The Baldwin Library
FAFY.IEh I-, .. -. -
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In the garden behind the moon.
BEHIND THE MOON
A REAL STORY OF THE
WRITTEN AND ILLUSTRATED BY
LAWRENCE AND BULLPEN
16, HENRIETTA ST., W. C.
Copyright, 1895, by Charles Scribner's Sons,
for the United States of America.
Printed by The De Vinne Press
New York, U. S. A.
6o the Little Boy in the Moon Garden
this Book is dedicated
by His Father
The Princess Aurelia
The Moon-Calf. .
The Man who Knew
David in the Water
The Moon-House .
Less Than Nothing
Phyllis. ... ........ 84
The Last Play-Day .. . 91
Behind the Moon-Angel. .. 103
The Land of Nowhere . 112
The Black Winged Horse . 126
The Iron Castle . . 135
The Iron Man ........139
The Escape......... .148
Back to the Moon-House . 159
The King's Messenger . 177
Princess Aurelia . . 186
In the garden behind the moon Frontispiece
David looked up into Hans Krout's face 25
Suddenly a half-door opened and there stood
a little old man . . 41
David sat down on the wooden bench and
took up a big blue star . 57
He was standing at an open window .. .69
"Where did you come from, little boy?" said
she . 77
Quick as a flash, David leaped out and upon it 133
Fast flew the black winged horse .. 153
The giant fell crashing upon the stones 163
She placed her hands on his shoulders 189
HEN you look out across the water at
night, after the sun has set and the moon
has risen high enough to become bright,
then you see a long, glimmering moon-path reach-
ing away into the distance. There it lies, stretching
from the moon to the earth, and from the earth
to the moon, as bright as silver and gold, and as
straight and smooth as a turnpike road.
There is nothing in all this world that was not
made for some reason and for some use-not
even the moon-path-but always you must find
for yourself the use of a thing and why it was
So it is with the moon-path as with everything
else. Thousands and thousands of people have
seen that long, level stretch of brightness, and have
looked out at it, and have thought it was beautiful,
but there are very, very few who have ever really
found out what is its use.
It looks like a path, and that is what it really is,
for if you only know how to do so, you may walk
upon it just as easily as you may walk upon a
barn floor. All you need to do is to make a be-
ginning, and there you are. After that it is
smooth enough walking, and you may skip and
play and romp as you choose. Then you may
come and go whenever you have a mind to, and
if you will take my word for it, it is the most beau-
tiful and wonderful road that a body can travel
betwixt here and the land that so few folk ever go
to and come back again.
For the moon-path leads straight to the moon.
That was why it was built-that a body might
go from the brown earth to the moon, and maybe
But why, you. may ask, should anybody want
to go to the moon? That I will tell you. The
reason is that behind the moon there lies the most
wonderful, beautiful, never-to-be-forgotten garden
that the mind can think of. In it live little chil-
dren who,play and romp, and laugh and sing, and
are as merry and happy as the little white lambs
in the green meadow in springtime. There they
never have trouble and worry; they never dispute
nor quarrel; they never are sorry and never cry.
Aye, aye ;--that beautiful garden. One time I
myself saw it--though in a dream-dim and in-
distinct, as one might see such a beautiful place
through a piece of crooked glass. In it was the
little boy whom I loved the best of all. He did
not see me, but I saw him, and I think I was
looking into the garden out of one of the moon-
windows. I was glad to see him, for he had gone
out along the moon-path, and he had not come
Perhaps you do not understand what I mean,
but maybe you will after you have read this
story. For it is all about a little girl who went to
the garden behind the moon and lived amid all the
beautiful things. Also it is about a little boy twho
paid a visit to the moon-house, where the Man-in-
the-moon lives, and how he too went out the back
door into the moon-garden.
It was the Mioon-Angel who told the story to
me, and now I shall tell it to you just as nearly
as I can remember it.
The Princess Aurelia
ONCE upon a time for this is the way
that every true fairy story begins-
once upon a time there was a King
and a Queen who loved one another dearly, and
had all that they wanted in the world but one
thing. That one thing was a child of their own.
For the house was quiet and silent. There was
no sound of silver voice and merry laughter;
there was no running hither and thither of little
feet; there was no bustle and noise and teasing
to make life sweet to live.
For so it is always dull and silent in a house
where there are no children.
One day, when the sun was shining as yellow
as gold, and the apple-trees were all in bloom,-
pink and white,-the Queen was walking up and
down the garden path, thinking and thinking of
how sad it was in the house without any children
to make things glad. The tears were in hei eyes,
and she wiped them away with her handkerchief.
Suddenly she heard some one speaking quite near
to her: "Lady, lady, why are you so sad ?"
The voice came from the apple-tree, and when
she looked up among the branches there she saw
a beautiful figure dressed all in shining white and
sitting amid the apple blossoms, and around the
face of the figure it was bright like sunlight.
It was the Moon-Angel, though the Queen did
not know that-the Moon-Angel, whom so many
people know by a different name and are so afraid
of, they know not why. The Queen stood look-
ing up at him, and she felt very still and quiet.
"Why are you so sad, lady?" said the Moon-
"Because," said she, "there is no child in the
And if you had a child," said the Moon-Angel,
"would that make you happy'?"
"Yes," said the Queen.
The Moon-Angel smiled till his face shone bright
like white light. "Then be happy," said he, "For
I have come to tell you that you shall have a
Then, even as the Queen looked, he was gone,
and nothing was there but the blossoms and the
bright blue sky shining through them.
So by and by a little Princess was born to the
King and Queen. And she was a real Princess
too, for she came into the world with a golden
coronet on her head and a golden star on her
shoulder, and so the Queen named her Princess
That same day the Queen died-for the Moon-
Angel never brings something into the house but
he takes something away with him again. So
after all they were more sad and sorrowful than if
the Princess had never been born.
Princess Aurelia grew and grew and grew, and
the older she grew the more beautiful she grew.
But the poor King, her father, was more and more
sad every day. For nobody had ever seen such a
little child as the Princess. She never cried, but
then she never laughed; she never was cross, but
then she never smiled; she never teased, but then
she never spoke a word; she was a trouble to no
one, but then she neither romped nor played. All
day she sat looking around her with her beautiful
blue eyes, and all night long she slept like an
angel, but she might just as well have been a
lovely doll as a little child of flesh and blood.
Everybody said that she had no wits, but you
shall know better than that when you have read
this story and have heard about the moon-garden.
T HERE was a little boy named David who
never had any other name that I know
of, unless it was "Silly" David. For he
was a moon-calf, and all the other children laughed
A moon-calf What is a moon-calf ?
Ah, little child, little child! that is something
you can only learn in one way. For though a
world-wise scientist with two pair of short-sighted
spectacles on his nose may write a great book upon
the differentiation of Human Reason, or another
with far-sighted glasses may write a learned dis-
quisition concerning how many microbes there are
in a cubical inch of butter-milk, they know no
more about what a moon-calf is than my grand-
mother's bed-post. "Moon-calf!" says such an
one; "I do not know what a moon-calf is. There
is no such thing. It's nonsense."
If you want to know what a moon-calf really
is you will either have to ask the Moon-Angel or
else read for yourself in one of his never-to-be-
altogether-understood books, where such things
are told about, if you only have the wits to under-
stand what is written there.
David was a moon-calf. He carried more wits
about him than the little Princess Aurelia, but
nevertheless everybody called him a moon-calf.
None of the other children would play with him
because he was so silly, and so he had always to
help his mother about the house, and to look after
the baby when she was busy. He lived in a vil-
lage that stood on the rocky shores of a great sea
that stretched far, far away toward the east, so that
whenever the moon was round and full, there was
the bright moon-path reaching away from the
dark earth to the shining disk in the east.
It was a queer, quaint little village in which
little David lived. Nearly every one in it, except
the minister, the mayor, the schoolmaster and
Hans Krout, the crazy cobbler, were fisher folk.
