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It was a pleasant, clear day, and although it was still cold enough for coats the sun shone brightly.

Suzanne had awoken with an urge to go outside, to enjoy the sense of spring in the air. She strolled through the fields with her hands in her pockets, humming to herself occasionally. It was good to see the back of winter, she thought.

A flash in the grass caught her eye, and she wandered over to look at it. It was a chocolate egg, wrapped in brightly coloured foil. She picked it up and looked at it. It was a bit early for an egg hunt, she thought. Easter wasn’t for another month.

She looked around to see if she could see anyone who might have dropped it, but there was nobody in sight. With a shrug, she put the egg back where she found it and walked on.

Within a few yards, she spotted another; and another just beyond that. Intrigued, she began to follow the trail. It led through the long grass and into a small copse of trees at the end of the field. Here, the sun filtered through the leaves and lent the air a mysterious, almost magical feel.

The eggs led her through the trees and into a clearing. As she stepped out, she saw a rabbit run out into the middle of the clearing where it sat, looking at her.

Suzanne and the rabbit looked at each other in silence for several minutes before it spoke.

“Hello,” the rabbit said. “Happy Eostre.”

Suzanne frowned. “Easter isn’t for another month,” she said. “And you’re a rabbit, how are you talking?”

“I didn’t say Happy Easter,” said the rabbit. “I said, Happy Eostre. It’s different. But also the same, in many ways.”

“You still didn’t tell me how you’re able to talk.”

“Does it matter? It’s Eostre. The year is turning, and the days are getting longer. You should celebrate. Have an egg.”

The rabbit produced a basket full of chocolate eggs, seemingly from nowhere. Bemused, Suzanne came forward and took one.

“See you next year,” said the rabbit, then it turned tail and bounced away into the trees.

Suzanne stood in the clearing, holding a chocolate egg, and wondered how she’d got there.

© Kari Fay

(Author’s Note: A special story for the Vernal Equinox, often celebrated by pagans as Eostre or Ostara. )