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DANU's HARP

A new story inspired by Doncaster, and written by Sarah Clough
Performed by the Twinkle Lights Youth Theatres, and Directed by Jow Bedford.  

A long time ago in the land of Yorkshire, when the wind was young and the sun had only just learned to shine.  There was a place called Victus.   

Victus was a dry and cold place. The young sun barely had strength to shine there, the ground was as cracked and wrinkly as an old man’s face, and not a drop of water was to be seen for miles around. 

Who could live in such a place?  Not a boy.  Not a girl. No sheep or cows. No flowers grew, save the tough dandelion that had been blown by the playful wind across the cracked land and found it’s home. 

 

Now everyone knows that where there are dandelions, you don’t have to go far to find rabbits!  So even though no other creature chose to make their home in Victus, the rabbits burrowed deep into the hard ground, so far down they found warmth, shelter and even a bit of water.  They would only poke their little noses above the ground to scuttle across the empty land, leaping over the holes in the cracked earth, to swipe a Dandelion to munch on.  Then speed back to the safety of their burrows.   

 

Never a soul was seen, never a song was heard, never a bird flew and never a flower grew.  The only sound was the swishing of bunnies and the munching of dandelions.  Soon, the young sun grew bored of even spilling a few delicate sunbeams on such a land, and decided it was time for it to set on Victus.  As the sun began to disappear, the dandelions wilted, and the air grew frosty.  The poor rabbits huddled together for warmth, shivering from the top of their tall ears to the bottom of their fluffy tails.  After a life underground and munching carrots, the rabbits could see through the dark that the disappearing sun had left and watched as even the strong dandelions beginning to wilt and fall – until there was only one single dandelion left. Surely this was the end of Victus. 

 

As the bunnies stared at the last dandelion they would ever munch, they heard a cry in the darkness.  Who could this be?  No one had stepped foot in Victus for years and years, and now as they pricked up their lofty ears they could hear the sad sounds of someone weeping!  Using their mighty ears and eyes, they bounced across the ground, bounding over holes in the cracked earth until they found who was making the sound. 

There, next to a really big hole in the earth, was what looked like a big, crumpled heap of bright coloured scarves.  The weeping, the moaning (and let’s be honest the odd bit of snotting) was coming from this heap!  The bravest of the bunnies, cleared their throats and coughed politely to get the attention of whatever the thing was that was crying so hard, and immediately the crying stopped.  There was a scuffling and a sniffing, and then out of the heap of scarves poked a face, all red and blotchy from crying.  The face and the bunnies starred at each other for a long moment.  Until the face hiccupped, and the bunnies giggled.  Immediately they knew they were going to be best of friends.  

 

“What’s the matter” cried the bunnies  
“I can’t see in the dark, and I keep tripping up over the holes in the earth, I’ve broken my harp and I’m never going to get home!” replied the face 
“Don’t worry we can help!” chanted the bunnies.   
“We have the best eyes” 
“the best noses” 
“the best ears” 
“We’ll guide  

Immediately the red and blotchy face, broke into a dazzling smile, and the pile of coloured scarves stood up to reveal a mighty person, although a mighty person with very bruised knees.  And so they set off.   

 

The bunnies led the way magnificently!   They’re beady, bright eyes pierced the dark and their little white tails shone bright leading the way safely, across the cracked earth, to edge of Victus where the sun still shone.  As they came into the light, the Bunnies realised that the magnificent person who they had been helping, was no more or less than the goddess Danu!  As the mighty goddess stretched and smiled in the sunlight, she looked down at the little rabbits who had been her saviours.  Her heart glowed at their kindness, and she asked if they wanted to come with her. The bunnies shook their heads sadly, even though they had grown very fond of Danu, they loved their home, even though the sun no longer shone there, and even their lovely dandelions couldn’t grow, it was where their hearts were.   

They were going to go back to their burrows and munch their final dandelion.  Suddenly Danu’s eyes sparkled.   

“Bring it to me!” 


“Our last one!!!” cried the bunnies with trembling lip 
But Danu nodded, and they couldn’t refuse their friend, so the bunnies bounced off and plucked the final flower and gave it to Danu.  


Danu smiled and thanked the bunnies, and then used the flower’s stem to mend her broken string on her harp.  She played a single note of such purity and beauty it caused the little bunnies to shiver with joy at the sound.  Then she played more and more notes, until the sun could no longer hide away from such a beautiful sound and burst up into the sky flooding Victus with glorious sunlight. Flowers burst from the ground, reds and oranges, pinks and purples – every colour under the rainbow.  Everywhere green shoots were flying up, and sparkling water fizzled down to form beautiful streams and pools to feed the land. Amongst all of this, proud amongst them all were the glorious gold dandelions, straight and true.  The bunnies bounced with glee, and Danu laughed in delight.  To honour their friend for bringing the spring to them, the rabbits changed the name of their home to Danum, which over the years became Doncaster 

 

Now every year Spring when is born in Doncaster, and we see the flowers pop up and the lambs bounce, we know that it’s because Danu has been playing her harp and thanking the bunnies for their kindness. 

Danu Song

Written by Moony Wainwright

Danu mend your broken string  Play your harp and sunshine bring Bunnies joyful at the sound Flowers burst from the ground Red and orange, purple and pink Glorious sunshine makes us blink 

 

Green shoots flying up in the air Sparkling water everywhere Dandelions straight and true Bunnies bouncing with Danu Every Spring we honour you Danum Doncaster Danu 

 

Danu mend your broken string  Play your harp and sunshine bring Bunnies joyful at the sound Flowers burst from the ground Red and orange, purple and pink Glorious sunshine makes us blink 

 

Green shoots flying up in the air Sparkling water everywhere Dandelions straight and true Bunnies bouncing with Danu Every Spring we honour you Danum Doncaster Danu 

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