It had steep roofs, one climbing up over the other
as though to peep over one another's shoulders at
the water below. Nearly at the top of the cliff
was a church with a white steeple, and beyond
that was an open common, where there was grass,
and where the geese and the cows fed, and where
the boys and the girls played of an evening. Up
above on the top of the cliffs was the highway,
which ran away across the country and through
the fields, past the villages, to the King's city.
David loved the sea as a little lamb loves its
mother, and oftentimes when the day was pleasant
he would carry the baby down to the shore and
sit there on the rocks in the sun and look out
across the water. There he would sit hour after
hour, and sing to himself and the baby, and think
his own thoughts all to himself.
None of the other children were at all like him.
They had brown freckled faces and shock heads
and strong hands that were nearly always dirty.
When they played with one another they would
laugh and shout and romp like young colts, and
tussle and roll over and over upon the grass.
Poor little David would sometimes stand looking
at them wonderingly. He would have liked to
play with them, but he could not, because he
was only a moon-calf, and so simple. Sometimes
the little boys, and even the little girls, would
laugh at him because he was so foolish, and had a
pale face and pale blue eyes, and nursed the baby.
Sometimes they called him "simpleton," and some-
times they called him "nurse-a-baby." When
they teased him, he would carry the baby off to
the rocks and would sit there and look out across
the water and think of it all, and maybe want to
cry so badly that his throat ached.
The Man who Knew Less Than
B UT there was one in the village who neither
laughed at David nor called him moon-calf.
That was Hans Krout, the cobbler. For
Hans Krout also was moon-struck. Some of the
people of the village used to say that he knew
less than nothing, and I dare say what they said
was true enough-only sometimes it takes more
wits to know less than nothing than to know
more than a little.
But Hans Krout had not always been thus.
One time he was as world-wise as anybody else.
One time he had a wife living with him. He had
worked hard when he was young to earn enough
money for two people to live upon, and when he
had earned it he had married the girl he liked
best. They lived together for a while, and then
she died. After that Hans Krout became just as
he was now, so that some people said he was
crazy, and some that he knew less than nothing.
Yet, in spite of what folks said, Hans Krout
did know something. He knew more about the
moon-path, and the Moon-Angel, and the moon
itself than almost anybody.
Little David was very fond of Hans Krout, and
when he was not helping his mother, or nursing
the baby, or sitting by himself down among the
rocks, he used to be in the cobbler's shop watch-
ing Hans Krout cobble shoes.
This is how Hans Krout would do it:
He always sat on a bench that had a leather
seat to it, and a box at one side. The box was
full of brads, and wax-ends, and cobbler's wax,
and shoe-pegs, and this and that and what not
and the other. Hans Krout would take up a shoe
and put into it a wooden foot that he called a last.
Then he would fit a piece of sole-leather to the
upper and tack it down to the sole of the wooden
last. Then he would hold the shoe and all tight
between his knees with a strap that went down
under his foot. Then he would take his crooked
awl and drive it in through the leather sole and
out the upper. Then he would stick the two bris-
tles of the wax-end into the hole he had made.
Then stretching his arms and drawing the thread
about his little fingers, that were always black
with shoemaker's wax, he would give a grunt and
draw the thread tight.
That is the way he would sew the shoes;-this
is the way he would drive the pegs:
He would make a hole with his awl in the sole
of the shoe. Then he would stick a little wooden
peg into it. Then, rap-tap-tap, he would drive in
the peg with his queer, round-faced hammer, and
there the peg would be as tight as wax. Then,
by and by, he would take his knife and trim off
the tops of all the wooden pegs he had driven into
the shoe, and rub down the sole till it shone like
Yes, indeed! It is a very wonderful thing to see.
When I was a little boy like David there used
to be a cobbler at the old toll-gate under the
weeping-willow trees. He had a little black dog,
blind of both eyes, whom the Moon-Angel used to
lead around hither and thither with a string that
nobody could see. I used to go down to the toll-
gate and sit there and watch the cobbler cobble
shoes just as David used to sit and watch Hans
Krout at his work, and to this day I believe it
takes more wits to cobble a pair of shoes than to
write a big book, and more cleverness to make a
good wax-end than to draw a picture with a
But it was not altogether the shoe cobbling that
brought David to the cobbler shop. Hans Krout
had a fiddle, and he could play you a tune so
sweet and thin and clear that it would make your
throat fill up with happiness to listen to him.
When he was not busy he used to play the fid-
dle to David, and David would sit and listen and
listen, and the baby would suck its thumb and go
But it was not altogether the fiddle either that
brought David to the cobbler shop. For the most
wonderful thing about Hans Krout was that he
was as full of stories as an- egg is full of meat. He
could tell you about princes and princesses, and
kings and nobles, and lords and giants and hob-
goblins, by the hour and by the day, when he was
not busy cobbling shoes.
But even this was not the best, for Hans
Krout knew ever so much more than these things.
He knew all about the Moon-Angel and the moon-
path and the moon-garden and the moon-house,
and he would sometimes tell the little boy about
them. That was the most wonderful of all, for all
the other things were only fairy tales, but what he
told about moonshine was real.
"Were you ever out along the moon-path your-
self?" said David.
"Yes," said Hans Krout. "As true as I sit
here. I did n't know how to travel the moon-
path at first, for I had n't learned the trick. All
the same I knew that Katherine" -Katherine was
Hans Krout's wife-" that Katherine had gone out
that way-I mean along the moon-path-with
the Moon-Angel. And so I tried and tried, and by
and by I learned how to do it. I was down on
the shore one night," said Hans Krout, "and there
was the moon-path stretching away toward the
moon. I knew that this was just the time to take
a walk upon it, for the moon was neither too high
toward heaven, nor too low toward the earth.
There was a wave coming in toward the shore.
Right on top of the wave was a crooked bar of
moonlight. I knew that was what I had to stand
upon, and so I stepped out. But just as I did so I
got frightened, and-souse! there I was in the
water over head and ears. Well, what of that'?
I got out and walked home. But I was n't going
to give it up-not I. I went out again another
day. There was the moon-path, and there was
the wave, and there was the bar of moonlight
right a-top of the wave. I stepped out again, and
this time I was n't afraid. This time, would you
believe it, I did n't fall into the water at all. All
the same I had to jump off that wave on to another,
for the moonlight was sliding away under my feet.
It was as slippery as glass. I jumped to the next
wave and to the next and to the next, and then I
was all right, and it was like gravel under my feet,
and I ran just like you run along the shore where
the gravel is. Then by and by the path was like
a field of pure light with blades of silver grass,
and I ran along just as you do when you run
across the fields up on the hills."
"Did you get to the moon ? said David.
"No," said Hans Krout, not that time. I did
get to the moon afterwards, but not that time."
"And what was it like inside of the moon "
Hans Krout looked at him and smiled just like
a little child when it first awakens-a foolish,
silly, simple smile that had no more wits in it than
moonshine itself. But it seemed to David that his
face grew white and shone bright. He got up,
took his fiddle down from the wall, and began
to play. He played and played, and little David
sat and listened and listened, and the baby slept
on and smiled and smiled, until Hans Krout grew
tired of playing. Then he laid his fiddle aside
and began cobbling shoes, rap-tap-tap! and the
baby came awake and began reaching for David's
face. I wish you 'd show me how to walk on
the moon-path some time," said David.
So I will," said Hans Krout, if you '11 be a
good boy and mind the baby." Rap-tap-tap!
and he drove another peg. Then David heard
his mother calling, and he knew he had to go
"Moon-calf!" called Tom Stout, as he went
along the street. Moon-calf! Moon-calf! Moon-
calf! called all the other boys and some of the
Little David looked over his shoulder and
laughed. He did not mind how much they called
him moon-calf now, for Hans Krout had promised
to show him the way to the moon-path, and if he
was to play on the moon-path, why, of course he
must be a moon-calf.
David in the Water
SHERE is only one evening or two at most
out of all the twenty-eight and a quarter
days that it takes for the moon to change
from full to full in which you can travel upon the
moon-path. Maybe after a while, and when you
get very well acquainted with the way and know
just how to set about it, you can travel the moon-
path almost whenever you choose. But when
you are learning there is, as I said, only one or,
at most, two evenings in all the twenty-eight and
a quarter days in which you are able to walk out
upon it. Those evenings are the second or third
after the full of the moon.
