The light of late autum is gold, gold, gold. It fills our south-west facing dining room all afternoon; honey on the table, honey on the floor, and we’re drawn to it like bees, sitting barefoot, my son drawing while I write. Above the bare branches of the trees, insects swarm; the last warm days a small ellipsis of insect procreation. Out the back door the chickens come, inquisitive, pecky, turning over every crumpled leaf in search of bugs not burrowed down. The shadows fall long, longer, across the valley spreading indigo lace below the trees. Each chicken has a shadow twice her size, imaginary hens on stilts, walking slantwise across the leaf strewn grass.
Sprout is napping and Bean and I are each occupied in our own way. Me: editing. Him: drawing blueprints for gnome houses and prototypes for robotic flying cars.
Suddenly he leaps back from his work table, “AAAAH! Something scary with pinchers just ran behind my desk!” he screams with dramatic flare.
His eyes are genuinely huge, but then he sees me smiling. I cannot hold the laughter back. “Really?” I ask. “Is it going to eat you?”
Now his eyes grow wider. He looks off for a minute into space.
“It cannot eat me.” He concludes hesitantly. “I am bigger than it. I could just…I could just squish it. Right?”
Oh how I love this silly boy of mine.