The autumn day was somber. So quiet you could hear a mouse sneeze. Deafening silence surrounded me when I ceased walking. Nothing was heard but my breath. Then the unexpected explosion: a racing wee one, with short legs not built for speed. The mouse was horrified. I had invaded his world of solitude. Over the parched leaves, he skittered and scampered and skedaddled. In my ears the rustling leaves of his escape roared more thunderous than Cox’s Army on maneuvers. Back on the road from where I watched, it was show time. Curtains go up. A seminal band of red and yellow and brown leaves dotted the red clay. The air was thick and smelled of mildewed foliage. My familiar friend, bittersweet angst, joined me. Overhead, high in the tree tops, a gentle breeze teased and nudged their ambivalent brothers. Farther up still, a sneaky waft orchestrated a cloud cluster. Black ones, gray ones and white ones dappled the cobalt blue background. Indifferently they danced to the unheard music from the unseen band. I turned to my right and spied a small murky pond. Weeping willows mourned over its banks. A column of light burst through, and two stage-shy minnows were spotted. They, like me, froze in place at first. Then, like the mouse and the ambivalent leaves, they darted away. I followed their lead off stage. The sting of heavy raindrops called curtains.