CHAPTER 12

Jade Rabbit's Tale

"Let me go," cried Moony, and the moon fairies' wings opened like flower blossom. Moony was top plate on a silver cake stand in Jade Rabbit's kitchen.

Jade Rabbit looked like a giant fluffy-tailed rat. He stood upright with his ears pinned back to a green jade suit which stuck to his body like icing. One of his legs was a bony stump. "Good, a Traditional," he said. "Calm down, mooncake. We're all eaten one day."

chapter 12 v01The fairies flapped around arranging moon biscuits for the tea party.

Moony flipped flat. "I don't mind about being eaten, but ..."

"What's the matter then?" snapped a moon snap from the plate below.

"Sssh, never mind him. Come join us, tell us your story," called a moonberry tart.

Moony searched for an answer among the shelves of cups and saucers, plates and jugs. The moon fairies were busy. The moon biscuits seemed friendly, well most of them. It suddenly seemed rude not to stay.

Steam poured from a kettle. Jade Rabbit limped to the hob, sprinkled some dried petals into a waiting tea pot. "What happened to your leg?" asked Moony.

"To pacify the angriest goddess in the universe," began Jade Rabbit, " I first offered her some fur, to cushion her throne. Then I ordered fair weather dragon to bring the finest teas in China; I served them in eggshell porcelain. But in a fit of fury, she smashed the lot."

Moony gasped.

"That's when I decided to give her a slice of my suit. I presented the jade as a bangle, and Chang'e loved it. Every year now she asks. I can count the years by the shortness of my leg."

Jade Rabbit tapped his good leg with a knife. "This one's next."

"Peace on the moon, peace on earth," sang the fairies.

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