Clouds thin, the sky lightens and the gauzed moon brings soft shadows to earth. The snowy lawns and rooftops gleam, making the roads and driveways darker by contrast. The frosted branches of the mulberry tree are like tangles of hovering bones. The still, cold air is silent but for the continuous croaking of the frogs. A thin layer of ice covers the walk, and as I go to fetch the newspaper each step brings a resounding crack. To me, it sounds so loud that I expect the frogs to fall silent from alarm, but they don't. Still, I step gingerly, thinking that the noise must surely wake neighbors from sound sleep. But there is no indication that anyone has been disturbed. My footsteps must not be as loud as I imagine them to be. The realization brings relief. The vast quiet of the night arouses in me a desire to remain unnoticed. Clutching the paper, I tiptoe back to the dry porch, taking care not to slip. I have the feeling that I've put something over on someone, but I have no idea who. It's probably just me, again.