The word »mooncalf« is connected to a sad story, because in earlier centuries it was used for calves that were born malformed. It was assumed that the Moon was responsible for this, which was generally seen as a symbol of the feminine and dark side of life. Not exactly fair toward the Moon and unfortunately characteristic for the attitude wanting to assign the good to the masculine and the evil to the feminine.
Also in the period following, the term »mooncalf« had no easy stance. It turned into a synonym for a dull and simpleminded person or an ugly creature, like in the drama of William Shakespeare »The Tempest«, where it referred to the deformed servant Caliban.
Not until the presence do we find a different tone, when J. K. Rowling creates the book in the Harry Potter novels »Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them«, where the mooncalves are mythical creatures and are described as shy and nightly animals that carry out dances in the moon shine. They can also be seen in the movie adaptation of this book.
Fortunately, nowadays we are able to deal with the strangeness and unfamiliarity of people and beings a lot better and encounter the Moon without fear.