The World According to Rico – The wonders of autumn

I am currently witnessing a first. Well, a first for me. I guess it’s called autumn, or fall.

Not long ago, I was intrigued by seeing what I guess were leaves falling off the trees. They were so fun because the wind would blow them around and I could chase them around the yard.

Then they started coming down in such great volume, I nearly lost my mind trying to give each and every one of them the attention they deserved. I eventually learned I cannot chase, pounce on, lick and chew on each leaf falling off my neighbor’s big tree. It just cannot be achieved.

But in my adventures to York’s many parks and in my own neighborhood, I’ve made amazing discoveries in the very first autumn of my life.

The obvious are the colors. Oh the colors. The other night, on my regular walk at Foster Park (which is an arboretum so it’s filled with trees), I just stopped running so I could take in all the wonder. So many shades of yellow, orange, magenta, green, red, maroon, and even hues I can’t find a word for.

I love that in autumn, humans are wearing more clothes, like long pants and sweatshirts. What that means is there is more for me to chew on as I play with the neighbor kids walking to school. There is nothing better to tug on than people clothes.

And something else happens in the fall. I have been finding these strange objects lying under evergreens. I love to chew on them but my mother scolds me, saying they are pinecones, the chunks will just get caught in my throat or I’ll swallow them and throw up all over her shoes again.  Whatever. I think they are toys given straight to me from God.

The temperatures are glorious. I could literally spend every single minute of the day and night outside, now that it is cool and maybe even cold for those who don’t have hair like me. No more panting or shaking off the heat. I can run like the wind, in the wind, with no worries about being hot. I think I’m driving the folks nuts because I’m in and out, in and out, in and out, walking, running, passing out, running, in and out, in and out. But I am literally losing it because the joy of the fall is beyond my earlier fantasies.

Being born in the spring and moving to York in the summer, I had believed heat and humidity was just something I’d have to deal with into perpetuity. But then this thing called autumn arrived and I’m living my best life.

I’ve noticed my hair is getting thicker and more glamorous. I’ve also noticed I’m hungrier than a bear, with severe cravings for chicken jerky.

There are a couple of downsides about autumn, however. One is that the cold air coming out of the vents in the house is now kind of warm, which is extremely disappointing. And Mom keeps putting wood in this big stove which only creates heat in that area of house, which is beyond irritating. But I still have my windy outdoors and the cool surface of the front door I can lay against.

I don’t think anything can make me happier than autumn. But the folks beg to differ. They keep telling me to just wait, because something even more glorious is just around the corner. They call it winter and apparently I’m going to be the only one in the family to rejoice in the discovery of snow.

Writer’s addendum: I wrote this column on Saturday but on Sunday awoke to a strange sight as the yard was dusted in white. I spent an hour licking up every wonderful, wet bit of snow I could. I think I do love this thing called snow.



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