the wind sighs gently over the branches, almost bare of their mantles of crisp leaves. With each break in the wind, the branches too sigh, a peaceful burden lifted, letting them rise back to the sky. With each lifted burden, another leaf falls.
Weaved from the tree’s old cloaks, a carpet of red and gold forms, slowly yet surely. One more leaf tumbles on the breeze and makes its way to its place in the golden carpet.
A fox sits contemplating, watching the leaves drop, one after another after another. She stares all around her in wonder, as if she has realised her kindred spirit with her home. In the blazen colours surrounding her being, she feels an impossible warmth, a truest love.
The wind sighs gently through her fiery coat, but the wind lacks the forest’s new love. The fox turns to face the breeze, chilling now, as if it were ice itself. Looking up, she sees one last leaf on the branches. Alone, like her, in a forest of naked trees. She feels more forlorn than she ever has, knowing that when it falls, her truest love will be gone and the snow will replace the autumnal hearth.
The wind sighs and the last leaf flickers, struggling against its gnarled branch to stay. The fight is lost. It twists and turns, as if in excruciating pain, through the ever colder air biting it as it falls. It takes its final place, filling the final hole in the golden carpet.
The fox lowers her gaze and turns away. The bitter cold is come, her truest love is gone.