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October Chime

Something has struck in the heart of a bird! It is the chime of time, alarming as a sharp insistent word. It is October. It is ten o'clock and the flock must go. The pendulum swinging from nesting and singing strikes "FLIGHT." Wings gather, instincts unite overlooking fields that turn brown, leaves drifting down. Before the final blow of a cold wind the birds will travel, leaving a hand of cloud to move over the dial of thinned sunlight, and a large, slow silence that ticks on toward snow.