The boy looked up at the moon, and whispered a prayer for
"I know you're not God," said the boy, "but whenever I see your light,
I imagine God to be someplace near."
The moon looked down at the boy, and listened in earnest.
"I need you to help me," said the boy. "I need to know that prayers are
God listens; that God cares,"
The moon smiled and nodded.
"I'm sending out a prayer for my sister Susan, in the hope that someone
may be alerted to her dilemma."
The moon cast a shimmering beam in the boy's direction and begged him
"My sister Susan is changing," said the boy. "My mother says it happens
to all girls on their way to becoming a woman. But I don't believe it.
I can't imagine my sister being a woman -- ever. She hasn't the brains,
or the inclination. She told me so herself.
"But Mom and Dad are so set on the notion of her turning into a woman
that they have built her a room in the attic. They say she's getting
too old to sleep in the same room with the likes of me. A young woman
needs privacy, they tell me. Privacy? To do what? Susan and I have no
secrets. We tell each other everything. Even our dreams."
They used to lie in bed at night and watch the swirls of moon dust
dance across the bedroom wall.
"Ben?" said Susan. "Did you know that if you pull the shade down over a
moonbeam, you die and have to find your way to heaven in the
"Liar," said Ben.
"Then go ahead and pull down the shade," said Susan.
"Don't want to," said Ben. "Besides, it's rude to put a wandering
moonbeam in the dark. It may never find its way back again. I'd miss
"Suit yourself, scaredy cat," said Susan. "But I know it's true,
because that's what happened to Salsa the cat. I saw it."
"Saw what?" said Ben.
"I saw Salsa pull down the window shade with her claw," said Susan.
"And when the shade flipped back up, the cat was sucked out the window
and into the darkest dark."
"Liar," said Ben. "She probably just ran away."
"Ben?" said Susan.
"You know I wouldn't let you wander around in the dark by yourself. I'd
go with you."
Ben and Susan slept soundly, and dreamed a million sweet dreams.
The moon, after listening to Ben's concern about his sister moving into
the attic, saw to it that his beam would reach both attic and
"In this way your thoughts and dreams will mingle," said the moon.
"I'll then be able to watch over you both, always."
"Goodnight, and thanks," said the boy.
"Goodnight, and you are welcome," said the moon.
That night, as Ben and Susan slept soundly in their separate rooms, a
catlike shadow crept in with the night and danced by the light of the