Smiley Carter leans back against the wagon that is hitched to his tractor.  Squinting at the afternoon sun, he takes a bandana out of his hip pocket and swipes his entire face, from his forehead down to his chin, then wipes the back of his neck. 

“Ol’ sol, you’s having a hard time letting go of summer, ain’t you?  But you can’t hold on forever.  October’s done arrived and your hold on this part of the earth is slipping away.”

Turning to face the wagon, he reaches into the corner and retrieves a thermos.  Twisting open the top, he pours the cold water into the lid.  He gulps it down in two swallows.

“Ahhh, mighty fine, mighty fine,” he says.

After he returns the thermos to its safe corner, he surveys his field.  Trees in brilliant fall foliage create a colorful frame around the field – the brass color of hickories, red sweet gums, burgundy sumac, yellow maples, burnt-orange elms, rust sycamores.  Peeking through the grass in the field that escaped Carter’s hoe in the summer are scores of orange pumpkins.  Their random placement in the field makes it look as if Jack-n-the-Beanstalk’s giant accidently dropped some seeds and they floated down like the parachuting seeds of a dandelion, briefly grabbing hold of then letting go of the slightest breeze. 

Some of the pumpkins have been more successful than others at infusing nutrients from the soil.  They range in size from those that would fit in a gallon bucket to a few that would have difficulty squeezing into a number two washtub.

It is one of the latter that Carter walks over to.  Bending over and smiling, he pats it like he would his pet rat terrier, Susie.  “Ain’t you a fine looking pumpkin?  Somebody’s going to be mighty excited to take you home.”

Squatting down, he bear hugs the pumpkin and stands up with a grunt.  Taking small, careful steps, he walks to the rear of the wagon and gently lays his orange progeny down.

“Whew!” he exclaims.  “You is one heavy pumpkin!”

{This is an excerpt from the next book in the “Tucker” series.  It is titled “An Unexpected Frost.”  I’m nearing completion of its writing.  But I thought I’d share this Autumn scene with you.  Thanks for dropping by my blog.}

4 thoughts on “Autumn

  1. Glad to see you are adding to the Tucker books. I really enjoyed both of the others and looking forward to reading this one.

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