Old Mister Twilling lived on a hill. He was quite old; so old that he hated the coming of winter. His days of skiing and skating were long past and winter was just cold and snowy. The only really good thing in his life now was Old Furface, his beloved pussycat. They had been together – just the two of them – growing old together for many years. Sometimes he would just watch her in the evening while something soft played on the radio. He liked to watch how her green eyes would slowly close when she sat on the window sill as though lost in meditation or prayer.
But for him there were chores that had to be done. He had to shop for food and he sometimes had to visit his doctor. But how could he do that if it snowed? He had to drive, but he couldn’t drive unless he shoveled the snow from his driveway and it was cold outside and windy; On cold, windy, snowy days he just wanted to lie in his nice warm bed like his cat.
Oh, Mister Twilling thought, I forgot, we need cat food. I must get some tomorrow.
But that night it snowed and to make matters worse the county snow plow came past on the road and piled even more snow at the foot of Mister twilling’s driveway.
The cat looked at him. It wanted breakfast. So Mister Twilling got out of his nice warm bed. He would have to shovel the snow from his driveway and go to the store for cat food. But when he looked out the window he saw that the snow had already been shoveled from his drive. No neighbor could have done it because Mister Twilling lived on top of the hill, far away from his nearest neighbor.
Who would have done that, he wondered? But there was no one around so all that Mister Twilling could do was to be grateful and happy. He put on his warm coat and hat and told Furface to be good and wait for him. He would go to the store for cat food. And he did.
The next week it snowed again at night, and again Mister Twilling had to go to the store because there was very little to eat in the house. When he got up, sure enough, the driveway was clean. Fairies, he thought, or maybe elves did it. So he went to the store and told everyone there of how faeries or elves had shoveled his snow away. They just smiled and thought he was kidding because no one believes in fairies anymore.
The weather report was for more snow that night and Mr. Twilling decided to wait up in the dark and see who it was who shoveled the snow that would pile up on the driveway. By midnight the storm had grown fierce. He tried to look from his window to see how much snow had fallen but the wind was so strong that the snow was just a blur. Mr Twilling returned to his chair by the nice warm wood fire still wondering if the snow would be cleared this night as it had been before. Now the trouble with sitting in a nice soft chair by a nice warm fire is that one falls asleep. Mr. Twilling had not wanted to fall asleep, he just did. He did not notice how, about three in the morning, the wind finally quit its howling and the snow stopped falling and piling up outside his door. He did not see that only the path from his front door to the road was clear, nor how everything but his car was covered in eight inches of snow; nor that Furface was sitting on the window ledge and licking a bit of moisture from her fur.