One night, the moon decided to challenge the sun.
“I‘m tired of being hidden away when you are shining. I’m going to stay right here in the morning and glow through the day. We’ll see who has the brightest light.”
The sun flared its nostrils. “You know who has the brightest light. I do.”
The moon shrugged its shoulders. “I am pure light.”
“It‘s only the light that I give you,” said the sun.
The moon screwed up its face. “Who told you that?”
“You reflect my light,” spurted the sun, fire sparking across the sky.
“Then where does your light come from?” the sun asked.
“From within. I have inner beauty.”
The sun hid its face in the clouds and giggled.
The river below rippled with a creamy yellow glaze. “Look, there I am,” pointed the moon. “I don’t need you.”
“The sun tells the truth, you know,” something growled.
The moon gazed around. “Who’s there? Where are you?”
“I’m standing at the end of the bridge below you. My brother, Leon, stands guard on the other side of the path.”
“Lion, how would you know whether the sun is lying? You walk the earth. We live among the stars.”
“I stand here at the end of the bridge and watch you every day. I can’t move, but I can see you. It makes me wise.”
“Very wise in your own eyes. How old are you?”
“I am … younger than you.”
“You are just a cub compared to me.”
“A cub, am I?” the lion roared. “When you face the sun tomorrow, I will be hailed as the moon-tamer.”
“You can’t tame me. You roar in vain. You can’t eat me. You can’t bite me. You’re made of stone.” The moon shut its eyes and slept.
As the dawn tiptoed across the lip of the Lion Bridge, the moon woke and stretched. A small boy, leaning on a gate, stared up at it.
“Why are you looking at me?” the moon asked, but the boy didn’t answer.
“Mimi.” The boy tugged at his mother. “The lion – it‘s eating the moon.”
The moon gave a loud cough. “Excuse me, but….” Then it shivered, blinked and began to fade.
The lion’s mouth opened wider. The moon drifted towards it and disappeared from the boy’s sight. The lion swallowed hard and licked its cold fur.
“Don’t worry, Pietr, it will return,” Mimi said. “The lion is having fun. It knows that the moon can’t stay all day.” She walked on. Pietr ran to catch up with her.
“I will see you tomorrow night,” the lion called out to the hidden moon, with a smile on its face and a belly full of moonbeams.
This post is for adults to share with their children. It’s an original fable-style story by me, Helen Sea. Hope you enjoy it.
The Lion who ate the Moon
Photograph of ‘The Lion who ate the Moon’ Copyright © 2011 Helen Sea
‘The Lion who ate the Moon’ Copyright © 2013 Helen Sea All rights reserved