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The Short Form

“A Worn Path”

Eudora Welty

Excerpt

Then there was something tall, black, and skinny there, moving before her.

At first she took it for a man. It could have been a man dancing in the field. But she stood still and listened, and it did not make a sound. It was as silent as a ghost.

‘Ghost,' she said sharply, ‘who be you the ghost of? For I have heard of nary death close by.'

But there was no answer, only the ragged dancing in the wind.

She shut her eyes, reached out her hand, and touched a sleeve. She found a coat and inside that an emptiness, cold as ice.

‘You scarecrow,' she said. Her face lighted. ‘I ought to be shut up for good,' she said with laughter. ‘My senses is gone. I too old. I the oldest people I ever know. Dance, old scarecrow,' she said, ‘while I dancing with you.'

We read it in The Collected Stories of Eudora Welty.

Originally published in The Atlantic.

Full story at Atlantic