Yellow Woods

And later when he had fallen asleep, the leaves came down from the tree and covered him, it being autumn. And the winds passed gently over him, and the rains that fell in the night could not find their way through the leaves, and the sun that lit the forest without heating anything could not touch him beneath the leaves, and so he slumbered on, and on, and on, far into the afternoon. When he woke, it was to darkness, a rustley, airy darkness that scratched and tickled at him and filled his head with the highest places. He shook himself and the leaves fell from him.

The forest had changed while he slept. A leaf-strown path began or ended winding about his tree, and stretched beneath the trees. It had not been there when he lay himself down, had not been there when the dog had shuddered past him, but for all that it was an old path, edges softened by mosses and sweet grasses. It led back the way he had come, or in that direction, but what was that? He buried his hands in his pockets and followed it, trailing dry and whispering leaves behind him.