Bartholomew mouse loves autumn.
He loves the chill west wind that scoops up seeds and blows them high into the evening sky.
He loves how the sun sets the tops of the birch trees aflame with light.
Bartholomew rows his very own skiff across the mirrored pond; gazing at the iridescent heads of mallard ducks, and listening to the bullfrogs.
It is not safe to be out but he is drawn by the splashing minnows and the scent of the lilies glowing white on their green lily pads.
Bartholomew adjusts the tulip tree leaf over his boat. The broad leaf hides him from the watchful eye of the hawk perched in the pine tree. Hopefully, the red tailed hunter is more interested in the bunnies scampering over the north meadow, than a small field mouse.
Bartholomew knows it’s time to scuttle home when the great horned owl calls through the dusk. He does not wish to meet that great and mighty creature.
The skiff slides onto a sandy cove under the bridge. Bartholomew pulls his boat into the tall grass and ties it to a stump. A large greedy eye peers at him from the grass. The farmer’s cat leaps, grabs, misses, and rolls. Bartholomew wastes no time scrambling up the hill and into his home just under the big rock. He knows cat will be there waiting all night. He will have to stay in now and dream of autumn from his warm house.
So he dreams of stars gleaming in a navy sky. He dreams of sailing his skiff under a harvest moon. Bartholomew dreams, knowing that tomorrow he will venture out into the wide world again to see autumn.
By Joleen Steel October 2018