Farmer Bailey thinks he's hit a deer while driving his truck, but in the middle of the road lies a man, an enigmatic stranger. He goes home with Farmer Bailey, with his memory apparently gone. Weeks pass at the Bailey's farm; the stranger seems happy to be around them, and helps with the harvest. Oddly, while trees to the north of the farm turn red and gold with the arrival of fall, Bailey's land seems to be in a state of perpetual summer. One day, the stranger sees geese flying south and knows that he, too, must leave. Not long after that, the leaves at the farm change color and the air turns cool.
And every year since, summer lasts a week longer at the Bailey's farm than anywhere else. Van Allsburg's story is strangely melancholy, and his straightforward writing is uncannily dry, in contrast to the vivid green and golden landscapes of his paintings. The mood and suspense in this book make it compelling chance to see the artist take a slight incident and create a truly mysterious event.