Craters in the moon

When I was eight years old my father brought home home a long, rectangular cardboard box which he opened after dinner carefully

outside our front door. It was a clear night and warm as I recall and he removed from the box like a surgeon removing a baby from the belly of an unconscious woman during a cesarean section a long metal object with legs like a strange frozen spider, an arachnid made of metal.

 

Astonishingly to me, he set up this apparatus in front of our house on the brick patio still warm from the June sun in Connecticut.

I had no idea my father had the skill to produce a box of such wonder and then open it and set up an apparatus which apparently was designed to look at other planets and other worlds yet unknown to us six children.

 

It was dark and my mother Hubbeled for a while but then slipped into the house and we were left on the front patio with my father and the apparatus and the warm June night which made anything believable.

 

My brother turned to me and said “ Look through the telescope and you will see the moon. The craters in the moon are caused by ricochets from bullets in the second world war.”

I remember thinking then that war did tremendous damage.

 It never occurred to me that he wouldn’t tell me the truth just as it never occurs to me now that people lie.

 

Looking back, the awe and magic that moment inspired In me was something

 I thought of for a long time.

 

If guns could cause damage to things that could only be seen from telescopes produced from cardboard boxes our fathers brought home, why did they exist?

 

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