Wise Hermit Crab calms a young whale’s fears about her vanishing friend!
Liba was a young blue whale who lived in the great Indian Ocean. She loved to swim in the deep, cool waters. She came up to the surface every thirty minutes to breathe. She especially liked to swim in the night when the sky looked beautiful with many twinkling stars.
“The moon follows me everywhere,” Liba thought whenever she looked up.
One night, when the air was cool she looked up to check if the moon was following her.
But something was wrong. At first, Liba thought that the moon was frowning at her. She wondered why. “Or, has she shrunk?” she thought, in horror. But as she dived and played the game of swimming along with the moon, she forgot all about the moon’s size!
A few days later, Liba found that moon had indeed become very small. All she could see was a thin, bright curve.
Now, Liba was very worried.
“I need to help the moon,” she decided.
The best thing would be to ask Mom and Dad for help, she thought.
“Mom! Dad!” she called out. “I think somebody has broken the moon. Would you help me fix her, please?”
“Sure,” said Mom and Dad. Clearly, they doted on Liba.
The three of them swam to the surface of the ocean.
But what could they do?
“The moon is so far away,” said Mom, with a deep sigh.
“We can’t reach her,” said Dad, with a helpless shrug.
“Is there nothing we can do to help my friend?” whispered Liba.
“I have an idea,” said Dad. “Let us ask Hermit Crab. He is the wisest creature in the ocean. I am sure he will know what to do.”
The three of them set off to find Hermit Crab.
Hermit Crab lived at the bottom of the ocean, inside a nice, big shell.
Dad tapped lightly on Hermit Crab’s shell.
“Hi there,” called out Hermit Crab.
“Hello,” said Mom, Dad and Liba.
“We need your help,” said Mom.
“The moon is broken,” sobbed Liba, “and we have to fix it. But, we don’t know how to do that. Will you help us, please?”
“Sure,” said Hermit Crab. “I know how you feel. But the moon is perfectly fine.”
Liba was confused. “But the moon is shrinking; large chunks of her are gone!” she said.
“Well, Liba, the moon shrinks and then grows big and strong all by herself,” explained Hermit Crab.
“The moon goes round the earth. This makes the sun light up only some part of the moon. The lit up part is what you see. In fact, the entire moon is right up there but you just can’t see her.”
“So, when will the sun light up the whole moon?” asked Liba.
“Wait for 15 days and you will see a nice, big and bright moon,” answered Hermit Crab.
“Thank you, Hermit Crab,” said Liba, smiling. “I am happy that the moon is safe.” Liba turned to leave but stopped and said, “By the way, you do live in a beautiful shell.”
“Why, thank you, Liba! You see, I don’t make this shell. I look for one and when I find one that fits me just right, I simply move in! This shell keeps me safe from predators.”
Liba bid good-bye to Hermit Crab and swam back, smiling at the sliver in the sky.
“I can’t wait for you to become round and bright again,” she said to the moon, “because that’s when you look your very best!”