Tag: fall

Fall Troubles

It is fall, and that means a change of wardrobe for the flower fairies. There are just a lot fewer fresh flower petals to stitch into stylish fairy dresses. And so, they’re left with colorful but stiff and scratchy fall leaves.

Of course, some fairies gather the long blades of grass to weave into lovely gowns. Unfortunately, this means that they are up weaving before dawn to get dressed for the day. Getting up early is difficult when so many fairies stay up late to dance by moonlight.

They know it won’t be long until it’s too cold to be out at all. By winter, the flower fairies will all be burrowed deep in hidden nests to sleep through the winter. The frost fairies will take over their duties while they’re finally able to get some much needed rest.

The flower fairies are so tired in the fall after using their earth magic to help things grow and bloom and painting the world with color and singing with the bird choirs and encouraging baby birds and butterflies to hatch. Tired fairies having to dress up in itchy scratchy leaf dresses means the fairies are very grumpy in the fall. Grumpy fairies often play mean tricks.

This is why you set something down somewhere safe in the fall and you can’t find it again for months and months. You won’t find it. The fairies hid it and won’t give it back until they wake up feeling guilty in the spring.

This is also why your yard is filled with leaves an hour after you finish raking. And why your dog barks at nothing all the time. And why your never-fail cookie recipe goes completely flat when you need the cookies to turn out well.

You may think that this means that grumpy flower fairies are to blame for all of the pranks that happen around Halloween. Actually, they love Halloween when people are happy and sharing with their neighbors. They love the positive energy, and those nice big pumpkins with warm candles inside are the perfect spot to gather and tell stories.

There are also pieces of costume and small candy wrappers left around for a silly evening fashion show. They especially love the shiny metallic wrappers that look like the reflective surface of a perfectly still puddle. It’s even better if the wrappers still smell sweet.

Flower fairies don’t hang on to their treasures. But it is fun to dress up and compare looks and tell stories just for one night. They know that soon, very soon, it will be time to sleep for a season.

Many people put out birdseed for the birds during the cold weather. Some people even put out food for stray cats. But not many people remember the poor flower fairies.

Consider planting some flowers that will bloom late. Sunflowers are a good choice. Some varieties of roses bloom late, too. Do a search and plant some seeds if you are able. The fairies will be grateful, and you may be able to find your car keys when you need them. It’s worth a try.

Charlie’s Room: Fall Doldrums

Marianne and Charlie were working in the garden. Isaac was inside, trying to convince himself to get something done. So far, he wasn’t very successful. After lunch they were going to a local harvest festival, so he needed to get his to-do list done soon.

It wasn’t that he didn’t want to do anything. He very much wanted to sit down with the mystery novel he was in the middle of reading. He wouldn’t say no to a nice cup of cocoa, either.

Unfortunately, he needed to do paperwork and dishes and vacuuming before lunchtime. Normally, each job wouldn’t take all that much time. He just couldn’t seem to get started.

Isaac didn’t mind dishes, and the sink wasn’t really all that full. Vacuuming was one of his favorite jobs. It was always such a zen moment to trace lines into the carpet and listen to the chant-like hum of the vacuum. As for the paperwork, well, normally he could at least sit down and power through it all.

Today he didn’t want to do any of it. He considered bribing himself with chapters of his book between chores. They didn’t seem any more appealing.

Maybe he needed a short nap before he started? Isaac changed into his pajamas and climbed into bed. He laid there and tried to shut his mind off. Nope. He wasn’t at all tired.

What was wrong?

He changed back into his clothes and made the bed. He wandered into the living room and looked out the front window. The street outside was lined with trees, and most of them were dressed in brightly colored leaves.

A gust of wind blew through the trees, and red and yellow leaves tumbled passed the window. He watched them twirl down the street. It was definitely fall.

Isaac snapped his fingers. Fall. That’s right. It was a time of year when nature slowed down, and Isaac had always been sensitive to that.

Unfortunately, at the same time as the world seemed to move more slowly, people sped up. There were so many holidays to prepare for. His schedule seemed to get so much busier this time of year. Maybe he was pushing himself too hard.

Could the tasks wait? Probably. But he really should make the attempt. Especially with the dishes, as they tended to pile up quickly.

With a sigh, he decided to at least start the chore. He called Cousin Reginald and worked while he listened to Reginald’s latest adventures. He finished the last dish as he listened to the story of Reginald’s annual protest at city hall for pumpkin rights.

He started vacuuming as Reginald sang the song he’d written that he was sure would be a critical success and ignored by the ignorant masses. He accompanied himself on his out of tune accordion. Isaac finished vacuuming at the same time Reginald’s very long song ended.

