Hello Moon

Submitted into Contest #43 in response to: Write a story about an unlikely friendship.... view prompt

8 comments

Kids

In the great green room the phone rang.

Little Bunny hopped to answer before Grandma could.

A strange but friendly voice began:                                            

“Hello, Little Bunny, it’s the moon here—

you know, that bright thing way up in the sky.”

“Hello, Moon!” cried Little Bunny.

“You have a phone?”

“Well, I just got it                                                           

and thought I’d try it out by calling you.                                    

Do you hear me ok?”

“Oh, just fine, Moon.”

“And I hear you quite well, too, Little Bunny.

Up till now your voice has always been

the faintest whisper when you say ‘goodnight’

to me at bedtime. Now, I had a thought:

May I come down and visit you tonight?

You can always see my home, the sky,             

but yours I cannot see—all walls and roofs

and covering trees.”

“Oh, Grandma, Grandma!                                      

Can Mr. Moon come to our house? He wants                                           

to visit us.”

“Well, yes, how very nice …”               

“But can he come right now, oh please, oh please?”                        

“It may be a bit late, I think.

But then again, it is not every night                

you get a chance like this.

Please, let me speak with Mr. Moon.                

Hello, Mr. Moon, this is Old Mrs. Bunny.

So good of you to call us. It would be lovely indeed                                         

to have you here for company. But ‘though you look small,

up there in the sky at night, I know you are really quite large.

How would you ever fit inside our little house?”

“Well, Mrs. Bunny, I’ve never tried this before,

but I think if I squeeze myself together really tight

I might just fit through your doorway.”

“What a wonderful thing that would be!"                                                          

whispered Grandma Bunny. “We’ll be waiting for you.”                                    

Little Bunny and Grandma went to the window                                          

and watched.                                                                                                     

Down slid the moon,                   

Away from the stars,                                                      

Through curtain of cloud,                

O’er lake and land,                                                          

Mountain and meadow,                              

Forest and field,       

Nearer he drew,                              

Touching the treetops,                        

While the night grew                              

Brighter and brighter                                                     

With the moon’s radiance,                

 So that the stars

 Faded from view

                                

and all the earth shone glorious as day,                                  

but with the moon’s own silvery sheen               

instead of the sun’s golden glow.

As he came, Grandma and Little Bunny could see

the moon working hard to pull himself together—

that is, to make himself smaller and smaller.

It was funny to watch, because the moon’s struggle                         

was so at odds with the lustrous calm of the night,                               

again turning dark as the moon dwindled still.                                     

At last the moon dropped down to the Bunnys’ front door.

He was out of breath from his long journey                                         

and from all the squishing himself together

he had been doing. Grandma Bunny opened the door             

and said, “Oh, Mr. Moon. I am so glad

you got here safely.”

“Thank you, Mrs. Bunny.

I hope you do not mind—I brought some clouds                

to cover me. I wouldn’t want my brilliance

to hurt your eyes.“

“How thoughtful, Mr. Moon—

But do come in.”

                     “One moment, Mrs. Bunny,

While I squeeze myself extra tight—UHRNGAH!                

There!” said the moon, as he scraped

through the doorway, bringing along the clouds.

Little Bunny half ran, half hopped to the door

to give the moon a big hug. “Oh, Moon—you’re so cold!”

said Little Bunny. “Come and warm yourself by our fire.”

“Thank you,” replied the moon, “but the earth is so much warmer

than I’m used to, and your fine house is warmer still.

But I want to see your fire all the same, and the room

where you look out to find me in the sky.”                                                         

“Right this way, Mr. Moon. Our house is yours,”

answered Grandma Bunny.

“Oh my!—what a lovely room,”

exclaimed the moon, looking around. “Your fire                                       

is so inviting—as well as warm.

Oh!—and look: can it be that I am                                                           

in that picture up there on your wall,                                          

with a cow jumping over me?                                                                          

Well, well … How odd! I don’t seem to recall                                                  

that’s ever happening.”

“Perhaps some tea?”                        

suggested Grandma Bunny.

“Please don’t trouble

yourself at all. Just let me stay a while,


Sharing your good company

In this quiet, great green room,

With its windows, through which we can gaze,

Its fire so merrily ablaze,

Its funny pictures, chair, and bed,

And you, dear Little Bunny,

With your ears so soft and furry head …


Do you know, Mrs. Bunny, I am feeling

all cramped and sore from having squeezed myself     

through doorways. I might be more comfortable

if I stretched out and loosened up a bit.”

“Of course!” cried Grandma Bunny.

“Do you mean

‘Get big’?” asked Little Bunny. “Oh, I’d love                                    

To see you do that!”

So the grateful moon,

as happy as he’d ever been, began

to grow, spreading the close encircling clouds.

