The legend of Peter Cottontail.
MIDDLE GRADE: Ages 7-12 yrs
Have you ever wondered where the Easter Bunny comes from? How old he is? And how he happened to become a talking rabbit with a fondness for chocolate eggs? Gather around, children, and I shall tell you the legend of Peter Cottontail… More
AUTHOR’S NOTE: I figured that there was one thing missing from usual Easter stories, and that was a large army of baby-eating goblins. This is a holiday story in the tradition of Tolkien’s Letters From Father Christmas. Younger children enjoy hearing it read aloud, and the language and length is appropriate for middle grade readers—and adults who have always wondered about the secret epic origins of the hero who became the protector of Easter.
Long ago, before light bulbs or sliced bread, people lived in houses made of wattle and daub—which is just a fancy way of saying sticks and mud. They cooked their food over a hearth—which is just a fancy way of saying, an open fire. Dragons and goblins roamed the earth in those days, sowing terror and destroying whole villages. At one point, indeed, the goblins, who usually stayed in their cavern kingdoms below the earth, decided to conquer the upper world too. Armies of pointy-teethed, green skinned monsters poured across the land, burning houses, stealing everything from spoons to horses, and even eating babies.
So it happened that one spring day, a mother and father with a new baby worried how to protect their child. Goblins attacked their village, taking every child they could. The mother and father hid their baby in a basket and ran to the river. They gave him the only gift they had, which was a single egg. They wrote his name upon the egg: PETER.
They placed the basket in the river, and let it float away. They cried and hugged each other. Then goblins arrived with swords and crossbows, and captured them. But their little baby was safe.
Kind river fairies guided the floating basket swiftly past the burning villages of that ravaged land. The basket floated all the way to a magic forest, which was ruled by elves. Even goblins on their bravest days did not dare enter the forest of the elves....