At the very beginning of time, there existed only cold, dry, greying flora. For a long time, they did not speak to one another because they were too proud to admit their suffering and their discontent. The trees did not like to admit that they lacked any strength. The the flowers did not like to admit that they lacked any beauty. The grasses and shrubs did not like to admit that they lacked any lush abundance.
One day as cold, dry, and grey as the last, a voice whispered to the Marigold, “You are cold and grey, Marigold. Will you not ask for the warmth and color of the Sun? You may tell me and I will keep your secret.” The Marigold replied in a soft whisper that he needed and desired Sun.
The voice next whispered to the blue Lotus, “You are parched and withering, Lotus. Will you not ask for rain to drench your roots and revive you to health? You may tell me and I will keep your secret.” The Lotus replied in a soft whisper that he needed and desired Rain.
The voice then whispered to the Sage, “You are dull and lazy, Sage. Will you not ask for scores of knowledge and limitless wisdom? You may tell me and I will keep your secret.” The Sage replied in a soft whisper that she needed and desired Wisdom.
The voice whispered to the Dandelion, “You are unoriginal and bored, Dandelion. Will you not ask for a burst of creativity and inspiration to innovate? You may tell me and I will keep your secret.” The Dandelion replied in a soft whisper that she needed and desired Inspiration.
Finally, the voice whispered to the brooding old Cypress Tree, “You are killing the hundreds of smaller plants at your base, Cypress. Will you not surrender your own life and provide of yourself so that they may live and prosper? You may tell me and I will keep your secret.” The Cypress replied in a soft whisper that she was willing hence needed and desired Death.
The whispering voice suddenly proclaimed loudly so that all could hear, “Love and Fulfillment cannot be achieved across voids. Alone, you are each unique, but together you are a force of nature. As one, will you admit to needing and desiring Sun, Rain, Wisdom, Inspiration, and finally, Death?”
With one loud, clear voice that rang across all the land, the Marigold, Lotus, Sage, Dandelion, and Cypress all said, “YES.”
Suddenly the Sun blazed warm and bright, followed by brief but satisfying Rain shower. Wisdom and Inspiration flooded their minds and they knew true joy and purpose. And old Cypress gently folded up her branches and gave her life willingly so that the new flora could prosper.
“I have one last gift for you, flora,” said the voice. “No garden remains perfect. Weeds will strangle you and insects will devour you. You will need Caretakers for your peace and beauty to remain perfect.”
The sun blazed a beam of dazzling light into a large bed of Marigolds that grew atop of a great hill. A large, strong, golden rabbit emerged from the sunbeam; his name was Hero Raymond Brightstone, Guardian of the Sun. Like the Sun, Raymond was fierce and bold, daring and passionate, dramatic and impulsive. His voice was loud and clear, and his words inspired action and passion.
The rain poured generously over a circular cluster of Lotuses. From that ring emerged a lithe, fluid rabbit named Oracle Gilbert Greensteam, Forecaster of Rain. His color changed from silver in the sun to grey in the shade. Gilbert was sensitive, caring, understanding, intuitive, trusting, and forgiving. His voice was soothing and his words brought comfort and healing.
The Earth whispered intently with the Sage for a minute, and the ground opened up to release a plump brown rabbit. Her name was Herald Iris Hillpath, Messenger of Wisdom, and she was logical, practical, hard-working, patient, nurturing, and loyal. Her voice rang with truth and her words were fair and thought-provoking.
The rogue Dandelions that grew along edge of the cliff laughed loudly into the chasm. The echo spun wildly back through, creating a dense cloud of their seed-puffs. When the wind abated, a tall, slender white rabbit stood among the yellow Dandelions. Her name was Prophet Violet Stardream, Diviner of Inspiration. She was artistic, creative, curious, independent, and brilliant. Her voice was soft and dreamy, and her words bloomed into ideas for any that heard them.
From the rotting trunk of the dead Cypress tree crawled a small, thin rabbit as black as a moonless night. Her name was Harbinger Lily Nightshade, Secret Keeper of Death. She was both cruel and compassionate, a thief and a benefactor. Unpredictable and expected. She did not speak.
These were the Original Caretakers, and their number was 5.