I recall a short story I read in High School. We read it in English class so it was likely published in an anthology intended for use in schools. (This was in Scotland in the 1970's if that helps.) It was very likely in the same edition as the Ruum by Arthur Porges which I was looking for in this question back in 2017.

In this story, a woman from Earth is somehow stranded on another planet. As I recall this planet is very watery and the native dominant species spend their lives on little islands that are barely above the water. I remember them as being very dreamy creatures and have an idea they might each have had their own individual tiny island, though I can't swear to that part.

I think they communicated by sensing wants and needs, rather than having conversations. They might have all sung to each other from their tiny islands, under the night sky.

Whatever the details, this Earth woman is somehow stranded there, I think she gets given her own tiny island and has all she needs to sustain life, but as she gazes at the night sky her heart aches for the sight of the Earth's moon. Then the native creatures sense her sorrow and collectively sing of her sadness and longing. She falls asleep and when she wakes, she discovers that they have through their clever alien singing power, sung the moon across space into their own sky to gladden her heart. And for a moment she is glad until the water laps her toes and she realises that her dreamy singing friends didn't know about tides.

The demise of the Earth woman and the dreamy creatures wasn't detailed, but the reader is to understand that all the little islands are going to get swamped on the regular and everyone is probably going to drown, or maybe starve if they were growing food.

I doubtless have all sorts of details wrong, but the gist is there. I've searched unsuccessfully, as soon as you mention the moon in searches you just get swamped with results about aliens either on the moon or hiding behind it!

  • Unfortunately, The Ruum has been anthologised about a gazillion times; isfdb.org/cgi-bin/title.cgi?74067
    – Valorum
    Commented Dec 21, 2023 at 19:30
  • Not Shipwreck by R. Chetwynd-Hayes; isfdb.org/cgi-bin/pl.cgi?34362
    – Valorum
    Commented Dec 21, 2023 at 19:38
  • @Valorum I suspect the anthology to have been an edition specially for Scottish schools, definitely not Shipwrecked, thank you for the suggestion though,
    – Spagirl
    Commented Dec 22, 2023 at 10:20


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