Jack and Jill To the Scandinavians the Moon was Mani, the mischevious brother of the Sun,
Jack and Jill
To the Scandinavians the Moon was Mani, the mischevious brother of the Sun,
who rode his celestial orb like a chariot.
One cold winter night a cruel, drunken father sent his children, Hjuki and
Bila, to fetch from the mountain a pail of the sacred mead of inspiration that
flowed there as a stream. Mani watched them as they toiled up the mountain
and lighted their path part way down, carrying the bucket on a pole between
them. But before they could reach home, He picked them up into the sky, pail,
pole and all. Their father tried to snatch them back but was unable. However
he was able to steal a little of the mead. For contending with the god he was
picked up himself and put into the moon. His title is Svigdur (Champion
Drinker) and he is why the moon waxes and wanes like a drunken man.
To the Scandanavians the shadows on the moon are not a face but show two
people carrying a bucket on a pole between them. Hjuki and Bila became Mani's
companions. Bila sometimes sprinkles a little of her song-mead on the wind
that mortals might be inspired, while Hjuki favors skiers that have failed to
find their way home before night by illuminating the snowy slopes.
For those of us whose native tongue is English, Hjuki became Jack and Bila
became Jill and their story is remembered, if briefly, as a nursery rhyme. By
the way, Hjuki means increasing and Bila, decreasing, so as the children climb
the mountain ( hill), the moon waxes and as they descend, it wanes.
E-Mail Fredric L. Rice / The Skeptic Tank