‘Tickling Butterflies’ – The Heart on the Moon

I’m serializing my fairy tale novel, Tickling Butterflies. A new fairy tale ‘episode’ is published every Sunday, Tuesday, and Thursday.

Here’s the story so far.

Enjoy the latest fairy tale:

The Heart on the Moon

(Containing the idealistic tale of a true romantic.)

This is the story of how King John the Cute solved the mystery of the heart on the moon, a mystery he did not know was a mystery until he solved it.

Once upon a time, during King John the Cute’s journey to the Happily Ever After Home for the Married in his quest to save the Land of All Legends, King John the Cute came upon a couple that seemed deeply in love.

“What are your names?” he inquired.

“We are Martin and Amy,” said Martin.

“Martin and Amy?” King John the Cute echoed immediately. “Not Martin and Amy of the moon?”

“Yes. Martin and Amy of the moon,” answered Martin.

Ever since he had been born, King John the Cute had seen the moon at night. And ever since he had been born, there has been a heart shape in the middle of the moon, with an arrow running through it. On one side of the arrow was the name MARTIN, and on the other was the name AMY.

John the Cute had seen this message on the moon since he had been born, and so never gave it a second thought. It had never occurred to him – nor to anyone he knew – to ask if there was a story behind the message. Now that he stood in front of the famous Martin and Amy in the Happily Ever After Home for the Married, he realized that it told of a story of True Love.

“Please tell me your story,” the king asked.

“I have a very lovely life, but it does not make a good story,” replied Amy. “Martin fell in love with me. I was hesitant. I did not know if his love was real. So Martin climbed up to the moon with a great, tall ladder – the moon is a lot bigger on the moon than when you’re on the ground because it is far far away… So Martin climbed on the moon and drew on its great, big sands a wonderful picture that showed how much he loved me. He is a true romantic.

“When he came back to me and pointed at the moon, my knees became weak, my heart became soft, my tears became plenty, and I fell in love with him forever and ever. We have been married ever since, living happily ever after.”

“That is a very romantic story,” King John the Cute was about to say more, but out of the corner of his eye, he saw the Martin was behaving skittishly, as if he had a secret. “Thank you for telling it to me, Amy,” rose the king. “Martin, may I speak to you privately?”


Martin and King John the Cute went to an unoccupied corridor. Once there, Martin said, “Your highness, the story she told you is the story everyone knows. But I did not want to lie to my king. It is not the complete story.”

“What is the complete story, then? Please, I am here seeking the truth. I seek any truth that comes my way.”

“The real story is this,” began Martin. “When I was young, around four or five years old, I realized that I was a romantic at heart. I always believed in big gestures to show people what I meant. I knew that when the day came and I would fall in love, I would want to perform a great big gesture, to show my love. Back then, I did not know who I would love, but I did know that I would love someone, and I did know that I would show her my love with a big, romantic gesture.

“So at the age of six I realized what that gesture should be: I would climb to the moon and in its vast sands, I would write a message of love.

“Until the age of ten I worked very hard to get a lot of money to buy the tallest ladder in the world. Once I had it, then for an hour every day, I climbed up to the moon and began etching my sketch in its sands. The moon is quite big from up close, as Amy said, it is deserts upon deserts, and mountains to boot.

“It took me ten years to sketch a heart on the moon. It took me two more years to sketch the arrow. It took me six months to sketch my name. And then I found Amy and fell in love. It took me only six months of climbing the ladder every night to sketch her name. And when I told her to look up at night, her knees became weak, her heart became soft, and her tears became plenty.

“But, you see, even though I sketched the big heart on the moon for her, I sketched it long before I met her or fell in love with her.

“And that is the true story of the heart on the moon.”

“Thank you, Martin, for telling me the truth. I have learned an important lesson.”

This has been the story of how King John the Cute learned that a romantic will be a romantic, even when he is alone.

(To be continued on Sunday…)

Meshuggener Smiley, by Refael Chalfine

Meshuggener Smiley, by Refael Chalfine


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