The autumn air was crisp as the plant mage stepped out into her garden.
Evergreen plantlings trundled past, rustling and chirping to each other, their needles as vibrant as ever.
But as she walked through the archway toward the pond, she heard a tiny hiccoughing gasp and saw something yellow and red disappear behind the large cracked willow.
She found the plantling shivering and trying to tuck itself under the willow’s roots. Its leaves had changed to the warm shades of autumn, and several fell as it tried to hide.
Gently, the plant mage picked it up. ‘It’s okay,’ she said. ‘You look beautiful, you know. And you’ll look beautiful when your leaves are gone for the winter, too. It’s good to change.’
The plantling cuddled against the mage’s chest, and when she put it down it scurried after her.
The plant mage made a mental note to find another deciduous plantling to keep it company.