Warm fall days and puffy clouds filled the sky. My red headed friend and I had watched the summer fade together and our summer friends had disappeared. It was too early to build leaf houses under the big old elm trees and we played so much hopscotch at school that it was tiring to do now. Instead, we wandered to a spot on a cottagers lawn. It had a slight slope toward the lake and we lay in the sweet, dewy green grass of early evening looking to the clouds.
The clouds held all sorts of billowing magic which changed from moment to moment. One glance and there were faces of people. Friends we knew and old people we had met. The next moment it changed again and held all sorts of animals. Some were the horses of the cowboy movies or the dogs and cats of the neighbourhood. Suddenly they became the creatures of the zoo: lions, elephants, giraffes and gazelles which leapt across the sky as if it were an African plain. Suddenly again they were fairies and dragons and other stuff of fantasies.
And on the ground, a preying mantis caught our eyes. He was real and very green and we watched him dance on a stick we held as we watched, entranced. Then again we rolled over on our backs and watched the clouds and the gathering starlings as they all danced in waves and winds across the sky.