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Twinkle twinkle little star how I wonder what you are Up above the world so high like a diamond in the sky When the blazing sun is gone when he nothing shines upon Then you show your little light twinkle twinkle all the night Then the traveller in the dark thanks you for your tiny spark He could not see which way to go if you did not twinkle so In the dark blue sky you keep and often through my curtains peep For you never shut your eye till the sun is in the sky As your bright and tiny spark lights the traveller in the dark Though I know not what you are twinkle twinkle little star Twinkle twinkle little star how I wonder what you are Up above the world so high like a diamond in the sky Twinkle twinkle little star how I wonder what you are How I wonder what you are Jane Taylor


 The Tale Of The Golden Hare

 A Tale For Children Of All Ages

 Roberta Ann Sparrow


 This Tale Is Lovingly & Respectfully Dedicated To

HGH And Her Loving Mother

Y 


 I The Tale Of The Golden Hare Beneath a golden hill, beneath a golden sun there lived a golden hare and beneath this golden hill he had made a golden palace, filled with all the treasures he had gathered on his many adventures. A silver mask that made him invisible. An ivory horn that called all creatures to him. A wishing wand that granted him all he wished for and a secret name known only to Rachel, for she was the only one that could call to him and have him appear. And what do you think she called him? Ah that would be telling for only Rachel knew his name and this she whispered to herself very softly in her mind so no one could hear, except her mum of course, who knew all things. And how had they met? A story exciting in itself. Well, one day when Rachel was in her garden, dancing with the butterflies and singing with the birds that flew all around her she noticed a bright and shiny thing lying on the grass. It shone in the golden light of the sun and when she bent down to look at it closer she saw that it was a mirror, made of gold with an ivory handle and frame. This she picked up and looking into its surface instead of her reflection that she had expected to see, instead she saw in its surface a golden hill beneath a silven moon. As she looked closer she noticed a door in the side of the hill which, to her amazement opened and out from this door, in his best clothes stepped a handsome creature with long, long ears and a fluffy tail. To her surprise, he seemed to notice her and bowed deeply. “Good evening” she heard, not as a voice, but rather a thought in her head. This naturally surprised her even more, especially as when she answered in her mind with the thought, “good evening to you kind sir”, he smiled and called her to join him. “But how can I” she thought. “Easy” was the reply, “close your eyes, wish for it and it will be.” Tightly, ever so tightly she closed her eyes and wished. “Now open them quickly” She heard, this time clearly as a voice. Opening her eyes before her stood a handsome creature with a big smile on his face. Golden fur covered his body from the tip of his nose to the very tip of his tail. “Hello Rachel” he said and


smiled as he did. “And how are you this fair night?” Rachel smiled and reaching out with her hand she stroked his golden fur and knew him to be real. The night air was perfumed with jasmine, rose and other sweet smells. Night birds sang their sweet songs and the moon cast her silven light upon the grass and the golden hill that rose from the ground high into the sky above. Sitting on the soft warm grass the golden hare curled up on her lap and began to purr just like a cat. “And what might I call you?” she asked. “Ah my dear I am for you to name,” he replied. She thought deeply and in as much time as it takes to blink an eye or draw a breath she knew what she would call him. And this she did, holding his name in her head so no one would hear. “Call me by this name and I shall appear before you, as swiftly as a magickal hare might travel, faster than thought, faster even than the starlight reaches your eyes.” “Perhaps you would like to come to tea one day” the golden hare asked after a time “but for now you must return home to your mum and your world, remember my name, call me to you and I will appear, and of course the mirror is yours to keep. Keep it safe, and for now good night Rachel. Into the mirror she looked and with a whispered farewell she left the golden hare and entered the reflection in the mirror. This time one of her home and her bed and that night she dreamed of a golden hare within a golden palace beneath a golden hill.


 II Tea Time ‘And what should we have for tea?” said the golden hare on one of those lovely summer afternoons. “Tea of course and carrots, lots and lots of carrots and perhaps a turnip for me,” he said in a voice already tasting the delight to come. “And what would you like Rachel?” Rachel thought for a time and what do you think was her answer? “As you wish my dear, look into the mirror, close your eyes and wish. And now open them.” And what do you think she saw on the table before her. Yes, all that she had wished for. “Now tuck in or as we say fill your boots. And this she did until she was all but fit to burst, but even then she found a little more room, to fill but a little corner of her tummy, yet empty and into this went a single pomme bear, singing and dancing with delight as he went. So passed a delightful afternoon and as they ate they learned a little of each other. Rachel told stories of her adventures, like her swimming and playing in her garden with all the little creatures she met and of course about her mum who she loved very much. And in turn the golden hare began to share with her the tales of his adventures and the worlds he had visited and of the treasures he had collected.


