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A short story by Mabel Cook Cole

How The Moon And The Stars Came To Be

Title:     How The Moon And The Stars Came To Be
Author: Mabel Cook Cole [More Titles by Cole]

Bukidnon (Mindanao)

One day in the times when the sky was close to the ground a spinster went out to pound rice. [113] Before she began her work, she took off the beads from around her neck and the comb from her hair, and hung them on the sky, which at that time looked like coral rock.

Then she began working, and each time that she raised her pestle into the air it struck the sky. For some time she pounded the rice, and then she raised the pestle so high that it struck the sky very hard.

Immediately the sky began to rise, [114] and it went up so far that she lost her ornaments. Never did they come down, for the comb became the moon and the beads are the stars that are scattered about.


[113] The common way to pound rice is to place a bundle of the grain on the ground on a dried carabao hide and pound it with a pestle to loosen the heads from the straw. When they are free they are poured into a mortar and again pounded with the pestle until the grain is separated from the chaff, after which it is winnowed.

[114] According to the Klemantin myth (Borneo), the sky was raised when a giant named Usai accidentally struck it with his mallet while pounding rice. See Hose and McDougall, _Pagan Tribes of Borneo_, p. 142.

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Mabel Cook Cole's short story: How The Moon And The Stars Came To Be