Where Does the Moon Go to Sleep.
Where Does the Moon
Go to Sleep.
Rachel, the baby raccoon stared with wide eyes at the full moon. She loved the moon, the way it shone so bright and made everything so silvery with its soft light. It made her feel happy. But she had a question. Where does the moon go to sleep when it’s not shining in the night sky?
It was a question that bothered her because she didn’t want to think that the moon had nowhere to go. As she thought long and hard about this question, another thought came into her head. Does the moon have a mommy or a daddy moon to tuck it in when it goes to sleep?
She scampered though the undergrowth to find her mommy, who was preparing supper in the hollowed out tree-trunk near the babbling stream.
Rushing into her little home and almost knocking her baby brother over as she hurried inside, she said to her mother, catching her breath, “Mommy, where does the moon go to sleep?”
“Hello to you too Rachel,” replied her mother.
“Oops! Sorry mommy.” Rachel knew that it was bad manners to come home and not say hello first. “Hello mommy,” she said. Then turning to her baby brother, greeted him. “Hello Ryan.”
Ryan looked up from the puzzle he was trying to solve and smiled in response. “Hello Rachel.”
Her mother stopped what she was doing and kneeling down so that she could see her daughter more clearly asked, “Now, what was your question?”
“Well,” began Rachel, “I was wondering, where the moon goes to sleep, when it’s not shining in the night sky?”
Her mommy thought about the question and then said, “You know, I don’t really think I know.”
Then Rachel asked, “Does it have a mommy moon or a daddy moon to tuck it in?”
“Ah, now that question I know the answer to,” said her mother. “No, the moon does not have a mommy or a daddy moon to tuck it in.” She saw the sadness on her daughters face. “But don’t be sad little one, the moon is not alone. It has all the stars and the planets to keep it company. The moon has lots and lots of friends.”
“Thank you mommy,” said Rachel and she went back outside again.
The moon shone as bright as ever, big and round. Yet, the question remained in her mind, where does the moon go to sleep? She went running down to the stream that ran into the big lake and there she found Bobby the bear.
Bobby who was helping his father to catch some fish for supper looked up and replied, “Hello Rachel.”
Rachel watched as Bobby dipped his paw into the water as he tried to catch a fish.
“Oh bother,” he complained. I missed another one.”
His father, who was close by said cheerfully, “Never mind Bobby, you keep trying, you’ll get the hang of it.”
“Bobby,” Rachel said. “Where do you think the moon goes when it goes to sleep?”
Bobby stopped fishing for a moment and looked up at the moon. “I’m always here, near the stream and the lake. Whenever I see the moon it always looks to me to go into the water when it goes to sleep.”
Rachel looked at the moon, a bright, round, silent disk in the sky. She wasn’t so sure that the answer Bobby gave her was the right one. It seemed to her that if the moon went into the water it would get wet and that would not be very nice. She thanked Bobby anyway and left him and his father to their fishing.
Walking through the woods near the mountains and wondering about her question, she heard a screeching above her head and looking up saw Andy the eagle. He was spreading his wings and learning to fly.
“Hello Andy,” she called out.
Andy looked down and seeing her, flapped his wings and landed on a low branch of a nearby tree so that they could see each other better. “Hello Rachel, I’m learning to fly.”
Rachel looked at Andy as he spread his wings. “My word, what lovely big wings you have.”
Andy looked at them proudly. “Thank you Rachel.” He saw the troubled look on her face. “Is something wrong?”
“Well, I have a question. Where does the moon go when it goes to sleep?”
Andy gazed at the moon. “You know Rachel, I’ve never really thought about that before. I have to say though, whenever I see the moon, I’m always in the mountains. So I suppose that when the moon goes to sleep it must be there.”
Rachel sighed. It seemed to her that the mountains might not be the right place for the moon to sleep. After all, the mountains, for something as large and round as the moon might be a hard place for it to sleep. She thanked Andy and left him to learn to fly.
Morning was coming and it was starting to get light and she knew that supper would soon be ready so she hurried home. Sadly though, her question remained unanswered.
