We are taught that everything has its proper place. What a bundle of useless lies. Even the novice bard knows we live in a dynamic world. A dynamic world overseen by a pantheon of puerile gods, which is an epic tale of its own accord. Don’t get me started.
The day I first glimpsed the chaos of life dwells within me as an ever present reminder that even nature bickers about the best approach. I was but a neophyte whelp, within the second turn of the seasons under the tutelage of Master Bard Ais in the shire of Coarrunn. And did I have much to learn!
I held up my paw and peered between my fingers into the velvet darkness. The sky sparkled like an endless lake. The sun had winked out and the stars awakened to play.
Darach, the badger, knelt beside me, his oak staff in paw as he grinned. “Well if it isn’t the wee bard-in-training, Ealaidh.” He being a high level druid meant he was privy to my true name. “And what has captivated her attention so?”
I sucked on my claw, still staring at the sky. The birdsong had gone silent as the old druid awaited my reply. “Shh. The sun is taking a nap.”
Darach chuckled and ruffled my head fur. “Ahh, so that tis what you think is the matter. Close. Now, you being a bard love to tell stories. Would it be alright if this old brucach told you one?”
I nodded, barely able to tear my eyes from the odd sky. Darach gathered his robes and sat down on a fallen oak branch. “The sun watches o’er the day. The moon o’er the night. Least that’s how the gods designed it. But not everything wishes to remain in its natural place. Heed me well, little bard. For that tis the way of the world!” His voice faded as the tale filled my ears.
For eons untold the sun and moon remained in their rightful places. The moon watched over the peaceful nights in the company of countless stars sparkling in the heavens. Throughout the day the bright sun journeyed ever on the same path. All was as the gods had deemed it.
Each day the sun rose always in the east and journeyed to the west, without fail. But in time the moon danced to a different rhythm, unbound by the path it appeared at various heights and angles throughout the seasons.
One day when the moon shown faintly in the azure sky the sun remarked, “The day is my time, why don’t you appear when the night descends?”
The moon didn’t flinch. “The sky is large enough for the two of us.”
“But the night belongs to you. Your light is too weak to shine in my brightness.”
“There is more to me than light. For when the earth sees but a sliver of me does not the rest of me remain?”
The sun fell silent for a time before answering, “The earth will never see you by day.”
The moon smiled and shifted, edging toward the sun. Inch by inch the moon came closer, overlapping the bright sun.
“What are you doing?” cried the sun.
All around the sky grew darker. Twilight descended as the moon reduced the sun’s light to a pale ring. The denizens of the earth all gazed into the starry heavens confused by the untimely night. Among them a Shetland unicorn pranced and neighed, frolicking in the unusual light.
The moon smiled on her and cast down her rays painting the unicorn in nightshade and dappling her with stars, a reward for the gaze.
Point proven, the moon shifted, slowly revealing the sun once more.
Silence reigned until most of the daylight had been restored.
The moon grinned. “So, none shall see me? It appears all saw me by your very light, dear sun. You provided me with the means, and I thank you.”
The sun could only remain locked on the path in the arc of the sky. “You have shamed me.”
“You had dared me. Ask not what you do not wish to be seen, for even the faintest light can hold the will to shine brighter, and the means to do so, borrowed though it may be.”
“And so, Ealaidh, every so often the moon dances in front of the sun as a reminder that great as we may be, we share this world with others.” Darach gazed up at the lightening heavens, daylight was returning.
My ear flicked at the sound of hoofbeats. Down in the valley a nightshaded unicorn reared in the waned light, the stars shimmering on her black, blue, and purple coat. Her joy spread to me on the very wind. Cocking my head I asked curiously, “Darach, are we suns or moons?”
“We are sometimes one and sometimes the other. There are times when our path is laid and there is naught we can do to step from it. The known path makes us sure and often proud” He gestured to the unicorn. “There are times when we are dancers braving our own spin on life, but that spin involves others for us to be seen. Such as a creature of day turned to night. We, like the sun, are reminded to be humble and to share.”
The daylight gradually grew stronger. I spun on my paws giggling and chanting, “I am the mighty moon! I am the mighty moon! I block out the sun and bring night to day!” The unicorn paused and turned her head my way. She neighed and pawed the earth with a hoof before throwing her mane to the sky.
Darach shook his head with a chuckle. “You, Ealaidh, are indeed a moon. There is no path on this earth that can hold you.”