I will tell you why this is so. It is because,
when the moon is quite full, there is too much
daylight to see the moon-path when the moon
first rises. And when the moon is too far past
the full, there is too much night to see what you
are about. For when you are learning to walk
upon the moon-path it must be neither daylight
nor dark, but just betwixt and between.
So it is that the proper time comes only twice
or thrice in all the twenty-eight and a quarter
days that it takes the moon to change from full
"Do you know," said Hans Krout to David,
"that yesterday was the full of the moon ? "
No; I did n't," said David. "But what of
"Well, I will tell you," said Hans Krout; "this
evening will be the best time for me to show you
the way to walk out upon the moon-path.
"And will you show me the way to-night'?"
cried the little boy.
"I will," said Hans Krout, if you will come
to me just after sundown."
Silly little David could hardly believe his ears.
It was not until after sundown that he was
able to leave the baby, for the little one cried and
fretted, and fretted and cried, until David thought
she would never be quiet. But at last she grew
still, and fell fast asleep, with her thumb in her
mouth. Then he was able to leave her. He came
out into the wide air full of the brightness of the
twilight that had not yet turned into dusk. There
was Hans Krout waiting for him in front of the
cobbler-shop, shading his eyes with his hand.
Hi! David," he said, "I have been waiting for
you a long, long time."
"Well," said David, "here I am."
"Aye;" said Hans Krout, "there you are.
Part of you here, part of you there. That's the
way to travel the moon-path."
I don't know what you mean," said David.
"Don't you? said Hans Krout, as he looked
silly and laughed.
He took David by the hand and led him away
up the village street. The little boys and some of
the little girls were chasing around and around the
grassy common. The geese were cackling, and
the cows were lowing, as they were turned out to
grass again for the night. Everything looked
strange and gray and still in the bright, shadow-
less twilight. The little boys and the little girls
stopped their play and stood looking after Hans
Krout and silly little David. Then they began
halloing after them. Some of them said:
"Hans Krout, Hans Krout,
Your wits are out, your wits are out! "
And some called, Moon-calf! Moon-calf! after
David looked up into Hans Krout's face, and he
looked so strange, that the little boy was almost
Thus they walked on together, hand in hand.
By and by they left the village behind, and were
going along the rocky shore of the sea. They
went along, climbing up and down the stony path,
until at last they came to a place where David
had never been before. Here there was a level
shelf of rock, and against the foot of the shelf the
waves came in from the sea beyond, rising and
falling as though the water was breathing. The
w ,r ?
David looked up into Hans Kr'out's face.
light was growing more and more gray. David
looked up.- There was just one bright star shining
in the pallid sky.
Hans Krout stood quite still, holding him by
the hand, and looking out toward the purple gray
of the east. Little silly David looked up now at
the star, and now at Hans Krout's face, and every
now and then out across the water. The sky grew
darker and darker, and by and by the gray be-
gan to change to a dim blue. At first there had
been a ruddy light all over the east, as though the
sunshine lingered over yonder, after it had left
everywhere else. Then, after awhile, that too had
faded out, and had changed to blue-gray, and
looked almost like a bank of clouds. Then the
yellow moon came slowly up, out of nowhere.
First the rim of it showed, then the half of it,
then the whole of it. Then it floated up, slowly,
slowly, into the soft, dark sky, like a golden bub-
ble. Hans Krout's face shone as though the
moonlight were shining upon it. "Wait a little,"
The moon rose higher and higher, and little
David held his breath. There was the moon-path
stretching across the water. Yonder it is," said
Hans Krout, and now is your time."
What shall I do ?" said the little boy.
"Step out like a soldier," said Hans Krout.
"But what shall I step upon ?" said David.
"There," said Hans Krout, don't you see that
bar of light on the tip-top of that wave ? Step on
the top of that, and then you will know what to
Poor little David's head seemed to spin. The
wave came closer and closer. Now, then," said
Hans Krout, "step out like a soldier-quick!"
Then David did as Hans Krout told him. He
stepped out on the crest of the wave as it came up
against the shelf of rock. It seemed to him he
stood so for a moment upon the slippery bar of
light; then he felt suddenly very much afraid.
"Oh, I am falling!" he piped shrilly. Then-
souse!-he was struggling and choking in the
deep water that gurgled above his head. Once
he came up to the top of the water. He saw a
glimpse of the moon, and of Hans Krout, and then
he was down again--struggling and choking.
Somebody caught him by the collar-it was Hans
Krout. The next moment he was dragged up on
the rock like a drowning kitten. He gasped and
choked and gasped again. Then he began to cry.
Hans Krout seemed to be frightened at what he
had done. 1He stood for a moment looking at
David as he shivered, and shook, and cried; then
he turned and walked away back toward the vil-
lage, with the poor little boy trotting behind him
still crying and shivering, the salt water and the
salt tears trickling down his poor little thin face.
Hans Krout did not stop at David's house to
tell them how it happened. He hurried home al-
most as though he were running away. David's
father was sitting mending his nets. He looked
up as David came creeping in, wet and shivering.
"Thunder and lightning!" said David's father,
taking the pipe out of his mouth, "what has hap-
pened to you, little child ?"
"I tried to walk on the moon-path," said little
David, "and I fell through it into the water.
That is all."
"Tried to walk on the moon-path!" said
David's father. "What does the child mean?"
"Hans Krout took me out," said David, "and
showed me the moon-path, and how to walk on
it; but when I stepped on it I got frightened and
slipped through into the water."
David's father sat staring at him, holding his
pipe in his crooked brown fingers. "What is all
this nonsense?" said he. "Hans Krout, is it?-
showing you the moon-path? Well, you shall go
with Hans Krout no more, for he is crazy and
knows not what he does. Here, Margaret, take
the child and put him to bed. Why, he is cold
to the marrow! Moon-path! The crazy shoe-
maker will be the death of somebody yet!"
So David's mother put him to bed, and David
cried himself to sleep.
H ANS KROUT seemed almost afraid of
David for a while after that. He would
not speak to the little boy on the street,
and even when David came to the cobbler-shop
he would not play his fiddle. Neither would he
tell David the story of the Princess in the Glass
Hill with three lions at the door, and the Prince
with the red band around his wrist. Once he had
promised to tell the story, but now he would not.
He just stitched and rapped and cobbled at his
shoes as though he had wits for nothing else.
"Are you angry with me, Hans?" said David.
"I am not," said Hans.
"What is it, then ? said David.
"It is nothing," said Hans.
"But will you not tell me the story'?" said
"I will not," said Hans.
"Why not?" said David.
"Because the Master Cobbler has stopped up
my wits with shoe-maker's wax," said Hans.
"Who is the Master Cobbler?" said David.
"No matter," said Hans.
David sat for a long time looking at Hans.
"Will you show me the moon-path again some
time ?" said he, after a while.
"I do not know," said Hans Krout, without
looking up, "that depends."
"Depends upon what ?" said David.
"Depends upon the Master Cobbler," said Hans.
So all that month Hans Krout was dull and
silent and stupid, and would hardly speak to
David. He would not even look at the baby, and
so David had to go off by himself to find amuse-
There was a place down by the sea-shore where
he always went at such times; he called it his
sea-house. There was a little sandy, gravelly
floor, with the rocks all around it. There was a
pool of water full of sea-weed, and strange things
that were alive-sea-anemones and crabs and
shell-fish. Everything smelt salt, and out beyond
you could see the sea, with the sun shining and
sparkling and dancing on the waves. That was
where David used to go by himself with the baby
to be alone.
It was there that he first saw the Moon-Angel.
This is how it was: the baby had been fretting
and crying, and David's mother was very cross,
for she had been sitting up the night before with
poor little Barbara Stout, who was very sick, so
that Barbara's mother might get a little wink of
sleep. So David took the baby to make her
quiet, and as soon as he had done so, she stuck
her thumb in her mouth and stopped crying.
