Long ago on the island of Hawaii, there lived an old woman, Heena. And Heena was so old, that no-one could rightly remember when she had been born. She herself had given birth to twenty-two children and now she spent her time cooking and cleaning for all her children’s children. And Heena felt old. She didn’t know how old she was, but she knew she was old. And she was tired. She was tired of all the cooking and cleaning, that had filled her days from dawn to dusk, for so many years. All she wanted was a rest.
Long ago, when the world began, the Moon had only one face, it was always round and full. And the Moon’s mask was carried across the sky, by a young man, who’s face was as round and full and pale as the mask of the Moon that he carried. And at first, the young man was proud to carry the Moon-mask, to light up the sky at night. But as he carried the mask across the sky, all night, every night, night after night, he grew lonely.
There was once a land, ruled by a King, who had, but the one child, a daughter, who he brought up to rule after him. Now, this young woman was as wise as she was beautiful, and she was as beautiful as the Dawn. And she loved more than anything, to sit in the gardens of her father’s castle with all her maids and while away a summer’s afternoon in the welcoming shade of an old beach tree. And this they did, for day after day, week after week, month after month as rumours of her beauty spread throughout her father’s land.
Long ago, in the island of Sri Lanka… There was a rich man who owned, almost all the land that is now called Sri Lanka. And he parcelled out the land into small pieces which he rented to the villagers around the island. And in return for the land, they paid him rent. And these villagers scraped a very poor living off the land. There was just enough land, to grow just enough food, to feed their family and pay their rent.
The Sun and Moon light up our skies. The Sun’s golden rays fill the sky from dawn to dusk and then as the Sun begins to set, the Moon rises and takes his place, filling the sky with her silver light. Every night as the Sun slides from the sky, he would look across at the Moon and sigh. For you see, the poor Sun was lonely, up there in the sky. The Moon has stars to talk to, but who does the Sun have? No-one.
Long ago, when the world began, before the Humans came… There was nothing but Winter, and Winter had spread far across the land. The trees were bowed down with snow, the leaves were brown and the few berries and fruit that grew, soon withered and died. The rivers and lakes were ice, and those that lived in them suffered and many of them died.
In the beginning, when the world began, the Sun and the Moon were the best of friends. But, once they both had children, their friendship began to falter. As the two cots, one golden, one silver, stood side by side, Sun looked down and said “Oh, they look so perfect together! It is as if they were made for each other!
I think, that when they grow up, they should marry each other!”
One day, Summer Sun and Winter Wind were having an argument. “I am the strongest” said Summer Sun “Because I can bring drought to the world and cause the plants and the people to die.” “Oh no you are not!” said Winter Wind “I am the strongest because I bring gales and storms and floods and devastation wherever I go.” “Oh yes I am!” said Summer Sun, “I am stronger than you! People fear me far more than they do you!”
Long ago, when the world began, before the humans came, there was one Earth and there was one Sun, but there was no Moon in the sky. And at night – it was very, very, very dark! All the night-time animals found it very difficult to see. They bumped into trees, they fell over rocks, and, worst of all, they could not see to find their food.
Long ago, it was said that there was two worlds. The real world where real people lived and the imagined world where the fair folk lived. These two worlds lay apart and their paths never crossed, except at certain times of the year. The longest day and the longest night. There was once a young girl who more than anything else in the world wanted to reach for the stars. She did not just want to see them, she wanted to touch them. Of course all of her family thought this was a ridiculous idea…