Once upon a time, the sun had finished his tiring job for the day and was heading below the horizon to make his way home and enjoy a great night’s sleep. Today was a particularly exhausting day for the sun, as there weren’t many clouds in the sky, so he had to work extremely hard to complete his responsibilities to his full potential. This included the most important job of all: Keeping everything alive. The sun was acutely aware of how vital it was for life on Earth for him to do his job correctly, so he maintained a rigorous routine, including getting a decent night’s sleep every night, so he was ready for action the next day. Most other objects in the sky appreciated the effort that the sun went to each and every day, except one. And his name was The Moon.
Unfortunately, The Sun and The Moon had to cross paths each night, and it was usually an extremely unpleasant experience for the both of them. The last thing The Sun wanted to do after a long day’s work was to try and politely put up with The Moon’s lousy attitude. The Sun was yet to figure out exactly what was wrong with The Moon and why he always seemed to carry such a negative attitude towards his job. As far as The Sun was concerned, the two of them had the greatest jobs in the galaxy and he didn’t see any reason why they shouldn’t be able to get along.
He saw The Moon heading his way and braced himself for whatever mood everyone’s favourite grey space rock was in tonight.
“Good evening, Moon,” The Sun said chirpily as they got closer to each other.
“Don’t you ‘good evening’ me!” replied The Moon, causing The Sun to shake his head. “I’ve had little to no sleep, and now I have to illuminate the world for the entire night.” The Moon looked out over all of the houses, farms and forests and shook his head in disgust. “And, what do we get for it, Sun?” The Sun remained silent, “Nothing that’s what we get: Nothing.”
“Well,” began The Sun, “At least you get people come to visit you, I don’t think I’ll ever…”
“Oh please!” The Moon interrupted. “You think I like having people walk all over me? That’s the best I can expect? It’s a disgrace!”
“I don’t think it’s really all that bad, Moon. I think you’re just a little tired.”
“Tired? You’re absolutely right I’m tired!” The Sun knew a lecture was coming. “Tired of being second best to The Sun, tired of people forgetting my real purpose, tired of people not appreciating what I do for them. In fact, if you think we have such a wonderful life, why don’t we swap for a day and then I’ll listen to you wax on about this life of ours.”
At first, The Sun thought this to be a ridiculous idea, but, he also knew that the people of Earth weren’t going to have a perfect night with the mood The Moon was in, anyway. Besides, perhaps then The Moon might bring a little more cheer to their nightly conversations.
Although The Sun was extremely tired, he agreed that a swap tonight might be a decent idea. The Moon couldn’t believe his luck and got far too excited at the thought of heading back to bed for several more hours. “You go home and get some sleep,” suggested The Sun, and I’ll do your shift, but just for tonight. And, you have to swear that you’ll do mine tonight.” The two of them felt excited about their plans and, after a quick refresher on the magic they had learned when they were younger, they were ready to swap places. Just as the red sunset was giving way to the dark of night, The Sun became The Moon and The Moon became The Sun.
Now in The Moon’s body, The Sun carried himself into the night sky, noticing immediately that no one was out exercising and that there were very few people heading off to work. He observed that different breeds of quieter animals had come out to play and he felt the pressures associated with attempting to maintain all of life on Earth vanish. As he looked up into the night sky and saw the stars, their beauty overcame him immediately, and he struggled to find the words to describe how truly relaxed and at peace the view made him feel. Suddenly, however, his light went out, and he couldn’t see anything below him. It was as if someone had flicked the off the switch on his light. He tried turning around but that didn’t help. He then attempted to try and radiate light by holding his breath and pushing light out of his chest as he sometimes did he when he was in his original body, but nothing was working. Luckily, his time in the sky was almost up, so he hurried back to the horizon where he had hoped to be greeted by a well-rested moon. He was wrong.
The Moon was as sour as ever, explaining that he was unable to sleep so he decided to travel on the other side of the Earth to see what it was like. “Well, what did you think?” asked The Sun.
“It was beautiful,” replied The Moon. “Absolutely, disgustingly beautiful. You can see everything. From oceans to forests and rainbows to the bluest of skies. Not to mention all the happy people enjoying themselves on the beautiful beaches or playing in their backyards. It is tremendously unfair that you get to the see that and I never do.”
The Sun remembered how relaxed how he felt in the night sky and decided to try and make a deal with The Moon.
“I’ll tell you what,” he started. “Why don’t we swap bodies for a while. I’m exhausted from the pressures of being the sole source of light for the Earth, and you sound like you deserve some time to enjoy all of the beautiful things you never get to see.” The Moon thought for a moment and agreed to the deal.
“Only if you don’t go putting a timeframe on when we have to swap back,” he told The Sun.
“Deal,” agreed The Sun. “I would just like to borrow some of your light during the night in order to appreciate the beauty and peace I felt and now crave.”
The Moon agreed, and, with no end in sight, The Moon and The Sun continue to enjoy their alternative lives to this day.
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.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.