“Bunny Queen,” Skadi calls me as I’m watching snow fall, sending images of a hare with white winter fur into my third eye, hopping and frolicking under holly and mistletoe. “That’s my nickname for you.”
Earlier the Goddess of Skis, Bows, Winter, and the Hunt had told my Odinsman – and Skadisman – that “Allie can never go hunting. She loves bunnies too much.”
The Ondurdis thinks I’m a snow bunny, and it’s not far from accurate.
We meet in a winterscape. I am the same white hare, feasting on nuts and roots. A red fox comes and sinks its teeth into me, strangling me. A bear eats the fox. The bear dies of cold and rots, and an eagle picks its bones. The eagle dies, and all the predator’s corpses feed the dirt, creating grass.
Come spring, the bunny is reborn, and I nibble on grass.
“This is the dance of predator and prey,” Skadi says, now a melting Snow Queen. “I hunt you, you hunt me. Death feeds life, and when the wolf bleeds out, it feeds the rabbit.”
Wolves and ravens throng around her as she fletches an arrow. She has snowshoes and is dressed in wolf furs, trekking across the frost and snow, eternally on the hunt.
Loki ties his balls to nanny goat and he bleeds on Skadi’s lap. Skadi laughs. Her laughter melts winter. She slits her wrist with an ice dagger to fructify the earth with her blood, and white roses well up from the rime.
She is blue lips and porcelain skin. Ebon hair and freckles like a giggle. Blinding white furs and breasts like mountains. Muscles taut like a cord, the wilderness this Etin Maiden’s heritage, Scandinavia her namesake.
Skadi lifts the bunny to her face and nuzzles its nose.
Spring comes after the coldest winter.