There once was a man who loved the night as much as he loved his wife; maybe even more. He would sleep during the day simply so he could stay up all night. He planted dozens of moonflowers in his wife's garden so that he could watch them bloom. He would dance in the pale moonlight and catch fireflies in jars so that he could hang them on the eaves of his house.
But the man's wife had no place to grow her herbs, and her husband never bothered to help her tend to the crops. The poor woman had to do all the work by herself. But she didn't mind: she knew that her husband was happy. When her eldest son was old enough, he began to help his mother tend to the fields and the small family no longer went hungry.
But the boy's friends ridiculed him. The village girls whispered behind his back about how his father's laziness and how poor their family was. The boy blamed Qamar, the mysterious woman of the night. He had heard stories of how her magic wormed its way into the hearts of men and drove them mad, and he had heard stories of how her light was addictive. The boy decided to test the goddess; he wanted to know if the stories were true or not. He wanted to know if his father were under her spell.
So the boy slept all day and woke up at night, just as Qamar rose from behind the hills. His mother had begged him to simply leave his father be, but the boy refused. He was tired of being the laughing stock of the village and he wanted nothing more than to break the evil spell that Qamar had placed on him.
As Qamar rose over the hills, the boy had to resist the urge to look away from her blinding light. The goddess dominated the sky, and the boy felt uneasy as he stared up at the magnificent being. There was something uncanny about the goddess, he thought, something otherworldly about her light.
"I know your father well," Qamar said, her voice seeming to come from everywhere and nowhere at once. "We have spoken many times. He is a wise man."
"My father is not wise," the boy replied bitterly. "All he does is laze around during the day and goof off during the night.
"Oh but he is wise, my child. If you stay with me a little longer I will show you my wisdom and you will understand. It is the wisdom of the hills and the stones, the trees and the rivers. It is older than the saw grass fields and the stone statues in the fields beyond. If you would just stay a little longer, you would know. Oh, how you would know…"
Beneath the pale moonlight, the boy felt as if a huge burden had been lifted from his shoulders. He felt free from the rules and constrictions of society. He felt the feral spirit inside of him rise up. It eclipsed every rational part of him mind and turned him into little more than an animal.
As the moon shone down on the boy, she whispered her secrets into his ear. They robbed the boy of his mind, making him the same as his father. Never again did he toil in the fields alongside his mother or get into a fight to impress a pretty girl. He no longer enjoyed watching the Tal-Biza as they trained and when a renowned shepherd offered him an apprenticeship he declined.
As the days grew shorter and the nights grew longer, the wife and mother of the two moon-worshipers grew sick. She was no longer able to tend to the fields. Her two younger children shivered in the cold without any fire wood to burn and their stomachs ached. On the winter solstice, the longest night of the year, the mother rose from her bed. She was determined to break the spell on her husband and son.
Just as the sun was rising on the winter solstice, the mother roused her husband from his sleep. But the man had made a pact with his goddess: he had forsaken the light of sun and had sworn only to see by the moonlight. Qamar knew immediately that the man had broken his promise and she was angry.
So the goddess made the perilous journey through the Benj l-Artijiet, the mysterious plane in between Heaven and Earth where nothing is quite as it should be and the laws of our world do not apply. Spurred on by her anger, she sought out the man and his wife and struck them down. The man was alive, but he could not move. He could only make a horrible moaning noise. His wife, however, was spared because Qamar treasures women above everything else. The goddess cured the wife of her illness, but it was too late to save the two small children. They died alone, their stomachs empty and their beds cold. The goddess wept for them, but she could do nothing.
Before Qamar left, she took widow's only son with her. His mind was lost, ruined by the secrets that were only meant for gods to hear. But Qamar loved this man, this poor peasant who had been ridiculed by his village. So she took him to live with her in the dark night sky as her husband.
That is why, today, mothers always bring their children in before the moon rises. They say that only on the High Holidays does Qamar cease to work her magic so that children and husbands and wives and youths and maidens can dance in the pale moonlight without a care in the world.