the sun and the moon

As winter is (hopefully) ending soon, I found this story very appropriate.  It is about the theft, and return of the sun and the moon.  The Kalevala is the national epic of Finland.  This is a very simple adaptation of a much more complex set of stories.  The full text of the Kalevala can be found here.Louhi: Witch of North Farm (Story from the Kalevala as retold by Toni De Gerez) It was snowing on Copper Mountain.  Louhi the Witch of the North Farm stretched and scratched her back. My! My! What shall I do today? She sat down on her bony behind to think about it. It was day and time to make some Witch plans. She muttered and sputtered. She grumbled and rumbled. Shall I bake bread? I could make blueberry soup.  I could go down and look at the boats.  Shall I start some new knitting? But none of these plans suited her.  The were too everyday. They were not good Witch plans.  Louhi felt like stirring up some sort of trouble.  What good is a Witch who is too good? Louhi scraped some frost off the window and looked out. It was snowing softly.  The snow looked just right for skiing.  Not too wet.  Not too icy.  Just enough crust for the skis to glide along smothly. So Louhi put on seven layers of clothes all on top of her nightshirt.  Then she pulled on her boots, which were stuffed with good sweet grass.  Louhi took down her mittens, which had been drying by the hearth. Her skis were waiting by the door.  Louhi like to ski.  Of course, she could wish herself into a bird and fly. She could wish hrselft into a fish and swim. She could wish herself into a stone and roll down a hill. But she felt like skiing in the world, so white, white. Hei! Hei! I'm off! She said to Nobody, or perhaps to the Sit-behind-the-Stove, the quiet one. There must be some Witch-Witch-Witchety things to do. She glided smoothly over many meadows of dry heather and over many low bushes.  Far away, far away from North Farm across many lakes and rivers and hills.  And then Louhi changed her mind. Up high into the air, into the sky, into the snow clouds Louhi skied. This is the real way to ski, said Louhi. Suddenly Louhi stopped.  She could hear music.  She looked down. It must be Vainamoinen.  Only Vainamoinin could make music like that. Vainamoinen was known all over the world, in all Four Corners. He was the Great Singer.  He was the Great Boat Maker. Why, if he felt like it, he could sing a boat together with only his magic words! And he was the Great Knower.  He knew everything about everything Over and Under and Up and Down. Louhi skied down a cloud-hill and hid behind a chokecherry bush. There he was! Vainamoinen was sitting on a stone.  His harp was laid out flat across his knees.  He drew his fingers gently across the strings and the tones leaped into melody. Vainamoined played.  Never before had there been such sweetness of sound.  Birds came flocking to his shoulders.  Fish came to the lake shore among the reeds. The pine trees made merry.  Some old tree stumps hopped about as though they were young again. All the animals in the forest pricked up their ears and came running, the deer, the foxes, the wolves. The Seven Stars of the Great Bear came circling down from the sky. Vainamoinen played on and on.  Even the sun and the moon wanted to come close. The white moon stepped out of the sky and settled upon a birch bough. The yellow sun came to rest upon a pine branch. The music was so sweet.  Not a single leave moved.  Not a pine cone dropped. All was still except for Vainamoinen and his music. Suddenly Louhi the Witch came out from behind the cokecherry bush.  Louhi made a double somersault over the bush. And Louhi turned into an eagle. Then, screaming and shaking with mean laughter, Louhi flew to the top of the birch tree.  Louhi stole the moon! Louhi flew to the pine tree.  Louhi stole the sun! Off she flew with the sun and the moon.  Louhi flew back to her North Farm. Then what did Louhi do? Louhi hid the moon and the sun behind nine great locks, behind nine great doors in her storeroom in Copper Mountain. She almost forgot to turn herself back into Louhi, but she turned another double somersault backwards - And there was Witch Louhi, the toothless one, except for one old black tooth. Louhi pulled up her stockings. She said, Now for a little bowl of porridge!  Where is my dear little porridge spoon?  And the porridge spoon jumped on top of the table. Now it was dark everywhere.  The land was plunged into terrible darkness.  The people and the wood creatures could not find their way home. Darkness was everywhere, dark, dark, darkness.  The wind howled angrily through the cold dark sky. Nobody knew whether it was morning or evening. Musti, the black dog, rolled up into a black, shivering ball. Muurikki, the black and white cow, bumped around in her shed. The black door did not know inside from outside. Black smoke rising from the roof-hole asked, Shall I blow North or South? It is all the same.  Nothing but dark. Something had to be done.  Everybody had worry on their faces. Vainamoinen went to find his friend Seppo, the smith. Seppo was a great smith.  He had forged the Sampo, hadn't he, the magic chest? Surely he could make a silver moon.  He could make a golden sun.  And the earth would be happy again. Seppo, the smith, worked hard.  At last he forged a beautiful moon.  He forged a beautiful golden sun. He climbed the pine tree and placed the new sun on a top branch.  He climbed the birch tree and placed the new moon there. Nothing happened.  There was no light.  Darkness still covered the earth with a heavy blanket. Seppo became very angry.  I shall make an iron collar and nine terrible iron chains to wrap around the neck of a certain Witch. CLANG, CLANG, was the noise in his forge as he made the nine terrible iron chains and the iron collar. Vainamoinen, in the meanwhile, went off to Copper Mountain to try to find the sun and the moon. Vainamoinen crossed mountains and rivers. At last he was near Copper Mountain.  Louhi's dogs barked and growled. Louhi listened through the moss between the logs an peeked through a hole in the wall. Louhi opened the door a crack. She screamed, "The sun and the moon are here! But they are mine forever. Go away!" And she shook her Nameless Finger at him, the most powerful of all fingers! Vainomoinen went back home sadly, across marshes and rivers. But Louhi was curious.  What were they up to now, those two, Vainamoinen and Seppo? I'll just fly over and find out, said Louhi.  Louhi changed herself into a hawk.  She flew from her North Farm to Kaleva. She perched on top of Seppo's door and asked in a pretty little voice, "What are you making, Seppo?" He stopped his pounding for a moment. He said, "I am making and iron collar and nine terrible iron chains to wrap around the skinny gray neck of a certain Witch!" "But why are you going to do that?" asked Louhi in a soft, sweet, little voice.  "And who is the Witch, if I may ask?" "She is the Witch who stole our sun and who stole our moon." A big stone of fear dropped into the heart of Louhi. Quickly she flew back to her Copper Mountain, to her North Farm. She took her nine iron keys and opened the nine iron doors of her storeroom. There were the sun and the moon.  They were sitting sadly side by side. Louhi picked them up in her arms.  She flew back high over the marshes and the sea. She placed the sun back in the pine tree.  She placed the moon back in the birch. With another of her somersault tricks Louhi became a dove.  She flew to the top of the door of Seppo's forge. "What do you wish, little dove?" asked Seppo. "Just to tell you the moon and the sun are back.  Look!  Look!" Now there would be time: Night time and day time.  There would be weather: Winter with ice and snow and cold winds.  Summer with bright-eyed flowers, birds, and tall grasses. The sun and the moon are back. Look!  Listen!  Louhi has flown back to her home in the North Farm.  And Vainamoinen is singing again.