Once upon a time, on the same moon you and I can both see, a boy named Jack was preparing to tie down his dinner because, if he didn’t, then it would float off into space. Tying down his dinner was only one of the hurdles he had to jump over in order to eat a hearty meal. He first had to collect the food, which was delivered on a daily basis by the good people of Earth to say thank you for everything he had done to save them over the years. He then had to prepare his meal by heating it using a complex array of lasers and conveyor belts and, finally, he had to tie it to the small table and sit in a single seat designed for him to eat alone.
Today was Jack’s four-hundredth day living on the moon and it was safe to say that he enjoyed living there now, more than he did the first day he moved there. He was celebrating by enjoying his favourite meal, spaghetti bolognese followed by ice-cream and doughnuts for dessert. No matter how often Jack sat at this table alone, he never tired of the view. Others, he had thought, would have immediately disliked all the grey and black tones in front of them while they ate, but not Jack. Jack could see past the bland colours. In fact, he didn’t even notice them anymore and was able to look straight out and see only the twinkle of each individual star. Rarely would Jack look out and see clusters of stars. He wanted to treat each one as unique and felt they deserved to be seen as individuals rather than clusters. This was one of the reasons Jack chose to live on the moon. Down on Earth, you can only see the stars for half of the day if you were lucky. Even then you were most likely asleep while each star was shining brightly, so why not move somewhere where you can see each visible star, all day, every day.
Then there was the peace and quiet. Jack had become more than a hero down on Earth when he lived there. Being the world’s youngest astronaut meant that everywhere he went people would know who he was and call out to him. Then there was the fact he had also helped save Planet Earth from meteors and asteroids so many times that even he had lost count. Moving from place to place didn’t help and, in the end, the only option the adults gave him was to pack his things up in his spaceship and live a life of solitude in the only place that made sense to him: Space.
There were two conditions Jack made before making the transition from Earth to The Moon. Firstly, that his family be allowed to visit him whenever they liked because, although his mother couldn’t make it, Jack was confident that his father and sister would want to visit him every now and again. They had never been to space before, so the two of them completed their space training together and made an effort to visit Jack on the two birthdays he had celebrated in space. The second condition was that he receive a home-cooked meal every day. Despite the complications involved in making this happen, the adults agreed that, due to all he had done for Earth over the years, the least they could do was send up a warm meal each day for him to enjoy as he looked out at the stars.
There was always something to do on The Moon, and Jack couldn’t see himself wanting to go back to Earth anytime soon. He took a moment to look around at all he had accomplished during his time on The Moon and smiled proudly. Jack knew others would eventually want to come and live on the moon with him, so he spent a lot of time preparing for that moment. In the meantime, however, he finished tying down his plate to the small table before sitting in the single chair to eat his four-hundredth meal with a perfect view of the stars.
My name is Gregg Savage and, every night when the house is quiet, I write and publish a free children’s story at dailytales.com.au for you to share and enjoy.
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