Premonition of autumn
The boy tugged at his father's sleeve. The field stirred like a vast bear's back. It let the wind pass through its golden fur, ominous, defiant as if, at harvest time, it sparkled in the meaningful strips of the earth's darkness, its silences. Far, far away the red form of the house rose like a small drop of blood from the soil of the potato patch. It, too, recalled something, vulnerability, perhaps, perhaps fear, and the sky was a bitter blue, and motionless. Autumn seemed distant, but it came to mind, time after time, as stubbornly as the buzzing of a fly in the leathery innards of the byre. The boy tugged at his father's sleeve. The father started and looked at his son, whose curious eyes were boring holes in the horizon. The father growled as a sign that he was listening. 'How far does the earth reach?' the boy asked. 'No one knows exactly,' the father replied. 'And horses?' 'They were sold ages ago.' The boy looked thoughtfully at his father, then turned his gaze to the ground and kicked dry clods of clay with his tennis shoes. Evening was greasing the hinges of the sky. Soon the doors would be opened, the sky would swallow the fields, lock the earth into its dark byre.