chapter  VIII
29 Pages

—The Origin of the Sun and Moon

IT may seem strange to ask children where the sun and the moon and the stars come from. The idea of it did not occur to us for a long while, and when it did we hesitated to apply it for fear the children should think we were making fun of them. As a matter of fact, however, scarcely any question seems absurd to a child. To wonder where the sun comes from is no stranger to him than to speculate about rivers or clouds or smoke. This may suggest that the children, on their part, are trifling with the psychologists and that their replies have no significant correspondence with a real and spontaneous process of thought in their minds. That this is not the case, we think is borne out by the investigations which are now to be recounted and which it is claimed bear evidence of genuine spontaneity. Children's questions indicate a real interest on their part in the sun and the stars, and the very form in which they put the questions points to the nature of the solution which they themselves are inclined to favour. This point must be briefly examined for it is very important not to corrupt the child's natural tendencies by means of inept tests.