Grandmother and the Moon


Grandmother and the Moon (413 Words)

There are many kinds of moons. There are red moons—blood moons—blue moons, orange moons, yellow moons, and sometimes even green moons. But there is something special about a silver moon. Not that the others aren’t special, too, in their various times and on any horizon. But a silver moon is a mad moon, a magical moon, and turns everything around it to the same liquid light as itself.

Once a great great many years ago, so my great-great-great grandmother said, there was a full moon like that. It was the night her husband (my great-great-great grandfather) was dying. The doctor had gone and she was left alone. It was a certain thing, the story went, that grandfather was going to die.

He begged her for water. My grandmother went for the pitcher but there wasn’t a drop left. So she went outside. The moon was exceptionally high and bright. At first, my great-great-great grandmother thought that was why the stream looked so silver. Then she saw the unicorn.

It was dipping its horn in the water. It was smaller than she expected, stocky and almost sheep-sized, but its one horn sparkled like a star. The water it touched was luminous.

My grandmother had heard that a unicorn’s water has the ability to heal any illness. She stayed perfectly still, afraid the animal would see her. Unicorns are dangerous and unpredictable. When it had gone, she hurried to the stream and dipped her bucket. But without the unicorn, the water was plain.

My great-etc-grandmother turned back the way she came. What was her surprise when she saw the unicorn in her road.

“Don’t hurt me!” said my grandmother.

The unicorn shook out its mane. It dipped its horn in her bucket and the water turned shining silver.

My grandmother stared into the animal’s deep eyes. The unicorn turned and walked away.

When my grandmother reached her house, she knew it was too late. Grandfather lay silent and still. But she lifted his head and placed a cup at his lips. He felt so cold. When he wouldn’t drink, she bathed him with that strange water. And after a moment he coughed, and began to breathe.

My great-great-great grandfather recovered within that hour and lived a good fifty-seven years after. But there was one strangeness that never let my grandmother forget what had saved him. It was a subtle change. Her husband’s eyes were gray. From that night on, they were shining silver.


Written in response to the Daily Post’s Daily Prompt, “Horizon,” and CYW 2018’s prompt, “Silver.”

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