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A Bright Moon Lit Night

Jake left his bedroom very late one night to go out into his back yard to get a better look at that especially bright Moon.  He had not been out late at night since he made friends with the Shadow Boy last year in a story called “A Dark and Stormy Night.  That Shadow Boy had gone away with the rest of the shadows when the Moon was gone from sight to shine dimly during the day.

“Yet he was sorry that the Shadow Boy never returned.  Jake blamed it on his Dad’s newly installed yard lights, put up to make their patio more useful.

That former darkness had once made it possible for him to see and learn about even more of the Stars and their Constellations, which Jake found very interesting. 

After the patio lights went up, his Father showed him how to find all of those things on his computer, so he had been studying the sky without leaving the house ever since.  It was warmer inside and he could even work in the day time after school. So he didn’t even complain about losing the Shadow friends.

But tonight the Moon had called him out as it hung for a short while right in his window beckoning.  It was after midnight, so he put on a warm sweater against the chill.  Then he found the air to be strangely comfortable by the sheer brightness of this Moon and took off the sweater, throwing it on the back of a patio chair.

As he sat on the comfortable chaise looking up at the clear sky, he wondered why the Moon had called him out. And what it wanted to tell him. He leaned back and waited patiently for an answer.  The stars that hung temporarily around that over-size Moon were pale and silent, as if they too wanted to hear the message.

With the Moonlight almost blinding the scene around him, Jake was certain that he heard a rather sad voice come from the almost smiling Moon.

“Where are you?”  It said softly, 

“I’m right here looking up at you.”  Jake answered promptly.  “I’m here in my yard same as before.”

“I don’t mean just you.”  The Moon said, “I mean your people.  Your people came all the way up here to me a few times many years ago and then they have never returned.  I have been waiting and waiting, but only watched as a couple of rocket ships passed right on by without  stopping even to just say hello and check on the things you left behind.  Which by the way,  I have been carefully saving for you.”

Jake sat quietly not answering, because he didn’t really know why the Space People had never been back.  He was a bit disappointed himself.  He had even asked the Astronomer on the day his Dad took him to the Space Museum to see the Moon rock set safely behind heavy glass like a chunk of valuable gold.  He reluctantly admitted that  didn’t have an answer to that , so next Jake saw the Museum Curator, who stood by as if to protect that tiny gray rock from he didn’t know what, and decided to inquire,

“When are they going to go back to the Moon for more rocks, if this one is so important?”

“I wish I knew that myself.”  The man replied.  “Because It was one of my most memorable days, just watching T.V. and seeing them pick this tiny bit up from the Moon’s surface. I do wish they would go up again, but more important men than myself make those decisions.”

“Where are they so I can ask them?”  Jake had inquired politely.  Then the man handed him a tiny colored slip of paper that had a photo of the Earth, actually taken from the Moon.  It had a short explanation of that mission written on the back.  In tiny print at the bottom was an E-mail address.   

Jake thanked him and took it home determined to get an answer by using his computer.  And he did send a good E-mail letter!  But he was still waiting for an answer to his question.  A standard reply, thanking him for his interest had been all that returned.  Even that was long ago.

Tonight the Moon was asking him why we didn’t return and although, he didn’t know what the reason really was.  He sat pondering what to tell the Moon.  Finally just to be polite he tried to explain.

“I tried to learn what happened to the Space Program but no one told me.  I am just not important enough I guess.”  Jake spoke timidly.

“Oh but you are!  You are a person are you not?  You live on Earth do you not?  That is two things I don’t have on my side.”

“But you are so much larger!  I am just a small person.  I’m actually just a little kid, you know.”    Jake tried to explain.

“ I am much bigger, true.   But even as the first men came here, they didn’t ask me first, did they? No! I am so far away and can do nothing except talk to you because you are the only one I know who listens to me.  Finally I just got so tired of waiting that I just had to ask someone…you!  Please see what you as a real live Earth person can find out.”  

Jake heard his Father’s voice behind him and turned to see what he wanted.

“What are you doing out here at midnight?  You need your sleep.  Tomorrow is a school day.”   

“I’m having a conversation with the Moon.”  He answered, as he walked into the house, but stopped his Dad from going back to his bed with a question. “Why does the Space Base in Florida not take people to the Moon anymore?”

“Money!”  Dad answered very quickly, “ The people who are in power now do not think it is worth the cost, as they want to spend that money on things more important to them.”

“The Moon does not agree.”  Jake told him.

“I don’t either.” Dad admitted.  “But neither the Moon nor I get to decide.  And… the people who thought the Space Challenge was good for the whole country have not complained enough, I guess.  Complaining takes time and if you do not believe it will do any good, anyway, you just don’t take the time.”  Then Dad started back to his bedroom, but Jake stopped him with another question .

“What else did the Space Program do that was good for the people?” 

