Harley is the baby of the house; he inches toward the screen door on his belly. He is jet black with only a patch of white fur on his chest and twenty-four karat gold eyes.
He moves slowly towards the sound of the wind, tossing leaves on the driveway’s blacktop. It’s very much like watching an oozing ink spot spilling across the aged hardwood floor making a cleaver sneak on its prey.
The sun light splinters through the trees illuminating the bounty still found on the limbs and bounces off the golden snow-like particles that litter the sky making their way to the ground.
Huge rocks sit high above the house and reach just far enough into the trees where there is a feeling of being detached except for the ever present wind. Close your eyes and you can still see the awesome colors falling around you, at times you feel the leaves brushing against your cheek.
The remains of the chicken coop are now home for fallen leaves which find their way entwined with wood and wire. Those that are not captured by the decaying structure add to the deep soft forest floor.
It starts to snow leaves first in September.
I remember a few weeks back as the visitor told his story; he was looking for the old man who had since passed. His eyes were huge as he recalled the old man running down the hill with hoe in hand while he was shoveled gravel onto the drive.
Short of breath and barely able to search for words, the old man was yelling for him to come quick and grab a gun.
He noted that he always carried a shotgun in the cab of his truck; “Just in case I need to scare something.” he said, looking for any type of displeasure in my face.
The two climbed the hill shoulder to shoulder until they reached the chicken coop “It was the biggest black bear I’d ever seen just snarling with birds, beaks and feathers flying everywhere.” He was spitting out the words so fast his face became red and those eyes bulging larger.
“I couldn’t believe it! With one swoop, the bear knocked the coop into splinters and grabbed the squawking chicken, running off into the trees. I was so startled I didn’t even get a shot off.” There was only a chuckle left in his voice as he looked up the hillside towards the coop.
The wind has picked up and it’s raining more leaves covering the coop’s green wood splinters, wire and the story of the old man’s bear.