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Main > Tibet folktales > Fairy tale "Sunlight and Moonlight"

Sunlight and Moonlight

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There was no talking him out of it, so in a very short time the two lads had slipped quietly and secretly from the palace and were out in the wide world.

All that day they walked, and the next, and the next, sleeping at night wherever they could find shelter. On the third day. they came into a dry, huge desert, with no sign of human life to be seen anywhere, and nothing that could provide water or food. At last, exhausted, Moonlight stumbled and fell on the sand.

"Alas, dear brother," he said, "I can not go any farther. Bid me farewell and go on. There's no need for both of us to die!"

Sunlight did not try to argue with his brother, but made him as comfortable as the hot desert would allow and bade him to be of good cheer and wait for his return, for he would surely find and bring back help. Then he began looking this way and that for some sign of a spring or a waterhole in the desert. At last, his eye was caught by a bright red something on the side of a rocky cliff not far away. He quickened his step to see what it might be and found that it was a great red door set deep into the face of the rock. He rapped upon the door, and soon it was opened by a kindly-looking old man.

Sunlight was so relieved to see another human being he could have kissed the old man's long, flowing beard. Quickly he told his story and begged the old man to help Moonlight. The hermit lost no time in walking with Sunlight back to where his brother lay. Together the two of them carried Moonlight back to the hermit's cave, where the old man used all of his skill to care for the exhausted boy until he was fully recovered.

So the two lads started a new life with the old hermit. Indeed, he soon declared that he could not d them any more if they had been his own sons. So the weeks and months passed, and the three of them lived happily together in their cave behind the red door in the desert.

It so happened that the biggest Khan of them all, that is, the ruler over the entire country, was a wicked, ill-tempered, suspicious man.

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