When Neville the snow elf looked out from his burrow on the side of the hill he was instantaneously happy as around him lay the first snow of the season and the reason for his existence.
Down below the brook gurgled as it should, but he knew its days were numbered as it wouldn’t be long before the winter set in the brook would freeze over.
He liked it in the dead of winter when the mornings were silent save for the patter of snowflakes on snowflakes.
Today was his day to get about the forest and inform the other occupants that they had best make their winter preparations as it wouldn’t be long before the snow was feet deep and movement non-existent.
As he travelled from one species to the next behind him, he heard the busy cries of food storage, winter bedding being laid and the usual complaints that winter seemed to be arriving earlier each year.
It was climate change Neville informed them all, an inevitable result of the greed and selfishness of the two-legs who seemed to have no regard for nature and less for the welfare of the forest folk.
That, of course, gave them, even more, to grumble about as they went about their preparations for the winter.
Once they were burrowed away in their respective burrows Neville’s job was to guard the forest and be ever vigilant for any incursion from the two-legs who sometimes came looking for fallen trees or in many cases felling trees unaware it could be the home of a family of slumbering possums.
He enjoyed the snow-covered forest floor, the silence and the fact he was the only one awake.
“Magic,” Neville thought to himself, “is what this place is.”