The moon is my favorite planet; I love it in every phase.
There once was a girl who loved the moon. It looked so enticing to her; luminous and shining, and surely as cold as vanilla bean ice cream. Each time there was a full moon she barely slept—she propped her head up on her arms in her bedroom window, and watched the full moon rise up in the sky. She imagined that she could hear a slight humming noise as it rose higher and higher; that it knew she was watching and hummed its ancient tune just for her.
She even thought that she looked a bit like the moon with her pale silver-blonde hair, light skin and pale gray eyes. The only colors she ever wore were white, silver, pale blue and dove gray (her mother had given up on trying to get her to wear frilly pink dresses). When she ate toast for breakfast, she trimmed it to fit the moon’s phases; full, half, and quarter. She only shrugged when her friends called her “Moon Girl,” and warned her that she would become a lonely astronomer, spending her nights staring at the stars, but always first; the moon.
One night, she decided she would find a way to get closer to the moon. She asked her father to help her build a treehouse in the large oak tree beside the house. They went to the hardware store and bought planks of wood, nails, tar paper for the roof, a door and a window. In a few weeks, her treehouse was done. She brought in her sleeping bag and a pillow, a small chair, a flashlight, and a notebook and a pen—just in case the moon wanted to talk to her.
On the summer nights, she slept in her treehouse each night. On cold winter nights, she bundled up and stayed out until her parents called her inside. One day she caught a bad cold, and her mother scolded her for staying out in the cold.
“Why do you have to be up there in your treehouse in the winter?” her mother asked while tucking her in.
“To keep the moon company,” she replied. Her mother sighed and said, “darling, the moon has lots of company; billions of stars and clouds!”
“But they can’t talk to him like I can,” she said stubbornly and then sneezed. Her mother rolled her eyes and went downstairs to fetch a cup of chicken soup.
The girl hopped out of bed and stood in front of her window. The moon was only half-full, and she waved and blew it a kiss before getting back into bed. When her mother came up with soup and crackers she found she was sound asleep. She tiptoed out and closed the bedroom door.
As the girl settled deeper into sleep, she began to dream. In her dream, she and the moon were walking side by side on a sunny beach, talking to each other. She wondered in the dream how the moon was walking, and looked down. The moon had silver beams for arms and legs, and as she looked closer, she saw that the moon had a smiling, kindly face.
“Well!” said the moon. “It’s nice to be out walking with you like this. Isn’t it a pretty day?”
“Yes, it’s lovely,” said the girl. “But how are you here with me in the daylight? I only ever see you at night.”
“Since we are in your dream together, my dear friend, we can be anywhere.” The moon winked at her. “And since you got a cold from sitting in your treehouse to keep me company, I thought you’d enjoy a nice walk on the beach with my other friend, the Sun.” With that, he looked up and waved to a smiling yellow sun, who, to the girl’s surprise, smiled and waved back.
“Have you always been friends?” asked the girl.
The moon chuckled and said, “Yes, and for many years, too.”
The girl walked on, enjoying the feel of the warm sand on her feet.
“Do you ever get lonely?” she asked.
“Why, no, I don’t,” smiled the moon. “You see, besides my old friend, the sun, I have billions and trillions of stars for friends, just as your mother said.”
“Am I one of your friends?” asked the girl.
“Of course you are!” The moon winked at her, and went on. “Over the many years I have been in the sky, I have had many human friends.”
They walked on, talking of this and that.
Then the moon stopped walking, and looked down at her.
“You know, it’s time for you to wake up,” he said kindly.
“Oh no! I’m having such a good time with you!” cried the girl. The moon gently picked up her hand, and kissed the back of it.
“You don’t have to worry about me,” the moon said. “I have been here for more years than I can say. You don’t have to spend your life watching for me and worrying. Im’ fine, and so will you be.”
The girl gave the moon a watery smile, and nodded.