The sun was shining warm and bright, and
David took the baby down to his sea-house.
The wind was blowing, and he sat looking out
across the sea and at the big. waves that rose
and fell as though the water were breathing long
and deep,-the big waves that soughed and
sighed among the rocks as though the sea were
murmuring in its sleep. All over the bosom of
the waves there were little wavelets that leaped
and skipped and winked and twinkled as the
breeze came chasing them. The sea-gulls hov-
ered and skimmed overhead, looking down at
David and laughing ha-ha-ha" in the sunlight.
So there David sat and looked out across the
wide, bright, deep, breathing water and the danc-
ing little waves, and the baby lay with her thumb
in her mouth, staring up into the blue sky.
Then he saw the Moon-Angel for the first time.
"Why not try the moon-path to-night ? said
a voice behind David. David turned his head
quickly, and the baby turned her head also, for
she heard the voice as well as David.
David thought at first it was Hans Krout, the
cobbler, but it was not. It was the Moon-Angel.
David knew who it was as soon as he set eyes
on him, for David was of that kind who can see
more through the square hole of a millstone than
t' other side of it, and so he knew it was the
Moon-Angel as soon as he set eyes on him. The
Moon-Angel's face shone as white as silver, and his
hair floated out like a bright cloud around the
moon. He had on a long, dim, silver-white robe
that reached to his bare feet, and though the robe
was perfectly plain and dim silver-white, yet it
sparkled all over with little stars, just as the dim
silver-white gray sky sparkles here and there with
stars when the moon is full.
That is what David saw.
To most people the Moon-Angel appears terri-
ble. For there are few folk, unless it is a moon-
calf like David, who can see him in his true shape,
with his face shining brightly, and his hair flowing,
and his dim silver-white robe sparkling with stars.
David took off his hat, and the baby laughed
without taking her finger out of her mouth. I
would like to try again," said he; I did try once,
but I could n't do it."
Why ?" said the Moon-Angel, and he smiled
till his face shone white like the moon.
I got frightened and fell into the water," said
But you should n't have been frightened," said
But I could n't help it," said David.
And what did Hans Krout do then Z asked
"He went home," said David, "and he 's
never said a word about the moon-path from that
day to this."
Again the Moon-Angel smiled, and his face shone
brighter than ever. "Well," said he, "Hans
Krout is a very good man and a great friend of
mine. He can show you the way, and there is no
man about here who can show you the way. Go
to him and tell him that he is to show you the
way to walk on the moon-path to-night."
"Who shall I tell him sent me ? said David.
"Tell him the Master Cobbler sent you," said
Oh, yes," said David, "now I know whom
he meant by the Master Cobbler."
Yes," said the Moon-Angel, "that is right.
Well, then, maybe I will see you after a while.
Just now I am very busy. Good-by."
David still looked at the Moon-Angel. The
Moon-Angel glimmered and glimmered and faded
and was gone, and where he had been was nothing
but the sky and the rocks. David almost won-
dered whether he had seen the Angel or not-
whether what he had seen was really the Angel's
face or just the bright sky shining between the
Afterwards he knew well enough he had really
seen the Moon-Angel, for it was just after this
that little Barbara Stout's mother began crying
and clapping her hands together, and that the
neighbors came in and found that the little sick
girl had died.
But David knew nothing of that. He got up
and, carrying the baby, went off to Hans Krout
and told him what he had seen and what the
Moon-Angel had said to him. "Yes," said Hans
Krout, that was His Serene Highness, the Master
Cobbler, for sure and certain. Well, well, since
he says so, I will take you down to the moon-
path to-night, and we will try it again."
"And what do you suppose the Moon-Angel
was doing about here'" said David.
"He came to take the little sick Barbara away
to the moon-garden," said Hans Krout. Then he
took down his fiddle and began to play for the
first time in a month, and David sat and listened,
and the baby went to sleep.
That night Hans Krout led David down to the
moon-path again, for it was the day after the full
moon. They went off together just as they had
done before; out of the village and along the
stony path among the boulders, until they came to
the same place where they had been before-the
flat rock against which the waves came in from
the wide sea beyond. Again they sat there
waiting and waiting while the sky grew from
rosy to gray, and from gray to purple, and from
purple to dusk; until the moon rose as yellow as
honey over the edge of the ocean; until it floated
like a bubble up into the sky-then there was
the moon-path just as it had been before.
"Now, then," said Hans Krout, "there comes
a good bar of light on the top of yonder wave.
Remember the Moon-Angel -quick!-step out
like a soldier. There you are-now, then!"
David did think of the Moon-Angel, and he
stepped upon the wave almost without knowing
what he was doing. This time he was not afraid,
and the next moment there he was standing upon
the bar of light. It seemed to slip and slide un-
der his feet as though it were alive. He nearly
fell, but he did not remember to be afraid. An-
other wave came with another twisting, wriggling
bar of light upon the top of it. David stepped
upon it just in time to save himself from falling.
Then another wave came, and he stepped upon it;
then another and another wave. Each broken
piece of light was closer and closer to him than
the one he had left, and almost before he knew it
he found himself running across what was no
longer broken bars of light but what seemed to
him to be shifting, changing gravel of shining
He looked up; the moon had not risen any
further out of the water. There it hung, almost
round and almost full, just above the edge of
the horizon a great bubble of brightness.
Now then David was away even from the
gravel, and he found himself running across what
seemed to be a great field of light covered all
over with soft sparkles of silver grass. Every-
thing shimmered, and quivered, and glistened
around him, and he felt the light rise up against
his eyes and his face. The breeze blew through
his hair. He felt so happy, he did not know what
to do. He skipped and capered just as a little
lamb skips and capers on the grass. It seemed to
David as though the moon, was coming towards
him; it appeared to grow bigger and bigger-
he was really getting closer and closer to the
moon. It was no longer like a bubble; it was
like a great round globe of light. Then, almost
before he knew, he was at the edge of the hori-
zon, with nothing beyond him but emptiness. And
there was the great moon rising above him as big
as a church.
David stood quite still and looked up at it.
Click-clack! What was that Suddenly a half-
door opened and there stood a little old man, as
gray as the evening, with long white hair and queer
clothes, and a face covered all over with cobwebs
of silver wrinkles. It was the Man-in-the-moon,
and he was smoking a long pipe of tobacco.
"How do you do, David ?" said he. "Will you
"Why, yes", said David, "I would like to."
~ ..:,~s~t~: -~,
Sadd, it,ll! a half-door opened and
there stood a little old man.
:~; i .~i~sff,
"That is good," said the Man-in-the-moon, and
he opened the other half of the door. "Now!
Give me your hand."
The Man-in-the-moon reached down to David,
and David reached up to the Man-in-the-moon.
"Now, then!-A long step," said the Man-in-
the-moon-and there was David in the doorway
of the moon-house.
Then the moon rose slowly, slowly, up into the
sky and floated away, and the Man-in-the-moon
shut the door click! clack!
U PON my word, I sometimes think I would
rather go to the moon-house than almost
anywhere else I know of. I have read
all about it in the Moon-Angel's book, and know
pretty well just what it is like- that is why I would
like so well to see it. Some people are dreadfully
afraid of the moon-house; it seems to them to be
white and cold and awful. That is because they
only see the outside of it, and do not know what is
within. It is not what such people fancy it to be;
it is a calm, beautiful, lovely place, from the back-
door of which you step into the other side of no-
where. I used to be just as much afraid of the
moon-house as the most foolish of them. Some-
times I would dream about it at night, and it
seemed to me to be a great white emptiness, from
which you could see nothing at all, and in which
you could not hear anything, or feel anything, or
know anything. Then one day the Moon-Angel
came to me with his book under his arm. "Would
you like to know about the moon-house 1 said he.
"Yes; I would," said I.
"Very well," said he, then look! "
He opened his book, and I looked over his
shoulder and read it. It was all about the moon-
house, and I read, and read, and read. Since then
I have never been afraid of the moon-house, for
now I know pretty well what it is, and that it is
a most wonderful, strange, curious, odd, fanciful,
beautiful place, that one can get into for the sake
of getting out again.
