Once upon a time, there was a mother who lived in the country with her two children, Haesik, the oldest and a son, and Dalsun, the youngest and a girl. To make a living, the mother made rice cakes and took them into the village to sell. There was also a tiger who hung around in the country between their house and the village.
Everyday, the mother went to the village to sell rice cakes, and then came home. One day, on the day home from the village, the tiger stopped the mother and was threatening to eat her. She offered him some rice cakes if he wouldn’t eat her, and he took them enjoying the rice cakes, and the mother went on home. The tiger followed her, so he knew where she lived.
The next day, he caught the mother again and she gave him rice cakes again. It happened again and again, and the tiger was breaking the mother by eating all her rice cakes. Finally, she didn’t have any more rice cakes, and because she didn’t, he ate the mother. He put the mother’s clothes on and went to the house where he knew the children were thinking he could trick them into letting him in.
It was late, and the children were worried because their mother had not come home from the village yet. The tiger came dressed in the mother’s clothing and called out to them. Dalsun, the little girl, was so happy to hear him, she thought it was her mother and went to open the door, but Haesik thought the voice didn’t sound right, and stopped her.
The tiger slipped his paw through the door before they shut the door. He asked the little girl to touch his paw and see how soft it was trying to convince her it was her mother. She opened the door, and the children were shocked! The tiger chased the children around the house!
The children ran outside and up a tree. The tiger tried to follow them up the tree. They were so scared! Dalsun decided to pray to God for a good strong rope to pull them to Heaven to get them away from the tiger. She also prayed that if they weren’t worthy, to send a tattered rope that would break, so they would fall, and the tiger would get them.
To the tiger’s dismay, a good strong rope came from a cloud, and the children grabbed a hold of the rope and climbed into Heaven. When the tiger saw what was happening, he decided to pray for a rope too. A rope came out of a cloud for the tiger, but it wasn’t a good strong rope like the children got. It was a tattered rope. The tiger thought he had won!
He grabbed a hold of the rope thinking he could climb up into Heaven and get the children. The tattered rope broke! The tiger fell into a field and died, and the crops in the field turned auburn because of his blood flowing on them.
Dalsun and Haesik were in Heaven. Dalsun became the moon, and Haesik became the sun. In Korean, Dal means moon, and Hae means sun.