“The Value of a New Point of View”

Sailing westward from the Island of Fata Morgana, I came upon Pierrot in his little white boat. We were old acquaintances, and I asked him if the gods were still using him kindly, and how things were looking on the Moon, his home.

‘I have been away from home for some time,’ he replied, but am just about to return. ‘Will you come with me?’

So I clambered into his little boat, and told my own ship to return to the Island of Fata Morgana. We sailed on and on, Pierrot enlivening the dim hours with his strange Moon-songs, until at last he brought the boat to anchor in a little bay, and I landed, for the first time, at the pale country of the Moon.

‘You know,’ I said to Pierrot, as we wandered among the fantastic green shadows, ‘I have always longed to visit the Moon. The World is so dull, now, and the Moon always seemed to us such a mad and merry place.’

Pierrot stared — ‘That is very strange! Up here we have always believed the reverse of that. And with good reason. Look for yourself!’ and he led me to the edge of the Moon; we peered over, and there, far below, was the great shining World, looking as big as ten Moons, and a hundred times madder and merrier.

‘Pierrot,’ I cried, ‘I have mis-judged the World! Good-bye, my friend!’ and I leaped into space.

I landed on the roof of the Headquarters of the Society for the Extension of Commercial Careers for Women.

— J.B. Priestley, Brief Diversions, 1922