I'm writing this ahead of time, so here's hoping the sun hasn't left us by the time you read this! This is just a short story, but I'd like to think it has a bigger meaning...
This story is also available as a podcast.
The Day The Sun Ran Away
The Sun glowed brightly in the sky, which is just what suns are supposed to do. But as he glowed, he watched the world beneath him.
Children were running in long grass. Animals were stretching out, enjoying the heat. Fishermen were sailing on glittering seas. Flowers bloomed, bells rang and everyone looked happy.
"I want to join in," said The Sun. "I'm bored up here, stuck up in the sky, all by myself." He peered at the Earth and smiled. "I'm going to go and play with the people on the ground."
So, he began moving closer and closer, wondering what he'd get up to first, when he arrived on the planet. But to his dismay, the closer he got, the unhappier everyone on the ground below seemed to become.
The children began to cry and cover their eyes. The animals rushed in search of shade. Nobody seemed happy for him to join in. The Sun sighed and his smile disappeared. "I only want to come and play," he pleaded.
"You're too close!" One of the fishermen cried, waving his hands. "It's too hot! Get back! Get back!"
The Sun blinked and his mouth drooped. "Nobody wants me around," he gasped. "They want me to go..." So, he turned and fled towards the stars, away from the planet below.
"I'll go somewhere all by myself," he huffed. "Where nobody can be mean! I'm obviously not important enough for those people down there."
The Sun wasn't happy, as he drifted away, past stars and smaller planets.
But down on Earth, the people weren't happy, either. As their sunshine began to disappear, the day slowly started to turn into night. The temperature started to drop and the children went rushing home. The daytime animals fell asleep and the night creatures came out. It got colder and colder and darker and darker.
Meanwhile, The Sun carried on making his way away from the people who'd hurt his feelings. "They don't care about me," he sobbed. "They don't want me around..."
Back on Earth, the people were gathered in the streets, huddled together for warmth, gazing up at the black sky, wondering what was going on. Suddenly, out at sea, one fisherman realised what he had to do.
Cupping his hands to his face, he yelled into the darkness: "Come back! Please, come back!"
The Sun didn't hear at first. He was so determined to run away, that he didn't take much notice of anything else. But then, an echo reached him and he frowned. Were they... Were they calling him home?!
The Sun turned and sped in the opposite direction, heading for home and filling the world with light, once more. He stopped in his usual place in the sky and frowned down at the people below. "I thought you didn't want me?" He called to them. "I thought I wasn't important..."
The people below shook their heads. "Of course you're important," they insisted. "We're sorry we never told you before. It's just... You're perfect just as you are, where you are. Please don't run away!"
And so The Sun promised to stay exactly where he was, shining brightly in the sky, as the Earth rolled around him each day. From then on, he was never bored, or fed up. He watched the people play, the seasons change and the world turn, knowing he was important, after all.