Jack and Jill and the Man in the Moon
Moon Spots and Mysteries
The silver orb that dominated the night sky held people transfixed long before they began to unravel its mysteries. Early people knew nothing of the topography of the moon; they saw the moon as a god or a goddess, and they fancied all sorts of Immortals living there, their dark images silhouetted against the bright lunar surface.
Many early mythmakers identified moon spots as animal forms, commonly as a hare or a rabbit. The story of the rabbit in the moon took many forms and appeared in legends around the world. The rabbit was not the only animal people saw etched on the moon’s surface; there were many others – and human faces as well – with all sorts of legends attached to them.
Jack and Jill went up the hill to fetch a pail of water ....
In ancient Sweden, people saw two faces on the lunar surface, a boy’s and a girl’s, and they believed them to be those of Bil and Hjuki, two children the Moon took a fancy to and swept into the sky to become his companions. There are different versions of the legend. In some versions, the children are taken to the sky by Mani, who drives the moon’s chariot. In others, the children are captured. In my story, the children climb a rainbow bridge every month, when the moon is full, to visit Mister Moon in his silver sky palace. He fills their pail with magical moon dew, and they return to Earth to renew the fields. The story explains the lunar phases. It also shows Jack and Jill's shadows on the face of the moon.
is moisture that renews the Earth. Condensed from the air, it falls in droplets and covers the grass and plant life, seemingly like magic, during the night.
Perhaps for this reason, many early people believed dew to be of celestial origin. It healed like rain, cooled like snow, and therefore represented water from some heavenly force.
The ancient belief that the moon was cold and watery led to the common notion of moon dew; a silvery liquid sent by a lunar deity to nourish the crops.