For, of course, no one wants to live in the moon-
house forever-that is, no one except the Man-in-,
the-moon, and he does not mind it any more than
a cat minds living in the kitchen.
The Man-in-the-moon led David up the front
stairs into the moon, and everything shone as
white as bright light. Up the stairs they went,
and up the stairs, a long, long way. By and by
they came out into a great round room, and it was
the first floor of the moon-house. It was the
moon-kitchen, and there the Man-in-the-moon does
all his cooking and brewing and patching and
mending, for it is full of all sorts of odds and ends
of things that men have seen and heard about and
forgotten-and they are ten thousand times more
numerous than the things that men have seen and
heard about and remembered.
There the Man-in-the-moon sat down and looked
at David, and David stared at the Man-in-the-
moon. There was something about him that
looked-looked-David did not know whether it
was like Hans Krout or the Moon-Angel-and
yet he looked like neither. He was just the Man-
in-the-moon, and he looked no more like Hans
Krout or the Moon-Angel than I do.
Then the Man-in-the-moon began laughing.
"Well," said he, here you are, David."
Yes," said David, here I am."
And how do you like it said the Man-in-
David looked all around him. "I like it very
well," said he-" if only I were sure of somebody
to look after the baby down below there."
Have no fear of that," said the Man-in-the-
moon. You have left a part of yourself down
there behind you, and that will look after the baby
as well as you ever were able to do yourself."
"What do you mean '" said David. "What
part of me have I left down there ? "
You have left your hat and clothes and shoes,"
said the old man, and nobody down there knows
otherwise than that you are in them."
"And will they look after the baby as well as
I would do asked David.
"They will," said the Man-in-the-moon.
"Then I shall like it here very well," said
David, at least for a while."
Would you like to go up-stairs and look out
of the windows ? said the old man. That is the
first thing that all the folk who come here ask
And what do they see said David.
They see the inside-of-nothing-at-all," said the
"I would like to see that," said David.
"Come along, then," said the Man-in-the-moon.
He led the way up another flight of stairs to
the second story. There was a great room with
a floor as level and as smooth as glass, and there
were twelve great windows of crystal that looked
out of it. From the windows you could see all
that you ever heard tell of and more beside, for
from those windows you can, as the Man-in-the-
moon said, see the inside-of-nothing-at-all.
Come here," said the Man-in-the-moon, and
you may look out of this window."
He raised the curtain as he spoke, and David
came and looked out.
Now, when you look out of a window of a com-
mon house, you see things far away. That is
because you are not in the moon-house looking
out of a moon-window. When David looked out
of the window, he saw things very close at hand.
That was because he was in the moon-house look-
ing out of the moon-window, and not in a common
house looking out of a common window.
What David Saw
He found himself suddenly upon a wide river,
the stream moving slowly and sluggishly between
the banks, where the grass and weeds stood straight
and as tall as a man's head. Overhead was a cloud-
less sky, in which the sun shone as hot as a flame
of fire. There was a boat coming down the river
with a queer crooked sail, spread in hopes of
catching a breeze, though there was no wind blow-
ing. Three men were rowing the boat, and the
oars dipped and flashed in the sunlight.
It was all very strange to David, and yet it
was all singularly familiar to him. He could not
think why it should be so familiar until he remem-
bered that he had heard Ned Strong, the sailor-
man, tell his father about this very place, which
he had seen in his travels, and all that had hap-
pened there. Then David knew it was a place
Dear, dear; how hot the sun shone! David
wished he had brought his hat. When you looked
out across the tall grass, the level stretch seemed
to tremble and quiver in the heat. It was all
grass, grass as far as the eye could see.
The boat came nearer and nearer, just as Ned
Strong had said. Then it was very close, and
David could see everything in it, just as though
he were looking over the side of a ship as Ned
Strong had done. In the boat, beside those who
were rowing, were a great lot of black people-
men and women-each without a single stitch of
clothes upon his or her body. All the poor black
people were fastened together with great, long
ropes, and each wore a collar of wood, to which
the rope was fastened.
David remembered that Ned Strong had said
that these were slaves, and he felt almost more
sorry for them than he had felt in all his life be-
fore. The poor slaves sat there staring straight
before them. They looked scared and starved
and thin, and their ribs were like barrel hoops,
just as Ned Strong had said, their bodies hollow,
and their arms and necks like skin and bones.
But there they sat patiently without moving, and
the -flies crawled over them, and they did not have
the spirit to brush them away. There was one
young woman who sat with her baby lying upon
her knees. She sat the most quietly and pa-
tiently of all, for she was dead, though nobody
knew it. By and by, a man dressed in a loose
robe, and with a fez on his head, came down the
long board that ran the length of the boat. When
he came to the woman he stopped and looked at
her, and saw that she was dead, though the baby
was still alive. Then he called to some of his men,
who came and loosened the rope about her, for it
was of no use to keep the woman any longer, and
so they threw her overboard. David was crying.
The baby still lay in the boat, and then the man
with the loose robe and the fez picked it up, and
threw it also into the water after the mother, for
it too was of no use. David screamed aloud.
Then, lo and behold! everything was gone like
a flash. What David saw now was the bottom of
the river, and all around was nothing but water.
There were great beds of long water grass twisting
and moving slowly as the slow river water drifted
past. Overhead David could see the round bot-
tom of the boat as it moved slowly away, the oars
still dipping and making round golden rings on
the smooth surface of the river overhead. It was
very cool and pleasant down there at the bottom
of the river, under the water, and the black wo-
man and the black baby lay not far from one
another, each in a bed of soft green water grass.
Then somebody came walking along through
the beds of long, cool water grasses. It was the
Moon-Angel. He came to where the black
woman lay, and he took her by the hand. Then
she arose and stood looking about her. The
Moon-Angel picked up the baby and laid it in her
arms. Come," said he, we must be going."
The negro mother, with her baby in her arms,
followed the Moon-Angel as he led them up out
of the water into a garden, where there were
children playing. They stopped playing as the
Moon-Angel led the black woman with the baby
through the garden. David looked about him; it
was a very wonderful garden. There were flow-
ers everywhere, and there was a meadow in the
distance, and a row of trees along by a river, and
far away beyond that, a great city, sparkling white
in the sunlight against the still blue sky. Then
David understood that the children belonged to
the city, and that their teacher had brought them
out into the garden to play.
(He did not then know that it was one of the
gardens behind the moon.)
The children joined David, and followed along
after the black woman and her baby and the
Moon-Angel, and their teachers did not forbid
them. The black woman looked around at the
children and laughed, and they also laughed.
"Where are you going? called David to the
black woman. "Where is the Moon-Angel going
to take you ? "
The woman answered him, but even though he
was a moon-calf, David could not understand what
she said, for she spoke in no words that fitted to
any speech except the speech of a very few.
By and by David found that the children were
no longer following the Moon-Angel and the
woman with her baby. Then he heard somebody
calling him. He looked around; it was the Man-
in-the-moon. "Stop!" called the Man-in-the-
moon. Come back! You must go no further."
"Why hot said David.
"Because you 've got to the end of nowhere,"
said the Man-in-the-moon, and no one can go fur-
ther than that unless the Moon-Angel takes him."
"But I 'd like to see where she goes," 'said
David. Then the Man-in-the-moon ran forward
and caught him by the coat and pulled him back.
As he did so, there suddenly came a flash of great
light that shone all around and dazzled David's
eyes. In the blinding light, David could see nothing
at all, and he stood there quite still, trembling and
frightened. Then he heard something like the
sound of thunder in the distance. But it was not
that; it was the sound of thousands and thousands
of voices, singing in a multitudinous cadence, that
was like the rushing of many waters, and like the
vast hum of far-away music, and like the distant
pealing of thunder. The Moon-Angel and the
woman and the baby were gone, and there was
nothing but the light and the sound.
Ah yes, little child. For there is as much joy
and gladness over one poor black woman who
enters into that place as there is over the whitest
empress who ever walked the earth of Christendom.
