“The trees are bare. Look! Large tall trees with nothing on them; they look as if they could touch the sky. Fruitless, death ridden, and bare-that’s what they are. Earth has gone into its usual slumber, Winter arrives, and darkness creeps in. Under the cloak of this cold season highway men and thieves ravage villages and torment townspeople,” Mr. Simmsmore paused for a moment as the group of children he was speaking to sat quietly around a fire.
“Just last year Ms. Whitlock was nearly beaten to death for a bag of coins,” he continued. I remember that evening-oh yes, it was bitter cold outside. She hadn’t made it halfway to the village center before being robbed. Thieves nearly ripped her arm off pulling that sack from her hands.”
The children sat with their mouths open. They really didn’t know what to make of Mr. Simmsmore. He was an adult so they had a natural respect for him, but to his peers, Mr. Simmsmore was the village idiot. He was a show in himself-a legend in his own mind they’d say.
Today, however, he had the attention of the children in his clutches.
“So you see children, you must be aware during the cold months. Stay close to your parents and never wander off alone. You will never be heard from again, perhaps, if you do. Don’t ever say old Mr. Simmsmore never warned you. But let me tell you something children, things change. People change, and the seasons change. It will not be cold and dark forever. Soon, very soon, the coldness will give way to the warm Spring breeze. The trees will bare fruit once again, and Earth will come to life. For the lives we live are attuned to the world in which we live. Death, life, rebirth and living again-we go around and around. Now, go home to your parents. Run!”
The children listened. The group jumped up and sprinted off, and Mr. Simmsmore laughed to himself as he took a quick sip of Brandy from his flask.
“Damn kids-always playing in my drinking spot,” he muttered to himself.