Here’s the final part of the story, from where we left off last week….
Bright Sunbeam and her family continued to live at their lake side home. One day the fisherman brought home a golden pebble he found beside the lake.
“Look what I found! It’s a golden pebble.” Bright Sunbeam looked at the gold-hued stone closely. She recognised it as a piece of her eldest sister, Golden Sunshine’s robe. “Throw it back into the lake at once! This will only bring us harm,” she told her husband.
“Have you lost your mind? This will buy us new nets, a whole herd of reindeer and much else! I’m going to go back and look for more” said the fisherman and set off immediately ignoring his wife’s pleas. He searched the shores of the lake and soon found enough to fill a pot. As he went further and further away from the lake looking for the gold nuggets, he came to a stone mountain the sides of which glittered gold. Using his knife he began to pick at the gold on the walls of the mountain. Suddenly, the mountain burst open and out stepped a beautiful maiden in golden robes and ruby slippers. “Ah, the fisherman! See that mark upon your brow, I put it there,” she said, her green eyes glittering, “take all the gold
you want....” The fisherman began to chip away at the gold. All day he worked and did not see the stone mountain closing in on him. As the gold piled up, he began to feel tired and his weary limbs began to give way. He turned to the golden goddess and said, “I can’t go on. Let me rest awhile.”
“No, you shall not!” screamed Golden Sunshine.
“Just a little while please, let me get enough strength to carry all this gold back with me,” begged the fisherman.
Golden Sunshine laughed cruelly. “Foolish man! Look around you… does it seem to you that you can leave?” It was then that the fisherman noticed all the skeletons and bones of those who must’ve been trapped before.
When her husband did not return after two days, Bright Sunbeam knew he had been trapped by her sister. On the third day, she called her daughter. “Your father did not listen to me, Akkanidi. I have to go save him if I can. If I do not return in a day, open my wooden chest; there will be a robe with silken strands and a pair of scarlet boots. Put them on and go to the top of that stone mountain and light a fire.”
Bright Sunbeam broke off the little finger on her left hand and gave it to her daughter. “Take this and burn it in that fire. All that will be left will be a white bone. Put that inside your left shoe. Seeing that, my brother Peivalke will come. He will take you to my father, the Sun.” After bidding farewell to her daughter, Bright Sunbeam went towards the Stone Mountain.
Akkanidi waited but her mother did not return. On the second day, she opened the chest and put on her mother’s robes and boots. She then went up to the mountain and burnt her mother’s finger as instructed. Sure enough, Peivalke rushed down and saw the young girl who looked just like his sister. “Bright Sunbeam, my dear little sister, how we missed you, come, let me take you home.” And he took her to
“Who are you girl? You look just like my Sunbeam,’’ said the Sun who was never easily fooled. “I’m Akkanidi, the daughter of Bright Sunbeam,” said she and explained what had happened. She took out the white bone from her shoe. Looking at his daughter’s bone, he knew in his heart she was no longer alive. He summoned his children, the Storm Cloud twins, the Four Winds, Lightning, Thunder and Tempest. Together, they unleashed their fury on earth. Lightning struck the Stone Mountain splitting it in half, exposing Golden Sunshine, standing amidst a pile of human bones.
As the Sun gazed down upon her, the golden robes melted, her ruby shoes became goat hoofs, her back twisted to a hump and her skin was covered with black fur. “From now on you’ll live underground as the foul witch Vagahe. Everyone shall know what a black soul you have and flee from you!” At that the hideous Vagahe fled back inside her stone mountain.
“As for you sweet child Akkanidi, you shall stay with me and become the Bright Sunshine. You will learn to fly too,” said the Sun smiling.