The Moon

In days gone by, there was a land where the nights were always dark and gloomy, and the people could barely see their own hands in front of their faces. It was a land where the moon had never risen, and the stars were invisible in the pitch-black sky. But all that changed when four young fellows went on a traveling expedition and stumbled upon a kingdom where a shining globe was placed on an oak tree. It shed a soft light far and wide, and everything could be seen and distinguished, even though it was not as brilliant as the sun.

The travelers were amazed and envious of this beautiful lamp, and they soon came up with a plan to steal it for themselves. With the help of a cart, some horses, and a good climber, they managed to bring the moon back to their own country, where they placed it on a high oak. Old and young rejoiced when the new lamp let its light shine over the whole land, and the dwarfs and tiny elves came out to dance in rings on the meadows.

But as time passed, the four friends grew old, and when one of them died, he requested that one-quarter of the moon be laid in the grave with him. The others followed suit, and as each one died, a quarter of the moon was buried with them. The light of the moon decreased with each burial until the old state of darkness recommenced, and people had to use lanterns to see in the night.

However, something strange happened when the pieces of the moon united in the world below. The dead became restless and awoke from their sleep, astonished to see again. The moonlight was quite sufficient for them, and they went back to their old ways of living, going to plays, dances, and pubs where they drank, brawled and quarreled. The noise became so loud that it reached even to heaven, and Saint Peter thought the lower world had broken out in revolt.

Saint Peter rode down to the world below to reduce the dead to subjection, but when he saw the moon, he was amazed. He took the moon away with him and hung it up in heaven, where it shone more brilliantly than ever before. The dead returned to their graves and now the moon lent its wonderful luminosity to all of the kingdoms every night.