»The Buried Moon«
We are tapping again into the treasure chest of Old English stories and have come across the fairy tale »The Buried Moon« or »The Dead Moon«. This piece was published by the Australian historian Joseph Jacobs in 1894, as part of a fairy tale collection, but its origin lies much further back like so many folktales, and has been passed down by word of mouth over the centuries.
The story takes place in Carland, in the North of England, where there used to be extensive swamps. It is said that the Moon led hikers safely through the bogs. But when it did not shine, sinister creatures appeared that spread fear and horror. The Moon heard about this and was determined to get to the bottom of it. He pulled on a black cloak, fell into a swampy pond and got stuck. The Moon tried to free itself and in doing so, managed to help a hiker in need, but was later caught by the evil creatures and kept prisoner underneath a rock.
Subsequently, when the Moon stopped rising, the people were wondering what had happened and the hiker who was saved by the Moon told them about his experience, whereupon the people headed out to free the Moon. They succeeded and this is how the Moon came to shine in the sky again and all evil spirits were banished.
This fairy tale is a lovely example of how people are able to unitedly and with faith in nature, overcome their fears. Today, we are still fulfilled with a part of this assurance when glancing at the moonlight.