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Word Count: 1,443
The sun flared down on the growing corn day after day until a line of brown spread along the edge of each green bayonet so the earth became pale pink in the red country and white in the gray country In the water-cut gullies the earth dusted down in dry little streams Gophers and ant lions started small avalanches And as the sharp sun struck day after day the leaves of the young corn became less stiff and erect they bent in a curve at first and then as the central ribs of strength grew weak each leaf tilted downward Then it was June and the sun shone more fiercely The brown lines on the corn leaves widened and moved in on the central ribs The weeds frayed and edged back toward their roots The air was thin and the sky more pale and every day the earth paledThe concrete highway was edged with a mat of tangled broken dry grass and the grass heads were heavy with oat beards to catch on a dogs coat and foxtails to tangle in a horses fetlocks and clover burrs to fasten in sheeps woolThe sun lay on the grass and warmed it and in the shade under the grass the insects moved ants and antlions to set traps for themThey hesitated on the edge of the shade and then they plunged into the yellow sunlight like two swimmers hastening to get to shore After a few fast steps they slowed to a gentle thoughtful pace The cornstalks threw gray shadows sideways now and the raw smell of hot dust was in the air The corn field ended and dark green cotton took its place dark green leagves through a film of dust and the bolls forming It was spotty cotton thick in the low places where water had stood and bare on the high places The plants strove against the sun The tractors came over the roads
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