Mr. Elliott’s driveway was one of those from the olden days. It was two beige-colored cement strips running from the curb to his garage door, with a strip of grass between them just wide enough to accommodate the tires of his Model T  and an old whirring push lawnmower.

The neighborhood kids used to gather every day when there was no school because they enjoyed watching Mr. Elliott drive his ancient car slowly up the two pathways to see if he could keep all four wheels on the pavement, and he always did.

He would stop and get out of his car, the door squeaking loudly, and he’d pull his huge wooden garage doors open by hand, get back in the car and drive into the dark interior.

The kids would not leave right away because they knew Mr. Elliott would reappear soon. His garage was attached to his old, sagging house and they knew he would walk from his car into his kitchen, and shortly he’d return with the paper bag.

While the kids stood in a cluster on the sidewalk, happily anticipating what was coming, sure enough old Mr. Elliott did not disappoint. He appeared on his front porch with the expected brown paper bag. Shuffling, old man style, he left his porch and moved down one strip of his driveway until he came to an old splintery green Adirondack chair a few feet away on his lawn. He painfully lowered himself into it, the way old men do, and almost immediately they came in hordes, swarms of them, running toward him in a frenzy. Mr. Elliott leaned toward them and smiled as they stopped at his feet. Squirrels. Dozens and dozens of grey squirrels. They stopped, stood on their hind legs with their tiny paws clutched in front of them, as if in prayer, as they stared up at him.

Mr. Elliott reached into his brown paper bag and began to toss peanuts toward the eager rodents, their bushy tails twitching excitedly as they scrambled toward the treats, and then grabbing, shredding the shells and gobbling the nuts within.

And then, like a vibrating grey blanket, they climbed up the back of the old Adirondack and perched on his shoulders, his arms and even his head, just begging, begging for more peanuts.  He held his hands out, filled with nuts, and the little animals jumped into them and greedily grabbed more with their tiny claws and then more.

Soon the brown paper bag was emptied and the grey squirrels left, flowing away across his lawn and disappearing into the trees. Mr. Elliott smiled after them and began to doze in the sunshine. The kids on the sidewalks smiled too and wandered off since the daily show over. They knew it would happen the next day. And the next. Until the snow came.

And eventually, as some worried might happen, there came a day when the Model T did not wind its way up the split driveway, and old Mr. Elliott did not come outside with his brown paper bag full of peanuts. The splintery Adirondack chair remained empty out on the lawn — the green paint eventually fading to grey — the grass in the strip between the cement driveway paths grew tall and then became brown and bent. Finally the fickle sidewalk kids and squirrels too wandered off in search of other entertainments. Soon they forgot about Mr. Elliott.

LC Van Savage can be reached at [email protected]