Suddenly something was closed, and David
found himself inside the moon-house. The Man-
in-the-moon had drawn the curtain over the win-
dow,-that was all.
But where did the woman and the baby go ?"
"That," said the Man-in-the-moon, "you will
have to ask the Moon-Angel himself sometime
when you meet him. But tell me, did you like
.what you saw? "
"It was very beautiful," said David. "But
Ned Strong did not tell my father about all that I
have seen. He only told about those poor slaves,
and how the woman and the little baby were
thrown into the water.
The Man-in-the-moon laughed. Aye, aye,"
said he, that was because he saw the outside of
things. If Ned Strong could only come here to
the moon-house, and look out of the second story
window, as you have done, he would not have
bothered himself about the outside, which is no
more to the inside of things than the shell of the
egg is to the meat."
"But," said David, "why did there have to be
such an outside ? Why did the poor black woman
have to be ill-treated, and starve and die, and why
did the poor little black baby have to be thrown
alive into the water ? The other part was beau-
tiful, but that was dreadful and sad."
The Man-in-the-moonlaughed again. "Because,"
said he, "everything that -has an inside must
have an outside as well, for there can be no in-
side unless there is an outside. And this is true,
little child: the more sad the outside, the more
beautiful almost always is the inside. But, come,
you must go to work now. You have spent enough
time looking out of the window. To-morrow
night you shall see something else, but now it is
time to go to work."
Then the Man-in-the-moon led David up to the
third story of the moon-house, where there was
nothing above him except the hollow, empty sky.
The first thing David saw was a great basket full
of stars of all sorts and sizes and kinds. Some
shone white, and some blue, and some rosy red.
The light shone from them so that all about was
a mist of brightness.
David stared with all his eyes, as well he
David sat down on the wooden bench
and took up a big blue star.
might, for there are few indeed who get into
the third story of the moon-house and see what
David saw--that great basket full of bright
Beside the basket was a bundle of lamb's-wool.
"There is your Work," said the Man-in-the-moon.
"It is to polish the stars with lamb's-wool, so
that they may shine brightly, when the moon
wanes and the sky is dark once more."
David sat down on the wooden bench and took
up a big blue star. He blew his breath upon it
and rubbed it with the lamb's-wool, and as he
rubbed it it grew brighter and brighter, and
pulsed and glowed and throbbed with light as
though it were alive. David did not know how
beautiful a star could be until he held it in his
own hand and rubbed it with lamb's-wool.
I dare say that you will hardly believe that
this is the truth. I dare say there are some wise
folk, each of whom wears two pairs of spectacles
upon his nose, who will tell you that it is all non-
sense. Well, well, maybe it is all nonsense, but
sometimes there is more solid truth in a little non-
sense than in a whole peck of .potatoes. All that
you have to do is to look up into the sky when
the moon is full, and there you will see for your-
self that there are scarcely any stars to be seen,
and those few so dull and dim that they hardly
twinkle at all. That is because somebody in the
moon is polishing the others with lamb's-wool to
make them bright for the time when the sky is
There are some fezo stars that even those in the
moon do not polish. Those are given to the sun
children to burnish in the sun-oven.
This is not all nonsense.
SO David lived in the moon-house for twelve
days, and every day, when he had no work
to do, he looked out of a moon window.
And each time he looked out of a window he
saw something different from that which he had
seen the day before. One time he saw a trop-
ical forest, where the liana vines hung from the
trees like great curtains, covered all over with red
and yellow and blue flowers, and out beyond the
edge of the forest was the sea, where the man-
groves grew down by the water's edge, and where
black crabs, with little red spots peppered over
their bodies, twiddle their legs and crawled in and
out among the tall, thin roots. The wind rushed
and rattled through the palm leaves, and all sorts
of birds and strange insects flitted and hummed
and buzzed about him. For it was not at all like
looking out of a common window. It seemed to
David as though he were walking in the forest
itself with all these living things buzzing and hum-
ming and moving about him. Ah! it is some-
thing worth while to look out of a moon window,
I can tell you, little child. You yourself will see
how it is some day, for everybody looks out of a
moon window sooner or later, and this is not all
At another time David saw the icebergs glit-
tering bright and transparent with sapphire and
green and red light as they floated in the dark
northern seas. He was, it seemed to him, walking
on the ice-floes, and there were herds of seals and
walrus scattered like black patches along the white
shore. The northern lights waved like white and
violet banners in the air, and queer little Eskimo
folk--men, women, and children--clad all in furs,
crept in and out of their ice houses.
At another time it was as though he was aboard
of a great ship, with its sails spread white and
round, as it went sailing away toward the Indies;
plunging and yawing across the ocean, with clouds
of foam and spray under the bow, and with little
Mother Carey's chickens flitting from wave to
wave astern, waiting for the cook to throw good
things overboard. The great waves rose and fell,
and the air was full of the sound of rushing waters.
The tall masts with their tangled maze of rigging
swung back and forth across the sky, and the salt
'air swept dank and cool across the deck. It was
famous sailing weather.
All these things David saw out of the windows
of the moon-house and it was just as though he
was living in the midst of them, as you live in the
midst of things when you are out of doors. But
I have told you only the outside of what he saw.
Always David would see the inside as well-how
the great tangled, useless tropical forest was work-
ing and working with all its might and main to get
things in such order that man might live there some
day or other; how the great brown earth lay fast
asleep under the arctic ice fields, waiting until its
time should come to work as the tropical forests
were woi'king; how the great ship, that the cap-
tain, and the supercargo, and the sailors thought
was carrying calico and cotton cloth to the coolies,
was really and truly carrying old things to the
Moon-Angel, so that he might make them over
into new things again. These were the things
that David saw.'
So the days passed, and every evening the Man-
in-the-moon came and took the stars that David
had polished and stuck them up in the sky where
they belonged. You may see that for yourself if
you watch; for as the moon passes the full, the
sky grows darker and more dark, and the stars
grow greater and greater in number, as the Man-
in-the-moon puts them back in their places.
And now David began to see the very strangest
part of the strange things that concern the moon-
Each day the moon-house grew less and less
bright. By and by, half the moon-house was dark
and half shone as white as shining silver. By and
by three fourths of the moon was dark and only
one fourth was bright. By and by the moon-house
was all dark except just a little rim of silver light.
And each day there were fewer and fewer of
the twelve windows open. By and by there were
six of them closed and six of them open. By
and by there were nine of them closed and only
three of them open. By and by they were all
closed, and the second story was darkened as a
room is darkened in summer time when you are
sent to take a nap in the afternoon.
SAnd each day there were fewer and fewer
stars in the basket in the third story. By and by
the basket was half emptied. By and by it was
three quarters emptied. By and by it was all
emptied but just a few scattered stars in the
bottom. At last they were all gone, and the
Man-in-the-moon came up-stairs and shut the
trap-door that led up from below into the third
story, and locked it with a padlock, and put the
key in his pocket.
He did this because nobody is allowed to be
in the third story of the moon unless they have
stars to polish. That is the way it is inlthe moon,
-and that is the way it is everywhere else and
So, now, the moon was all closed and darkened,
and everything was a dim twilight, just as it is
in a house that is closed and darkened in the day
time. It was of no use to go up into the second
story now, for the windows were all closed. So
David spent all of his time down in the moon-
kitchen, watching the Man-in-the-moon as he
stitched and patched and cobbled and tinkered
and mended at all the queer odds and ends of
things that people have seen or heard of and for-
gotten about. When the Man-in-the-moon was
not doing that, he was cooking or frying at the
stove or making up the beds; and when he was
not doing that, he was reading the almanac by
candle-light. As for stories-clever as was Hans
Krout at telling stories, the Man-in-the-moon knew
ten times more than he, and could play the fiddle
beside, so that, after all, that time of moon dark-
ness was anything but a dull time for David.
Then one day a wonderful thing happened.
