The Old Man and the Moon
by Richard McDonough
In Need Of A Good Night Sleep had not slept for many years; his future looked as bleak as an endless prairie.
"I miss my dreams," he said to the moon. "You have stolen them from me, and for that I can not forgive you."
The moon paid little attention to the tirades of a tired old warrior. It looked upon the old man as the wind looks upon a feather - with a curious indifference to his helplessness.
"Tell me this," said the moon. "Was it I who spilled the blood of a thousand enemy warriors? Was it I who burned their homes while the children lay sleeping? Your dreams departed with the spirits of a thousand dead souls. Shame is the thief, old man."
The old one balked at the moon's insolence and decided he would paddle his canoe around the lake.
Not wishing to be seen by the old man, the moon shielded itself behind a wandering cloud.
"It is I who could use the sleep," said the moon. "He tires me."
The old man grew fearful of the sudden darkness and stopped paddling.
"You are a thief and a coward!" he shouted at the moon. "Now I have nothing."
Legend has it that the old man then flooded his canoe with a million tears of remorse and sank to the bottom of the lake.
"That would not surprise me," said the moon. "Not at all."
[Richard McDonough lives in Croton on the Hudson New York. He’s 52 years old and currently working on his first book.]