Wednesday, November 7, 2012
Seven Macaw and Ta Hol Discuss Eclipses.
[A bit of dialogue, inspired by some thoughts on the relation between science & myth.]
Ta Hol was searching through a shelf of bark-paper books.
"What are you looking for, Ta Hol?" asked Seven Macaw.
"The date of the next lunar eclipse," the Vulture replied, "when the great Serpent will rise up from the Underworld and devour the Moon."
Seven Macaw joined Ta Hol at the shelf. "You know, Ta Hol," he remarked, "a lunar eclipse is not really caused by a great serpent. It is caused when the Earth passes between the Moon and Sun, casting its shadow on the Moon."
"But I know there is such a Serpent," protested Ta Hol. "I've seen it."
"So have I," Seven Macaw nodded. "I myself have pulled the Moon out of its jaws. But the Serpent is not what causes the eclipse. It is caused by the Earth coming between the Sun and Moon."
"I don't understand it." Ta Hol shrugged, ruffling his red, brown and white feathers. "But, since you've been the Sun and Moon and all, I guess I'll take your word for it."