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An Autumn Tale

NFP-1-4%20Frosted%20Red%20Maple%20Leaf-John%20Bryan%20State%20Park-Oh.jpgA man lived side by side with his neighbor for years in harmony, though they spoke barely a word to each other. In consideration of each other, they always kept their lawns mowed and their hedges trimmed. Nods and smiles and waves were freely given to each other as they were working in their yards or going on their way to work.

The maple tree in his neighbor's yard was of particular joy to the man. Every fall it turned a stunning red for a few weeks before losing its leaves. Those days were brief, but were of unparalleled beauty while they lasted.

One year when the leaves fell the man found that, because of the storm the night before, nearly all of the crimson leaves from his neighbor's tree had fallen into his lawn. Grudgingly he spent the morning raking the leaves out of his yard. The more he raked, the more anger he felt toward his neighbor. When his neighbor returned from a fishing trip later that day the man spoke gruffly to him about the leaves from his tree. The neighbor, caught off guard by the man's harsh words, apologized and promised it would never happen again.

The following year, when fall was creeping in, the man came back from a long weekend at his cabin to find a stump in his neighbor's yard where the tree used to be.

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