And as he grew, he started to get paler,         

his glow now muted, more mysterious.                                                 

and—so strange it was: as the moon got

larger and paler still, the great green room         

turned fainter, too, and everything in it—                    


The fire with its brightness dimming,

Windows and bed and chair

All in a haze now swimming,

Old Grandma—all were scarcely there,

                                      

and even Little Bunny, too. At last                                             

the haze was just as misty as the clouds                                               

that had come with the moon. Out of this fog

Little Bunny thought that she heard sounds                                   

that seemed to be repeated: Way lih buh,

way lih buh … And as Little Bunny wondered,

“Where am I and what could these noises be?”                   

the sounds gradually changed: Way up lil bun,

way up lil bun … and at last, “Wake up, Little Bunny,

wake up, Little Bunny!” And Little Bunny woke up!

There was Grandma Bunny standing over her,

as clear as day. Day!—it must be daytime,

thought Little Bunny sleepily.

“Good morning,

Little Bunny. There’s someone here to see you,”

said Grandma Bunny. She drew back the curtains,                            

and daybreak streamed over the nearby trees

and through the light–swept window. Little Bunny       

rubbed her eyes, smiled, and said, “Hello, Sun!”       


1000 words, first line to end, by conventional online word counters. What follows is a repetition that will permit acceptance of the submission by your upload software.    


In the great green room the phone rang.

Little Bunny hopped to answer before Grandma could.

A strange but friendly voice began:                                            

“Hello, Little Bunny, it’s the moon here—

you know, that bright thing way up in the sky.”

“Hello, Moon!” cried Little Bunny.

“You have a phone?”

“Well, I just got it                                                            

and thought I’d try it out by calling you.                                    

Do you hear me ok?”

“Oh, just fine, Moon.”

“And I hear you quite well, too, Little Bunny.

Up till now your voice has always been

the faintest whisper when you say ‘goodnight’

to me at bedtime. Now, I had a thought:

May I come down and visit you tonight?

You can always see my home, the sky,             

but yours I cannot see—all walls and roofs

and covering trees.”

“Oh, Grandma, Grandma!                                      

Can Mr. Moon come to our house? He wants                                            

to visit us.”

“Well, yes, how very nice …”               

“But can he come right now, oh please, oh please?”                        

“It may be a bit late, I think.

But then again, it is not every night                

you get a chance like this.

Please, let me speak with Mr. Moon.                

Hello, Mr. Moon, this is Old Mrs. Bunny.

So good of you to call us. It would be lovely indeed                                         

to have you here for company. But ‘though you look small,

up there in the sky at night, I know you are really quite large.

How would you ever fit inside our little house?”

“Well, Mrs. Bunny, I’ve never tried this before,

but I think if I squeeze myself together really tight

I might just fit through your doorway.”

“What a wonderful thing that would be!”                                                             

whispered Grandma Bunny. “We’ll be waiting for you.”                                    

Little Bunny and Grandma went to the window                                          

and watched.                                                                                                        


Down slid the moon,                    

Away from the stars,                                                      

Through curtain of cloud,                

O’er lake and land,                                                           

Mountain and meadow,                              

Forest and field,       

Nearer he drew,                              

Touching the treetops,                         

While the night grew                              

Brighter and brighter                                                     

With the moon’s radiance,                

 So that the stars

 Faded from view

                                

and all the earth shone glorious as day,                                  

but with the moon’s own silvery sheen               

instead of the sun’s golden glow.

As he came, Grandma and Little Bunny could see

the moon working hard to pull himself together—

that is, to make himself smaller and smaller.

It was funny to watch, because the moon’s struggle                         

was so at odds with the lustrous calm of the night,                               

again turning dark as the moon dwindled still.                                      

At last the moon dropped down to the Bunnys’ front door.

He was out of breath from his long journey                                          

and from all the squishing himself together

he had been doing. Grandma Bunny opened the door             

and said, “Oh, Mr. Moon. I am so glad

you got here safely.”

“Thank you, Mrs. Bunny.

I hope you do not mind—I brought some clouds                

to cover me. I wouldn’t want my brilliance

to hurt your eyes.“

“How thoughtful, Mr. Moon—

But do come in.”

                       “One moment, Mrs. Bunny,

While I squeeze myself extra tight—UHRNGAH!                 

There!” said the moon, as he scraped

through the doorway, bringing along the clouds.

Little Bunny half ran, half hopped to the door

to give the moon a big hug. “Oh, Moon—you’re so cold!”

said Little Bunny. “Come and warm yourself by our fire.”

“Thank you,” replied the moon, “but the earth is so much warmer

than I’m used to, and your fine house is warmer still.

But I want to see your fire all the same, and the room

where you look out to find me in the sky.”                                                         

“Right this way, Mr. Moon. Our house is yours,”

answered Grandma Bunny.

“Oh my!—what a lovely room,”

exclaimed the moon, looking around. “Your fire                                        

is so inviting—as well as warm.

Oh!—and look: can it be that I am                                                              

in that picture up there on your wall,                                          

with a cow jumping over me?                                                                          

Well, well … How odd! I don’t seem to recall                                                  

that’s ever happening.”

