Sunrise and Sunset

A Nuer Story

Before you read

  • What do you do at sunrise?
  • What does your family do?
  • What do you do at sunset?
  • What does your family do?
  • Which time do you like better, sunrise or sunset?

Now read the story.

Long ago, God was very near to his people. He talked to them and they talked to him. People asked God to help them, and he was kind to them and gave them everything. But some people wanted one thing, and some wanted another.

"Oh God," someone said. "It's very nice to sleep in the morning. Please make the sun rise an hour later today. Then I will have more time in bed."

"All right," said God. "You can sleep longer today. I'll make the sun rise later." 

But other people were angry.

"We wanted to get up early," they said. "We wanted to do our work. Why did the sun rise late today? Please make it rise at the right time tomorrow."

The next afternoon, a man was out in the fields with his cows. 

"Oh, it's very hot," he said. "Please, God, make the sun set early today. I want to rest."

"Very well," God said, and he sent the sun down early from the sky.

But a woman was on a journey. She was walking to her village and she was still far from home.

"Why is the night coming early?" she said. "Please, God, don't let the sun set now. I don't want to walk in the dark."

Soon, everyone was angry.

"God listens to some people, but not to others," they said. "It's not good at all."

Now the fox was the cleverest of all the animals.

"Things must change," he thought. "We can't go on like this."

Quickly, he ran to God.

"Dear God," he said. "You are very kind to all your people. You listen to them. You give them everything. But it's not good for the world. You are not a man. You are God. You must stay in heaven and shut your ears. Give us your blessing, but do not give people everything they want, because they will always want more than you can give."

God listened to the fox, so, from that time on, the sun has always risen and set at the same time every day.


Exercises for Sunrise and Sunset


Listen to the story: