Listen up, children, speak not a word, and I’ll tell you the story of Mother Earth. Gather round the fire, sit quiet, and mind the wee ones don’t get close to the flame.
In the beginning, the only things that existed were the Earth, the Sun, the Moon, the Stars, and Father Time
Earth was melancholy; she bemoaned her barren state. She had no children of her own, whilst her sister, the Sun, had infinite, all tethered together with silver strands of spun stardust. At night when Sun retreated on the horizon, her children would wake and glow bright and brilliant in the night sky, weaving an incandescent web that stretched from one end of the universe to the other.
Earth gazed longingly at her sister’s children and grew despondent. She wept and wept until her tears flooded her rivers and lakes, turning them into vast, enormous oceans that covered her completely.
Brother Moon waxed and waned, growing gibbous and glum. He’d never met this Sister Sun, had only seen her in passing, for no sooner would he arrive than she would depart. He sought to comfort his sister Earth, tried to pull her near, but this only caused her waves to rise and thrash violently.
Father Time stood still, pondering the predicament, for he was in no hurry. He didn’t like to see Earth so distraught, nor Moon so glum. It was said he healed all wounds, and so it was. He reached one long arm down to Earth, and the other up to Sun, and they struck a deal.
When Brother Moon was but a sliver in the sky, Father Time reached deep into the pocket of his robe and pulled out a pair of long silver shears, then reached into the sky and clipped the tether tied to one of Sister Sun’s children. It fell to Earth, a thread of stardust trailing behind it.
Mother Earth – for she was now a mother – took this child to her bosom, and named her January.
What’s that? Why yes, look everyone, there, just over the hill, a star is falling now. See the trail of stardust. No, many stars that fall at night, and during the day, you just can’t see them. Now shush and let me finish the story.
The second time Moon was but a silver, Father Time once again took out his long silver shears, cut another tether, and another star fell from the sky. This one Mother Earth named February. The next one she named March: then April, then May, and so on and so forth, until at last she had eleven children. When she had finally completed a full turn around Sister Sun, the last child came, and she named him December.
But still, Mother Earth cried.
She beseeched Father Time to untether all the stars so they might fall down to her and become her children. Sister Sun bristled and blazed. She would not give up any more children, but instead offered to let them visit their brothers and sisters and Mother Earth for a short while, then they would need to be returned to her.
And this is why every time a star falls to Earth, a child is born. Father Time decides how long we are to stay, then we are sent back to the sky, where we will glow bright and brilliant, with all our brothers and sisters, until once it again it is our turn to visit Mother Earth.
Time for bed now, off you go! Goodnight, and sweet dreams.