19 October 2011

Well Written Wednesdays: dance, old scarecrow

She passed through the old cotton and went into a field of dead corn. It whispered and shook, and was taller than her head. 'Through the maze now,' she said, for there was no path.

Then there was something tall, black, and skinny there, moving before her.

At first she took it for a man. It could have been a man dancing in the field. But she stood still and listened, and it did not make a sound. It was as silent as a ghost.

'Ghost,' she said sharply, 'who be you the ghost of? For I have heard of nary death close by.'

But there was no answer, only the ragged dancing in the wind.

She shut her eyes, reached out her hand, and touched a sleeve. She found a coat and inside that an emptiness, cold as ice.

'You scarecrow,' she said. Her face lighted. 'I ought to be shut up for good,' she said with laughter. 'My senses is gone. I too old. I the oldest people I ever know. Dance, old scarecrow,' she said, 'while I dancing with you.'

She kicked her foot over the furrow, and with mouth drawn down shook her head once or twice in a little strutting way. Some husks blew down and whirled in streamers about her skirts.

Then she went on, parting her way from side to side with the cane, through the whispering field.

-from "A Worn Path" by Eudora Welty

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