The Moon and the Star

            A star, twinkling bright and far away, said to the Moon one night, ‘What is that planet like?  The one by you?  For I am far away and cannot see down into it, though it has been on my mind of late and I wish to know.’
            ‘That planet?’ the Moon turned her face away for a moment and considered how best to answer.  ‘I cannot lie, the outlook appears bleak.  It is filled with dirt and smoke.  Wars are carried out from one side of it to the other.  Hate and greed fill hearts, and efficiency takes place of beauty.  The blues and greens, so rich and bright from this distance, begin to fade.  And soon it seems that it will all fade, fade, fade away, until it is no more.’
            ‘Oh!’ exclaimed the star, and a groan of sadness fell from her burning lips.  A grimace shuddered the twinkling body so that for a moment space was a little less bright.  ‘Why, Moon, do you stay by its side?  How horrible it must be for you to observe such a broken place.’
            The moon paused, for she knew her answer, but contemplated how best to tell of it.  And when she had thought enough, she said, ‘Because there is something mixed in among it.  Something in the mountains and the trees, in the air and the water.  In the sheep that roam the fields and the hay that rises and falls in its turn.  Something that came in a shed one day, in a trough, where animals feed.  A seed, mustard seed small, that spread until it had and has its root in even the most horrible of things.  Hope, my dear star, is why I can bear it.’
            ‘Hope?’ the star asked, just to make sure she had heard correctly.
            ‘Hope,’ the moon said as she tucked her chin and beamed.
            ‘Well,’ said the star with a considering air, ‘that should make all the difference.

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