Once Upon a Moonlit Sea
Carter, Age 12, Easton, CT

The waves were roaring; even though it was a beautiful day the ocean was angry. White foam coated the tips of the waves like whipped cream on hot chocolate bouncing up and down in a cup. All the sea creatures trembled from the force of the waves and stayed at the bottom of the ocean for their own safety. They were not used to such rough seas and wondered what was going on. They knew something was not right, as the water was usually calm and peaceful.

The night was especially dark because the moon was not out. Earth seemed very scary and gloomy. The beautiful dim light that usually illuminated Earth was absent. All of Earth’s creatures wondered what was going on and stayed close to their homes. They depended upon the moon to keep the Earth lit at all times so darkness did not take over. It was an interesting moment in time because both the ocean and the moon were behaving abnormally and creating concern for all. Everyone wondered what was going on.

It finally dawned on them that the sea god, Poseidon, and the moon goddess, Artemis, were fighting over who were most powerful. The two gods were so caught up in their fight that they lost focus of their primary responsibilities. “I’m the most powerful. I hunt the most ferocious beasts on the entire planet with my silver arrows. I control the moon,” argued Artemis.

“I control earthquakes, the sea, and the lives of many sailors who are praying that I'm in a good mood, so they make it home on safe waters," shouted Poseidon.

Artemis and Poseidon went back and forth, shouting at each other for hours while the sea roared and Earth was kept dark. They were very angry at each other, but never actually went far enough to hurt one another.

The fighting went on and on for days until finally all of the sea creatures got sick of sitting on the bottom and decided to risk coming up to see what was happening. The first to reach the top was a little fish named Cooper. He jumped up and down out of the ocean until he spotted a bird sitting on the beach. The bird was just sitting there because it was too dark to fly without the light of the moon.

“Hey, what’s going on out there?” shouted the fish. The bird quickly turned around and started to explain to Cooper the fish.

“Many years ago, Artemis and Poseidon were hanging out together at a party held for the gods. They were hitting it off really well, dancing and talking all night. It was such a beautiful night, and the seas were perfectly calm and the moon was full keeping the sky and earth perfectly lit, not too bright and not too dark. Just when the party was about to end, a beautiful more popular goddess named Aphrodite appeared and caught Poseidon’s eye. From that moment on, he forgot about Artemis and paid attention only to Aphrodite. This upset Artemis, and she forever held a grudge against Poseidon. Although she did not see him again for many years, she never forgot that night.

"Many years later, another party for the gods was held. The first two guests to walk in were Artemis and Poseidon. The minute they saw each, Artemis started yelling and screaming at Poseidon and the fighting began,” stated the bird.

Artemis had to come up with a way to prove she was more powerful. She thought and thought and thought. Just when she was frustrated and about to give up, Apollo, Artemis’s twin brother, came up with an excellent idea.
His idea was to have Artemis push the waters in and out slowly, by using her magnetic pull over the sea. She controls the moon, and there is a high and low tide because of our moon and the sun. Our moon has great gravitational pull, and it tries to pull water out of our oceans whenever it is right above them. It tries and tries, but only succeeds in creating great waves and creating a current that is strong, steady and slow. The only way Poseidon could stop this if he pushed the sea so hard that the entire sea would rise, killing everything in it. This would really get Poseidon mad, considering he was the god of the ocean. He might push the ocean as hard he could, killing everything in it. Artemis ran off, excited with the brilliant idea.

“Hey, Poseidon look what I can do,” yelled Artemis. And off she went, concentrating hard. Poseidon was clueless about what was happening. It was like telling a newborn to cook a Christmas dinner. After many hours Poseidon eventually noticed the moving waters. He could not believe his eyes. The ocean was moving in and out over six-hour time spans.

Poseidon screamed, “That is NOT fair, you can’t do that! I am the only god who can control the sea.”

Artemis replied, “Do not forget, silly fool, the moon has a strong magnetic pull on the ocean, giving me the power to create tides.” Poseidon, knowing he’d been out-smarted, walked away in anger, shame and defeat. He realized he alone could not control the great sea.

Artemis was very pleased with herself and let the moonlight shine once again. Poseidon calmed down as well, and the ocean became peaceful. All of the land and sea creatures were happy and went back to their normal lives. Artemis learned a lot during her fight with Poseidon. She learned that her connection to the moon is deep; her mental state of mind does more than make her happy or sad. It more importantly controls the moon, which in turn controls the tides. High tides allow for sea creatures and fish to swim freely. It allows for people to enjoy the cool ocean water. Sometimes it causes problems by flooding out areas and eroding our beaches. Low tide allows for new beaches to be formed, but sometimes kills some sea creatures. It can also make swimming fun, as the water is easy to get into. All and all, the way our moon helps control the tides is magical and mysterious.

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