It was a wild wild wood.
Wild flowers grew all over the ground
and wild winds blew through the air.
Wild nuts fell from the wild nut trees
and wild grass tickled the fur child's nose,
tickled his nose and made him sneeze....
-from Little Fur Family by Margaret Wise Brown
Outside my bedroom window, not quite directly across the street, grows a butternut tree. In the dark of the night, before we go to sleep, we hear the nuts drop into the street or onto the top a car parked beneath its branches. Klunk.
For ten years nuts have dropped from the lofty heights. (We also have black walnuts in our yard...) I have jumped at the sound of cars flattening the fruits and peered out the window to make sure it wasn't one of my cats. I have raked up piles of round, green skin covered black walnuts from my own yard, shoveled them into the wheelbarrow, and watched my neighbor do the same with his butternuts, but this is the first autumn I have stopped to actually smile at the sound of them landing with a thud. Maybe it is because there were so few nuts on the trees last fall that I enjoy their presence. Maybe it's because I have been counting blessings and find another gift in the thud of a nut falling to the ground. Then again, maybe I'm just a weirdo. :)
PS. Little Fur Family has been my favorite children's book for forever.