Origin of the Moon

A long time, there was no Moon. There was only the Sun. The Creator had messengers who helped him in his work. One of these was the Caretaker of the Sun. He had two children, a boy and a girl. All three lived in the Sky World. They were very happy.

The daughter looked after the camp. She kept it clean and tidy. When she shook the feather bedding, the feathers would fall to the earth as snow.

The son hunted and fished. When he hung his nets to dry, droplets fell to the earth as rain.

The father would be away. All day he kept the great fire, burning on the Sun. He was very old.

Soon he would leave his children, never to return. He said to them; “When I die, you must keep the fire burning, or else the people and animals on earth will die.”

One day when the fire was low on the Sun, the father came home tired. He said, “Children, my children, my children. I have to go. I will never return.” The children cried and mourned. They knew he would die.

In the morning it was time to start the Sun’s fire. The children began to quarrel over who would do the task. “You start the fire, you are older.” “No, you start first.” “No, I will not, you are older, you start the fire.” They yelled this to each other.

The Earthlings began to worry saying, “Why is the sun so late? It should be up by now!”

Wisakecahk went to the Sun to see what was the matter. When he arrived, the brother and sister were still quarrelling. Wisakecahk was angry. “The people and animals will perish,” he said to them. “It is up to you! You keep the fire burning,” he told the boy. “Your name from now on will be Pisim.” To the sister, he said, “You, too, will work as hard as your brother. You will keep the fire on another place. You will work at night. You will be Tipiskawipism, the Moon.”

“You did not get along. As a punishment, you will see each other once a year. For all time, you will see each other from across the sky.”

And so it happened. Even now it is so.