Caspar arrives in a great tizz. Come quickly, he says. The Moon is being stolen.
We rush to the window and look outside. The Moon is indeed being Stolen. There is only a Small Piece Left.
It cannot have Gone Far, I say. This is what the Owner likes to say when she cannot find her Glasses or her Phone or her Left Sock (the Glasses are Usually On her Head and the Phone is Usually in her Pocket. The Sock is, just Occasionally, Unaccountably Concealed beneath the Moral Dog.)
Of course it can have Gone Far, says Caspar. It is In Space. In the Infinite Curve of Time and Space There is no limit to How Far it can have Gone.
Later the Owner asks me what is wrong.
We have a Crisis I say. The Moon has been Stolen by the Infinite Curve of Time and Space. The Planet now has Very Little Cheese remaining.
The Moon is not Made of Cheese, says the Owner.
A Very Moral Dog who is a Friend of a Friend has Been There and Tried It, I say. He was Very Clear about the Cheese. It was a little like Wensleydale.
You cannot consider Gromit a Good Authority on this Matter, says the Owner. I know For Certain that his Entire Moon-Cheese Experience took place in a Warehouse in Shepherds Bush.
But what about the Part with Space in it? I ask cleverly.
Shepherd’s Bush is like that, say the Owner.
But the Moon has Disappeared, I say. Can you not see how Little Remains?
That Depends, says the Owner, on which Moon you mean. The Real Moon has not gone anywhere. Only the Perceived Moon is Gone.
So what We See and What is Real are not always the Same Thing? I ask.
Exactly, says the Owner. What we Believe is a mixture of What our Senses Tell us, what our Experience Confirms and what our Philosophy Leads us to Believe. You could say that Philosophy is the Search for What Parts of What we See are Real.
And what does Philosophy say about the Moon? I ask.
It says that the True Moon is a Huge Chunk of Rock, says the Owner, it Orbits our Planet in a Great Falling Arc as a part of the endless Gravitational Dance of the Celestial Bodies. The Moon As You See It, on the Other Hand, is a mere Trick of the Light. However neither the True or the Perceived Moon are made of Cheese. This would be Ridiculous, owing to the Absence of Cows.
What did she say? Asks Caspar, when we meet later.
I roll my eyes. Some Nonsense about the Moon dancing, I say. And she tried to pretend that Gromit did not really go there with his Owner, and that the Other Side of the Moon is not Inhabited by Cows. It is that Old Conspiracy Theory Stuff about the Moon being Made of Rock and Gromit having been given Mind Altering Substances and Taken to Shepherd’s Bush. I mean, how on Earth would it Float Up there if it were Made of Rock? And why on earth would the Cows let us See Them?
They never give up do they? Says Caspar.
I know, I say. But I bet now that we have Worked Out what they are up to they will Put the Cheese Back.
I say No More to the Owner. I Know I Do Not Need To. Needless to say, a few weeks later, we look up at the Night Sky and the Moon has been Completely Restored.
Hergest the Hound
I am a dog of many thoughts.