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Nature is indifferent to humans but respectful and admiring of the house.
The story describes an automated house after some kind of apocalypse that wiped out all of the humans. In fact, the house continues as if the humans were still alive, but there are no humans to respond to it.
The five spots of paint - the man, the woman, the children, the ball - remained. The rest was a thin charcoaled layer.
To nature, there is no difference between the humans and anything else. The house, on the other hand, has responded dutifully. Until it runs out of power, it will continue to protect itself and serve the humans—even though there are no humans to serve.
There seems to be more of an imapct when the house begins to die than when the humans died.
The house shuddered, oak bone on bone, its bared skeleton cringing from the heat, its wire, its nerves revealed as if a surgeon had torn the skin off to let the red veins and capillaries quiver in the scalded air.
However, not being human, the house is unaware that it is actually dying. It responds to the threat of the fire, and tries to warn the humans that are not there. Its robots protect it. Yet in the end, it continues to tell the date and time, even though there is no one there to hear it. It is giving its own epitaph.
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