Thursday, March 11, 2010

Eostre and the Hare

Once upon a time long, long ago, there wandered through the forest a little hare who was uncertain what gift to bestow upon his beloved goddess with which to honor her on her spring festival day. While wandering and pondering, he came upon a fresh egg laying on the woodland floor. The hare was absolutely delighted as eggs were a rare thing indeed and finding one was quite exciting. As much as the little hare wanted to eat the egg himself, he decided instead to gift it to Eostre. The little hare was very pleased with himself until it occurred to him that as Eostre was a powerful goddess, perhaps his plain little egg wouldn't be such a wonderful gift to someone such as her. After all, she could have as many eggs as she desired and as often as she liked. So the little hare decided to make the egg something truly special, and by making it as colorful as he could and as lovely as the beautiful goddess herself, he would show her how much she meant to him.

He took the egg to a secluded spot and began to color the egg with all the hues of springtime: the bright, vibrant colors of the trees, the grasses, the water and sky and all the flowers that were blooming. He drew many of the symbols associated with Eostre: hares and other animals, birds, all the lovely things that depicted life in all her abundance. The little hare poured all his love for his goddess into this tiny egg.

When he had finished, he presented his offering to Eostre and she was so pleased with the little hare's humble yet beautiful gift, that she asked him to go out and share this special little egg with all the world, especially the children who embody all that springtime stands for. And to this day, all the descendants of that first little hare honor Eostre's original request by bringing to all the children of the world decorated eggs to celebrate the arrival of spring and the equinox.

Photo of painted eggs courtesy of kellybielec on flickr.


Grace said...

So that's where they come from! A great story.

Victoria said...

I thought it was cute when I first heard it. And I like the idea of that one little rabbit starting it all. Peace!