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Fall is here!

By Kaare Askildt (Formerly known as The Farmer in Training

In Britain, this colourful season is called autumn – here in North America, we call it fall.

Now, to a senior citizen like me, that’s a very ominous description. Did it get the name from stumbling seniors who have a problem with keeping their balance? Or did the name come from black ice on the roads or sidewalks that have been the nemesis for persons of any age? No, most likely the name was derived from colourful leaves falling to the ground.

That brings up another issue. When still attached to a tree branch, it is called a leaf, like the ones off the fig tree for Adam and Eve. Those leafs were picked – not fallen. But the leafs of the elm tree in our yard leave the tree branch and fall to the ground. So should it be described as the leaves are leaving, or the leafs are falling? Who knows? But they still have to get raked.

I looked up the word “rake” in the dictionary (no, not Funk and Wagnall) and aside from being described as “a tool with a long handle and a crosspiece with teeth, used for smoothing earth or gathering leaves,” it could also mean “sweeping with gunfire,” and the word is also used to describe “a dissolute or immoral man.” Then of course there is the expression of “raking it in,” meaning making an obscene amount of money, or “rake off,” as in off-the-top illegal profits. I got sidetracked, my apologies!

But fall can also mean so many other things, like the fall of the Roman Empire, which then actually meant collapse. Perhaps that is how the season became known as “fall,” because it was the collapse of the summer season? But then again “fall” is also used to describe a drop, as in the stock market has fallen. Maybe it is called “fall” because of the drop in the temperatures experienced during the summer? Then of course we have the phrases “fallen on hard times,” or “fallen woman,” but neither of those expressions has to do with any season.

Season, now there is another interesting word. A year is divided into four definitive seasons, but sport seasons are distinctly different. Baseball season, basketball season, football season or hockey season could be at any time in a year. However, seasoned wood burns better than freshly cut wood, and we season our steak before we burn it on the barbecue. A seasoned sailor is a tar with experience, and if something is out of season, then we have to wait until next year for it to be back in season.

Where was I? Oh yeah! “Fall,” the word can also describe something dormant (it’s a stretch, but consider dormant as falling asleep). Dormant (not door mat) conjures up a whole new set of possibilities. The tree went dormant in the fall, and woke up in the spring to sprout new green leafs that would grow large during the warm summer season, and mature in the fall and then fall to the ground. Are you confused yet? I am! If autumn is the same as fall when trees become dormant, are the British leaves autumning to the ground instead of falling?

Last fall, a group of Norskies went deer hunting and decided to pair off for the day. That evening Ole returned alone, staggering under the weight of an eight-point buck.

"Where is Svenn?" the other hunters asked.

“Svenn had a stroke of some kind,” said Ole. “He's a couple of miles back up the trail."

The other hunters gasped and Lars asked, "You left Svenn lying out there and carried the deer back?"

"It was a tough call," nodded Ole. "But I figured that nobody would steal Svenn."

A nursery school teacher asked her class, "Who can use the word 'definitely' in a sentence?"

Lena said, "The sky is definitely blue."

The teacher said, "Sorry, Lena, but the sky can also be grey, or orange."

Per raised his hand and said, "Trees are definitely green."

The teacher replied, "Sorry Per, but in the fall, the trees are brown."

Little Ole from the back of the class stood up and asked, "Does a fart have lumps?"

The teacher looked horrified and said, "Ole! Of course not!"

"Okay... then I ‘definitely’ messed my pants!"

Trofast was normally a happy-go-lucky dog. He would chase balls, play with other doggies, and eat his dinner without a fuss. He was a dog without a care. But on that fateful fall afternoon, it was to be different. Trofast's owners Ole and Lena were walking him along a trail in the park, when suddenly from out of the bushes jumped a man all dressed in black. He had white paint on his face, and was gesturing annoyingly at Trofast's masters. This strange person spoke not a word, but proceeded to pretend that he was trapped in a box and that he was pulling on a long rope.

Seeing the sheer horror on his masters' faces, Trofast took it upon himself to rectify the situation. With a low growl he attacked and sunk his teeth into this annoying pseudo clown's leg. Trofast immediately got a sickened look in his eyes and began to vomit wildly. He then dragged his tongue all over the ground in an effort to remove the man's foul essence from his mouth. For Trofast had learned that ....(don’t groan) a mime is a terrible thing to taste.

This fall, we are experiencing falling leaves and rising gas prices. We'll be raking it up while the oil companies will be raking it in.