Why The Face Of The Moon Is White
Source: The Book Of Nature Myths
An Indian chief had a fair young daughter. One day the wind came to him
and said, "Great chief, I love your daughter, and she loves me. Will you
give her to me to be my wife?"
"No," answered the chief.
The next day the maiden herself went to the chief and said, "Father, I
love the wind. Will you let me go with him to his lodge and be his
"No," declared the chief, "I will not. When the wind was a child, he
often came into my wigwam through some tiny hole, and try as I would to
make my fire, he always put it out. He knows neither how to fight nor
how to hunt, and you shall not be his wife."
Then the chief hid his daughter in a thick grove of dark spruces. "The
wind might see her in a pine," he thought, "but he will never catch
sight of her in a grove of spruces."
Now the wind could make himself invisible if he chose, and all the time
that the chief was talking, the wind was close beside him listening to
every word. When the next night came, the wind ran round and round the
grove of spruces until he discovered a tiny place where he could get in.
When he came out, the maiden was with him. He did not dare to go near
the Indians to live, for he was afraid that the chief would come and
take her away from him; so he built a new lodge far to the north-ward.
To that lodge he carried the maiden, and she became his wife.
Neither the wind nor his young wife had thought that the chief could
ever find them, but he searched and searched, and at last he came to
their lodge. The wind hid his wife and made himself invisible, but the
father struck all about with his great war-club, and a hard blow fell
upon the head of the wind. He knew no more of what the chief was doing.
When he came to himself, he discovered that his wife was gone, and he
set out in search of her. He roamed about wildly in the forest, and at
last he saw her in a canoe with her father on the Big-Sea-Water. "Come
with me," he called. She became as white as snow, but she could not see
the wind, because after the blow upon his head he had forgotten how to
make himself visible.
He was so angry with the chief that he blew with all his might upon the
tiny canoe. "Let it tip over," he thought. "I can carry my wife safely
to land." The canoe did tip over, and both the chief and his daughter
fell into the water. "Come, dear wife," cried the wind. "Here is my
hand." He did not remember that he was invisible, and that she could not
see his hand. That is why she fell down, down, through the deep water to
the bottom of the lake. The chief, too, lost his life, for the wind did
not try to help him.
When the wind discovered that his wife was gone from him, he became
almost wild with sorrow. "The wind never blew so sadly before," said the
people in the wigwams.
The Great Spirit was sorry that the chief's daughter had fallen into the
water and lost her life, and the next night he bore her up to the stars
and gave her a home in the moon. There she lives again, but her face is
white, as it was when she fell from the canoe. On moonlight nights she
always looks down upon the earth, searching for the wind, for she does
not know that he is invisible. The wind does not know that far away in
the moon is the white face of his lost wife, and so he roams through the
forest and wanders about the rocks and the mountains, but never thinks
of looking up to the moon.
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