You think at first it is only their leaves sussurating in the breeze. But then you stop and listen keenly, and you hear them deliver an incessant warning.
Why, you wonder.
Unknown dangers lurk in these parts, they say, putting a pause in their susurration to let coherent words float down the breeze to you. One foot on the shore and one foot in the water, and the flavour of your skin will diffuse through the waters right to its very depths, and the fragrance of your being will hover over the surface of the lake like vapours.
And all sorts of creatures will sluice out from the belly of the earth and devour you and everything in your world, so hungry they would be. Please, pretty please, don’t go to the wrong side of the fence.
But what about all the beachgoers who dove into the waters this past summer? Did their fragrance and flavour not lure these beasts you warn of?
You hold your breath so you can hear better. But now even the warning has faded away and only that incessant susurration persists.
Miffed at this unceremonious end to the conversation, you walk away, plugging music into your ears, swearing to yourself you will never come back here. There are so many other places to explore in this vast world, you console yourself.
Only when you reach home does it occur to you, perhaps their words of warning were not meant for your ears to begin with. Perhaps it was you on the wrong side of the fence.