The woman in the moon

There was once a farmer called Gatan. He owned more than ten buffaloes and several large rice fields.
One day, he went to plant rice. He was surprised to find that the rice field had changed into a pond. The water was a beautiful golden colour.
Some people said it was very lucky, but others said that some trouble would come to Gatan.
The next morning, when Gatan went to visit the pond, he heard some girls singing. As there were no girls living near his farm, he hid behind somebushes-, to watch. Soon he saw several lovely girls approaching the pond. They were wearing long red dresses with wings fixed to the back. They took off their dresses and jumped into the water. He watched them laughing, singing and playing with each other for some time.
Suddenly, he stood up. "Hey! Who are you?" he shouted. "What are you doing here?"
The girls hurriedly jumped out of the water and put on their clothes. They looked like large butterflies. They all flewaway except one. She was unable to fly because one of her wings had become caught in some long grass.
Gatan ran towards her. "I should cut off your head!" he said. "You have turned my rice field into a pond."
"Let me go!" said the girl. "Don't you know who I am? I am the daughter of King Kabigat, who lives in the clouds."
Gatan had heard of King Kabigat. He was the King of the Fairies.
Gatan took her home with him. She looked after his house, cooked his food and helped him with his work.
When later he asked her to become his wife, she said, "One day, I shall have to return to my father. He's not happy that I am living on earth. However, you are a good man and if you would like me to marry you, I shall do so."
They lived happily together for many years, and they had a lovely daughter whom they called Bugan. Gatan loved his daughter very much. He always played with her and taught her to read and write. Whenever he went out to work in his rice fields, she went with him.
One day, they did not have enough vegetables in the house for dinner, so her mother sent her to fetch some from the store-room.
There she found her mother's old dress with the wings still fixed to it. She put it on and ran back to see her mother, flap­ping the wings like a butterfly.
As soon as her mother saw her, she put her hands to her mouth. "Oh! Where did you find that?" sheasked. "It's the dress I wore when I first met your father. You'd better not tell your father. He doesn't know that I've kept it all these years."
When Gatan returned home that evening, his wife was crying.
"What's the matter?" he asked.
"Dear husband," she said, "I've just heard from my father that my mother is very ill. He wants me to go back to see her."
"How can you?" her husband said. "We've been so happy together. If you have to go, let's all go together."
"But my wings are not strong enough to carry all three of us," his wife replied.
"Where are your wings?" Gatan asked. "I thought you had thrown away your dress with the wings a long time ago."
"Please don't be angry," his wife said, "but I have kept the dress all this time in the store-room. Anyway, I told you before we married that I would have to return one day to my father's home."
Gatan ran to the store-room. He looked everywhere but he could not find his wife's dress.
"Your dress is not here," he said. But just as he was speaking, he saw his wife flying out of the window. She was wearing her dress with the wings, and carrying their daughter in her arms.
"Come back!" he cried.
"I'm sorry, dear husband, I can't. It's time for me to return to my parents. My mother is old and sick."
Soon his wife and daughter were only tiny dots in the sky.
That evening, when Gatan looked up at the sky, he saw the moon. There was something new in it. There was a woman holding a child. The woman was crying.
Gatan knew that the woman in the moon was his wife. $he had returned to her parents' house. But she was crying be­cause she was sad at leaving her husband behind.

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