The Sky and the Lamp Lighter
By: Lillian Queen
Quietly, not wanting to be discovered, the sky wept. He mourned the loss of the light. Unlike most nights, when the moon illuminated the world below, it was dark, far too dark for the sky to sleep. The hazy, indifferent clouds had smothered the moon and stars so that the sky was blinded by the murk. He had been weeping for only a few minutes when out of the gloom came a light. Too small to be the sun, too warm to be the moon, and too restless to be a star. It wandered about and eventually it was joined by another and another and another until an entire row of tiny lights were dancing about in their own place. The sky peered down through its big, sad eyes and asked to himself, “what are these things?”
“why, these are lamps.” Replied a voice. The sky could not tell from where it came.
“what are lamps?” asked the sky, “why do they shiver and hiss at me?”
“They hiss because they do not like your rain and they shiver because of your wind.”
“oh,” replied the sky and because he was no longer alone in the dark his tears slowed to a trickle and then a mist and the lamps became still. It was strange for the sky to see lights below, instead of above.
“Are these lamps, as you say, a new invention?” asked the sky to the unknown voice.
“Oh no, you never knew them though because the moon was so bright.”
“Will they stay forever?” the sky inquired.
“Just as the sun goes to sleep in the night, these will go to sleep in the morning and then come again tomorrow night.”
“who are they for?” asked the sky yawning a great yawn.
“I do not know; I light them and then in a few hours I will put them to sleep.” And then after a pause, “perhaps they are here to keep you company on cloudy nights.”
“well whatever their purpose, I am glad of them,” said the sky as he drifted to sleep.
“As am I,” said the voice, and he whistled as he walked home.
From then on, whenever the night sky was sad because he could not find the moon the voice came to keep him company and light the lamps. They both watched as the little flames danced about and the sky listened to the voice explain how the sun and the little lamps were not so very different after all, only in their size.