Swept Up By The Moon

In the Maori myth, Rona and Tamanui-te-ra live in an unhappy arranged marriage. The fighting started on their wedding night and only increased from there. One night, the couple was fighting once again over who would have to fetch the water containers. They had been fighting all day already, so they had not noticed that there was no water left. Rona woke up in the middle of the night and informed her husband that she was thirsty, but Tamanui-te-ra ignored her and went back to sleep.

Rona stormed out of the house to get water herself. The moon was full that night, lighting up the path. Rona was oblivious though, cursing her husband and saying, “Useless…good for nothing…and always moaning. Moan! Moan! Moan! Actually he’s good for something: moaning!” The moon heard her insults and felt no pity when a cloud covered the light, causing Rona to stumble on the unlit path.

Turning her anger towards the moon, Rona cried “You stupid, inconsiderate moon! Couldn’t you see what I was doing or are you blind? Even the stars have more sense—at least they keep shining. It’s just stupidity, that’s what it is! Stupid! Stupid! Stupid!”

Marama, the moon, warned her that she should “be careful what you say, lest you be made to pay.” The silly woman continued on with her insults until Marama could listen to no more. He reached down, blinding her with his light so she could not escape, and pulled her back up into the sky.

The next day, Tamanui-te-ra noticed that his wife was missing. He was distraught over how he had treated Rona and wished to have another chance to show her his new character.

Rona tried at first to argue with Marama, but he only responded with kindness. Over time, she stopped arguing and told him about her life. She occupied herself with weaving and gardening. Rona had fallen in love with Marama and her new life. When he offered to take her back home to Earth, she chose to stay with him instead.

Marama had also fallen in love, so he was pleased to keep Rona close. He gave her a special gift that had been passed down to him from his great-grandmother. It was a cloak made by magic and adorned with stars. With it, Rona could control the tides of the sea, rivers, and all other large bodies of water. She could even influence the emotions of people because humans are made up mostly of water.

Tamanui-te-ra was sad at first, but he eventually accepted that Rona was happier with her new life. He re-married after some time, by which time he had learned to be a good husband. Marama and Rona lived happily in the sky together, watching the world below them.




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