Ollie Is Obsessed With Leaves: Finding Joy in the Little Things

Yeah, so we’re in winter and I’m going to talk about my obsession with leaves. What gives? Well, it’s all because I was nine months old when James finally sat down to write a poem about leaves and me. It’ll be clear once you read the poem.

Suffice it to say that obsession is not nearly a strong enough word for how I took to leaves as a growing puppy. During the autumn months as they fell from the trees, it was all I could do to restrain myself from going after them long enough to do my business. Quite a few times I’d be going after the leaves, leaving a moist trail behind me. (I don’t know why James is laughing at this. Oh, sweet, a treat!)

Let me say that some people think canines are color blind. I’m here to let you know we see colors. The leaves in Vermont during the fall exist in vibrant shades of red, orange, and yellow. If you’ve never been here for “leaf peeping,” you have missed a wonderful experience. And I’m not simply saying this because I’m manic about these particular leaves. You’d have to see for yourself.

(Ollie’s playground full of colorful leaves.)

During the fall season, I’ll bound out of the house and run to where the leaves have fallen. If there’s no wind, I all but freak out since they aren’t moving. However, when it’s windy, I’m giddy with excitement. They grab my attention as soon as I’m out the door. I race after them, trying desperately to catch as many of them as I can. Oh, it’s heavenly.

When I catch them, I shake my head from side-to-side with the leaves stuck between my teeth. Then more leaves being blown by the wind will divert my attention, and I sprint after them. Stopping as many as I can with my paws, I continue to race after yet more as they skip and hop down the road and across the yard. It’s all I can do to dash from one leaf to another. At times it can be overwhelming.

Of course James simply strolls along watching me. His face does shine during these outings. He evidently enjoys my hounding after the leaves as much as I do. He’s even been known to take videos of me pursuing my target. If you’d like to see a video, let us know, and he’ll send one to you.

The only downside to my passion is that it seems to be over almost as soon as it begins. That’s because even when the wind hasn’t blown all of them away, the snow comes and buries them. That is until they find a way to escape during the middle of winter. Now that’s when it is even more exciting to gallop after them because the snow and ice is so much fun to play in along with the leaves. Sliding on the ice with a leaf under a paw and one in my mouth is the height of exhilaration. Believe me you.

These winter leaves are fragile things. They tend to fall apart easily. Mostly they are like ghosts of the autumn variety. I can see through some of them, with only a thin fiber for a leaf supported by exposed veins. Still, they are joy to behold after having missed them for so long.

But we no longer need to miss reading the poem James wrote about leaves and me. Here it is. We hope you enjoy it.


fascination fluttering
as they drop from skies
quiver flicker flittering
right before your eyes

what is this thing
causing an itch
making your bean
swivel and twitch

this way they swerve
around in the air
that way they curve
with nary a care

with a mind like a mill
you investigate to find
they’ve stopped perfectly still
like a lead weight fishing line

suddenly they shudder and rise
in the breeze they veer
you high-step hoping for a prize
like a white-tail deer

catching one with your mouth
another with your paw
you tilt your head towards the south
for there an abundance you saw

rushing after them in a trot
they gust around not to be grounded
moving in tandem and then not
it causes you to be astounded

starting stopping hither and yonder
it is confusing to say the least
so you lie down and ponder
what you’ll make of such a feast

abruptly there’s a stirring
as a commotion begins beside
there seems to be one moving
perhaps the commencement of a tide

sure enough there’s motion
made by yet another one
hastily a propulsion
well now your fun’s begun

a third and fourth and fifth
with a sixth pick up steam
as you try for the next forthwith
yet get distracted by the team

eight nine ten and twelve
fifteen nineteen twenty-three
towards which you delve
seeming to reach ecstasy

swirling and swirling
around as they goad
into the fielding
that’s recently mowed

then over the drive
and stopped by the trees
falling amongst you strive
to satisfy your needs

how many did you snatch
in your desire to stop them all
before they found the escape hatch
being frazzled you fall

your enjoyment reaches new heights
when encircled with various pieces
bare branches and shrubs bring delights
as if you’d applied psychokinesis

for weeks you attempt to make them mind
from racing away in such a mess
the autumn winds begin to unwind
conveying a stretch for a recess

the snows entomb the shoots
other things snag your interest
for four months as if in cahoots
you leave the leaves at rest

and then you see a skeletal dross
out of the corner of you eye
skipping and dancing quickly across
the twilight season’s hard-packed ice

a leaf that’s so melancholy
having hung on all this time
and it’s calling out to Ollie
“come and catch me for I’m thine”

bound away after on the run
slipping and sliding from ample vigor
you hear a new invitation
during this time of year who could figure

the spirited leaves have returned
within the depths of winter
patiently they waited and earned
this moment in time to stir

as always you are game
at nine months still a playful puppy
to you it’s all the same
simply a bit goofy and nutty 

a bright light crosses my face
happy to see you having so much fun
and exercise from a chase
having been indoors unable to run

you have excess energy to be burned
and dashing after leaves
it is perfectly natural and earned
watch out for the frost heaves

run hard efficient and fast
my adorable pup Ollie
never give up till the last
even if it is a folly

you’ll have victory in the end
that I will guarantee
for surely there’ll be treats to lend
when you run back to me

There are always treats for me. James is the most generous person I know. (Score! A treat.) Well, now that I’ve had my treat, I must add that Ron ties with James when it comes to generosity. (WOW! Another treat. I didn’t see that one coming.) Oh, and I always run back to James. [Almost always….]

Okay, so that last comment was from James. True. When the heady leaves take me away, it’s nearly impossible for me to go James’ way. I mean, think about it. I’ve mentioned before that wood is like an opiate for me. And where do leaves come from? Right. They grow on trees that are made of wood. Now you know the connection. Just sayin’.

Speaking of saying, we’d love to know if you’re enjoying reading about my first year and the different poems James wrote. If so, let us know in the comment section below. I always like to hear from you, so please feel free to leave me a note about this or anything else that’s on your mind.

Oh, and come back in two weeks to find out the secret behind tin cans. Yes, you read that right. There is a secret.

Until next time,
Short Stories - Author Webpage Help Needed
Sir Oliver of Skygate Farm (you can call me Ollie)


Paw Prints courtesy of www.pawsitivelyloved.com
All photos © James Stack 2018 unless otherwise indicated

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