The autumn leaves were falling from the huge oak trees that lined the old dirt road. Mansions sprawled beyond the trees, for a very long time ago this had been the avenue where all the wealthy folk lived.
Between two of the trees rose a simple lamp post. It had once gleamed black, but was now patched here and there with ash gray and rusty red.
Gazing up at the curved lamp bell was a little girl. She was no more than four years old. Her tiny child’s face was aglow with wonder and delight, her big blue eyes wide and her lips parted in an expression of amazement.
Twilight was falling over the deserted avenue and the glass of the lamp bell began to glint silver.
“Oh!” the little girl gasped, staring as the glass flickered mysteriously. “You must be the moon!” she whispered, clasping her hands. “My momma told me that the moon is round and silver, just like you!”
As if in answer, the lamp bell twinkled.
“My momma also told me that the moon is magical. And if you are magical, then you must be able to grant wishes, right?” the child’s eyes pleased.
There was no response.
“Well,” the little girl went on, very quietly. “I would like to ask you to grant one wish for me, because you are the moon and I am only a very little girl.” She paused and looked down, then continued. “Would you be very kind and bring my momma and daddy home again? You see, this fat man, all dressed in black came and wrapped them in a big white sheet while they were sleeping. And then he put them in his wagon and drove away and I haven’t seen them again. And then my nursie went away too and all the servants and there is no one else in the big house except me and I’m only a little girl,” she stopped to catch her breath. “So, would you please bring them back home, dear moon?”
At that moment a big black raven landed several feet away and the child smiled, irrespective of the ominous look in the bird’s eye.
“You are so thin,” she said, digging into her pocket. “Here is some bread for you.” The little girl spread out her handkerchief and some crumbs. “This is the last of my food, but you can have it, because my momma and daddy are coming home now. And I must go to meet them!” she jumped up.
“Thank you so much, darling moon,” she curtseyed and darted away over the bridge and the river, humming a melody. The lamp bell glinted mournfully and the raven croaked. Bittersweet.
Written by Katharine Marie. June 5, 2013. All Rights Reserved
photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/chiaralily/6222761942/”>chiaralily</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0/”>cc</a>