 III A Silver Mask When very little, only a few moons old the golden hare had visited one of his favourite places. A lovely pond surrounded by reeds, iris and completely covered in lily pads. At night beneath the moon the pond shone like a mirror and you could see the stars floating upon its surface. Frogs croaked and dragon flies flitted across the surface, bats took wing and an owl hooted in the distance. Sitting beside the pond the little golden hare fell asleep and dreamed and in that dream a beautiful lady rose from the water, shaking the water from her body she shone like silver and her eyes, smiling shone violet. “Hello little one and what brings you to my home on this night?” “To rest and dream” the little hare answered. “Ah my golden one a gift I have for you, a gift that will keep you safe in all the worlds you are yet to travel, a silver mask which when worn will make you invisible to all around you. Use this wisely and be safe.” Waking the golden hare thought upon the dream of the beautiful lady and then to his surprise he noticed damp footprints in the grass and also a silver mask. Like a mirror it shone and appeared at one time to be this and then that, shifting so one was never certain what it really looked like. The only thing that remained the same were its eyes, violet with golden clouds flitting across their surface. In his heart the golden hare thanked the beautiful lady, clasped the mask in his paws and returned home.

Τηε Λαδψε Φαψρε


 IV An Ivory Horn “Ah and what is this” said Rachel, as she saw before her eyes an ivory horn hanging from a silver chain within the branches of a tree. Not too high up so that if she stretched onto her tiptoes she could reach it. “That my dear is how I call all of nature to me, all her little creatures and those that make the weather.” “And how do you do that” Rachel asked? “Reach up and take it from the branches.” Rachel stretched out her hand and her fingers found the horn. It felt warm within her grasp and as she finally held it in both hands she could hear a gentle ringing sound as if it held within it bells, a thousand bells or perhaps the sound of wind blowing through the grass. “Now place the mouthpiece to your lips” said the golden hare “and in your mind picture what you would call forth.” Rachel thought very carefully and after some time saw within her mind a beautiful butterfly. Its wings shone in the light of her mind and stretched in order to take flight. Green and gold like liquid light played upon the surface of its wings and Rachel knew at once it was a friend. She blew gently upon the horn. A sound of wings upon the air and the sound a ray of sunshine makes when it lands on water and then a silence. “Now wait a little” said the golden hare. “Close your eyes and count to seven and when you have open your eyes and tell me what you see. “Seven is a big number” said Rachel, “you will have to help me.” “That is easy, One, Two, Three, Four, Five, Six, Seven” and when she had repeated the words Rachel opened her eyes and there to her delight dancing upon the air a beautiful butterfly. She stretched out her hand and upon her finger the butterfly sat. “Hello” said Rachel and in her mind she heard a reply, “hello’ said the butterfly. “You know my name?” “Yes” said the butterfly, ‘you whispered it to me with your thoughts.” Let us dance upon the air my dear” said the butterfly and in a moment gently Rachel rose into the air. Above the treetops and across a field of corn she flew the sun sparkling upon the air and the scent of growing things in her nose and in her mind she flew. She heard the golden hare whisper, “travel well my dear and we will meet another day.” “Bye,


bye” she replied and continued her flight side by side with the butterfly who showed her such sights as to delight her in every way. The hedgehog and her babies searching for food. The little birds chattering to each other. The solitary owl sleeping in his nest and finally her very own home. “Now” said the butterfly, “return to your bed and to your dreams and thank you for being my friend today.” “Thank you” said Rachel and as she did she drifted gently downwards entered the home she knew and loved and wrapping the blankets around her she drifted into sleep and dreamed of her new friends, the golden hare and a beautiful butterfly.


