He sat on the peak of the snow covered hill, his knees drawn up to his chin, his arms wrapped around his legs. He stared a across the pristine snow covered valley below, still and silent in its beauty. There were still footprints, a lonely line of three moving in unison from the overturned earthen mound up the hill and into oblivion. They had gone, all of them taking shelter in their warm homes against the threatening storm. Yet he remained, he alone would keep vigil over the solitary valley and its new resident. By morning, the entire valley would be blanketed in unmarred snow, erasing their presence and leaving a new white hill, covering the broken earth in its cold comfort. In a few weeks, once the snow melted and the slush and time had leveled the ground he would not be able to see it. In a few months, spring would give birth to fresh green grass and this white wasteland would be a sea of dandelions and daffodils. From where he sat now he could see the trees with their burgeoning buds of brilliant leaves that would cover the valley in a canopy of brilliant pink flowers, shading its denizens from the unrelenting summer sun. The breeze would be sweet and filled with honeysuckle and laughter as hey journeyed beneath that parasol of nature to the lake beyond. Yes, they would all forget the pain and the tears they had all shed today, they would forget the bitter cold cutting through them as they stood in the weak winter sun and tried to be strong. They would forget this day, they would forget him. He rose slowly, looking back at the path that led to the homes where delicious smells and steamy smoke wafted into the night air. He sighed, shaving his hands into the pockets of the dress slacks he hated, the ones his mother had insisted he wear and strolled slowly down into the valley where his new home awaited his arrival.