Jean-Andrew Dickman and the "Bird-Bunny" Myth

Jean-Andrew DickmanJean-Andrew Dickman loves reading and telling stories to children. According to the brochure of summer camp she was scheduled to help with in 2014:

Everything I see about her says she's a very nice person. The only reason she came across my radar at all was that in 2002, she published a story called "The Coming of Eostre" in Cricket children's magazine. The story was a "warmer, kinder" version of Sarah Ban Breathnach's 1987 invention of the original "bird-bunny" myth. I am very sure that Dickman meant only to tell a fun kids' story and had no notion whatsoever of NeoPagans adding her invention to their "canon," much less trotting it out every spring to "prove" that the Christian doctrine of the Resurrection was simply a usurped pagan tradition.

Soon after this, a young person who was raised in the church, told me that Easter was invented by pagans, and, to prove it, explained that:

You have to admit, it's a charming story, and a nicer version than Breathnach's 1987 version in which Eostre changed the bird to a hare in a fit of anger. At the time, I didn't know what to say, since I had never heard either story before. But the young person assured me that the legend predated the birth of Christ and proved that Christians had stolen the "Easter Bunny," if not the Resurrection itself, from pagans.

Whether she had seen Dickman's version itself, or one of the countless "fact-based" retellings of it, I have no way of knowing. But I do know that presenting this modern fable as an ancient legend has misled countless thousands of gullible people.

Ms. Dickman: If you are reading this, I also hope that you are well. In addition, if you had some source for the "bird-bunny" myth besides Ms. Ban Breathnach's writings, I'd be very glad to see those as well.

To everyone else: please enjoy the spring season and your Easter holiday season in the way that seems best to you.

Paul Race

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