Night time tales

How did the Man on the Moon get there? Baba and Drishti figure out the answer to this question.

February 11, 2023 09:27 am | Updated 09:27 am IST

Did you know that the Man in the Moon once roamed the Earth?” began Baba. Seven-year-old Drishti was curled up in bed for a bedtime story. Clearly, Baba was not used to telling stories or aware of their purpose. Forgetting sleep, Drishti exploded with questions.

“Really!” she gasped. “Did you know him, Baba? What was his name? How did he end up on the Moon?”

Not an easy task

Baba scratched his head. He didn’t find storytelling easy but Drishti’s mother was busy so he had to figure this out. “He was naughty as a child and didn’t listen to his parents when they warned him never to stray too far from home, as he could get lost. Noticing Drishti’s gaze fixed upon him, he continued, “But, one day, he wandered too far…”

“…and ended up on the Moon.” Drishti smacked her forehead with her palm. “How did he travel to the Moon? Did the Moon Bandits kidnap him?”

“Moon Bandits?” Baba spluttered.

“You’ve never heard about the bandits that rob the Sun’s light and give it to the Moon!” Drishti exclaimed.

“Of course, I have,” Baba made a comeback. “But that is not how the man landed on the Moon. He didn’t complete the task set by his teacher, so….”

“...instead of making him stand in the corner, the teacher sent him to the Moon,” quipped Drishti, disbelievingly.

“No, this was no ordinary teacher!” frowned Baba.

Enter the teacher

Drishti’s eyes twinkled in anticipation. “What kind of teacher was he? A wizard?”

“Yes, this teacher had power,” said Baba.

“More power than our teachers?” asked Drishti.

“Your teachers have magical powers?” gasped Baba.

“Don’t you know? Mummy says teachers have the power to shape our future.”

“I know that!” grunted Baba. “This teacher had real magic power.”

“Then why didn’t he do the task himself?” Drishti raised her eyebrows. Baba wished he had some magic power that would allow him to come up with an answer that would not lead to another follow-up question.

“But the teacher wasn’t sure if his magic would work on the Moon!” he said. Satisfied, Drishti nodded.

“The teacher gave him a spell, seated him on a moonbeam and sent him to the Moon to check whether it worked. But it didn’t.”

“What was the spell? Why didn’t it work?” asked Drishti.

“The spell would enable him to journey back to the Earth the next morning without the help of a moonbeam. But he’s still stuck on the Moon.”

“I don’t think he’s stranded there, Baba,” grinned Drishti. “After all, if the spell failed and he wanted to return, the man could use a moonbeam later that night. Clearly, he doesn’t want to come back.”

“Hmmm, why do you think he doesn’t want to return?” Baba asked.

“Why would he want to come back? Who wouldn’t want to live peacefully on the Moon. The Earth is so crowded and he will have the entire Moon to himself,” replied Drishti.

“But wouldn’t he be lonely?” wondered Baba.

“Perhaps that’s why, every night, the man on the Moon looks down fondly at the Earth,” said Drishti, musingly.

“And when he sees the chaos here, he decides to stay up there,” concluded Baba.

“That’s right, Baba.” Finally, Drishti didn’t have a follow-up question. Instead, she had a wish. “I wish I too could travel to the Moon. The man there must be waiting for visitors, so that he can tell them interesting stories about his adventures on the Moon!”

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