I walked out to the snowy garden again, drawn by something still stronger than myself. Something that had been to the other side and had returned.
What secrets had this scarecrow traveler gleaned from that frozen, mystic underworld where the earth sleeps in primordial darkness, awaiting the magic light and life of spring?
Would it, could it, share its knowledge?
“Scarecrow,” I said, “will I live to be 100?”
Crisp, tiny flakes of snow blew against my cheeks. A chicken crowed, near but somehow so far away. It was only the scarecrow and I in this garden. I leaned closer and, in the winter wind swirling around me, I heard it answer.
It’s possible, it said.
Encouraged, I asked another question. “Will I be happy?”
Do you really want to know the answer to that question?
Hunh. It had a point.
“When will I be able to plant in my garden?”
Visit me again and bring a cookie. I might have an answer.
“Will the roads ever dry out again so I won’t be scared every time I have to drive?”
Don’t bet on it anytime soon, Woman. Stay home and bake cookies.
“Will I have a big garden this year?”
Maybe. Plant cookies.
“Is Clover pregnant?”
She might tell you if you bring her a cookie.
“Why do you keep answering my questions with something about cookies?”
“Why does your voice sound so familiar–”