Night can’t sleep. He’s waiting to play his favorite game with his big sister, Day. “Be patient,” Day says. “It’s not dark yet. You can’t look for me until after sunset.” Night counts to ten, throws the moon way up high, and spreads out his blankie to darken the sky. “Come and find me!” Day calls. “As soon as you do, we’ll race back home, and then I’ll look for you.”
Night searches one corner, and then in another. It’s hide-and-go-seek between sister and brother. “She must be in space,” Night says to his teddy. “We’ll find her. Let’s go. Our spaceship is ready.”
Night loads up his comets and grabs his star sack. If Teddy gets hungry, he’s packed him a snack. Night pulls out the North Star, the great guiding light. It hangs in the sky, shining steady and bright.
The spaceship takes off with a plug-your-ears boom and blasts into space with a hold-on-tight zoom.
Teddy’s distracted. He just wants his snack. Milk and fresh cookies smell good in the back. A bump spills the milk. The milk turns to stars and Milky Way planets like Venus and Mars. Night opens his sack and scatters Orion, the hunter who holds the head of a lion.
As Night paints with stars, many shapes fill his mind. He’s forgotten the sister he set out to find. The Big Dipper’s part of his cosmic creation. It twinkles. He sprinkles his next constellation.
“That’s me in the sky!” Teddy points, and they stare. Around the Big Dipper he sees a Great Bear. Night star-paints a horse. They climb up and fly. On Pegasus’s back they ride through the sky.
Like a prince, Night arrives at a star-spangled palace, swirling his cape of aurora borealis. He fires off comets; then a voice stops his show. It’s loud and commanding—a voice he should know. “Stop playing!” Day shouts from far across space. “I’ll meet you at home. Come on, it’s a race!”
And that’s when he finally remembers their game. He forgot to find Day. Each night it’s the same!
He buckles in Teddy and holds out the sack to gather his stars all the Milky Way back. They speed across space like a bright shooting star. Galaxing, galaxing, galaxing far.
They crash to a stop. It’s still dark. Where is Day? Night’s all out of zoom. He’s too tired to play.
Day laughs and appears in her bright yellow dress. “Don’t fall asleep yet. Let’s clean up this mess.”
Night yawns as they tidy and asks, “Did I win?” Day nods. “But it’s bedtime. I’ll tuck you in. I’ll shine while you sleep.” Her voice is a song. “And when you wake up, we’ll play all night long.”
Night snuggles with Teddy and struggles to say, “I can’t ever find you. I go the wrong way.” “Remember,” Day whispers, “it’s west you must go. I’m easy to find. I’m the star of the show.”
“Head west in your spaceship. I really don’t hide. You just have to look on the Earth’s other side.” But Night’s fast asleep. He’s a prince in his bed. She shimmers a kiss. “Sweet dreams, sleepyhead.”