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Bunnicula by Deborah and James Howe Setting: the Monroe house Genre: Fantasy Characters: Harold – a dog who likes being treated like an equal and does not want to go along with everything Chester wants to do. Chester – is a very intelligent cat with a vivid imagination. He believes Bunnicula is a vampire. He loves to read. Bunnicula – a bunny rabbit who likes to suck the juices out of vegetables. He does not talk to any of the other characters in the story. Mrs. Monroe – a lawyer Mr. Monroe – a professor who likes to read and has hundreds of books that Chester reads at night Pete – one of the Monroe brothers who likes to listen to music instead of doing his homework Toby – one of the Monroe brothers who has late night parties with Harold and chocolate cake and cupcakes in his room. Chapter 1: The Arrival Chester is the family cat who curls up on the brown velvet armchair and gets hair all over the place. Toby and Pete and Mom and Dad Monroe went to the movies late, so they sat on the last row instead of jumping over other people. They sat down quietly so they didn’t disturb anyone. Toby squealed that he had sat on something. On Toby’s chair was a little blanketed bundle, which was a tiny black and white rabbit, sitting in a shoebox filled with dirt. There was a piece of paper in a different language tied to his neck but the Monroes were unable to decipher it. In the Monroe family, everyone treats everyone else with great respect for his or her intelligence, even the animals. Toby likes to have late night parties in his room where he shares his chocolate cake with Harold, while Pete doesn’t believe in sharing. The rabbit got the name “Bunnicula” because they found him at the Dracula movie. Chapter 2: Music in the Night Chester came into the Monroe house several years ago as a birthday gift for Mr. Monroe, along with two volumes of G. K. Chesteron (which is why he is called Chester) and a first edition of Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities. Chester developed a taste for reading early in life. Mr. Monroe has used him as a sounding board for all his student lectures. If Chester doesn’t fall asleep when Mr. Monroe is talking, the lecture can be counted a success. Every night when the family is sleeping, Chester goes to the bookshelf, gets a book and curls up on his favorite chair. He especially likes mystery and horror stories, so he has a vivid imagination. Bunnicula had a black spot between his ears that took on a strange v-shape, which connected with the other black parts of his body. It looked as if he was wearing a cape. Chester thinks the bunny has two fangs instead of teeth. Chapter 3: Some Unusual Goings-On Bunnicula didn’t make the most energetic playmate for Toby and Pete. All he would do is wake up at night, and hop around the living room. Harold tried to get Bunnicula to play, but he would never wake up for him. Instead, he would chew on his favorite shoe instead. After Chester woke up from his nap at 12:45 one night, he realized that Bunnicula had escaped, without messing up his cage. Chester found him coming out of the fridge with a silly grin on his face, but couldn’t figure out how he got back into his cage. Mr. Monroe went to the fridge the next morning, and found a white tomato. The Monroes cut it in half to find out what it really was, and it had seeds and was dried up, there was no juice at all. Chester noticed suspicious bite marks on the tomato before it was thrown out and told Harold it was vampire bite marks. Chapter 4: A Cat Prepares Harold is late for the meeting with Chester because he is upstairs having a party with Toby. They are eating chocolate cupcakes with cream inside and reading Treasure Island. Chester and Harold get comfortable on the armchair to discuss what is going on with Bunnicula. Chester points out that the rabbit sleeps all day, gets in and out of his cage by himself, they found him at the movie Dracula, his letter around his neck was in a Transylvanian dialect, and there was a white tomato found in the kitchen. Chester is reading a book that is everything you wanted to know about vampires but were too afraid to ask. Chester brings out several carrots and lettuce stalks that are white because they have been sucked on right behind his cage. Harold and Chester found a white zucchini outside the fridge while they were having their meeting, and they heard Bunnicula scamper away very quickly. Chapter 5: Chester Goes Into His Act The next morning the Monroes went downstairs to the kitchen to find the table covered with white vegetables. At first they thought it was the fridge and then realized the tomatoes in the window were white also. There were white beans and white peas and white squash and white tomatoes and white lettuce and white zucchini. Peter thought it was DDT and it needed investigating by the Agriculture Department. Mr. Monroe wanted to take off his shaving cream during this time, but Chester stole his towel and had it tied around his neck and draped around his back like a cape and ran around the yard. He was laughing very menacingly and when the Monroes caught up to him, he lied on his back and crossed his arms like he was in a coffin. Chester then lunged at Harold and bit him on the neck. Chapter 6: Chester Helps Out Harold woke up in the middle of the night to a very gross smell. He went downstairs to find out what it was, and Chester had put garlic everywhere around the living room, even on his neck. He wouldn’t let Harold leave the room until he put garlic around his neck also. Harold finally left because his nose was stopped up. Mrs. Monroe found Chester the next morning with garlic everywhere, and so Harold woke up to hear him crying very loud while she gave him a bath in the sink. While it was daylight, Chester and Harold got Bunnicula out of the cage. Harold gets his head stuck in the cage when trying to get him out, so Chester has to pull him out. Chester wanted to get a sharp “stake” to get rid of vampires, but instead he got a sirloin “steak.” Mr. and Mrs. Monroe walked in as Chester was hitting Bunnicula in the heart with the steak. He was so desperate that he got his water bowl and threw it on the bunny. Unfortunately, he missed Bunnicula and hit Harold. Since the steak was ruined, Harold got to eat the steak. Chester was put outside for the night because the family did not know what was going on with him. Chapter 7: A (New) Friend In Need Chester began to behave better, the white vegetables began to reappear every night, and Harold started talking to Bunnicula (even though he never responded). One night Harold noticed that Bunnicula was sick. He tried to get Toby’s attention, but he was not allowed to take the bunny out of the cage. That night, he found out why Bunnicula was sick. Chester had garlic around his neck in front of the kitchen door. He was trying to starve the rabbit. Harold tried to stop Chester and set out that the following night would be when Bunnicula could eat. Harold had finally realized that Bunnicula wasn’t harming anyone except eating a few vegetables. Chapter 8: Disaster in the Dining Room Chester was doing everything in his powers to keep Bunnicula from eating. He was even taking his food out of his cage before he woke up. Harold saw there was a big bowl of salad on the table for dinner, so he wanted to try and get Bunnicula to the bowl to save him. He felt he needed twenty minutes to get Bunnicula from his cage to the bowl and back before anyone else saw him. Harold got Bunnicula out of his cage and up to the bowl just as he was waking up. Mr. Monroe was at a school meeting, Toby was reading upstairs, Pete was listening to music, Mrs. Monroe was basting a chicken, and Chester was asleep on the armchair. Just as Bunnicula was starting to eat, Chester walked into the dining room and jumped up on the table to stop the rabbit. Salad went everywhere in the room. Harold started barking to get the attention of the family. They were very mad at Chester. Mrs. Monroe gave him a bath. Toby realized that Bunnicula looked a little sick, so they were going to take both Bunnicula and Harold to the doctor the next morning. Chapter 9: All’s Well That Ends Well…Almost Harold was up all night afraid of the vets the next morning. When they got to the vets office, the vet told them Bunnicula was suffering from extreme hunger and was put on a liquid diet of carrot juice. Chester was diagnosed as being emotionally overwrought. He had a case of sibling rivalry with Bunnicula that had to be resolved with a psychiatrist. Harold was about to get his shots when the nurse stopped the doctor because he didn’t need shots yet, so he got a doggie-pop instead. The Monroes found out that Bunnicula liked his liquid diet so much that they kept him on it, and there have not been anymore white vegetables in the house since then. Harold and Bunnicula have become very good friends, even though he does not say very much. The night they snuggled together was when there friendship was cemented forever. Chester is taking his therapy very seriously, so it is to the point where he wakes Harold up while taking a nap to talk to him about “not communicating.” Instead of reading Edgar Allen Poe at night, Chester reads Finding Yourself by Screaming a Lot.
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