“Many things besides just to inspire kids to go to college and study the entire subjects of Earth and the Sun’s other Planets, then the Universe and math and physics.  We also built a better orbiting telescope for that and it is magnificent.   Medicine learned a lot about man in space without gravity…  more than I can even guess.  We learned how to preserve and not waste foods.  Water, very important, no essential, to man, had to be reconstituted.  Well I could stand here all night and remember things they learned just to go to the Moon.  Mars brings other challenges, but your bed time is important too. So good night my son and keep listening to the Moon.  They parted in the hallway.  

As  soon as Jake got to his bedroom he went back to the window and peeked out to where the Moon was still looking down as bright as ever.

Jake shrugged his shoulders with his hands outward, as if to say, “Who knows!   “I guess there is not a good answer.” He said aloud.

The Moon whispered back to him.  “You do it, Jake You must complain.  I am not a person, so I cannot.  You are a real person as important as any other in your country… or so they say.”  Then a cloud appeared and floated across the face of the Moon dulling most of the light from Jake’s view, but he could still hear the faint words… “You are a person as important as any other.”

Jake gave a silent oath to the Moon.  “I promise I will see what I can do.”

The next day at school Jake walked right up to the teacher watching the children at play in the school yard.  As soon as he had her attention he asked, 

“Mrs. Hall, why do we not send men to the Moon anymore?”

Some kids playing close by heard the question and joined in.

“Yes, I want to know also.  I wanted to be an Astronaut, and now they don’t need them anymore.  Why not?”  “Me too a little girl cried out.  Me too, me too. Another wanted to be the first person to go to Mars.  

The teacher just shrugged but did tell them, she didn’t understand why such a useful Program was stopped. 

“I for one just loved that Space Program.  We learned so much and the children were very interested.”  She looked around at the gathering group, “And still are I see.  So Jake, you could, if you want to, take the time, send a petition to the President asking for the Space program to be returned.  Maybe get some co-signers.  It can’t hurt! ”

So Jake agreed that would be one way to let whoever makes those decisions know that they are wanted back,    On his lunch hour he asked for a clip board from the supply desk and wrote a message on the top all in caps…


Jake passed it around and it came back with signed names and addresses from the top to the bottom and need another page.  So he took off the first and put it in a safe place then wrote another just a little different.


The new one he showed to people on the street as he walked home.  It  also filled quickly.  His Dad took one to work and brought it back full, just as his mother did with her next meeting of The Women’s Club.

Jake thought the Moon would, for sure, be very proud of his efforts  At least he was taking the time to do something.  

He very soon had thousands of names on the lists.  So he packed them all up in a Post office box and sent them to his State Senator.

About a week later his mother received a phone call asking if she would bring her young son to the Television Station to appear on the News at Five.

“I don’t know.”  Mother told the man.  “My boy is a rather quiet and shy child.  But I will ask him and call you back.

Jake’s Mother was very surprised that he was not just willing but very willing.  So the date was set for the next night’s news cast.

Jakes Mother saw to it that he was presentable in fresh clothes with his hair combed and his Dad went with them.

At the Studio they were all three seated in a row before the camera with the newsman facing them to ask the questions. 

His first question was to Jake.

“Jake, I understand you started a petition at school to have the Space Program restarted.”  Jake answered with a timid , “Yes.” 

“Well, tell me Jake, was this your idea?”   Jake’s answer was another timid, “Sort of.”

“Then who’s idea was it?”   Jake smiled big and sat up straight and leaned forward to explain, 

“It was the Moon’s!”  He announced loudly.

“The Moon told you to do this.?”  The Newsman repeated with a sly smile.

“And just how and when did the Moon actually tell you to start this campaign?” He asked the boy incredulously.

Jake knew exactly and with a big breath, he began his story and didn’t slow down or stop to let the Newsman find any place to interrupt until he was completely finished.

“Last Thursday night the Moon shined so bright and full in my bedroom window at midnight that I woke up and went outside to see it better.  As I sat looking up I heard it ask me softly.  “Where are your people?  They came up here a long time ago and haven’t been back ever since, why not?”

So I told the Moon that I wasn’t important enough to know that answer.  And he told me that I was as important as anyone else on Earth. And even though he was very big, no one listens to him except me, so would I please go do something that he simply could not do from way up in the sky.  So I promised I would.  The next day I went to school and found that the kids there agreed with me and wanted to help.  That was why we started the petition to help the Moon and Space Travel become important again… just exactly as the Moon itself suggested.”  Jake smiled proudly.  “Now you are even helping too!  So thank you!”   He took a large breath and sat back having done his job.

The News at Five played the whole speech and being on early in the evening, many children heard it and began petitions at their own schools.  Soon the Senators and Congressmen were deluged with filled-up petitions to “Go to the Moon, Mars and Beyond.”

Among them were three Congressmen who put up a bill called,  


Sometime, Somehow, Someday the Space Program will be back on the front burner all because a little boy named Jake was interested enough to make a promise after he listened to the Moon on a very bright night. 


Beverly Mosier   April 2014