The autumn had dressed for the coming season, donning her most vibrant hues. She had swept into our streets and woodlands with a humble boldness that invited the eye to see more than they otherwise might. The autumn took her pirouette, her sweet turn on the stage all around, and we were are all so blessed to be given such beauty. There were the browns that come as a comforting quilt to the earth, yet the rest are the hues of volcanoes, of firework sparks and festival hoopla. It was as if nature is calling out to the spring and the trees couldn't help but become as flowers, towering blossoms of flamed foliage to dance into the skies before tumbling as giant confetti to the sidewalks and verges. The trees were laughing once more, dressed in their carnival clothes, the gold, and scarlet of the autumn days. Playing about the earthy hues of the branch and trunk, proud flags in any sky. As they do I took in the freshly calm air with that hint of an earthly aroma, the fragrance of homeliness.
"Ah Autumn! What a wonderful-"
I was cut off by noticing two little dwarfs at a distance, muttering between themselves in a strange language. Their little heights and pudgy stomachs looked adorable. Carrying brown baskets in their forearms, they walked towards the apple meadow. I muffled a laugh as I noticed their peculiar choice of attire.
The dwarf with the red hat was wearing a patterned shirt with a wacky tie and paired it with a pink tutu. His gleaming oxfords could be visible from miles away. Having a red shawl draped across his neck, it certainly seemed it could be the next ludicrous fashion trend.
His partner had an item of more mysterious but absurd clothing. A plaid-button up shirt with knee-breeches looked quite comical. Taking out a pocket watch from his primeval tailcoat, he looked towards his friend, muttered something and they both ran towards the nearest apple tree. With their short heights and the look of determination on their faces, it was amusing for me to watch them pluck out the apple from the tree, while they could have just picked some from the ground.
My curiosity got the best of me as I approached them and asked, "Good day, kind sirs! I couldn't help but notice your unique sense of style. May I ask you the source of inspiration?"
"No, you may not.", said the red-hat dwarf. I mentally named him Rudy.
"Why aren't you just picking the apples from the ground rather than reaching for the ones which you can't reach?", I politely asked.
"Are you calling us short, small creature? I will have you know we are managing quite well."
"Sure you are. Managing quite well I mean.", I said out loud, my lips twitching.
After a minute or so, both of them were huffing and puffing, their round faces red and sweaty.
"Maybe you should take off your tailcoat and shawls. You will be able to jump and reach for the "unreachable" apple comfortably.", I suggested.
Rudy's friend looked at me as if I had commented on their height, again," You must have a couple of screws up in your head lose. I will have you know, my tailcoat is just ten-years-old and still in mint condition. It hasn't interfered in my comfort at all, dumb little creature."
How sweet they both were! Calling me little and all!!
If a stranger would notice us from afar, we'd seem like the perfect pair of misfits.
Not being able to help myself anymore, I reached for the apple they were after and plucked it out of the tree branch.
Rudy looked horrified, "What are you doing, annoying small being?! We can't afford to waste any more time. Knowledge is power is time is money!" He took off his hat and scratched his bald head, whereas his friend- 'shorty', I named that one, took out his pocket watch from his 'ten-year-old tailcoat which was still in mint condition'.
"I just helped you pick your apples! If that's your way of saying thanks, it's very unique, I must say."
"Picking apples!!? Who said anything about picking apples?", Rudy looked at Shorty, as if expecting him to read my mind and speak out my answer.
"Isn't what you were doing?"
"Picking apples!? No, if we wanted to pick apples, we would have considered going to the market!"
Was their intelligence as limited as to their height?
"Market? Do you want to pay for the apples rather than just pick them off the ground, and that too without any cost?! You know if you are worried about the dirt, you can just wash it away."
"Oh, you simple-minded small creature-"
"Hey! I will have you know I am of the average height, and between all of us, I am clearly the taller one!"
They continued to blatantly ignore my words.
"-We aren't here to pick or scourge for apples!", Shorty said.
"We come to this meadow to maintain our good health!", Rudy continued.
"You- you came here for- for exercising!!!", I exclaimed.
"Well, yes! Knowledge is power is time is money, small being, and you have wasted a lot of it. My ten year old-"
" 'tailcoat still in mint condition is better than me.' Yes, I got it the first couple of times you said. Why'd you come to the meadow then!? And jump for apples?"
"She is really dumb and small.", they muttered to themselves as I pretended not to hear that.
"Reaching for the apple was a sort of our exercise, and now, because of you, we have to find a new apple tree. Come on, mistletoe, we need to head back, or this annoying creature will continue to harass us with her questions.", Rude Rudy said.
"Hey! I am still here, you know!", I yelled out. And mistletoe! Who has the name mistletoe!, I thought as I watched their retreating backs.
Apple-picking, huh? Applesauce.
I rolled my eyes as I munched on an apple.