A story to waken the heart
A story to stir the soul
A story to brighten the air
Upon this page ink type like coal
Words to kindle curious minds
With thoughts about nature
This is a story for Joey
The full moon shone with silver light into Ian's room, spilling a beam across his bed and onto the floor. Ian tossed and turned under his blankets. The silver light prickled his skin. The moonlight, though colored like cool silver, felt warm.
"How can I sleep?" muttered Ian.
He sat up, and turned to the window. The window had neither shades nor shutters to keep out the moonlight.
"How can I sleep?" he repeated to the moon. The moon was silent, and just as luminous as before. Ian opened the window.
"HOW CAN I SLEEP?" Ian yelled at the moon. The moon was silent still, and bright with silver light. Ian wished that the moon would shine elsewhere and let him sleep, but the moon ignored him.
"Stupid moon can't hear," grumbled Ian.
"Oh yes it can," said a man standing in Ian's backyard, a trespassing man. The trespasser frightened Ian. He was surprised and could not speak. He had too many questions busy and dizzy in his head. Where was his dog, Rufus? Rufus should have kept out the stranger.
"The moon speaks and hears a different language than you speak," spoke the man, the trespassing and dangerous man. Ian's heart thumped loudly in his chest. He wanted to close the window, and run, run to wake Father, and hide from the bad man, but Ian's curiosity held him by the window. Ian looked at the trespasser, bright beneath the moon.
The man had a long nose, large pointy ears, and a mane of curly hair. He was looking up at the moon. His eyes glinted brightly reflecting the moonlight. "How can I sleep beneath silver light?" asked the man.
"Go sleep somewhere else," commanded Ian. He found courage to speak again. On this night Ian was unusually brave.
"Oh, I don't want to sleep," said the man. "How can anyone sleep beneath this beautiful light?" he asked, "How?" His voice was strange- like a howl. "How!" he howled, "How? Howwww Owwww! Owwoooo!"
Ian was upset by the trespasser's voice. "He'll wake my parents," Ian thought.
"Hey! Shut up!" Ian said, but the man howled at the moon despite him. The man howled like a wolf. He howled a moonsong and the trees danced in a breeze. The breeze came in through Ian's window. The breeze was chilly.
"Hey!" said a sleepy voice, Father's voice from inside the room.
Ian spun around startled by his dad.
"Are you yelling at the dog?" father asked. Ian's dad walked to the window and closed it with one hand. Ian looked through the window pane. The dog was howling at the moon outside. Ian blinked and rubbed his eyes. Where the man had stood, the dog sat howling. Once again Ian was dumbfounded.
"Let's let the dog in," said dad. The two of them walked through the house to the back door. Ian's dad pulled back the locks, and turned the knob. Ian fidgeted with anticipation. The door creaked open. The yard was quiet.
"Come on, boy. Come on," coaxed Father, "Come here, Rufus!" He whistled, but the dog did not come. Rufus sat in the yard looking at them with bright eyes. "Go get him, Ian," said Father. Ian stood like a small tree rooted to the spot. "Go on," insisted Father, gently pushing Ian outside.
Ian stumbled out into the yard. Silver moonlight washed down upon him, and a little breeze rustled the trees. Ian did not like being outside. He disliked the cold air, and the wet grass. Around his ankles Ian's pajamas soaked up the dew, and clung like little icy hands.
Rufus watched Ian approach. Ian stared straight at Rufus, eyes wide as if seeing Rufus for the first time. Father waited patiently in the doorway. An owl slipped by through the air looking for mice. A mouse huddled in the grass like a stone, still and silent. Ian walked by the mouse towards Rufus, grumbling about his cold, wet feet.
"Come on," Ian pleaded meekly.
Rufus calmly stared into Ian's eyes. The dog sat unmoved by Ian's soft words. He was looking at the boy with a wild look, and a strange, dangerous smile.
"Come on, Rufus," Ian repeated. He half-heartedly reached out with his left hand.
Rufus then touched his nose to the boy's hand. Ian shivered at the touch of that cold nose, and did not dare to grab Rufus's collar. Suddenly Rufus bounded forward. Ian fell backward tackled by his dog. Rufus licked him and ran into the trees.
Father laughed, "Go get the dog. When you bring Rufus in, we can have some warm soup." Ian's father smiled reassuringly and went inside. The door clicked shut. Ian felt abandoned. He was alone, outside with a strange and dangerous dog. For the first time in his life, Ian hoped that he would be eating his father's soup very, very soon.
Ian lay in the grass where Rufus left him. He lay in the grass despite the cold and the wet dew soaking through to his back. The moon was high overhead floating in space with a million stars, like faerie dust scattered across the sky. The owl flew by again hunting for the mouse. Ian sat up, unable to withstand the cold any longer.
"I'd rather be a boy than a mouse," he said and stood, his heart beating fiercely with courage.
He walked into the shadows beneath the trees. Rufus was waiting for him on a bed of pine needles. He wagged his tail. The trespasser was no where to be seen. The dog was simply his dog, good old Rufus.
"Come on, Rufus," Ian said reaching to grab the dog's collar.
Suddenly Rufus changed, growing quickly into a man. Rufus stood on his hind legs and grew to six feet high. His ears slipped down the sides of his head, and his head shrank into his face forcing his forehead up like a balloon. Ian watched Rufus change into the trespassing man.
"Don't hurt me," Ian cried.
"Why would I?" the werewolf asked him.
"Because you're unsafe," he replied.
"Of course I'm unsafe," Rufus the werewolf smiled showing Ian his teeth- many sharp and glinting canines. Ian nearly died of fright, but his heart beat on bravely. "But I'm Rufus, your dog and friend. I won't hurt you," he said, "I want to teach you how to speak to the moon. We can sing silver songs."
The breeze rustled the trees again. The pines swayed in their dance, and the great old oak shook its leaves gently. The werewolf sang a song, the moonsong, and Ian heard his voice join in. The oak leaves clinked and clanked like little bells shining in the moonlight. Ian sang the strange moonsong with Rufus, and felt warm, the heat of the moonlight on his skin. Ian forgot everything but the moonsong beneath those trees. His voice was strong and alive. Rufus and he danced and sang, wild and free. They sang until the song was finished.
"I'm ready to go in now," said Rufus. He changed from man to dog. Ian and Rufus walked back to the house side by side, humming in tune with the trees and the moon. They were happy and hungry.
"I'm ready for some soup," Ian said.