When we first set out on an expedition to the far end of the world, the wise old man who lives at the edge of the forest advised us to stick to the trail of the yellow sycamore leaves. And he told us to hurry because autumn was swiftly coming to an end and winter was lurking around the corner.
We scrambled through the forest but the paths were cloaked in a million shades of red. Flaming oranges bled into raging vermilions. Flamboyant auburns mellowed into rose or were devoured by incensed scarlets. We turned over each leaf looking for traces of yellow, but in vain. The last of the leaves soon deserted the trees, which were left to stand in naked silence. And the snow, when it fell, buried the last vestiges of colour.
When winter had had his fill and spring breezed her way through the forest, we set out once more on the well-trodden and offbeat trails. The paths were clean and clear. The trees that had once drooped under the weight of winter, pulled back to stand tall and strong to support their nascent canopies of green. There was no sign of the yellow sycamore leaves.
Summer came and the forest was drenched in the golden warmth of the sun. The trees rose higher to kiss the sun. The only leaves that drifted earthwards were brown as mud and dry as twigs.
Summer's liaison with the forest ended when winter started to get impatient and sent autumn ahead to pave the way for him. Summer bade the forest farewell and the sun-kissed leaves started to turn yellow in fond remembrance.
When it became clear summer wasn't returning for another year, the yellow sycamore leaves floated away from the trees and drifted deep over the earth, where they formed a path they hoped would lead them to the sun.
We plough through the forest a third time, on the trail of the yellow leaves, making haste this time before the leaves decide to turn an infuriated red. Miles after miles of forest land lie blanketed in yellow leaves. The scenery changes little and often we think we are going around in circles.
But we do reach the far end of the world and the only way we know it is because there is no more land for the yellow leaves to lay their trail. They converge at the end and rise up, coiling themselves into what looks like a helical staircase leading up into the clouds.
They say they are going up the meet the sun and that we could continue to travel with them if we want to. We are not sure what to do. A trip to the sun sounds fun. But we know the yellow leaves shouldn't be trusted. We still do not know their true colours.