Long ago when the world was young, belovéd, a marvelous and wonderful thing happened. In the early Spring, near the pool of the Goddess Coventina, a bull-calf was born. At a glance you could see it was not an ordinary bull-calf. His coat was golden-red and his form was perfect. His eyes were large and clear and intelligent.
He was no sooner up and about running and playing than out of the air descended three stately cranes. They danced about him in a circle, and he suddenly, very solemnly, bowed his head three times to them.
As Spring wore on into early Summer he grew exceedingly fast and soon he was fully grown, and never was there a bull like him. His fame spread far and wide. Animals, men and gods came to look upon his great beauty. But marvel of marvels, wherever he went, the cranes also went. They were his constant companions.
His days were endless enjoyment and the world was full of flowers, for in that ancient time the world had never known Winter.
Now Esus, the hunter god, had been roaming through the fields and forests of the world, looking for an animal worthy of his appetite, but he found no animal to his satisfaction.
Early one beautiful morning he happened upon the meadow where the bull and three cranes were sleeping. One glance at the bull and Esus knew that his search had ended.
He drew his blade and came upon the sleeping bull, but the cranes saw the danger and gave out a cry of alarm.
The bull rose to do battle with Esus and his golden horns were formidable weapons. The god and the divine bull clashed in combat.
They fought all day and all night, but neither could seem to best the other. The contest continued in this manner for many days. It was on a night in the dark of the moon when the bull at last began to fail in strength. There under a great Oak, Esus struck the divine bull a deadly blow.
His blood poured out upon the roots of the tree and its leaves turned golden-red at that very instance for pure shame and grief.
The cranes made a great crying sound. One of them flew forward and in a small dish caught up some of the bulls blood. Then the cranes departed, flying toward the south.
A gloom descended upon the world. The flowers wilted and the trees dropped their leaves. The sun withdrew his warmth. The World grew cold and snow fell for the first time.
Men prayed to the Mother to bring back the warmth, or all would perish. She heard and took pity upon all nature.
The three cranes came flying back from the south, and one still had the dish. It flew to the Oak Tree where the divine bull had been slain and poured the blood upon the earth. Suddenly, out of the dust sprang the bull-calf, reborn from Mother Earth!
All nature rejoiced. Grass and flowers sprang up. The leaves budded out on the trees. Thus Spring came again to the World.
But the hunter god, Esus, heard of the bull's rebirth and sought to find him. This was the beginning of the cycle which even to this day persists. Esus ever overcomes the divine bull, but Mother Earth ever causes him to be reborn. Belovéd, let us pray that the Great Mother will ever cause his rebirth, and may we, too, ever be reborn.