The Rabbit Story

When I was a 2nd-grade ballet student we participated in a children ballet that was based on the book The timid Rabbit by Elizabeth Shaw. We danced the part of the children rabbits; I still remember one of our dance sequences. It was a lot of hopping around (naturally) and rolling backwards over our bony shoulders on wooden floors (this was pre-Harlequin vinyl flooring). But what I remember most vividly is the trembling!


As the big bad fox attacks, the rabbit's village and the timid rabbit courageously fights the fox to save his little friend from the foxes' claws we had to run away, curl up on the ground and shake our arms and legs in fear. It was exhausting and our teachers always demanded us to shake our limbs more vigorously and to look scared more convincingly. 


Fully prepared, we joined the Ballet Company to rehearse the whole ballet together. When we arrived at the trembling-scene the company dancers, the "adult rabbits", lounged around, took a rest and informed us that we would be hidden behind the stage set of the rabbit's village except for the occasional poking out of a window or from behind a scrub.


This caused us a bit of a dilemma. We felt embarrassed to continue to tremble in front of the amused dancers yet we could not stop to "dance full out" because our insistent hawk-eyed teachers were also watching.

 

It became much easier for us during the performances when we were indeed completely covered by a stage truck that posed as the rabbit-estate. Finally, we could do as the professional dancers did: sitting and waiting...until our next entrance where we celebrated the timid rabbit who overcame his fear and fought off the intruder to save his little friend.

 

Sometimes, it is the 'little friend' within us that we have to be strong for. 

Images from The Timid Rabbit, by Elizabeth Shaw

March, 2015