The squirrels were out in full force. They roamed the fallen colourful leaves and chased each other up trees. Sometimes one would stop to eat a nut or seed, sitting on hind legs and holding food in tiny front paws. Others choice to bury their prize in the hope it would help to see them through the winter.
My favourite apples were those picked straight from the tree covered with water drops from a light autumn shower or droplets from a misty morning.
It seemed like I spent all my autumn days outside harvesting, sorting out the animals and making sure everything was ready for winter. I had lots of help, I was the only girl out of eight children. The joke was my mother had kept trying till she had a girl but I had turned out more boyish then some of my brothers!
I was fourth generation of farmer and it ran strong within me. I had favourite jobs and ones I hated but I still did them all. My best was apple picking. I loved getting the reds and greens off the trees, stacking them in baskets before putting them in the trucks to go to the shops.
There was some comforting about the weight in hand, the smell of the crisp apples under my nose and when I tasted the sweet tang of the fruit nothing could bet it.
One of my brothers joked that it was apple juice that ran in my veins instead of blood. I believed that could be true. Another brother said I had been born from an apple seed mother had swallowed on the advice of grandma. A third claimed they had found me under an apple tree on harvest moon night!
However, I had come into the world my name; Autumn Apple Atkins was fitting and perfect to my ears. Some sniggered at it, others had used it to bully me but to me it was who I was and where I had come from.
My father had promised me the orchard and I could think of no greater thing to inherit then the trees that bear the fruit I love.
The wind whipped through the dry wheat and the water on the lake. The old blades of wind mill whirled around, the gears and grinding stones inside the mill also turned.
For once, the villagers were thankful for the aiding weather as they had a lot of work to do before winter arrived. There was the harvest to gather in, grain to be crushed then some to be stored and other bags to be sent to the bakeries.
The air was hazy with dust and the smell of baking. A good sign as it meant their bellies would be full over the frozen months.
Four generations of apple trees had been growing in the last field of his farm. Before he had just sold them to anyone who would have them but for the last few years he had kept a barrel or two back.
The idea of hosting a few days of Halloween themed fun had been his daughter’s idea. He hadn’t been that much into it, but now money and publicity was pouring in. A great bonus to the struggling farming business.
How are things? Everything is going fine here, we have been getting ready for the autumn feast. The weather has been typically stormy though, so the work has been harder.
We had hoped to hear from you sooner but I guess things have been busy in the city. I suppose you won’t be home till Christmas now which is a shame as everyone misses you. Perhaps, you could find time to come over soon? Yes, work is important but remember family is more special!
Tony walked through the pumpkin field, looking for the perfect one to turn into a prize winning Jack O’ Lantern. However, he couldn’t seem to spot one. All the pumpkins seemed too small and dis-formed. In fact, only a handful were orange colored and the rest were yellow, green, white, brown and black.
He stopped in the middle of the field and looked around. Deep down he knew the perfect pumpkin was out here. He put his hands in his pockets and began walking again. Rain began to fall, softly at first then harder, but he ignored it and fixed his eyes on the pumpkins passing his feet.
In the distance, he could hear a tractor and the sound of cows. For a few madding moments he thought Farmer Jones had taken the perfect pumpkin for himself. Of course everyone wanted to win the Harvest County Fair. Surely, the farmer had better things to put in then a Jack O’Lantern though and hadn’t they always had a good deal with buying products over the years of being neighbors?
Tony shook his head and carried on walking. Out here, somewhere, he knew the perfect pumpkin was just waiting for him to pick it up and carve out his final master piece.