Legends of Belariath

Oak the Fisherman

The Man Who Hunted The Sun

As told by Oak The Fisherman

In the days long before the Gaea led the first chief andour people to refuge in the mountain caves, long before even the birth ofbeloved History, Memory, and Rememberance, the sun already wandered thesky each day. Under this ancient sky, Young Ardan the Hunter wandered theforests, only taking from Gaea's bounty as much as he needed, and livingin peace with the land. But Ardan was a boy becoming a man and, like anyman, began looking for others, for the life of a young hunter was a lonelyone. As he lay in the grass on a warm day and feeling the sun on his face,he came to a decision: He would capture the sun. And so he set out to do it. First, he climbed the tallest tree hecould find, and set a trap there that would catch the sun as it passedover. But the tree was not high enough, and the sun sailed safely above.He would not give up, and set another trap, this time on top of thehighest mountain he could see. But still the sun passed over without evenknowing he was there. "There must be some place," he said to himself,"where it is low enough that I can trap it." And he had his answer. When he woke the next morning, he began to walk west. Afterwalking for a year, his clothes were ragged and torn, so he threw themaway and made new clothes out of the leaves and the grass. After two years, he found a giant boar that would not let himpass. With only his traps and his stone knife, he snared the boar andslaughtered it, breaking the blade of his knife in it's ribs. From itshide he made himself a heavy cloak, from its meat he made many meals, andfrom it's bones, he replaced his knife. After three years, he reached a strange sea. It reached foreverand was the color of flax. It had no smell of salt, so he knelt on theshore and sipped the water from his hand. When he tasted it, he stood,looked out over the endless sea, and nodded. "This is the place," he told himself, "I have reached the end ofthe world. When the sun comes here to rest, I will catch it." And so he waited, watching the sun wander across the sky, comingcloser with every minute. When the sun sank into the see, he bolted fromhis hiding place and ran to the shore, his prey in his grasp. But when hereached the shore, the sun had already stepped from the water. The sun stood in the form of a woman, gleaming in the night andwalking towards Ardan, and he truly understood the foolishness of hisplan. He knew that he could not keep this creature, and he trembled infear as she walked towards him, and covered his face with his hands,blinded by her light and her beauty. She put her hands on his arms and pulled them from his eyes, andher light faded to a soft glow. When his eyes were uncovered, the sunsmiled at him, seeing by his clothes, his cloak, and his knife that he wasa man of the land. Ardan was confused, and the sun explained to him that, while shehad to cross the sky every day, forever, that it was very lonely. If hestayed with her, and drank from the endless sea, he would never grow oldor hungry, if he would keep her company at night. That is why, in the hours just before dawn, the night gets alittle darker and a little colder. For those hours, the sun belongs toArdan the Hunter.