 V A Wishing Wand “Twinkle, twinkle little star” were the words drifting through Rachel’s head one morning as she awoke. The sunbeams danced across the wall and floor of her room and as she wondered where her friend the golden hare was and what he was doing, there he was, sitting quietly at the foot of her bed. “Ah you are finally awake and what lovely dreams did you have?” he asked. “Lovely dreams of swimming and flying” Rachel answered. “Now up you get, brush the sleep from your eyes and when you have washed and brushed your teeth, bring back breakfast and I will tell you of my most precious treasure.” Rachel leaped from the bed went off and having washed and dressed for the day, helped of course by her mum, who also made her a fine breakfast of cereal and the tiniest piece of chocolate you ever did see, she returned hand in hand with her mum. “Is it alright for mummy to join us?” She asked. “Of course” came the reply from the golden hare, a whisper upon the air. Let us be properly introduced first.” “Mummy this is my friend a beautiful golden hare I met in the garden,” said Rachel. The golden hare bowed and in reply said, “delighted to make your acquaintance my dear.” Rachel’s mum whose name was Maria smiled, “delighted to meet you my fine golden hare.” Introduced, Rachel sat in her mums arms and when comfortable the golden hare began his tale. “Upon a golden day when I was but two summers old, visiting my favourite carrot patch, as we hares are very fond of carrots, you know, I saw in the distance a glimmer of light, shimmering, and of course forgetting all about carrots off I went. Through a gap in the hedge and finally came upon a pond. Like a mirror it shone in the rays of the sun. Dragonflies danced across its surface, fish played with the sunbeams and a passing frog croaked a good morning to me. Good morning said I politely. Sitting by the pond the heat of the day made me thirsty so dipping a paw into the water imagine my surprise when looking at a single drop of water it shone and began to grow. It grew longer until it was almost as tall as me, which is not very tall, but tall as things are. Like an icicle it was, with all the colours of a


rainbow playing across its surface and at its heart a pulse of red.” Rachel let out a sigh and smiling nestled closer into her mums loving arms. “Yes my dear make yourself comfortable for this was the beginning and a small beginning at that. Lifting the wand I noticed that the pulse was in time with my own heart and with its beating, ever so fast for I was excited. I wondered and in wondering said to myself, I wish I knew what this was and how to use it?” “That's easy” came a reply. Dropping the wand in surprise I turned and sitting on a log was a grasshopper. Green and shiny with ever so long whiskers. “First let me tell you,” said the grasshopper, “that in wishing to know what it was and how to use it your wish was granted. Hold the wand in your hand and feel its pulse in your own heart and that which you wish will be granted.” And from that day to this I have learned to use it wisely and always with love in my heart. Rachel with a laugh of delight took her mums hand in hers and into the garden they went. The golden hare went with them and as the sun rose high in the sky they played in the grasses greeting all the creatures that came their way. Rachel showed her mum and the golden hare where the baby frogs lived. And in her turn Maria showed Rachel and the golden hare where the faeries gathered the dust they used to bring peaceful sleep to those it touched. Long into the summer night they played and lying in the gently swaying grass they fell into a restful sleep and dreamed.


 VI A Tale Of Two Chares Bang, bang, crash were the sounds that woke Rachel one morning. Opening her eyes all appeared well enough and very quiet. “It must have been a dream” she said to herself as she drifted back to sleep. There it was again, bang, bang as if the furniture had a life of its own. Again she opened her eyes and would you believe, all appeared well enough. “I must say this is most puzzling” as again she closed her eyes. The moment she did, yes you guessed right, there it was again, bang, bang, bang. This time opening only one eye, and that very little she saw the cause of all the noise. There he was, the funniest creature you could think of. Only half as tall as Rachel herself, dressed in green from head to foot. Leaves appeared to make up most of his clothing and all this was topped with a hat almost hiding his face. It was a nice face with a smile from ear to ear. Pointed ears and the longest nose you can imagine. Knowing he had been spotted he bowed and in a very soft said, “Apologies maam for all the noise, we keep as quite as we can but this is hard work and so little time to do it, what with all the other jobs I have to do today.” “That’s quiet alright” said Rachel, “but what are you doing?” “Delivering this ere chair” came the reply. “Oh I see, now that I am awake perhaps I can help you. That would be most kind as it weighs something fierce.” “Wait a minute though, that’s my chair” said Rachel. “I think not” came the reply. “Look again” and sure enough there was Rachel’s chair, as always in the corner by the wall. “What is the meaning of this, I have a chair and you bring me another, exactly the same?” “Not exactly the same, as you will see.” “Yes we will see.” Wrapping her dressing gown around her she leaped from the bed and sitting on the floor, so as not to frighten the little creature, she asked him his name. “Pushkin maam, at your service” came the reply. “Now please, if you would be so kind, explain all this, if you can.” “Easy, peasy” he replied. “I do odd jobs for that fella that lives under the hill, you know, the one with all those tricksy things.” “Ah, the golden hare” said Rachel. “Yes the very same” said Pushkin. “He tells me this


