Tales of the Supernatural
Tales of Laughter
Tales of Heroism

The Legend of the Sun, Moon, and Stars
( Why the Sky is High )

Long ago, our elders say, the sky was so close to the earth that one could touch it. But there were only two people who could avail of that fact. They were the first man and woman.

It has been said that the first woman was so vain. She wore so much jewelry and despised work. Whenever the first man would ask her to do something, she would pout. She pouted when he asked her to clean the house. She pouted whenever he asked her to cook. She pouted whenever he asked her to grind the rice grains everyday for their food.

"But if you don’t grind the rice, we don’t get to eat," the first man reasoned, and even the vain first woman could not dispute that.

But it was so much work grinding the rice with a little pestles and mortars. So she poured all their rice for the day into a very large mortar and took up a very large pestle to grind it with. The pestle was so tall that when it hit the mortar, it touched the sky. The first woman was oblivious to this. She only knew she had to grind all the rice before her husband came home for supper.

She still wore all her jewelry. She noticed that her jewelry kept falling off or hampered her in any other way whenever she worked. So she hung her larger pieces of jewelry upon the sky, which were her silver comb, her gold ring, and her long pearl necklace. And then she went to work with the huge pestle, unknowing that as one end of the pestle pounded onto the rice grains, the other end was pounding onto the sky. The first woman only knew that having the sky so low only made her task more difficult. So she pounded harder and harder on the rice. Higher and higher the sky went, until with one enormous stroke, the first woman sent the sky flying up, never to come so close to the earth again.

She sensed a draft behind her neck and looked up. She was astonished to see that the sky had risen so high – and taken her most precious things with it! She could see her silver comb shining where the moon is now, and the beads of her lovely necklace twinkling all around it. Her golden ring was nowhere in sight. The first woman grumbled, "I would have worn those things again if I’d known they would go to waste."