Faerie Tidings: The Great Ostara Egg-Hunt
by Starcat and BlackLion
We scooch down, level with the table top, squinting our eyes and tilting our heads to note any changes in the eggs resting in the glass bowl. The Spring Equinox is upon us and our experiment with coloring eggs for the Great Ostara Egg-Hunt is proceeding quite well. The table holds bowls of various concoctions of beet juice, onion skins, blueberries, red cabbage, carrots, and kale leaves, with eggs resting or floating in them. To some of them we’ve added progressively more water to create a gradient of festive colors. Local farmers’ chickens provided us with flats of eggs to use for the community celebration. We’re excited to be this year’s hosts.
The three cats, two black and an orange tiger, crouch nearby, awaiting further tidbits of the hard-boiled eggs whose shells didn’t survive the vigorous boiling process. Lunch will, of course, be egg-salad sandwiches. Outside the windows, some patches of snow still linger in the field. They are getting smaller each day, thanks to the strong yellow rays of the sun and the warming breezes.
As we craft, we daydream of all the squeals of discovery we’ll hear from the wee ones tomorrow, once the hunt has begun. Along with these colorful eggs, we also have treasures such as our homemade chocolates, small jars of preserves from our stash, and little braided sticky buns. In the morning, we’ll traipse about the cottage and yard, hiding the treats in unexpected niches.
After we finish our lunch, which we share with our three hungry cat friends, we decide to venture out for a walk in the sunshine. Surveying our many trays of eggs, we concoct a plan to remind our friends in the valley of tomorrow’s festivities. Scrambling about in the big wooden trunk, we unearth our bunny ears and cotton tails, and soon we are rabbits ready to hop down the lane towards the village. We giggle in merry delight of the reactions we’ll receive. Soon, we pile our baskets with tulip bulbs, ready to hand them out as a promise of the flowers to come.
By the time we reach the village, we lead a parade of wee fae to and fro. They aren’t entirely sure what to do with the bulbs, but their excited chatter about tomorrow’s delights lights up their faces and causes smiles to spread throughout the valley. A sweet-faced crone distributes cookies and milk to the whole entourage when the Fae Rabbit Parade stops for a rest near her front porch. This brings further laughter and shouts of joy. She is thanked with many sticky kisses and a pile of bulbs for her garden.
As suppertime approaches, we return all the wee ones to their various homes, with instruction on bulb-planting and an air of excited anticipation for tomorrow. Back at the cottage, we collapse in happy weariness, nibbling on a salad of early greens and the leftover cookies the kind widow tucked into our baskets.
We are up at dawn, as excited as the youngsters about the Great Ostara Egg-Hunt. The fresh spring air fills our lungs as we venture out, the cats following us, sleepily blinking and wondering what we’re up to. The orange stripey cat sniffs at the treasures we place in their hiding spots, puzzled over what they might contain. Maude greets us happily and we turn her out into the field to crop some fresh grass, taking the opportunity to hide eggs in her stall at child-eye-level.
In the hollows of fruit trees, tucked behind small rock cairns, on the corners of the porch rails, our treasures are secured. One egg perches on the sundial, another several in the garden, and of course many rest among the rocks of the unlit fire pit. We lose track of several of them, trusting that our young sleuths will determine their location. Finishing our task, we contemplate a light breakfast and put the finishing touches on our contribution to the feast: braided bread and scalloped potatoes.
When the families arrive with their empty, colorful baskets and bright smiles, we feel a rush of spring energy fill us with anticipation of discovery and joy of our community celebration. Soon everyone has arrived and the tension of eagerness is at its peak. Let the egg-hunt begin!
We let them loose in the yard, savoring the squeals of discovery. Before long, laden baskets return in the arms of chocolate-smeared children, and the compost bin is littered with brightly-colored eggshells. The benches and tables from the barn are hauled out, and we all pitch in to set out the feast. Our musician friends, plied with eggs and chocolate, strike up a merry tune as the festivities continue throughout the day.