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Agnes Taylor Ketchum

The Moon and the Boy

A POOR boy who had moved from the country to a large city, and had taken lodging high up in a house, felt very lonely and low spirited.

Instead of beautiful green meadows, and forests of green trees, as he had in the country, he had only black chimney pots to look upon, and not a single friend or familiar face to greet him.

But I will let him tell you his story as he told it to me:

"One evening as I stood at the window, feeling very lonely and sorrowful, I opened it, and looked out. Oh, what joy filled my heart! I saw a well-known face, the round friendly countenance of my best friend from home—the face of the moon!

The dear old moon was quite unchanged, and looked as she used to, when she peered down upon me through the willow trees on the moor. I kissed my hand to her over and over again as her light shone far into my room; and then she promised me that every evening, when she came out, she would look in upon me for a few moments. This promise she has faithfully kept. It is a pity she can only stay such a short time when she comes; yet, on each visit, she relates to me one thing or another that she has seen in her travels over the country. 'Just paint the scenes I describe to you,' said she, 'and you will soon possess a very pretty picture book.' I have obeyed her injunction, and written what she told me on several evenings, and I hope all the little children that listen to these pretty stories will enjoy them as much as I have. I could make up another 'Thousand and One Nights' stories in pictures. The number would have been too great, but that the moon did not come to me every night; sometimes a cloud hid her face from me."