Sunday, 19 June 2022

'Luna' by Kathy Prokhovnik

Lie down Luna. I’ll tell you a story.

Once upon a time there was a woman who wanted a baby very much. Every full moon she would call, ‘Oh moon, bring me a baby.’ But the moon would just frown.

One evening, she was sitting glumly on the hillside. An echidna scurried by, a snake gliding behind. The woman jumped up and scared off the snake. Then she heard a little voice. ‘Thank you,’ it said. The echidna was looking up at her. ‘What gift can I give you in return?’ She told the echidna of the one gift she wanted. It nodded, and whispered in her ear.

The next day the woman made an enormous pile of branches at the top of the hill. As the full moon rose she raised her arms. ‘Oh Moon,’ she said, ‘I challenge you. Whoever is still shining brightly in 12 hours time can demand anything of the other.’ The moon bellowed with laughter, but bobbed in agreement. The woman struck her match and the fire burnt bright. The moon shone, lighting up paddocks and soft-flying owls, while the woman piled logs onto her fire. As the moon slipped over the western horizon it looked back and screamed. The fire was as bright as ever.

The next night the woman called out, ‘You must grant me my wish!’ and the moon bobbed.

When the woman’s baby was born, she called her Luna.

Go to sleep dear Luna, and I’ll stroke your spines.

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