Short Story - The Old Woman on the Moon
Mona was a young girl who lived in Mumbai. One night she saw the lull moon rise, climbing slowly across the sky. The moonlight was flooding her father’s corn fields. It was so very 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. Won’t you come with me? I shall bring you back in a few days.”
Mona’s parents were away on a visit and only the old servant was in the house. She joyfully accepted the invitation and said, “But how shall I get there? The moon is miles away.”
“I shall take you there. All you do is to touch this magic moon rays and sit on my buck and by sunrise tomorrow we shall be to the moon.’’
Quickly Mona touched the magic rays and away she flew with the dancing. They crossed oceans and continents and Mona who knew her geography saw the outline of the world lade 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 clearly visible. The light grow brighter and brighter and Mona was almost blind by the shining 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 lived. Doubtless, she had some magic powers. She knew that the glorious Sun reflected its light on the moon.
At last they reached the summit of a mountain and the exhausted moonbeam circled low and gently landed at the entrance of a beautiful castle made out of moon-stones. Each gem glittered in every hue and the enchantment of the scene fascinated the girl.
A very old woman, her white flowing hair almost touching the ground, gently greeted the girl and bade her welcome. “You are the first human whom I have ever met. Are they all like you? I have watched the earth for millions of years. Tell me all you can about it. It. is so lonely for me here.”
“But how do you live here without air and water?” asked Mona.
“My child, once you touch the magic moonstone, you need nothing. You can live here forever and not want anything.”
Mona was a gentle and kind girl and 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 men.
The old woman listened carefully and said that humans would soon reach the moon too. Already she had seen strange shapes circling the hills. “Of course, those are the space capsules. 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 good-bye to the dear Old Woman on the Moon.’ She will be so lonely without me.”
She bade the old woman a fond farewell and flew back to the beautiful earth with all its life. The old servant shook Mona awake with a hard shake and said to her, “Wake up Mona, you have slept the whole day and now it is night again and the moon is shining bright. Come and have your food.”
Mona at once got up from her sleep and she jumped out of bed. She went to the window and saw if the old woman was still there. But she saw nothing but deep shadows. She sighed and said, “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 also selected her for the first prize. Mona was very happy and she shared her joy with her parents. Mona’s parents were also very happy at what their daughter achieved and encouraged her to write on many things. Soon Mona became a writer and wrote many good stories with facts for children.
The Old Woman on the Moon – The Old Woman on the Moon – The Old Woman on the Moon
MORAL : One should make use of one’s hidden talents.