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Sketched Worldsa variety of

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Fabrice SchombergFabrice Schomberg
various writersvarious writers

by Fabrice Schomberg

I was sitting in a tree one day in the dark
when a stranger approached me with something in his bag.

  “I notice that you are dwelling in the dark,” he said. “I have a moon to offer you. Would you like to try it?”

  “Thank you very much,” I said, “but I’m happy in my obscurity and I have no need for such a moon.” I wished him a pleasant day.

  “Are you sure?” he said. “I could hang it there, or there.”

  “Well,” I said, “that's fine, if you'd like to. However, as I mentioned before, I have no need for your moon. You see, I am happy as I am in my tree in the dark.”

  The stranger placed his moon in the sky. It was pitch black and, suddenly, it was very bright, so bright, in fact, that I had to shade my eyes. I told him, “Your waxing moon, it's too big and too bright.”

  So I thanked him for his trouble and said “I have no need for your moon, as I have all I need, which is nothing. Please, take it down.” I wished him a good day.

  He took the moon from the sky, placed it back into his bag and wandered off. I had no need for a moon from this stranger passing by.

  The next day he appeared once again, telling me that he had made some adjustments to his moon. He said that perhaps now I'd be interested in his moon as I was right the day before, it was indeed too big and too bright.

  “I’ve made it otherwise,” he said. “Now it is not too big nor too bright; it emits much less light. It could brighten up the place,” he said, as it was very dark in my dwelling.

  But I had no need for his moon and was happy up in my tree in the dark. I had all I needed, which was nothing.

  He offered again to hang up the moon to see if I liked it, which, in fact, I did. It was now slightly smaller and emanated much less light, swiftly illuminating my dwelling; not too big, nor too bright, just as he had said it would be.

  “Thank you very much,” I said, “but I have no need for your moon.” I was happy in my tree in the dark. So he took his moon from the sky, placed it in his bag and wandered off.

  The following day, which was now the next, the same sole stranger came by once more, offering me his moon.

  He said I was right not wanting the moon from the previous day as, even though it was smaller and dimmer, all it could do was shine. He said that he had changed the moon so that it could now move and with these remarkable adjustments, he insisted I gave him another chance.

  It was true. Not only did the moon shine just as it had before, but now it moved from left to right, its brightness changing the atmosphere of my surroundings. Now I could not only see all around me, but all around my tree.

  It was both as wonderful as it was beautiful and I really didn't want to insult this stranger after all the effort he had put into making his moon accordingly. So I thanked him and politely mentioned that, although it was very pleasant, unfortunately I had no need for such a moon. I was very sorry, but I was happy in my tree in the dark and I had all I needed, which was nothing. I bade him farewell.

  The stranger seemed disappointed. After all, he had invested a lot of his time and craftsmanship into the making of this moon. He caught the moon in flight, placed it in his bag and wandered off.

  It was now the fourth day since the stranger had first appeared and he came back with a glint in his eye. He had made yet another adjustment to his moon and he seemed very pleased. This time, he said, he had made it much more vibrant, and had even given it some life of its own.

  He took the moon out of his bag. It was a black moon, one I could not see. With a grin, he gave it a spin. The moon twirled, illuminated and then gradually moved from left to right in an arc, just as it had done before. A crescent smile formed, moving across the moon's face, lighting it up, until it found the other side and dimmed once more.

  ‘Oh this is magnificent! Never have I seen such a beautiful sight from my tree!’ I mused. I could see all around the tree and all around me. It lit up, then dimmed. It was magnificent! A perfect moon ~ just as it is today ~ .

“However,” I said, enthralled as I was, “I am very happy here in my tree in the dark. I have all I need, which is nothing. I really do not need your moon.”

  Before I could thank him for going to all the trouble of making this perfect moon, he placed the moon in his bag and, with a dejected look, he set off in the same direction he had always gone.

  “It's nice up here in the tree you know,” I remarked as he walked away.

  By now I had thought once or twice about acquiring his moon. After all, I had praised the stranger’s craftsmanship and he had dedicated all his time to improving this moon. However, I still found no use for it.

  The first moon was too big and too bright, the second, not so big nor so bright, the third moved from left to right and the fourth occasionally smiled.

  The next day, which was now the fifth, he came back from the same direction he had always come, with the same bag in his hand and with the same gait and look about him.

  Before I could say a thing, the stranger declared:

  “Don't worry, I have not altered the moon. It is as you saw it yesterday, and I won't be offering it to you today. However, I couldn't help wondering as to why you keep on saying that you are happy in your tree in the dark?”

  “Well, you’re welcome to come up and see,” I told him.

He placed his moon in the sky and climbed up.

  “So what do you do here all day?” he asked.

  “Well, not much,” I told him. “I think about life, and, come to think of it, if there were to be a moon in the sky, I'd have to think about it a bit more.”

  “Ah, is that why you don't want my moon?” he inquired.

  “Not at all,” I replied. “The reason I don't want your moon is just as I told you before. I am happy here in my tree in the dark and I have all I need, which is nothing, and, to be completely honest, I don't even know what the moon does.”

  “I see,” said the stranger. He seemed surprised by the fact that I had no idea what the moon did, but then a smile came over his face and he said, “I shall come back tomorrow anew, to show you what the moon can do.”

  The stranger climbed down from the tree and was getting ready to head back to wherever it was that he was going, when, reaching out to take down the moon from the sky, he was taken aback. The moon wasn't there. He had forgotten to give it a spin - it was still a black moon, one which we could not see.

  “Oh no,” he said. “After all this work, now it is lost!”

  “Don't worry,” I reassured him, “it is still here somewhere in the dark. I shall get down from my tree and find it.”

  Heartened by this, the stranger hoped for the best and went off on his way with an empty bag.

I climbed down from my tree to look for this lost moon.

  Although I could not see it either, it was comforting knowing that the moon could still be there, even though I didn't want or need it. I felt a certain reassurance that I hadn't felt before coming across this moon - a moon made just for me. I tried to guess where it might be and wondered whether it would suddenly appear and shed its light upon me. However, nothing happened.

It became cloudy and started to rain, so I went back to the shelter of my tree and fell into a comfortable sleep.

  The next day I awoke to the sound of the stranger's voice.

  “Well, did you find it?” he asked, and, just as he spoke, the moon appeared with a smile.

  “Great,” he said “let’s go then.”

  “Go where?” I asked..

  “Well, you were kind enough to invite me to your tree. I, in return, would like to invite you to the moon,” and he took a wooden stick from his bag. The stick miraculously became a pole that led all the way up to the moon. So I followed him up, and from the moon, looking across the vastness, I could see the sun.

  Shading my eyes from the bright light with my hands, I smiled and said, “The sun! I'd forgotten all about the sun.”

  “Yes,” the stranger said. “You see the moon reflects the sun's light, turning it from sunlight to moonlight, shining on your tree.”

  As we watched the beams of light I started to realise, “Sunlight, moonlight, shining on my tree!”

  Descending from the moon on that sixth day I thought to myself how nice it would be to know that, even in the dark, there can be some light.

  And on the Seventh day,

there was light.

edited by Janet Cartlidge, copyright © 2007 Fabrice Schomberg

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