Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Write something suitable for CHILDREN (05/31/07)
- TITLE: God's Nightlight
By Myrna Noyes
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Each evening, her mother tucked her in bed, said prayers with her, turned on the nightlight, and closed the window shade. That didn’t stop Rayna from sometimes having nightmares, though. She’d just had another one about a gigantic dog chasing her, and she couldn’t make her legs move to run away. Now I’m afraid to go back to sleep.
Mama quietly opened the door to check on her and saw she was awake. Mama sat down on the bed and smoothed Rayna’s hair. “Why are you awake, Honey?”
Rayna sat up, put her arms around her mother’s neck, and whispered in her ear, “I had a bad dream about a dog trying to bite me.” She looked into Mama’s face. “I don’t like the dark. Can’t I sleep with you and Daddy?”
“Sweetie, I think you need to make friends with the nighttime. I have an idea! Put on your sweater, shoes and socks, while I get ready, too.”
A few minutes later, Mama led her out to the front porch, where they sat snuggled together on the top step. The moon was a shining white ball above, and “zillions” of stars winked at them.
Mama began to sing softly, “Twinkle, twinkle, little star…,” and Rayna joined in while they both looked up at the sparkling sky. A warm evening breeze blew softly, carrying with it the sweet scent of the mock orange bush and the roses nearby. Rayna had never noticed how good these smelled before. A frog croaked somewhere in the flower bed, and she laughed at the funny “Ribbet. Ribbet.”
“Mama, it’s really nice out here, isn’t it?”
“How would you like to take a moon walk with me? You’ve heard how rockets have landed on the moon, and astronauts have walked around exploring things. Well, we can’t take a walk on the moon, but we can take one under it.”
Rayna and Mama started down the sidewalk holding hands. Their cat Spooky appeared, following at their heels.
“Spooky wants to take a moon walk, too,” Rayna giggled.
“Cats like wandering about at night and have special eyes to see in the dark. Look how Spooky’s shine.”
“It’s not all black out, is it, Mama? Streetlights, porch lights, and lights in house windows are on.”
“Don’t forget God’s nightlight! When God created our world, He didn’t want the night to be too dark, so He made the moon as our special light at night.”
“That was nice of God, wasn’t it? Tell me more about the moon.”
“Well, there are lots of stories about it. People used to say it was made of green cheese.” Rayna wrinkled her nose. “Some thought the moon looked like a face with eyes, nose, and mouth; so they called it the Man in the Moon.”
A car turned into a driveway in front of them, and their neighbor got out. “Hello there!” he greeted. “Are you two prowling with the cats tonight?”
“We’re on a moon walk, Mr. Elliott.”
“Oh, I see! Well, say hello to the Man in the Moon for me!” He walked into his house laughing, and Mama and Rayna looked at each other and giggled.
A small airplane passed above with its green, red, and white lights blinking. “It looks like a flying Christmas tree, Mama!”
“Look, Rayna! A shooting star!” She saw a speck of moving light where her mother pointed.
“What’s a shooting star?”
“It’s a little rock from outer space that’s going so fast it glows red-hot until it burns up.”
A siren wailed, and Rayna held tighter to Mama’s hand. She didn’t like the sad sound it made.
“Don’t let sirens scare you, Honey! They remind us help will come if we ever need it—day or night.”
“That’s good, Mama.” Her hand relaxed a little.
Back home, Rayna was tucked in bed again. “Mama, would you please open the shade so I can see the moon?”
After her mother left, Rayna stared out her window, “I’m so happy, God, you made a special nightlight. The dark isn’t so scary anymore.”
She closed her eyes and fell asleep.
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