Saturday, March 13, 2010

Ostara's Little Country Bunny


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



Debra She Who Seeks said...

Books can be such wonderful friends! I had a few like that when I was a kid too. It's so special that the Country Bunny's friendship has followed you to adulthood and to the next generation too!

Rochelle said...

That sounds like a wonderful book and beautiful illustrations too. The book that I took to heart when I was around 9 or 10 was "Harriet the Spy" by Fitzhugh. Harriet lived in NYC (cool!) and was quite introverted and, as an aspiring writer, liked to observe people and take notes as if she were a real spy on a mission. After reading it several times I even started carrying a little notebook - although my career as a spy was short-lived.

Willow said...

I was reading through your post and it dawned on me . . . I was given that same book as a child! I have no idea what happened to mine. I wish I had kept it. It is probably resting on one of my younger cousin's shelves, but seeing the illustrations brought back some happy childhood memories.

luna petunia said...

I just ordered it from Amazon. I love the picture you posted of the little bunny "harumphing" to the bigger bunnies! Great post!

Leathra said...

"Trouble With Trolls" and "Christmas Trolls" were my special books--both by Jan Brett. They taught me to see the world differently...literally! To look for the hidden, the unknown, the magical...they are still treasured to this day. ^_^

Willow said...

I wanted to let all of you ladies at eWitch know that I've tagged you in the photo game going around blogger. Come on over to my blog and see.

Catpriestess said...

So Debra, what were the books that you liked? Rochelle, I remember "Harriet" and I remember that she got in trouble for spying on her friends for something or other, maybe I should call you Rochelle the spy? ; ) Leathra, I love Jan Brett's work, he (she?) focus' on the Scandinavian type of books. There was one about a little girl who lost her kitten I remember and of course she found it. He really illustrated the natural world beautifully. Willow, this is the first time I've been tagged, lol..and so I'll follow along although it took me a good hour to dig up some old pics. I usually keep just graphics, but did manage to find some. I think you should buy your own copy of "Country Bunny" : )

Leathra said...

Jan Brett is a she. In my copies there is a little picture of her with a hedgehog in the back of both books (trolls keep hedgehogs as pets, don't you know?). It was actually her books that inspired me to own a hedgehog someday. ^_^

Catpriestess said...

I love hedgehogs and I love trolls. You might like a book called "The Tomten and the Fox", very old Scandinavian based that reminds me a lot of Jan Brett's work.

Bridgett said...

This book sounds adorable! Think I'll order it for my kids for their Easter baskets.

The book I remember most from my childhood? Charlette's Web. I must have read that book 500 times, and that's no exaggeration. I had the entire first chapter memorized word for word. LOL


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