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

Sunlight and Moonlight

Now it happened that the Khan had two children, both daughters, and his elder daughter was at that moment sitting on the low roof of the palace, enjoying the cool early evening air. Looking down into the street below, she saw the line of soldiers riding by, with Sunlight in their midst, his head bowed and his hands bound behind him. He looked up, and his eyes met those of the princess. The light of the setting sun rested on his black hair; his face was pale, and his eyes big and sorrowful. Never, thought the princess, had she seen so handsome a young man, and he, looking up at her as she leaned over the roof, thought she must be a vision of his imagination, so fair and lovely was she.

The princess made haste to inquire who the lad might be and soon learned that he was a strange youth condemned, because of the prophecy, to be thrown to the demon-bears the very next day. Then she rushed to her father, the Khan, and kneeling before him, she begged him to spare the life of this fair young stranger.

Now the Khan lived in daily dread that the prophecy concerning an unknown young man who would some day take over his crown might come true, so when his daughter urged him to release this fellow who might be the very one foretold in the prophecy, he fell into a terrible rage. Still, she continued to beg her father for the young man's life. At last the Khan's temper broke all bounds. He summoned his soldiers and, pointing to the princess, cried, "Take her away! She cares more for this upstart stranger than for the safety and throne of her father! Cast her into a dungeon, too, and tomorrow choose two strong sacks. Tie this strange youth into one of them, my daughter into the other, then cast both of them into the cave of the demon-bears!"

The princess, though she could have fainted from very terror, was too proud to show her fear and too noble to weep for her life, so she silently allowed the rough soldiers to bind her hands and lead her away.

At sunrise the next day, everything was prepared as the Khan had ordered, and the two unfortunate young people were thrust into huge sacks which were tied about their necks.

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