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Full moon, February 9, 2009

Full moon, February 9, 2009

Last night’s full moon was striking as it rose through patchy cloud cover early in the evening. Many cultures assign a name to each full moon of the year. The Old Farmer’s Almanac refers to the February full moon as the Snow Moon. Many native American names reflect the difficulty of life at this time of year and include the Bony Moon, the Hunger Moon and the Famine Moon.

The full moon has a magical presence. Indeed, it has long been associated with lunacy and even lycanthropy, the cult of the half man, half wolf, or werewolf. An interesting take on this, less frightening than traditional tales, is Elizabeth Coatsworth’s slim book The Werefox, originally published as Pure Magic, sadly currently out of print. The touching story, intended for young readers, tells how Johnny, a lonely New England farmboy who befriends the strange new boy next door, learns that Giles is a werefox and one wild night, saves his life.

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