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by SSpark
Rated: E · Short Story · Contest Entry · #2292697
Move over Phil.
The Mighty Mesquite: Harbinger of Hope
Word Count: 403

No chilly temps tomorrow, the mesquites said so. I don't listen much to the weatherman, he's no more accurate than ol' Phil. Punxsutawney Phil, that is. He's one of my favorite characters, King for a Day once a year and all that, but not very dependable.

Now those trees, they know a thing or two. Silently they stand guard, slipping a finger into the air now and then, just enough to get a good grip. Of the weather. Phil's been wrong before; I've never known them to be.

We missed Spring all together last year. Never had to mow one day. The mesquites at the gate were all bald when I climbed into bed one night and when I woke up the next morning, they had sprouted hair. Full heads of hair, yellow like the grass. Never did turn green. They went from winter bare to summer scorched without bothering to stretch. That was a message it took months to read, but I'll never forget it.

In a normal year, they'd start to bud out, pebbles on the ends of branches. Within a few days, bright green leaves the color of '60s neon would sprout, inching toward the trunk until they were clothed in glowing fringe. And I'd know without a doubt that Spring had arrived.

When it was her turn to take over last year, not one wildflower showed up. Still, the mighty mesquites stood strong, in all their wild-haired glory, no matter how angry Father Sun got. In a temper fit that usually lasts only a month or two, he beat down without relief for almost a year. Mother Nature had obviously lost control.

Autumn must have run for the hills because she never showed up either. Summer hogged the stage, but Winter was able to sneak in a few thimbles of rain here and there. I was afraid her efforts wouldn't be enough, but the mesquites say I'm wrong.

I went out this evening to see what they can share. The buds have popped, little harbingers of hope. And they directed me toward the ground where I recognized the tell-tale signs of bluebonnets shaking off slumber. They should burst forth about the same time as the trees finish dressing, comparing their outfits one to another. And just like that, Spring has come home. It's gonna be a glorious season in Central Texas.

At least that's what the mesquites say.

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