The old man on the moon

KIDSTUFF (The Freeman) - January 9, 2016 - 9:00am

Mona was a young girl who lived in Mumbai. One night she saw the full moon rise, climbing slowly

across the sky. The moonlight was flooding her father’s corn fields. It was so beautiful that she praised God for all the wonderful things around her.

For her the moon seemed to be at a far distance. She looked at the moon and felt that somebody was sitting in it under the shadow of a tree. She had heard there was an old woman who lived there. “How lonely she must be” Mona thought for a while. She felt so sad to think of her.

Suddenly a moonbeam danced right into her room and bowed low and said, “The old woman on the Moon has read your thoughts and invites you for a visit. Will you come with me? I shall bring you back in a few days.”

Mona’s parents were away on a trip and only the old servant was in the house. She joyfully accepted the invitation. “But how shall I get there?” she asked. “The moon is miles away.”

“I shall take you there,” said the moonbeam. “All you do is touch this magic moon ray and sit on my back and by sunrise tomorrow we shall be on the moon.”

Quickly Mona touched the magic ray and away she flew with the dancing moonbeam. They crossed oceans and continents and Mona, who knew her geography, saw the view of the world fade away. Higher and higher he moonbeam ascended. Stars and planets swirled past. She was so excited that she urged the moonbeam to fly faster and faster.

It was dark and the outline of the moon was now clearly visible. The light grew brighter and brighter, and Mona was almost blinded by the glow. She could see deep valleys and craters and high mountains. She knew that no humans lived on the moon because there was no air and no living things grew there. She wondered how she would breathe and how the old woman was able to live. For sure, the woman had some magic powers. And Mona knew that the glorious Sun reflected its light on the moon.

At last they reached the summit of a mountain on the moon. The exhausted moonbeam circled downward and gently landed at the entrance of a beautiful castle made out of moonstones. Each gem glittered in every hue and the enchanting scene fascinated the girl.

A very old woman, her white flowing hair almost touching the ground, gently greeted Mona and bade her welcome. “You are the first human whom I have ever met,” the woman asked. “Are they all like you? I have watched the earth for millions of years. Tell me all you know about your place. It is so lonely here.”

“But how do you live here without air and water?” asked Mona.

“My child, once you touch the magic moonstone, you need nothing,” the old woman replied. “You can live here forever and not want anything.”

Mona, a gentle and kind girl, had great compassion for the old woman. Every day she sat with the old woman and told her stories of life on earth. She described the snow-capped mountains, the wide oceans, the green valleys, the bright meadows, the various beasts and the songs of the birds and the laughter of the children. But she sadly concluded that the earth was not all bliss as there was so much discord between different countries and much despair in the hearts of people.

The old woman listened carefully and said that other humans would soon reach the moon too. Already she had seen strange shapes circling the hills. “Of course, those are the space capsules,” she said. “They are piloted by men called astronauts and I know that one is actually going to land on the moon very soon. They don’t need to touch the magic moonstone to survive here. They have oxygen tanks and all sorts of scientific instruments to help them.”

The next morning, Mona was exploring a crater, looking for pretty gems when she heard a strange whirr and was astonished to see an unfamiliar contraption land bumpily near her. She knew it was some kind of a space capsule and gazed at the young astronaut with wonder. He in turn was so astonished to see a pretty young girl hopping among the craters that he nearly dropped his instruments.

“Who are you and how did you land here?” asked the astronaut.

Mona laughed and told her story. “But don’t you want to go back to earth? I can take you with me.”

“Oh yes…I would like to return. But first I must say goodbye to the dear Old Woman on the Moon. She will be so lonely without me.”

Mona bade the old woman a fond farewell and flew back to the beautiful earth with all its life. The old servant shook Mona awake and said, “Wake up, Mona, you have slept the whole day and now it is night again and the moon is shining bright. Come have your meal.”

Mona at once jumped out of bed. She approached the window to see if the old woman was still there. She saw nothing but deep shadows. She sighed, “Oh dear, I’ve only been dreaming!”

Later on, Mona participated in a competition of story writing in her school. Mona had written about her wonderful dream and narrated the story very nicely. The judges liked her imagination and selected her for the first prize. Mona was very happy and she shared her joy with her parents, who were also very happy at what their daughter’s achievement; and they encouraged her to write on about many other things.

Mona grew up to become a writer and wrote many good stories for children.

MORAL OF THE STORY: Each person has hidden talents only waiting to be awakened. (www.english-for-students.com)

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