Moon Eaters

There once was a family of mice who lived on the moon. Their entire lives had been devoted to that moon ever since they could remember. Their family history told of generations and generations of moon miners. That was just the way that their family had always been.

But now things seemed to be changing. That’s what Grandpa Simon had to admit, and he didn’t want to. He had to realise that things had changed these days. That people didn’t need the moon to just wax and wane like it had before. How much moon did people really need? There were a lot of mice around now. And people needed more things. Those little creature comforts that made life just that little bit easier. So what if the moon waned a little bit more than it used to? Who was Grandpa Simon to stand in the way of progress?

Grandpa Simon was a great big long grey mouse who knew a thing or two. He was old and crotchety and had thinned out more than he really liked people to see. He knew he was old, everyone else knew he was old, but did they have to talk about it the whole time like it was suddenly the latest fashion on the block?

Simon, lifted himself off of some straw his nephews and nieces’ decedents had laid for him, and he waddled over to the centre of the room. He didn’t have to waddle any more, he’d been thinning out for a few months now, but he knew that those around him would literally think less of him if he didn’t. What was he going to do? The moon was dying, the moon hadn’t been so green before? It was definitely greener. And the story that Jennifer had redecorated was getting old fast. He needed to get them to do something. But what?

Why didn’t they notice that the world around them was crumbling away and the only way to fix things was to go back to the old ways. But the old ways were hard. The new ways made things easier for everyone. In the old days someone like Simon would have had things no different than he had things now. But in the old days he’d have been the only one. In the old days people would have gone hungry and the moon wouldn’t have supported all of these people. Whereas now people were free-er. The moon was fairer now. And everyone could do what they wanted always knowing that there was a moon shaped safety net underneath them to save them if they never worked again.

It was all his fault, Simon had ruined the moon and he knew it. He had been seen as the great saviour. The free-er of the masses, but in the end what had he really done? The ruling class had, he had to admit now, known about the problems of balance. They had been eating the moon for years. They had been living off of it, enjoying it, but never – ever – revealing its secrets to the masses. But then suddenly one of the masses had got in charge: Simon.

He had been walking alongside a parade one summer, the stink was high at the time, and everything felt like it was leading up to be a great summer when suddenly Simon found himself in a fight he hadn’t started. He was just between these two men who were at each other like it was the end of the world. And Simon, in a split second, decided that one of them had kinder eyes than the other. And he took sides. He was hailed as the saviour of the royal family because the one with the kinder eyes had been the future prince. And Simon was promoted to the aristocracy. And the minute he had been promoted he learned about how you could eat the cheese.

For three years he survived under the prince out of respect for what he had given him. But then the prince died and Simon had no further allegiance. So he decided to tell the moon what had been kept from them for all of this time, they could eat the cheese. He thought it would free the common man from the tyranny with which they had been oppressed. But in the end it had lead to havoc.

Now nobody worked. Now all everyone did was eat the moon that they lived on. And now the moon was almost gone. The last great moonslip had happened a month ago when four thousand mice had slipped over the edge. The only person who could save them was Simon. He knew. He had to think of something…

Check in next Friday for more Moon action.

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