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The Red Leaf

by Kit Basom, age 11, from US

Devin's parents sat cross the table from him. They were having their usual midday quarrel but this time it was more like a four- and five-year-old fight. Devin couldn't stand it any more. "We can never have a peaceful meal around here!" he said. He got up and ran out the door, across the lawn and into the fall colored leaves that covered the forest floor. He ran until he came to a crystal clear pond. He sat down at the edge and looked around. Fall was one of his favorite times of year. The leaves were bright and cheerful and the air was fresh and clear.

Devin sat there looking into the pond, sad, and mad because he hated it when his parents fought. As he sat there, a red leaf fell off a tree and landed at his feet. It was the most beautiful leaf he had ever seen! He picked it up to look at it, and as he did a little girl came and sat down next to him.

The little girl was probably about six years old. She wore a bright red dress with orange buttons going down the back, and a white lace collar around her neck. She had bright red hair that matched her dress and round, rosy cheeks.

"Hello!" said the little girl. Devin, who hadn't seen her arrive, said, "When did you get here?" "Oh, just a few seconds ago," said the girl.

"Why are you here?" asked Devin.

"Why are you here?" said the little girl, with much interest in her voice.

Devin looked down at his feet. "My parents were fighting, so I ran out here to get away from it all."

"Don't be sad," said the little girl. "We can play out here today and you won't have to hear your parents fight."

So Devin decided to stay. They ran and played all afternoon. They swam in the pond and played hide-and-go-seek in the leaves, and the little girl taught him a song that went like this:

Fall is here, we sing our song We are happy all day long.

When night comes, we go to sleep But that happiness we will keep.

When they finally stopped playing to take a rest, Devin realized it was already getting dark.


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