Cut Quill

Coin and Leaf

In between the grass and the weeds lay a coin, but it was overborne by a leaf. Upon the disfigured face of the disc of metal, the freshly fallen leaf lay, its underside chilled by the lost treasure. It stared up to the vine, its home. The vine crept and clawed at the chinked blue-grey stone of the dull, crumbling sentinel tower, now enshrined in the green forest.

Up above, the clouds formed a stuccoed layer encrusting the sky. Pieces flaked off and wet the dismal arboire below. The spaces revealed an inipid blue beyond the solemn grey. Each drop falling dealt the tower a useless blow. But over the span which held the rain, the tower seemed to melt, slower even than the growth of a mountain from its roots. But the tower was not what it had been when the coin was brought there.

Then there were knights and ladies and pages and horses. then, banners and pennants fluttered from the parapet, and eyes gazed from every portal. But after had come the rain, and the clouds poured out always upon the earth now, or spilled dregs of heaven, whilst they were replenished. They never ceased. Not completely.

When the deluge first came, it flooded the river which dug this valley. the horses tried to tell the men, but men would not listen. The men and ladies and horses all fled, when the valley filled, and a page tripped and fell.

Out of the bag tied not tightly enough about his waist sprang the coin. The poor boy, foot-beset, scrambled vainly to his feet and was pushed down again. He finally escaped, but a small treasure was lost.

Ere the clouds pulled back, for never will they, a forest sprang up, and was gone. Then another, then another; and now the forest, which very tightly hugs the bluestone garrison. ’Neath the auspex of the reaching arms grew ivy.

The ivy saw the cold stone tower, that it was cold. And so the ivy twined round and about the cold stone tower. But the tower remained blue. Through all the ivy’s warmth brought in winter, and shade in summer, blue stone may not change color.

The wind one night howled and whipt more fiercely than before. the water came on with more than its wonted vengeance, and the ivy let fall one jade. When the wind finally was bottled, the leaf took rest upon the coin.

Marred as the copper was, and greened, the leaf took comfort in it, and warmed it. And as the stone yet was worn and melted, the leaf and coin weathered the storm.

Now come the clouds away, and sun chases rain. In this new day, with rain and fresh still in the air, and the ground wet to submission, the leaf is to be treasured much more than the penny, for green is fault in a penny.