The next night and the one after that and the one after that and the one after that, she would sit and stare at the moon and still she kept wondering, where does the moon go to sleep. Rachel noticed, though, that something was happening to the moon. It was no longer big and round, like it had been, it was slowly turning into a crescent. In fact, it was no longer round but half-round. She had to find out before the moon disappeared altogether.
She was walking through the fields when suddenly before her she saw Sally the skunk.
“Hello Sally,” said Rachel.
Sally, who was looking for small grubs to eat looked up and smiled. “Hello Rachel. How are you this evening?”
“All right, I suppose,” she replied a little sadly.
“Oh dear, is something wrong?”
Rachel shrugged. “I don’t know. I have a question that no one seems to be able to have the answer to.”
Sally tilted her head. “What question is that?”
“I want to know where the moon goes when it goes to sleep.”
“An important question,” said Sally. She looked up at the moon and saw that it was only half-round. “It’s going through its stages. Soon it will be a new-moon and then it will begin appearing again.” She thought about Rachel’s question. “You know, whenever I see the moon, it’s always here, in the fields. All I can suppose is that it goes to sleep here, in the meadow.”
Rachel thought about Sally’s answer. Still it didn’t seem right. After all, wouldn’t it be drafty sleeping in the open like that. Sally has a snug burrow to sleep in. She thanked Sally and went off.
Several nights later and her question was still unanswered. Walking through the woods and thinking she heard a rustling in the branches and looking to where the sound was coming from, she saw Sarah the Squirrel.
“Hello Sarah,” she said, although she was far from happy.
Sarah saw this and said, “Hello Rachel, I have to say, you’re looking down in the dumps.”
Rachel nodded her head. “You’re right. I have a question and no one so far has been able to help me.”
“Oh, well, maybe I can help. What is it?”
“I want to know where the moon goes when it goes to sleep.”
Sarah pondered this question and looking up at the sky at the moon, which had now turned into a thin silver-sliver, she thought about it. “I always see the moon in the trees, perhaps it goes to sleep there.”
Rachel turned this thought over and over in her mind. Still it didn’t seem right to her. She thanked Sarah and wondered away.
Rachel walked out of the woods to the rocks at the foot of the mountains and looked up at the moon. Wesley the wolf saw her and came up to her. “Hello Rachel. Are you lost?
“Rachel looked at him with sad eyes. “No Wesley. I’m sad because I have a question that has been bothering me for some time and everybody that I have asked has given me a different answer.”
“I see,” said Wesley. “Ask me, I might know the answer.”
Rachel shrugged. “All I want to know is where the moon goes to when it goes to sleep.”
Wesley sat and looked up at the moon. Then he raised his head and howled a long, slow howl at the moon. But the moon gave no response.
“Did you think it might answer you?” asked Rachel.
Wesley smiled warmly. “No. I howl all I want but is never says anything back. I howl sometimes just to help me think. I think I always see the moon in the rocks here so I can only suppose that the moon might go to sleep here.”
“I thought you might say something like that. All my friends that I have spoken to said something similar.”
“Sorry Rachel, but that’s all I can come up with.”
“It’s okay,” replied Rachel sadly. And she walked slowly away.
She walked to her favorite spot where she could see where all of her friends lived. She saw the stream and the lake where Bobby the bear was fishing. She saw the mountains where Andy the Bald Eagle was learning to fly. The she saw the field where Sally the skunk lived and the trees where Sarah the squirrel called home and then there were the rocks where Wesley the wolf lived.
She and all her friends had places to sleep, why not the moon. Rachel curled up in her favorite spot and closed her eyes, all the time wondering where the moon went to close its eyes.
From where they were, Wesley, Sally, Sarah, Bobby and Andy could all see Rachel. Behind her the moon, a slender-silver curve was right behind her. It appeared to cradle her in its curve. One by one they all thought about Rachel’s question and they all came to the same answer. The moon doesn’t need anywhere special to sleep so long as it has someone special to sleep with.
Sleep tight Rachel, the moon whispered as it covered her with its shining silver sheet.