Every Ostara/Easter I take down my beloved book; "The Country Bunny and The Little Gold Shoes" that I received as a special Easter gift when I was six years old. If you look inside of the book cover, you would see this inscription, "For Wendy, Easter 1969. With Love, from Mommy and Daddy." After reading this book, my ideas about rabbits and Easter completely changed. So, what does this book have to do with Ostara, you may wonder. I think you'll understand the connection as you keep on reading. A few of my eWitch sisters have posted about the rabbit being the totem of the Goddess which represents fertility, swiftness and the herald of spring. I never understood the whole spiel of rabbits handing out eggs. I mean everyone knew that rabbit's are mammals and therefore gave live birth, they don't lay eggs! Being a feminist witch, my mother would talk about the Goddess and her different faces. So Jesus' resurrection on Easter didn't connect for me at all. I was taught that the Goddess was in charge of birthing the new seasons. It made sense to me then that, "The Little Country Bunny..." was a pet of the Goddess. Country bunny is a single mother who becomes chosen to become one of the new Easter bunnies, because of her kindness, intelligence and speed which she gained from chasing all her babies around. One of the things that makes this book so special, is that it was written in 1939. Single mother's back then were either to be pitied or more likely shunned. The family unit stood strong, at least on the outside and the Goddess was hushed.. And on top of country bunny being single, she was more "shocking" because she went after a dream job she wished for. She was a true Scarlet bunny!
School was often a place full of pain and confusion for me having numerous learning difficulties. Socially, I was so shy that I would often get teased and looked down upon for being so "strange". My home life was just as full of pain and unhappiness and so the books I read and the pets I loved became my refuge. So here was a book about a young mother who is laughed at and patronized just because she was a female and a mother on top of that.
I had two older brothers, who would ignore me or tease me unkindly as older brothers can often do. I wanted to play basketball, ride bikes and arm wrestle with them. I told myself one day I would become just as strong and fast as they were and that they would eventually beg me to play with them! The Goddess spoke strong to me, even as a little girl. And every time, that I read my little country bunny book, I somehow wouldn't feel so alone and odd. How the little country bunny obtains the gold shoes is just one more part of this story that speaks of never giving up on your dreams, cherishing the gifts you have to offer others and being different isn't such a bad thing after all.
As it would turn out, I became a single mother myself, raising my son solely since he was a year old. And you can bet, I read "The Country Bunny and the Little Gold Shoes", every Ostara to Alex. He's twenty-two now and likes to tease me about how much I loved that book and how funny that I still read it. Of course I still read it, I'm waiting for my chance to get my own pair of little gold shoes. Hmmmm, maybe this Ostara...Did you have any special books that you loved when you were young which lead to a different way of knowing yourself? Please tell me as I always love reading new books and being inspired by people's stories.
The Country Bunny and the Little Gold Shoes