Select the desired text size
The man in the moon.
From Mother Goose in Prose by Frank Baum.
Start of Story
Age Rating 4 to 6.
The Man in the Moon came tumbling down,
And enquired the way to Norwich;
He went by the south and burned his mouth
With eating cold pease porridge!
What! Have you never heard the story of the Man in the Moon? Then I
must surely tell it, for it is very amusing, and there is not a word
of truth in it.
The Man in the Moon was rather lonesome, and often he peeked over the
edge of the moon and looked down upon the earth and envied all the
people who lived together, for he thought it must be vastly more
pleasant to have companions to talk to than to be shut up in a big
planet all by himself, where he had to whistle to keep himself
One day he looked down and saw an alderman sailing up through the air
towards him. This alderman was being translated (instead of being
transported, owing to a misprint in the law) and as he came near the
Man in the Moon called to him and said,
"How is everything down on the earth?"
"Everything is lovely," replied the alderman, "and I would n't leave
it if I was not obliged to."
"What 's a good place to visit down there?" enquired the Man in the
"Oh, Norwich is a mighty fine place," returned the alderman, "and it
's famous for its pease porridge;" and then he sailed out of sight and
left the Man in the Moon to reflect upon what he had said.
The words of the alderman made him more anxious than ever to visit the
earth, and so he walked thoughtfully home, and put a few lumps of ice
in the stove to keep him warm, and sat down to think how he should
manage the trip.
You see, everything went by contraries in the Moon, and when the Man
wished to keep warm he knocked off a few chunks of ice and put them in
his stove; and he cooled his drinking water by throwing red-hot coals
of fire into the pitcher. Likewise, when he became chilly he took off
his hat and coat, and even his shoes, and so became warm; and in the
hot days of summer he put on his overcoat to cool off.
All of which seems very queer to you, no doubt; but it was n't at all
queer to the Man in the Moon, for he was accustomed to it.
Well, he sat by his ice-cool fire and thought about his journey to the
earth, and finally he decided the only way he could get there was to
slide down a moonbeam.
So he left the house and locked the door and put the key in his
pocket, for he was uncertain how long he should be gone; and then he
went to the edge of the moon and began to search for a good strong
At last he found one that seemed rather substantial and reached right
down to a pleasant-looking spot on the earth; and so he swung himself
over the edge of the moon, and put both arms tight around the moonbeam
and started to slide down. But he found it rather slippery, and in
spite of all his efforts to hold on he found himself going faster and
faster, so that just before he reached the earth he lost his hold and
came tumbling down head over heels and fell plump into a river.
The cool water nearly scalded him before he could swim out, but
fortunately he was near the bank and he quickly scrambled upon the
land and sat down to catch his breath.
By that time it was morning, and as the sun rose its hot rays cooled
him off somewhat, so that he began looking about curiously at all the
strange sights and wondering where on earth he was.
By and by a farmer came along the road by the river with a team of
horses drawing a load of hay, and the horses looked so odd to the Man
in the Moon that at first he was greatly frightened, never before
having seen horses except from his home in the moon, from whence they
looked a good deal smaller. But he plucked up courage and said to the
"Can you tell me the way to Norwich, sir?"
"Norwich?" repeated the farmer musingly; "I do n't know exactly where
it be, sir, but it 's somewhere away to the south."
"Thank you," said the Man in the Moon.--But stop! I must not call him
the Man in the Moon any longer, for of course he was now out of the
moon; so I 'll simply call him the Man, and you 'll know by that which
man I mean.