The Old Woman Whose Rolling Pin Is the Sun


Wolfe's comments from the Introduction to Innocents Aboard

"'The Old Woman Whose Rolling Pin Is the Sun' is a bedtime story for my granddaughter Becca; perhaps she'll read it here for the first time ever.


A young girl, Becca, is told a fireside tale by her grandfather. He tells a story of the stars and the Sun and the changing of the seasons.


  • The setting appears to be a forest in the far North, far enough north that the Sun nearly sinks below the southern horizon in winter. The time frame is probably post-apocalyptic in some sense -- the grandfather repeatedly mentions that their ancestors traveled among the stars, but that seems to be a distant past, with the current technological/cultural level nearer medieval times. Indeed, some think this story may be a Brown Book fable
  • The story itself is old-school mythology. Physical processes are ascribed to the agency of human-like supernatural beings in such a way that the current social structure is explained and justified. Wolfe throws in a few ideas of his own, of course.

Unresolved Questions

  • What is the old man's name?

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