Sun looked down at her friend the Earth and smiled. All was good. Trees grew straight and tall. Flowers bloomed. Waters ran, following her magnetic pull, east and west, north and south. Earth was warm where her rays fell, cool where they did not. Both friends were satisfied.
For billions of years Sun provided the things that Earth needed, but what did Earth give Sun? Nothing, Sun thought and so she decided to ask Earth for a favor. “Please, my friend, I am lonely. There is none other like me. I am light and fire while you are air and water and warmth. Tell me where I can find my own kind?”
Earth was puzzled. She knew about nutrients needed to grow things, she knew about the benefits of clean water, but nothing about friends for Sun. “I would love to help you,” Earth said, “but I don’t know where to look. Do you have any ideas?”
Despairing over the lack of help, Sun cried. Flames dripped from her eyes, sparks shooting off into the blackness.
“Hey,” Earth said. “Do that again.”
Sun let loose a whole stream of tears which spewed off in countless directions.
“Look now,” Earth said.
Where there once had been complete darkness, now pinpricks of light dotted the surrounding darkness. Most glittered, but some flew through the dark, trailing brilliant streaks of light.
“Those lights, those flames, they are your children,” Earth said. “In time they will grow and multiply. They will become your friends and companions.”
Sun felt better, but there was still an ache in her heart. “That’s great,” she said, “but what do I do for now? My loneliness has not eased.”
“Love me,” Earth said, “and bless me with a gift of life that we both can enjoy.”
Sun considered the many things she could do. In time, an idea came upon her to create living, moving beings that would subsist on the wonders that Earth could offer. She sent tiny sparks to Earth’s surface. Not enough to cause fire, but the right amount to burst into something new: four-legged and two-legged and winged beings.
Earth was thrilled. “Thank you, my friend,” she said. “I feel the tickle of feet and the whoosh of air as the beings cross my lands. I giggle when they eat of my fruit and drink my water. You have given me a marvelous gift.”
Sun was happy for her friend. She loved the sparks of light in the sky, but she was still lonely. “Earth, my friend, I need your help.”
“I wish I could share my gifts with you,” Earth said. “because I have more than enough. I feel your sadness. What can I do to cheer you up?”
Sun had weighed many possibilities and eliminated all but one. “Since I am light and can create light, maybe since you are the world, you can create other worlds?”
“I don’t know. I’ve never tried.”
“Imagine,” Sun said, “a world like you that travels across the sky. It is sometimes in my light, but sometimes in the dark as well. When it’s in light, it would be my companion. When it’s in dark, it could be yours.”
“Let me think about it.”
Time passed. Day after day Sun lit up first one side of Earth, then the other. She was careful not to let things get too hot or too cold. She watched the beings traverse Earth’s lands and waters and air. She marveled as the plants grew fruitful and then rested only to resurge again. She witnessed rain and snow and shimmering days.
But Sun was growing impatient, so she asked Earth, “Have you any ideas?”
“Yes, I do,” Earth said. “I am willing to give something a good try. I will concentrate as hard as I can, imagining a world that floats like I do, but is sometimes in your light and sometimes in the dark. It might not work, but at least we can say that I tried.”
While Sun waited she also thought of a floating world. In her imagination, it was like a human man, with a face that smiled both at her and at Earth. Time passed with no change, but then as Sun spread her light over one side of Earth one day, something changed. There was a pull, like a string.
Sun woke up her friend, saying, “Something is happening.”
“I feel it, too.”
Out of the darkness came a sphere. Slowly, slowly it moved closer and closer to Earth. It came to a stop between Sun and Earth. Earth was pleased. “It worked! I created a world!”
Sun was also pleased. She shone her light on it and saw a face. An old man’s face, just like in her dreams. “What shall we call him?”
“Moon,” Earth said.
“That’s a perfect name.”
“Moon,” Earth called. “Wake up.”
Moon opened his eyes and was pleased with what he saw. Above him shone Sun and below him lay fertile Earth. “I am happy,” he said.
“Will you be our friend?” Sun and Earth asked together.
“Yes, I will,” he said, “as long as you will be mine.”
All was good. Sun had a friend part of the time and Earth had a friend the rest. When Moon was in Sun’s light, he glowed as if lit from inside. When Moon was on the side of Earth, he faded into the sky, but his pull was always there, moving Earth’s waters back and forth, back and forth, caressing Earth and making her very, very happy.