Somebody was singing in the second story of
the moon-house, and when David looked up the
stair toward the door-way above, he saw a light
shining through the cracks and the keyhole as
though very bright candles were burning on the
David sat and looked, and listened and won-
dered. What is that said he to the Man-in-
Go and see for yourself," said the Man-in-the-
moon, without looking up from the almanac.
"By myself ?" said David.
"Of course," said the Man-in-the-moon. How
else would you go 9?"
Then David got slowly up from the cricket
where he sat and went up the tall, steep stairs
that led to the second story of the moon-house.
He did not know what was about to happen
next. He stopped and listened at the door. The
singing was louder and louder; it sounded like a
whole hive full of golden bees humming in tune.
The light through the cracks and the key-hole
shone brighter and brighter; it was like the light
of seven hundred and ten wax candles shining in
a dark room. David opened the door a little
crack and peeped in.
The room was all full of brightness, and there
was the Moon-Angel himself.
He was standing at an open window that David
had never seen before, and he stood gazing out of
it into the dark, still, fathomless sky. He was gaz-
ing, gazing at one bright star that shone, now red,
now blue, and flickered and blazed, and then
shone red and then blue again. There he stood
gazing, gazing at the star, and in his eyes were
two shining stars just like the one at which he
was looking, and the two stars in his eyes shoe
now red, now blue, and flickered and blazed, and
then shone red, and then blue again. And all
the time that the Moon-Angel gazed at the star
he sang to himself a soft, low song, such as you
will never hear until the clay stoppers are taken
out of your ears. That was the music that David
heard hummning like a hive of golden bees. The
Moon-Angel never turned his face or looked any-
where but up at the bright star, but as David
gazed at him he knew that the Moon-Angel was
looking at him, even though he was looking so
steadily at that bright star of changing red and
blue. And though the Moon-Angel never stopped
gazing, he spoke to David as though there were
no one else in the world. "How do you do,
David a" said he. "Come in and shut the door."
: : ---7-~iaa~r; :. 5
'''` "' ." 4
I i. i-~p:.-.
He was standing at an open window.
"Thank you, sir," said David. He came in
and shut the door behind him. "What are you
doing ? said he.
"I am making old things new," said the Moon-
David stood and looked at the Moon-Angel,
and-the Moon-Angel stood and gazed at the star
and sang to himself. That is one way he makes
old things new. He did not move so much as a
hair, and yet it was as he said. All the time he
was making old things over into new things.
That is what the Moon-Angel does, and that is
why he was made, and set a-going-so that he
might save a body from growing old forever.
Well, David," said he at last, you have been
a good boy and have done your work well. Now
you shall have three days' holiday."
Thank you, sir," said David. And where
shall I go for my holiday ? "
You shall," said the Moon-Angel, "go into the
moon-garden. That is the best place out of the
world in which to play."
"The moon-garden said David. "That
sounds well, but how shall I get there ? "
Down the back stairs and out the back door,"
said the Moon-Angel.
Thank you, sir," said David. When shall I
"You may go now," said the Moon-Angel.
"Thank you, sir," said David again. But
where are the back stairs "
"Look for yourself and see," said the Moon-
David looked about him, and there they were-
the back stairs. He wondered that he had not
seen them before, just as we all do when we sud-
denly stumble upon them--those back stairs of
There they were, and the strangest part of it was
that, now David had found them, there was no other
way out of the second story of the moon-house.
Yes, it was very strange; but it is as true as the
sun in the blue sky. And as it was with David, so
it is with every one: as soon as you find the back
stairs of the moon-house, you lose sight of the
front stairs, and there is no other way out of the
second story; and when you find the front stairs,
you may hunt until your head spins, but not so
much as a single step of the back stairs can you
find. You can only see one flight of stairs at a
time;--either it'is the front stairs, or else it is the
back stairs. You can find whichever you choose,
but you cannot find them both at the same time.
If you choose to find the front stairs, there they
are, and there is the moon-path and the brown
world far away, and you can get back there when-
ever you choose, if the tide is right. But if you
look for the back stairs, there they are, and the
front stairs are gone, and whither the back stairs
lead, you must find for yourself.
All this, I say, is as true as the sun in the blue
sky. Yes, it is; and you must not believe poets
when they tell you it is not true. The fact is,
that many, many people, who do not know what
they are talking about, vow and declare that there
are no back stairs to the moon, and when you tell
them there are back stairs, they laugh and sneer,
and giggle and snicker and flout at you, and, maybe,
call you a moon-calf, just as the little boys and the
little girls in the village called David a moon-calf.
That is because such folk do not choose to look for
the back stairs, and so they never find them.
But now, there they were, and David knew
that they must lead somewhere, for the stairs
were made for the people to go up and down.
So down-stairs he went-down, down, down.
The stairs were narrow, and he had to feel his way
in the milk-whiteness, but he went on, down, down,
and by and by he saw a bright light shining from
the other side through the cracks of the door, just
as the light had shone from the second story, when
he had been in the moon-kitchen, and the Moon-
Angel up above. And now that he had come to
the door, he heard the sound of voices on the other
side, and they were the voices of children, laugh-
ing and playing. David stopped and listened for
a little while, and thought to himself: There are
little children there, and they are playing with
one another. They will not want me to play
with them, for all the children call me moon-calf,
and if I go there, maybe they will just laugh
and flout at me, as they used to do down in the
village." So he thought at first he would go back
again up into the moon, but then he said to him-
self: "No, the Moon-Angel would not have told
me to come unless he wanted me to do so."
He put up his hand and felt for the lock. He
found it and pressed the latch. Click-clack! the
door opened a crack. Then he pushed it open
wider. Then he stepped out into the brightness
If you want to know how he felt at first, just stay
in a dark room for a half hour, and then step out
into the bright sunlight. David saw nothing at all
but the dazzling light, that was neither like the
light of the sun nor like the light of a cloudy day.
He smelt flowers and heard children's voices, but
he could see nothing. He put up his hand to his
eyes to shelter them, and stood winking and blink-
ing and shrinking. For a moment the children's
voices still rose in a great loud babble, then sud-
denly they ceased, and everything was hushed and
still. David knew that they were all looking at
him. "Now they will call me moon-calf," he
thought to himself.
But they did not. Oh-h-h! said the voices,
and they rose higher and higher, and shriller and
shriller. "Oh-h-h-h, here is a new little boy!"
and then David could look around him.
Yes; there he was in the midst of the moon-
garden, but there was no moon-house in sight.
There was a broad level lawn of grass with a
sun-dial and rose bushes. Beyond the lawn there
were trees rich both with flowers and fruit. Over
the tops of the trees he could see a long, bright-
red brick house, with a row of windows that
shone in the sun, and a sloping roof, and a tower
with a clock, and a brass weather-vane, that
burned like a spark of yellow fire against the
blue sky above. It was very beautiful, but
David only just looked at it. That was all; for
there all around him was a circle of children
standing looking at him with big round eyes.
There was none of them older than twelve years,
and none of them younger than three, because
a child of less than three years is too young to
come into, this part of the moon-garden, and a
child past twelve is too old to be there. So no-
body but children between three and twelve years
old are allowed here, except the teachers. So these
children-there were twenty-five or thirty of
them- stood looking at David with great round
eyes, and with them was the most beautiful lady
that David had ever seen -a lady with a soft,
" There did you come from, little boy ? said she.
gentle face, and smooth hair, and eyes as blue as
the sky. She was the teacher. She too was
looking at him with gentle blue eyes, then she
reached out and laid her hand very gently upon
him and looked into his face. "Where did you
come from, little boy ?" said she.
"I came out of the moon," said David.
"To be sure you did," said she. And now I
see that you have been polishing the stars, have
you not 1 "
"Yes," said David. "With lamb's-wool, ma'-
am," he added.
"I knew you had," said the lady, "for I saw
them shining in your eyes. And you have come
here for a holiday, have you not ? "
Yes ma'am," said David; "the Moon-Angel
"To be sure he did," said the beautiful lady.