“Dissonance is so underappreciated. There really should be much, much more of it in modern music,” Reginald said.

“It certainly had a lot of dissonance,” Isaac agreed as he put the vacuum away.

“Were you humming in the background? It was a nice touch. I knew you would appreciate my work.”

Isaac decided not to mention the vacuum. “I’m always impressed by how much you manage to get done.”

“Well, it’s harder in the fall, of course. But I rebel against all of that. Changing seasons won’t keep me down! In fact, I think I’m going to go march through the local park to make sure all those fall leaves can see that they can’t stop me. Bye.”

Isaac put his phone away. There was just the paperwork left. He looked out the window. Brightly colored leaves flew passed the window. Were they watching him?

Maybe Cousin Reginald had the right idea. He grabbed the paperwork and brought it into the living room. He dumped it all on the coffee table and moved the table right in front of the window.

“Look at this,” he told the leaves. “I’m getting my chores done and you can’t stop me.”

It was kind of fun to be defiant, even if he was fairly certain the leaves didn’t care. Every time he finished filling something out, he held it up to the window. “Hah! I got this done, too!”

Sooner than he thought, he was done. He checked the clock. He had plenty of time before lunchtime, and nothing else he really needed to get done right now.

And so he curled up on the couch with cocoa and his mystery book. The leaves continued to pass by the window, but Isaac ignored them. Fall had no power over him today.

Charlie’s Room: Herding Cats

The house was too quiet. Charlie and Marianne were at swim practice, and Isaac had the house to himself. He was trying to read, but turning the pages sounded unnaturally loud in the empty house. It was starting to feel a little creepy, as though the house was watching and waiting for something to happen.

And so Isaac left the house to whatever it was waiting for and went on a walk. He had to step back in for a moment for a coat. The air was just a little too chilly to be out for long without one.

He zipped up his coat as a breeze started to blow, scattering the dead leaves on the sidewalk. They chittered as they swirled around, looking and sounding like a plant kingdom parody of squirrels. On the trees, the green leaves were turning red and gold, the colors as much Christmas as fall.

That was when the first cat passed. Isaac didn’t really notice. His attention was on the leaves and looking in his pockets for his gloves. It was probably gray with stripes, but it may have been white with black spots.

He noticed the second one because it was so large and orange that it was hard to miss. It ran through the gutter, scattering the leaves left there in waves to either side of its path. And then the third and fourth cats came, two small black cats chasing each other in zig-zags down the sidewalk and narrowly missing Isaac as they ran.

After that, it was hard to keep track. A stream of cats flooded the street and overflowed onto the sidewalk on either side. They came pouring around the corner and just kept coming and coming and coming.

Isaac looked around. There wasn’t any catnip or fish or cardboard boxes leading the cats down the street. Were they running away from something?

What would the cats run from? And where did they all come from? Were they evacuating some super secret cat base that was set to self-destruct? Should he be running too?

And then he heard it. Off in the distance a voice was singing. Well, not singing exactly. This was music on a higher level. The voice was yodeling.

“Heeeere kitty-itty hee itty-hi del laaaaaaaaay

Ittty-itty ha del lee del laaaaaaay

Heeeeere kitty-itty Theeeeere kitty-itty

Itty-itty ha del lee del laaaaaaay”

Isaac relaxed. There was no imminent catastrophe that the cats were all fleeing. Obviously they were being herded. It made sense that it would take a superior herding method to herd cats.

He retraced his steps and stood on his lawn to watch the cats pass. There were so many different colors and patterns and sizes of cats. At one point, he even saw a bobcat pass by. Isaac hoped the bobcat came from outside the neighborhood.

Looking closely, he couldn’t tell whether the rest of the cats were local or just passing through. The few neighborhood cats he could remember looked enough like a dozen of the cats that passed by already that he couldn’t say for sure if he had seen them or not. Hopefully, if they’d decided to join the cat herd, they’d go home when they were done.

And the yodeling grew louder, until finally the yodeling cat-herder himself stepped around the corner, herding the last of the cats in front of him as he went. He was dressed in lederhosen, and wore a brown cap with a feather tucked into the hatband. There was a red bandanna tied around his neck, and he carried a walking stick that he tapped on the ground to the beat as he walked.

Isaac waved as he walked passed. The man briefly took off his cap and nodded as he continued to yodel. Then he, and the cats disappeared around the next bend in the road. Isaac continued on his walk, and the whole time he was sure that he could almost hear the yodeling cat-herder off in the distance.

“Heeeere kitty-itty hee itty-hi del lay hee hooo

Ittty-itty ha del lee del lay hee hooo

Heeeeere kitty-itty Theeeeere kitty-itty

Itty-itty ha del lee del lay hee hooo”

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