Craters On The Moon | Teen Ink

Craters On The Moon

March 19, 2015
By Old-World-Blues DIAMOND, New Freedom, Pennsylvania
Old-World-Blues DIAMOND, New Freedom, Pennsylvania
54 articles 0 photos 5 comments

At the beginning of time the moon was like a marble, and it shined at night as it does now but it was completely smooth. It had no features, like a faceless man. Its only purpose was to glow at night and though it was useful to light paths in the darkness it was merely boring to look at. At this time in life, there were no stories about the moon; No poems or paintings or anything. It was so uninspiring that many forgot that it even existed, and would often assume that the sun had reached over the horizons to light the night, rather there being an actual floating, white orb in the black sky.  The only reason people ever looked up at the sky at night was not to acknowledge the moon, but rather marvel at the stars, or the endless black sea above them.
One night, two boys walked along a moonlit path. They were both similar in their appearances and proved to be twins, with pale hair and light eyes. In those moments that they walked along they gazed at the ground, never once looking up at the sky, but they conversed about which one of them was the superior twin. One mentioned the beauty of a mountain over an island. The other protested. They fought about which came first, the chicken or the egg. It was clear that they were extremely competitive. Amidst their chatter the boys found water entering their view, and they lifted their gazes just at the slightest to look upon a small lake in the middle of a grassy plain. The water shimmered before them, a dark navy, and in the very centre of the water was trembling reflection of the moon, though they did not recognize it. Immediately the twins began to test each other one what they saw in the centre of the lake.

“An egg! It’s an egg!” The one eager brother proclaimed first, who was named Acer.
“No, stupid, it’s a big white plate!” The second brother barked, a confidence in his face that named him Aliquam.
“Maybe it’s a snowball?”
“Underwater? Really?”

At that moment, Acer rose his finger. He pointed at the glowing circle in the centre of the lake, and Aliquam watched as he traced the sky and lead it all the way back to the small orb just resting there amongst the stars. Both of the boys marvelled upon it for quite some time, not exactly sure what they were looking at. And then, in a split moment, Aliquam twisted to his brother and boasted, proudly.

“Why, it’s the boring old moon! I knew that. But that wasn’t a fair enough competition. I’ll tell you what:” Aliquam nudged his twin brother’s shoulder and then gestured to the boring, smooth orb in the sky. “Let’s see who can hold the moon between our fingers the longest.”

“Deal.” Acer instantly accepted his brother’s challenge, likely believing he had a way to outsmart him, but they soon found that there was naught the other could do to beat their brother. Time after time, as they pinched that ball in the sky between their pointer finger and thumb, they were burned by its light. The moon was not as hot as the sun, but it was certainly hot enough to harm them, and after trying and trying, their fingers were raw, and they had to soak them in the lake water below. The water soothed the pain, but as they cured their wounds they quickly noticed the sudden difference in the reflection of the moon on the water. Suddenly, it was more than just a smooth orb. It had features. Panicked, the boys whipped around and looked back at the orb in the sky, and they noticed their small fingerprints decorated it with craters.

“It looks like it has a face, now.” Acer pointed out, calmly, and he looked a bit mystified.
“I can see a rabbit made from our fingerprints.” Aliquam stated, but not in his usual, competitive way. He merely made it an observation. “And an owl.”
Both of them spawned the same idea at the same time, and after excited glances, they ran back down the moonlit path, back to where they had originated, to tell everyone of the interesting pattern on the moon that could appear any way they wanted it.  The village elder heard of their tale first, and he doubted it. But, upon stepping outside to gaze on the dark sea above them he noticed the moon, and he saw two people kissing in its features. Mystified, he called for his children, who thus proceeded to find a heart, a sword, and many more things in the craters on the moon. After claiming the boys had done the world a favour, the elder then sent them out to tell everyone the news of the newly dressed moon.
And so, after that night when the twin boys decorated the moon with their fingerprints, people learned to love the moon. Now that it had interesting features and craters, they would play games and try to see animals and faces in the moon. Children’s books were written relating to those games, and poetry was written, depicting how a man saw his woman lover’s face in the craters of the moon while he longed for her at night. It was the image of romance and the image of fun, but more importantly the population of the world now knew that the moon existed as its own thing, and it was the sun of the night, ever-shining, and always there to look up to.

The author's comments:

This story was something I wrote to represent a Native American myth of how the craters came to the moon, as well as explaining why people see the moon as multiple different things.

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