The Autumn Witch

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There's magic in the air, can you feel it? It clings to the leaves and turns them from green to gold... It dances and floats through the tree canopies and sings the sweetest lullabies. I like to imagine autumn's arrival as if it was brought about in a way that could not be explained by scientists and meteorologists.. No, this season always feels too mystical for that...

A short, stumpy forest witch creeps along the forest tracks, her auburn hair piled on top of her head and speckled with leaves and rowan berries. As she walks, she weaves her magic. She spins green fibres to gold and hangs them from the canopy, and then takes the warmth from the air and bottles it ready to release again in the spring. She uncorks another bottle and out flies a cool, finger-nipping breeze, rattling the leaves from their homes and taunting the birds.

As she passes by the shy ferns, she encourages them to curl back under themselves and spend the cooler months asleep, as she soon will. Mushrooms spring from the undergrowth and she picks a few and places them gently in her apron pockets: she has a weakness for mushroom soup and the thought of it bubbling away on her hearth is enough to chase away any ailment. Once content with her work, she shuffles back over a rickety stone bridge and a glittering waterfall, back to her little hidden home deep in the forest, until she's needed again next year.