Human deeds, the stars and the tale of the wounded lion: This week on The Storyteller's Night Sky

Nov 6, 2017


There’s a consistent wisdom in the world of fairy tales that weaves through every culture, and it’s this: what you put into the world will come back to you, filled with the goodness, truth, beauty, or negativity, that you put into it. So how are the stars involved in this?

In mid-November each year, we come to the peak of the Leonid Meteor Shower, raining down from the “Lion’s Mane” in the constellation Leo. The Leonids are caused by the Comet Temple-Tuttle, which whizzes through our planetary system every 33 years, and was first discovered in 1865~the same year the American Civil War ended, and that Abraham Lincoln was assassinated. Temple-Tuttle won’t be seen again until 2031, but its meteor shower happens every year.

Here’s a a tale that has all the elements of the Leonid sky, including the giant, Orion, the maiden, Virgo, and even the Lion himself:

There once was a girl so poor that she had nothing to live on, and wandered about the world asking for charity. One day she became the cowherd for an angry old farmer, and had the keep of his oxen, his donkeys, and then his pigs. Once each year, she  came upon a wounded lion, whom she helped. But each time she gave him help, she lost her oxen, donkeys, and pigs. At last she was too afraid to return to the angry farmer, so she hid herself in a tree, from where she witnessed a young man coming down the path; when he had almost reached her, he pulled aside a rock and disappeared behind it. At dawn the next morning the rock moved to one side and a lion came out. 

The tale goes on to describe that the young man is a prince, enchanted by powerful giant and forced to appear as a lion each day. To free the prince, the maiden must get a lock of hair from the head of the king’s daughter.

Each year when the Leonids rain down, it’s easy to imagine the maiden has succeeded in disenchanting the prince, and the falling stars mean a happily ever after for those who need it most.

Follow this link for the full story: The Wounded Lion.