What the Moon Saw-Fifteenth Evening

Moon by Ashe ArterberryWhat the Moon Saw-Fifteenth Evening

On the fifteenth evening the moon spoke of a Pulcinella. The moon said this specific Pulcinella had a hump on his back and a hump on his front. He could have been quite a wonderful actor were he not deformed. He was merry and most people enjoyed him, but he loved Columbine, who did not love him. Columbine loved Harlequin.

Columbine was the only one who could make Pulcinella smile when he was feeling down. She guessed that he loved her, but there was nothing that could be done about it because beauty could not marry ugly.

Columbine did marry Harlequin and Pulcinella was the merriest person at the wedding, but Columbine died soon after.

Pulcinella went to her grave. He leaned upon it. He put his chin upon his hands and looked up at the moon while sitting on Columbine’s grave with faded flowers. Anyone who saw him would have truly praised him and shouted, “Bravo!”

That was the fifteenth evening.


The names mentioned in this story are traditional theater names. The tradition developed mostly in Italy, a long, long, long time ago, but over the ages it changed. Pulcinella is type character also known as Punch. Punch was always meant to be deformed and comedic relief. Harlequin is also a type character. He wore red and black diamonds, triangles, or patches on his clothes. Columbine was his mistress. She always appeared as a servant girl, well, in many instances. Over the years this theater tradition transformed.

There came to be quite a few versions of it. Harlequin generally had very specific clothes. We get our Harlequin pattern from his costume. If you’ve ever read an older Harlequin novel you will notice the diamond pattern on the side. It comes from the character Harlequin.

This theater tradition was known as Comedia dell’arte. There were more characters. You know those weird-looking clowns that you see every once in a while? They’re from the Comedia dell’arte. The costumes are very specific in many instances.

Over time this theater tradition became important for allowing women to play female roles in the plays put on, before men played most of the roles in theater. The tradition also wormed its way into puppetry, as in Punch and Judy. Punch from Punch and Judy is based on Pulcinella.

There aren’t really any set stories for either Punch and Judy or Comedia dell’arte. They’re like soap operas. Characters can come and go. Story lines can be as insane as you want them to be. The basis of either is that the character types are set. Your Punch is always going to act in the same manner. Your Harlequin is always going to act in the same manner. Your Columbine is always going to act in the same manner.

Additionally, the man who used to work the puppets at one of these puppet shows became known as the Punch.

Also, Harley Quinn from the world of Batman is based on Harlequin.


The moon could have been speaking of real people or maybe he was speaking of the theater again. In the end it doesn’t really matter. Punch wanted the beautiful woman, but the beautiful woman wanted the beautiful man. It’s all very Hunchback of Notre Dame or Thumbelina, whichever you prefer. The basis of both stories is that the ugly man wants the beautiful woman, but in the end the beautiful woman choose someone of her own beauty.

We’re shallow creatures. We’re attracted to what we’re attracted to. Sorry to all the men I didn’t date because you were younger than me or short. This guy who looks like he got run-over by a truck may be a nice guy, but if you’re not attracted to someone who looks like they got ran over by a truck then things can be difficult. That’s not to say that you can’t develop a love for someone you’re not attracted to, because you can, but it’s a heck of a lot easier to love someone if you’re attracted to them.

Columbine didn’t want Punch. She knew that Punch loved her. Did that change her mind about marrying Harlequin? Nope. She still wanted Harlequin. That didn’t change how Punch felt about Harlequin. He chose to love her even if she wasn’t going to love him back. He was the merriest at her wedding. He chose to be happy for her. When she died, he chose to be sad for her. You have to admit that Punch is noble, perhaps stupid, for caring so much for Columbine when she wasn’t going to return his love.

You may love somebody, but you can’t make them love you.


What a tragedy.

Weigh In

Do we have a right to be choosy or should we try hard to bury our attractions?

Do you choose to be happy for someone you can’t have or do you try to forget them?

About The Author


There's way too much to write in this tiny space, but let's be short about this. Ashe is the creator, maintainer, and writer of One-Elevenbooks and has been since 2011. She likes to make artwork and write novels. She also likes the outside, in general. Ashe has a BA in Fine Arts and a BS in Information Technology.

Add a comment

*Please complete all fields correctly


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox

Join other followers: