We were admiring the full moon playing with pee-ka-boo with the clouds, when the four year old piped up, “Look, that rabbit looks so sad. I wonder why he is so sad?”
“Because he doesn’t have any friends to play with”, answered the six year old matter-of-factly.
We looked at the rabbit that I had first sighted on the surface of the moon when I was as old as my kids now are. “Where do you think the rabbit came from”, I asked casually. I did not really expect any answers, but was curious to know what they came up with.
“Maybe a rocket left him there”, piped up the younger one.
“Yes”, said the older one picking up his brother’s story. “That rabbit was the pet of an astronaut, and when the astronaut reached the moon, the rabbit ran away and got lost.”
“And, and”, continued the younger one. “that rabbit is making a burrow on the moon, and there are many burrows, and when you see the burrow from the earth, you can see a rabbit.”
I couldn’t help be amazed at the speed with which their imagination filled in the blanks. “Is that so?”, I said. “Then it must be a very old rabbit. Nobody has been to the moon for many years.”
They were silent for a few moments, as they digested the new piece of information.
“I think he must have painted the rabbit”, said the older one pointing to his brother. “No wonder the rabbit doesn’t look like a rabbit.”
“Yes. Yes. I did”, said the younger one.
I was speechless. Try as I might, I couldn’t get over the mental picture of my four year old, perched on a ladder, painting a rabbit on the surface of the moon.
What a marvelous thing is imagination.