The moon hung low and large - so close he could nearly touch it. He was mesmerized by its great golden face. There really was a man in the moon and he was smiling at him. He was following him. Every step he took the moon kept pace with him. He turned to the left, he turned to the right. He walked quickly, he walked slowly, but the moon was always right there with him as if they were connected by an invisible string. He really ought to have been hurrying home. He was terribly late. His mother would be worried and his father would be angry, but he just could not break away from the spell being cast by the magical moon.
He'd had a wondrous day of footballing in the park and cowboys and indians in the woods. He had forged new friendships in the spirit of adventure and exploration; he made his way homeward with a heart light with the joy of living. He thought this long summer’s day would last forever, but it was getting dark now and day had turned to night.
He could feel the cool night air on his grass stained knees, the sensation roused him from his reverie and he suddenly realized he was in a world of trouble. He picked up his tempo with a curiously light gait. The faster he went - the lighter his footfalls felt, until he felt he was hardly touching the ground at all. At last he was running and all the time he never took his eyes off the moon. ‘Was this a harvest moon?’ he’d heard of that, but he didn’t know when harvest time was. He felt like he was treading on air and when he looked at his feet he realized that he was.
He was still moving, his stride was carrying him forward, but he was floating away from the ground. He felt as if he was full of helium like a balloon at the fairground. He was curiously unconcerned with this development, he felt happily detached from the earth, yet exhilarated by this new discovery. He had overcome gravity, he was a flying boy. Soon, however, he discovered that the higher he went the less forward momentum he could generate with his legs and he kept floating higher. He became afraid now that he would float away, or that he would fall back to earth with a bump. He began to panic a little, but not for long. A chilly breeze blew through his thin shirt, but he did not feel cold – his body was infused with reassuring warmth that radiated from his core. He simply let go of all his cares and drifted on the wind ever higher into the night sky.
He marveled at the houses, roads and fields that were shrinking below him and the wide world opening up around him in an ever expanding horizon, but no matter how high he climbed his friend the moon stayed with him. He never rose above it, but it did seem to grow larger. Away from the street lights of the town now far below he could make out the stars, there were so many and they were different colours, some were white, some were blue and some were red. Soon the stars above outshone the lights that criss crossed the darkened earth below him and he discovered that far from being dark, the night sky was a brilliant blue.
The boy was floating ever higher towards the ever growing moon. He felt quite serene in his gift of flight, as if this remarkable experience was quite natural. He pondered how long it would take to fly to the moon. It felt now as if the moon was pulling him towards it as the earth had once done. He speculated that he might not be flying away from the world, but falling towards the moon. He wondered if he would ever set foot on the earth again, if would he ever see his mother and father, or brothers and sisters again, he wondered distractedly if he really cared.
Graphic by Steppenwolf