THIS CAMPAIGN WILL FUND THE ILLUSTRATIONS FOR THIS WONDERFUL STORY. IT WILL BE A 11" X 8.5" 32-PAGE HARDCOVER PICTURE BOOK FOR AGES 4 & UP.
By the Light of the Harvest Moon by Judyann Grant
All Rights Reserved
“O Death, where is your sting? O Hades, where is your victory?” 1 Cor. 15:55
On cold autumn nights, when the harvest moon rose above the land and the honk of geese echoed through the night, a longing stirred within Ray’s heart. He wished he could fly...
Will tonight be the night?
Ray dipped his head beneath the cold water and tugged loose a ruddy stem of marsh grass. Paddling to the shallows, he poked his beak into the sandy bottom beneath the willows. Leaves from the windswept woods lay around the water’s edge like a tapestry collar.
Today, the pond was quiet. No frogs darted among the reeds that lined the narrows. No dragonflies skimmed the water’s surface. The stubborn, shivering leaves of the aspen were his only company as he bobbed in the gentle swells.
Tonight may be the night.
All year Ray waited for the night that flocks of migrating comrades would pass overhead on their journey south, their flying V etched against the face of the moon.
Ray’s life began in this pond seven springs ago. His first days were spent exploring the pond and the creek with his family. Then, as patches of gold-fringed the woods, flying lessons began. One by one the goslings lifted from the ground, flapping unsteady wings. Ray tried to imitate the others. With his crooked wings, Ray would never fly.
As the leaves dropped and drifted toward the pond, the fall migration began. From his bed in the reeds, Ray watched as the goslings, one by one, followed the older geese in their arc across the evening sky. Circling, calling, disappearing into the deepening autumn night.
Where did they go? Ray wondered. How long was their journey? Did they have another home waiting for them on the other side?
That first winter, the Man of the Place befriended Ray. He built a pen for him next to the pond. He brought him grain and cracked corn.
Happy to have a new comrade, Ray tagged along behind the Man as he harvested grapes in the nearby orchard. If a grape fell to the ground, the Man would say, “That one’s for you, old friend.”
Every autumn the Man said, “The sweetest grapes grow up high, but my old bones won’t let me reach them. If you could fly, you would get them for me, wouldn’t you?”
Now, as Ray paddled through the gathering mist, he felt in his heart this could be the night—the magical night that flocks of migrating geese traced their line across the bright face of the harvest moon. How he longed to be part of that great pageant, slicing through the night, steering by the stars. Ray was dozing in his hut when the harvest moon cast its first glow. He shook the slumber from his body and stretched. His wings felt different. He waddled down to the water’s edge and poked his beak beneath the shimmering surface. I look the same.
Ray arched his neck and honked. I sound the same.
His concentration was broken by the sound he waited to hear all year—the overwhelming clamor of flying geese. He honked loud and long toward the night sky. Beating his wings, Ray’s webbed feet lifted from the ground. He scraped roughly down, sprawling onto the damp earth. Was he dreaming? He pumped his wings, skimmed the water, and landed on the other side.
He took off again, flying to the treetops. He circled the pond. He circled his hut. He stretched his neck and set his wings as he had seen the others do. Silently, he wheeled and glided down to the water, landing with a gentle splash.
As Ray marveled at this miracle, he heard the steady hum of wings. He rose from the water with the grace and precision of a seasoned flyer, circling once, twice. The third time he saw them; their honking vibrated through him like wind in the trees. This year, this night, Ray would join them.
First, though, he would thank the Man of the Place for his years of kindness. Yet, if he waited until morning when the Man awoke, the flock would be gone. What if this miracle only lasted one night? Frantically he circled the pond and the Man’s house and the orchard. Seeing the grape arbor, his heart raced. That is what I will do!
He swooped down and landed on the top rung of the wooden platform. One by one, he carefully picked the plump uppermost grapes, dropping them into the bag the Man kept on a nearby nail.
How surprised he will be to see these sweetest grapes.
When Ray finished, the flock was a speck on the horizon. He would have to hurry. Years of longing and waiting and dreaming rolled into such strength that Ray knew he would fly forever. With one last circle around, he honked goodbye to his old home.
Beating his mended wings, Ray disappeared, a fleeting silhouette in the light of the harvest moon.
As the Man went about his chores the next morning, he found Ray’s gift. “Thank you, old friend,” he whispered.
Later that morning, with a gentle hand, the Man tenderly laid his old friend’s body to rest beside the pond.
Sometimes, on a cold autumn night, the Man can almost hear Ray calling to him by the light of the harvest moon.
Judyann Grant loves writing in all its shapes and forms. She began writing in high school and over the years has written articles, columns, essays, meditations, poetry and mystery theatre plays as well as fiction stories and Sunday School curriculum. Her work has appeared in a vast range of book and magazine publications including Guideposts, A Cup of Comfort, Highlights for Children, Focus on the Family. She has two children’s books currently in print, one of which is a Dr. Seuss Honor book. For over thirty years she has written a monthly inspirational newspaper column for local and national readers. Judyann and her husband live in the mid-section of New York State, near the eastern shore of Lake Ontario. When she is not writing, Judyann enjoys reading, gardening, walking and spending time with her family. The couple, married for forty-six years, are blessed with three children and nine grandchildren, all of whom live close by.
All About Kids Publishing is an independent children’s book publisher based in the San Francisco Bay Area. We strive to set the standard in children’s picture and chapter book publishing by creating innovative books of the highest quality, with beautiful artwork for children of all ages.
AAKP’s dedicated staff breathes life into our titles by pairing selected manuscripts with artists of exceptional talent and creativity. Our books will open new doors to the imagination with timeless delight and universal appeal. We hope you will find, within our books, all the love, warmth, and joy with which they have been prepared; and that you will cherish them for years to com
THE CONTRIBUTORS REWARDS
1. $5 – A thank you postcard & 2 bookmarks.
2. $10 – Items in #1 plus a coupon for any enhanced eBook from AAKP.
3. $25 - Items in #1 & 2 plus 1 copy of the book once printed.
4. $50 – Items in #1-3 plus an additional coupon for a 2nd Enhance eBook + 1 additional copy of the book once printed.
5. $75 – Items in #1-4 plus a T-shirt from our merchandise page @ www.aakp.com.
6. $100 – Items in #1-5 plus an additional copy of the book once printed
7. $200 – Items in #1-6 plus 1 additional book signed by the author.
8. $300 – Items in #1-7 plus your name on Our Donors page in the book when printed.
9. $400 – Items #1-8 plus 1 additional book signed by the author.
10. $500 – Items #1-9 plus a small group zoom call with the author. A coupon for 5 free Enhanced eBooks from AAKP.
All donors will be invited to participate in a Facebook live ½ hour session with the author & the illustrator.