In Which A Scarecrow Fights A Losing Battle Against Wildflowers
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The Journal of the Walk, Friday, August 20th

I found myself wandering through a winding path lined with wheat, golden waves attempting to hide a dilapidated farmhouse in the distance, perhaps 100 yards off. The wheat was quite tall, slightly taller than any wheat should be before harvesting. Perhaps it was a type I was unfamiliar with. Or perhaps I had shrunken.

I looked to the sky, noting the last of the small cluster of suns nearing the horizon, the half-way point of their endless parade. Hopefully the farmer would allow me to stay the night.

I reached out to make my presence known upon the door, but with a few light knocks it slowly creaked inwards. Personally, when I have a door to open, I leave it open in case visitors come by, but this felt unintentional.

"Hello? You appear to have left your door open. May I come in?" I shouted into the home, still standing on the porch step. My ears strained to pick up a hint of movement, a hushed whisper, but all I heard was the cawing of a singular unseen crow.

I pushed into the home, and my nose was met with a stench, a stench I was unfortunately familiar with, as I had encountered it once or thrice before this point during my travels. The stench of death.

I raised my coat to my nose and pressed onwards, looking through the small abode for the source. I found it in a small study, peacefully slumped in a chair, quill in hand, a blank piece of parchment sitting in front of it on a desk. It looks like it had been sleeping before nature took its course.

It would have been improper of me, as a guest, to leave the body as it were, so I brought it to a small garden behind the farmhouse, distinct in its purpose for pleasure and not profit, and buried it. The sacrifice of the cleanliness of my clothes was a small price to pay.

I had been witness to many funerals, and had heard many forms of rites performed at such funerals. I recited the remembrances of a poet, as I felt they were appropriate, as well as the fact that I had never witnessed a farmer's funeral.

The rites were short, but contained great meaning. As I turned to leave, something caught my eyes in the golden rays of the setting suns. All of the flowerbeds had grown wild, a respectable venture I try to learn from vegetation, but one flowerbed was different. Instead of growing outwards, they burst toward the field, in somewhat of a straight line.

It seemed the wheat, not wishing to impede on the flowers’ progress, had moved out of the way when it grew this directions, resulting in a small path through the fields. As a general rule for wandering, if a path presents itself, I usually take it, so I decided to explore the path before it became completely dark.

There was enough space for me to walk along the flowers on one side, and the wheat on the other. There was an impressive variety, dandelions and johnny-jump-ups, snapdragons and hibiscus, lambs ear and clovers.

After just a short jaunt, the flowers, and consequently myself, reached a clearing. It was small, no more than 3 meters in diameter, with a figure standing in the middle. The wildflowers grew in a spiral path around the figure, circling many times until finally ending at the base of it. A few flowers had just begun climbing the base of the figure in the center of the clearing.

It possessed an orange complexion, likely the result of its head being a carved pumpkin. It wore a sun-bleached hat and old clothes stuffed with straw, all propped up by a wooden pole in the ground and another horizontal pole lofting its arms outwards. A scarecrow.


Why anyone would want to scare away birds, especially such intelligent creatures as crows is beyond me, but before I had a chance to ponder upon this fact, the scarecrow turned and noticed me.

"How long has it been?" it rasped towards me. Small amounts of pumpkin seeds and pumpkin pulp were launched from its carved maw as it talked.

I was taken aback, I had no clue what it was referring to, so I responded, "Apologies, since what?"

The scarecrow looked at me wide-eyed, as if I had missed something painfully obvious. "I mean, isn't it painfully obvious? The flowers! When did they reach my base? How much time have I wasted?"

I was confused. The flowers seemed to have every right to be there, same as the scarecrow. "Why so worried about the flowers?" I asked.

"I don't know what'll happen once they finish growing! It was nice at first, watching the flowers wind their way around my clearing. It was a change of pace, and I welcomed it."

"But the flowers, they kept getting closer. I hardly noticed how close they had gotten, not until they were a few turns away from my base," the scarecrow sighed, and murmured to itself, "Where'd all the time go?"

It leaned pointedly towards me. Two crows landed on its shoulders; whether it noticed the new audience, I could not tell.

"I'm not ready for whatever these flowers will do once they fully grow over me. I'll probably suffocate, or be poisoned, or- or- anything! Anything could happen."

The scarecrow did its best to kick at the flowers. Unfortunately being made of straw doesn't do much strength-wise. It knocked a singular petal off. One of the crows pecked at the scarecrow's head.

"I'm doomed I tell ya. Doomed. I'll never figure out what I have to do before it's too late."

I tried to prompt the distraught bogey, to comfort it, ask it how I could help, but I was ignored. I've found that some individuals in my wanderings cannot be helped, or refuse help when offered. You have to let these things go once you've done all you could, which I did as I watched the scarecrow frantically kick more and more until it finally fell silent, drawing its legs up against its chest, shaking, just slightly.

I watched further as the two crows took off, circling once, and heading down above the path I had been walking.

I left the clearing, intent on sleeping in the farmhouse and moving on, following those wise birds, once morning arrived.

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