The Story of the Raven and the Hare

This is an old story about the Goddess Ostara. It can also be told as a pourquoi story - an origin of Easter, or the origin of Spring. Its a wonderful children's story and can easily be adapted to any religion or no religion at all! A little back story for those interested, Ostara is a neo-pagan holiday to celebrate the first calendar day of Spring. Another term often used to describe each of the 8 holidays on the wheel is "sabbat". Sabbats are known as the evenly spaced intervals throughout the year that signal the changes of weather. Not only are these seen in neo-pagan history, but can also be found mentioned in Farmer's Almanacs!




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Ostara is not a morning person.... in the years when it feels like Spring will never come, she continues to sleep. Every so often, the signs of rebirth would peek through the coldness as she would nudge off the alarm of the thumps of hares dancing.


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One year, she was late and when she finally came out, she realized the snow and ice never left and everything was left in never-ending winter. She stretched out and yawned, rubbing the sleep from her eyes and stood for the task ahead. Winter apparently was not going to move on by itself.




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 As she prepared, she came upon a sparrow laying on the ground, the life flickering slowly from its tiny body. Ostara was drawn to its suffering. She lifted the bird from the ice and pressed it to her lips, breathing in new life to the sparrow. It revived in her hands, breaking into a sweet song, singing, a warm breeze would stir. Ostara smiled. 

She now shared her immortality and power to bring in Spring with another being. They were now forever inseparable and would work together to bring in Spring.





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One year, they came upon a new kind of hare that they had never seen before. He was strong and fearless, never cowering to the fox. Ostara was surprised to see this jack would not bow to her. Confident. She smiled at his posturing. The jack truly was anything but confident. His heart would flutter when his eyes laid upon the sparrow, knowing he wanted to make this bird his wife. He desperately broke into dance trying to win over the sparrow, longing, abandon, unspeakable love - eyes fixed on the sparrow with each movement.



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  Ostara laughed until she saw that the sparrow's eyes were fixed on the hare's dance, swaying and bobbing along with the moves of the jack. The little bird was lost in the dance and at one with the hare. Ostara was jealous and stepped forward to stop the dance, but it was too late. The sparrow flew to the hare and sang a different song, one filled with love and truth.

Ostara's heart began to break knowing her companion fell for the Jack and gave the bird a gift only she could give, kneeling and placed a kiss on the bird's head. As she stood, a cloud of feathers blew around them. As the feathers dispersed, where the sparrow once sat, now sat a great she-hare, equal to the jack in every way.





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The next year, the hares began their dance but Ostara woke with sadness as she was now alone once more. This time, her passing did not bring in the spring, she seemed not to care. She felt pain and loss in her heart, not part of our world, lacking any joy. She remembered loneliness, but now knowing what companionship felt like, she knew what she was missing out on.



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She suddenly tripped over a great gathering of hares in her dismay and it seemed as if every hare in the world had come in celebration! Dancing! When their eyes fell on Ostara, they formed a great path to the middle of the gathering where the she-hare and jack sat next to a nest of feathers and sticks. The hares beamed proudly as the eggs began to tremble.


Once it fell apart, a new snowy white hare emerged. Ostara once again smiled and reached down to lift one of them to her face. She broke into laughter and her pain was eased. She led the hares into a new dance and nature came to rebirth! With each step of their dance, the grass became green, the snow and ice melted, the flowers and trees sprung to life. There was spring once more.