The Brother Sun and The Sister Moon

I had lunch with a good friend on Sunday. During the lunch, he told me three legends. Here is the third:

“Once upon a time there was a widow who had a set of twins, a boy and a girl. Everybody mistreated the widow because she had the children out of wedlock with a man nobody knew. Everybody pushed them away into the forest, where the mother made a nest for her and her children. Seldom did the villagers know that the children had gifts. The baby boy had the sun on his forehead and the girl had the moon on her forehead. Every time the mother went back into the village she would be harassed by the villagers until she found someone nice enough to give her what it was she needed, usually food. One day the village’s electricity was destroyed because of a recent storm that had passed through. After three weeks without electricity the villagers realized that they needed light in order to function, during the nighttime. One night somebody from the village realized that there was a bright light shining from the forest, he gathered everyone and together they followed the direction the light was coming from. They realized that the light was coming from the foreheads of the two children and ran into the widow before they could reach them. All the villagers began to apologize for their cruelty towards the mother and begged for her forgiveness, so that they could get the light from her children. The mother forgave them and allowed them to use the light from her children, and the village continued to prosper.”

Collector Analysis:

My friend is not particularly fond of ‘The Brother Sun and The Sister Moon’. He says that it is his older sister’s favorite, so while they were growing up she would often request it before bed. Meanwhile, my friend would often request ‘The Turtle and the Prince’. While the latter legend was told best by his mother, ‘The Brother Sun and The Sister Moon’ is, and remains best told by his grandmother. My friend does not think very much of this legend. In fact, during our lunch he had trouble thinking of a third legend until he finally settled on this one.

I find this legend the hardest to follow of the three Congolese legends my friend told me. The message I take away from this legend is to be forgiving and to help others no matter what. The legend has a strong family oriented message because it is about a village prospering. Additionally, despite her mistreatment by the village, the widow forgives and allows her children to help them. I think this legend delivers an important message to children about forgiveness which is probably why the legend was so relevant during my friend’s childhood.