Eclipsed by the moon

One evening Crutch summoned Ms Yasothon and her mob for some instant education. There was going to be a lunar eclipse and Crutch felt it his duty to impart this knowledge on the community. So at 7.30 p.m. we were all dutifully assembled in the garden to watch this momentous occasion, Crutch armed with his state of the art “Made in Occupied Japan” binoculars.
“The moon is about to disappear,” I announced authoritatively to the assembled hordes. They appeared less than impressed, but all stared at the moon with admirable loyalty.
The moon didn’t disappear.
After about five minutes looking at the non-disappearing moon the natives began to get a bit restless. Ms Yasothon and her tribe started rabbiting away, the gist of which was that the nai had either attacked the amber liquid earlier than usual or had finally gone bananas.
I then thought it prudent to consult the dictionary to discover the exact Thai word for eclipse. I returned and triumphantly announced it in Thai.
That’s when Ms Yasothon’s son, who was eight at the time, piped up: “You won’t see anything until after 8 o’clock. That’s what they said on the television. The nai doesn’t know what he’s talking about,” or words to that effect. His Christmas present was definitely in doubt that year.
“But the Bangkok Post said it would begin precisely at 7.30 p.m.” I proclaimed. Judging from the titters that followed, the Yasothon community had long given up believing anything they’d read in newspapers.
There was a brief flurry of excitement when I handed Ms Yasothon the binoculars. At first she couldn’t find the moon,┬áprimarily because she was looking through the wrong end. Finally there was an exclamation. Yes, she’d located the moon and it was incredibly bright. This puzzled even her son because the binoculars were pointed directly at the neighbour’s house. The moon turned out to be the lamp on next door’s gate.
At about 8 p.m. they all sensibly gave up and went off to the nearby temple, leaving Crutch alone in the garden cursing the non-disappearing moon. Of course, as soon as they had left, the eclipse became visible, as did the multitude of mosquito bites on Leggus Crutch us.