Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Southern Exposure

In a tattered cotton flannel shirt, a boy stood on the back steps, basking in the sunshine.

It has been a long, dismal winter. It had seemed to him that winter would never end. He always felt cold around the "edges"- his gloves let the snow chill his wrists, his cheap, thin soled shoes turned his feet into blocks of ice long before he made it home from school every day. The house had its share of cold corners too, and his bed was in the coldest room of the house. He was still of an age when he spent most of his time on the floor, with his toys or just watching TV. He would become aware that he was quite numb after a few hours of this. He asked his mother if spring would ever come. "Of course, silly," she smiled, "just a few weeks longer."

And then, one day, the snow was nearly gone. Birds had been seen flying by the window, and the boy went outside without his jacket. Spring had returned, and the sun warmed the boy through his cheap clothing. The dreary, cold ache left his body as he walked out into the side yard; where the southern sun had melted the snow and was now calling to the crocuses and tulips- "Come out! Come out of your winter hideaways."

And the boy heard this also, and he was glad.

By Professor Batty


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