Where darkness is on the rocks of the Morula Mountains, the stars twinkle in the frosty night like stars. Cold winds come from the east and thin snow skitters along over the frozen surface of the old snow. Some pines stand and whir in the gusts. No animals move over the winter meadow in the valley between Mt. Mandrin and Mt. Mentagra. Where bushes protrude, their branches wave and crack in the gusts. Snapping and hissing loll around the hard earth. Stones and boulders mark the meadow like fossils of the old year. You could say the valley “broods,” but it is too cold and dark for that kind of folly. Nor is it in the contract.