The subject is Yankee Ingenuity, and the names have been changed so you don't know anybody, and Abbie isn't going to get mad at me. Take that snowstorm. It was a foot and a half on the level, they say two feet and better over at East Friendship, and the wind helped. It was, all the same, a beautiful morning when the air was still again and the sun came up golden bright , and Pud Lathrop stood by his kitchen stove looking off down the bay in rapt admiration of the salubrity of the world in general. Pud's wife had taken the bus and gone off to Hartford to see the twin grandchildren over their tenth birthday, so Pud was making his breakfast. He knew he was snowed in, but he had some bearpaws to reach the highway if necessary, and with the freezer and the larder full he was having no problems with his bachelor chores. He frothed four eggs in the yellow bowl with the blue stripes, added some cow, and would be ready for the scramble when his sausage had browned and the sweet-potato patty-cake was just crispy around the edges. There was an electric toaster on the shelf, but when Pud was alone he liked to make his toast on the top of the range - an altogether different product when you came to soak the butter to it. Pud philosophized. Being alone was one thing, being marooned was another. The wife wasn't due back for four days yet, and the drifts looked as if they meant to hang around awhile. Only real thing about being alone like this was when he'd forget and look up to say something to the wife. Now and then he'd forget himself so much as to speak right out. Habit. Felt foolish, but there it was. Try to break a path before the wife came. Meantime, looked ahead to baking a pan of cream-tartar biscuits for supper, and why not thaw one of those steaks? Fry an onion with some mushrooms, and bake a potato. That would go some good. String beans, too. Must remember to warm the pie. So, supper planned, Pud had his breakfast, and wouldn't worry about noonin' until the time came.
Just up the road, Abbie Pendleton looked out, and was glad to see smoke coming from Pud's kitchen chimney. ''Pud's up and about,'' she said to her husband. ''Leastways, his chimney's smoking.''
''Reasonable assumption,'' said her husband, whose name is Archibald.
''Snow clear'n over his keyholes, look's-if from here,'' Abbie said.
''He knows he can call on,'' said Archibald.
So as the forenoon moved along and the afternoon arrived, Abbie looked up now and then toward Pud's house, and she saw no sign except the smoke. ''Wonder if he's all right,'' she said.
''He's all right. He knows he can call on.''
''Eyah, but he could-a fell or something.''
So along about the time Pud was beginning to think about slicing the onions, his telephone rang. It was Abbie.
''Pud, you all right?''
''Quite a storm!''
''Ripper, 'twas. I'm snowed in for fair. How you doing?''
''Good. Is they anything you need?''
''Nothing comes to mind. I'm good. Warm, plenty food, nothing to do but wait for the wife.''
''She's coming Friday?''
''Well, if they's anything you want, you call on.''
Next day, Abbie calls again. Pud is fine. Same conversation. ''Anything you want, you just call on!''
On the next day when Abbie called, Pud answered the telephone wearing a big smile, as if he had something on his mind. ''Tucker's Barber Shop for Cats and Dogs!'' he says, and Abbie says, ''Pud, you all right?''
''Anything you want?''
''Eyeh. Somebody to tie my bow necktie. Never could do it myself.''
''Bow necktie? You dressing up? Going some place?''
''Well, I was sort of expecting you'd get around to asking me for supper.''