There once was a land that seemed to be made of gold. The meadows, the houses, the streets, shined as if polished everyday with sunlight. The people smiled and worked each day. When they came home they laughed until the last rays dipped down below the hills. When the dark came all the people slept and dreamed of the day to come. This was all that was needed; all were satisfied with their lives, except one small girl.
She wasn’t a bad girl, or a girl who didn’t work as hard as the rest. She was a girl who dreamed of something more than the gold of the day, more than the laughter before bed. She felt as if there was more to see, more to feel, more to be.
On this night she lay awake until all were sound asleep and dreaming their own dreams. She crept out of her warm bed and slipped into her slippers. She left her house silently, into the cool night.
The moon was the first to greet the little girl. Its smile shined down from the sky. The stars seemed to wink hello to her and the breeze whispered her name. She felt alive in the night air. Alone with the world she had never seen before. It was as if the night had waited just for her and she finally heard it.
She wandered up the main street, her slippers muffling her steps, her nightgown clinging to her as the wind touched her lightly. All the houses were dark; all the people were dreaming unaware of this little girl. She walked off the path, running through one of the many golden meadows.
The long grasses caressed her as she went. It was as if each blade wanted to hug her close, but she was too fast to hug them back. The girl headed for the hill that she often climbed in the day. It was a gentle slope that went on and on, until it seemed to touch those winking stars.
The moon grew as she climbed. The further she went the larger it became. She was in awe of it, she marveled at its beauty. By the time she crested the hill, she was sure she was in love with it. At the top of the large hill she fell onto her back and stared up at the moon she loved. She held out her hands willing it to come down to her. She wished so very hard. She just wanted to touch it and feel it’s warmth on her palm.
“Oh Moon, why don’t you come sit beside me?” She asked in her little voice.
The moon was silent, just smiling down upon the girl. She frowned at its silence.
“Oh Moon, please come down and sit with me.” She called once again.
Still the moon just smiled.
“Oh Moon, I wish you loved me as I love you,” she whispered.
The moon seemed to shimmer at her words, and then seemed to melt from the sky. It poured down like a stream of pure light, almost blinding the girl. The light landed just in front of her and as it dropped its last bit of light she saw before her a stallion of brilliant white. Its mane twinkling like the stars, it stood tall and strong in front of her.
“My lady, don’t doubt my love for you. I am just the moon and cannot sit with any mortal being, but tonight I come to you so we may spend this evening together and this memory shall stay with us forever.”
The girl grabbed the mane of her moon and swung herself astride the its back and became the woman she would be. She felt the strength of her moon as they galloped into the night sky. The wind rushed and the stars bowed. She and her love, making the sky their own. The night seemed to go on forever, but forever has its own boundaries and soon they returned to the hill.
“Our time is at an end,” the moon said to the girl.
“But I don’t want it to end,” the girl said as she slid from the moon’s back.
The beast smiled down at the girl and lowered its head into her hands. She felt the warm breath upon her palm, it was like feeling heaven.
“Some day I will come for you, remember my touch.” and with that the stallion melted back into the sky and the moon returned to its night.
The girl was left alone and cold. She turned her back and made her way back to the town and her life that seemed less. The years passed and memory fades as it usually does. The girl did become a woman, a wife, and a mother, then finally a grandmother. She stayed in at night and dreamed her dreams of the day to come, her moon slipping from her.
One night she awoke from her dream and wandered to the rooms of her grandchildren. Upon arriving at her granddaughter’s room she found the bed empty. She searched the house but was not able to find the little girl. All she found was the main door open to the night. She slipped on her slippers and stepped out into the dark.
She felt the breeze call her name, she saw the stars winking down at her. She could not run, but she never stopped moving up that familiar hill. When she finally made it to the top, she saw a grand horse, as bright as the moon which was strangely absent. Sitting on its back was her granddaughter.
For some reason she could not remember, tears flowed down her cheeks. She wished she could be the girl on that horse and that she could ride through the night. She moved closer to the pair and they both looked down on her.
“Grandma, you came!”
“Well of course I came; I wouldn’t have my girl out in the cold.” She said to the girl.
“You were right, you were right,” the girl seemed to say to the stallion.
“Right about what child?” the old woman asked.
The white horse turned to her and let out a long breath. It danced on the night air searching for the hand of the woman. As it touched her palm warmth filled her hand.
“Remember,” the stallion whispered.
The old woman felt her chest heave and fell to her knees in tears.
“Oh my moon, My moon…you, you…”
“Oh my lady, I once told you we would meet again, and here I am. Your sweet child has brought you to me and at last we can ride on from this place together.”
The woman moved to touch the beautiful face of her moon. Her wrinkled hand smoothing the fur of its cheek, “But moon, I am old, and no longer that girl you loved.”
“My lady, the moon does not know time and is older than you will ever be.”
The granddaughter slipped off the stead. She moved to her grandma and hugged her tight. “Go grandma, the moon told me all about your night so long ago. You need to ride one more time.”
The shaky woman grasped the mane and tried to swing onto the beasts back, but strength had left her. The beast dropped to his knees and the grandchild of the little girl helped her onto the back off the moon. Soon the woman she was sat high upon the back of her love. She felt the wind pick up and the power of the stallion beneath her.
“I love you child,” she said to her granddaughter.
“I love you too,” the granddaughter replied.
The moon ran off and into the sky. Once again time stood still. The wind rushed and the stars bowed. This time forever seemed to last a bit longer as they both rode into the sky. For the moon was not letting his love go, and the girl wasn’t letting go.