A rustling in the foliage. Glittering water drops on the grass. The cawing of the crow. The young deer raised his head and listened to the sounds. A beam of sunshine tickled his nose, warm and comforting. It spiked its ears as a gust of wind whirled the leaves through the air. They looked like numerous ambers. In all shades of yellow and brown, the recently lush green leaves had dressed. The wind blew human voices towards the meadow.
The deer was dueling. People were to be avoided, his mother had taught him. But where were they? There, he could see them, back there on the walk-way. A small, blond girl ran in front, making gurgling noises. ‘I must hide in the tall grass!’ But it was brown and flat around the deer.
There was a humming sound close to his ear, and he turned his head, bewildered. A small creature flew before his eyes and said: “You need not be afraid of the people walking along here. They rejoice when they see you!” The deer blinked and answered: “How do you know that? And who are you?” “I’m an autumn-elf. I make sure that nature prepares for the winter-time. I help her in her new dress, blow the wind cleaning away the fallen leaves from the walk-ways and let the last flowers bloom.” “I have never heard of you!” wondered the deer. “You’re still young, a summer fawn. I come around this time each year and help all plants and animals prepare for winter when the Snow Queen comes in. “
By now the human voices were gone, as well as the giggling blonde girl, and a swarm of geese traveling south flew cackling in the blue sky. “You’ll see, in winter you’ll be glad that people are giving hay and nuts to you. There is little food in winter and people help the needy. So do not be afraid.”
The deer looked a little skeptically at the autumn-elf as she flew towards the edge of the forest with a slight hum. He blinked in the late autumn-sun and trotted slowly across the meadow to his shelter.
Enjoy the autumn walks!