My sister the Summer Queen is loved by all the people. When she arrives, they weave flower garlands and dance in the streets. When she leaves, and it is my turn to preside over the town, the people sigh with regret. No one is excited that I am coming.
The Winter Queen brings holidays and magic white balls that fall from the sky. She isn’t loved as openly as the Summer Queen, but in a quiet, comfortable way the people enjoy her.
The Spring Queen is my youngest sister. With her arrival come the baby animals that bring joy and sustenance to the people, as well as the baby blossoms that will one day bloom into lovely flowers. She is welcomed in with cheer.
This September, I put on my orange dress as usual and set about painting the leaves on the trees. My hand is as heavy as my heart, as I know that no one will appreciate my artwork. I stop for a minute to take a rest and contemplate my existence. Why did Mother Earth bring me into this world if no one loves me?
A tall, thin man wearing spectacles crunches through the foliage, startling me out of my thoughts.
I stand to dash away, but he has already seen me.
He tips his hat. “At last I make the acquaintance of the Fall Queen,” he says triumphantly. “I’ve been waiting all summer for school to start so I can get paid to meld the minds of schoolchildren in the classroom.”
“So… you enjoy the fall?” I can’t help asking. He’s sure to deny it.
“Fall is my favorite season,” he declares shamelessly. “A time of thoughtfulness, a time of change, a time of money, a time of being surrounded by children forced into my presence. I can’t wait for All Hallow’s Eve.”
I have a lot of forest left to paint. I hand the man my extra bucket and paintbrush, and we stroll among the trees together, coloring the leaves and discussing the profundity of the autumn season.
I’ve made one friend.
Image credits in order of appearance:
“Cole Thomas View in the White Mountains c1827” by Thomas Cole – Unknown. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons – https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Cole_Thomas_View_in_the_White_Mountains_c1827.jpg#/media/File:Cole_Thomas_View_in_the_White_Mountains_c1827.jpg
“Autumn–On the Hudson River-1860-Jasper Francis Cropsey” by Jasper Francis Cropsey – Picture taken at: National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., USA. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons – https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Autumn–On_the_Hudson_River-1860-Jasper_Francis_Cropsey.jpg#/media/File:Autumn–On_the_Hudson_River-1860-Jasper_Francis_Cropsey.jpg