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This story is suitable for children age 6 to 8 approx.
How the night came
Fairy Tales from Brazil, by Elsie Spicer
Start of Story
Years and years ago at the very beginning of time, when the world had
just been made, there was no night. It was day all the time. No one
had ever heard of sunrise or sunset, starlight or moonbeams. There
were no night birds, nor night beasts, nor night flowers. There were
no lengthening shadows, nor soft night air, heavy with perfume.
In those days the daughter of the GREAT SEA SERPENT, who dwelt in the
depths of the seas, married one of the sons of the great earth race
known as MAN. She left her home among the shades of the deep seas and
came to dwell with her husband in the land of daylight. Her eyes grew
weary of the bright sunlight and her beauty faded. Her husband watched
her with sad eyes, but he did not know what to do to help her.
"O, if night would only come," she moaned as she tossed about wearily
on her couch. "Here it is always day, but in my father's kingdom there
are many shadows. O, for a little of the darkness of night!"
Her husband listened to her moanings. "What is night?" he asked her.
"Tell me about it and perhaps I can get a little of it for you."
"Night," said the daughter of the GREAT SEA SERPENT, "is the name we
give to the heavy shadows which darken my father's kingdom in the
depths of the seas. I love the sunlight of your earth land, but I grow
very weary of it. If we could have only a little of the darkness of my
father's kingdom to rest our eyes part of the time."
Her husband at once called his three most faithful slaves. "I am about
to send you on a journey," he told them. "You are to go to the kingdom
of the GREAT SEA SERPENT who dwells in the depths of the seas and ask
him to give you some of the darkness of night that his daughter may
not die here amid the sunlight of our earth land."
The three slaves set forth for the kingdom of the GREAT SEA SERPENT.
After a long dangerous journey they arrived at his home in the depths
of the seas and asked him to give them some of the shadows of night
to carry back to the earth land. The GREAT SEA SERPENT gave them a big
bag full at once. It was securely fastened and the GREAT SEA SERPENT
warned them not to open it until they were once more in the presence
of his daughter, their mistress.
The three slaves started out, bearing the big bag full of night upon
their heads. Soon they heard strange sounds within the bag. It was the
sound of the voices of all the night beasts, all the night birds, and
all the night insects. If you have ever heard the night chorus from
the jungles on the banks of the rivers you will know how it sounded.
The three slaves had never heard sounds like those in all their lives.
They were terribly frightened.