Read THE MAN IN THE MOON of The Book of One Syllable , free online book, by Esther Bakewell, on

Once on a time there was a man who had his home in the moon. He was a queer man, with a large round face that was kept so clear and bright that it shone, and on a clear night could be seen far, far off on the earth.

This man in the moon did like to look on the earth, and though it was so far off, he oft thought he should like to come and live here.

The earth to him did look so large and bright that he thought it must be a fine world to live in, where he could have more room to walk up and down, and not be kept in so small a place as the moon.

It made him sad when he could not look on this world, but for three weeks in each month he was made to turn his face, or to shade it from the world, so that he could not catch a straight view of it at those times.

And then he could not be seen by those men and boys on the earth, to whom he was so great a friend. His large round face was so bright that they, too, did not like him to leave them; but they knew he would come back in less than a month.

When he first came he was seen near to the sun, where it had just set, and he gave a side look at the earth. The next night he would be more from the sun, and swell out his face a bit; it would then look like a hoop that had been cut in two. His face would grow more fat each night, till one eye could be seen, then two, and then his whole round face.

Now this man would fret, and try to get on to the earth. Day by day, hour by hour, he would try, and try, and try to come more near.

He did move quite fast, and thought he got some miles on his way, but for all that he was still as far off. He went in a round, like a horse in a ring, and there kept, and still keeps as far off as he was, and will keep there for years to come.

Now you could tell him that it is far from wise for a man with a fat round face like his, to grieve and want to come to a world that he does not know to be a more nice place than the one he lives in.

You could tell him that there is much grief and pain to be borne here that few men who live here have such a round fat face as his, and that if he came he would have to work hard, and that care, and work, and pain might soon make him look thin, and lose his round bright face that shines so.

Yes, man in the moon, stay where you are. Do not long to have what you can not get, but rest there, and do what you have to do in peace and joy.

Be sure, man in the moon, you will find peace and joy if you do all the good you can in that world of yours, and that if you pine and grieve to come here, you will do no good at all, and make your life sad.

Boys and girls should do the same. They should not want to reach the man in the moon, but try to make the best of what they have. They may be sure that to be good and do as they are bid, will give them more joy than the most bright things they could find in the moon.