This is a story from my childhood
-- I've not been able to find it in any books since then, but let me retell it as I remember it, as I heard it, as the poets of old once did, passing on the legends from memory and voice.
Before, there was only light. No such thing as darkness. No concept whatsoever.
The Sun and the Moon were married. Always together, up in the sky, their rays reaching all of creation.
The Moon was a kind being, a loving wife,
But the Sun was easily angered, his pride a sweltering fire. He was bossy, arrogant, and demanded a lot from her.
One day, the Sun went for a walk and ordered his wife to cook some Gabi leaves (leaves of yam) in a stew. He wanted to eat it all when he returned. "Make sure this entire pot is full!", he commanded.
The Moon gently told him that it would not work. "The leaves will shrink in the water once I have boiled them, so, my love, the pot will never be completely full."
The Sun didn't care. He yelled at her for a bit, then walked away. The moon was frightened, but still, she tried.
When the sun returned, he took one look at the pot and started to shout. Before he did, however, the moon pleaded with him. "It's impossible! There will always be a bit of space in the pot, but I've tried, I have! Look, how close it is!"
"You are worthless! You never follow me!
"You are worthless! You never follow me! When I asked you to make the sea one shade of blue, you said it was impossible.
"You are worthless! You never follow me! When I asked you to make the sea one shade of blue, you said it was impossible. When I told you to flatten the mountains so I could lie down comfortably, you made hills!"
The Moon spoke up, not shouting, but angered by this injustice. "I am your wife, not your slave! You treat me as one, as someone who is not your equal, when we both should be. If that is so, then we must separate!"
Taken over by blind fury, the Sun grabbed the gabi leaves from the pot
Taken over by blind fury, the Sun grabbed the gabi leaves from the pot and struck his wife across her face.
Taken over by blind fury, the Sun grabbed the gabi leaves from the pot and struck his wife across her face. The earth shook, and all life cried out for the moon.
She immediately spun around and ran, tears flowing from her bruised cheeks. She took her children, the tiny stars with her. Far, far through the vast sky. Far, enough for the blanket of darkness to cover them.
That is why today, the sun is forced to stand alone, for all the world to witness. He beats down with his rays of fury, and runs in circles looking for his wife. Some say he feels regret, remorse, even, but the Earth still remembers his violence. And the Earth does not forgive.
The moon, with her children, continue to flee. They are together, and away from the presence of the harsh sun. They thrive and shine. The gabi leaves have left craters on her face that still remain today, but she still loves, she endures, and through this, she is free.
All of creation cannot look directly at the burning sun, as he runs across the sky. This is the Earth, placing the blanket of loneliness on his shoulders as retribution. They can, however, admire the moon and her children. In her, they find compassion, and in her, they find peace.