morning, deliver this chair, slips a coin in my hand and asks me to be quick about it, and here I am. Sorry about all the noise though, its not my usual line of work.” “That’s alright, would you like some tea?” Very kind of you to ask but I must be off, busy, busy you know.” And would you believe off he went in a puff of smoke leaving Rachel wondering as what to do next. Being curious and ever so clever Rachel sat in her chair to think about it all and after a little time decided the only thing to do was to closely examine the other chair which Puskin had leaned up against the opposite wall. It looked the same. Made of wood and painted red with lots of green leaves, flowers and faeries painted on its surface and yes it came complete with a little red velvet cushion just like hers. In fact the chair was the same in every respect. “Ummm, how can it be different if it looks exactly the same?” said Rachel, out loud. “Let’s see if it’s as comfortable as mine.” And without a second thought she sat in her new chair. And what do you think happened? Well of course it did! A moment after Rachel sat in the chair she heard a familiar voice. “Ah there you are, what kept you? ”Turning her head, on the couch opposite, sat the golden hare. “Yes my dear, now you can visit ever so easy, anytime you wish,” said the golden hare. “And now we have sorted that out pop over to the other chair and have a lovely day. See you very soon.” “Thank you dear friend” said Rachel and getting up went over to the opposite wall and sat down. And what do you know, Rachel was back in her own room and there was her mum calling to her for breakfast. What a very interesting start to the day and off she went to the kitchen, kissed her mum and sat down to breakfast.


 VII The Tale Of The Dancing Spider “Shoes, my dear, you cannot imagine the difficulty I have, let’s not talk of such things.” “Sorry” said Rachel, “ I did not mean to upset you.” “Quite alright my dear, its just such a business, you know.” This funny conversation took place when Rachel and the golden hare on one of their many walks entered a clearing in the forest and rested against the trunk of a beautiful ash tree. Being a very sunny and hot day the shade of the leaves and branches was a relief. And there they were, the grass tickling them and the breeze gently playing with Rachel’s hair. “Tea, my dear” said the golden hare for he had the knack of bringing along on their walks something to eat and drink. “Yes please” said Rachel, as always wondering how he managed to carry it. You see when they set out he always appeared to be carrying nothing and yet here it was, a pot of tea, biscuits and other scrumptious eats, always the ones Rachel wished for most. “most unusual” Rachel thought but then the golden hare was a most unusual friend. Imagine the surprise when Rachel tucking into her third biscuit felt a gentle tapping on her right shoulder. At first she thought it was the wind or a falling leaf but when it came again a moment later Rachel turned her head and sitting on her shoulder sat the most beautiful creature you can imagine. A black shiny body and four pairs of very elegant legs. Red eyes shone from her face, a face which held the warmest of smiles. She was dressed in black lace which gave her the appearance of being made up shades of light and shadow. “Hello” said Rachel, “and who might you be?” She asked very politely. “Clarissa is my name but my friends call me Clara” came the reply in the softest of whispers imaginable. “And you my dear?” “Oh my name is Rachel and may I introduce you to my friend the golden hare.” “ Pleased to meet you both,” Clara replied. “ I haven’t seen a soul all day and I do like a chat, you know.” Rachel and the golden hare sat in wonder as Clara spun a single strand of silk and gently dropped and placed herself on Hannah’s knee where she began to fold her legs into a comfortable position. When settled Rachel offered Clara some biscuit crumbs and in the tiniest of bowls several drops of tea. “Why thank you my dear, I am most


