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Mystery and marvel: The moon and the sun

This week we are sharing a Central African tale about betrayal. To fully understand this tale and the way it was written we recommend you read our introduction to our folklore series.

In the beginning, so the old men say, the moon and the sun both had children. One day the people of the village went under the moon and the sun. They said, ”We can’t stay outside to hunt food to eat because of the brightness of your children in this place. When we go out we think that we must die because the whole place is hot all the time. So we want to ask you to hide your children so that we can go out to find food to eat.”




When the people had gone, the moon said to the sun: ”We should put our children in a basket and close them up. Then we will go with them to the water and throw them in so that the people can’t always come to us with words.”
The sun agreed with the words that the moon had said to her.

When the day came for them to go to throw their children into the water, the sun took her children, all of them; she put them in a basket and closed it up. But the moon did not take her children. She took only rocks that were very black. She put the rocks in her basket and closed it up. She deceived the sun because she wanted to keep her children.

When the sun had come, they got up and they took their baskets. Afterwards they went to the water and threw the baskets into the big water. When it became dark, the sun saw that the children of the moon, the stars, were all around her. She began to search her heart. She went to the moon. She said, ”Have you tricked me? Tomorrow in the morning, I will go to take back my children also.” But in the morning, when the sun went to take her children she couldn’t find one of them. They had all become fish. So it is that we have fish today, because of the children of the sun.

And so it is that the moon tricked the sun. In the way of deceit of the moon, the sun does not have children around her just until today.


The tales we are sharing in this series were written down by Polly Strong, as told to her mainly by Moussa Andre and Bissafi Jeannot.  These tales were originally published in a book  “African Tales, folklore of the Central African Republic” by TELCRAFT in 1992.