Once upon a time in a land far away, a pair of maple
leaves, a paradigm of fiery red, glowing orange and
resplendent yellow, greeted the winds with ripened
anticipation. Yes their wait was over and no sooner did the
winds give them a confirmatory nod, than they went
gliding down the massive trunk in graceful arcs, landing
majestically on the ground. They were delighted to have
finally met their predecessors.
‘Not once did they squirm, at the thought of leaving behind
the others’, thought the traveller. A ball of fur was curled
up among the fallen leaves. He smiled coldly and removed
his straw sandals. Barefoot, he allowed his feet to be
buried in the silt by the riverside. Every step closer to the
water seemed to be doubling the strain of the long walk
The tawny hue of the sun, rushing home, mingled with the
autumn leaves gave him a hint of receding warmth. Soon
the trees would lose their friends and a thick layer of snow
shall conceal their tears or freeze them maybe. The water
too felt laden with ripe colors as they reflected the last
rays before twilight.
The scene was beautiful yet sad. It was warm now, but
cold was approaching. It was autumn now, but winter was
He watched the tiny bubbles rise, as water gushed into his container. A little gurgle on the surface and the bubbles
turned into ripples. The bottle was ready to be sealed. The
boy drank to his heart’s content.
The sun was way past the walls of the valley. With every
passing moment, Cold was inching towards him. As a
child, and an ardent lover of Fiction, he had personified
Cold with the image of a Grim, hooded with a lethal
weapon. The ends of its robe were in shreds. The shreds
capable of strangling the person in sight. All these years
could not blemish that image from his heart, and a childish
fantasy seemed so real today.
The temperature was falling steadily but he had no time to
collect firewood, so he decided to burn the fallen leaves.
They would emit a lot of smoke, may attract attention,
besides starting an open fire amidst dry leaves and twigs
was a bad idea. So he settled for a high branch and his
jacket. He made a point to make a job offer in the next
town. He desperately needed a few gold ingots. Not that
his day was very eventful, he wished for a candle or a
lamp. Every night, he poured all his emotions into a small
pocket book. But tonight was different perhaps, for there
was nothing worthy to feed in his diary. So absence of a
candle too was not so painful. Besides he was not really
alone that evening. Caressing the feline fur he debated on
a dozen names for it. With such thoughts he dozed off.