"Very well, then; run along and play with the
other children, for supper will be ready by and
"But won't they call me moon-calf'?" said
The beautiful lady laughed; the sweetest, gen-
test laugh. "No, indeed," said she; "they will
never call you moon-calf, for all the children here
are moon-calves. But now run away and play,
Then all the other children scampered away,
shouting and laughing,' and David ran after them,
not feeling even yet quite sure that they wanted
him. Beside that, he did not know how to play
as other children played.
The biggest boy of the lot was just about
David's age. "You shall be our king," said
he, "because the Moon-Angel sent you here
and because you have polished the stars. There
is n't one among us who has done that."
"I looked out of the moon-window, too," said
"Oh-h-h-h!" cried all the little children, and
they came crowding up around him, and some
of the littlest of them pushed up against him.
"What did you see ?"
Then David told them some of the things he
had seen out of the second-story windows, and
they all listened in silence.
David thought he had never been so happy in
all his life before, for all the children called him
their king and asked him what he chose to play;
and they listened to him, and did as he told them,
and nobody called him a moon-calf.
So they romped and played and shouted until
supper time. Then a bell 'rang, and there was a
supper of bread and butter and honey in bright
blue china plates, and milk in blue china cups.
The supper was spread on a long table under
the shade of the trees. The birds sang in the
branches over their heads, and bees buzzed and
hummed in the flowers, and the sloping after-
noon sun shone warm through the leaves and
blossoms, and the clock bell in the tower struck
five, and everything was as sweet and happy and
tranquil as an evening in May time. David's heart
swelled so full of happiness that it almost ached.
After supper was over the beautiful lady sat
on the grass and read them wonderful stories out
of a picture book, and the children crowded around
her and peeped over her shoulder and across her
arms, and got into her lap and scrambled over her,
and she never once scolded them,- even when
they trod on her beautiful dress. The picture
book was full of the most wonderful fairy tales
that ever you heard in your life, and the pict-
ures were painted in colors as real as life. And
the most wonderful part of the book was that the
pictures moved just as -real things move. The
leaves and branches of the trees moved as though
the wind were blowing, the flags on the castle
fluttered and waved, the giants walked about,
the lions wagged their tails, and you could almost
hear them roar, the boats sailed across the water,
and the beautiful Princess leaned out and waved
her handkerchief, and the Prince galloped up in
a cloud of dust.
David had never seen such a wonderful book
in all his life before, and he fairly held his breath
as he looked at the pictures and listened to the
wonderful stories the beautiful lady read aloud
to the children.
Then came the twilight, soft and gray, and time
for the children to go to bed. The bedroom was
in the red brick house-a great, long room, with
two rows of small white beds, that smelt of old
lavender and dry rose leaves, and all sorts of
sweet things. There the children were put to bed,
and nobody scolded them, though they laughed
and talked and romped to their heart's content,
and jumped up and down on the beds, and climbed
in and out of them. Every now and then, when
their romping and shouts grew louder and louder,
the beautiful lady would say, Hush, hush!" in
her gentle voice, but that was all. So they played
until they were tired, and then went to sleep-
all but David.
He lay quite still, feeling happy-so happy and
quiet. He watched the beautiful lady as she
moved silently through the room, putting the chil-
dren's clothes to rights, and when she saw that
David was looking at her, with his big blue eyes,
she came and stooped over him and kissed him.
Then the great moon rose full and round and
yellow, and looked in at the tall windows, and
shone in David's face-for when there is no moon
at all on the brown earth, then it is full moon in
THERE was one little child that David liked
better than all the other children; her name
was Phyllis, and she was a princess-for
she wore a golden coronet. Here eyes were
as blue as the sky, and her hair was as yellow as
gold, and her lips were as red as corals, and her
teeth were as white as pearls, and her laugh was
like the tinkle of water, and she had the sweetest,
shyest, prettiest little ways that ever any little
maiden had. David used to stand and look at
her, and look at her. It was almost as though he
were afraid of her, but it really was not that.
Phyllis knew very well when David was looking
at her, for she would look slyly back at him out of
the corner of her eyes, and then, maybe, she would
burst out laughing like a peal of silver bells, and
perhaps run away. She used to sit beside David
at table, and he would always choose her out of
the ring when they were playing There were
three Knights a-riding." And when they would
sing-for they used to sing together every morn-
ing-he always stood beside her, and it seemed to
him that their voices matched so perfectly to-
gether, that it made his ears ring as though a glass
bell had been struck. Then she would look at
him, and he would look at her, and the beautiful
lady would look at them both, and if she did not
smile, she did something more than smile, for her
face shone just as the Moon-Angel's face shone
when he looked at the bright star that beamed red
and blue-as though a bright light were behind
the face, and turned to a translucent rosy red. If
you want to see how it looked, just hold your hand
up before a strong light, and see how the rosy
brightness shines through your fingers.
One day David and Phyllis were walking to-
gether down the garden path. There were rose
bushes all around, and the bright warm air was
full of the smell of flowers, and the trees over their
heads were full of pink and white blossoms. Be-
side the blossoms, there were many fruit, purple
plums, rosy apples, pears as yellow as pure gold.
David and Phyllis were walking hand in hand,
and they were very quiet. The other children
were playing over on the lawn beyond the rose
bushes, and they two could hear them shouting
and laughing. Over across the trees they could
see the tall, steep roof of the red brick house.
Above that, again, was the tall tower, and the
round clock face, and the brass weather-cock, that
shone like a spark of yellow fire as the breeze blew
it this way and that.
"I shall have to go back again pretty soon,"
"Go where 1 said Phyllis.
"Back into the moon," said David.
"I thought you had come to live with us all
the time," said Phyllis.
"No; I am not," said David. "I am only out
for a holiday until the Moon-Angel sends for me
to come back again."
And does the Moon-Angel live in the moon-
house '?" asked Phyllis.
"No; but he comes there for three days in
every month," said David.
"What does he come for "
"He comes to look at the star that shines red
"What does he look at the star for ?"
David stopped to think-and he could not tell.
When he had not tried to think about it, it seemed
to him that he knew why the Moon-Angel looked at
the star, but when he tried to think he knew nothing.
Yes; that is the way with all of us-when we
try to think about it, then we cannot tell; when
we do not try to think about it, then we know all
about it. I don't know why he looks at the
star," said David. "Only he says that he is mak-
ing old things new again."
"What kind of old things does he make new
again asked Phyllis.
"That I do not know," said David.
"But why do you have to go back into the
moon again 3 said Phyllis.
"Because the Man-in-the-moon will gather in
the stars again, and then I '11 have to polish them
with lamb's-wool," said David.
And were they always polished that way "
"But who was it polished them before you
went into the moon q said Phyllis.
Again David stopped to think, and then he
could n't tell that either. It seemed to him that
he did know until he thought about it, and then he
knew nothing. I don't know," said he, and then
-"Will you be sorry when I have gone back
into the moon "
"Yes; I will," said Phyllis.
"When I grow up," said David, "and when
you grow up, then we will be married."
Phyllis turned her face, and looked at- David,
and he looked at her. "As he did so, he felt a
strange and wonderful thrill at his heart, such as
he never felt before. It was so keen that it hurt
him, and so sweet that it made his breast ache.
He did not know what it was.
"Yes," she whispered, we shall be married."
Then suddenly she snatched her hand away from
his and ran away, laughing like a peal of silver
bells. The next moment she was gone around the
bushes and was with the other children again.
David stood for a while and wondered why his
heart fluttered so. Then he followed after her, and
he felt very sheepish and ashamed. When he
came back to the other children she would not
look at him or pay any attention to him. David
felt hurt that she should act so. He did not know
that she acted in that way because she was a lit-
tle girl. That is the way little girls always act-
and big girls too. Why they do so, nobody but
the Moon-Angel knows.
Tinkle-tinkle-tinkle! It was that same after-
noon, and David heard the bell ringing. He was
playing with all his might and main, but he
stopped and stood still, for he knew that the bell
was ringing for him. Sure enough, there was the
moon-house, and there was the open door and the
back stairs, and there stood the Man-in-the-moon
in the door-way, ringing the bell, just as a teacher
rings the bell when play-time is over.
Must I really go 1 said David to the beauti-