partial to tea and biscuits, you know, so rare to have the opportunity of sharing such delicacies, again thank you.” “You are most welcome” said Rachel and this is how the subject of shoes came up, amongst many other things. After some time and when they were all very comfortable with each other Rachel asked Clara if she could show her how she wove her beautiful webs. “Of course my dear, it would be a pleasure to do so for I love to dance and it is whilst dancing that my web is made. Clara rose from her seated position and dropped to the ground on a fine thread of silk walked most elegantly across the grass until she came to some taller grasses which she climbed and when about head height to Rachel and the golden hare she whispered in her soft voice, “watch and listen very carefully.” It grew very quiet and as a gentle breeze rose and ruffled Rachel’s hair she noticed amongst the grasses and leaves of bushes faces appear. “Look” said the golden hare the faery folk have come out to watch Clara dance.” “Oh yes I see them, they are so beautiful and so many of them.” The beautiful beings they saw appeared to be made of mist and sunlight which caused their appearance and form to change constantly, and as Rachel and the golden hare sat quietly the faery folk began to sing. So gentle, so beautiful was the sound that a single tear dropped from Rachel’s eye onto her cheek. Clara began to weave a single strand of silk between her front legs and spinning she danced upon the breeze and landed on a long blade of grass. On this blade she secured the silk and again leaping into the air, carried by the breeze she took flight and landed on another blade of grass. This she again secured and repeating this she finally created a perfect hexagon, an eight sided shape which hung between the blades of grass. Sitting so very quietly and listening to the singing of the faery folk Rachel and the golden hare sat in wonder. Now the magick began as Clara spinning her silk began to dance amongst the strands she had laid as a foundation for her web. The dance unfolded and time passed and there before the eyes of Rachel and the golden hare in the air bathed in sunlight hung a beautiful web and at its centre sat Clara, resting after her work. The faery folk took to wing and danced around the web and in the sunlight the web began to shine the colours of a rainbow. Shafts of light reached out in all directions entering the eyes of Rachel and the golden hare as they sat in wonder. “Thank you ever so much,” said Rachel to Clara. “You are most welcome my dear,” came the reply “and thank you ever so much for the tea and biscuits.” The dance completed the faery folk returned to their homes, singing as they went and bidding Clara a farewell Rachel and the golden hare returned to the palace beneath the golden hill and talked of the beautiful adventure they had shared that afternoon with Clara.


 VIII Rachel And The Singing Stones “Up you get,” said mummy, one beautiful morning. “Today we go on an adventure.” Rachel still sleepy jumped into her mums arms and with a gleeful smile asked, “an adventure, where and what?” “That will be a surprise, let’s get ready and sooner the doing of it the sooner we go and the sooner we arrive.” Being ever so clever Rachel washed and dressed in no time at all, being very excited by the adventure they were going on. She packed a little bag full of all the things she knew she would need. And what do you think she packed ? That’s right, you guessed, well done. “Can I take my chair?” Rachel asked. “Of course you can, it’s only little and wont take up much room,” her mum replied. So picking up her bag and the chair, being a bit hard all at the same time, they left the house and got in the car. Rachel was pleased to see that the tent was in the back of the car as she loved sleeping outside under the stars. They traveled a time and stopped for a rest and some food and of course a drink, for all this was very thirsty work. And then they traveled some more. It seemed such a long way, especially when you are little and time seems to race past so very fast. “Are we there yet?” Asked Rachel for the umpteenth time. “Nearly there,” came the reply as many times. Finally just when it was starting to get dark they arrived. Parked the car in a field and got busy putting up the tent. Always interesting as it seemed to have a mind of its own, wanting to go this way, then that. Well after a brief struggle the tent agreed to work and there it was all ready to welcome the ladies it would shelter. Night came fast and after a snack off to sleep they went. Rachel cradled in the loving arms of her mum. “Night, night” they said with a big kiss. Up they got the next day with the rising of the sun. Organised the things they had brought with them and arranged the inside of the tent to look like a home, comforting and welcoming. And then the first trip to the stones. Quite a walk from where the tent was but not too far and in no time there they were. Rachel learned how they were put there a very long time ago


