When I was about five years old, maybe four, maybe six, I went into my backyard and picked up a leaf and it said, “I’m a leaf!”
This was pretty strange, but I was only five years old, maybe four, maybe six, and so it wasn’t that strange because the world was still a place of magic and wonder, and not a place where I poke numbers into TurboTax once a year and say, “Oh, wow.”
I lifted the leaf to my face and smiled. “You talk?”
The leaf sounded like Doug from the cartoon Doug. I shrieked and shoved it into my pocket. My best friend Sally lived across the street and I needed to show her. I ran.
Sally, as usual, was running in circles in her front yard. Whenever she was alone, she would run in circles. And when I came over, we would run in circles together. Anyway, I ran up to Sally and she stopped.
I reached into my pocket and pulled out the leaf, but it was no longer a leaf. The thing had crumbled into pieces during my run over. Two big pieces, some tiny ones, and some crumbs. The pieces didn’t talk. Sally called me a liar and whacked them out of my hand, and then neither of us very much felt like running in circles.
I picked up all the remnants I could, rushed to my house, and poured Elmer’s glue over them until the thing was more Elmer’s glue than it was leaf. It didn’t work. My mother came by and threw it out, and I let her. I tried speaking to the other leaves in my backyard, but none of them said words.
I haven’t found a talking leaf since.
Tyler Plofker is a writer living in NYC. In his free time, you can find him eating sugary breakfast cereals, laying out in the sun, or walking through the streets of New York City in search of this or that. He loves writing bios in third person.