when the Moon came for dinner

We invited the Moon for dinner last week. To our delight, the Moon accepted our invitation and was courteous enough to shrink down for the event. I served a meal of mulled stardust and broiled comets from a recipe book I bought in a dream when I was seven.

The girls, of course, wanted pictures and the Moon obliged. I must say, I am happy with how they turned out. It’s nice to have memories of special guests the girls can look back on once they’re grown.

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Little Nim, who rarely stays up late enough to enjoy the night sky, marveled at our guest and screamed when we tried to take them away.

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Evening, who can often be seen waving to the Moon and shouting “Hi, Moon!” every chance she gets, was especially joyful to see her friend up close.

Toys were pulled out and stories created. Evening insisted the Moon must have dragons, and the Moon did not disagree. Blizzard the cat wanted in on the fun and investigated Evening’s carefully staged dragon silhouette.

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Shortly after taking this photo, Blizzard snapped up the dragon in his fuzzy jaws and ran off with him. Much hissing and fire-breathing ensued. I was embarrassed over the cat’s behavior but the Moon insisted it was the most excitement they’d had since the Pleiades passed through last month.

Blizzard returned with whiskers singed and bent. We haven’t found the dragon yet but we can hear him in the basement at night, breathing fire and munching stolen cat food.

Nim cried when it came time for the Moon to leave. Evening gave them a hug goodbye. I packed up the leftover comets and sent them along in case the Moon got hungry later. We stood on the porch and watched the Moon float up into the sky.

“Can we invite the Moon for dinner again, Mum?”

“That’s up to the Moon, dear.”

 

 

tips for spotting hobgoblins in secret and why that’s best

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Over the course of my life, I’ve collected many methods for seeing the fey. As a former little girl, a mother, and a writer, I consider these the tools of my trade. Among my favorites are wearing your jacket inside out, gazing through a hagstone, and washing your eyes with dew at midnight on the summer solstice. My favorite one of all is peering through the natural hole in an autumn leaf.

This method is, in fact, the best way I’ve come across for spotting a hobgoblin unbeknownst to the hob, which is the best way. If they know you’re looking, they might adopt you and start doing your dishes and helping out around the kitchen. In return, they’ll expect you leave out a saucer of milk for them behind the stove. This might seem like a wonderful idea, but here’s where things can get complicated.

One night your cat is bound to discover the saucer and have itself a taste. Hobgoblins turn into boggarts when they lose their temper over the cat stealing their dinner, and the next thing you know kitty’s been turned into a dragon. Now you have to go out and buy a dump truck full of kitty litter every week. This can get expensive, and that’s without the fee of hiring an excavator to empty the stinky thing. Toss in the extra insurance charges for having a fire-breathing pet and suddenly you’re broke, your kitty litter’s overflowing, and you can’t even afford dragon kibble.

Of course, you do get a dragon out of the deal. This may seem wonderful, but be warned, the dragon isn’t guaranteed. I had a friend whose cat was turned into a saber toothed tiger after drinking her hob’s milk. I miss her. If only I’d told her about the holey autumn leaf.

tales of a mushroom detective

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The man peered at the mushrooms with his magnifying glass, his cloak tossing behind him in the breeze. “Hmmm. An eruption of mushrooms can mean only one thing.”

“That it rained yesterday?” asked the boy.

“Of course not. It means dragons, or faeries, possibly a goblin.”

The boy crossed his arms. “What kind of a detective are you?”

The detective straightened, pocketed his magnifying glass, and winked. “The very best kind.”

a most inconvenient gender swap

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It’s hard being a frog princess. People just aren’t ready for that gender swap. Boys poked at her with sticks, carried her around in buckets for hours at a time, and occasionally tossed her at a girl to make them scream, but they never kissed her. They never even considered kissing her.

Still, she supposed there are some small beauties to life as a frog. Her hair never got tangled, she didn’t have to go to school, and she could swim all day. Those things count for something, but she misses her old friends. She misses books and clothes and her old dog, Charlie.

So she sought me out and asked for my help. She wants me to ask you, if you know any little boys, to dare them to kiss frogs. This, she feels, just might work. It seems to me if little girls can do it, then little boys can find the courage too.