The road painters work together in large numbers, swiftly but quietly.
They work only at night, always by the silver light of the shape-shifting moon.
The colours they use come from various sources; green from the leaves, crimson from the setting sun, indigo from the rainbow, lilac from the rhododendrons, and very often they mix up the colours to create new ones that have not yet been named.
The colours are always stolen but the road painters insist it is not so much ‘stealing’ as it is ‘borrowing’ because the signs they paint always lead the travellers back to where the colours originally came from. And, the road painters argue, they keep none of the colours for themselves but use all of their loot instead for the greater good.
Tonight the road painters are painting blue leaves on the hard concrete; they have taken some of the blue from the skies and some from the ocean depths and have mixed the two together to create a new sort of an in-between but a familiar-I-have-seen-it-before kind of blue.
Tomorrow the skies and the sea waves will look rather grey, having lost some of their blueness to the road painters.
But travellers chasing the blue leaves painted overnight will find that the path eventually leads them to their own perfect piece of blue sky or a dreamy ocean, or whatever their idea of blue paradise may have been.
The road painters like to think of themselves as modern-day Robin Hood and his Merry Men, stealing from the riches of nature to lure wanderers and lost travellers back to nature’s lap.
But the road painters never steal the silver of the moon; it is an unwritten code of honour among thieves, they do not steal from each other.
About Tales for Demense