Dear Man in the Moon,
You never reply to any of my letters. I send you one every night when I go to sleep; my mind writes you a story and sends it up to you in the first-class dream post so you have something nice to read at bedtime. I imagined, until now, that you liked my letters, that you anticipated the stories my nights commanded. So this will be my last.
Do you remember when I dreamed that I joined you on the moon? You were a lot smaller than I had imagined, but compared to me you were still a giant. Your face was white-- white as bone, I had thought--and your body was encrusted with shining stones. They were not diamonds, though you could be forgiven for mistaking them for such things, because, until you looked closely at their surface, you would not notice the reflections of human imagination that generated your very being. Without those stones, those ideas, notions, you would disintegrate, drifting into the night to join the stars as an outcast.
You were nice to me when I joined you on the moon. You didn’t say anything--I’ve never heard your voice--but you smiled a smile that I will never forget. I understand now that I misinterpreted your expression of kindness for the same affection I felt for you.
I end my final letter by saying this. I once saw you leave the moon. I was awake; it was much too soon to sleep, so I know it was not another of my mind’s stories. I watched you, from my window, head south through thick woodland that tugged at you with selfish fingers. The stones began to break off, littering the forest floor as your strength faded. You disappeared into the forest, ravenous, desperately seeking a source of strength.
People said you came to a village--that you were given cold pease porridge, that you burnt your tongue, unaware that the porridge was not cold at all, that it was hot as your sister, the sun, and, so unused were you to the heat, it became the cause of your death. I know that is not true. You died in the forest. Your life was clutched by the branches and their cruel inhabitants. By the owls, the foxes, the woodsmen. All stole a stone. All played a part.
Farewell, Man in the Moon, and good-night.
Wednesday, May 26, 2010
Mother Goose | Mother Goose's Fairy Tales | c. 1660
Dear Man in the Moon,