|Chapter 3||The Moon|
The animals on the moon
May 9, 1841
1. Concerning the animals on the moon, there are, as already mentioned in the beginning, many different species and classes in the air as well as in the ground of the moon and in the water, just as on earth.
2. Among all these animals, there is only one tame species which you, in your earth language, would call a "moon sheep"; all the other species are not tame–in other words, they are not serving the human community. This moon sheep is to the inhabitants of the moon what the reindeer is to the Nordic peoples. It has the following shape: The body is completely round, like a sack filled with flour. This body is carried by four legs which are no longer than eight inches and endowed with four hooves. The head totally resembles the head of an earthly sheep and rests on a neck which is one cubit long and, from top to bottom, one-fourth cubit wide. It has two long ears similar to those of a donkey. It has only one horn on its head, which is endowed with very pointed, finger-long projections extending in all directions. Furthermore it also has a tail with a thick bush of hair at the end, resembling a lion’s tail. Its color is white, and the whole body of the animal is covered with wool, just like the ones of your sheep.
3. Now, what might it be used for? Its usefulness to the moon dwellers is of greatest importance. In the first place, it nourishes him with its plentiful, gold-colored milk. Secondly, from its abundant wool, the moon dweller fashions all his clothing which consists of a kind of shirt and coat and is of the same style for both the male and female gender. Thirdly, the moon sheep loosens the soil with its horn, and the people then throw the seeds of their root crops into the broken up dirt. As mentioned before, these crops then reach full maturity in the short time of fourteen earth days. Such an animal often reaches an age of three hundred moon days. When it dies, it is skinned, and the hide is used for bedding in the subterranean dwelling; but the meat is dragged to an insect mound; the insects are not unlike your ants. In a very short time, these insects eat all the flesh off the bones. Then when this act has been finished, the people return, take the bones including the horn with them and contrive their needed tools from them. This is the entire usefulness of this domestic animal.
4. There are many more animals on the lunar earth, all of which bear more or less resemblance to the animals on earth; however, all of them are much smaller than the animals on earth, and all of them are also smaller than the already familiar moon sheep, which is, so to speak, the king among the animals there. Besides the sheep, there are two more especially remarkable animals among all the moon-earth animals: and those are, to begin with, the three-footed muzzle monkey and, secondly, the one-footed leaping ducker.
5. The three-footed muzzle monkey has the physical dimensions of a cat. Its head resembles that of a monkey on earth, but with the difference that its mouth is split down half of the throat. Its two front feet are completely similar to the paws of a monkey, but its sole hind leg resembles the trunk of an elephant and may be retracted to eight inches and, in this case, becomes disproportionally big in comparison to the whole animal. But in the opposite case, it can also be extended to a length of about twenty feet.
6. Now you will certainly ask: "Why does an animal have such a peculiar shape?" But it should not be difficult to solve this mystery for you. You see, as is already known, the temperatures of the moon are quite different from those on earth; for during a period of almost twenty-eight earth days, the moon-earth is covered with about six or seven feet of snow; then, over the next seven earth days, it is often flooded in all directions, and then, shortly afterwards, it is ravaged by the unbearable heat of the sun.
7. Behold, this animal mentioned above must, in accordance with its nature, always have its head in the atmospheric air; that is why it needs precisely this trunk-like foot, because during nighttime or in winter, it stands on its elongated foot, reaching above the surface of the snow, and it attracts to it a species of night birds, which resemble little bats on earth, and catches them or rather allows them to fly into its wide-open mouth which exudes a comfortable warmth, and there the birds are devoured right away. Behold, this is the purpose of the long foot.
8. But when the snow has begun to melt and the water often spreads several feet high over the plains which stretch for miles and miles and which are also on the habitable side of the moon surrounded by high mountain ranges, then this animal must, by means of its hind foot, stretch its body above the surface of the water so that it does not drown. But during the heat of the day, it resorts to the rivers and often stands there in the water for several days, and only its head and the two paws are above the surface of the water. When the water rises, it extends its foot, and when the water subsides, it retracts the foot accordingly. When such a river often runs dry, then the animal moves forward by extending the hind foot as long as possible and thus pushing forward. Then it holds onto some moon-earth object with its forefeet until it has entirely drawn in the trunk-like foot, whereupon it then buries the four long toes of the end of the hind foot into the ground, and so moves the whole body nimbly forward. It repeats this action until it has reached another body of water into which it then quickly resorts with its hind foot in the above-mentioned manner. Its nourishment during the day is a species of flying crabs which resemble your so-called stag beetle.
9. With regard to the so-called leaping ducker which has one foot, this animal is nothing but another variety of the already familiar muzzle monkey; but its foot is considerably more elastic than the foot of the muzzle monkey, and that is why it moves forward by jumping. It is called a "ducker" because it can contract itself in such a way that, in its ducking position, it has the appearance of a medium-sized loaf of bread lying on the ground. But when it then wants to jump, it suddenly expands to a length of about five cubits. Through this sudden expansion, it then propels itself forward, always in an arcing manner, to heights of twelve to eighteen feet, so that such a jump frequently covers an expanse of thirty-six to forty-two feet. This animal pursues these jumps often in a very quick succession and it moves so fast, especially during the day, that it outruns any bird in the air. Its nourishment and dwelling resemble that of the muzzle monkey, and such animals, along with many others, live only on the plains and rarely come into contact with human beings because they live only in the mountain regions.
10. But besides the known sheep and ant-like insects, only a considerable number of small birds are found in the mountains. The biggest of these birds hardly reach the size of your sparrows; but the smallest are barely a little bigger than your flies.
11. The waters are also swarming with various species of fish, worms, and particularly many crayfish, a flying species of which has already been mentioned above. There are also crustaceans like in the oceans of the earth. Among the crustaceans, there is in particular the so-called "blue ball", which is noteworthy because it is an animal which has no equal on earth. This blue ball can divide itself into two halves that adhere to each other by small tendons. It subsists by squishing worms between its two halves, sucking in the juice and flushing away the larvae with water. This "blue ball", which is the size of a big melon, also has another feature: At nighttime, it emanates such a strong glow from its surface that the rivers and lakes thereby take on a much lighter luminosity than the ocean of the earth at the tropics; for you probably don’t yet know that the ocean at the tropics glows as strongly as the snow in the full moonlight in your region.
12. All the other animals of the moon would be of less interest to you because, first of all, they more or less resemble the animals on earth, except that they are much smaller in comparison, and, secondly, because there is no way that you can fathom their spiritual destiny for now; and even if you could grasp it, it would be as useless to you as the snow that fell on the earth a thousand years before Adam.
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