This house is meant to preserve itself and has done so up until this day, protecting itself from the wandering animals that approach it. At twelve noon, the family dog whines at the door. Recognizing the dog's voice, the door lets it in. The dog has changed, however. It has shriveled to bone and is covered in sores. The dog "hysterically" yelps and tries to find its owners, but soon realizes there is no one in the house. It can smell the kitchen cooking pancakes and tries unsuccessfully to get through the door. It finally runs in a frenzied circle and eventually dies. An hour later, the mice sense decay and within fifteen minutes the dog is gone and in the incinerator in the basement. At two thirty-five, the house prepares for a bridge game and guests, complete with refreshments. By four o'clock, it cleans up everything. At four-thirty, the nursery prepares for the children's play time. The house draws the baths at five o'clock. It continues through the evening by preparing and cleaning up dinner, starting the fireplace, lighting a cigar and reading Mrs. McClellan her nightly poem.

By ten o'clock that night, "the house [begins] to die." The wind blows a falling branch through the kitchen window, which knocks a bottle of cleaning solvent onto the stove. Fire breaks out. Even though the house is prepared for fires and begins pumping water, the solvent spreads, as does the fire. It eventually leaks under the kitchen door and into the rest of the house. The house knows what to do to save itself, but the closing doors and pumping water do no good when the windows break and the wind sucks the fire throughout the house. The house tries to shower the fire, but eventually the pump stops because the reserve water has been used up with days of drawing baths and washing dishes when no one was around.

Soon, the fire works its way upstairs. Finally, the "reinforcements" step in - from the attic come robots that pump chemicals onto the fire. The fire moves outside,...