Children's Feature:

How the Moon Became Full

Story by Kate Keenan / Art by Deb Taylor

The Moon wanted to be beautiful again, but his face was pocked and colorless. He remembered the days when his surface was smooth and porcelain white. He heard the people of Earth say, “Oh, look at the Moon!” and thought they were disgusted by him, for he did not understand they found him dazzling and inspiring. He heard the wolves and coyotes howling, and he thought they were trying to scare him away. “Those creatures must be so frightened,” thought the Moon, and he would wax and wane in hopes to hide his face longer.

For thousands of years Moon turned his face away from generations of Earth, pulling the tides taut so that the plates shifted under the weight of vast oceans. His tears fell in floods on mountains, eroding them into deserts and plains. But he did not see this destruction, knew not what his defiant despair disordered.

After millenia of such anguish, Moon heard the people of Earth calling his name over and over to each other. He thought surely the people must be plotting his destruction. He wished to glance again at the brilliant vibrance of Earth, determined to take one last look before he pulled away from her gravity and hurled himself into the Sun. He knew he could never be beautiful like her. He could never earn her love. He would instead be a parasite in her orbit, circling her like a predator, stalking her every rotation. This idea he could not tolerate. He would not let Earth suffer such a burden.

Moon did not know that by hiding himself in darkness, he had grown brighter. Sun would not stand for her children to hide. She knew Moon was truly gorgeous to behold, so she had been lighting his face all the while.

As Moon turned away from Earth, so Sun sent reflections from her rays upon him. With the light of her Mother, Earth witnessed his tumult, received his tears and sighs, and built a surface that could withstand whatever worries Moon might endure. Earth strengthened herself for his tides and storms and taught her plants and creatures to respect and revere her consort so that all of life upon her adored him.

The people of Earth loved him so that in 1969 they sought to visit him and tell him how deep their love was. As Moon turned to look upon Earth one last time, he saw a rocket racing to his surface. The Moon was terrified. Were these people here to hurt him because he was so ugly and they hated him? Could they not just let him take himself away forever but instead wished to destroy him themselves? He gazed upon Earth and waited, determined she should be his last sight before the bomb wrenched him from her into space, broken.

Then, the rocket softly landed on his vacant skin. Gingerly, the tiny men walked upon him. He heard them say, “The surface appears to be very, very fine grained, as you get close to it. It's almost like a powder. Down there, it's very fine.” Oh, they believed him to be fine! One man said, “One step for man, one giant leap for mankind.” The Moon thought this strange. This meant the people had tried very, very hard to come visit him.

A man said it was too dark for them to see him. Tentatively, Moon turned so that the sun’s rays shone upon his visitors. The man said, “It has a stark beauty all its own...Magnificent sight up here. Magnificent desolation.” The Moon felt a quiver in his heart. The Moon was desolate; he had always felt alone, but this man saw that this barrenness was somehow exquisite. How could this be? Then the man said, “We come in peace for all mankind,” and the Moon knew then that the people were not there to harm him. Somehow, the men felt that visiting him was the greatest feat of mankind!

As the men went bouncing and jumping and leaving more marks on Moon’s scarred face, he did not worry about his appearance. Instead, he enjoyed their cheer and laughter. He liked that they left footprints on his surface. It was like they were writing him a letter he could keep forever. He would cherish these imprints and celebrate them as marks of love from Earth’s people. He proudly held their flag, their sign for love and peace.

Five more times men came to visit him, and each time they praised his craters, his tranquil face, his soft, powdery soil. They even took pieces of him back to Earth, so they could keep him close. The Moon was grateful a piece of him was always on his beloved Earth. He welcomed them each time, happy to greet them, hugging them softly with his gentle atmosphere and tender gravity. The men always left jubilant and proud.

Though it has been many years since Earth’s people have landed on the Moon, he is no longer shameful. The Moon smiles all month for them, beckoning them to remember him each night and to thank Earth for keeping him close in the sky. He shines his brightest once a month, showing all of his face, his heart full of joy and pride. This is why we call it the Full Moon.

Artist's Bio:

Deb Taylor moved to Terlingua five years ago, from Florida at 3 feet above sea level to the West Texas Chihuahuan High Desert at 3200 feet elevation. This has been a gift to her art. Why? Because of time, natural resources, mountain views, vast skies, sunrises, and sunsets. Nature has molded Deb's handiwork to reflect the landscape of her new home. As she gathers flora and fauna for solar dyeing fabrics, she is grateful for the solitude of living on sixty-six raw acres of West Texas. The alchemy and results of her dyeing process include clothing, material for quilting, baskets, and prayer flags. See Deb's handiwork at: or catch her on Facebook.

Kate Keenan is a writer whose work has been published in Noise City Zine, The Ductile Anchor, Live at the Coffin Shop, The Bullard Bulletin, Pond Trade Magazine, and other publications. Kate's residence straddles between her birthplace in the lush green of East Texas and the dazzling desert landscape of Big Bend. Kate is a wife and the mother of four beautiful humans. She is the founder and managing editor of Big Bend Literary Magazine. Kate is an educator, proofreader, copywriter, social media marketer, and web designer. Find her at