A soft breeze weaves its way through long rows of ancient fruit-bearing apple trees. Cool morning light kisses and glints off of dew clinging to the seemingly infinite leaves and apples hanging from gnarled branches and boughs. A badger can be seen lumbering through the long, unkempt grasses of his orchard. He snuffles along each trunk, peering upward to admire his bounty.
“Autumn has been good to me this year,” he muses silently.
Just as his mind wandered to her name, the ethereal spirit appears before him. Her fur waves and flows with the breeze, seeming to glow even brighter as her season is dawning and the bounties of the Louloudians begin to unfurl. The badger freezes, for her image is rarely seen. She smiles warmly across the clearing at the old grizzled badger and gives a gentle shake of her fur, the trees’ fruit nearest to her seem to swell with growth and beauty at her movement.
The badger gives her a gruff jerk of his head, urging her to follow. She does as she is instructed, amused with his ever cantankerous disposition. He waddles to his den, nestled beneath the oldest of the trees, disappears inside and after a moment, can be heard struggling with something, a scraping sound followed by his heavy breathing and small grunts. He finally emerges, rump first, dragging a basket made just for the Autumn spirit. She is pleasantly surprised and gives an excited yip, the small sound echoing through the trees, causing them to creak with growth, a number of their apples thumping to the ground. She looks around self consciously and apologetically before examining the incredible treasure the badger has fashioned for her.
Made of the stiff crab grasses that make up the bed of his orchard, the baskets are oddly shaped and have shoots of the grass springing from all directions. The two baskets are connected with an arched woven band, meant to sit over her back. Although irregularly constructed, they’re tight and firm, ready for great loads of fruit. Autumn nods to him after turning the baskets over and over, examining each speck of them. She is glowing with happiness and excitement for she has yet to participate with the other creatures of Louloudia in the great Apple Harvest. She tucks her head beneath the broad band connecting the baskets and slips it into place. It fits perfectly, of course, and Autumn catches a small smile of satisfaction on one side of the badger’s face before she turns and bounds back into the trees to find her chosen Louloudians to harvest apples for the year.