Tell-It Tuesday: Why do the Sun and the Moon Live in the Sky?

Created with Microsoft Fresh Paint

Tell-It Tuesday

Why do the Sun and the Moon Live in the Sky

A retelling of an African Folktale

On a warm, bright day long, long ago, Sun went to visit his good friend, Water. As he traveled to Water’s place, he thought about all the trips he had made to see his friend. Sun was tired of traveling across the Earth to see his friend.

“Why am I always the one going to visit my friend?” the Sun said to himself. “Water never comes to visit me. Today, I will ask him why.”


When Sun got to Water’s house, he visited with him for a bit before he asked the question.

“You are my good friend, Water,” said Sun. “I enjoy our visits. But I am wondering why I always have to come to your house to see you. Why don’t you ever come to visit me at my house?”

Water looked at his friend, Sun. “Well,” he said. “The problem is I have a huge family and they will all have to come with me to visit you. I am afraid your house is too small for me and my family. We would take over your entire house. You would have no place to stay.”


Sun thought about this for a minute. “What if I build a bigger house? A house that is big enough for all of your family? Will you come visit me then?”

“It will have to be a HUGE house,” said Water. “But, yes, if you build it big enough, we will come.”

Sun ran home to talk to his wife, Moon. She agreed to build the bigger house. Soon the magnificent, massive house was complete.

A few days later, Water and his family arrived at the house.

“We’re here!” shouted Water. “Are you sure you want us to come in?”

Sun beamed with pride about his new house. “Why, certainly!” he said.

So, Water and his family flowed into the house. In came the water, the fish and all the other animals of Water’s family. Soon the house filled knee-deep with Water and his family.

“Are you sure we can still keep coming in?” asked one of Water’s family.

Sun and Moon beamed with pride. “Certainly!” they said. “There is plenty of room.”

So more and more of Water’s family flowed into the house until it was head deep with them.

“We still have more coming,” said Water. “Are you sure we can still enter?”

Sun and Moon said, “Sure. Keep on coming!”

But soon the entire house was full to the roof with Water and his family.  What happened to Sun and Moon? They had to live in the sky. And they are still living there today.


I hope you enjoyed today’s folktale. Why not make up your own story about why the Sun and the Moon live in the sky. What interesting tale can you come up with to explain this?


Nature Mamaw

All photos except first drawing are courtesy of


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