“Perhaps some tea?”                        

suggested Grandma Bunny.

“Please don’t trouble

yourself at all. Just let me stay a while,


Sharing your good company

In this quiet, great green room,

With its windows, through which we can gaze,

Its fire so merrily ablaze,

Its funny pictures, chair, and bed,

And you, dear Little Bunny,

With your ears so soft and furry head …


Do you know, Mrs. Bunny, I am feeling

all cramped and sore from having squeezed myself     

through doorways. I might be more comfortable

if I stretched out and loosened up a bit.”

“Of course!” cried Grandma Bunny.

“Do you mean

‘Get big’?” asked Little Bunny. “Oh, I’d love                                    

To see you do that!”

So the grateful moon,

as happy as he’d ever been, began

to grow, spreading the close encircling clouds.

And as he grew, he started to get paler,         

his glow now muted, more mysterious.                                                 

and—so strange it was: as the moon got

larger and paler still, the great green room         

turned fainter, too, and everything in it—                    


The fire with its brightness dimming,

Windows and bed and chair

All in a haze now swimming,

Old Grandma—all were scarcely there,

                                      

and even Little Bunny, too. At last                                             

the haze was just as misty as the clouds                                               

that had come with the moon. Out of this fog

Little Bunny thought that she heard sounds                                   

that seemed to be repeated: Way lih buh,

way lih buh … And as Little Bunny wondered,

“Where am I and what could these noises be?”                   

the sounds gradually changed: Way up lil bun,

way up lil bun … and at last, “Wake up, Little Bunny,

wake up, Little Bunny!” And Little Bunny woke up!

There was Grandma Bunny standing over her,

as clear as day. Day!—it must be daytime,

thought Little Bunny sleepily.

“Good morning,

Little Bunny. There’s someone here to see you,”

said Grandma Bunny. She drew back the curtains,                            

and daybreak streamed over the nearby trees

and through the light–swept window. Little Bunny       

rubbed her eyes, smiled, and said, “Hello, Sun!”              

May 27, 2020 14:47

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8 comments

Anna K Firth
01:46 Jun 01, 2020

Hi there, Julian! Actually we could have accepted this story without the repetition, as the first part is almost exactly 1,000 words and Reedsy offers a bit of leeway. :) But if the first part had been under, I would have dismissed it; repetitions don't count. Keep up the writing and good luck!

Reply

Julian Woodruff
10:58 Jun 01, 2020

Hi, Anna Thank you for accepting the submission. As I explain in the middle of it (word 1001ff), the duplication is there to satisfy your submission software, NOT because the poem was only 908 words long, as the software indicated. This strategy proved far easier than contacting Reedsy (Arielle) to point out the trouble with the submission software. (I admit I did not count my words the old-fashioned way, but could 2 online word counters be off by 92 words? MS Word, it's worth noting, put the count at 1006.)

Reply

Anna K Firth
20:36 Jun 01, 2020

Hey Julian, actually, the judges are responsible for making sure the word count is correct. As far as I know, it has nothing to do with software. I personally use WordCounter.com to double check stories if it looks like they're too short or too long, but a few words over or under is okay.

Reply

Julian Woodruff
22:19 Jun 01, 2020

Hi, Anna I don,'t seem to have made myself clear. While the story as I first tried to submit it was 1000 words, Reedsy's SOFTWARE prevented the upload, reporting the word count as only 908--forcing me to add extraneous text. Hence the inserted explanation and 2nd copy. I have no idea what the software's final word count was, just glad it was happy.

Reply

Anna K Firth
03:30 Jun 02, 2020

Oh okay, I'm sorry. The system must have undergone changes. When I first started judging, I had lots of stories that were far too short, and I had to dismiss them. I have noticed that hasn't been happening anymore, so maybe they made it impossible to submit stories that don't meet the count. I'll keep that in mind in the future. Thanks for your patience, that must have been frustrating!

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Kathleen March
00:47 Jun 05, 2020

This is a great children's book. It reminds me of reading "Good Night, Moon" to my daughter so many times. I don't have much luck with children's stories or poems, buut appreciate it when I find something that catches the ear and puts good images in my line of sight. I do some art, so was thinking of illustrations that would accompany this piece. Thank you for this gift!

Reply

Julian Woodruff
02:06 Jun 05, 2020

Hi, Kathleen Glad you enjoyed it. I was of course thinking of Goodnight Moon, and of why the title of MW Brown's book is Goodnight Moon. Also of a wonderful pb from the 1980s, The Nightgown of the Sullen Moon. As a further tribute to Brown, I tried to imitate her uncanny ability to slip in and out of verse, and was especially thinking of The Color Kittens and the dissolving of the dream at the end of that treasure. Thanks for reading!

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Kathleen March
03:47 Jun 05, 2020

I still have vivid memories of my own childhood books, more than from the 80s. Funny what we retain. Only now am I starting to draw more from certain memory sources for writing.

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