For as long as Ostara’s rest in
Asgard was defended by the Yule Father´s great spear, and the watchful eyes of
Heimdal, so was this gift of service repaid with similar service. As the All
Father’s Yuletide duties caused him to gift the good children of the world, it
fell upon him to be sure that those children so gifted were remaining true in
the waxing of the new year. As Ostara’s bunny was idle during his mistress’s
slumber, he was not only free to serve, but in his boundless love for children,
and winter spawned cabin fever, actually dying to do so.
So did Father Yule, great Odin himself, charge Ostara’s bunny; “Seek you out the
good boys and girls on Sweet Frigga’s list, and see that they still keep the
peace, mind their parents, work hard, and do not attempt to sell their siblings
on the internet.” With a nod and a dash the sweet bunny sped across Asgard, blew
right between startled Heimdal’s legs, past two incoming Valkyries (who were
used to such antics and frequently spoiled the bunny with snacks when Ostara
wasn’t looking), and skidded down the rainbow bridge onto Midgard. Time was
short, for Ostara waked soon, and the world was broad, so he’d best be on the
Down in Midgard, the pace of life was slower, and the upcoming holiday at Easter
had the children at boarding school all bustling to go home; at least those with
homes to go to. One little girl, named Ilsa, was an orphan, and although her
Aunt and Uncle loved her, and saw to her needs, they were abroad through the
Easter season, and so at school she would remain. While it was a touch boring
alone at the school, some staff still remained with work to do, and so she was
free to roam the whole dorm, and even lend a hand in the kitchens, for the cook
was always ready for willing little hands, and had special little treats to
The rain was hammering all of North Scotland, so Ilsa had to spend the whole day
indoors. The cook had gone home as they repainted the kitchen, so Ilsa did not
even have work to amuse herself. Thus was Ilsa lying in the halls, singing to
the echoes of her voice, and being bored to tears when Ostara’s bunny found her.
His magic was strong, from Ostara herself, and he passed through the walls like
a hand passes through smoke, his magic was set to keep him from all eyes, so he
watched her unseen as she sang, and she sighed.
Although he was ageless, he was still young at heart, and he knew this sweet
girl was alone far too long. For like this sweet child he alone often waited,
for his sleeping mistress all winter he bided. Unlike her he was free across
Asgard to roam, in trouble and out all the winter at home. Knowing he shouldn’t,
but knowing he would, Ostara’s bunny let his magic unveil him and boldly he
Ilsa just lay there in startled surprise, as a bunny just popped out before her
wee eyes. The bunny hopped up and touched her wee nose, then dashed to the
corner, spun and he froze. He waited for Ilsa to rise and to run, let her get
close, then took off at the run. All through the halls, up the stairs did they
race, her laughter and shrieks sang the song of the chase. He hopped and he
bopped until she’d run herself out, then hopped on her lap when she collapsed on
the floor. Laughing and stroking her floppy eared friend, Ilsa asked shyly if
she’d see him again. With a flick of his tail and the wink of any eye, the bunny
patted her nose then took off through the wall. Ilsa sat startled to see how he
left, for the brick walls were solid, and really quite thick.
Ilsa decided her friend had been magic, and magical bunnies were not really
common. She thought and she thought, then she thought of the season, and then
she knew the bunny had hopped for a reason. Ostara’s bunny himself it had been,
and quite an honour just to be seen. What a treat for Ostara’s own bunny to
stay, through the whole afternoon, asking only to play. A gift for a gift was
the way of all friends, so what kind of gift could she make and how send?
Ilsa asked of the cook, and the old woman laughed, for she took it as fancy, as
the dream of a lonely wee girl or a story. Still did the cook tell the story as
she knew it, of the gift of eggs for Ostara, called Easter. Ilsa begged and she
pleaded, and the cook she soon melted, and pots were set forth for white eggs to
be boiled. Boiled and dried, her eggs were prepared, but how now to wrap them?
Ilsa fluttered and fretted, for the classrooms were closed, no wrap, no
sparkles, no ribbons or glue, how was she to wrap them? What could she do? She
wanted her gift to be beautifully wrapped, a way to say thanks to her floppy
eared friend. To the cook now she came with her eyes all in tears, and the
little old lady took heed of her fears.
“Now the wrap” said the cook “is to make them look bright”, “Well, that we can
do, and do it up right.” With her dyes and her inks, did she teach the sweet
tot, how to paint up her eggs, and to brighten them up. Happy at last, Ilsa was
painting, each little egg was a wonder in making. Come the night she stowed her
basked of eggs, brightly painted she left them where her bunny companion had
popped in to see her.
Easter was come, and Ostara had wakened, her bunny was hopping quite joyful to
see her. Her bunny beside her, she strode through the world, bringing spring to
the northlands and joy in the season. When she crossed to old Scotland her bunny
was distracted, she asked if there was something the matter. Explaining quite
quickly about his indiscretion, he feared he would anger his newly waked
mistress. Smiling instead, Ostara did laugh, and asked to be taken to see Ilsa
herself. Ostara and bunny did come to the school, just for a visit, for they had
much to do. Ostara’s bunny saw Ilsa’s beautiful Easter gift, he was struck not
just speechless, but hoppless as well. Ostara laughed to see her friend’s
distress, and as he looked at her and begged her help she already had a thought.
“Your friend gives you thanks for her day of play, but you know we cannot tarry
on this Easter day. We have a world to waken, a Spring to bring forth, but we
cannot leave her lonely of course. - A gift and a game”, was Ostara’s answer.
Ostara’s Bunny thought the idea was just splendid, and began to hide eggs
everywhere unattended. He hid them in corners, and under old socks, he hid them
in stairwells in old coffee pots, he hid them so his friend could seek them all
day, a gift for a gift and all day to play. Ostara just watched him, and seemed
quite amused. “Darling, she said, let me make one small change, for young girls
are different than both you and eye. Ostara drew a breath, and then softly
sighed, and twinkling surrounded the eggs in their hides. Ostara’s bunny was
curious, and hopped right on over, the egg was now chocolate, and sparkled all
over. Knowing his mistress had got it quite right, he hopped off with a chuckle,
into the dawns light. Around all the world they worked Ostara’s will, bringing
the spring through the last winter chill.
When sweet Ilsa woke, she was amazed to discover, a glittering egg, in a
sparkling wrapper. Knowing the gift was from her floppy eared friend, she opened
it quickly and found a surprise. This egg was of chocolate! What a treat! As the
light filled her room she discovered two more, then out to the halls where she
met him before. Taking her basket, she filled it right up, with eggs made of
chocolate, from hide and go seek!
Word of this wonder spread through the school, when the students returned and
they thought it was cool. Now every Easter the children remember, and honour
Ostara and bunny together. As once long ago did we all greet the spring, but now
done with chocolate, the whole world together.