I was quite surprised when I woke the other night a little after midnight, and looked across at our bear, Fraser. He was sitting in a beam of light streaming through the bedroom window from the bright Full Moon, and he was waving his paw.
I asked him who he was waving to; he said, to the bears in the Moon. I remarked that I had never heard of the bears in the Moon, and would like to know more about them. This is what he told me:
There are bears in the Moon, and it is their job to keep it shining. They have not always been there; they first arrived less than a hundred years ago, when they took over the job of looking after the Moon from a man, a dog, and a hare, who now live together in quiet retirement in a cottage in the country.
You might think that the bears were busiest at the Full Moon, but in fact it is when the Moon is dark that they are hard at work cleaning and polishing, burnishing and buffing, so that it will shine all the more brightly when the light comes back.
At Full Moon the busy bears can have a rest, and sometimes they go out onto the surface of the moon and wave to the bears and the people on Earth. They have to wear special bright clothing when they do this, otherwise they would show up on the face of the Moon as little dark dots and spoil the nice shiny effect. Some of them wear suits of armour, like the knights in the old stories. Others wear clothes of silvery material, like spacesuits.
When you next see the Full Moon, be sure to wave, and look carefully: you might or might not be able to see the bears in the Moon, but you may be sure that they can see you.