa recognised her back though, if he did he didn't show it, but this didn't bother Mopsy since she knew how confusing things could be here at first.
"Where am I?" asked Santa, his broken voice a clear sign of the pain he was still feeling.
"Welcome to Rainbow Bridge" Mopsy replied. "You are safe now, among old friends."
As Santa continued to speak, the effects of being so close to the magical meadow and it's healing powers were beginning to sooth his voice. "How did I get here? I was alone and scared, my tummy hurt so much..."
"You have passed on from that place. Here there is only peace, little one."
Santa paused. He looked more relaxed, his physical pain gradually fading, but he was clearly still troubled. "Where's my daddy? Why did he leave me in that place to die alone and in pain?"
Mopsy moved to Santa's side to comfort him. "Your human loves you very much, more than anything else in the world. When he left you with those strange people he thought they could make your pain go away and return you to him, like they did when you were sick before. When they told him you were getting worse he was so sad he couldn't think. When he realised that you needed him, he wanted to be with you but it was too late and you were already gone."
After a few seconds thought, Santa went to speak again, but Mopsy already knew what he was going to ask. "You will see him again" she said. "One day he too will leave that world and find himself in this meadow."
"Will he remember me?" asked Santa. "I also left behind my beloved Jemima, and I know he will want to find another bunny to keep her warm at night - won't I be replaced in my daddy's heart?"
Mopsy stepped back and turned her head quickly around. As she did so her ears drew an arc in the air throwing up a sparkling shower of magical dust. As the dust floated downwards it created the appearance of a window, through which they could see the world below. There they could see Santa's human, heartbroken and wracked with grief. The image started to move quickly, as if it were a movie in fast-forward, and again and again they saw these emotions return to him as he recalled the little boy he so missed.
"My dear sweet Santa. You have touched this man's heart so very deeply, he will certainly remember you always. He will hang your pictures on his walls and delight in telling tales of you to all who come into his life. And though he may adopt many other little fluffy children, you will always be his first and most precious. Finally, when the day comes that he arrives here at the meadow, he will run to you as fast as he can, he'll lift you into his arms and never want to let you go. Then you will all cross the rainbow bridge together as a family, never again to be feel the pain of being parted from one another."
As the window faded, so with it the image of the grieving man, and even though she knew bunnies can't cry, Mopsy could swear she saw a tear fall from Santa's eye. But whatever she did see, in a second it was gone and he was smiling. Santa nodded and, like all the others before him, thanked her before starting off into the meadow. But then he stopped and called back to Mopsy.
"Do you have anything round here that's good for climbing on?" he asked with a grin. And then he was off.