Simbo Moon

The people of Simbo, in Solomon Islands, are pekipeki (crazy).

I shall tell you of how once upon a time, they tried to capture the moon.

One night, as the full moon shone overhead, an elder of the village exclaimed what a fine thing it would be if Popu the moon were to stay forever above their village, so that they might always have light in the night, and so that everyone on the neighbouring islands would see how great they were to keep such a treasure.

The villagers agreed that this would be a fine thing indeed and so, with their best and largest  fishing net, they went to the highest part of their little volcanic island and climbed the tallest tree that grew there. It’s name is Kalala, according to one old man, but an old woman told me it was called Ambolo.

Whatever it was called, everyone could see it was so very high that it reached almost to the moon.  All night they tried in vain to throw their net over Popu. They threw the net again and again, but to no avail.  The moon ignored them and their efforts.  It drew slowly away towards its sleeping place.

At last the villagers could see there was no hope of capturing Popu and keeping it forever over their island.

Angry and frustrated, some of the young men threw their spears at the moon.  A few spears, thrown by the strongest of them, grazed Popu as he carried on west, leaving the angry men behind.  Even today, you can see marks on the moon, that are the scars left by the spears of the men of Simbo.   

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About Alan

Alone in a sea of spinifex.
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