Legends about the Moon

MOON MAGIC (a traditional tale of the Haida Aboriginal Nation)

There was once a young man who fell in love with a woman. She told him that she didn’t like his hair, so he pulled it all out. When he returned to visit her, she told him that if he pulled out his eyebrows and eyelashes as well, she would fall in love with him. He was so much in love, he did what she said. Then she laughed at him, and told him she did not want him.

He was so ashamed that he refused to go out in the daytime. At night, he would sneak out to get the things he needed. To pass the time in his house, he began whittling arrows. Soon he had two boxes full.

When the moon was full and bright, he went outside with his two boxes of arrows and shot at the sky. The first arrow stuck in the sky. He shot again, and the second arrow stuck in the notch at the end of the first. He kept doing this until all his arrows were used up. The last arrow hung a bow’s length from the ground. He began to climb the chain of arrows.

He arrived in the sky and found a town. He walked around until someone called to him from a big house. “Your grandfather invites you to come in.”

Grandfather Moon treated the young man kindly, and invited him to sit on his right side. He noticed that the man’s hair was gone. He called for a special box he had, and it was brought to him.

Grandfather Moon pulled the box apart. There was another box inside. He pulled that one apart as well. He did this five times, and took a comb out of the smallest box.

Grandfather Moon called for some water. He wet his hands and rubbed them on the man’s eyes. The man became very good-looking. Then Grandfather Moon used the comb. Hair quickly appeared on the man’s head. Soon he had hair, eyebrows, eyelashes, and a handsome mustache.

The man stayed with Grandfather Moon for many nights. Finally, it was time for him to return home. Grandfather Moon told him, “When you return, do not look at the woman who made you pull out your hair. Turn your back on her.”

The man climbed down the arrows. He was no longer ashamed. He sat straight and tall in his father’s house. Everyone came to look at him. He was the best-looking man in the village.

When the woman he had loved came to see him, he turned his back on her. She was so upset that she died.