Mythical Monday: The Moon Woman of New Zealand by Mae Clair

I’ve been fascinated by the moon and the heavens in general ever since I was in grade school. I can still recall how excited I was when in second grade we learned the names of the planets and I was able to recite them in order. At six years old (I started school early) I was apt to share this little gem of information with anyone who’d listen. I’m sure my parents probably got tired of hearing me recite them, but they never let it show.

When I was seven my dad bought my older brother a telescope, which opened a brand new door of wonder to the heavens (despite my brother trying to convince me he’d seen little green men dancing on the moon). Eventually, a few years later, my father bought me my own telescope seeing my interest in stargazing wasn’t just a passing phase. I remember going out at night with a sketchbook and trying to replicate what the surface of the moon looked like after I magnified it through the lens. That telescope lasted through the years into my late thirties. As an adult I didn’t use it nearly as often, but there were still occasions when I dragged it into the back yard and angled it to capture a glowing moon.

mysterious worldMaybe it’s because I love that silvery orb so much I find it hard to believe anyone would curse it, but that’s exactly what the Moon Woman of New Zealand did. A Maroi girl by the name of Rona, she made a habit of trekking from her village to collect water from a nearby stream each day. One day she forgot to complete her task during the hours when the sun was high, and had to venture out at night.

The chore wasn’t trying at first for the moon shone brightly, lighting her way. But as Rona neared the stream, it slipped behind a cloud plunging her into darkness. In the sudden nighttime shadows, Rona tripped and fell. Perhaps she skinned her hands and knees; perhaps she hurt herself badly or broke her water pitcher in the fall. Whatever the reason, she grew horribly angry and began hurling insults at the moon for concealing its light.

Incensed by such blatant disrespect, the moon swept down to the Earth and attempted to carry her away. Realizing her danger, Rona wrapped her arms around a tree, refusing to let go. But the moon was so angry with the girl it ripped the tree from the Earth, roots and all, and carried it off with Rona still clinging to the trunk.

According to legend, when the moon is full, Rona, the tree, and her water pitcher are visible on the surface of the moon. Look closely and you will see the Moon Woman of New Zealand still lamenting her fate.

14 thoughts on “Mythical Monday: The Moon Woman of New Zealand by Mae Clair

  1. Wonderful story! I am especially drawn to New Zealand and can imagine this girl attempting to complete her work by moonlight, never an easy task. If only she hadn’t blamed the moon for her time management deficit:) Not a bad way to go, though, being carried off by our glorious moon!


    • I guess it goes to show that even celestial orbs can throw a tempter tantrum! 🙂

      I would love to visit New Zealand someday . . . although I think I will be very careful what I say within hearing range of the moon 😉


  2. Nice story to describe the character of the moon! Errr…but I don’t see it… I need a sexy Kiwi fella to point it out to me. I traveled NZ back in 2000, should have had this tidbit of info with me then as a single lady to get all romancy with a hunk of a Maori fella under the moon.


    • I know you are so well traveled, Cd. How cool that New Zealand was one of your many stops. And yeah, what romantic fun you could of have with this story back then. Of course there’s nothing to say that you can’t get that Aussie husband of yours to point it out now on some romantic summer night 😀


  3. Another fun story Mae! I too love the moon, the stars and all heavenly orbs! I would love to visit them…not in the same way Rona is visiting, mind you, but visit them nonetheless…for a while…and then go home…. 😉


    • I agree with you, Debbie – – I wouldn’t want to be a permanent visitor like Rona. Far better to drop by, marvel over the surroundings and magic, and then take off. Maybe I need to get in touch with those little green men my brother told me he saw, LOL!


  4. I’m glad I live in the northern hemisphere. My moon ledgends are Celtic, Greek and Roman with a bit of other stuff from who knows where thrown in.
    The moon is so important. I live by its rhythms, or at least as much as I can. I’m glad its southern hemisphere mood did get me.


    • I truly believe the moon can effect our moods. I, for one, feel so “alive” during a full moon. It never fails to inspire awe and wonder. And yes, I guess I’ll stay safely in the norther hemisphere if the southern is rife with incidents of the Moon Woman of New Zealand! 😀


I love comments, so please scribble a thought or two!

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.