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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’ve noticed that you are dwelling in the dark,” he said. “I have a moon I would like to offer you, if you’d like to have it.”

  I said “Thank you very much but I’m happy in obscurity. I have no need for such a moon,” and 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, I'm happy as I am in my tree in the dark.”

  “I’ll have none of it,” he said, “and I will have my moon illuminate your dwelling.” He placed it up in the sky. It was pitch black and suddenly it was very bright, so bright in fact that it nearly blinded me. I told him, “Your waxing moon, it's too big and too bright.”

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

  So 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 as he did before, telling me that he had made some adjustments to his moon and wanted to give it to me. 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 a bit,” 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 and I had all I needed, which was nothing.

  He offered again to hang it up to see if I liked it, which I did. In fact it was, as he had said, slightly smaller and emanated much less light, swiftly illuminating my dwelling. Not too big nor too bright, just as he had described it to be.

  “Thank you very much,” I said, “but I have no need for your moon,” I was happy in my tree in the dark and I wished him a good day. 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 - a moon which I did not need.

  He said I was right not wanting the moon from the previous day as, even though it was smaller and dimmer, it was still too still and did not move. He said that he had changed the moon so that it could now move and, since he had made these remarkable adjustments, he insisted I give him another chance.

  And it was true. Not only did the moon shine, 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.

  But I really didn't want to insult this stranger after all the effort he had put into making his moon accordingly. I thanked him and politely said that although it was was very nice, I unfortunately 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 really did not need his moon.

  The stranger seemed disappointed. After all, he had invested a lot of his time and craftsmanship into the making of this moon. I felt sorry for him, yet I really did not have a need for such a moon. So I bade him farewell. The stranger 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 it seemed that he was very pleased with it. This time, he said, he had made it vibrant, and had even given it some life of its own.

  He took it out of his bag. It was a black moon, one I could not see, and with a grin he gave it a spin. The moon twirled, illuminated, and gradually moved from left to right in an arc just as it had done before. This time 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 thought to myself. I could see all around me and all around the tree. It lit up then dimmed. It was wonderful! 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 me this perfect moon, he placed the moon in his bag and with a dejected look, headed off in the same direction he had always seemed to be heading.

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

  By now I had thought once or twice about acquiring this moon, if only to help this stranger place his moon in the dark sky. After all, I had praised his craftsmanship and all the trouble he’d gone to and he had dedicated so much time to this moon. But still I 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 from, with the same bag he had carried and with the same glance and gait.

  Before I had a chance to say a thing, he abruptly said,

  “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 all day here?” 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 life even 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 honest I don't even know what the moon does.”

  “I see,” he said. He seemed surprised by the fact that I had no idea what the moon did but then he regained inspiration. He said, “I shall come back tomorrow anew, to show you what the moon can do.”

  He climbed down the tree and was getting ready to head back to wherever he was going to, when he reached out to get the moon from the sky and it was not there. He could not see it. He had not given it a spin, it was still a black moon, one which we could not see.

  “Oh no,” he said, “after all this work and now it is lost!”

  “Don't worry,” I reassured him, “it's still here. Even though we can't see it, the moon is still above us. I shall get down from my tree and find it.

  Heartened by this he 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, I felt a confidence I hadn’t had before knowing of this moon, a moon made just for me.

  Now the moon accompanied me even though I didn't want or need it. 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 started to get cloudy and rained, so I went back to the shelter of my tree and fell comfortably asleep.

  The next day the stranger woke me up from under the tree.

  “Well, did you find it?” he said, and just then 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 out a wooden stick from his bag. The stick became a pole, leading up all the way up to the moon, and from the moon I saw the sun.

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

  “Yes,” he said. “The moon reflects the sun’s light. From sunlight, to moonlight, shining on your tree.”

  We watched and I started to realise,

  “Sunlight, moonlight, shining on my tree?”

  Coming down from the moon on that sixth day I thought to myself, ‘How nice would it 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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