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

Sunlight and Moonlight

Not until the captain had gone far over the desert on their way to the Kahn's palace did he remember that he had been told there were two boys living with the hermit. He stopped abruptly, wheeled his horse around and gave orders that the troop should return at once to the old man's cave. Sunlight guessed what was in the captain's mind, and his heart sank.

"There will be no possible escape this time for my brother," he thought, "the soldiers will surprise Moonlight before he has time to hide!" At last he groaned aloud.

"Woe is me!" he said. "Alas! And woe is my fate! Would that I had died with my brother before I had to be taken away!"

"What do you mean by that?" said the captain.

"What should I mean but what I say?" said Sunlight, with he groaned again. "When you came to the door of our cave we had just returned from digging the grave of my dear brother. And now, surely, the poor old man, our foster-father, will die of grief, for both his sons are lost to him - all in the space of one day!"

The captain drew rein, and the soldiers behind him halted. The heat of the desert was great, and he did not want to travel the long distance back to the cave of the red door for no reason.

"Young man," he said sternly to Sunlight. "Is it indeed true that your brother is dead, and that there is now no strange youth in the cave of the hermit?"

"Have I not said it?" replied Sunlight. "Indeed, I do not know which I wish the more - that I were dead beside my brother, or that he were here beside me to share my troubles!" Then he wept aloud.

The captain hesitated. Then he slowly turned his horse and gruffly instructed his soldiers to proceed to the palace of the Khan.

Sunlight's heart bounded with joy and relief for his brother, but he still continued to moan and groan, so the soldiers would continue to believe his story.

It was a long distance to the Khan's city, and by the time Sunlight and his cruel captors had reached the palace gates, the sun was setting.

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