Once upon a time, the sun and the sky were so close to the land that the trees grew crooked and the people could barely stand upright. The sunrays reached the earth unhindered. Heatstroke was a common occurrence, and one in every three people suffered from it.

One day, an old farmer with a freshly shaven head went to his farm to reap his harvest. However, the scorching rays of the sun hit his bald head and heated it up so much that his skull cracked open.

On the same day, the farmer’s daughter was vigorously pounding rice in the lawn. She was so engrossed in the task that the pestle kept going higher and higher with every stroke. It gained so much speed that it ended up thumping the sky. The pestle bounced back down from the sky and hit the girl on her head, cracking it into two.

In the evening, when the farmer’s wife came out of the house to call her daughter and husband for dinner, she was shocked to see that her family was no more. Grief-stricken, she cursed the sun and the sky to go away. Taken aback by the queer request of the bereaved lady, the sun and the sky began retreating toward the heaven. This condemned several places to severe droughts and deprived many a country of heat and light.

At about the same time, a washerman was taking his load to the river when his donkey, parched and tired, ran away from him. The washerman begged the donkey to stop. His cries were so loud that the sun and the sky thought that they were addressed to them. They stopped in their tracks and stayed there ever since.

The moral of the story is that too much of something is just as bad of too little of it.

…now that you’re here

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Ananya Susarla, Folk Tale writer at Ameya
Ananya Susarla

Ananya both loves to read and reinterpret folk tales from different parts of the country. Shoot her an email at ananyasusarla2915@gmail.com if you would like to know more about her.

Folk tale adopted and abridged from Folk Tales of India.