by very wise people who loved the Earth, there home, which they looked upon and celebrated as a Goddess. “Of course she is,” said Rachel, “everyone knows that.” Rachel skipped and played and walked around the stones and finding one to stand in, she did just that. Now if you look very carefully you can see her standing in the stone just like I said. And just to show that she could to Maria sat with Rachel in the arms of the Goddess. See, I told you, there they are happy and ever so lovely. The day was one happy event after another and while Maria did the wonderful things that were important to her, Rachel danced and skipped amongst the stones hand in hand with her mum. Many adventures they had that day and these are known only to them. They shared a wonderful and sacred time in the arms of the Goddess. That night they slept deeply surrounded by angels that protected them and dreams that filled their hearts. Throughout that night unusual things were happening for getting up the next day, would you imagine it, in the field next to where they slept someone had drawn the hugest picture in the grass. So big you would have to be up in the air to see it properly. It was exactly like the one in the picture. “That is Beautiful, said Rachel, it is ever so clever to draw pictures without even having any pencils or paint.” Very special things were happening and the crop circle, for that is what people called them, was a sign of this. Time passes and that night Rachel was woken from her dreams by a lovely sound. It sounded like singing, ever so soft, ever so sweet, in the distance but clear enough to hear. Mummy had also heard this and together, wrapped in warm blankets they set off in the direction of the singing. As they got near the stones a soft milky light floated in the air and around the stones themselves, a warm rich glow. As they stepped closer and entered the very centre of the circle of stones they sat on the soft grass and saw the wonder unfold before their very eyes. Each of the stones began to glow ever so brightly until the stone seemed to melt or maybe it turned into light itself and out from this light emerged a beautiful woman, dancing in the glow of the light all around her. Each of the stones changed in this way until Rachel and her mum were encircled by the most beautiful beings imaginable. Each was different but also strangely the same. As they danced and sang the light grew brighter and the circle began to spin, ever so gently until it formed a perfect dome all around Rachel and her mum. The singing increased, it was like the sound of a butterflies wings, the sound of the stars when they talk to each other and the sound moonlight makes when it brushes across the surface of a lake. Speaking as one the figures turned and looked directly at the two seated in their circle. “Fairest sisters we welcome you into our arms and with this blessing depart in the knowledge of our Love and protection always and in all ways.” And as this was said the light reached out and entered the eyes of Rachel and her mum and they knew in truth they had been blessed. In the way that people do they offered their


thanks in return and watched as slowly the scene before their eyes changed. Where the Goddess had stood now changed again to appear as a stone, and yet the singing remained. Hugging each other and feeling the warm glow of Love within and around them they slowly returned to their tent and to their dreams. And from this moment Rachel became known as The Avebury Childe to honour the moment and the event. Many adventures they had and these they shared and do you know that in all this time Rachel had not thought to sit in her chair, for this was time for Rachel and her mum, a sacred and very special time. Besides she would have great fun telling the golden hare of her very own adventure. Off home they went, happy and refreshed and another day, another tale unfolds itself onto the paper and into your ears.


 IX A Tale To Tell And what do you think Rachel did the very next morning? Yes that’s right. Getting up ever so early and being very quite so her mum would not be disturbed and also leaving a little note that told her mum where she was should she wonder, Rachel quickly dressed and sat in her new chair. In the blink of an eye there she was in the parlour of the golden hare who was sitting in his favourite armchair chewing on a carrot. “Good morning Rachel” he said, with a lovely smile on his face and a bright gleam in his eye. “Welcome and how are you this fine day?” “I am very well.” Said Rachel, excitedly, “ I have had an adventure of my own and want to tell you all about it.” “That’s lovely,” said the golden hare, “but first you are a growing girl and growing girls need their breakfast.” He hopped off into the kitchen and quickly returned with the most scrumptious breakfast you can imagine. “Thank you,” said Rachel, “I am a little hungry” And having said so, tucked in. When she was all filled up and felt fit to burst, she began her tale. First she described the journey to Avebury, which the golden hare knew of having traveled their himself many a summer ago. She talked of the stones and the patterns they made on the ground and of the beautiful drawing they found drawn into the very grass itself and finally she talked of the singing she had heard and what she and her mum had seen in the circle of stones when the Goddess paid her visit. The golden hare sat quietly listening to every word, smiling and when Rachel had finished the story of her adventure he spoke. “Rachel you and your mum are most blessed for though the Goddess is always present she makes herself known to few. I met her once myself for it was she who brought me to this world. I am a visitor who came from the moon, yes the one you see in the sky, sister to the day star, the sun. My kind lives within the velvet mists that cover the moon, only seen by those with eyes to see. Once in every generation one of our kind comes to live amongst the people of this world to tell our tales and share in the beauty which is life and the world.” “that’s ever so interesting.” Said Rachel, politely when the golden hare


