A girl playing soccer; a magical pony that could fly; two dragons that are star-crossed lovers.These are some of the myths that children have come up with in the Bulletin’s eclipse essay contest. If you want to contribute; the deadline for entries is Monday, July 31.
Of course, we know the eclipse is going to happen in three weeks.
But what if we didn't know? How would we feel if, one day, the sun rose as always, traveled halfway along its track across the sky, and then disappeared?
Throughout history, all over the world, people have reacted to these hair-raising experiences in a very human way.
They made up stories to explain it.
In China, it has been said a heavenly dog tried to eat the sun, but was chased away by a god shooting arrows at him. In India, a demon with a head but no body was said to swallow the sun; but because the demon had no body, the sun reappeared when it fell out through the bottom of the demon’s head.
Many South American tribes said eclipses were caused by a giant bird attacking the sun. In North America, the Nuxalk People from around Bella Coola in Canada thought eclipses happen when the sun (rather carelessly) drops his torch.
Today we know much more, and we don't have to run around being terrified.
Still, “darkness at the break of noon” is said to stir up strong emotions of wonder and amazement.
The winning authors will receive a copy of the National Geographic Space Encyclopedia.
Our Science + Stories competition is open to anyone age 16 or under living in west central Nebraska, plus a division for 16 and older. Four prizes will be awarded.\
E-mail your eclipse story to firstname.lastname@example.org. Include your name, date of birth and postal address.
Or, you can drop them at our office -- at 1300 E. Fourth, Ste F, North Platte, NE 69101.