about the moon..

Studio news/blog

I’ve recently finished reading the book “Elephantoms” By Lyall Watson and found a beautiful story inside; and since it is the time of the “Supermoon” (read more here) I thought I’ll share it with you:

“The moon is not to be laughed at.  In Khoisan folklore, the moon is alive and never dies.  It grows large and disappears, but is always born again, coming back small in a matter of days.  Unlike the Sun, which never changes and is unapproachable, we can talk to the moon and ask for anything.  Children, rain, luck in the hunt.  And the moon answers, sending a moth in reply, carrying good news if it comes to the fire.

But don’t mention the hare.

Once, it is said, the moon ordered a fleet hare to carry a message to send to the people.  The news that we like the moon itself would never die, but rise again.

Such tidings were too important to entrust to a moth, so the moon ordered a fleet hare to carry the message.  He did, but having such a short attention span, he got it all turned about in his head.  He said that people who die would never rise again.  They were completely finished forever….and so was the hare.

Hare today...gone tomorrow

Hare today…gone tomorrow (private collection)

When the moon discovered his mistake, it heated a stone in the fire of the Sun, held the hare down and burnt his mouth, leaving a permanent scar and split upper lip.  And condemned it to dance madly whenever the moon was full in the sky.

Which is why those who know also greet the full moon, making it welcome, shouting praise for blessings granted, dancing well in the hope that it might send the good news again, in safer hands.  A porcupine perhaps.’

p70 Elephantoms – Lyall Watson




7 thoughts on “about the moon..

  1. I read this book a while ago. Our little library received a new stock of books and it was amongst it. Lucky me to have found it. The(white) librarian doesn’t bother about her ABC’s. I don’t remember this particular story. At the time of reading, he was discussing the Knysna Forest now apparently devoid of the elephants it was famous for. I couldn’t help but wonder whether he read Dalene Matthee’s book(s) – Fiela se Kind was it? I checked, he didn’t mention it anywhere.

    1. Hi Petru, I found this quote on page 70 in the copy of Elephantoms which I also found in our library 😉 The part where he described his relationship with Delilah at the Johannesburg Zoo made me so sad. I also cannot help but wonder if the Forestry department at Knysna are making an effort to look after the remaining Elephants- if there are any(?!). As far as I can see was Elephantoms published in 2003, and the books: Fiela se Kind and especially Kringe in die bos by Dalene Matthee was published in the 80’s- so surely Lyall Watson must have come across her books while doing his research- wonder why he doesn’t mention her?

      1. Of course! Kringe in die Bos! I’ve heard, read somewhere, there may be one or two left, maybe even on the TV programme 50/50 when I still watched TV, probably about ten years ago! I was rather peeved that he didn’t give her a nod, I can’t imagine he didn’t know about her.I was pleased to have read the book though, he has a lovely writing style. I still speak to my spinach, thanking it for feeding me, then in the pot it goes, because of Supernature, the one that made him famous! I just became aware of the Supermoon. Being a bit remote, I plan on being in a favourite spot where one can have an almost 360 degree view and watch the madame do her thing. I plan a little experiment – want to drink litres of water today and tomorrow and see if I go funny? 🙂

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