Why There Is A Man In The Moon

: The Book Of Nature Myths

"Goodman," said the goodwife, "you must go out into the forest and

gather sticks for the fire. To-morrow will be Sunday, and we have no

wood to burn."

"Yes, goodwife," answered the goodman, "I will go to the forest."

He did go to the forest, but he sat on a mossy rock and fished till it

was dark, and so he brought home no wood. "The goodwife shall not know

it," he thought. "I will go to the
orest to-morrow morning and gather


When morning came, he crept softly out of the house when it was hardly

light, and went to the forest. Soon he had as many sticks as he could

carry, and he was starting for home when a voice called sternly, "Put

those sticks down." He looked to the right, to the left, before him,

behind him, and over his head. There was no one to be seen.

"Put those sticks down," said the voice again.

"Please, I do not dare to put them down," replied the goodman, trembling

with fear. "They are to burn, and my wife cannot cook the dinner without


"You will have no dinner to-day," said the voice.

"The goodwife will not know that I did not gather them last night, and

she will let me have some dinner. I am almost sure she will," the

goodman replied.

"You must not gather sticks to-day," said the voice more sternly than

ever. "It is Sunday. Put them down."

"Indeed, Mr. Voice, I dare not," whispered the goodman; and afar off he

thought he heard his wife calling, "Goodman, where are you? There is no

wood to burn."

"Will you put them down, or will you carry them forever?" cried the

voice angrily.

"Truly, I cannot put them down, for I dare not go home without them,"

answered the goodman, shaking with fear from head to foot. "The goodwife

would not like it."

"Then carry them forever," said the voice. "You care not for Sunday, and

you shall never have another Sunday."

The goodman could not tell how it came about, but he felt himself being

lifted, up, up, up, sticks and all, till he was in the moon.

"Here you shall stay," said the voice sternly. "You will not keep

Sunday, and here you need not. This is the moon, and so it is always the

moon's day, or Monday, and Monday it shall be with you always. Whenever

any one looks up at the moon, he will say, 'See the man with the sticks

on his back. He was taken to the moon because he gathered wood on


"Oh dear, oh dear," cried the goodman, "what will the goodwife say?"