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The Wonderful Works of Johnny Autumn

A myth submitted to the site by Cedrick Doats

Johnny's Village, I think Italy

The story of Johnny Autumn happened a long time ago. No one knows when. It was sometime after the trees but before the seasons as the tale says. No one knows where it happened either, so it has just been called Johnny's Town for ages. It began with a young boy named Johnny Autumn. He was a prodigy painter who would paint the most beautiful things.

All the villagers would gather from far and wide to see the boy paint pictures of the landscape. But his colors were always wrong. You see, he never used green. He painted skies blue, as they were, and grass brown or yellow, as it wasn't, but the most peculiar thing was, he painted the leaves gold, red, orange and yellow. His paintings were so lively.

All the villagers were able to except the odd painter, but one was not. His name was Mr. Spring. Mr. Spring was a doctor, and rather crabby at that, and Johnny's mother was ill. Dr. Spring said unless he saw trees in nature of those colors, he would not cure Johnny's mother.

Johnny, that night, set out with his paints and began to paint the forest with all the colors he used in his paintings. He stroke his brush upon branches, turning the leaves to gold and red. He swept brown upon the grass as well. But Dr. Spring was watching. He threw a bit of magic potion on Johnny that made him fly into the air, as an embodiment of the wind. Every leaf he painted would fall to the earth, and therefore he would never get the trees to be colorful like in his paintings. Dr. Spring then chased Autumn around the earth. Johnny always trying to get the cure his mother needed, and Dr. Spring foiling his plans by painting the earth green again.

But, when a child catches a falling leaf, then they protect it from Dr. Spring and Johnny Autumn grants them a wish. Maybe, if enough leaves are saved, Johnny Autumn will finally be able to cure his mother and the endless and cruel game will end. But only if you catch a falling leaf.

This is one of many stories of Johnny Autumn, and I do not tell it with the skill it deserves. There are many variations of this story as there are to any good story, and this is only one. But I tell it the best I can and I hope you enjoy hearing about the painter who just wants to rest. Other versions include a witch's brew, some involve a bored painter who wanted to find the biggest canvas on the planet, but all include Johnny Autumn, the painter who brought color to the trees.

By Cedrick Doats
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