|Photo by Micha L. Rieser, wikimedia commons|
Inevitably, my father would get tired of the mess of leaves in the yard, and one weekend we'd finally have to give up our games, and do the real work of raking the dry and crumbling leaves to the curb for collection by the village. The piles (usually a pair, on either side of the walk) would be as tall as I was, and three or four feet wide, covering the entire grassy area between the sidewalk and the road.
After my father thought the job was done, I'd shape them with my rake, into a hump and a long neck and turn the immense piles of leaves into dragons, necks and tails curling, with a nook for me to nestle into. Technically I wasn't supposed to be playing so close to the road. But it was a really REALLY slow street. No one drove down it, unless they lived there. So for days, while we waited for the town to come by and suck up the leaves with their monstrous vacuum truck, I played with the dragons, sitting beside them under the bare trees, imagining long conversations about flying and mountainous volcanoes. Until one day, I would wake up, and they'd be gone. Flown (or blown) away.
Maybe this year, the dragons will come again. There are certainly leaves enough!