paused. “Yes my dear,” he continued, “and on my journeys I seek out the gifted, the beautiful and the wise and share my stories with them, for the world makes many forget and this is sad. We are story tellers that keep alive the mystery and wonder so all may remember and see the beauty of the stars, the wonder of a butterfly and the gentle play of the breeze amongst the treetops.” “Many have forgotten the faerykind that live in the forests, upon the plains and in the waters that cover this beautiful world. Forgotten and become deaf to the songs that are sung by the trees and mountains and most of all have become blind to the presence of our most holy lady, she who you met amongst the stones.” “I will always remember her,” said Rachel. “The beautiful lady who blessed my mum and me.” “Of course you will for you are most fortunate also in having your mum who has not forgotten and though her life can, at times be hard she celebrates the presence of our holy lady with every breath she draws.” “Now off you go, your mum will be wondering where you are,” said the golden hare.” “That’s okay,” She replied, “I left her a note.” And so saying she sat in the golden hares special chair and just before leaving heard him say, “travel in beauty and strength fairest Rachel, love surround and protect you and your mum always, I will always be here. Return as you wish and always remember.” “I will “ she whispered as she returned to her own room and went in search of her mum who she found in her bed still wrapped in the gentle arms of sleep and dream. And this is how Rachel met the golden hare and these are some of the tales and adventures they shared. Many more are in the telling and all that unfolded in time.


 Prickles & Co. X “Can you imagine?” said the golden hare to Rachel one day when she had come to visit. All those prickles, and what to do with them? Prickles? Rachel asked, whatever do you mean? Ah! Yes, the golden hare replied, lets begin at the beginning, always a good place to start, don’t you think? Well, many moons ago I was out walking one autumn night and as I turned a corner to go visit the little pond beneath the willow trees I was met by the funniest and strangest sight I have ever seen. What do you think I saw Rachel? The golden hare asked. Oh! I couldn’t really say Rachel replied. Well in that case make yourself comfortable and do help yourself to a biscuit if you wish. Thank you, replied Rachel I do believe I will. To continue, there before my eyes was a family of hedgepigs, mummy, daddy and three tiny little ones called Cyrus, Colin and Cynthia. What unusual names, thought Rachel but didn’t say it out loud so as not to disturb the telling of the tale. All in a row they were and as I watched they began to roll themselves up into tight balls, as they can, and began to roll over the ground and as they did leaves, pieces of tree bark, berries and flower petals stuck to their spines. Each time they did this they began to look more like the inside of a dustbin than hedgepigs and if this wasn’t strange enough each time they stopped they would slip into a very shallow ditch of water, wriggle about for a while and come out of it perfectly clean, only to begin the rolling all over again. After what seemed an age and many such rollings and bathings there was a perfectly clean path of grass winding its way between the trees, maybe three or four feet wide and stretching off into the distance. When finished the family of hedgepigs gathered beneath an oak tree and began to eat a feast fit for a king and drink wine fit for a queen. All this they took from a wicker picnic basket they had brought with them. Seeing they had finished their work I asked if I could join them. You certainly can most handsome hare came the reply and do feel free to share our feast. I was very curious, as you might imagine and when it seemed like a good time to ask, ask I did.


What did you ask? Asked Rachel. What do you think I asked said the golden hare? Well, I would have asked what they were doing, of course, Rachel said with a lovely smile on her face. And that my dear Rachel is exactly what I asked. And having asked, the mother of the family replied, well my golden hare that is an interesting story. As you can imagine my kind, hedgepigs we be called have a bothersome time keeping ourselves clean what with all these prickles you know. In fact you only have to step out of the front door and before you know it your covered nose to tail in all sorts of stuff and some of it, believe me, can be quite bothersome. Well, you see many, many years ago in the time of my great, great grandmother a fox came to visit and she explained to her the problem with the leaves and other debris that we had to deal with, what with having all these prickles. Keeping clean and tidy can be such a problem. You o wise fox are counted as having solutions for most things, so what do you say? Ah! Replied the fox, stroking her whiskers as she thought upon the matter. And having thought for a time and with an ummmmm she replied, I see my dear, well, if you ask me prickles be your nature and remain they will as will the leaves and other forest debris you chance upon. The question could be how to make the best of a seemingly bad thing. And from that very day Prickles & Co. Domestic Cleaners came into being and my family now carry on the tradition and this very day we were hired by the queen of the faery folk herself to clear and clean a path beneath the oaks for the procession they are having this very night beneath the moon. I see, said the golden hare, and what a clever solution to what must have been very troubling. True, you still get covered in leaves but look how useful having all those prickles can be.

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The Golden Hare