Tales : The nature of the moon

It happened one night, on the shores of a pond, that a frog and a mouse fell into conversation. No need to be surprised! A pond may be a very cosmopolitan place, where creatures of every kind may meet and socialise, especially when the moon is full, as it was on this particular evening.

The frog and the mouse seemed to enjoy each other’s company very much, and they were on the way to becoming good friends, when to their mutual surprise they stumbled upon a difficult matter, a difference of belief they could not overcome.

The frog told the mouse that the moon was known by the nation of frogs to be the eye of a giant moth, to which the mouse responded that the frogs were in error, and that every mouse knew very well that the moon was a round, celestial cheese of particularly excellent quality.

“What nonsense!” said the frog. “Have you tasted this celestial cheese, as you call it?”

“I have not had that honour,” admitted the mouse, “but for many generations, mice have passed this knowledge down, and the wisdom of my revered great-grand sires may never be questioned. What evidence do you have for your strange belief in a giant moth?”

“Every frog knows,” said the other, “that on the night of the full moon the moths are abundant and tasty – because they are the offspring of the one giant moth in the sky.”

“What a ridiculous concept,” said the mouse, and without further words the two turned their backs upon each other and went their separate ways.

Meanwhile, perched on a branch overhead, two birds had been overhearing this conversation. “You see,” said one, “how primitive these non-winged creatures are?”

“Quite true,” said the other. “Every hatchling knows very well that what we call the moon is none other than the egg of the great Phoenix!”

And the two birds observed a moment of pious silence.

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